Church: Loyal Trinity Lutheran Church History (1883 – 1958)


Surnames: Fischer, Witte, Miller, Luchterhand, Lindner, Klahn, Schwan, Bredlau, Rossow, Meissner, Goesling, Ganschow, Langholz, Haase, Reul, Salzwedel, Ehlert, Schilling, Niepert, Muetzelburg, Wichman, Loppnow, Kemena, Lueck, Schlachtenhaufen, Kraly

----Source: Tribune/Record/Gleaner (Loyal, Wis.) 11 Sep 1985

(From 75th Anniversary booklet done in 1958)

"The Lutheran Church History is taken from the 75th Anniversary booklet. In 1984 the Trinity Congregation celebrated its centennial. The first church was located across the road from the cemetery, where the Pleasant View Cheese Factory, owned by Eddie Miller, still stands.

There is still a debate if the first log church was one or two stories, but since no known picture of the church exists, the fact will probably be open to debate."

As early as 1874 the Lutherans of this vicinity held services in their homes under the leadership of Pastor John Witte, resident pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Granton (Clark Co., Wis.). In 1877 Pastor A.F.H. Fischer accepted the call to Zion Lutheran Church at Granton, and also continued services her at Loyal (Clark Co., Wis.).

On March 22, 1883, Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Congregation was organized by Pastor Fischer, with thirteen charter members. The following church officer were elected: Three Elders: Wm. Luchterhand, John Lindner and Karl Klahn; three Trustees: Ernst Schwan, August Bredlau, and Carl Rossow. The Building Committee consisted of Wm. Luchterhand, Ernst Schwan, and Karl Klahn.

The Trustees bought a tract of land one and one-fourth miles north of Loyal for $100.00, on which to erect their first church. On November 18, 1888, with Rev. Fischer of Granton officiating, they dedicated a two-story log church. The upper story to be used as living quarters for the Pastor. At present the cemetery is the only remaining landmark.

On December 20, 1883, Rev. Meissner came as the first resident pastor. He was followed in 1885 by Rev. E. Goesling, and then by student, Wm. Ganschow, in 1886. An excerpt from a letter written by Pastor Wm. Ganschow to Pastor John C. Langholz in 1939 reads: "I was sent to Loyal, Wisconsin to instruct the children in school, especially in religion, for three or four months, and preach on Sundays. The older boys came to school ith guns. Of course I protested, but was informed that the older boys must protect the smaller children against the wild animals of the great forest. They did not kill a wolf on the way to school, but fowl and other game on the way home. One Sunday afternoon, while on the way to the small preaching place near Loyal, I heard five shots in succession, and a large bear was killed. This proved the wisdom of the parents in allowing the older boys to come to school with guns."

It was at this time that the congregation joined the Joint Synod of Ohio and other states. The congregation consisted of 16 families and 116 souls.

Pastor Haase served the congregation in 1889. He was followed in 1890 by Pasto Wm. Reul. At a special congregational meeting on November 6, 1892, it was decided to build a new church in Loyal. They voted to build a church 32 ft. by 60 ft., with 20 ft. posts. The committee appointed to purchase land consisted of Carl Salzwedel, Karl Klahn and Wm. Luchterhand. The following were appointed to gather funds: Ernst Schwan, Carl Ehlert ad Wm. Schilling. The Building Committee consisted of Carl Salzwedel, Karl Klahn and Wm. Luchterhand. On July 23, 1893, the cornerstone was laid.

In 1894 Karle Witt, E. Niepert and Karl Muetzelburg were appointed as a committee to get the pulpit, altar and pews. Formal Articles of Incorporation were filed April 17, 1894. That same year the congregation voted to accept the Spokeville congregation into membership at Loyal. This group had formerly been worshiping in homes. A horse shed, 10 ft. by 85 ft. was built on the church property. In 1901 the altar and pulpit were installed in the church. In 1903 Pastor Reul organized the first Ladies Aid Society. That same year he accepted a call and moved to Almond, Wisconsin.

During 1913 the congregation voted that all children should be baptized in church, with sickness as the only exception. All children should attend two years of instruction prior to confirmation. The pastor was given permission to conduct English services on Sunday evening, if he should deem it necessary.

In August 1913 the church was struck by lightning and damaged so badly that the congregation resolved to build a new church that would seat 500 people.

The Building Committee were: Frank Loppnow, Pastor E. Kemena, John Loppnow and Karl Witt.

The congregation voted that the new church should be 40 ft. by 76 ft., and also that the completed church should not cost over $10,000. The committee members took it upon themselves to build it 20 ft. longer. On June 7, 1914, the cornerstone was laid. The total cost of the church was $1,936.91, with debts amounting to $4,000.

In 1919 Miss Sophia Lueck was hired as parochial school teacher at a salary of $500 for nine months teaching, and $50 as organist. This parochial school was conducted from 1919 to 1922. Miss Lueck was the only teacher. The regular public school courses in all eight grades were taught, in addition to religion in both German and English languages.

English services were introduced in 1922, with German at 10:00 a.m. and English at 11:05 a.m. on the seond and fourth Sundays of the month.

In 1930, the Buffalo, Iowa, and Ohio Synods merged into the American Lutheran Church.

Beginning in 1949 the church kitchen and dining rooms were remodeled, the steeple and the church roof re-shingled, and the ceiling insulated, gold leafing put on the cross, and the interior walls of the church cleaned. The entire job was completed in 1952.

On April 15, 1956, the Planning Board and Church Council were authorized to make final preparations to started building a new educational unit.

The planned unit was to be 38 ft. by 95 ft., with a wing measuring 45 ft. by 22 ft., convicting it to the church. The Ground Breaking Ceremony was held April 14, 1957, following the Palm Sunday Confirmation Service.

The Cornerstone Laying Cermony took place June 30, 1957.

The parish hall is of cement block construction with brick veneer. On the upper floor are eight classrooms, the pastor's study and a choir room. The lower floor consists of a large fellowship hall, modern fully equipped kitchen, rest rooms and a cloak room.

In 1978 Trinity Lutheran Church, under the leadership of Pastor Bruno Schlachtenhaufen, completely redecorated the interior of the church.

The present pastor is Rev. Joseph R. Kraly. The present membership is 614 souls.




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