“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Crooks in Minnehaha County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

To God Be The Glory!

To God Be The Glory! Marker image. Click for full size.
November 26, 2021
1. To God Be The Glory! Marker
Inscription.  The Nidaros Norwegian Lutheran Congregation, the first church in Minnehaha County, was organized by fifty pioneers on August 12, 1868, at the sod home of John and Kirsti Thompson on the west bank of the Big Sioux River about three miles southeast of this spot. For several years services were held in log schoolhouses and in members' homes. The congregation was served by itinerant pastors until 1873 when the Reverend O. O. Sando became the first resident pastor. This prairie preacher was a familiar sight as he traveled the area on horseback serving as many as seventeen churches. These early years were known as "Gethsemane years" because of grasshopper invasions, hard winters, and heavy loss of life in a diphtheria epidemic.

In 1878 the first church, often called the Old Church, was built on the east side of the river about three miles south of present day Baltic. A few weeks after its completion, it was destroyed in a windstorm but was rebuilt by local volunteers at the same site. Since there were no bridges over the river, attending services at the Old Church was always difficult for "West Siders" and caused recurring debate over
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division of the congregation.

Following Sando's death, a compromise was reached to have one parish with two churches, one on each side of the river. Both West Nidaros and East Nidaros were built in 1911. West Nidaros, costing $12,103.75, was dedicated on June 2, 1912. The Reverend N. N. Boe, Sando's successor and the moving force in its construction, traveled to Minneapolis to order the windows and to Milwaukee to select chancel furnishings and the pipe organ.

In 1912, the Old Church was moved to Baltic where it continued to be used on occasion. The Nidaros parish later expanded to include Baltic Lutheran and Renner Lutheran, all four churches served by one pastor. In 1939 the Old Church was moved to Renner. Worship services were held each Sunday at two of the four churches on a rotating schedule. All services were conducted in Norwegian until 1919 when English began to be used occasionally. By the early forties English had replaced the Norwegian language. The question of division again arose because of the impossibility of one pastor's handling the work load of four churches. In 1957 and 1958 the other three churches requested release from the parish; thus West Nidaros was left as the sole survivor of the original congregation.

In the southeast corner of the West Nidaros parking area stands the Replica Church built by Art Moe and given in 1993.
To God Be The Glory! Marker image. Click for full size.
November 26, 2021
2. To God Be The Glory! Marker
Modeled on the Old Church in Renner, the miniature church, built 4" to the foot and measuring 12' x 18', seats about twenty and is used occasionally for baptisms and weddings.
Erected 1997 by the Minnehaha County Historical Society, West Nidaros History Committee – Joan Eitrheim, Glenna Swier, Art Moe, in memoriam – Ivan Oyen.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Churches & Religion. A significant historical date for this entry is August 12, 1868.
Location. 43° 42.171′ N, 96° 47.488′ W. Marker is near Crooks, South Dakota, in Minnehaha County. Marker is at the intersection of 471st Avenue and 254th Street (County Road 122), on the right when traveling south on 471st Avenue. The marker is located at West Nidaros Lutheran Church near Crooks. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 25403 471st Ave, Crooks SD 57020, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Old Nidaros Church Replica (within shouting distance of this marker); Oyen-Person Log Cabin (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Nidaros Replica Church (within shouting distance of this marker); John Thompson, Pioneer / Early Settlers' Association (approx. 2˝ miles away); Lyons High School (approx. 4.1 miles away); Benton Lutheran Church
To God Be The Glory! Marker image. Click for full size.
November 26, 2021
3. To God Be The Glory! Marker
(approx. 4.3 miles away); Peter Byg, Prairie Fire Victim (approx. 4.4 miles away); Saint Olaf Roller Mill and Power Dam (approx. 5 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Crooks.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
West Nidaros Lutheran Church image. Click for full size.
November 26, 2021
4. West Nidaros Lutheran Church
West Nidaros Cornerstone image. Click for full size.
November 26, 2021
5. West Nidaros Cornerstone
West Nidaros Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church 1911
Credits. This page was last revised on November 29, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 28, 2021. This page has been viewed 152 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on November 28, 2021. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 24, 2024