JUNEAU COUNTY, WISCONSIN
GENEALOGY OF THE NORWEGIAN SETTLERS, 1850-1950
LAWRENCE W. ONSAGER
LEMONWEIR VALLEY PRESS
Berrien Springs and Mauston,
(C) 2005 by Lawrence
W. Onsager. Online at http://home.no.net/sulsog/juneaubokhoved.htm
rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any
form, including electronic or mechanical means, information storage and
retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author.
Manufactured in the United
States of America.
Lawrence William, 1944‑
Bygdebok, A Genealogy of the Norwegian Settlers,
Wisconsin and Berrien
Springs, Michigan: The Lemonweir Valley Press, 2005.
Juneau County, Wisconsin
Monroe County, Wisconsin
Suldal Norwegian-American Settlement
Rogaland County, Norway
Sogn og Fjordane
Telemark County, Norway
Series: Suldal Norwegian-American Settlement Families
Tradition claims that the Lemonweir River was named for a
dream. Prior to the War of 1812, an Indian runner was dispatched with a
war belt of wampum with a request for the Dakotas and Chippewas
to meet at the big bend of the Wisconsin River (Portage). While camped on the banks of
the Lemonweir, the runner dreamed that he had lost his belt of wampum at his
last sleeping place. On waking in the morning, he found his dream to be a
reality and he hastened back to retrieve the belt. During the 1820's, the
French‑Canadian fur traders called the river, La memoire ‑ the memory.
The Lemonweir rises in the extensive
swamps and marshes in Monroe
County. The river
divides Juneau County into two topographic areas.
The region north of the Lemonweir
which comprises two‑thirds of the county, is a nearly level sand plain
covered with marshes and swamps. The southern one‑third of the
county is a rugged, highland plateau, dissected in every direction by valleys
The river has given its name to Lemonweir Township,
the East Lemonweir Lutheran
Church, the Lemonweir
Valley Press, etc.
Norwegians of Juneau County
Tveit from Upper Telemark, Norway
must be considered the actual founder of the Norwegian settlement in Juneau County.
A bachelor, he had come to Maughs Mill (Mauston) from the Norwegian settlement
called Koshkonong to work in the sawmill for Milton M.
Maughs. In his spare time, Ole explored the surrounding countryside looking for
good land. During his rambles, he found an uncommonly beautiful valley a few
miles west of Mauston. The valley was nearly round in shape, level, and
protected against weather on all sides.
The land was different at that time.
The hills and bluffs were steeper, the creeks were
wider with beaver dams and fallen trees. Virgin timber covered much of the
area. Travel was difficult. Ole had to wallow through the marsh bottoms and
ford the creeks. Many of the huge trees were hollow at the bottom because of
the fires that the Indians set each spring to burn off the prairies and start
the new growth. Both the Winnebago and Menominee Indians occupied the area.
The Lemonweir River, which gives its
name to the area, takes its rise from extensive swamps and marshes near the
dividing ridge in Monroe County, and has a tributary called the Little
Lemonweir, which unites with the main branch eight miles north-west of Mauston.
For many miles on the head waters of the main river, the land was heavily
timbered with white and Norway
pines, which afforded a supply of valuable timber for the early settlers. The
river is a very durable, permanent stream, at all times affording an abundant
supply of water. The whole valley was abundantly supplied with hard timber,
white and black oak, for fencing, fire-wood, etc., and good land for stock and
grain farms was available.
Tveit informed his acquaintances at
Koshkonong of his discovery. The Koshkonong Prairie Settlement had been
established in 1840 and took its name from Lake Koshkonong
Lake and Creek. The lake
is located in Jefferson
County at the point where
Dane, Jefferson and Rock counties meet. The most important and prosperous of
the Wisconsin Norwegian‑American settlements, its name was applied to a
general region that extended a considerable distance from Lake
Koshkonong and included the
southeastern portion of Dane County, the southwestern part of Jefferson County,
and the northern part of Rock
County. The region
actually consisted of smaller settlements separated by short distances from
each other. By 1850, Koshkonong had a population of 2,670 Norwegians. Tveit was
a member of the Norwegian settlement near Sun Prairie in Dane
County, Wisconsin which had been
settled by immigrants from Telemark,
Norway in 1843.
The result was that in the spring of
1850, he returned with Nils Bjornson Farastad and Ole Johnson Magnushommen,
brothers‑in‑law who were also from Upper Telemark. They took up
claims in present Lindina
Township about five miles
southwest of Mauston. After breaking up some land and making hay for the
winter, they returned to Dane
County for their
According to Joseph Hanson in his History of Juneau County, Ole Johnson
seemed to have the idea that he wanted the whole country because he broke up
land in several places. When they returned that autumn, Knut Ormson Mo from Suldal Township,
Rogaland County, Norway
and Knut Mikkelson from Roldal Township, Hordaland
came with them. Their homes that autumn were hay stack houses consisting of a
log frame with hay for the roof and walls. The men soon completed their log
houses and made a permanent settlement (Mauston Star, June 2, 1887, p. 1.)
Most of the low land in both North
and South Valley was under water when they arrived
so they went out into the bluffs that reminded them of their homeland. Nils
Bjornson (Benson) was the oldest so he had first choice of land. He took land
in section 5 across the road from the present Suldal Cemetery.
Knut Ormson chose the land which is now the Riley farm near
the junction of the present Suldal and Felland roads because the soil was black
as far as he could thrust his knife and in the creek was a spring that he
called the "water of life". Ole Gjermundson
said he would take the land in between where Allie Peterson now lives. The 1857
tax rolls for Lindina
Township show that Ole
Johnson owned land in sections 4, 5, and 9.
Knudt Mikkelson settled in section 6
on what later became the Nelson and Steen farms. His brother Andres lived with
him and his family.
In the fall of 1852, Helge Oleson
settled in the northern part of Plymouth
township and at the same time Knudt Oland settled in
the southern part of Fountain township. John Halvorson settled on a farm
adjoining Knut Ormson in section 9. Lavrens Augenson Odegaarden from Vinje Township
in Telemark County also came in 1852. Lavrens'
sister, Margit, was the wife of Ole Johnson Magnushommen.
Knut Ormson was the beginning of the
connection between Suldal, Norway and Juneau
"America Fever" traveled through Norway in waves so that people
within any given area might be expected to influenced
by the urge to emigrate at the same time. Shiploads of people from the same old‑country
region sailed together and sought land together. Later arrivals from the same
part of Norway
naturally gravitated to the settlements of their own people. Letters and
prepaid tickets further encouraged this development.
This was an important aspect of Norwegian-American
Religious observance was from the beginning,
a fundamental aspect of life in Norwegian immigrant communities, providing
social as well as spiritual solace, and it was often the source of the first
emergence of a sense of community. These church centered communities often
reflected strong provincial, parish, and neighborhood allegiances transported
from the homeland as well. The intensely streamlike
chain migrations of Norwegians from specific valleys and fjords in Norway to
specific settlements in America created a kind of cultural homogeneity and
sense of belonging in Norwegian immigrant settlements that was conducive to the
implantation of a fervently supported parish church as a community focus (Legreid, Ann Marie, “Community Building, Conflict and
Change; Geographic Perspective on the Norwegian-American Experience in Frontier
America,” IN Wisconsin Land and Life,
edited by Robert C. Ostergren and Thomas R. Vale, Univ of Wis Press, 1977, pp. 300-19).
Gunder Johnson Braatveit, who
emigrated from Suldal in 1852, came to Lindina in 1853. He stopped first with
Odd Larson's father, Lars Olson Osteraa, another immigrant from Suldal, for a
short time in Dane
County. While there he
learned about the Lemonweir Settlement through Nils Bjornson whom Lars Olson
had bought out prior to Bjornson's coming here.
By 1854, the small community had
grown to 12 families and 43 individuals. On May 22, 1854, John Halvorsen, Knud
Ormson, Ole Jhanson, Nils Bjornson, Gunder Johansen, Laurans Augondsen, and Andres Mikelsen sent a letter to Pastor H. A. Preus of Spring
Prairie in Dane County, Wisconsin asking for a visit by a Norwegian
clergyman once or twice a year. They wrote him that they were located twenty
miles northwest of the Dells bridge in Lisbon Township,
Adams County. They had begun to build a
schoolhouse and had chosen the location of a churchyard which they wanted to
Herman Amberg Preus was born on June
16, 1825 in Kristiansand,
grandfather was a Lutheran clergyman; his father, a college president; and his
mother, a member of the prominent Keyser family. He attended the University of Norway from 1843 to 1848, receiving the
degree of A.B. in 1843, and that of candidate of theology in 1848.
In 1851, he accepted a call as
pastor from three churches in the vicinity of Spring Prairie located in both
Dane and Columbia counties, Wisconsin
and was ordained before leaving for the New World.
Upon his arrival at Spring Prairie there were no church buildings, and he had
to enter upon his work as a minister by preaching in the small log cabin homes
of the settlers. Being a hard worker, Preus soon extended his field of activity
far beyond his original charge. He often would preach at places over one
hundred miles from his home. During this pioneer period, Preus preached once or
twice every day, or at least once every other day.
Preus came the first time on July
25, 1854 and held church services in the home of Nils Bjornson. There was no
bridge across Brewer Creek and Preus had to be carried across. Knut Ormson
guarded the minister's horses and buggy during the night to prevent them from
being stolen by the Indians.
At the bottom of the letter from the
congregation, Pastor Preus made notations concerning part of the distance from
Spring Prairie to Lemonweir: 12 miles from Kingsbery's
Tavern ‑ no road and 10 miles from Rodjers Mill
‑ is road. On Sunday, he held services in Roche a Cree, on Monday, he
made the trip to Lemonweir, and on Tuesday, he held the first church services.
On his return trip, Preus stopped and held services on Thursday at the Moe
Settlement (Newport Township, Coumbia County).
On Friday, he journeyed to Portage
where he held services at 11 o'clock. On Saturday, he returned to Spring
of Juneau County, the Townships, Cities and
To help the readers of this bygdebok better understand the history of Norwegian
settlement in Juneau
County, I will try to
explain the development of the county boundaries, the creation of the townships
and provide a list of the present and defunct cities, villages, and rural
communities with their post offices within the county. Juneau County was created by the state of Wisconsin on January 1, 1857. Beginning with
the formation of the Wisconsin Territory in 1836, the area included in Juneau County
was part of Crawford County which stretched from the Illinois
state border north to Lake Superior. Parts or
all of Juneau
were governed by Sauk or Adams counties in the late 1840s and early 1850s.
The legislature of the new state of Wisconsin established Adams County
in March 1848. All of this original Adams
County was located west of the
Wisconsin River and south of the Lemonweir
River -- roughly the southwestern
third of present-day Juneau
County. The Sauk County
board retained legal control of the sparsely settled new county until 1853. In
1849, this board organized the first and only township during that time period
and named it Lemonweir. When the first Norwegian settlers arrived in 1850,
their address was Lemonweir Township in Adams County.
The township name was the source of the name given to the Lemonweir Norwegian
The following townships are listed
in order of their organization: 1849, Lemonweir (its original boundaries
included all of present-day Juneau south of the Lemonweir River and a 15 mile
wide strip on the north side of the Lemonweir); 1851, Dells (name changed to
Kildare in 1852); 1852, Kildare (name changed to Lindon
in 1854); 1853, Lisbon, Necedah, and Seven Mile Creek; 1854, Lindina, Lindon (name changed to Kildare in 1857), Plymouth and Waucedah (divided between Kildare and Marion in 1857);
1855, Fountain, Germantown, and Summit; 1856, Wonewoc; 1857, Clearfield, Lyndon
(formed out of southern Kildare), Marion (formed out of part of Waucedah), and Orange; 1858, Armenia; 1876, Kingston; 1896,
Cutler (formed from the western portion of Necedah); and 1898, Finley (proposed
name of “Scandinavia” changed by Juneau County Board).
The cities and villages of the
county include: Mauston, New Lisbon, Necedah, Elroy, Wonewoc, Camp Douglas,
Lyndon Station, Hustler, and Union
Official 1860 census statistics list
266 Norwegians in Juneau
County. Of these 166 were
born in Norway and 100 in Wisconsin. After
carefully checking the 1860 census, I found 262 listed with 165 born in Norway and 97 born in Wisconsin.
Total Born in Nor Born in Wis
Armenia Township 46 26 20
Clearfield Township 6 4 2
43 27 16
Germantown Township 1 1 0
93 53 40
Lisbon Township 1 1 0
Village of Mauston 6 5 1
Necedah Township 7 7 0
Orange Township 1 1 0
58 40 18
TOTALS 262 165 97
A number of the Norwegians who settled
in Juneau County served in the Civil War. I have
identified about 25 or 26 men who either lived in Juneau
County at the time they enlisted or
were closely associated with Juneau
County. The reasons for
enlisting were several. Some wanted adventure and travel. Some wished to serve
their new country and were against slavery. The enlistment bonus, monthly pay,
and a place to eat and sleep were important factors. At the beginning of the
war, many people felt that the war would be over in three months. Many
immigrants probably felt it was a quick way to get money for buying farm land
and getting a start in America.
It is difficult to identify many of these men. They used names like Ole Olsen
with no farm designation.
Several of the men were recruited in
New Lisbon to join the 15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. The 15th was known as
the Scandinavian Regiment because its officers and enlisted men were almost all
from Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. These men were John
Frederik Frodesen Bever, Daniel Danielson, Halvor Halvorsen, Martin Halvorsen,
Ole Halvorsen, Christian Ingebretsen, Ole Jacobsen, and John H. Warp. All but
Danielson who served in Company C were members of Company D. Company D called
itself the Norway Wolf Hunters. “D” was mainly recruited from the Towns of
Oconomowoc in Waukesha County, Waupun in Dodge Couny,
New Lisbon in Juneau County, and Waterford
in Racine County. Christian Ingebretsen died of
disease in Madison in February 1862, Halvor
Halvorsen was killed at Chickamauga in 1863, and
Ole Jacobsen died at Andersonville
prison in 1864/5.
Following is a list of those
Norwegians who have been identified as serving in the Civil War. Some were from
neighboring counties who were working in Juneau County
at the time (probably as lumbermen).
Bever, John Frederik Frodesen, Co D,
Bordalen, Soren, Co
?, died in service
Christian, Co A, 17th Wis
Everson, Peter A, Co K, 6th
Ole, 10th Wis Bat; transferred to 9th Bat.
Halvorson, Christian Strand, Co D,
Halvorsen, Halvor, Co D, 15th
Halvorsen, Martin Strand, Co D, 15th
Halvorsen, Ole, Co B, 38th
Hanson, Lars, Co I, 1st Wis; transf.
Co G, 21st Inf Regt; Co G, 3rd
WI Inf (see Howe,
Hanson, Ole, Co B, 49th Wis
Helgerson, Nels O., Co H., 16th Wis
Helgerson, Tideman, Co D, 43rd Wis
Howe, Lars Hansen, Co E, 1st
Wis; Co G, 3rd Wis
Ingebretsen, Christian, Co D, 15th
Wis, d. dis.
Jacobsen, Ole, Co D, 15th
Johnson, Halvor Vindlos, Co E, 42nd
Johnson, John E.,
8th Wis Bat; 10th Wis Bat.
Johnson, John Lunde, Co G, 22nd
Ole, 10th Wis
Kittle, Cornelius B., 10th
Knudsen, Knud, 10th Wis Bat
Lawrence, Myron Avery, Co G, 37th
Ogen, Co E, 38th Wis
Lars, Co E., 38th Wis
Nelson, Nils Stenbro, Co D, 47th
Nelson, Ole Andrew, Co F, 16th
Olsen, Johannes C, Co C, 16th
John, Co A, 34th Wis
John, Co C, 16th Wis
Olsen, Julius O, Co B, 12th
Nels, Co I, 29th Wis
Olson, Ole, Co E, 18th Wis
Ole, Co U, 6th Wis
Ole, Co E, 1st Wis
Barney, Co B, 49th Wis
Pedersen, Hans, Co D, 15th
Steen, John P., Co K, 50th
Steen, Oley I.,
Tronson, Tron, 17th Wis
Warp, John H., Co D, 15th
Eventually the entire Norwegian
settlement in southern Juneau
County became known as
Suldal. Einer Haugen described it in 1952 as " a small settlement mostly comprised with the triangle
formed by the villages of Elroy, Mauston, and New Lisbon, in the townships of
[Fountain], Lisbon, Lindina, and especially Plymouth. Plymouth
church [located in Lindina], 5 miles west of Mauston, is known in everyday
speech as 'Suldal,' because the overwhelming majority of the members came from
that place in Norway.
Other dialects seem to have been displaced by this one. The youngest generation
does not speak Norwegian, but in the middle and oldest generation there are
many who can and do. There are 8 Lutheran congregations in the area, divided
among 3 pastors; very few Norwegian services are now held. There has been much
intermarriage with neighboring Germans. Grain and tobacco are chief
crops." (Haugen, Einer, The Norwegian Language in America,
vol. 2, pp. 611‑12).
Holand wrote in 1908, "All the blue‑tinted hills which a person sees
to the south of Camp
Douglas, New Lisbon and
Mauston are crawling with Norwegians. The settlement includes some 500 people
from Upper Telemark and 1200 from around Suldal in Rogaland." The
settlement spilled over into Clifton Township in Monroe County.
The settlement in Greenwood Township in Vernon
County had close ties because they
shared pastors with the various Norwegian Lutheran churches in Juneau County.
The connection with Suldal, Norway
began in 1850. A few more families came to Lindina during the 1850's: 1852 ‑
Gunder Johnson Bratveit and family; 1855 ‑
Gabriel Oddson Tornes, Lars Olson Austara and family;
1857 ‑ Askild Jacobson Mokliev and family; and 1858 ‑ Gabriel
Johnson Lunde and family.
During the Civil War era, a
significant number of families from Suldal came to Juneau County.
Some of those who have been identified with their dates of emigration include:
1860/1 ‑ John Johnson Lunde and family; 1861 ‑ Gabriel Haavorson
Veka and family, Nels Nelson Steinbru and family, and Jon Tormodson Quammen;
1862 ‑ Even Evenson Austara and family, Halvor
Halvorson Veka, Ole Nelson Kleiva and family, Bjedne Eivindson Austara and family; 1863 ‑ Ole Halvorson
Kolbeinstveit and family, and Marta Nelson.
In 1864, Lars Bakken Guggedal, a
former school teacher, led a party of 50 people from Suldal. He was an all‑around
man, good at composing verse and of a gay disposition. Snatches of songs he
wrote could still be heard in Suldal in 1908. The group included ‑ Lars
Osmundson Guggedal and family, Halvor Halvorson Steinbru, Tormod Albertson
Oystad Hauen and family, Albert Johnson Kjetilstad, Ole Halvorson Kalhagen,
Lars Thorsen Mokleiv and family, widow Kari Nelson and family, Nels Olson,
widow Ingeborg Ormson, Odd Oddson Stuv, Osmund Vintrhus,
and Bjedne Vintrhus and family. They came on the
ships Hebe and Iris. The barks, Hebe, Capt. Olsen and Iris, Capt. Larsen, left Stavanger on May 4, 1864 and arrived in Quebec on June 2, 1864. Traveling from there
to Chicago, they were settled in Juneau County
by June of 1864.
Other emigrants were: 1867 ‑
Tjerand Paulson Kolbeinstveit and family; 1868 ‑ Johannes Ormson and
family; and 1869 ‑ Albert Larson Lofthus and family, and Lars Lofthus.
In 1872, Kari
Tjerandsdtr. Overskeid, the widow of Lars Albertson Moe (see), left
Suldal and settled in Elroy. Together with her sons, Tjerand, Lars, and Ole,
Kari operated a country store in Elroy. They also had an agency for an
immigration line, Norge ‑ USA. Many of
the Juneau County Norwegians from Suldal bought tickets from Kari's agency and
sent them to relatives in Suldal. When these people emigrated, it was natural
for them to find lodging in Kari's inn. The Moe home in Elroy,
became, therefore, in the last quarter of the 19th century something of a
center for immigrants from Suldal.
Township, Sogn og Fjordane County
Settlers from Laerdal
Township came to Juneau County
in 1856. Ole Olson Hillestad, his wife Brita Pedersdtr., and their five
children came to Lemonweir in 1856 and settled in Fountain Township.
Ole and Brita emigrated in 1852. They joined the Spring
in southern Columbia County, which served settlers in both Dane and Columbia counties, in
1853. They probably became aware of land in Juneau County
from their pastor, Herman A. Preus. They used the last name of Olson.
Others in 1856 were Erik Einarson
(Nedre Hegg) Nedre Kvame and his wife, Ragnhilda Baardsdtr. Nedre Kvame. They
emigrated in March 1855 and joined the East Lemonweir
Church in 1856. In 1880
they were living on a farm in Fountain
Township and using the
names, Erick and Rosa Anderson.
Many more settlers came to Juneau County
from Laerdal in the 1860s, 1870s, and 1880s. There was a connection with the
settlement in Greenwood Township in Vernon County
from the beginning. Many were related as cousins, brothers, and sisters. Over
the years there were marriages back and forth and a number of the settlers in Greenwood moved to Juneau County.
From Other Parts of Norway
Settlers from Telemark and Hordaland
counties came from the beginning. A few settlers came from other townships in Rogaland County such as Sand and Sauda which
bordered Suldal. Roldal in Hordaland
County had a common
history with Suldal and a few of settlers came from that area. Ole T. Olson
came to Lindina Township in 1855. He emigrated with his
family from Gran Township
in Hadeland in eastern Norway.
an eventual recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature, came to Elroy, Wisconsin
in about February of 1882 where his brother Peter lived. Upon his arrival Knut
worked briefly at the Moe family store. Knut, after spending the summer working
for farmers named Loveland
and Spear, returned to Elroy. He went to work for Edmund Hart and soon became a
clerk in Hart's store. He lived in the Norwestern Railways Hotel, for a year,
sharing a room on the top floor with William T. Ager, a grade school teacher in
Elroy. Henry M. Johnston, the high school principal, taught him English. Svend
Tveraas, a local farmer, was a friend. Knut began giving lectures on the
Norwegian writer, Bjornstjerne Bjornson and made an enemy of Pastor M. P. Ruh.
Ruh warned people against attending his lectures for the mild heresy that any
defense of Bjornson at that time involved in the wake of Bjornson's attack on
Christianity and the established church. In late 1883, Knut moved on to Minnesota.
Gunder Johnson Braatvedt from Suldal
was described by Hjalmar Holand as an influential man called the Norwegian
king, patriarch and philosopher. Genial and talkative, he was also a clever
lawyer for the newcomers. In those days, it was common to set up a shop at
election time where whiskey was served free to several hundred voters. But
Gunder and his people refused to be taken in by these blandishments. Said he, "Yes, we will drink your whiskey and smoke your
cigars, but we will vote as we please." This became a favorite
saying in the community.
Mauston Star reported on April 3, 1902, that on May 17 a large crowd of
Norwegians celebrated the anniversary of the independence of Norway at the
picnic grounds on the Henry Robinson farm in Suldal. Speeches were delivered by
Rev. John Granskou of Stanley;
by James Thompson, a prominent lawyer of LaCrosse; and by District Attorney H.
J. Mortensen of New Lisbon. This was followed by a program of music and the
singing of Norwegian songs. The first two addresses were in Norwegian and the
latter in English. A heavy rain in the afternoon drove the happy crowd to
In 1892 George Winser
of Wonewoc, who married a daughter of Jess Winsor,
built a cheese factory in section 7 on the southwest corner of the crossroads
of Suldal and Johnson roads. Seymour Ranney made cheese the first year. Two
kinds of cheese were made, chiefly American. When the corn was growing, they
squeezed juice from the green leaves and added to the cheese to speckle it
By 1898 there was a feed mill on the
northwest corner, Winser's North Valley Creamery, a store on the southeast corner,
and a post office. The feed mill stood in Ed Johnson's marsh by a big spring in the creek.
It was run by William Nelson and Will Felland. Minas Anason helped them many
nights when they were so busy that they had to run night and day. Nelson and
Felland charged by the sack to grind the feed. A favorite story is told about
Hagen who brought in a big wool sack half full of grain. To get back at him,
Nelson got into the sack and tramped it clear full of feed until it weighed
about 1,200 pounds. They rolled it onto the wagon so that Hagen had to unload it when he got home.
Minas Anason helped build the store
when he was about 17 or 18 [1894-5]. Theodore Felland, Anason, and his half‑brother
Ole G. Johnson ran the store. They sold groceries, common dry goods, coonskin
coats, and took orders for suits. They had lots of trade.
The name Suldal was given to the
community when a post office was established in the store. When they couldn't
decide on a name for the post office, Tveit wanted Felland or Moe, Pastor C. Schrive suggested "Suldal." They all agreed. The
post office only existed from 1898 to 1901. Theodore O. Felland was the first
postmaster. Gunder Tvedt, Knut Olson, and John L. Johnson carried mail from
town to the store.
An agreement had been made by George
Winser and the farmers to stick together. Later he
sold out to the Elgin Creamery Company (a sort of chain
company) and moved out in the night to Hustler. Minas Anason met him
that night while coming home from a courting trip. The store and creamery were
discontinued in the 1920's. The creamery was torn down and the store moved
across the road and made into a house [Knut Larson bought store building and
cheese factory site, tore down factory and moved store across road onto that
By 1900, considerable tobacco was
being raised by the Norwegians in Juneau
County. Felland and
Nevestvedt were the first to try tobacco growing and the crop brought
considerable prosperity to the farmers. The following article appeared in the
Mauston Star on Thursday, April 3, 1902, page 1:
THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY
Local Growers Shipped Five Car Loads Tuesday
On Tuesday a buyer for the American
Cigar Co., of Madison,
was in the city and purchased five car loads of tobacco in Lindina. The Felland
Bros. delivered the largest amount having nine loads which netted them the
handsome sum of $1,500.
are the names of the gentlemen who sold and the number of loads delivered by
each: Dell Rider, 4; Ole Onsager, 3; Germanson & Tvedt, 4; Nels Johnson, 2;
John Anderson, 2; P. O Stenrue, 5. There is still a
large amount of tobacco left in this vicinity which will undoubtedly be sold
and shipped before a great while.
the Suldal name is commemorated by Suldal
Road and the Suldal
Cemetery in Lindina Township.
District Number 7 (Suldal
The country school serving the
settlers near Suldal Corners was last located on Johnson Road across from the present Plymouth Cemetery. A history of the school
written by the district clerk, Mrs. Bert Johnson, in April 1948 has been
published in Country Schools of Juneau County, Wisconsin; History, Location,
Adaptive Reuses Compiled by William A. Schriver,
“The History of Lindina District 7 (Suldal School)
as taken from the records of the district clerk.
The first teacher there is record of
is Jennie Trency who taught three months or what was
called the winter term beginning Dec. 11, 1866 for $24.00 a month. Board
members signing this contract were Harvey L. Ward, clerk, and A. Cowles,
director. Next Sarah Leonard beginning May 6, 1867, who taught 3 months for
$20.00 a month. [Jermon Tvedt went to school in log
school house at age of 7 (1863) and at present site at age of 11 (1867).]
first district meeting there are records of is dated September 30, 1867 with
the following board members elected at this meeting: Jesse Winsor,
clerk; John B. Wright, treas.; and Harvey L. Ward, director. They voted to
raise $75.00 for teachers wages, $28.00 for books, and
$5.00 for repairs. Wood was purchased at $1.00 a cord.
the meeting Sept. 28, 1868, it was voted to have seven months school, 3 months
winter, 2 months spring and months fall terms. Odd Larsen was elected director.
The next year they voted to have six months school again and in 1871 they had
five months. In 1874 G. J. Foster was elected clerk.
the Sept 6, 1875 meeting, L. Howard, Halver Halverson and Jesse Winsor were chosen as a committee to fix a school house
site. On Oct 18, the motion carried to have the board secure a site for school
house on S. E. corner of Nels Nelson estate.
25, 1876 they voted to pay the clerk a salary of $5.00. the
board was instructed to buy school house site from Nels Nelson estate if price
be reasonable and of clear title, if not; it was carried that they buy site where
building then stood.
27, 1877 the board was instructed to proceed immediately to purchase site –
described as (1/2 acre, fourty rods more or less
north of the S. W. corner of the S. W. ¼ of the N. W. ¼ of section 8 on the
section line between sections 7 & 8) from John Johnson – cost of which was
$15.00. Jesse Winsor was appointed to inquire what
the Chadwick school cost and how many it will accommodate and report at a
on the board at the time the new school house was arranged for and built were:
L. Howard, director, 1874-77; J. B. Wright, director, 1877-1885; G. J. Foster,
clerk, 184-76; Odd Larsen, clerk, 1876-1886; and C. H. Hayden, treasurer,
1, 1877 the district voted to raise $150.00 toward fund for building a new
school house. Motion was made to apply to state trust fund for loan but there
were not enough voters present to decide the matter according to law. At a
meeting on Oct. 4 the motion was carried to apply to the state for $300.00
loan, 14 voters present and vote was unanimous, the amount to be borrowed for a
period of six years.
at this time were: E. G. Dodge for 3 months beginning Dec 3, 1877, $30.00 a
month; Hannah Peck for 2 months beginning Apr. 29, 1878, $20.00 a month; and S.
J. Denigan for 3 months beginning Dec 2, 1878, $23.00
of the time during these years 22 days were called a month instead of the usual
20 days, and the teachers held third grade certificates.
at this time J. W. Wightman was County
5, 1878, G. W. Robinson was paid $14.25 for laying the stone wall for the new
building. Nov 30, 1878 to G. Cowee $20.85 for building and plastering. Nov. 30,
1878 to G. J. Foster $68.50 for building. Dec. 14, 1878 to F.
Remington $14.00 for painting. Apr. 2, 1879 to France
Remington $8.00 for laying floor and making blinds.
cost of building (labor) and materials for the new building were approximately
2, 1878 the old building was sold to Nels Nelson for $3.25. Wood was purchased
for 75 cents a cord.
first minutes written as Joint Dist. with Lisbon
was in July 18??.
1895 a well was drilled and pump put in, work being done by Micheal
Bros. and Geo. Winsor was elected librarian for one
year for the new library.
1898 the district voted to buy a bell and build a belfry. Bell was purchased in Oct. at a cost of
$10.00. The belfry was constructed by H. Benson, painted by Odd Albertson. [In]
1900, [the] school house was reshingled and interior
ceiled and painted. In 1908 the decision was made to charge all persons over 20
years old, attending school, $2.00 tuition per term.
1911 it was voted to buy a suitable desk and chair for the teacher, and a
cement porch was to be built across the front of the building. Also hard wood
floors put in the hall. Porch constructed by R. Herriot.
In 1914 a 14 ft. extension was added to the building at the rear.
were voted for both director and treasures positions at the 1917 annual
meeting. Electric lights were installed in 1929, wiring being done by Carlton
Steen and the first teacher to enjoy the use of them was Wilma Runke.
1933 the stove we now have was installed and the following year they built on
the present wood shed. The wall for this was constructed by L. J. Quamme and
the remainder of the work on it was done by various members of the community.
District 7 Lindina and Lisbon became joint with Plymouth
when the Knut Olson place was put into this district in Sept. 1934.
1942 the school house was insulated.
Dist. No. 8 of Plymouth or Braund School as it was known, was abolished and
made a part of our district on Aug 9, 1940 by order of State Supt. John Calahan because of there being too few children to maintain
their own according to the new state laws. This building was kept in some
repair according to state regulations until the 1945 meeting when the board was
given power to dispose of it as they saw fit. In Oct of that year it was
offered for sale by sealed bids and sold to the highest bidder, Otis Nelson for
Norwegian Parochial School
To the west there was a log school
house where the Norwegian school house now stands. The log school house had
stood on the site of the Plymouth
Church. After the new Lindina
District No. 7 school was built in 1878-9, it was put up for bids and sold to
Nels Nelson for $3.25 and moved to the parochial school site. Jacob Quamme, the
father of Lars, was teacher and precenter for the
East and West Lemonweir congregations for 22 years
beginning in 1882.
NORTHERN JUNEAU COUNTY
Some of the first settlers in the
Town of Armenia
were Norwegians. Two of the first were Simon Aslogsen
and Lars Larson. Next came Jacob Norsby, Martin Sparsby and his sons Ole and John, Nels Teigen, and later
Otto Hustlegaarden and Lars Lee.
The 1860 federal census for Armenia
includes 9 households and 46 individuals. The heads of households were James
Johnson, Goodbear Hanson, John Christie, Teman Oslockson (see Timon Aslogsen), Lars Johnson,
Targer Oleson, John Peterson, Herman Botelson, and Andrew Andrewson. In
addition, Knud Anderson (see) and his wife were living with Goodbear Hanson and
John Peterson and his 10 year old daughter were living with Teman Oslockson.
The breakdown was 23 males and 23 females; 25 were born in Norway and 19 were born in Wisconsin. The oldest child born in Wisconsin was 12 year
old Knutson Thompson who would have been born in 1847/8. He was listed with
Knud Anderson and may have been his son. On the 1876 plat map for Juneau County,
this settlement was located in section 28 of northern Armenia. Only
three names appear. T. Osloe owned 80 acres, J. Peterson owned 40 acres and L. Lewison (Lars or Louis Larson ‑ see) owned 80 acres.
This was the beginning of the Norwegian settlement at Miner.
is believed to have been named in 1856 for a group of immigrants from Armenia who settled on the east side of the
Wisconsin River in present Adams
County. At that time Juneau County
was still part of Adams. The township was
organized in 1858. Always one of the least‑settled parts of Juneau County,
the large population increase that took place in the 1890s was due to the sale
of cut‑over and drained land, most of which was later abandoned.
New Miner in section 21 of northern Armenia Township was called Miner in the 1890s.
The postmaster in 1898 was John J. Severson (see). The contiguous sections of
15, 20, 21, 22, 27, and 28 were owned predominantly by Norwegians in 1898.
Township was organized in 1898 from
parts of Armenia and Kingston townships. The
original petition to form the new township called for it to be named Scandinavia because of the large number of Norwegians or
Scandinavians in the township. The name was changed to Finley by the county
board. Charleton H. Finley kept a store near one of
the largest stretches of marsh in the county. He shipped carloads of wild
blueberries harvested from the cut‑over, burned‑over land. The Chicago, Milwaukee
and St. Paul Railroad ran a line from Necedah through Finley in the 1890's but
it did little to stimulate development. Finley had a post office and a saloon,
but never became a genuine village.
The Norwegians probably bought land
here in the 1890s after the drainage of the area. The 1876 plat map of Juneau County
does not show any property owned by Norwegians. About 30 names on the 1898 plat
map appear to be Scandinavian. Several of these can be identified as Norwegian.
Part of the drainage district disaster and the Rural Resettlement Program,
fully half of Finley became part of the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge.
This settlement included farmers and
those who lived in the village
of Necedah. In the
1850's, many of the Norwegians worked for the Necedah lumber companies. The
1860 census lists 7 individuals in Necedah
Township, 2 men and 5
women. The women were domestics either in hotels or individual homes. The two
men were laborers living at a boarding house.
On the 1876 Juneau
County plat map, the Norwegian Ferry
is shown on the Wisconsin River. The ferry was
directly east of the village
of Necedah about 1 and
2/3 miles south of the Petenwell Ferry. Rick Durbin,
who researches the history of the Wisconsin River,
wrote me on April 10, 1996, "I think I've solved your 'Norwegian Ferry'
problem. The Adams County Board of Supervisors granted a ferry charter to Isaac
Oleson for foot passengers (ten cents) on the section line between [sections]
15 and 22, T[ownship] 18, R[ange]
4. Granted Nov. 19, 1869 for 3 years. Oleson rowed a
skiff across the river. Renewals were granted in 1872 and 5. No entry for 1878.
However, after 1877 it didn't give any more charters to anyone, suggesting that
either the towns or Juneau
County had taken over the
This ferry connected the Norwegians
in northern Juneau County with the Roch A Cri Norwegian settlement in
Strong's Prairie Township,
Adams County. The ferry was directly west of
the Roch A Cri settlement and Isaac Oleson was probably a member of the Roch A
Cri settlement. About 10-15 farmers owned land in Necedah Township
in 1876 who have possible Scandinavian names (Durbin,
R., The Wisconsin River; an Odessy through Time and Space, p. 109).
in the number of Norwegian settlers occurred when the cut‑over lands were
drained and sold in the 1890's. In the 1898 plat book, the northern part of
Necedah Township had about 10‑13 Norwegian farmers between the railroad
tracks and the west bank of the Yellow River spread south of Sprague Station
about 10 miles. In the southern half of the township, A. Nelson owned 47.9
acres at the point where the former Norwegian Ferry was located. [Actually, E. C. Jorandby owned 240 acres
in Sec 22 at the point in Juneau County where the former Norwegian Ferry was located.] About three
other Norwegians had farms north and east of the village of Necedah.
South of the village was a settlement of Danes. The Scandinavian Lutheran
church in the village had 55 confirmed members in 1875 and 5 members in 1914.
When the church was established in America, it
became the most influential and dominant institution in the Norwegian‑American
communities. Often social and religious functions were combined. This was the
time to exchange news of family and community affairs, to attend to urgent
business, and to reminisce about times past. The immigrants satisfied their
social needs on such occasions as picnics, conventions, weddings, and funerals.
East Lemonweir Lutheran
The Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran
Congregation in Lemonweir was organized on July 25, 1854 by Pastor H. A. Preus
of Spring Prairie in Dane
County. Pastor Preus
preached again in Lemonweir on November 16, 1854. On both occasions, it is
believed that the church services were held in the home of Nils Bjornson.
The church records list 13 persons
that took communion on November 16, 1854: Knut Ormson and wife, Knut Mikkelson
and wife, Nels Bjornson and wife, Andres Mikkelson, Gunder Johnson and wife,
Anne Johnsdtr., John Halvorson and wife, and Thojer
After church services on June 12,
1855, the congregation decided to affiliate with the Norwegian Evangelical
Lutheran Synod in North America and Gunder
Johnson was elected delegate to the Synod meeting at Spring Prairie in October
1855. At that time the Lemonweir congregation was admitted to the synod.
On June 12, 1855, 19 people took
communion: Gunder Johnson and wife, Knut Ormson and wife, Niels Nielson and
wife, Lars Olson and wife, John Halvorson and wife, Andres Mikkelson, Niels
Bjornson and wife, Gabriel Oddson, Thorjer
Thorbjornson, Lawrence Augundsen and wife, and Knut Mikkleson and wife.
In 1856, the congregation decided to
unite with the congregation in Roche a Cree across the Wisconsin River in
calling a pastor from Norway.
But this took time. The congregation was served for eleven years by Pastor H.
The congregation's first log church
was undoubtedly built in the summer of 1861. On December 6, 1861, the
congregation incorporated under the name of "The Norwegian Evangelical
Lutheran Congregation near the Lemonweir
River, Juneau County, Wisconsin."
The first elected trustees were: Anders Arnesen Rosseland - for three years,
Torstein Thorbjornsen - for two years, and John Halvorsen ‑ for one year.
The Lemonweir church was dedicated by Pastor Preus on Tuesday, August 28, 1863.
August 30, 1864, Candidate of
Theology, Styrk Sjursen Reque was called as pastor for the Lemonweir, Roche a
Cree, and Moe (Newport)
congregations. Because the congregation in Lemonweir had increased three‑fold,
the pastor's residence was to be at Lemonweir. On October 14, 1865, the three
congregations entered into an agreement to purchase 80 acres of land in section
30 of Lisbon Township as a parsonage for their
pastor. The land was purchased from E. Benedict Trowbridge and his wife. The Lemonweir Church contributed $350 and the Roch a
Cree and Moe congregations each contributed $200 toward the purchase. The
Lemonweir congregation also paid $50 to repair the dwelling on the premises.
The trustees who signed the agreement were Gabriel Odsen,
Endre Einarsen, Helge Hegesen, and Isaac Emmunsen from the Lemonweir Church; Andrew O. Hahn and S.
H. Hilleboe from the Roch a Cree Church; and Martin
Nilsen from the Moe Church.
Reque, the son of Sjur Styrkson Reque (see) and Anna Pedersdtr., was born on
November 27, 1836 in Voss Township, Hordland County, Norway.
His parents brought him to the United
States in 1845. On July 9, 1865, Pastor
Preus officiated at confirmation and preached his farewell sermon. Pastor St.
S. Reque was installed the same day. Pastor Preus served eleven years and
conducted thirty‑four church services during those years (see Memoirs; East Lemonweir
1854‑1979 for a more detailed history).
West Lemonweir Church
In the late fall of 1871, the
Lemonweir congregation divided into the East and West
Lemonweir congregations. Norlie gives
1873 for the division with 276 members in 1875 and 189 in 1910. The pastors
were: B. Hovde, 1871‑75; G. A. Lunde, 1875‑80; M. P. Rue, 1880‑96;
C. L. Schive, 1896‑06; C. A. H. Hjermstad, 1906‑‑.
The West Lemonweir
Church was built in 1874.
The church was ready for use by May. The church was located near the tunnel in
section 31 of Fountain
Township. On August 3,
1924, the church was struck by lightning and burned to the ground.
Luckily, services that were to take
place in it had been cancelled by the pastor, Rev. C. Hjermstad or there might
also have been loss of life. The loss was estimated to be from $8‑10,000,
with insurance of $3,000. Twice before, lightning struck the building and
during the tornado of 1907, it was considerably damaged.
The congregation continued their
services by renting the German
in Hustler for a few years. Then they bought a church building owned by a
Baptist denomination. Today, only the cemetery remains on the original site in
Fountain Lutheran Church
Whatever the specific cause, in 1878,
some of the members of the West Lemonweir
congregation decided to break away from their church. That their discontent was
theological is suggested by a statement in the church history:
great objective of these families was to keep the word of God in its truth and
implication is that, in their minds, the congregation that they left had not
On July 4, 1878, fifteen families
met on the farm of Helge Bratland (later owned by Roderick Benson). Osmund K.
Ormson was chairman of this meeting and apparently a leader in the departure
from the West Lemonweir Church.
He was elected church treasurer, a post he held for forty years. He also had
the honor of naming the church.
The Fountain Lutheran Church was
founded by O. K. Ormson, his brothers‑in‑law, Daniel Larson and
John Benson, Andres Osmundson, Erik Standeness
(Halverson), Paul Paulson, Helge Bratland, Sveinung Helgeson, Ole Tveiten, Ole
Nilsen Kleven, Peter Erickson, Ole Boen, Bjedne Evenson, Ole Johnson, Lars
Aarhus, and Kjostol Iverson.
At first they met in the homes of
members and in school houses. They received the help of the Reverend M. Falk Gjertsen, but it wasn't until 1880 that Fountain Church
installed its first regular pastor, the Rev. Johannes E. Nord (see), who also served
the Freeman and Franklin Churches in Vernon County
and had to travel 50 miles to conduct services.
The first child born in the
congregation and baptized in the new Fountain
Church was Ellen Benson,
dau of John Benson and Angjer Ormson. She was born on February 23, 1881. The
little girl was also the first member to die, at the age of 2 years, 9 months
in November 1883. The first confirmation class included John O. Tveiten, Ole
Helgeson, Bjaerne Bjaernesen,
Kari Moklev, Oline Helgesdatter, and Elizabeth Martinson. The first couple to be married at Fountain were Lars Aarhus and Anne
The first church was built in 1881
by the members. It was 24 by 34 feet and was 14 feet high. Before it was half
completed, services were held in it. The church was enlarged in 1887, and was
dedicated by the district president, Rev. G. Hoyme,
in 1888. By the late 1890's, it became apparent that the church was too small.
In 1900, a drive began to finance a new church building. The building contract
was let to John O. Johnson, who, reportedly, did the work for a "very
reasonable fee." The new church was 32 by 56 feet, and 18 feet high, with
an 84 foot spire. A team of horses owned by Olaus "Louie" Nelson
raised the 1,240 pound bell to the belfry. The first service was held on
Christmas day, 1900. The new church was dedicated by Rev. G. Hoyme in November 1901. There were renovations to the
building in 1928 and 1952‑3. The original Fountain Church
was moved to the farm of Bjedne Evenson, where it was used for years as a granary.
In the three years the Rev. Nord
served, the congregation doubled in size. He was succeeded by Rev. Ole H.
Stenson (see) in 1884, who served until 1888, by which time the church rolls
again had doubled. There was no regular pastor from 1888 to 1890. Succeeding
pastors were Rev. Nils A. Giere (see), 1890‑1898; Rev. Lars Lund, 1899‑1912;
Rev. John Madsen, 1912‑1921; Rev. O. M. Kleven, 1921‑1929; Rev. A.
M. Rusten, 1930‑1948; Rev. Oscar Thompson, 1948‑1957; Rev. Ronald Nowland, 1959‑1962; and Rev. Gordon J. Hendrickson,
disagrees in the date of organization, 1879, and lists the pastors and their
dates of service differently. He has O. H. Stenson, 1884‑89; O. Barikimo, 1889‑91; N. A. Giere, 1891‑97; L.
Lund, 1897‑11; and J. Madsen, 1912‑‑.
In 1911, Fountain and the Plymouth Church
constructed a parsonage near the Plymouth
Church. In 1921 this
parsonage was sold and a new one built at Elroy (Plymouth Township).
The Greenwood Church
in Greenwood Township,
Vernon County was added to the parish in 1929. Bethany Lutheran Church
in Mauston was established in 1944, and became part of the parish. Fountain
purchased the hotel in Hustler (Fountain
Township) in 1946, and
converted it into the Fountain Lutheran Mission Home for the Aged, with a capacity
of 18 residents. In 1948, the parish links with Plymouth,
Greenwood, and Bethany were severed. The parsonage in Elroy
was sold and a home was purchased in Hustler for a parsonage. The new parsonage
was dedicated in 1950. At the end of 1952, the congregation entered a new
parish alignment with Trinity
The Plymouth Church
was organized on August 26, 1896. Later in the year, a joint meeting was held
with Fountain Church. It was agreed that those who
found it more convenient might join the new Plymouth Church.
The two churches issued a call to Reverend Lars Lund to serve the two
congregations. According to tradition, the Plymouth
Church was to be located on Goodenough Hill in Plymouth Township.
However, before construction began, the members decided to move to a flat place
in Lindina Township
but retained the name Plymouth.
By the end of 1897, the new church was built. The basement and the steeple with
a bell were not added until 1905. Because so many of its members were from Suldal, Norway,
it was called the Suldal
Church. Many of the
settlers took the Suldal, Norway
farm names for surnames. They included Austara
(Osteria or Osteraa), Bakka, Berge, Bleskestad, Haugen, Bratland, Braatveit,
Borkjenes (Birkeness), Foss, Forland, Guggedal, Helganes, Kalhagen, Orevik
(Erwick), Litlehamar (Lillihammer), Lofthus, Lunde,
Meland, Mo, Teigen (Tien or Teien), Moklev, Nordmork,
Ritland, Roalkvam, Kvamen, Sandvik, Steinbru (Stenbro), Straapa, Sukka,
Sorestad, Vetrhus (Winterhus), Waarvik (Vaarvik), and Aahus.
with Bethany Church in Mauston in 1959.
The pastors were: J. Granskou, 1896‑97;
Lars Lund, 1897‑1912; John Madsen, 1912‑1921; O. M. Kleven, 1921‑1929;
A. M. Rusten, 1929‑1948; Hobart Skilbred, 1948‑1953;
Sven Tverberg, 1954; Burnell
Lund, 1954‑1958; L. A. Benson, 1958‑1987; Herbert Lange, 1987;
Glenn Borreson, 1988‑ .
Elroy Scandinavian Lutheran
Norwegian Lutherans living in Elroy
attended the East
until 1897 when the Elroy Scandinavian congregation was incorporated and a
church built. In 1944, the name of the congregation was changed to Our Savior's
Lutheran and two years later it called its first resident pastor. In 1960, they
merged with Peace Lutheran and chose the name Grace Lutheran.
The first pastors were C. L. Schive,
1897‑1906 (1904?) and C. A. H. Hjermstad, 1906‑. (Pastor
Schive returned to Norway in 1904.)
Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran
Preaching took place in homes until
the Norwegians in the Necedah area organized to form the Scandinavian Evangelical
Church in 1874. The first
regular pastor was Reverend Brynjolf Hovde. A frame building with a steeple and
bell was erected and dedicated in 1876. The church became defunct in 1931. Two
years later the building was sold to St. James Lutheran Church.
gives the date of organization as April 18, 1875. There were 55 confirmed
members in 1875 and 5 in 1914. The pastors were: Brynjolf Hovde (see), 1875‑78;
G. A. Lunde, 1878‑80; Martin P. Ruh (see), 1880‑88; Ole Barikimo (see), 1888‑96; Hans H. Hagen (see), 1896‑14;
Invald O. Thvedt (see), 1914 ‑ 1918.
The church officers in 1915 were
chairman, Carel Carelson;
secretary, Hans Anderson; treasurer, Hans Anderson; and Hans Haugen.
Norwegian Lutheran Congregation
Many of the earliest settlers in Armenia Township were Norwegians. Although the
majority of them were members of the Necedah congregation, the distance to be
traveled, 14 miles, meant that only on special occasions were they able to
attend church. In 1892, Pastor Olaf Barikmo (see), from the Roche a Cree
congregation in Arkdale in Adams
County, agreed to hold
services for eight or nine families in the area. When there was an opportunity
to visit them, Pastor Barikmo held services in their homes or in school houses.
When Barikmo left the parish in the spring of 1896, no services were held for
several months. In the fall of 1896, Pastor Hans Hansen Hagan, the new pastor
for the Roche a Cree congregation, took over the field. H. H. Hagen (see)
served the Armenia
congregation from 1896 to 1912.
After worship services on August 17,
1896, the Armenia Norwegian Lutheran Congregation was organized. The following
legally voting members were elected: John Norsby; John Norsby, Jr., secretary,;
Al Norsby; Martin Sparby; Nils Teigen; Knud Gunderson; Lars Larson, Otto Hustlegaarden, Ole Sparby, and John Sparby.
The church officers (Embedsmaend) in 1897 were Ole Norsby, secretary; Martin
Stensberg, treasurer; trustees ‑ Lars Larson, Knud Gunderson, & Ole
Sparby; Ole Norsby, pastor's assistant; and Jacob Norsby, Sunday school
superintendent. In 1912, Ole Norsby was secretary.
The additional members had come from
Dane and Lafayette counties and Dexterville in Wood County.
A building was constructed and dedicated on December 13, 1899 by Pastor O. Gulbrandson from Blair,
Wisconsin. Others who joined the
congregation were Paul Olson, Lars Lee, Lars Teigen, Martin Hensberg,
Ole Enkerud and later E. Baeken and A. Battbe. The church disbanded in 1912 and the building was
taken over by St. Paul's
German Lutheran congregation of New Miner.
The cemetery, now called St. Paul's Evangelical
is located on the northeast corner of section 22. From Necedah, take County G
north through New Miner. About 2 1/2 miles beyond New Miner there is a sign a
6th Street, East and 19th Avenue, pointing the way to the churchyard, about a
mile north on 19th Avenue. The cemetery includes the following markers that
appear to be for Norwegians:
Gulbrenson, Mr. grandfather
Gulbrenson, Mrs. Norsby,
Wilma E., grandmother
1917‑1918 Olson, Bertha, 1898‑
Huslegarden, Robert, Olson,
May 11, 1906‑Feb 9, 1907 Sparsby,
Alfred, Nov 5, 1901‑
Eugene E., Aug
1930‑1982 Stensberg, Marie,
Anna, 1867‑1946 1855‑Oct
Anton, 1852‑1924 Stensberg,
Martin, Jun 21,
Hans, 1872‑1951 1844‑Aug
Sarah, Aug 15, 1849‑
Apr 22, 1904
Myrold, Thorger S., 1848‑1907
Marit, Mar 24, 1836‑
Dec 20, 1916
Nels, Feb 27, 1827‑
Jul 2, 1902
Sprague Station, located on the
railroad line in section 3 of northern Necedah Township,
is the probable location of this church. It was organized in 1896 by Hans
Hansen Hagen (see). Pastor Hagen served the congregation from 1896‑1912.
I. O. Thvedt became the pastor in 1914. There were 42 confirmed congregational
members in 1898 and 25 in 1915. Ole Enkerud (see) served as the church
secretary in 1915. Information on when this church closed is not available.
This church was probably organized
in 1897. It was part of the Norwegian Synod. Paul Adolf Dietrichson (see) was
the pastor from 1897 to 1901. There were 51 confirmed members in 1898. It is
not known if the church was in existence after 1901. A resident of the area
recalls that there was once a church near Dugar Hill in Finley Township
that was called the Hickory Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod.
The Hickory Grove or Dugar Hill Cemetery is located in Finley Township
in the southwest corner of section 13, Township 20, north; range 3, east. It is
located on Dugar Hill on 12th
Avenue, north at a point where the road curves to
the left. There were a lot of grave markers in the 1920's but only two old ones
remain, Anna Christine Krogfoss and Benet Severson. The 1898 plat book for Juneau County
shows the cemetery just across the line in section 24 on both sides of the
In the 1878 Atlas of Wisconsin,
Hickory Grove was a small community on the west bank of the Yellow River in
section 23 of Armenia
Township. On the 1876
plat map of Juneau
County, the property
where Hickory Grove was located was owned by S. B. Thompson. In 1898, the
property was owned by Nils Waller. The Dugar Hotel was located 2 miles
northeast in section 13. In 1876, that property was owned by A. B. Dugar and
1898 by Louis Larson.
The church histories are taken from
O. M. Norlie, ed., Norsk lutherske menigheter
i America, 1843‑1916,
Minneapolis, Augsburg, 1918.