Near Litchfield in Meeker County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Ness Lutheran Church
Ness Memorial Cemetery
The first pioneers to settle in this area arrived by July, 1856, three months after their oxen-drawn prairie schooners left Rock County, Wisconsin. They were the families of Henrik H. Thoen, Ole H. Ness, Nels H. Colberg and bachelors Ole H. Thoen, Gunder Olson and Amos N. Fosen. They organized this community cemetery about one year later, with the first interment recorded in March, 1858.
In late summer 1858, circuit minister William Fredrickson of Goodhue County organized the St. Johannes Lutheran Congregation of Meeker and Surrounding Counties at the home of Ole H. Ness. Three years later, in 1861, the twenty-five member congregation was reorganized as the Ness Norwegian Lutheran Church of Meeker County.
One of Minnesota's oldest monuments, dedicated September 13, 1878, marks the common grave of the first five white settlers killed in the 1862 Sioux Indian War, which began about six miles to the west. Also interred here is Andreas Olson, killed by the Indians in September, 1862.
In 1864 the Ness Congregation purchased forty acres of land, which included the cemetery, for one hundred dollars. In need of a church, since services had been held in a barn, a granary, and homes, they constructed the present church building in 1874 at a cost of $798.57. The church sill contains many of
Over the years, the Ness Lutheran Church has helped to establish more than twenty other churches. At the last Sunday service in 1968, the 110 year old congregation disbanded, leaving the church and its contents to the Ness Memorial Cemetery Association to be kept as a memorial to its members and the early pioneers.
seal of The Minnesota Historical Society, Instituted 1849
Erected 1970 by the Minnesota Historical Society.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Minnesota Historical Society marker series.
Location. 45° 5.724′ N, 94° 36.274′ W. Marker is near Litchfield, Minnesota, in Meeker County. Marker is on 580th Avenue half a mile north of County Highway 23, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 24040 580th Avenue, Litchfield MN 55355, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of Ness Cemetery State Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Andreas Olson (approx. 1.7 miles away); Battle of Acton (approx. 3.1 miles away); Legion Memorial Park (approx. 3.9 miles away); Civil War Monument (approx. 4 miles away); Grand Army of the Republic Hall / Litchfield's Historic Downtown (approx. 4.4 miles away); G.A.R. Hall (approx. 4.5 miles away); Arndahl Lutheran Church (approx. 4.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Litchfield.
Categories. • Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Churches, Etc. • Settlements & Settlers • Wars, US Indian •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 585 times since then. Last updated on , by Paul Michael Turner of Genesee, Idaho. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. 7. submitted on , by Paul Michael Turner of Genesee, Idaho. 8, 9. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.