Church: Dorchester, St. Peter (1879-1973)

Contact: Janet




----Source: Historical Sketches of Dorchester, Wisconsin.


Dorchester, St. Peter's Lutheran Church (1879-1973)


St. Peter's Lutheran Church

St. Peter's Lutheran Church still referred to in records by its German name: St. Petri Stift Gemeinde traces its beginning back to the year 1879. At this time missionary W. C. Schilling of Stevens Point began to look after the spiritual needs of the German Lutheran immigrants in the community. For three years the small group worshipped in a local school house. In 1880 the missionary encouraged them to organize into a congregation. This was done on Sept. 19, 1880 with the help of Pastors F. Steyer and F. Erck. On the day the constitution was adopted the officers were: F. Meske, J. Graffunder, E. Lindermann, J. Schroeder, F. Georgas, F. Baehr, H. Fitzlaff and J. Haas.

In 1881-82 Pastors Schuette and Buenger served the congregation with Pastor F. Otte becoming the first resident pastor on Nov. 5, 1882. On March 4, 1883 the members decided to purchase a parcel of land and erect a house of worship. On the committee were J. Schroeder, F. Laack, and F. Pagel. A field of stumps and brush was cleared away and a modest 36X26 foot church was erected out of logs brought by members. Total cost was five hundred dollars. The building was dedicated that same year. A parsonage was erected in 1884.

Pastors Otte, Brink, Steffens and Georgi served the congregation up to the year 1902. In that year Pastor F. Moecker was installed. Because of much needed room it was decided to build a new church the building committee being F. Fierke, A. Baehr, F. Gutwasser, C. Janke, C. Woempner, H. Martens and O. Lundahl. The new church measuring 91X41 feet, with a 110 foot steeple was dedicated Nov. 22, 1903. Of interest is the fact that all timbers were hand-hewn and are still sound after 69 years. The bell weighing 1,550 pounds was purchased by the young people.

The present parsonage was built in 1911. Pastors V. Keiper and Brandt served from 1922 to 1945. On January 16, 1946 the present pastor, F. H. Sprengler was installed. Over the years many improvements were made on the church property.

Worship services were conducted entirely in the German language in the early years of the church. Around 1921 English services were added, with the German services becoming less over the years when in 1948 they were completely dropped.

Present membership of St. Peter's church is 485 baptized, 330 communicant and 74 voting members. Since its organization 1698 children and adults were baptized, 1,116 confirmed, 444 couples married and 548 laid to rest.

Oranizations of the church are the Ladies' Aid, Sewing Circle, Men's Club, Sunday School and the young people's Walther League.





Re: Church: Dorchester, St. Peter (1879-1973)

Contact: Toni Holyfield

I am looking for marriage records for my grandparents, Alfred H. Straschinske and Dora E. Ritter, married 10/11/1942 married in St peters church. that is all the info I have about the church, If anyone can help me please email me what info you have. thank you

Toni Straschinske Holyfield


Re: Church: Dorchester, St. Peter (1879-1973)

Contact: Ron Spearbecker

Toni Have you tried the Catholic Dioces in La Cross. Call the catholic church in Dorchester and ask for the number of the Archivist. Sorry I can't give the number right now, because I am traveling.

Re: Church: Dorchester, St. Peter (1879-1973)
Contact: Ebony
Hello, I am seeking information re: F. H. Sprengler. I was born in Clark County at Neillsville Hospital as a biracial child on May 2, 1977. F. H. Sprengler was the minister who baptized me on September 1, 1977. The two witnesses were Orlena Sprengler and Grace Voge. I believe that my foster mothers' name was Norma, her last name was blacked out on my memento billfold. I was adopted and grew up in Milwaukee. I am now in search of my birth parents. Any help you could provide me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks



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