South Beaver Creek Lutheran Church began in home near Ettrick in 1867 | Local

South Beaver Creek Lutheran Church, rural Ettrick, was organized on May 18, 1867, in the home of Gulbrand Nilson, by a group of Norwegian pioneers and the Rev. Ole Waldeland, the first resident Lutheran pastor in Jackson and Trempealeau counties.

Before 1867, the early settlers traveled by ox team to North Beaver Creek (organized 1859) to attend worship services. In December 1866, Waldeland was asked to hold worship services in the South Beaver Creek area at the home of Ole Hendrickson. This was the first worship service in the area, but it wasn’t until May 1867 that the congregation was organized.


The dedication of the first church building is shown here in this 1895 photo.

In 1869, South Beaver Creek joined a five-point parish with French Creek, Tamarack, Fagernes and Hardies Creek. In 1876, at a meeting in the home of Even Swenson, the congregation unanimously decided to buy a parcel of land from Louis Affeldt for $10. For the next several years, money was raised and then, in 1884, a building committee was chosen. In 1885, the first church was built by Amund Hallanger at the cost of $200. The congregation later paid him $500 to complete the interior. The total cost of the church was estimated at $2,000.

The first service in the new church was in September 1885, but the dedication service was not held until June 27, 1895. During the 10-year period, the church was painted and decorated and a church bell, altar and an organ were purchased.

In 1893, the Ladies Aid Society or “Kvindefornening” was organized. In 1894, a parochial schoolhouse was built to educate the children in the Christian faith. The choir began in 1903, and the Luther League was organized in 1920. In 1918, Hardies Creek left the five-point parish to join Zion in Galesville. South Beaver Creek was now part of a…

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