LI E> R.ARY
. I . : . ' - ; 1
Rev. K Norelius, D. D., R. N. 0.
A Brief Review of its History
ROCK ISLAND, ILL.
AUGUSTANA ROOK CONCERN
BY AUGUSTANA BOOK CONCERN
ROCK ISLAND, ILL.
AUGUSTANA BOOK CONCERN, PRINTERS AND BINDERS
When the Swedish Lutheran Augustana Synod decided to celebrate
its Fiftieth Anniversary 1910, a Committee was appointed to mature
plans for the publication of several volumes in honor of the occasion.
; By this Committee the undersigned was charged with the preparation
T of Historical Documents to be published in two Memorial Volumes
4^ one in English and one in Swedish.
* However, the preparation of several papers, designed at once to re-
cord the history and illustrate the progress of the Augustana Synod,
vMs committed to distinguished members of the Synod in different
sections of the country. These papers are now presented to the public
in a Memorial Volume; and as now completed, the volume is humbly
committed to the favorable consideration of the friends of historical
In the providential circumstances which led to the organization of
the Augustana Synod, we recognize "the good hand of our God upon
us," and devoutly acknowledge the important bearing which His
favor has had upon our growth and prosperity as a Christian Church.
As He prepared our fathers, by a gracious culture, for enlarged serv-
j. ice, so "in the fulness of time," He prepared for them, by His prov
.idence, a promising field, and laborers to enter it and gather "fruit
We have occasion for special gratitude to God whose wise fore-
cast always provides for the exigencies of His people, that, under
His supervision, our enterprise was inaugurated by men who were
true Lutheran Christians; men, whose intrepid advocacy of evangel-
ical doctrine and apostolic church polity made strong the defences
of truth against the incursions of error; men, whose names and the
memory of whose worth we charge the Swedish Lutherans of the
next half century to transmit with our testimony to their successors.
As nearly all of them "rest from their labors, and their works do
follow them," we lay upon their graves a thankoffering to their Lord
and ours, and consecrate ourselves anew to the service in which they
lived and died.
In a review of our work of fifty years, while we discover humiliating
proofs of a faith too feeble, a consecration too reserved, and sacrifices
too reluctant, and would penitently confess that our efforts have
been commensurate neither with the demand nor with our ability,
yet we find abundant occasion for thankfulness to "the God of all
grace" for the distinguished success He has given us in many fields,
and on which, with singular copiousness, He has proved the blessings
of salvation. And we acknowledge to the honor of our God that
our review supplies abundant encouragement, in the form of success,
to proceed in our enterprise with redoubled zeal and earnestness; and
we desire to pledge ourselves to Him who has made our service pro-
ductive, and to one another as his servants, that, by the help of that
Spirit who worketh in us mightily, we will rise to a higher standard
of devotedness to the promotion of His cause on earth, and serve Him
in the unity of faith.
Moline, III, 1910.
L. A. JOHNSTON.
Swedish Lutheran Pioneer Missionaries 9
A Brief History of the Augustana Synod 13
jChureh Polity of the Augustana Synod ' 47
The Missionary Enterprises of the Augustana Synod 73
The Educational Institutions of the Augustana Synod 81
The Charitable Institutions of the Augustana Synod 130
The Publishing Interests of the Augustana Synod 173
The Language Question 198
The Union of the Augustaua Synod with the General Council 215
The Significance of the Augustana Synod to the Swedish Lutherans in
Statistics of the Educational Institutions.. . 239
Rev. E. Norelius, D. D 2
Pioneer pastors present at the organiza-
tion of the Synod 10
Early church architecture in the Synod
17, 2i, 24, 33, 51
Laymen present at the organization of
the Synod 26
Sw. Luth. pastors ordained in I860.. 28
Norw. Luth. church, Clinton, Wis 35
Officers of the Synod, 1910 37
Presidents of the Conferences, 1910.... 40
Rev. P. J. Sward, D. D 42
Prof. L. P. Esbjorn 46
Recent church architecture in the Syn-
od 55, 59, 65, 70
Immigrant Home, New York 75
Immigrant Home, Boston, Mass 78
The new Augustana church at Samalkot,
Missionaries in India 82
Missionaries in Porto Rico 84
Missionaries in China 85
Rev. Prof. T. N. Hasselquist, D. D 90
Augustana College 97
Rev. Gustav Andrecn, Ph. D 106
Denkmann Memorial Library 109
Gnstavus Adolphus College, St. Peter,
Rev. P. A. Mattson, D. D.. Ph. D 115
Bethany College, Linds v ors:, Kans 117
Rev. Carl Swensson, D. D., Ph. D 118
The Carnegie Library, Bethany College.. 120
Rev. Ernst Pihlblad. D. D 121
Upsala College. Kenilworth, N. J 122
Rev. L. H. Beck, Ph. D 124
Luther College, Wahoo, Neb. . , 125
Rev. O. J. Johnson 126
Vorthwestcrn College, Fergus Falls, Minn. 128
Prof. A. C. Youngdahl, A. M 129
Minnesota College, Minneapolis, Minn.... 130
Prof. Frank Nelson, Ph. B 131
Rev. J. Alfr. Anderson 131
Trinity College, Round Rock, Texas 132
Coeur d'Alene College, Coeur d'Alene, Ida. 133
Rev. J. Jesperson 134-
Prof. O. E. Abrahamson 134
North Star College, Warren, Minn 135
Rev. Erland Carlsson, D. D 137
Orphan Home at Vasa, Minn 141
Orphan Home at Andover, 111 143
Orphan Home at Mariadahl, Kans 144
Orphan Home at Stanton, Iowa 140
Orphan Home at Jamestown, N. Y 147
Orphan Home at Joliet, III 149
Orphan Home at Omaha, Neb 150
Orphan Home at Avon, Mass 151
Bcthesda Hospital, St. Paul, Minn 153
Rev. C. A. Hultkrans 154
Augustana Hospital, Chicago, 111 156
Rev. M. Wahlstrom, Ph. D 157
Immamiel Hospital, Omaha, Nebr 159
Rev. P. M. Lindberg, A. M 160
Rev. E. A. Fogelstrom 161
Immanrel Deaconess Mother-House, Oma-
ha, Nebr 162
Bethesda Deaconess Home, St. Paul. Minn. 164
Bethesda Old People's Home, Chisago
City, Minn 165
Immamiel Hospital, old building, Omaha.
Salem Home for the A -red, Joliet, 111.... 167
Lutheran Old People's Home, Madrid, la. 168
Augustana Home for the Aged, Brooklyn,
N. Y 169
Rev. Jonas Swensson 172
Home of the Augustana Book Concern,
Rock Island. Ill 187
Mr A. G. Anderson 189
Rev. S. P. A. Lindahl. 1). D 199
Rev. O. Olsson. D. D., Ph. D 214
Swedish Lutheran Pioneer Missionaries.
HE SWEDISH LUTHERAN CHURCH in America has from the
very beginning been a missionary church. The Spirit of
God, a Spirit of Missions, has led her in the ways of the
Master, who gave his life for the salvation of the world.
The Swedish Lutheran Church of America, known as the Augustana
Synod, was organized at a time, when the Swedish people in the
Church of Sweden had been in an unusual manner touched by the
power of God. The spiritual awakening in Sweden during the years
1840 1860 had filled the people with an earnest desire to honor God
and to promote the extension of the kingdom of heaven. The Augus-
tana Synod is a child of the spiritual revival in Sweden during these
years. Men came to this country with a spirit of true pietism, repre-
sented by such men in the Church of Sweden as Dr. P. Fjellstedt,
Eev. P. A. Ahlberg, Dr. P. Wieselgren, C. 0. Eosenius, and others.
Many of the early settlers and many of the Swedish emigrants, who
came to America before 1870, had been in touch with such men and
were filled with the love of Christ. They were loyal to the church
of their fathers and to the doctrines of the Lutheran Church. When
they came to this country they not only felt the need of associating
themselves into congregations, but also felt the great responsibility
resting upon them for promoting the spiritual welfare of their fellow
countrymen in the settlements in the different parts -of the country.
The settlers in the different places felt a deep interest in their fellow
immigrants in other settlements. They were all bound together in
the closest friendship by the same faith, nationality, and language.
Their library contained the Bible, the Psalmbook, the Catechism, and
~- The Augustana Synod 2
10 THE AUGUSTANA SYAOD
one or more postills. These books were diligently used, and many a
time, having no church building or place of worship in which to
assemble, they met in one of the lowly homes of the settlement to
read and pray and sing. Among the early settlers many Christian
laymen conducted these services, and it may truly and truthfully be
said that the Augustana Synod was from the beginning a Laymen's
Missionary Movement. The Church of Sweden manifested some in-
terest in the spiritual welfare of her people in this country, but was
in general both unable and unwilling to send any of her men. God
in his gracious providence did not forsake our people in this new
country. He sent a few of the most zealous and for this country
best adapted men. Every one of the early pioneer missionaries seems
to have been well adapted for his special place and calling in the
establishing of the Swedish Lutheran Church in America. Had man
selected the different men for their different work and place in the
organizing of the Church it would certainly not have been so well
done and carried out with such efficiency. It was the hand of God
at work. And we of a younger generation and their successors in
the work of the Church, cannot but in this day of jubilee thank God
for the men and for the kind of men he sent, and we must surely
reverence the names and the work of our early pioneer missionaries.
These men came in response to God's call and they came with a
burning desire to preach the Gospel of Christ to their countrymen.
It must, however, be remembered that when the church in New
Sweden, Iowa, was organized they selected one of their number, M. F.
Hokanson, to act as their spiritual guide. He was afterwards or-
dained to the ministry and was for many years an active and faithful
minister within the Augustana Synod. In 1849 Eev. L. P. Esbjorn
arrived from Sweden, and by his wise and influential work he is looked
upon as the father of the Swedish Lutheran Church in America.
He labored in Illinois. He began the educational work of the Synod.
Rev. T. N. Hasselquist arrived in 1852, Eev. E. Carlsson in 1853,
and iii 1858 Eev. 0. C. T. Andren and Eev. Jonas Swensson came to
America and began an active pioneer missionary work. The other
ministers from Sweden who arrived a little later were Dr. A. E. Cervin
in 1864 and Eev. 0. Olsson in 1869. These men had been ordained
by the Church of Sweden, and may be considered as a valuable gift
from the Church of Sweden to the Swedish Lutheran Church in
P. Carlson, 18221909. .1. P. 0. Bordn, 1824 1865. P. A. Cederstam, 1830 1902.
E. Korelius, 1833. M. F. Hokanson, 181193. L. P. Esbjorn, 1808 70. A. Andreen, 1827 80.
O. C. T. Andren. Erl. Carlsson, Jonas Swensson, P. Beckman, T. N. Hasselquist,
18241870. 18221892. 18281873. 1822. 18161891.
Pioneer pastors present at the organization of the Synod.
12 THE A UG US TANA S YNOD
America. As the settlements grew in numbers and the settlers became
more numerous,, it became evident that these few men sent from
Sweden could not care for the work as it must properly be done, were
the Church to maintain itself and grow. So men within the Church
in America were called to become missionaries and ministers. The
aforementioned M. F. Hokanson was ordained in 1853, Eev. E.
Norelius, Eev. P. A. Cederstam and Eev. A. Andreen were ordained
in 1856, and Eev. P. Beckman, Eev. Peter Carlson and Eev. P. J.
C. Boren in 1859. These men may by right be called the Pioneer
Missionaries of the Swedish Lutheran Church in America. A few
of these men are still living, the most noted among these the Presi-
dent of the Augustana Synod, Dr. E. IsTorelius. Some of these have
already gone to their reward; but the work they began continues in
its influence and blessing. Surely, we must thank God for what he
did through these men, and we shall most assuredly honor God and
these pioneers by a loyal and faithful continuance of their missionary
We should fail to state the whole truth were we to limit our thoughts
and considerations to these early pioneer ministers. In the various
settlements there were many laymen who, burning with a zeal for the
Lord and his cause, labored faithfully for the upbuilding and the
extension of the Church. They were not men with any theological
training, but they knew their Bibles, loved the Catechism and ad-
mired the hymns and songs of the Lutheran Zion, and, filled with
the Holy Spirit, they practiced their faith, prayed to their God and
preached about the wonderful riches of grace in Christ Jesus. They
laid a good foundation for the future upbuilding and development
of the Swedish Lutheran Church in America. The past history of
the Augustana Synod has verified the wisdom and nobility of their
labors. We their children will by the grace of God honor their mem-
ories and faithfully maintain their godly life, their spiritual power,
and loyally serve Christ and his Church.
C. J. PKTRI.
A Brief History of trie Augustana Synod.
HE HISTORY of OUT Synod is the history of each conference,
each district, each congregation, and each individual mem-
ber. If the experiences of every man, woman, and child
"the quick and the dead" - could be collected and
related in a single narrative, that would be the real history of the
Augustana Synod, and an exceedingly interesting story it would prove
to be indeed. What the individual mind and heart has thought, en-
joyed, and suffered are the things after all that really appeal to our
interest and touch our sympathy.
But as such a survey and summary is out of the question, and as
there is little room in this "brief history" for such interesting details
even where available, we shall have to content ourselves with the merest
outline interlarded with only a few of the most salient "facts" and
sprinkled with such of the common experiences of the individual as
will give a picture in miniature of the larger chronicle. It is to be
earnestly hoped, however, that such a meagre sketch will serve to
inspire the reader with a desire to learn more of the exceedingly inter-
esting history of our Synod and to fill in the details as accessible in
the larger works on the subject, particularly, of course, the monu-
mental work of Dr. Norelius. (The writer is indebted to Dr. Norelius
for almost all the information contained in the present article, large
sections of it being freely translated from his histories, articles, and
The first exodus of Swedes to this country was that of the earlier
part of the 17th century to Delaware. The second general exodus
began in the 44th and 45th years of the past century, when a few
14 THE AUGUSTANA SYNOD
families arrived from . Smaland and Ostergotland and settled in
Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and New Sweden, Iowa.
This blazed a trail for further arrivals from various other provinces.
But because these emigrations were independent of each other and
largely guided by mere circumstances, the currents diverged in differ-
ent directions and deposited the segregated groups in widely separated
parts of the new country.
Want of space will not permit details of each of the following
expeditions, but the experiences of these wayfarers in a strange land
vary only in degree. They spent weary months at sea, tossed about
in small sailing vessels, suffering all manner of hardships from
storms, sickness, dirt and vermin, and sometimes from hunger and
thirst. Hundreds died or were born on the way. And who shall tell
of the anxiety of many a strong man and the heartache of many a
silent woman !
When they finally landed in the different harbors strangers "took
them in." Confidence-men, and all kinds of camp-followers took
advantage of the guilelessness and the ignorance of the language on
the part of these simple and honest pilgrims from the far North.
Many lost everything they had. But in spite of disappointments and
losses hope hovered high in their hearts, and with a patience which
we of this present generation simply cannot understand they endured
every inconvenience and every privation, keeping the even tenor of
their way and forging ahead, often blindly, toward their divinely
Permit us to give you here a glimpse or two of some of these cara-
vans, not unique at all, but indicating the common experiences of
On a canal-boat from Chicago to Peru, 111. One of the company
had bought a cook-stove which he set up in the freight room. This
gave them a little warmth and enabled them to bake a few pancakes
on the stove-lids with the pinch of flour that was still left. But the
worst part was to get a little sleep. They were too crowded to lie
down on the floor. They therefore agreed to take turns. Two slept
ten minutes at a time. If the sleeper refused to wake up at the
appointed time, he was raised up in a perpendicular position to con-
tinue sleeping or wake up as he chose, and another took his place.
From Peru to Andover. Those who could afford it hired teams for
ITS HISTORY 15
which they paid $18. The rest, including women and children,
walked. All were tired and many were ailing. Considerable difficulty
was experienced in finding the way. Night overtook them, but they
could not camp as the ground was wet and there was no fuel for a
fire. Finally they arrived at a farm-house and asked by means of
the sign-language for lodging in the house or barn, but were refused.
A little farther on they came upon an old dilapidated school-house.
The windows were out and the door was down, and even the logs in
the walls were askew. But there happened to be an old rusty stove,
though not enough pipe to carry the smoke out through the roof.
Still they made a fire of corn stalks, brush and bark and managed to
make themselves fairly comfortable. One man had a little flour left
in one of his bags, and of this he cooked successive portions of mush
in a long copper bottle for the crowd. While they were eating, a
black-whiskered man provided with a gun and two dogs stuck in his
head through the door and stared in speechless wonder at the motley
group. They endeavored with their sign-language to assure him of
their honest intentions, but he only shook his head and went his
way. During the night they nestled as closely as possible around the
humming stove to shield themselves from the cold. One of the men
woke up to discover that his coat had been burned off his back.
The breakfast menu was the same as that of the preceding evening.
Those who traveled afoot started out in the early twilight. Later on
they were overtaken by the wagons. The hired drivers were driving
like Jehu, enjoying the alarms of the women, children, and old men
perched on top of the towering loads. Along the sides the men, out
of breath, were running trying to keep the loads from tipping over.
Approaching a bridge two of the drivers tried to see which of them
could arrive and cross first, with the result that one of the loads
capsized and tumbled into a deep creek. An old man (Westerlund)
fractured his skull, and his wife and daughter were seriously injured.
W. died during the night in the kitchen of a neighboring parsonage.
The others spent the night, shivering from the cold, in the hay of
the barn. The corpse had to be left behind, and the minister agreed
for $10 to take charge of its interment. Outside of Princeton a wife
gave birth to a child. In the morning she took her place at the top
of one of the loads and continued her way over a rough and frozen
16 THE AUGUSTANA SYNOD
1854 was the terrible cholera year. It is estimated that about two-
thirds of the immigrants that arrived that year perished in the
plague. "Many literally walked about and died." A servant girl
would look out through the window and see a hearse driving by, not
knowing that the coffin contained the remains of her father or mother.
Members of families were buried before the husband or father re-
turned from work in the evening. The sufferings of those who re-
mained or survived can only be imagined. Innumerable families
were scattered. Orphans were sometimes sold as chattels and brought
up without knowledge of their origin.
Previous to this (1846 1852) several "cargoes" of immigrants
arrived and settled in Chicago. These were of an enterprising and
independent spirit. Here is a sample of their pluck : Some of them
had contracted with a drayman to haul their belongings at so much
per load. He happened to have an unusually large van, and after
arriving at the destination he demanded double pay. When this was
refused he declined to unload. Then the Swedes themselves proceeded
to unload. The driver a boy presumed to give them a few cracks
with his whip, while the owner stood on the sidewalk and vented his
rage in oaths. This was more than the Swedes had bargained for.
A couple of them jumped up on the load, threw the boy down from
his seat into the street, caught the man by his coat-collar and held
him, while the rest continued nonchalantly to unload their boxes, bags,
and furniture. A group of policemen standing around only gave
vent to their merriment at the episode and remarked: "Those Swedes
are not an easy lot to tackle."
But more serious times were coming. At first the men worked for
50 cents a day while the women took in washing at 10 25 cents a day.
Flour cost $7 a barrel, and rent was $20 for five or six poor rooms.
In November (1854) one of them wrote: "Twenty-three of our
small company have died ; the rest are unable to work ; our means are
gone and winter is at hand." In 1857 came the financial crisis, when
nearly all the banks collapsed and paper money (bills) became worth-
less. Many of our people had to leave the towns and wander out into
the country, where they planted corn and potatoes in spots to sustain
life. In certain parts of Minnesota muskrat skins were used as cur-
rency. Such were some of the experiences of the settlers far and wide
in these early days.
Vasa, Minn., (1856).
Moline, 111., (1851).
Andover, 111., (1851).
Early church architecture in the Synod.
Iininanuel, Chicago, (1848).
La Porte, Ind., (1858).
18 THE A UG US TANA SYNOD
But, to resume. Successive groups continued to arrive and found
colonies in different parts of the Eastern and Central States. Thus
we find them settling in Sugar Grove and Jamestown along the
borders of Pennsylvania and New York; at Chicago, Andover, Eock
Island, Moline, and Galesburg, Illinois; at Burlington, Iowa, and
Chisago Lake, Minnesota.
In a few years Swedish Lutherans had arrived in sufficient numbers
to feel that they were as flocks without a shepherd. A Swedish
Methodist S'eamen's Mission in New York City under the leadership
of 0. Hedstrom attempted to care as far as possible for the spiritual
wants of those who had been scattered abroad and even sent mission-
aries to colonies in the Central States. These efforts, though not
entirely disinterested, were most laudable and should not be despised.
At Chicago the Episcopal Church had begun a Swedish Mission, from
which work was carried on by a certain TJnonius, ordained by the
Episcopal Church. But it did not take long before it was evident that
our Lutheran immigrants had deeper religious wants than these de-
nominations could supply.
In New Sweden, Iowa, the settlers had organized a Lutheran con-
gregation as early as 1848. Not being able to secure a minister they
appointed one of their own lay-members to serve as pastor and admin-
ister the sacraments. This, of course, was an irregularity ; but in view
of the circumstances and the crying need it must be considered as a
legitimate exercise of a privilege granted by the Word of God, as
also interpreted by Luther. Before long Methodist preachers arrived
and caused considerable disturbance. They succeeded in dividing the
congregation and gaining over large numbers on their side. Later on
the ubiquitous Unonius from Chicago appeared on the scene and at
once took the people to task for permitting an unordained man to
administer the sacraments, severely censuring the latter (Hokanson)
for his presumption in performing ministerial acts without ordination
by a bishop. All this caused a great deal of anxiety and concern and