IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co. Church records

Iowa River Evangelical Lutheran
Church Records

Iowa River Evangelical Lutheran Church Records

Den Norske Evangelical Lutheriske Iowa River Menighed
Allamakee and Winneshiek Counties, Iowa

A Publication of Data on Baptisms, Confirmations, Marriages and Burials
Performed in the Congregation

Edited and Published by Arnold O. Haugen
Private Printing 1977
Dorchester, Iowa 52140

Records of baptisms, confirmations, marriages and burials presented herein are from the Iowa River Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church Ministerial Book which shows entries from Jan. 1, 1870 to 1938. Burial records, however, continue to 1952. The book is now preserved at the Waterloo Ridge Lutheran Church near Spring Grove, Minnesota.

The Iowa River Church was struck by lighting and burned July 3, 1937 and was not been rebuilt. Following destruction of the church building, members joined nearby Big Canoe and Waterloo Ridge Lutheran Churches. (Some joined Canoe Ridge Lutheran Church also. AGK)

This publication is an effort to set forth the records in an alphabetically arranged order to facilitate their use by descendants needing such data for personal use and for geneologial (sic) purposes.

In many cases the names and their spelling have been difficult to ascertain due both to the old Norwegian handscript and to the poor penmanship of the pastors or others who may have recorded the data in the Ministerial book. Then too, the spelling of names in some cases was Americanized in later years. In some cases, a son was baptized under his father’s surname, but was confirmed under a new name consisting of adding the ending “-son” to his father’s given name. As an example, a Lars Hanson might take the surname Larson at confirmation time.

The Congregation graveyard is located on the plot of ground adjacent to where the Church stood in the NE1/4 NE1/4 Sec. 6, Hanover Twp., Allamakee Co., Iowa. It is still used occasionally for burials and is well maintained by the cemetery association consisting of former congregation members. Burials in recent years have been conducted by pastors from other congregations. An older abandoned burial area located beside the west side of the county road in SE SE Sec. 9, Hanover Twp., Allamakee Co. presently is without any sign of grave markers. A 40’ by 80’ part of the one acre plot is fenced but is overgrown with a thick stand of sumac.

If the reader finds data that seen at variance with his personal knowledge concerning any of these entries listed, it is recommended that he consult the original Iowa River Ministerial Book at the Waterloo Ridge Church. That book in addition to the reported wherein, also has data on names and dates of people partaking of Communion, membership, and in some cases includes comments on members leaving the Congregation. Some departing members were reported as “moving west.”

In order to conserve on space, some abbreviations have been used in the lists of data, including the following:

ungk.-unmarried man
the name ending –dtr means daughter
m.-grave marker present
nm.-no grave marker
pige-unmarried girl

My abbreviation of AmL stands for American Legion Marker

photo by Ann Krumme
Iowa River Norwegian Lutheran Church 1870-1939

The Iowa River Lutheran Church

Irving Tilden Thompson

Our beloved Iowa River Lutheran Church was built in the year of Our Lord 1880. The membership consisted of approximately 26 families. Chief carpenter for the construction was Peter Quandahl who received $300 for his labor. The membership increased for a number of years and by 1910 consisted of about 200 souls.

In 1909, it became necessary to replace the old heating system set in a hole under the church and with a single grate in the floor of the church. The men of the congregation excavated for a new larger basement and foundation beside the old one. The excavation was done with horses, scrapers, picks, shovels, and much muscle work. Sand and rock were hauled to the site by wagons and sleighs. The rock had been quarried by hand. August Hulquist, an immigrant rock mason, laid the foundation. Mr. Hulquist is grandfather of Dr. Edwin Overholt who is on the Medical Staff at the Lutheran Hospital at LaCrosse, Wis. In August 1910, the church was moved onto the new foundation by a Waukon, Iowa firm by the name of Stilwell and Sawell.

A cement floor, sidewalks, and steps were added by the men of the congregation. A modest kitchen was added, the first such convenience provided for the women. Its first use was for the preparation of a Thanksgiving dinner. Up to this time, all cooking and serving had been done outdoors.

The Iowa River Congregation worked cooperatively and harmoniously for the Kingdom of the Lord. Those of us who were a part of this church have many fond memories of the happy occasions which characterized this sincere and happy congregation.

The Iowa River Church Ladies Aid was organized in about 1910. The Young Peoples Society remained very active as a result of the enthusiasm of the youths of the congregation.

On July 3, 1937, this impressive little church, was s truck by lightening at about 6:30 pm, and was totally destroyed by fire. Some contents were saved, including the church organ, dishes, trays, a few pews, and the communion set. For a while the members considered rebuilding the church, but after much deliberation it was decided not to rebuild because the membership had diminished considerably.

The Iowa River Cemetery Association has been active since the fire. On the second Sunday of July each year the Association sponsors a picnic at the Cemetery to pay respects to the forefathers buried there.

In the process of filling in the basement hole following the destruction of the church, the corner stone, dated 1910, was pushed aside and left bottom side up. In July 1974 a large hole was found in the side of the stone. It is not known if the cavity containing the cornerstone documents had been accidentally broken open in the process of moving the stone. When the hole was discovered, it was found the contents had been destroyed by water and rodents. Parts of a bible and a Waukon Republican Newspaper placed therein in 1910 were identified. It is assumed that other documents had also been placed therein but to our grave disappointment such could not be recognized.

A permanent flagpole was erected at the graveyard for the July 14, 1974 Cemetery Association picnic. This was accomplished through the urging of Irving Thompson and with help from his son Frederick, and former Iowa River Church members Milton and Orville Iverson, and Edgar Nelson.

The fence surrounding the grounds was repainted by former member Lester Ellingson who would accept only a “thank you” for his services.

On October 14, 1974, the original cornerstone was restored and placed on the exact location of the corner of the church which burned. New documents were sealed in the cavity of the cornerstone.

Pastor Reuben K. Youngdahl in his devotion book, Live Today, for October 14 states, I quote—“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him, but let him ask in Faith.” James 1:5,6.
Prayer Thought: Merciful God, we turn our hearts to Thee, Seeking Thy wisdom.

Church records A-F
Church records G-J
Church records K-O
Church records P-W
Marriage Records

- source: Iowa River Evangelical Lutheran Church Records, Den Norske Evangelical Lutheriske Iowa River Menighed, Allamakee and Winneshiek Counties, Iowa; A Publication of Data on Baptisms, Confirmations, Marriages and Burials Performed in the Congregation; Edited and Published by Arnold O. Haugen; Private Printing 1977; Dorchester, Iowa 52140

- transcribed by Ann Krumme for Allamakee co. IAGenWeb, December 2005


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