Kansas History and Heritage Project- Marshall County

Marshall County Churches
Salem Swedish Lutheran Church, 1874-1914


The first religious services held in the then new Swedish colony in Marshall County were conducted by Rev. S. P. A. Lindahl, who was the synod missionary stationed at Mariadahl, Pottawattomie county. The first meeting was held in the Nork home in 1871. The first Christmas service was held at the home of J. Hurtie, in 1872, Mr. Hurtie officiating as pastor.

N. G. Bergenskold came to the colony in August, 1873. He held meetings in the Farrar school house, served communion and baptized children. He became resident pastor, each family agreeing to pay him ten dollars per year, which aggregated the princely sum of one hundred dollars. He remained one year and was succeeded by Reverend Seleen, who organized the Salem congregation with the following charter members: N. Peterson, Klaus Anderson, K. A. Johnson, J. A. Nork, J. A. Bjork, J. Blomberg. C. Blomberg, Nils Winquist, S. P. Erickson, John Polson, Fred Johnson, Olaf Backman, Erick Englund, P. M. Nelson, Christian Iverson, John Soderquist, Severin Winquist. Some of these men had families, so the congregation was organized with forty-two charter members.

The Augustan synod's constitution for church government was adopted and following officers were elected: Deacons, J. A. Nork, C. Iverson and Klaus Anderson; trustees, John Soderquist, Nils Peterson and G. Blomberg. Reverend Seleen was installed as pastor of the congregation at a salary of one hundred dollars per year, in consideration of which he was to give them six services a year and more, if possible.

In 1876 Reverend Seleen resigned and in 1877 was succeeded by Rev. Hakan Olson, who ministered to the congregation once each month. In the course of time Reverend Olson recommended a young minister. Rev. P. J. Sanden, who came six months for two hundred dollars. Under his faithful pastorate the church prospered and he became resident pastor and served until 1887. At that time there were one hundred and fifteen communicants and the total Swede population was two hundred and forty. The church was built in 1883.

Rev. F. A. Bonander became pastor on July 15, 1888 and served until November 3, 1901. Rev. A. S. Segenhammer of Galveston, Texas, became pastor on July 5, 1902, and served until September, 1912. The present (1914) pastor, Rev. Gustaf Nyquist, commenced his work as assistant to Reverend Segenhammer and succeeded him on February 1, 1912.

During forty years existence, up to the year 1914, the Salem congregation had received three hundred and forty-six members; confirmed three hundred and eighty-two, baptized five hundred and fifty-five children. During the same period three hundred and fifty-nine persons have been dismissed or died.

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This website created July 4, 2011 by Sheryl McClure.
2011 Kansas History and Heritage Project