IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co. Church records
new content added 02/27/2022

Church index

St. John's Lutheran Church
Waukon, Makee township

St. John's Lutheran church - photo courtesy Google maps
St. John's Lutheran church - photo courtesy Google maps

Diamond Jubilee for Waukon Church
Congregation 75 years old, church 10 years old


St. John's Lutheran church, 1963
St. John's Lutheran church, 1963

Special to the Gazette
Waukon – St. John’s Lutheran Church here is observing its 75th anniversary this weekend.

According to Pastor David R. Vaaler the observation will open with a confirmation reunion service tonight at 7:30. All persons confirmed in the church will be honored.

Speaker will be the Rev. Gordon Smedsrud of Luther College in Decorah. A social hour will follow.

Speakers for Sunday morning’s services will be the Rev. William Benbow of Ames at 8:30 and the Rev. Nelson Preus of Fargo, N.D., at 10.

Speaker for the diamond jubilee program at 2 p.m. will be the Rev. T. H. Megorden of Bemidji, Minn., first pastor to be ordained in the Waukon church.

Arthur H. Jacobson will recount the history of the congregation during this program.

The congregation was organized in 1888. First services were conducted by the Rev. H. A. Hartmann of Old East and West Paint Creek congregations. They were in the hall above a blacksmith shop.

Later the congregation affiliated with Pontppidan church in Glenwood township, which lasted until 1947. First pastor of the combined groups was the Rev. M. F. Lunde, from 1888 to 1893.

Other pastors who have served the church include: The Revs. J. A. Hellestvedt, 1894-1903; Jacob Fjelde, 1903-18; William Rasmussen, 1919-27; J. A. Erickson, 1927-29; P. F. Kjorlaug, 1929-47; Nelson Preus, 1947-54; William Benbow, 1954-59. The present pastor came in 1959.

The first church was built in 1890. Present structure was built at a cost of $230,000 and dedicated June 28, 1953. The old church was converted to a parish unit in 1957 and the new parsonage was erected in 1960.

One charter member of the church still is living. She is Mrs. Hans Vold of Menlo Park, Calif.

~Cedar Rapids Gazette, August 31, 1963
~transcribed by Lyn Lysne


Decorah – Funeral services for the Rev. P. F. Kjorlaug, 71, who died Saturday night in a Dubuque hospital, will be held at 2 p.m., Tuesday in the First Lutheran church. Mr. Kjorlaug was pastor of St. John’s Lutheran church in Waukon for 17 years. He retired five years ago and has been living in Decorah. He is survived by his wife and a daughter, Eunice.

~Cedar Rapids Gazette, Monday, May 26, 1952
~transcribed by Lyn Lysne

Rev. P.F. Kjorlaug, 1939
Rev. P.F. Kjorlaug, 1939

Rev. Nelson Forde Preus

1938 prior to becoming a pastor

The Rev. Nelson F. Preus will preach his first service Sunday as pastor of the St. John's Lutheran church of Waukon after he is installed by Dr. N. Astrup Larsen, Iowa district president of the Evangelical Lutheran church. The installation will be at 10:45 a.m. The regular service will follow immediately.

Mrs. Roy Bakkum, president of the St. John's Ladies' aid, has announced that a dinner for the members of the church will be served after the service and that the newly installed pastor and his immediate family and guests will be served in the church parlors.

Pastor Preus is a son of Dr. O.J.H. Preus, president of Luther college. He received his bachelor of arts degree at Luther college in 1939, and received his master of arts degree in English at the state University of Iowa in 1940. He then taught one year at Dana college, Blair, Neb.

At Luther Theological seminary, St. Paul, Minn., Pastor Preus received his seminary training. After being ordained, he served as pastor at Onawa, Ia., until he accepted the call of St. John's Lutheran church at Waukon.

Rev. Preus succeeds the Rev. P.F. Korkaug [sic], who served the church for 17 years. Rev. Kjorkaug has retired and moved to Decorah.

~The La Crosse Tribune, Friday evening, August 15, 1947; pg 1
~transcribed by S. Ferrall

~photo source: Decorah Journal, Tuesday, October 18, 1938; pg 1

Nelson F. Preus Obituary & additional information

Pastor Benbow has spent the last three years serving two churches in Southeastern Minnesota: Chatfield Lutheran at Chatfield, and Root Prairie Lutheran at Fountain.

Both Pastor and Mrs. Benbow were born in South Dakota, where they both attended South Dakota schools; Mrs. Benbow at Augustana at Sioux Falls, and Pastor Benbow at the University at Vermillion.

May the Lord of the Church bless both pastor and congregation as we seek to do the work of Him who sent us.

~source: St. John's Lutheran Church brochure, date unknown
~Contributed by Debbie Johnson Odell

Pastor William K. Benbow
Pastor William K. Benbow

St. John's Lutheran church - photo courtesy Google maps
St. John's Lutheran church - photo courtesy Google maps



St. John's Capitol Campaign Brochure
ca 1950's

02/27/2022: ID'ed by David Hagemeier:
*Front row, seated - 3rd from left = David Hagemeier
*Back row (not the top 3 guys) - 1st from left, with glasses, in front of guy w/tie = Edward Hagemeier
*Back row (not the top 3 guys) - 3rd from left, in front of wall = Arthur Hagemeier

"My mother Bonnie (Meyer) Curry, found this brochure for a capitol campaign from St John's Church. I'm not sure of the year." ... Deb Odell

If you can identify anyone in the photos, email the Allamakee co. coordinator.


Return to Church index