40th ANNIVERSARY - ZION LUTHERAN CHURCH - 1905 - 45  

 

                                                      A BRIEF HISTORY AND SOUVENIR

                                                                                of the

                                      ZION EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CONGREGATION

                                                                        (Missouri Synod)

                                                                                   at

                                                               LAMONA, WASHINGTON

 

                                                                         Prepared for the

                                                           FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY  

                                     Of its organization and existence Observed on May 6, 1945  

                                       By the present pastor, REV. BENJ. W. SCHULDHEISZ

                                                                                                                                   

Lamona, Washington lies in the heart of the Big Bend wheat country, some 65 miles southwest of Spokane, Washington.  News of this   wonderful wheat country spread east in the ear’80s and 90s.  Railroads and land agents published information and pamphlets.  In glowing language people were asked to come out to the great West where land was plentiful.  This information fell into the hands of a number of families near Hamburg, Minnesota.  Many of them had large families and so they decided to go west, where their sons and daughters could in turn set up their own homes.  In the breasts of others there was a touch of pioneer spirit that loved to see a sew country and so they also came west.

One of the first families of Lutheran faith as far as we can determine that settled near Lamona, was the HENRY LUITEN family.  Mr. LUITEN came from Glencoe, Minnesota.  His first wife was EMMA GRUENHAGEN.  Mr. LUITEN homesteaded a place in 1897 four and a half miles south of Lamona, the present JACOB LENHART place.  Mr. LUITEN was a charter member until 1910 when he moved to Spokane.

Another family that was soon to move into the neighborhood was the WILLIAM DANIELS family, of Hamburg, Minnesota.  Encouraged by friends (WILLIAM ARLT and D. STOCKMANN) who had come to Ritzville, Washington, they left Minnesota in 1900 and first settled in Ritzville, where they lived until 1903.  In 1903 the family heard that there was some suitable land for wheat farming in Lamona.  This was later sold and the family acquired some land one mile south of Lamona, where Mr. Daniels was somewhat of a land agent and together with a real estate man from Downs, Washington, by the name of DETLLOFF C. HANSEN, friends and relatives back east were urged to come and settle at Lamona.  Within a short time quite a number of families were induced to move to Lamona.  Mr. DANIELS no doubt had dreams of making a Lutheran community of the neighborhood.  To Mr. DANIELS goes the credit of seeing to it that Lutheran services were begun at Lamona.  When he first settled at Lamona he and his family attended services at Menno (Emmanuel) 14 miles southwest of Odessa, where there was a Lutheran congregation of our Synod at that time served by the REV. C. J. BEYERLEIN.  This distance was, however, too great and since more families were coming to Lamona right along it was thought best to have REV. BEYERLEIN come to Lamona.  He would come to Lamona about every third Sunday or once a month making the trip in a lumber wagon.  Services were conducted in a public school house which at that time stood due south of the present post office and store, across the tracks of the G. N. Railroad.  In 1903 at the Convention of the Oregon - Washington District held at Blooming, Oregon, Pastor BEYERLEIN reported this about Lamona and Downs: “I preached here ever six weeks.    Lodges and sects are prevalent.  Had an average of 20 people in church.  There are 2 families on whom we can count.  Other families are expected from the East, so that in time a congregation may come into existence”.  Only a few services were held at Downs and then the families living here came to Lamona.

A third family that came to Lamona was the Otto OHLAND family also from Hamburg, Minnesota.  They settled one mile north and four miles west of Lamona.  Mr. OHLAND at first had gone to Rosalia, Washington where he had relatives, but thru the efforts of Mr. DANIELS came to Lamona. Mr. OHLAND was the first charter member to go to his heavenly reward.  He died in April 1910.

Mr. DANIELS did some more writing and this time a letter went to Mr. HENRY HARMS of Hamburg, Minnesota, a former neighbor.   Come out West, “Ich fahr dich ganz um mich herum” (I’ll drive you all around me) indicating that there was much land.   It was a good thing that this letter had its results because Mr. HARMS had a large family and a son-in-law Mr. WILLIAM  TANKE.  The little group was growing fast.  Mr. HARMS bought a section of land directly north of Lamona.  The story is still making the rounds that Mr. HANSEN, the land agent, offered to buy the church an organ if Mr. DANIELS persuaded Mr. HARMS to buy the land he did buy.  Considering that Mr. HARMS  paid $20,000.00 for the section, the organ was rather valuable.  Mr. TANKE came to Spokane in 1904 and was soon followed by Mr. HARMS and family.  In the spring of 1905 the two put in their fist crop at Lamona and the family also moved to their new home.    

In 1904 Pastor BEYERLEIN reported to the Convention held at Snohomish that year as follows: “The congregation at Lamona ought soon to be organized.  Five families may be counted on.  Average attendance is 25-30.  The field at Lamona is promising.  Next to Menno my most important preaching place.”  It was also in 1904 that Rev. BEYERLEIN, the first pastor to serve Lamona, accepted a call to Albany, Oregon.  REV.  BEYERLEIN left in March and until the new candidate arrived, REV. OSCAR FEDDER, of Marlin served the congregation as vacancy pastor.  After services in Marlin he would get on his pony and ride to Lamona, a distance of 28 miles, and conduct services.  This was done once a month.

The next pastor that served Lamona from Menno was the REV. CONRAD HERETH who graduated from our Concordia Seminary at Springfield, Illinois in June 1904.  The hopes which Pastor BEYERLEIN had expressed about the organization of Zion were fulfilled the following year.  Under the guidance of Pastor HERETH  the congregation was organized in the latter part of the month of April 1905.  From the list of men whose names appear at the end of the original constitution the following were the charter members when the constitution of the congregation was adopted:  HENRY LUITEN, WILLIAM DANIELS, OTTO OHLAND, HENRY HARMS, WILLIAM TANKE, FRITZ GRUENHAGEN, H. C. GRUENHAGEN, GEORGE BELTER.  We have been unable to find out who the first officers were.  The first minutes (September 17, 1905) that were recorded adopted these two resolutions: 1) to collect $10.00 for our College at Portland: 2) that the elders should make the rounds and ask for money for a church building.

We would like to add a note about the three charter members of whom we have said nothing yet.  Mr. FRITZ GRUENHAGEN, brother-in-law of Mr. DANIELS, also came from Hamburg, Minnesota.  His farm was located five miles south of Lamona across Crab Creek.  At times this creek was swollen in springtime so that they were unable to cross it.  Mr. GRUENHAGEN also had to cross over Rocky Hill.  Since this was usually done with lumber wagons or buggies, the trip to church was far from pleasant.  Mr. H. C. GRUENHAGEN, the father, was well along in years when he came West with his children.  He never farmed but stayed with his son-in-law Mr. HENRY LUITEN.  He was the second charter member to go to his heavenly reward.  This was 1910.  Mr. GEORGE BELTER and family came from Lester Prairie, Minnesota to Lamona in 1905 and lived on a place five miles west of Lamona - 1/4 mile north of the Nemo elevator.  The family only stayed four years and then returned to Hamburg, Minnesota.  Mr. And Mrs. BELTER had the proud distinction of having 9 boys and no girls.  These early settlers were much concerned about the religious education of their children.  Since most of them had had parochial school training they wanted their children to have the same.  Rev. HERETH served a large Parish - Menno, Lamona, St. John’s on the county line, Rocky Coulee (Marcellus) and so it was impossible for him to be at all places.  However, in 1905 he was given permission to teach at Lamona.  Mr. HARMS, fixed up an old blacksmith shop for the pastor’s living quarters and study that year.

After the congregation was organized in 1905 it grew rapidly.  In 1905 Pastor HERETH had 86 souls, 30 communicants and 8 voting members under his spiritual care.  28 children attended school.  Four children were baptized that year.  The congregation which up until now had been worshiping in the old public schoolhouse decided to this building.   It was bought on October 15, 1905 for the sum of $150.00.

In September, 1905 Mr. OTTO C. SCHMIDT came to Lamona, Mr. SCHMIDT bought a candy store about ˝ block from the present store, which he operated for four years and then sold to JOHN CHANDLER.  He remained another year and then returned to his farm near Clayton, Washington.  In November 1905, Mr. FRED GRAUPMANN and family, also of Hamburg, moved into the community.  Mr. GRAUPMANN  lived at Downs - east of Lamona - the present RING  place.  Mr. SCHMIDT and Mr. GRAUPMANN were accepted as voting members January 1, 1906.  The trustees, elders and secretary elected in 1906 were HENRY HARMS, FRED GRUENHAGEN, HENRY LUITEN, OTTO OHLAND AND WILLIAM DANIELS.  The officers were elected for only one year.  Mr. DANIELS was the first secretary.  On April 16, 1906 the congregation decided to join Synod.

Since REV. HERETH could not serve Lamona every Sunday it was decided at this same meeting to have reading services every two weeks.  Mr. HARMS usually did the readings.  Since WALTHER'S sermons were read, which were very lengthy, Mr. HARMS usually sat down to read them.  The parents had to keep the nodding heads of their children erect.  Mr. FRED GRUENHAGEN was the organist for all the services.  On January 1, 1907 Mr. HERMAN SCHNAD, who came from Iowa, joined the voting membership.  Mr. SCHNAD lived 6 miles north of Lamona.  In 1907 the congregation purchased a cemetery location from a Mr. TEWINKEL.  That same spring several new families had again moved into the community.  The FRED MOELLERING family from Faulkton, South Dakota, who bought land north of Lamona, the CHRIST BRINKMANN family from Hamburg, Minnesota, who lived southeast of Lamona, the REINHARDT HARKE AND HENRY REKER families from Cleveland, Ohio.  Mr. REKER located 3 miles north of Downs and Mr. HARKE located on Crab Creek, 4 ˝ miles west of Lamona.  All of these men were accepted as voting members on April 14, 1907.

In a meeting held on September 29, 1907 it was decided to buy lots 4, 5, 6, and 7 in block 2 of the TEWINKEL addition for future church property.  This property lies west of the present church.  In the same meeting it was also decided to build a parsonage 28 X 28 and 12 feet high with a cellar 10 X 12 feet to be put under it.  In the late fall or early winter of 1907 the old public schoolhouse was moved to the new church property some 200 to 300 feet west of the present church.  It was put on skids and with 20 head of horses driven by Mr. BRINKMANN, the old building with many groans and creaks finally rested on its new location.  The building measured 31 ˝ feet in length, 18 feet in width and was 16 feet high.  It had two windows on each side and two doors in front, one of which was never used.  It served as church and school.  Mr. HARMS and Mr. FRED MOELLERING,  who was a cabinet maker, then built a pulpit for the church.

In 1907 the congregation also had a student assistant in the person of Mr. EDMUND STARICK, now pastor in Dimboola, Victoria, Australia.  Student STARICK boarded with Mr. SCHMIDT.  He taught school for a number of months until Pastor HERETH was able to take over the work himself, after which Student STARICK taught school at St. John’s on the county line.

The congregation had now grown numerically strong enough to come to a very important decision, namely to be self supporting.  This was decided on January 1, 1908.  On January 12, 1908 in a special meeting it was decided to call Pastor CONRAD HERETH as pastor of Zion with the understanding that he teach school nine months of the year.  His salary was $500.00 per year with parsonage furnished.  On March 22, 1908 REV. HERETH was able to announce to the congregation that the sister congregation - Emmanuel at Menno had given him a peaceful dismissal.  In this same meeting Mr. JOHN HARMS and Mr. F. REICHOW  were accepted as members.  To welcome the pastor it was decided to paint both the interior and exterior of the parsonage.

In this same year another group of families came from the East - The HENRY ROEDERS family of Hamburg, Minnesota, came in April and settled on a place south of Lamona - now the LESTER LUITEN home; and MARTIN BRUEGGEMEIR family from Cleveland, Ohio, who settled on a place north of Lamona - the present GEORGE MAIN, the FRED BRUEGGEMEIER family, brother to Martin, also from Cleveland, settled in a place 4 miles south of Mohler.  The two BRUEGGEMEIR brothers and a Mr. MARTIN HARKE were accepted as members on June 7, 1908.

The congregation had now reached its peak membership.  There were 129 souls, 63 communicants, and 21 voting members.  The flock had its own church and parsonage, its own pastor and school.  From a small group it had grown very rapidly in six years.  As we read the minutes we see it was mostly the charter members that held offices.  Again and again they were elected elders and trustees.  Under their guidance Zion grew.

Mission opportunities were not neglected.  Pastor HERETH even conducted English Services.  Two were held - one on December 6, 1908 and the other on February 7, 1909.  The people were happy and when it concerned the church they were one hear and one mind.  Pioneer days were always hard, but joy sweetened their labor.  Services were will attended and those who lived 5 miles or so away thought nothing of it if they had to walk the distance.  Others came with lumber wagons and buggies - two and three seaters.  In summer and fall there were deep chuck holes in the road and plenty of dust caused by wagon loads of grain going to market.   You could always see the dust ring on the men’s heads after they removed their hats.  In spring time the chuck holes were filled with mud and water and milady’s Easter bonnet was splattered with clean mud.  After services there was always a friendly quarrel among the families as to where they should go for dinner.  Four or five families would meet at one place on Sunday and the following Sunday the group went to the next home.  There were days when the luck for fish was tried from the banks of Crab Creek.  Families were large and the children all had their fun.

These large families also caused embarrassments.  One family was visiting another when a storm suddenly came up and in the hurry to get home there was no roll call and little fellow was left behind fast asleep in the bedroom.  School days were happy days - boys rode ponies, teased girls then as now and as usual there were some who stayed after school.  Young men played baseball.  Ask Mr. GEORGE LUITEN.  There was still plenty of sage brush and in the earlier years the howl of the coyotes filled the midnight air.

Lamona at that time was a little city.  It received its name from a man by that name - J. H. LAMONA, who lived on Crab Creek - the present LAWRENCE ARLT place.  Mr. LAMONA started a store    And the eastern side of the building is still a part of the old building.  There was a hotel east of the store, which was operated by Mrs. GUMP and then by a Mr. LEEMASTER.  It often changed hands.  There was, of course, the depot of the Great Northern Railroad.   Lamona also had a hardware store.

Next to the big store stood the candy store we mentioned earlier in the account.  West of this store was the livery stable owned by SI FINCH.  There were two blacksmiths to shod the horses and to tighten the wagon rims.  One was across the tracks and one was between the livery stable and the candy store - the latter was owned by THOMPSON.  BURT LYONS had a butcher shop west of the candy store.  Like all little western towns Lamona also had a saloon which was east of the   hotel.  Mr. LAMONA later sold his store to E. E. MAIERS who built on to the building.  Mr. MAIERS sold out to DAVIS and YAKE.  In 1914 Mr. W. H. SCHLEEF, son-in-law of Mr. HENRY HARMS bought the store and operated it until 1926 when it was sold to the present owner P. J. GOLM.

But let us return to the history of ZION.  On January 3, 1909 Mr. HENRY ROEDERS and Mr. W. LEININGER were accepted as members, but at the same time Mr. O. C. SCHMIDT and Mr. REINHARDT HARKE were given their release.  We smiled as we read the motion - resolved to put in more posts to tie up the horses.  In 1909 Mr. OTTO BLANK, who came from Humphrey, Nebraska was admitted to membership on October 17.  The BLANK family lived a mile south of Lamona.  There are no buildings left on the place.  At this meeting Mr. WILLIAM DANIELS also asked for his release.  By doing so he was the first of the charter members to leave.  No doubt the group missed him.  He had been with them from the very beginning and had seen the little flock grow.  Mr. DANIELS then went to Spokane where he lived in and near the city until October 1914 when he moved to Lodi, California - 4 ˝ miles from the city limits.  Here he bought and operated a vineyard until May 11, 1932 when he passed on to his heavenly reward.  The family still owns the valuable vineyard.

In December 1909 Pastor HERETH, who the flock had learned to love and admire received a call from Zion Congregation at Corvallis, Oregon.  In the annual meeting held on January 1, 1910, it was decided to give him a peaceful dismissal.  On January 8, 1910, a special meeting was held in which it was decided that Lamona join as a parish with Menno again, if it were satisfactory to Menno.  This decision, it seems, did not receive favorable action so in a meeting held April 10, it was decided to call Pastor J. SCHLICHTING ,Menno, Washington.  Pastor SCHLICHTING, however, returned the call.  He was then asked to be vacancy pastor until a pastor could be obtained.  On July 14, 1910, the congregation called Pastor John GIHRING, who was then serving Marlin, in those days called Krupp.  Pastor GIHRING had been serving Wenatchee, Quincy and Southside in addition to Marlin.  He felt that a man should be placed in Wenatchee.  This was done.  Since Pastor GIHRING had be relieved of that field it was thought that he could serve Lamona better than the Menno pastor, who was also serving other places.  In this way Lamona and Marlin became a parish.  The first call to REV. GIHRING was, however, returned.  He never the less consented to be vacancy pastor until the following year.  When the congregation at Lamona again extended a call to him, this call was accepted and on February 25, 1911, REV. GIHRING was installed as pastor by REV.  J. A. SCHLICHTING.  Pastor GIHRING and family then moved to Lamona for one year.  In August 1912 REV. GIHRING moved back to Marlin.  This moving back and forth was due to the fact that both congregations wanted as much school as possible.

On April 9, 1911 another charter member was released namely, Mr. HENRY LUITEN who had moved to Spokane.  On October 13, 1912 FRITZ GRUENHAGEN was released.  Thus another charter member left the ranks.  Mr. GRUENHAGEN was one of the guiding lights of the congregation.  He served either as elder, trustee, or chairman almost every year he was a member.  A few times he filled in as secretary.  When the parsonage was built he was one of the main architects together with Mr. BRINKMAN and a certain Mr. ROSENHAGEN who stayed with the GRUENHAGENS..  He served on committees, was delegate to convention - in short he was always willing to serve.  At this writing he is 86 years of age and has lost his sight.  When we talked to him he said “Pastor, I have one foot in the grave, soon Jesus will call me home”.  He now resides on a farm near Spokane on the Five Mile Prairie Road.

On January 5, 1913 Mr. F. D. GRAUPMANN, son of Mr. F. H. GRAUPMANN,, became a member of the congregation.  On September 19, 1915 the congregation received another blow when HENRY HARMS, another charter member asked for his release.  Mr. HARMS  had been a pillar of ZION for 10 years.  Time after time the congregation elected him elder.  He was chairman for many meetings.  Again and again his name appears in the minutes of the congregation.  If it was financial help that was needed Mr. HARMS helped, if there was a difficult problem to be decided Mr. HARMS was consulted.  It was Mr. HARMS that read the sermons.  After selling his ranch to son. WALTER, he still felt like working and decided to work on the railroad.  He went to Stanford, Montana and while working in a tunnel, a timber fell and hit him on the head.  This eventually brought on his death.  On February 28, 1922 he went home to his heavenly Zion.

On January 27, 1916 Mr. W. H. SCHLEEF was accepted into membership.  In 1916 the congregation numbered 75 souls, 44 communicants, 14 voting members.  On April 16, 1916 Mr. FRED GEHRKE was received into membership.  The burning question in 1915 and 1916 was how the congregation could have a school again.  It was even thought best to separate from Marlin and Ruff and go self supporting, but the congregation at Marlin did not want this to happen.  On the 7th of June WALTER HARMS joined the voting membership.  The following year on September 2, 1917 Pastor GIHRING was given a peaceful dismissal to Twin Falls Idaho.  He delivered his farewell sermon on September 16, 1917.

In 1917 the congregation lost another member who had been with the congregation a long time, namely F. H. GRAUPMANN.  Mr. GRAUPMANN faithfully served as secretary from 1907 - 1917 with exception of the year 1908.  It is to him that much credit must be given that we have on file all well written minutes.  All minutes are recorded in a clear and legible handwriting in the German language.  Mr. GRAUPMANN also served the congregation as elder and served on various committees.

After Pastor GIHRING left for Idaho the congregation was served again from Menno, where REV. HENRY BROCKMANN was then pastor.  Since Pastor BROCKMANN also served Marcellus, services were usually conducted in the afternoon.  Due to the World War I things were rather upset and services were not regular.  Then came the flu to make matters worse.  In the winter of 1919 there were no services at all.  Between 1917 - 1920 a number of families left the community.  The OTTO BLANK family moved to Miles City, Montana and two years later to Emblem, Wyoming, where most of the children are still living.  The F. W. REICHOW family move to Nesperce, Idaho, the two BRUEGGEMEIER families went to Walla Walla, Washington.  The HERMAN SCHNAD family moved to Miles City.  Thus in a short time the membership of Zion decreased as rapidly as it had one increased.  The congregation never recovered from the blow.  The question is often asked, why did these people leave?  The answer is, poor years and poor crops.  Some of them were renters and thought it best to seek their fortune elsewhere.

In 1919 the Mission Board again wanted to unite Lamona with Marlin and Candidate W. R. VANDRE received a call that would serve the two places.  However at the last minute it was thought best to permit Pastor BROCKMANN to continue serving the field.  Beginning in 1920 services were held regularly twice a month and this is the arrangement that still obtains to the present day.  In April 1921 the Methodist people who had erected a building in 1902, and whose congregation had swindled away, cam and offered their building to the congregation free of charge.  Since it was a more suitable building the offer was accepted.

On February 15, 1925 HENRY, AUGUST, and MARTIN MOELLERING and GEORGE H. LUITEN were accepted as members.  At this same meeting it was also stated that the old church building was sold to Mr. FRED MOELLERING for $50.00.  Mr. MOELLERING then moved it to his farm, where it still stands, serving as a granary for Mr. PAUL HANG, who now operates the  farm.

In 1926 it was decided to conduct services in both languages.  Mr. SCHLEEF was given his release.  Mr. ScCHLEEF had served as secretary.  Mr. HENRY MOELLERING was chosen in his place.

In 1928 Mr. GEORGE SCHILLINGER  joined the congregation.  In 1930 Mr. MICHAEL WINTER, ANDREW SACKMANN,  and JACOB ZEILER  were received as members.  The following year in 1931 Mr. PAUL HAUG became a member.  On January 7, 1934 Mr. WALTER TANKE'S was added to the voting membership.  At this meeting the parsonage was sold to Mr. JACOB ZEILER for $50.00.  In 1936 Mr. FRED UHRICH and Mr. EDWARD ZEILER became members.  In 1938 the minutes of the congregation were recorded in the English language for the first time.  Mr. E. L. RICHARDSON was accepted as a new member. In a meeting held on January 2, 1938 Mr. WILLIAM TANKE, the only remaining charter member, asked for his release to Redeemer Lutheran Church at Dishman, Washington.

On March 20, 1938 Mr. WALTER HARMS and Mr. TED HARMS were given their release.  Mr. CARL HUBER and Mr. CONRAD NEIN were accepted as new members.  The names of JACOB and EDWARD ZEILER were ordered stricken from the membership list.  On April 2, 1939 Mr. ROBERT TANKE became a member.  The last man to become a member was Mr. WILLIAM VOISE of Harve, Montana.

On April 21, 1940 Pastor BROCKMANN was suddenly called home to his heavenly rest.  He had served Zion for 23 years and it was a great blow to the members.  To him goes the credit of keeping the flock together, especially during the trying days of World War I and the years following it.  Although great growth could not be expected, the flock stayed together.  REV. BROCKMANN will long be remembered for his faithful and kind services.

In the Thirties a change in the method of farming took place.  Big machinery and caterpillar tractors became the order of the day.  This was an improvement in farming, but it hurt the church in this way that the same land that before was farmed by four and more families could be farmed by one rancher.  As a result there were fewer people in the community and the church naturally felt this change.  Even Pastor BROCKMANN felt the pinch of the bad years - his parish was poor and so he accepted the position of United States Mail Carrier in addition to his pastoral work.  He delivered mail 3 days a week for 23 years.  This, of course, meant that the parish could be considered self supporting.  When REV. BROCKMANN died the parish, however, again turned to the Mission Board for help.  Until this help came REV. GEHRING, who was now living in Rockford, Washington, was again asked to serve Zion.  Thus it happened that a former pastor served his former congregation as vacancy pastor.  This he did from May to November 1940.

In a special meeting held August 18, 1940 it was resolved that the congregation together with Emmanuel (Menno) call a resident pastor in conjunction with the Mission Board of the Oregon - Washington District.  A joint meeting of both congregations was held on September 3, 1940 at the home of Mr. CARL HUBER in Odessa.  Candidates were put up and the possibility of having the new pastor live at Harrington, Washington, was discussed, since it was felt that there were more mission opportunities in that neighborhood.  In a later meeting held on September 10, 1940 Zion extended a call to the present pastor, Rev. B. W. SCHULDHEISZ, who was then pastor of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church at Toledo, Oregon.

Pastor SCHULDHEISZ accepted the call and was installed on November 3, 1940 at Zion, in the forenoon, and at Emmanuel (Menno) in the afternoon, by the Rev. J. GIHRING, with   Pastor GRABOW, of Marlin assisting in the afternoon services.  At the suggestion of the Mission Board the pastor moved to Harrington, Washington, for a year and then to Odessa, Washington.

In the annual meeting held on January 4, 1941 the congregation felt that it should have its own permanent church building.  It was resolved to make a bid to the Methodist people for their building in the amount of $150.00.  The Methodist folks wanted $250.00, so a compromise was made and on June 15, 1941 the congregation decided to buy the building for $200.00.  It was badly in need of many repairs since little had been done to it in 40 years.  The first and most necessary improvement was a roof of new shingles.  This was put on by willing and hard working hands in 3 ˝ days the last week in October 1941.  A new hymn board was next made my Mr. CARL HUBER.  Another big improvement was a coat of kalsomine put on the following spring - the last week in May.  A few weeks later the wood work was painted.  In the fall of the same year the next big improvement was made when the exterior of the church received two coats of white paint.  The ladies Aid bought a rug and runner for the church.  Later a new coal and wood circulating heater was installed.

In April 1943 a vestry was built by Mr. WALTER TANKE and Mr. CARL HUBER.  In February 1944 a beautiful alter, designed by REV F. R. WEBBER, noted church authority in these matters, was made by Mr. CARL HUBER.  The railings and pulpit were refinished and stained to match the altar.  The final improvement was to sand and paint the floor which was done in the spring of 1945.  After all this work, always done by willing hands, Zion has a simple but beautiful House of God in which it can sing its praises to the Lord of the Church.

In 1940 the parish applied for financial help from the Mission Board, but each year it grew stronger in its giving and in February 1944 the parish became self supporting.  Zion carries an equal share of the budget.

In 1945 the congregation numbers sixty souls, 25 communicants and 8 voting members.  It adopted a budget of $1,200.00.  The treasurer’s report of the previous year showed that $2,116.84 were raised for home and outside purposes.  On April 15, 1945 Zion had its collection for the Peace Thank offering.  The amount was $950.10, a very fine gift for such a small membership.   Thus the little flock is courageously carrying on the work of Zion.  The following men are the Church Council: Elders: Mr. PAUL HAUG, Mr. GEORGE LUITEN, and Mr. ROBERT TANKE; Secretary-Treasurer, Mr. WALTER TANKE.

This little history would be incomplete if we did not mention the only active organization of the congregation, The Ladies Aid.   It was organized on February 26, 1941 at the parsonage in Harrington, with 13 active and 5 associate members.  The presidents since the organization have been Mrs. CARL HUBER 1941; Mrs. GEORGE LUITEN 1942; Mr. PAUL HAUG 1943;  Mrs. ROBERT TANKE  January - April 1944, Mr. WALTER TANKE  April - December 1944; and Mrs. HENRY BROCKMANN 1945.  The organization has been very energetic and active from the very beginning.  It conducts regular topic studies each meeting and has under taken numerous projects.  An Altar cloth and pulpit hanging were crocheted, gifts and cards were sent to the sick, a pastoral conference and Walther League Rally were entertained, donations have been made to various missions and causes, a rug and runner was bought for the church.  Cookies were made and 12 quilts were pieced and sent to the Lutheran Service Center at Spokane, boxes were sent to men in service, flowers were placed on the altar, flags were purchased for the church, stuffed toys were made for Bethesda, the Home of the Feeble Minded, in Watertown, Wisconsin.  Besides this, the members assisted in teaching Sunday School, cleaning up the Church, etc.

In order to supplement the religious training received in Sunday School, Zion has conducted Vacation Bible School the years.  These have been attended very well.

And so we come to the end of this brief history of Zion.  The writer of these lines has enjoyed gathering the history of the congregation, but he realizes mistakes may have crept in.  For these he asks your forgiveness.  If you have some information or pictures that might be useful and interesting, do not hesitate to give us the information or pictures.  We will file them away and perhaps someday when Zion will celebrate its 50th Anniversary a more complete and detailed history can be recorded.

One thing we are certain.  God has been good to ZION.  He has blessed it throughout all these forty years.  The members who have moved away for the most part joined the church elsewhere and so they were not lost to the Kingdom.  ZION can look back upon 40 years of grace and goodness.  God’s Word has been taught and preached in its truth and purity and the Sacraments have been administered according to Christ’s institution.  For these and all other undeserved mercies we say: ALL GLORY TO GOD.

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Submitted  to the Lincoln County Washington Genweb, by Kim Barcewski, April 5, 2004. <kimsunshine@sbcglobal.net>

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