- There are no records of the first meetings
of the Luther Valley Church, but the
- Reverend C. L. CLAUSEN, from
Racine county, preached at the house of Hellik BREKKE on the
8th day of February, 1844, and that some kind of an organization
was effected we infer from the fact that a call was made to Norway
for a minister, stipulating his salary, etc.
- Meanwhile Rev. J. C. W. DIETRICKSEN
had sailed for America and Luther
- Valley Church was referred to him.
But he located at Koshkonong and the congregation was but sparingly
served by him and CLAUSEN until July 31, 1846, when the
last named arrived as resident minister, accepting a call that
was tendered him on the 29th day of December, 1845. Since then
the Luther Valley Church has had a settled pastor.
- Rev. CLAUSEN served until 1851, when
he resigned and Rev. G.
- DIETRICKSEN was
called. He had charge of the congregation until 1859, when he
returned to Norway and his place was occupied by Rev. C. F. MAGELSEN.
Rev. MAGELSEN continued the work until 1869, when he resigned
and the congregation was again temporarily served by its first
pastor, the Rev. C. L. CLAUSEN, then of St. Ansgar, Ia.
On his recommendation, the church sent a call to Rev. I. M. EGGEN,
who accepted and had charge of the congregation until 1882, when
he moved to Lyle, Minn., and the present pastor, Rev. J. A. BERGH,
began his work.
- Until about 1865 southern Wisconsin
formed the center of the Norse population in
- America, and several important conventions
were held in the Luther Valley Church - among them may be mentioned
that the organization of the Norwegian Synod was begun here in
January, 1851, and completed at a meeting in October, 1853.
- Of this ecclesiastical body the Luther
Valley Church was a charter member, but
- believing that slavery was a sinful
institution, the congregation withdrew from the synod in 1868.
This brought the resignation of Rev. MAGELSEN, and although
he was very popular among the people, the resignation was adopted
by a vote of 126 to 47. Those that sympathized with the synod,
built a church of their own in Orfordville, and were served by
- At first the Luther Valley people of
course had to worship in private houses, but a
- church was built in 1847. It was of
lime stone and rather small, but served until 1871, when it was
torn down and a new and larger one built on its site. At the
same time another church was built in the western part of the
- On the first Sunday in Advent,1846,
the Luther Valley Church consisted of sixty-five
- families, 171 communicants and 250
members; in April, 1882, when Rev. BERGH took charge,
it had 111 families, 330 communicants and 571 members, and on
August 2nd, 1896, fifty years after the first settled pastor
began his work, we find 179 families, 548 communicants and 1,090
members. At the present writing (1907) the church numbers 220
families, about 600 communicants and 1.200 members. Among members
baptized, children of parents belonging to the church are counted.
- The Luther Valley congregation has
two churches, and a parsonage consisting of [a]
- house and thirty-five acres of land.
The parsonage is located in Plymouth [township], the East church
in Newark [township], and the West church in Spring Valley township,
Rock county, Wisconsin.
- [Source: Rock County, Wisconsin:
A new history of it's cities, villages, etc., Vol. I, by
William Fiske Brown (editor-in-chief); ©1908
C. F. Cooper, Chicago, IL; pp. 280-281]