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"History of Eau Claire County Wisconsin, 1914, Past and Present"

Chapter  38 - Eau Claire Churches

The First Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church

(-as transcribed from pages 522 - 523)

The First Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church, of Eau Claire, was organized February 1, 1864, with a congregation of twenty-one heads of families or about fifty souls. The first pastor was Rev. L. Norem, of Elk Mound, who held occasional services in a small school house on the corner of Barstow and Wisconsin streets, until the winter of 1865, when Rev. Ammon Johnson, of the Springfield (Illinois) Theological Seminary, was installed as settled pastor. A school house was built and used as a church in 1868 on the lot where the church now stands on Hudson street and Fifth avenue. In 1869 Mr. J. G. Thorp donated a lot on the corner of Wisconsin and Dewey streets, and a church building was finished and dedicated in 1873. The congregation at that time felt the need of a parochial school for their children, and Robert Sather, afterward county clerk of the county, took charge of it and did successful work for nine years. As membership grew those on the west side decided that they should have a building of their own for divine service. The funds were raised, the school house was removed and sold, and in its place a church was built in 1872. After eleven years of successful labor, and witnessing the prosperous growth of the church he had established, Mr. Johnson was called to Aurelia, Iowa. Rev. J. Hoyme was called from Menomonie in 1876, and was pastor until 1894, and president of the church at large until his death in 1902. On January 1, 1894, the Rev. Peder Tangjerd succeeded and is still in charge. The membership is over two thousand, an increase of over 600 since 1894. This is the oldest Norwegian congregation in Eau Claire county, and is in a flourishing condition. On January 4, 1910, a new church called Grace English Lutheran Congregation was organized by the English speaking members of the First Lutheran Evangelical church.

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