CHURCHES IN MORRISON COUNTY.
HISTORY OF MORRISON AND TODD COUNTIES MINNESOTA By Clara K. Fuller Volume I, Published by B. F. Bowen & Company, Inc. Indianapolis, Indiana (1915) Submitted by Veneta McKinney
The early settlers of Morrison county, whose primary object was, of course, the creation of homes and the acquisition of material wealth, nevertheless realized the obligation resting upon them of caring for the spiritual and moral interests of the people. They early evinced a healthy interest in the organization and perpetuation of church organizations. As an historical fact, the Catholic and Methodist Episcopal churches were the pioneers in the religious activities of Morrison county.
CHURCH OF THE HOLY FAMILY.
The Church of the Holy Family, at Belle Prairie, Morrison county, is the oldest, except the Catholic church in Crow Wing county, of any in all northern Minnesota. It has a record dating back to 1838, when that beloved bishop. Father Lafleche, of Three Rivers, Michigan, during his tour throughout the Northwest, stopped in the vicinity of Belle Prairie, this county, and established a mission among the scattered Catholic pioneers. Not long afterward a log building was erected for church purposes. This stood on the site of the present Catholic cemetery at Belle Prairie. It was called Lacroix at that time. The priests who dared the privations and hardships of those early times, together with those of recent years, include the following, in about the order here given: Father Pierz (for whom the township and village of Pierz were named) came to the field in 1852 and remained faithful to his sacred trust until 1876; other priests, however, were here as supplies for a short time during these eventful years in the history of the church. Then came Father Buh (for whom Buh township was named); then Father J. Trobec, who became bishop at St. Cloud, and had previously been pastor of one of the Minneapolis churches; he was bishop at St. Cloud from September, 1897. to 1915, when, on account of age and infirmities, he resigned his position as bishop. Next came Father I. Tomazin, Father John Pavlin, Joseph Vill, O. S. B., and Father Chandonet. The last named was later made chaplain of the Sisters school at Paron, Minnesota. Following him came Father Lemay, who built the first convent at Belle Prairie for the Franciscan Sisters. In 1882 came, as priest, C. A. S. de Carrufen, succeeded by Father Jouax, now residing in Rome. The next to serve at Belle Prairie was Father Garraud, who died in 1913, and who was a professor in an Austrian province. Next was Father M. Barras, who served faithfully for a period of eight years. Father Gouin served from 1892 to January 7, 1895, and followed by Father L. J. Fournier, who continued from April, 1895, to April, 1896, and was followed by Father Jouax, from October, 1896, to June, 1902. Then came Father Garraud, who continued until 1906 and gave way to Father Barras, whose term here was from January, 1907, to 191 5. The present faithful and vigorous worker. Rev. Father A. Beyne, came in April, 1915, and is doing the work and performing well the duties of pastor of this church and congregation. At present there are about ninety families in this congregation. The parish covers all the northwest part of Morrison county, including that at Gravelville.
After the log chapel erected about 1855, had served its mission as a meeting house for the devout followers of the pioneer Catholic church at Belle Prairie (the first services having been held at the house of Anton Bisson). Father Pierz held mass in 1853 at that house, and served faithfully in the offices of priest. Father Buh was first to preside in the little chapel built in 1855 and in 1877 a neat chapel was erected, being dedicated on October 10, 1880. At the last date mentioned. Father Fortier was in charge. The church building is of solid cement work ; its walls show excellent workmanship and the interior of the building has long been noted for its fine furnishings. In recent years modern equipments have been added. The church property now includes thirty-six acres of fine land, on which are located the convent, church and cemetery. Aside from the convent building, the church property is estimated to be worth about fifteen thousand dollars. About ten years ago, a new parsonage was provided under the pastorate of Father Garraud.
Another priest whose name should never be forgotten in the work accomplished at Belle Prairie was Father D. Laurentius Zntischrvedze, who was born in Austria at the Apostolic mission. He was drowned in crossing Red lake, Minnesota, and was buried at St. Francis cemetery. Crow Wing county, by Father Pierz.
THE CONVENT. Connected with the church at Belle Prairie is the convent, which was established here many years ago. Its first building was a frame structure. which was burned about 1894, and the present fine edifice was erected from superior yellow brick in 191 1. It is a three-story and basement building and is modern in all particulars. It is heated by hot water, and illuminated by electric lights, the current being obtained from the plant at Little Falls. There are eight Sisters in charge, with Mother Superior Columbia at the head. She was born in Belle Prairie more than forty-five years ago and has been associated with this work since fifteen years of age. There are now about forty-five pupils in attendance. Pupils are taught as high as the eighth grade and have music, sewing and drawing given them among other subjects.
ST. MICHAEL’S CHURCH, BUCKMAN.
St. Michael's Catholic church, at Buckman, was organized in 1879, and the year following they completed a church building. It was formed by Rev. Joseph Vill, O. S. B., and among the more prominent members were: Michael Loud, Joseph Mishko, August Dehler, John Dehler, Frank Keeder - the Otrembas, John Jonson, Peter Kinny and a few other families. The first church building was commenced in the fall of 1879 and completed in 1880. Owing to the steady growth of the congregation, in 1902 it was found necessary to erect a new, larger and more modern house of worship. The church property is now valued at forty-five thousand dollars. In connection with this congregation, there is now a parochial school building, seating one hundred and fifty pupils, in charge of four Sisters of St. Benedict. The following pastors have faithfully served this congregation: Revs, Joseph Vill, 1884 to 1891; Joseph Mayrhofer, 1891 to 1899; Rev. Lazee, 1899 to 1900; Nicholas Beck, 1900 to 1901 ; William Lange, 1901 to 1910; John B. Brender, 1910 to 1915; Rev. Michael Schier, the present pastor, who came to St. Michael's church on February 23, 1915.
ST. FRANCIS XAVIER CHURCH, LITTLE FALLS.
St. Francis Xavier (formerly San Salvador) Catholic church is situated in Little Falls, in block No. 57, Fourth street, northeast. It was organized in 1867 by Rev. Ignatius Tomazin, a Croatian Priest working among the Indians with Father Buh, residing generally at Belle Prairie. Among the first membership may be recalled these: William Butler, Peter Roy. Louis Hamlin. Joseph Fournier, David Lachance, Nazaire Morin, Patrick Hayes, Thomas Hayes, Mrs. Nathan Richardson, Mrs. Joseph Lemieux (Batters) and others. The membership of this congregation in August, 1915, was about one hundred and sixty families. The following have served as pastors : Rev. Fathers Pierz, Tomazin, Buh, Chandonnet, Richard, Carufel, Fortier and the present priest, Father Lamothe.
Of the buildings, it may be recorded that the first building owned by the Catholics of Little Falls was the former office of the Little Falls Manufacturing Company, located on First street. In 1870 they bought of Calvin A. Tuttle a frame building which had been built by the Methodists. This church was used until Christmas of 1892, when the present brick edifice was dedicated to St. Francis Xavier and was then used for the first time. This was erected under the pastorate of Rev. Arthur Lamothe, at a cost around twenty-five thousand dollars. This is one of the influential Catholic churches of Little Falls and Morrison county, and is well cared for by the present pastor, who has every qualification for leadership in Catholic circles. He is greatly beloved and honored, not alone by those of his own flock, but also by all other denominations.
SACRED HEART CHURCH, LITTLE FALLS.
Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, at Little Falls, was built on block 52, Fourth street, southeast, in 1886, before which time services were held in the court house. The congregation was organized by Rev. William Lange and prominent among the first members may be recalled, Philip Gross, Frank Ellenbecker, Donat Trettel, Peter Medved, J. J. Gross, P. J. Tomelty. P. W. Blake, William Butler, John Kerich. The present number of families in the congregation is one hundred and fifty-two.
The first house of worship was erected in 1887 of veneered brick, but in 1912 a solid brick structure was provided and an addition made costing six thousand dollars. In 1890 a veneered brick parish house was built, and in 1914 it was enlarged at a cost of two thousand dollars, by a fine solid brick addition. In 1896 a solid brick school house was erected near the church. The public high school building of Little Falls burned down in 1896 and the city schools used the Catholic school until the city school was rebuilt. The present condition of this school is good. Five Benedictine Sisters are the teachers and the number of pupils is one hundred and seventy-eight. The estimated value of the church property, including church, school, parish house and cemetery, is thirty thousand dollars.
The pastors who have faithfully cared for this congregation are, Revs. William Lange, J. F. Buh, A. Lamothe, Aloys Raster from April. 1890, to November, 1899; William Lange until July, 1901, when came the present pastor, Rev. J. P. Altendorf, who is greatly beloved by his people and the community in general.
At first, the Catholics of Little Falls — all nationalities — worshipped in one congregation, but as the years went by the Polish and German elements separated from the mother church of the city, and had their own organization. This was the beginning of the Sacred Heart church. Then, in 1900 the Polish people separated themselves from the German portion of the congregation and built a church edifice. This separation caused quite a decrease in the Sacred Heart congregation, but it is now increasing and is a strong congregation. Thus Little Falls has three Catholic congregations, the French, the German and the Polish, all of which are flourishing. ST. ADALBERT CHURCH, LITTLE FALLS.
St. Adalbert church, of Little Falls, located on Seventh street, southeast, was organized on May 28, 1900, by Rt. Rev. James Trobec, Fr. Edward Nagl, V. G., Rev. Ignatius Wyppich, vice-president, Frank Zeman and Jacob Nowotny. Prominent among the original membership may be recalled Frank Zeman, Frank Sobolewicki, John Trafas, Joseph Knuth, Frank Kopacz, Frank Wyrwicki, John Marcinkiewicz, Joseph Wyrwicki and Paul Posch.
The present (1915) membership of this Catholic church is ten hundred and forty-five souls. They have a large brick edifice and good residence. The total estimated value of all church property is thirteen thousand dollars. A parochial school of the Germans is attended by children from this parish, while two hundred and twenty-one attend the public schools of the city. The pastors of this church have been as follow: Rev. John Guzdek, from April, 1901, to April, 1902; Rev. Simon Dabrowski, from April, 1902, to November, 1902; Rev. Theodore J. Rekosiak, from December 1902, to the present time.
ST. STANISLAUS KOSTKA CHURCH, AT BOWLUS.
The St. Stanislaus Kostka church, located in the village of Bowlus, had its origin about two years later than the village itself. The Soo railroad, through its obliging management, donated one block of land to the Catholic church, and in 1909 about seventy-five families of this faith separated themselves from the North Prairie church and decided to erect a new church in the village of Bowlus. This work was commenced in July, 1909, and the structure was completed on May 1, 1910.
The corporate name of the society is "St. Stanislaus Kostka Church." The building referred to was dedicated on May 8, 1910, and was assigned as a mission to North Prairie. From May 8, 1910, until October of that year the parish was attended from North Prairie by Rev. J. C. Janski. In October, 1910, Rev. V. Wodzka took charge of the place and one year later Rev. J. Kromolicki took his place. He resigned in two months and Rev. P. Wolnick, O. S. B., was appointed to take charge. He remained about three years, and during his administration the society erected a parish house. The present pastor, Rev. J. C. Janski, then took charge of the place. The congregation has increased to one hundred and five families. It now has a large, fine church and parish house, also a large cemetery. The total estimated value of the property held by this church is twenty-eight thousand dollars. ST. JOSEPHS’ CHURCH, PIERZ.
St. Joseph's church, at the historic village of Pierz, Morrison county, has a history dating back as far as 1865, when there were no more than five Catholic families at Rich Prairie, as the territory was then called. The spiritual needs of the first settlers were alternately ministered to by the Revs. Francis Pierz, Joseph F. Busch, Ignatius Tomazin and James Trobec until 1869. It was in the autumn of that year when the first log church, was erected by these few early pioneers, as the county hereabouts was beginning to settle up rapidly with Catholics. In 1871 the zealous Indian missionary. Rev. Francis Pierz, took up his abode as resident pastor at Rich Prairie, or Pierz (as it was later named in honor of his memory and good works), after it had been incorporated into a village. He remained there until his retirement from the active ministry, when he returned home to the land of his nativity, Austria, on September 3, 1873. There he spent the remainder of his days with the friends of his youth, there to rest from his ardent labors in the missionary cause, and died at Laibach, Austria, on January 22, 1880, in his ninety-fourth year. For thirty-eight years he had labored midst constant hardship, enduring privations among the Ottawas and Chippewas of the Northwest. Considering that all this amazing labor was done by a man fifty years of age when entering upon his labors or in his apostolic career in the Indian missionary field, and that he continued therein uninterruptedly until his eighty-eighth year, we must conclude that his case can scarcely find a parallel in the missionary records of either ancient or modern times.
After the departure of the venerable Father Pierz for Europe, the Rev. Joseph Vill, of the Order of St. Benedict, had charge of the congregation for three months. He was succeeded by the Rev. Francis Koering, who remained pastor till March, 1878, when he, in turn, was succeeded by the Rev. Ignatius Wesseling, O. S. B., who held the pastorate till January 1, 1884. During his administration the present parochial residence was built in the year 1882. After his resignation the parish was temporarily attended by the Revs. Placidus Wingerter, Ignatius Wesseling and Joseph Vill until the appointment of Rev. Paneratins Maebren, O. S. B., who was pastor from February 22, 1884, to September 1, 1893. During his charge, on May 12, 1886, the cornerstone of the present church was laid and, on December 25, 1888, the solemn dedication of the sacred edifice took place. From that date the administration of the parish passed from the religious to the diocesan clergy altogether. Rev. Maebren. O. S. B. was succeeded by Rev. Edward J. Nagl, who remained pastor from September, 1893, to September, 1898, and under whose charge the first parochial school was erected and dedicated in 1897. His successor in office became the Rev. Joseph A. Stephen, from September, 1898, to December, 1900. The next in charge was Rev Charles Pfeiffer, from December, 1910, to November, 1903, and he was followed by Rev. John G. Seigler. During the latter's administration of almost twelve years, the church edifice, owing to the growing needs of the congregation, was considerably enlarged by the addition of a sanctuary; also he made an excavation for a roomy winter chapel in the fall of 1909. In 1913 the church was generally repaired and beautified by decorations and frescoing. On February 10, 1914, a calamity befell the congregation, when, from an unknown cause, their parochial school burned to the ground. Owing to the united efforts of pastor and people, the present magnificent school building was erected, at a cost of thirty-five thousand dollars, which, in the beauty of its architecture and modern arrangement, is a source of pride to the whole community. Since October, 191 1, the pastor has been assisted in the work, successively, by the Revs. John Fuss, from October 18, 1911, to June 19, 1913, and Victor V. Seigler, from June, 1913, to the present time. HOLY CROSS CHURCH, ROYALTON.
Holy Cross Catholic church, near Royalton, Morrison county, in Two Rivers township, was organized in 1864 and incorporated in 1895. It was formed by Revs. Pierz, Buh, Trobec and others, who were missionary priests. The present membership of this congregation is six hundred. The pastors have included Revs. E. J. Nogle, who served from 1876 to 1893; A. J. Gospodar, 1893 to 1909; J. C. Janske, 1909 to 1911; S. Suszczynski, present pastor.
The present estimated value of this church property is: Forty acres of land, valued at three thousand dollars; church, with improvements and other buildings, amounting to twenty-two thousand dollars, making a total of twenty-five thousand dollars. The first building was a log house erected free of cost by the people, in 1864; the second church was an addition to the log structure made of frame, in 1879, at a cost of about four hundred dollars; the third was a brick veneered building, forty-six by ninety-six feet in size, costing twelve thousand dollars, built in 1886 and seating five hundred people. The first parsonage was built in 1877, at a cost of eight hundred dollars and a new parsonage was erected in 1897, costing two thousand four hundred dollars — a brick veneered building. The Benedictine Sisters conducted a school from 1888 to 1913, but secular teachers are now employed by the school trustees.
This parish at first consisted of fourteen families of Germans, but in 1875 the Polish people commenced coming in and greatly added to the numbers. At one date there were one hundred and ninety families. There are at present ninety families, seventy-four Polish and sixteen German. The parish extended into several surrounding townships, including Two Rivers, Elmdale, Buckman and now there are six other churches which have owed their origin to this mother church.
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCHES.
Early in the forties several Methodist families settled temporarily in and near Little Falls, and it is certain that a local Methodist preacher visited; them and preached for them. The first Protestant sermon preached in Little Falls was by a Methodist minister. The society worshipped with the Congregational people for some years after the sale of their church, which Methodist building had been erected in 1857, the same year in which the first Methodist class was formed here. The society being weak and unable to meet its indebtedness, the building was mortgaged, and the debt was unpaid until 1870, when the building was sold to the Catholic people. However, long before any of these transactions occurred — about 1854 — meetings were held jointly by the Methodists and Congregational people at the Indian mission established at Belle Prairie, by Rev. Frederick Ayer, missionary, who had located there about 1848 or 1849. The Methodists for a time had an interest in the missionary work of the Indian school at that point. It was not until 1885 that the Methodists again began efforts to secure a church edifice at Little Falls, and finally the building was dedicated by Rev. Thomas McClary. Since that date the society has held regular services. Rev. M. O. Stockland, pastor for four years, 1902-06, built a new parsonage, containing nine rooms, and at present the old church is being rebuilt, under the direction of Rev. John Watson, which, when completed, will, with other church property in Little Falls, be worth fully twelve thousand dollars. The present number of communicants is one hundred and forty.
It is quite clear that Rev. A. J. Nelson was the pastor under whose care the original church was formed and the building erected in 1857, but, unfortunately, many of the valuable records of the work of this church at Little Falls have been lost or destroyed with the passing of years.
As early as 1856, at the house of J. B. Bearing, at Royalton, a Methodist church was formed, by Reverend Hoople, says Nathan Richardson, in his notes on Morrison county history, written in 1876. The present membership is seventy.
At Motley, another church was formed by this denomination about 1879, by Rev. A. S. Guerut and this is still in existence and doing good work. The 19 1 4 conference reports show a membership of one hundred and fourteen. Besides the Methodist churches already named, there are a few small country charges in this county.
FIRST METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH AT MOTLEY.
The First Methodist Episcopal church at Motley was organized in 1882 by Rev. H. W. Troy. The charter members were as follow: Mrs. Alfred Wilson, Mary H. Ward, Mrs. M. M. Hodge, Mr. and Mrs. John McMillin, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Ward. The two surviving charter members are Mrs. Samuel Ward and Mrs. Alfred Wilson.
The first meetings were in the village school house. In 1889 a church building was erected at a cost of one thousand dollars. It was a veneered brick building and is still in use. Rev. J. M. Brown was pastor when this house was erected. When it was dedicated there were only seventeen members. Today the membership is one hundred and sixty-two. The property is valued at four thousand dollars. This includes the parsonage, which cost one thousand five hundred dollars.
The church has grown rapidly since 1891, when it had sixty-one enrolled. Under pastor Rev. W. A. Conden a great revival increased the membership; again under the pastorate of Rev. George C. Fenscke, one hundred and nine were added to the church.
The pastors here have been as follow: Revs. H. W. Troy, W. J. Haner, Walton, J. M. Brown, Frank Parr, J. H. Cudlipp, E. H. Nicholson, George E. Tindall, J. D. Manley, Andrew Bond, James Clevlow, Robert P. Cummings, W. H. Robinson, W. A. Conden, Leon S. Koch, W. G. Follonsbee, M. M. S. Perry, Joseph P. Adair, Charles H. Blake, George C. Fenscke
The First Baptist church of Little Falls commenced holding regular services early in the year 1892. Services were held in the chapel car "Evangel," which car is a part of the missionary work of the American Baptist Publication Society, stationed at Little Falls for some time. The car was in charge of Rev. J. Malcom Sawyer, who organized the First Baptist church, located at West Fourth and Broadway streets. The organization meeting was held on August 18, and six members made up its charter. Thereafter meetings were held in one of the public halls of the town. At the second meeting fourteen members were received, making the total of twenty. These charter members were: C. W. Brown, Robert Brown, J. R. Collins, J. T. Bryant, Mr. and Mrs. M. H. Craig, Mr. and Mrs. John Gray, Mrs. F. Terry, Eleanor Terry, Mrs. J. H. Burrall, O. Thoen, C. Erickson, A. Blomberg, P. Ostlund, P. E. Wickstrom, Mr. and Mrs. Frankel, Anna Wickstrom, and M. Jacobson. The present number enrolled is seventy.
This church was incorporated on November 16, 1892, and was publicly received into the fellowship of the Baptist denomination September 6, 1893. The various pastors have been as follows: Revs. W. H. Davenport, Charles Moss, R. Poole, John Festerson, W. G. Towner, A. H. Cameron, E. M. Atwood, B. Milne, J. W. Hagerty, B. R. Croft, J. H. Davies, John Selander, and the present pastor. Rev. O. F. Felth.
The present and original building was dedicated on November 8, 1895. It is a veneered brick structure, the original of which has been added to by a good-sized portion to the east, in the shape of a wing. Its present value is three thousand five hundred dollars. A Bible school is held for five weeks during the summer months and now has a membership of eighteen. This is known as the Vacation Bible School. Besides the work of this church at Little Falls, there is a work carried on by this church at Green Prairie, once a week.
GERMAN EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN ZION'S CHURCH.
The German Evangelical Lutheran Zion's church, at Little Falls, was organized in 1890, by Rev. K. Renter, with membership as follows: F. Woehlert, F. Hobz, Robert Diedrich, John Schulz, of Little Falls, and R. Kriefall, Herman Kuschel, Carl Kuschel, of Buckman; at Randall, there were August Schwanke, Emil Rebischke, Adolph Fregin, Herman Lemnitz. These constituted the members at first in each of these places, Little Falls being the parent church. The same pastors have served all and are as follows: Revs. August Kollmann, K. Renter, A. Englert, Paul Beck and present pastor. Rev. F. J. Oehlert. There are now forty-five members and church property valued at six thousand dollars. Parochial schools are conducted in behalf of these societies.
There are three Episcopal churches in Morrison county — one at Little Falls, one at Royalton and another at Swanville. The oldest of these churches is at Little Falls, where the church was organized on December 19, 1858, by Rev. E. S. Peake, appointed by Right Rev. J. Kemper, missionary bishop of the Northwest. The charter members were: Mrs. Catherine Janner, Mrs. Lydia Cash, Mrs. Nancy Stillwell and Mrs. Proctor. The membership in August, 1915, is one hundred and four.
The first building, in 1879, cost seven hundred dollars; it was sold in 1903 to the Swedish Methodist congregation. The present church building had its corner-stone laid on September 15, 1903, costing ten thousand dollars and was dedicated on January 24, 1904. The present church property is valued at fourteen thousand dollars.
The following have served as rectors: Rev. E. S. Peake, from date of organization until November 1, 1862, at which time he became a chaplain in the Civil War; Rev. John Elwell. December 19, 1862, to February 22, 1869; Rev. S. N. Stewart, October 22, 1869, to December 11, 1871; Rev. J. T. Chambers, December 11, 1871, to June. 1872; Rev. J. A. Gilfillan, June, 1872, to August 1876; Rev. G. H. Davis and Herbert Root, August 14, 1876, to August 26, 1881 ; Rev. F. Hawley, D. D. 1881 to May. 1883, and from September, 1884 to May, 1886; Rev. J. F. Tassell, May, 1883, to August, 1884; Rev. Lewis Birch, May 2, 1886, to September, 1887; Rev. Andrew Harper, April 5, 1888, to June 1, 1889; Rev. A. A. Joss, July 1, 1889, to June I, 1889; Rev. William Walton, September 1, 1889, to July 20, 1902; Rev. Francis Alleyne, October 12, 1902, to May 25, 1905; Rev. R. S. Hannah, 1906, to September, 1907; Rev. George Piatt, December, 1907, to 1912; Rev. A. O. Worthing, December, 1912, to December, 1914. The present edifice is among the finest in this county.
At Royalton, a Protestant Episcopal church was formed and a church edifice built in 1880. It was then attended by the rector from St. Cloud. PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHES.
There are a few small Presbyterian congregations in this county — one at Little Falls, with a good building, and one at Royalton, erected in 1880.
At Belle Prairie, Rev. Frederick Ayer formed a Congregational church, in connection with his Indian school. The mission or school was founded in about 1849 and the church in 1854. Services were held in the Green Prairie settlement as early as 1870, by Rev. William Cutler, a Congregationalist minister, but no church was organized.
The Little Falls church of this denomination was organized on June 6, 1859, by Rev. E. Newton, F. J. Farrand and Ezra Hicks were chosen trustees. Rev. W. B. Dada succeeded Mr. Newton in i860, remaining until the fall of 1862, when rumors of an Indian outbreak caused a sudden and final departure of the reverend gentleman. The church was then without a pastor until 1870, when the Rev. W. A. Cutler assumed the charge of this and the church at Belle Prairie, remaining until 1875. He was followed by Rev. D. W. Rosencranz in January, 1876. During the first year of his ministry here, a good church building (for those days) was erected. Rev. J. S. Hull succeeded Rev. Rosencranz in January, 1881. The membership at the date last named was thirty-seven.
The old church building is said to have been the first Protestant edifice in Little Falls and also in Morrison county. It was later sold for other uses. The present church on Fourth street was erected in 1893. A gymnasium, completely equipped, was completed in 19 12 and at present a large, modern parsonage, to cost five thousand five hundred dollars, is being erected near the church building. All Congregational church property in Little Falls is estimated at twenty-six thousand dollars valuation. The present membership is two hundred and nineteen.
The pastors since those already mentioned have been, in order, as follows : Revs. M. K. Pasco, J. S. Hull, O. O. Rundell, D. Donovan, W. Moore, F. A. Sumner, W. A. Waller, C. Billig, W. North, F. Atkinson and the present pastor. Rev. Philip Gregory.
OTHER CHURCHES At the village of Upsala are found three churches, Swedish Lutheran, Swedish Mission and Swedish Baptist churches.
At Little Falls there are the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran, St. John's Evangelical Lutheran and the Swedish Congregational churches.
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