Why Does This Blog Exist?

You never know what you'll find here - anything with genealogical or historical value is fair game. This blog will be updated as I clean out my office, go through boxes and piles, or find pertinent items at antique shops. In the meantime, I hope you find something of interest here.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Winthrop, Minnesota


This article comes from an old Lutheran church booklet, listing some of the congregations around Minnesota as well as some of the teachings of Martin Luther.  The cover is missing, so I cannot supply the title, author, publisher or year, but judging by the dates referenced in various articles, it was written about 1917.



    Just 20 years ago, in the year 1897, this congregation was founded by a handful of faithful Lutherans. Up to this time Winthrop was without a German Lutheran Church. At different times, by different people, different attempts were made to organize a congregation, but nothing lasting was effected.
    In 1897, Rev. J. Naunann, who was then pastor in Gibbon, was called upon to conduct services in Winthrop. Gladly did he comply with the wish of the people and for some time he had charge of this little congregation.
    The beginning indeed was small, for in the year 1S99 this congregation only had seven members. But what they lacked in number, they made up in love and enthusiasm for God and His kingdom. These seven members got together the same year and built a little church and in the month of April, the same was given over to the Lord's service. A day of Joy for this little flock.
    Again in the year 1900 this little congregation is building, they now had 12 members. Their church must be larger, an addition was added to their House of Worship, making it now 18x42. Today this building is used as a school house. Not being satisfied with a church alone, they called their first Pastor, C. Ritz. Not being able to give their Pastor a "living salary," they called upon the Minnesota Synod for help.
    As a good mother, who loves her children, always ready to help those that are in need of help, the Synod responded and for many years did
the Synod faithfully help this congregation.
    Once more did this flock of 20 members show their love to God, for In the following year, 1901, the present parsonage, as it stands today, was built. A big undertaking for so small a congregation. For those that love God and His Kingdom, this liberality for tbe Church is natural, love commands us to do so.
    Not being satisfied with this their work, the members said one to the other, "Can't we have a regular large Church?" This their wish did not remain empty words, as very often is the case.
    In this year the Swedish Lutheran congregation of this town built a beautiful new House of Worship. Having their old church still on hand, they offered It to this little congregation, at a very low price. The members did not wait long, they got together and bought the same. It still serves its purpose as a Church. Now Zion Lutheran had a Church.  What a day of rejoicing was the day of dedication to them. The congregation now numbered about 25 members.
    Reader, consider what this little congregation had done in these six years. All that was accomplished with God's help, in those first six years of its existence, still stands today as built 14 years or more ago. Surely these people loved their Church. May this love never perish in Zion Lutheran.
    "We should have a bell." was the nex wish that was expressed. But before the members could get together and buy one, Carl Zinke, a devout and faithful member of the Church had a big surprise in store for his fellow members. On the 27th of February, 1909, a bell weighing 2600 lbs. was dedicated to the Lord's service, a gift from Carl Zinke.
    In the year 1909 C. Ritz resigned as Pastor. The congregation had about 30 members by this time. A call was sent Rev, P. Schlemmer. On the 17th of October he was installed as Zion Lutheran's second Pastor. But his ministry in this field of labor was only of a very short duration. During the early spring of 1911, he had received a call from the Lutheran congregation of Ft Ridgley; he placed the same before his congregation and asked for his  dismissal, the same was granted.  The congregation now numbered 33 voting members.
    During the early summer of that year the congregation called its present Pastor. Rev. A. C. Murtz from Roscoe, S. D. On the first Sunday in August, Prof. A. Ackermann installed him as Pastor of this congregation. In the year 1912 beautiful mosaic an windows were placed in the Church. These are admired by all who see them. These beautiful memorial windows were again donated by individual members. The donators—F. Borchet, Wm. H. Lickfett, Wm. Albrecht, Henry Lickfett, Mrs. F. Bubolz, Mrs. C. Muenchow, the Young People and the Ladies' Aid. A few years later a beautiful Altar, Pulpit, Statue and Pipe Organ were placed in the church; again being bought through the donations of the individual members and the Ladles' Aid.
    O Zion Lutheran of Winthrop, thank God that He has thus far blessed you in these few years of your existence. Let this love to God's Kingdom never grow cold in your midst, love Him with heart and soul, remain true unto the end. and God will protect and bless you In the future as He has in the past.

Albrechet, Wm. and family
Abraham, Mrs. Theresa
Abraham, Wm.
Borchert, Wm. and family
Borchert, Louis and family
Bauermeister, Herm. and family
Bauermeister, Albert and family
Blankenhagen, Mrs. C. and children
Behning, Herm. and family
Bubolz, Mrs. P. and children
Braasch, Ferd. and family
Borchert, Ferd. and family
Borchert, Herm. and family
Bothmann, Mrs. J. and children
Blass, Mrs. F. and children
Beetle, John and wife
Groehler, Otto and family
Groehler, Theo. and family
Gareis, Mrs. P. and children
Hass, Robt. and family
Henke, Aug. and family
Henke, Rheinhold and family
Hass, Albert and family
Hahn, Walde and wife
Heinck, Wm. and wife
Hermann, Wm. and family
Hoyer, Louis and family
Jaus, Mrs. Sal. and children
Jaus, George and family
Jaus, Chas. and family
Kreuger, Wm. and family
Koenig, Otto and family
Lickfett, Wm. and family
Lickfett, Herbert and wife
Lickfett, Henry and family
Lickfett, H. and family
Leske, Henry and family
Leske, Ed. and family
Leske, F. and wife
Melius, Aug. and family
Muchow, Herm. and family
Muenchow, Chas. and wife
Meyer, Wm. and family
Meyer, Chas. and family
Otto, Christ and family
Plahn, John and family
Palmer, Arther and family
Potratz, Ferd. and family
Powers, J. E. and family
Redmann, Leo. and family
Spiering, Aug. and family
Schmalz, Theo. and family
Stresemann, H. C. and family
Stresemann, A. F. and family
Severson, Henry and family
Severson, Emelie
Spiering, Wm. Sr. and family
Spiering, Wm. Jr. and family
Sommer, Herm. and family
Schleuter, Louis and family
Sylvester, Martin and wife
Sylvester, John and family
Thenermann, Ferd. and family
Taggatz, M. and family
Timm, H. and wife
Volinkaty, Mrs. J. and children
Witt, Gustaf and family
Witt, Henry and family
Witt, Aug. and family
Zinke, Carl


  1. Hi Karen. I am working on family history and found the posts on the old churches of interest. I had two great-grandfathers immigrate from Germany to New Ulm in 1885. They were in the first graduating class from Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm. They served many congregations in the MN.

    The booklet which you cite is unfamiliar to me. I have a copy of the old MN Synod and its churches. This covers the years 1860-1910. I also have a WELS District history book which covers the years 1918-1968. Your book appears to be between these years. For instance, I have a picture of a congregation's first church in one book. In another book I have a picture of the same congregations newer church, with power lines in the picture. You have a picture of the same building, but without power lines.

    Do you still have this booklet? I would be interested in seeing it. Thanks!

  2. I do still have this booklet. There is no cover (actually a plain paper "cover"; besides the photos and short articles on the churches, there are ads for businesses in Winthrop, Henderson, Gaylord, Arlington, Fairfax, Gibbon all in Minnesota. I am not sure if the book was published for a specific event, or who did the publishing. The first page has a picture of Martin Luther with a paragraph or two on his teachings, then the church articles, interspersed with pages of the ads. I found this booklet in an antique shop, I believe, and it had the name "Martin H. Krueger" handwritten on the makeshift cover. The back page is titled "Quadricentennial" 1517-1917 400 Years of Religious Freedom (that is how I came to the conclusion that the booklet is from 1917)

  3. I believe this may be the booklet: http://www.worldcat.org/title/lutheran-church-of-sibley-county-and-vicinity-state-of-minnesota-usa-members-of-the-synodical-conference/oclc/11954881