Dana Reed Bailey.

History of Minnehaha county, South Dakota. Containing an account of its settlements, growth, development and resources ... Synopsis of public records, biographical sketches .. online

. (page 37 of 99)
Online LibraryDana Reed BaileyHistory of Minnehaha county, South Dakota. Containing an account of its settlements, growth, development and resources ... Synopsis of public records, biographical sketches .. → online text (page 37 of 99)
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w^ent on in his work, always having the majority of the Lutherans on
his side. Such was the condition of affairs when in August, 1889,
the Rev. G. H. Buscher, succeeded him in the city. Being- convinced
that no effectual work could be done without a church of their own,
he commenced securing- subscriptions among his people for the erec-
tion of a church. In a comparatively short time a church building
was erected on Spring avenue, between Fourteenth and Fifteenth
streets, the lot on which it stands being donated by the Lutherans
of the Minnesota and Dakota district of the Missouri Synod. The
edifice w^as dedicated in the latter part of 1889, and a congregation
was organized adopting the name of Evangelical Lutheran Zion's
Church. In 1890 a parsonage was erected adjoining the church. At
the present writing- (March, 1897) there are eig-hty-two communi-
cants, and the total membership of the congregation is about two
hundred. There is a flourishing Sunday school and a Ladies' Soci-
ety connected with the church. The Rev. Mr. Buscher is still its



pastor, and is laboring- as zealously as at first when he secured a
house of worship for his cong-reg-ation.

St. Olaf's Norwegian Lutheran Church. — The Norweg-ian
Evang-elical Lutheran Cong-reg-ation of Sioux Palls was org-anized
January 10, 1877, by the Rev. O. O. Sando, of the Norweg-ian Evan-
g-elical Lutheran Synod of America, and he became its first pastor.
It was incorporated December 31, 1870, with K. Thompson, C. E.
Jonsberg- and J. Henjum as trustees. Aug'ust 7, 1881, the Rev. A. J.
Lee succeeded the Rev. Mr. Sando as pastor. Before the erection of
a church building- services were held in different places, but for some
time before the society had a home of their own services were held
in the Methodist church. In 1882, a commodious church building-
was erected on the corner of Dakota avenue and Twelfth street,
where the cong-reg-ation has since worshiped. In 1885, the Rev. Olaf

St. Olaf's Norwegian Lutheran Church.

Stub became pastor of the church, but he died during the fall of that
year. During- the summer of 1886 the Rev. Hans B. Thorgrimson
assumed the duties of pastor, and he remained as such until in De-
cember, 1891, when he resig-ned, and Professor A. Mikkelson sup-
plied the pulpit for the next three months. In Januar3% 1892, a call
was extended to the Rev. N. N. Boe of Helena, Montana, to become
pastor of the church, which was promptly accepted, and he arrived
in Sioux Falls the latter part of March, 1892, and since then has been
in charge. The membership of the church is about three hundred


and fifty, of which two hundred are communicants. There is a
Married Ladies' society and a Young- Ladies' society, also a Young-
People's society, which has a library of two hundred volumes. Every-
thing is in a prosperous condition, and it is one of the strong- and
well attended churches of the city.

The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church. — The Swedish
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sioux Palls, S. D., was organized
December 28, 1882. Due notice had been given to the Swedish people
of Sioux Palls to meet at the residence of the Rev. J. H. Randahl, for
the purpose of effecting a church organization. At this meeting
J. H. Randahl was elected chairman and A. H. Randahl secretary.
The constitution of the church, which had been adopted by the
Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod of North America
at its regular meeting in Andover, 111., June 15-22, 1870, was read
and accepted item by item to become the constitution of the organi-
zation. Those who signed the constitution were John H. Randahl,
Louis Peterson, Andrew Johnson, Louis Peter Carlson, Gustaf
Gothberg, and their wives. It was decided to hold a meeting on the
1st day of March, following, to elect officers, and that all adult per-
sons who signed the constitution before that time should have the
right to vote at that meeting. At the time and place appointed those
who had signed the constitution met and elected the following
officers: Deacons, Louis Peterson for three years, Andrew Johnson
for two years, G. Gothberg- for one year; trustees, G. Gothberg
three years, Louis Peterson two years, Peter L. Carlson one year.
On the 21st day of September, following, the lot on the southeast
corner of Spring avenue and Sixth street was purchased for the pur-
pose of erecting a church building thereon. On Monday, the 3d day
of December, work on the foundation was commenced, and on Jan-
uary (), 1883, the building being enclosed, the first divine service was
held during the evening of that day. The cost of the lot and build-
ing was $1,006.76. The first pastor of the church was the Rev. J. H.
Ravndahl, who remained until January, 1891. He was succeeded by
the Rev. G. A. Ekeberg of Pullman, Illinois, who took charge of the
church May 1, 1891, and remained until the fall of 1893. Prom that
time the church was without a pastor until the spring of 1895, when
the Rev. John Pranzen assumed the charge of the church, and still
remains. There are about fifty communicant members, and a flour-
ishing Sunday school with about forty scholars, also the usual
Ladies' societies connected with the church.

The United Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Church. — This
church was organized in 1888, with twenty-five charter members.
In 1894 a commodious and appropriate church building was erected
on the southwest corner of Duluth avenue and Pourteenth street, at
a cost of $4,000. The first pastor of the church was the Rev. O. T.
Nelson, who was succeeded by the Rev, H. Lund, and the Rev.
Henrik M. Solem is the present pastor. The church now has a
membership of one hundred and ninety, and services are held every
Sunday, with an average attendance of about fifty. There is also a
flourishing Sunday school, numbering about sixty-five scholars, and
a Luther League in aid of the church work.



The United Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Church.

Seventh Day;Adventist Church. — This church was org-anized
February 23, 1880,' by Elder S. B. Whitney, with nine charter mem-
bers. Services were first held in Sherman's hall, but in 1881 a
church building- was erected on Twelfth street between Dakota and
Main avenues, at a cost of about SI, 200, in which the contrreg-ation
worshiped until a few years ag-o, when the building- was sold, and the
services have since been held in the new church located on Duluth
avenue between Thirteenth and Fourteenth streets. The last men-
tioned church building- was erected at a cost of S3, 000, which has
been all paid by the members. Services are held every Saturday,
and the present membership is one hundred, with an averag-e attend-
ance of eightv-five. The Elders who have had charg-eof the church are
S. B. Whitney, W. T. Hinton, L. W. Jones, A. D. Olsen, W. B.
White, N. W. Kouble, Geo. Bowen, and the present Elders are
Fred Powers and L. W. Jones. There is a flourishing- Sabbath
school connected with the church, numbering- about one hundred
scholars, also Tract, Missionary and other societies in aid of the
church work.

All Souls Church. — The first movement looking toward the
establishment of a Unitarian church in Sioux Falls was inaug-urated
by Rev. John Visher, who came here in 1882 as a missionary of the
American Unitarian Association. He organized the "First Unita-
rian Church" in Sherman's Hall. It had a membership of seven-
teen and existed for about a year. During- that time it had as
pastors Rev. J. H. Keyes and Rev. A. A. Roberts. The former died
in the east during his pastorate, and the latter died in Iowa in 1898.
On November 5, 1886, a meeting- was held in the office of Wilkes &



Wells, which was addressed by Rev. J. R. Effinger, Secretary of the
Western Conference. At that meeting, H. T. Root, Rev. Eliza T.
Wilkes, William Beckler and John Bippus were appointed to con-
sider the matter of securing- a preacher. Mrs. Wilkes preached for
a month, at the expiration of which time Rev. Caroline J. Bartlett as-
sumed the duties of preacher, and a month later those of pastor of
the newly org-anized church. On December 12, under the direction of
S. S. Hunting-, a church org-anization was effected and a constitution
adopted. The following- persons were charter members of the
church: E. A. Ayerst, Emma P. Beckler, William Beckler, Zane R.
Big-g-s, John Bippus, Helen A. Carpenter, A. C. Hove, Johanna Hove,
T. J. Leavitt, Alice T. Newell, H. C. Newell, Vianna Smith, John
Sundback, Eliza T. Wilkes and W. A. Wilkes. On December 19,
the following- board of trustees was elected: W. A. Wilkes presi-
dent, H. T. Root secretary, John Bippus treasurer, John Sundback
and H. C. Newell. Articles of incorporation were executed April
22, 1887; certificate of corporate existence sig-ned by the secretary of
state. May 3, 1887, and the certificate was filed in the office of the
reg-ister of deeds June 4, 1887.

All Souls Church.

For about a year the services were held in the Adventist church
on Ninth street. Almost immediately, however, steps were taken to
secure a church edifice, larg-ely throug-h the efforts of Mrs. Wilkes,
and with the assistance of the American Unitarian Association, suf-


ficient funds were secured to erect a handsome buildino- of Sioux
Palls stone, which was ready for occupation earlv in the winter fol-
lowing- the oro"inization of the church. The church was dedicated
May 2, 1889.

Miss Bartlett having- resig-ned in June, 1889, to accept a call to
Kalamazoo, Michig-an, Rev. J. E. Bag-ley was called to succeed her,
and was pastor from October, 1889, to June, 1890. Mr. Bag-ley died
in Massachusetts in the spring- of 1891. For a year the church was
without a pastor, althoug-h occasional services were held.

In July, 1891, the Rev. Arthur H. Grant came to Sioux Falls and
became pastor of the church. He was a young- man of considerable
ability, and while in charg-e, had g-ood cong-reg-ations. He had views
of his own in reference to the topics of the day, and while residing-
in Sioux Falls was a prominent hg-ure in everything- pertaining- to the
g-eneral welfare of the community. The hard times made it impos-
sible for the church to retain his services, and on the last day of
July, 1893, he left Sioux Falls and soon after became the pastor of
the Unitarian church at Newburg-h, N. Y. The next pastor of the
church was the Rev. J. T. Andrew, who remained until October 31,
1895, when he departed for California, and since then the church has
been without a pastor.

During- its most prosperous days the church had a membership
of seventy. In January, 1887, a Sunday school was orgfanized, and
the May following-, a Ladies' Unity Circle was effected, and was for
a while quite prosperous.

First Presbyterian Church. — At a meeting- of the Presbv-
tery of Southern Dakota held in Huron the first week in May, 1883,
the Rev. W. J. Skillman was appointed to establish a Presbyterian
church in Sioux Falls. On Sunday, June 3, following-, in the Meth-
odist church in Sioux Falls, nineteen persons requested the org-ani-
zation of a Presbyterian church, and under the direction of the Rev.
W. J. Skillman a church was org-anized. O. E, Rice, Thomas H.
Fairfax and J. W. Mansell were elected elders, to serve one, two and
three years respectively. A board of trustees was also elected. The
first pastor was the Rev. W. J. Skillman, who remained in charg-e of
the church until the 30th day of March, 1884, at which time he
preached his farewell sermon. He was succeeded by the Rev. Wil-
liam Miller, of Princeton, N. J., who arrived in Sioux Falls in June,
1884. During- the summer of that year the society built a church at
the corner of Ninth street and Minnesota avenue, which was dedi-
cated December 7, 1884. Mr. Miller remained with the church one
year, preaching- his last sermon in Sioux Falls May 31, 1885. He
was succeded by the Rev. William P. Craig- of Princeton, N. J., who
came to Sioux Falls to remain a month or so, and preached his first
sermon on the 16th day of Aug-ust, 1885. He was not, however, in-
stalled as pastor of the church until the 21st day of April, 1887. In
July, 1888, he tendered his resig-nation, to take effect the first day of
the month following-, which was accepted. The next pastor was the
Rev. J. N. Hutchinson, who preached his first sermon on the 6th day
of January, 1888. He was installed pastor of the church on the 23d
day of April, 1888, and remained in charg-e until January 1, 1896.


During- the time he was pastor the church was prosperous. A few
months after Mr. Hutchinson's departure, the Rev. Baillie Brown
assumed the duties of pastor, but he remained only a few months.
He resig-ned in September, 1896, and his resig-nation was accepted.
The church was then without a regular pastor until the present pas-
tor, the Rev. A. T. Wolff, D. D., took charg-e in the fall of 1897.
Since its organization about two hundred and forty persons have
been connected with the church.

Delaware Avenue Presbyterian Church. — On the 4th of
May, 1889, the following- persons, viz., Mrs. Mary J. Buchanan,
Geo. H. Brace and his wife Mary C. Brace, Mr. and Mrs. O. E. Rice,
C. C. Carpenter, H. J. Davenport, H. L. Green and C. M. Day met
in the Dakota National Bank, in the city of Sioux Palls, and agreed
to form a corporate body under the name of the Delaware Avenue
Presbyterian Church Society, to promote the spread of the Christian
religion, as set forth by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian
Church in the United States, and to do any charitable, humane or
benevolent work, which it might elect. This corporation was duly
perfected and in due form recorded in the office of the Secretary of
the Territory, and a board of five trustees elected, consisting of O.
K. Rice, president; Charles M. Day, secretary; and C. C. Carpenter,
treasurer; H. J. Davenport and H. L. Green. During that summer
a church building was erected. In the summer of 1890, a Sunday
school was organized, under the superintendence of Rev. W. Howell
Buchanan with three pupils, but the enrollment increased during
the year to 100.

The church is located on the prairie northwest of the city, the
members of the society thinking at the time, that it would soon be in
the center of a prosperous population, who would enjoy having
church privileges convenient to their homes. Again, the hard times,
and possibly a lack of religious enterprise in that locality, has resulted
in the discontinuance of services at the church. Usually in this west-
ern country, the first building erected is for a saloon or drug store,
but this church edifice stands to-day a witness to the fact, that the
projectors of this enterprise were determined that a church building
should ante-date the erection of any and all other structures for any
purpose whatever.

First Reformed Church. — The First Reformed Church of
Sioux Falls was organized in June, 1883. Some preaching services
had been held previous to that date and a Sunday school had been
organized. At this date a committee of the Classis of Iowa, Synod
of Chicago, Reformed Church in America, met in the East side
school house, received seven members and formally organized a
church, by the election and ordination of A. W. Manning as elder,
and John O'Meara as deacon. The first pastor was the Rev. E. P.
Livingston, of Pekin, Illinois, who arrived in the city and preached
his first sermon July 1, 1883. The corner stone of the church, sub-
sequently built of Sioux Falls jasper, was laid September 29, 1883.
Afterwards a commodious parsonage was built; the two structures
occupying five lots, are beautifullv situated, commanding a fine view
of the larger part of the city which lies upon the other side of the


river. Dr. Living-ston preached his last sermon Auo-nst 1(), 1885,
falling- ill shortly after and dying- September 11. In a few weeks he
was succeeded by the Rev. W. J. Skillman then living- in Sioux Falls,
where he had org-anized the Presbyterian church a few years before,
and was then acting- professor in Greek and English literature in the
academy at Orang-e City, Iowa. He preached his first sermon Octo-
ber 4, 1885, and remained its pastor until 1893. A flourishing- Sun-
day school g-rew up in connection with the church under Dr. Living -
ston's pastorate, which has continued in a prosperous condition ever
since. During- the first year after Mr. Skillman's departure there
was no preaching- in the church, but in the summers of 1894 and 1895
a theological student from Holland, Michig-an, by the name of Wil-
liam Miedema, conducted services which were well received by the
cong-reg-ation. In September, 1895, the Rev, Lucius King-sbury as-
sumed the duties of pastor of the church, and is in charg-e at the
present writing-.

The First Christian Church.— In the month of November,
1887, two residents of the city of Sioux Falls attended and addressed
a political meeting- in the northeastern part of the county. One of
them had been a resident of the city for some years, but the other
had but recently removed from an eastern state. They remained in
the country, at a farm house, over nig-ht after the political meeting-
had closed and drove back to the city tog-ether on the following- dav.
While conversing tog-ether on their return trip it became known to
them that each had while residents of the eastern states in previous
years been members of the religious organization known as the
Christian Church or the Disciples of Christ. There was at that
time no such organization in the city of Sioux Falls or in the countv,
and only two or three small organizations of the kind within the state.
They agreed that on their return to the city the}^ would call a meet-
ing through the daily newspapers and make an effort to organize a
church. This meeting was according-ly called by a simple notice in
the local items of each of the daily newspapers, and w^as set for the
evening of November 16, at the reading room of the Young- Mens'
Christian Association, which Mas at that time in the (irand Armv
building. The call was published only a day or two before the time
fixed for the meeting, but when the time arrived nine persons as-
sembled in response to the call, the greater number of whom prior
to that time had been strangers to each other. The persons present
at that meeting were S. E. Young- and wife, W. H. Frick and wife,
James H. Hart and wife, H, C. Carver, D. A. Blackman and U. S. G.

After a discussion of the propriety of organizing*-, the meeting
resulted in a unanimous resolution to perfect an organization. This,
however, was not done at this meeting; various persons within the
city were named as proper persons to be visited and requested to
unite in the movement, and committees for visitation were appointed.
The organization of this society, however, properly dates from this
first meeting.

Meetings were in the meantime regularly held at the various
homes of the parties who had attended the first meeting and who


were zealous in the work they had begun. These meetings were of
that class peculiarly denominated among these people as "social
meetings." At one of these meetings held at the home of W. H.
Frick on South Main Avenue on the evening of January 10, 1888, the
first formal election of officers took place after the religious services
of the evening. At that meeting H. C. Carver and S. E. Young were
chosen elders and W. H, Prick and James H. Hart deacons. They
were the first officers of the kind chosen by this society.

In the meantime the membership had increased until the number
now aggregated sixteen. Reg-ular meetings were from that time for-
ward held at such places as could be arranged for, but chiefly in the
Y. M. C. A. rooms and afterward in the Knights of Pythias Hall in
Temple Court building. In the meantime a Bible school had been
organized and was prospering.

The first regular series of meetings was conducted by Ira J.
Chase of Danville, Indiana, who was afterwards Governor of that
state. These meetings continued from March 28, to April 30, 1888.

The first of these meetings was held in the little church building
near the corner of Twelfth street and Dakota Avenue, then owned
and occupied by the Adventist church. Arrangements were, how-
ever, made for a vacant store-room on Phillips Avenue and there the
meetings rapidly grew in interest. They were very successful and
resulted in establishing a knowledg'e, throughout the city of the
distinctive plea made by these people. At the close of the meetings
the membership of the society was thirty-one. The Bible school
was reorganized and other societies in connection with the church
date from this period.

In September, 1888, the society had sufficiently increased in
numbers, confidence and enterprise to purchase a lot near the corner
of Twelfth street and Summit Avenue as a prospective site for a
church building. This lot was, however, afterwards sold at a net
profit of $353 and a new site purchased at the corner of Thirteenth
street and Duluth Avenue. On the latter site a church building was
erected during the summer and fall of 1889, at a total cost of about
$3,500 for the building and lot. It was furnished and equipped for
service and was dedicated by Robert Moffatt of Cleveland, Ohio, on
3d of November, 1889. On the evening of the 2d of November the
election of officers took place, and a permanent organization under
the existing laws was provided for. While this meeting- was prog-
ressing the ringing of bells and the blowing of whistles announced
that the proclamation had been signed by the President of the United
States admitting the State of South Dakota into the union of states.
Prom this fact this society claims to have been the first religious
association to organize and incorporate in the new State of South
Dakota, for it was at this meeting this organization was perfected
under the laws of the state.

In pursuance of the action taken at this meeting articles of asso-
ciation were completed and entered into on the 9th day of December
following. Prior to this time and since the latter part of the year
1888, Rev. J. Carroll Stark had presided as pastor. His services for
the association were closed in December, 1889, and there was no reg-


ular pastor until March 27, 1870, at which time Rev. E. P. Wise
assumed the ])ositi()n vacated by Rev. Stark.

Durino- the pastorate of Rev. Wise tlie churcli passed throu^^h a
period of marked prosperity. There were ninety-nine additions
during- that time, and yet all the work that was accomplished seemed
to drift away to other fields, for during' this period the church lost
heavily by removals from the city; so g-reatly had it lost that the
active membership was reduced to sixty-three.

The church has in connection with it a well org-anized and
actively working- Bible school, an active society of Senior and Junior
Endeavors, a very successful auxiliary of the C. W. B. M., and
various other org-anizations and societies usually connected with
church org-anizations. During- the year, ending- April 1, 1892, the
total contributions for the carrying- on of this work amounted to
$1,600.61 or an averag-e of more than $25 per capita of the active mem-

The Rev. H. S. Simpson supplied the pulpit from July to Octo-
ber 1, 1892, when the Rev. Georg-e A. Rag-an became the pastor, and
remained in charg-e until December 31, 1895. From the 1st day of
June, 1896, to October 1, following-, the Rev. CM. McCurdy supplied
the pulpit, and two months later he was succeeded by the Rev. W. P.
Shamhart, who remained in charg-e until February 1, 1898. On the
7th day of April, 1898, the Rev. L. H. Humphrey became the pastor.

The Pioneer Union Sabbath School. — During- the summer
of 1870, before any church was established, a Sunday school
was started in Sioux Falls by Mrs. Clark G. Coats and Mrs.
Hattie C. Phillips. It was desig-ned, as its name indicated, to
be a school for all denominations without reg-ard to relig-ious pre-
ferences so that all could aid in carrying- on the work. It was the
first Sunday school in the county, and, of course, at that early date
the members met in the barracks. For the first few months it was
without a superintendent, but during- the fall it w^as org-anized and
Mrs. Coats was elected to that position, which she held until Aug-ust

Online LibraryDana Reed BaileyHistory of Minnehaha county, South Dakota. Containing an account of its settlements, growth, development and resources ... Synopsis of public records, biographical sketches .. → online text (page 37 of 99)