Six Mile Grove Lutheran Church 100th Anniversary 1859-1959

It appears your Web browser is not configured to display PDF files. Download adobe Acrobat or click here to download the PDF file.


100th Anniversary, Six Mile Grove Lutheran Church
To each and everyone, we bid a warm
and hearty welcome. It is with great pleasure
that we present this survey of the
history of our congregation. May the message
of peace that flows from God's forgiveness,
through Jesus Christ, deepen our
devotion-not only as we celebrate our
100th anniversary, but as we begin our
second century at Six Mile Grove Lutheran
The Centennial Committee

100th Anniversary, Six Mile Grove Lutheran Church
HISTORY of the

One hundred years ago Six Mile Grove was a forest undisturbed by
the European emigrants. The first Norwegians to settle in this part of
the state arrived in 1854 and a few made their homes in Nevada

Thov Olson Uvesaker came to Six Mile Grove forest in 1853. He
was gone during the winter, but came back in the spring of 1854. The
following Norwegians moved and settled in the forest in the course of
two years: Hans Swenson and son, Christopher; Thrond Kleppo Richardson
and son, Ole T.; Mathias Hanson; Knut Kvale; Swenel Trasimet;
Peter Martin; Gunder Halverson; Ole Thovson; Halver Thovson; Aslak
Flaten; Torges Olson; Troml Bunde; Ole Sampson; Frederick Martin;
Johannes Martin; Andrew Anderson and sons, Hans C. anel Anton.
During the next two or three years came: Herman Amundson and
son, Knut; Knut Hage; Francis Hearsh; Thor Larson; Halvor Volstad;
Torbjorn Enerson and sons, Sam, Tom, and Nels; Andrew Bergeson
and sons, John and Hans; Richard Olson; Jarand Olson; Richard Lunde;
Nels Olson, and son Ole Nelson.

100th Anniversary, Six Mile Grove Lutheran Church
The beautiful altar of Six Mile Grove Lutheran Church.
The following settled here between 1858 and 1868: Gunder Knutson;
Ole Rue; David Nelson and sons Nels, Ed, and Ole; Torge Guttormson
and sons Ole and Gustave; Lars Meyer and son Christian; Knut
Tollefson; Jacob Jacobson; Swend Jacobson; Knut Lastine; Dreng
Augeson; Knut Stoe; Ole and Jens Stoe; Bjorn Jorgenson; Lars Olson
Tuve; Gulbrand Hazelbreck; Ole Severson; Anders Veslehagen and sons
Erick and Nels; Lars Arneson; Gunder Ostenson; Tollef Ostenson;
Andrew Femriet and son Ingebriet; Gulbrand Morstad and son Tosten;
Ole Lastine; Andrew Peterson; Johannes Arneson; Even Evenson; Ole
Evenson; and Aslak Flaten.

100th Anniversary, Six Mile Grove Lutheran Church
"The Big Elm Tree" under
which the first business meeting
of the congregation was

Monument erected in 1937 on the H. O. Austinson
farm marks spot where "The Big Elm Tree"
stood in 1859.

These well known people had belonged to the Lutheran State
Church of Norway and while some probably had no spiritual cravings,
others were yearning for the "Bread of Life" and looked prayerfully for
a servant of God who could preach to them the Word of Salvation
and administer the Sacraments of the Lord. The nearest Lutheran
Church was at St. Ansgar, Iowa, where the first settlers took their infants
for baptism and the young people for instruction in religion, preparatory
to confirmation. Marriages were also performed there. Pastors, however,
visited the settlement and gathered for devotional services. Among
them were Pastors Clausen, Preus and Otteson.
Six Mile Grove congregation was permanently organized November
19, 1859. It was one of the first Scandinavian Lutheran Churches in
Mower County. The first business meeting was held under the "Big Elm
Tree" on the Thrond Kleppo Richardson farm in section 29. Services
continued there for a time and later in -the homes until the church
was built.

100th Anniversary, Six Mile Grove Lutheran Church
The Rev. C. L. Clausen organized the congregation and served the
parishes of St. Ansgar, Iowa; Rock Creek, Six Mile Grove and Red Oak
Grove in Minnesota. It was called the C. L. Clausen Parish. He served
until 1871 with the exception of the years 1861 and 1862 when he
served as chaplain in the army.
The Rev. Johan Olson succeeded him and served until 1878.
Professor B. B. Geldaker was the next pastor until 188 1 when the Rev.
J. Muller Eggen was called. During his pastorate, the Rev. P. A. Dietrichson
served as assistant part of 1904 and 1905. After serving the
congregation for 23 years, the Rev. Eggen resigned on account of poor
health. The Rev. N. N. Esser, who succeeded the Rev. Eggen, served
until 1912. Professor Olaf Lee of St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota,
was acting pastor during part of 1912 and 1913 until the next
pastor, the Rev. A. Elmer Moe took charge. He served until 1922 with
the exception of one year when he did organizational work at Owatonna,
Minnesota. During this time, the Rev. G. Storoasli was in charge.
Rev. C. L. Clausen
Rev. Johan Olson
Rev. B. B. Gjeldaker

100th Anniversary, Six Mile Grove Lutheran Church
Rev. J. Muller Eggen
Rev. P. A. Dietrichson
Rev. N. N. Esser
The Rev. Moe was succeeded by the Rev. C. S. Yang who served
until 1925.
The Rev. O. M. Langehaugh served us faithfully for 19 years. 1925
to 1944.
The Rev. M. L. Hos,tager was here during part of 1945 and 1946.
The Rev. T. G. Torvik was pastor of the congregation from 1946
to 1949.
The Rev. O. T. Boe served temporarily for three months until the
Rev. S. V. Gjervik came in December of 1949. He served until 1954.
The Rev. S. O. Stenson was here from 1954 until 1958.
The Rev. Gorden Rasmussen was our Interim pastor from September
1958, until July 1, 1959.
The Rev. Ernest Stolen was Interim pastor from July to September,
Rev. A. Elmer Moe
Rev. G. Storoasli
Rev. C. S. Yang

100th Anniversary, Six Mile Grove Lutheran Church
Rev. T. G. Torvik
Rev. S. V. Gjervik
Rev. O. M. Langehough
Rev. S. O. Stenson

Work of construction of the Six Mile Grove Church was commenced
in 1867, but the building was not completed until the following spring.
The bricks for the church were made from soil in section 27, known
as the Ed Nelson farm. Ole Sampson laid the foundation for the church.
The building committee was: The Rev. C. L. Clausen, Hans o. Anderson,
Ole Sampson and Gunder Knutson.

100th Anniversary, Six Mile Grove Lutheran Church
The church was dedicated in the year 1868 by the Rev. Johan Olson.
On June 20, 1937, a historic monument with a bronze plate affixed
to it was dedicated. This monument was erected in the H. O. Austinson
farmyard by members and friends of Six Mile Grove. It fittingly marks
the spot where the congregation was organized 100 years ago and where
divine services were held under the Big Elm tree in the early days. The
Rev. A. B. Anderson and the Rev. John M. Eggen participated in the
impressive dedicatory service. The monument was dedicated by Pastor
O. M. Langehough in the presence of the vast audience assembled for
this memorable outdoor event.

In January of 1951, the three churches, Mona, Six Mile Grove and
Lyle, that had always been a part of the same parish and served by the
same pastors, adopted a parish constitution which united their membership
even though they still have the three places of worship.
They sensed the need of a neutral center where they could carry on
their joint organizational activities. They purchased the building that
was then a furniture store, but had previously been a garage. The
renovation began at once and on September 13, 1953, the Trinity
Lutheran Parish Center was dedicated.

The center is not intended to replace any o[ the churches. It is not
built or dedicated as a sanctuary, but as a workshop. It has become the
meeting place of Parish organizations. Joint Luther Leagues, Brotherhood,
Gold Band Club, L.C.R., Ladies Aid board and committee meetings
use the Parish Center. It is also used as a recreation and community

In 1957, a beautiful parsonage was built for the pastor of the three
churches. It is located at the north end of Lyle.

100th Anniversary, Six Mile Grove Lutheran Church
Four sons of the congregation who have entered the ministry
Ole T. Lee Gustave T. Lee
Alfred B. Anderson John M. Eggen

100th Anniversary, Six Mile Grove Lutheran Church
Much of the history of the area is reflected in the church cemetery.
Many pioneer names may be found on the tombstones which mark
burials of as long ago as 1857. Many of the headstones were made of
soft rock found in the area. Erosion has almost obliterated some of the
lettering, bu t here and there can be found readable stones from burials
in 1862.
The cemetery which was formerly owned and controlled by the
congregation was turned over to the Six Mile Grove Cemetery Association
and incorporated March 10, 1913. The Association now has a
fund of Thirty-one hundred dollars ($3,100). The purpose of this fund
is the upkeep of a burial place for t his community. So far this year we
have received Six hundred dollars ($600) for the purpose of buying
additional ground for burial and also, to fix the old monuments that
seem to be out of shape. The present officers are: President-Alfred
Nelson; Secretary-Walter Eggen; Treasurer-H. O. Austinson; Directors
-Alfred Hofland, Otto Nelson, and C. E. Olson; Sexton-George

Front Row-Mrs. Harlan Olson, Mrs. Lloyd Hanson, Mrs. John Farlinger,
Mrs. Lavern Austinson.
Back Row-Mrs. Clifford Mayzlik, Mrs. Donald Patterson, Mrs. George
Ransom, Mrs. Thorman Olson and Mrs. Arthur Rohne.

100th Anniversary, Six Mile Grove Lutheran Church
Front Row--Mrs. Clifford Mayzlik, Mrs. Lavern Austinson, Elaine
Klusmeier, Mrs. John Tow, Mrs. Lloyd Hanson.
Back Row-Mary Dralle, Mrs. Arthur Rohne, Patricia Irvin, Sandra
Slwu, Mrs. Thorman Olson, and Mrs. Neil Haskins.
Absent-Mrs. Merle Nelson, Mrs. Leora Enerson, Beverly Nelson, Mrs.
Lyla Prindle, Mrs. Melvin Rohne and Elaine Hofland.

The first term of Parochial School in the settlement was taught in
the Hans Swenson Twinglee home. This was a log house in section 32.
The first Parochial Schoolteacher was Anders Peterson.
The Ladies Aid Society has been a loyal supporter of the local
congregation. It was organized in 1872 by the Rev. Johan Olson. It
meets the first Thursday of every month in our church.
Sunday School has been in operation since the first years of the
church's organization. Mr. L. M. Eggen was Sunday School Superintendent
for twelve years. When he was injured in 1928, the vice Superintendent,
Newell Nelson became superintendent. Mr. Nelson served
for twenty-one years. Since then, many have served for a year or two.
Some of them are: Norman Nelson, Merle Eggen, Elaine Eggen Thompson,
Lavern Austinson, Marilyn Klusmeier Nelson and Elaine Klusmeier.
The Sunday School teachers assisted a few years, too.

100th Anniversary, Six Mile Grove Lutheran Church
First Row-Derry Olsen, Donald Irvin, Dean Hanson, Eugene Rohne,
Derby Olsen, Dennis Olson, and Arleigh Austinson.
Second Row-Robert Irvin, Billy Klusmeier, Jerry Sampson, Marie johnson,
MaTY Dralle, Marilyn Anderson, Sherry Enerson and David
Third or Back Row-Jerry Reuter, Merle Hanson, Linda Slwu, Sandra
Shou, Patricia Irvin, Shirley Mae Patterson, Steven Olson and
Dennis Tow.
Absent??.le1Ty Patterson, Roger Patterson and Marlene Bahr.
The Young People's Society was organized in 1906. Now, they meet
in three different groups-L.C.R., Junior High League, and Senior High
League-at the Parish Center.
Two Mission Circles, the Eudora and the Ithial, were organized in
1912. In 1929, they were reorganized into four mission circles. They
meet in the homes the second Thursday of every month with Bible Study
and offering for missions amounting up to $1,000.00 a year.
During the Rev. C. S. Yang's years with us, the Jewish Mission
Society was organized. It is a small, but active group, consisting of
members of the Mona, Lyle, and Six Mile Grove congregations. This
group meets in the homes once a month.
Mrs. Andi Flaten Jacobson was the first white child born in Nevada
Township and Mrs. Anna Sampson Everson the second.

100th Anniversary, Six Mile Grove Lutheran Church
The first wedding in Six Mile Grove Church was when Helen
Martin was united in marriage to Francis Hearsh.
The first funeral in the congregation was that of Aslak Knutskaas
in 1856.
Eight of the early members of the congregation served this country
during the Civil War. Johannes Martin, Even Evenson, Corp. Knut
Amundson, Johannes Bergeson, Sam Enerson, Christopher Swenson,
Jacob Jacobson and Oscar Tieman.
After the first World War, a beautiful bronze tablet was presented
to the congregation. The tablet commemorates the response made by
our soldier boys to our country's call. One of whom died on a battlefield
of France. The principal donor of this tablet was Mr. Lauritz M. Eggen.
Mr. Eggen, who passed away in 1940, was one of the very faithful
workers in our church being active in every department of the church.
The present Ladies' Chorus has sung together for about 35 years.
The church bell at the cost of $325 was presented to the congregation
by the Ladies' Aid in 1881.

First Row-Elaine Klusmeier, Mrs. John Farlinger, Mrs. Walter Eggen,
Mrs. Hamid Dralle and Mrs. Andrew Steene.
Back Row-Mrs. Melvin Haugland, Mrs. Walter Leidall, Adeline Lastine,
Mrs. Lyla Prindle, and Mrs. Newell Nelson.
Absent-Mrs. Anders Knudsen.

100th Anniversary, Six Mile Grove Lutheran Church
The first organ was purchased for our church in about 1889. Mrs.
Laura Waldeland was the first organist. She was about twelve years old
at that time.
In surveying the history of the Six Mile Grove Church the one
hundred years of its activity, we recognize with sincere gratitude the
guiding hand of Our Heavenly Father, who in His kindness and mercy
so wonderfully blessed our efforts to build His Kingdom in this community.
It is our common prayer on this our One hundredth anniversary,
that He may continue to bestow His blessing upon our church activities,
so that they may redound to His glory and honor and to the salvation
of many souls.
Together with the Psalmist, we would say: "This is the day which
the Lord hath made. We will rejoice and be glad in it." Ps. 118:24.

I love thy kingdom Lord;
The house of Thine abode;
The church our blest Redeemer saved
With His own precious blood.
o ne'r may I forget
Her welfare nor her woe
Lest every joy my heart forsake
And every grief o'er flow,

100th Anniversary, Six Mile Grove Lutheran Church
To God alone, who hath given to us His Holy Word and made us
partakers of His all glorious grace,
To our faithful forefathers, who laid the foundations and who built
so well,
To the beloved pastors who broke to us the Bread of Life,
To those of this gene ration whose duty and privilege it is to take up
the torch and carry it high and forward to the honor of Our
Saviour's Name,
This little booklet is in love dedicated.
The Centennial Committee

First Row-Alfred Hofland, Lavern Austinson, Merle Nelson, Hamid
Dralle, Andrew Steene, Max Patterson.
Second Row- Walter Eggen, Mrs. Arthur Rohne, Mrs. Ronald Nelson,
Mrs. Hamlin Ashley, Adeline Lastine, Mrs. Newell Nelson, and
Newell Nelson.
Absent-Herman Austinson, Melvin Martin and Elaine Klusmeier.

The present officers of the Six Mile Grove Church are:
President ______________________________ Merle Nelson
Secretary-Treasurer _____________________________ Walter Eggen
Deacons _______ Lavern Austinson, Newell Nelson, Alfred Hofland

100th Anniversary, Six Mile Grove Lutheran Church
Front Row-Newell Nelson, Lavern Austinson, Alfred Hofland, Andrew
Steene, Harold Dralle, Max Patterson.
Back Row-Russell Sampson, Walter Eggen, iVIerle Nelson and Dean
Trustees ____________ Andrew Steene, Harold Dralle, Max Patterson
Board of Education __________________________ Duane Enerson, Warren Austinson, Dean Rockefellow
Organist ___________________________________ Elaine Klusmeier
Sunday School Superintendent ______________ Elaine Klusmeier
Custodian _________________________________ Walter Eggen
Head Usher ________________________________ Russell Sampson
Ladies Aid Officers:
President ________________________________ Mrs. Arthur Rohne
Vice President __________________________ Mrs. Thorman Olson
Secretary _______________________________ Mrs. George Ransom
Treasurer _____________________________ Mrs. Donald Patterson
Mission Treasurer ____________________ Mrs. Clifford Mayzlik

Mission Circle Presidents:
Circle No. 1 _______________________________ Mrs. Harlan Olson
Circle No. 2 ______________________________ Mrs. John Farlinger
Circle No. 3 __________________________ Mrs. Lavern Austinson
Circle No. 4 ______________________________ Mrs. Lloyd Hanson