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

Chapter  38 - Eau Claire Churches

Our Saviour's Scandinavian Lutheran Church

(-as transcribed from pages 523 - 524)

Our Saviour's Scandinavian Lutheran Church, of Eau Claire, was founded April 22, 1876, by Rev. Dr. H. G. Stub, of the Luther Seminary, St. Paul, who represented the Norwegian Lutheran synod in America. The first minister to the church was the Rev. L. P. Dietrichson, of Chicago, Illinois, who began his services during 1876. The early members of the church were M. J. Argard, Louis Everson, C. P. Johnson, John Kragstad, Even Olson, J. O. Gilbert, Mads Aobren, Robert H. Segler, Ole Anderson, John C. Nelson, A. M. Johnson, A. R. Bergh, C. Berg, H. R. Kjorstad, P. O. Lochen, Magne Olson, A. P. Martensen, H. Ulstrup, J. Reid, Soren Johnson, A. Pederson and Ole P. Onstad. In the summer of 1877 the congregation purchased a lot on Oxford avenue and Fulton street and erected their church. It was built by the Phoenix Manufacturing Company at a cost of $2,653.00, and was dedicated October 14, 1877. A school house was built on the church lot in the summer of 1881, which became the parochial school of the church, and when an evening school was begun for teaching the English language to Scandinavians many citizens contributed generously to the undertaking. The Rev. Mr. Dietrichson was succeeded in 1879 by Rev. Harald Haakenson, who served five years. His successor. Rev. U. B. Hermstard, remained three years and was followed by Rev. J. W. Trens in 1887. In the summer of that year a parsonage was built on the church lot at an outlay of $1,500. Rev. J. W. Preus was succeeded in May, 1899, by the Rev. Oluf S. Rygg, the present pastor. The sacristy within the church was built during the summer of 1899 and in 1900 its pipe organ was purchased. In 1901 the church was repaired, painted and new windows furnished at a cost of $1,000. In 1905 $500 was expended in repairing and improving the parsonage. In 1906 and '7 cement sidewalks were laid about the premises at a cost of nearly $500. In 1911 the old school building was sold and a larger one of brick and cement was erected at an expense of $6,500. The second story of this Guild hall is a concert and lecture hall and library. The basement will contain a large dining room, kitchen, furnace room, etc. The present membership is about 600, communicants 375, an increase of 183 under the administration of Rev. Mr. Rygg. In connection with the church are a Men's Club, a Ladies' Aid Society, Young Peoples' Society, two church choirs and "Willing Workers," a society of small girls. Mrs. Rygg is organist and choir instructor.

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