Afterwards Moses and Aaron went to
Pharaoh and said, “Thus says the Lord
The God of Israel, Let my people go,
that they may hold a feast to me in
the wilderness.” EXODUS 5:1
There in ancient Egypt, God commanded the Israelites to hold a feast, to celebrate Him. Thirty—five centuries later God expects we, His servants here in Immanuel, to celebrate Him as of old. Remember the pronouncement: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” MARK 13:30.
God promised even before, that he would send the Savior to take away the dregs of sin. That Jesus bitter sufferings and death upon the cross He, by that act, cancelled out Satans grasp and opened Paradise to all believers.
In the middle of the last century God opened up a new promised land in northeast Wisconsin, and through His instruments (pastors, teachers and loyal members) He commanded His servants to celebrate Him. Since 1865 that is what the community of Immanuel has done.
The nineteenth century Exodus was made by the same unhappy people as were the Hebrews of old. Then the Israelites moved to Canaan in order to fulfill God’s command that out of the least of Judah, our Savior the promised Messiah, would come, be crucified and free all believers for all time, God sent the original members of Immanuel Lutheran to an obscure lumber town to testify to all men that Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior.
The Israelites of the Exodus had left Goshen, somewhere near Tanis, and had for forty years made their way to the Promised Land, Not only was the way fraught with all kinds of hardships, the route was circuitous, The founders of Inimanuel departed from places like Stavenhagen, Cammin and Zolgendorf, Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg, Gumtow, Wuestenei and Denmin, Province Pommern or Schmalkalden, Electoral Hesse and sailed to one of several American ports, like Baltimore, New York or New Orleans, and they all met in Kewaunee,
Kewaunee was only a recorded plat within the Town of Kewaunee. Where the car—ferry land is, stood the biggest employer: the saw mill, This peninsula of land, along Lake Michigan, was called the “Point” and a lot of citizens (mostly fisherman and their families) lived here, Only a few streets existed in what is now Kewaunee proper. To keep the right-of-way passable, loads of saw dust were placed in the worst spots, All the construction was of frame, generally with “boom town” fronts, The general population was a mixture of Yankees (McNally, White and Congden) or French Canadians (Boutin or Allie). Racine interests operated the saw mill, universally referred to as “The Company” and several stores. Edward Decker ran the county court house and consequently had a lot to say about how the rest of the county was operated.
Mr. Decker was a shrewd, agnostic native of Casco, Maine, He did not let his (or other peoples) consciences bother him. Business always came first, Decker owned thousands of acres in Kewaunee county and he always sold it for much more than what it was worth. When he did donate, one could be sure the end results would favor Decker, So he was cynical, a user and allowed the failings of others to improve his standing, fiscal or otherwise. He was the typical entrepreneur of the day.
Into this modern day Canaan came the German Lutherans, Ever since 1839, Germans had begun to migrate to Milwaukee and into Ozaukee and Washington counties, These, for the most part, were Alt—Lutherische farmers. The Alt—Lutherische (Old—Lutherans) were mostly from Schlesien and Pommern and in their wake came others from all parts of Germany: from the kingdoms of Bavaria, Hanover and. Sachsen; from the principalities of Schleswig—Holstein, Baden, Lippe and Oldenburg. There were Roman Catholics, Free Thinkers and Methodists. In the baggage of all of them was the devils own brew: Rationalism.
When Kewaunee County was established in 1855 and opened up for the sale of lands, into it came all kinds of pioneers. They found a few inhabitants huddled, for the most part, about the mouths of the county’s two principal rivers at Kewaunee and north at what was then called Wolf River (Algoma). Among the new—comers’ were a lot of the above mentioned Germans who carried with them their religious beliefs. They found no churches of any kind. South of Kewaunee were the Methodists who were principally from New Hampshire and who generally settled in the northeast quadrant of the Town of Canton. None are left today, and gone is their house of worship.
Anyway, none of the Germans — Lutheran or Roman Catholic cared for the cool, subdued and anti—saloon stance these people affected. None, not even the German Methodists who would form congregations at Algoma and West Kewaunee understood enough English and the Yankee Methodists knew no German. It was the Roman Catholics who founded the first permanent church body in Kewaunee.
According to one Jan Habenicht, who wrote in his book, “Dejiny Cechuv Americkych” (“History of American Czechs”), that a mission was established in Kewaunee in 1857 with Father Karel Smedding providing the clerical necessities. Another missionary was Father Kolb who appears to have traveled about the country marrying and baptizing those who came to him. In the immediate days that followed, a number a number of Roman Catholic churches were founded: St. Mary’s, Kewaunee (a forerunner of Holy Rosary); St. Mary’s, at what is now Alaska; St. John Nepomuc, Krok and St. Josephs, Norman. Now it was the turn of the German Lutherans to establish their own religious institution. And it was high time.
Anxious to properly wed and introduce their off—spring to God, many a Lutheran pioneer had presented themselves before either of the above mentioned priests and validated their Christian obligations. But this would never do for the truly devout. What about confirmation for their children? What about the young adults getting involved with other ethnic backgrounds — or worse — those with no faith at all?
It was to the Village of Manitowoc that southern Kewaunee county Germans walked. They brought wheat along to be ground into flour and they brought their religious needs to be fulfilled. In 1855, what became the “First German Ev. Lutheran Congregation,” was founded. The first pastor, Carl Fr. Goldammer and his immediate successor, Philipp Koehler, baptized forty—two children alone, from families in the Towns of West Kewaunee and Carlton, by 1864. Some of the family names included, are: Pingel, Bruemmer, Viert, Erichsen and Dittmar.
Then God, in His infinite mercy, caused the first Lutheran congregation, St. Paul’s, to be founded in the Village of Ahnepee (now Algoma) in late 1862. St. Pauls elders allowed their pastor, J. H. Brockman, to appear four year a year at Kewaunee to preach Gods inspired word concerning salvation.
Four times was not enough for the growing German populace. And like the Israelites back in Egypt, the Kewaunee Germans cried unto the Lord, and God heard them. In Sept., 1864, Pastor Koehler proceeded north to Kewaunee (very likely by invitation) and met with a number of interested parties in order to organize a congregation. Because the Instrument of Organization is Rising, the exact date and place of the gathering and those present are not known.
This much is known, the name “Immanuel” was chosen for the new congregation. Several men were selected to act as trustees and draw—up a constitution and do the day—to—day business. Pastor Koehler needed someone to fill the pulpit in the infant religious institution. Koehler, a staunch Wisconsin Lutheran Synod man, asked his friend, Pastor J. Bading, president of the Synod, for help. Sometime in early November, into Kewaunee came President Bading’s choice.
In that snow—filled and cold winter of 1864—65, God demonstrated His boundless love for the thirsty souls here in Kewaunee. His instrument to spread the Gospel of Salvation was one Gustav/Gustaf Bachmann.
Just what date Pastor Bachmann was installed and who installed him is not known. As yet there was no house of worship and no parsonage, so Bachmann lived in a rented house. In a remarkably short time and with the power of the Holy Spirit, he breathed life into Immanuel Lutheran and following Gods command, went out and spread the Word.
Out to the Town of Montpelier he went and formed St. Paul’s congregation. In to the Town of Carlton he traveled and helped create St. Peters Lutheran church. He preached down at the Town of Gibson and over towards what is now Luxemburg in the homes of Messers Rix and Schwedler. Then it was to Pleasant View, which he called “Am (German: on the) River.”
Here resided the Besserdichs, Wagenknechts, Kueps, Schulzes, Kruegers, Stuebses and others. However, these prime members were being approached by a Methodist missionary out of Fond du Lac who had already purchased an acre of land upon which to erect a M. E. mission church. Pastor Bachmann quickly led these souls into Immanuel’s corner and thus added more names, not just in the record book, but in God’s Book of Life.
What’s interesting is that this man walked every inch of the way. Immanuel’s coffers were anemic and a horse and rig were out of the question. Pastor Bachmann certainly had time for every kind of pastoral act including working with those writing the constitution.
Pastor Bachmann’s first pastoral function Nov. 21, 1864, was to officiate at the burial of little Minna Fuerst, aged four and the daughter of a soldier away at war. He baptized Karl Friedrich Groth prior to Dec. 31st. On that date, Bachmann was the clergyman who united Johann F. Kuehl and Sophie W. Streu as husband and wife.
On Sexagesima Sunday, January 27, 1865, Pastor Bachmann confirmed seven young adults belonging to St. Peters congregation out at the Krok school house. Later that same day, he went to the Town of Montpelier and confirmed six in St Pauls congregation. In residence, Bachmann taught a group of three adults, Mesdames Hoffmann, Hardtke and Kortbein.
On May 16, 1865, Mrs. Hardtke was made a child of God and took the name “Therese Christine”, by being baptized in the name of the Triune God. God was indeed celebrated that day for Therese Christine Hardtke was a converted Jewess.
The first illusion that Immanuel Lutheran existed as a Christian institution in Kewaunee came in the June 7th issue of Ed Decker’s publication, “The Kewaunee Enterprise” (sic) when the following was inserted, to—wit:
“National Fast Day (June 1st) was observed here at the Catholic church with Rev. VanSteenway and at the school house, with Rev. Gust. Bachmann delivering the oratories.” President Andrew Johnson had proclaimed a national day of thanking the Almighty that the civil conflict was over at last.
In July, 1865, the Articles of Incorporation were duly presented for recording and with that act, Immanuel Lutheran became a legal entity in the community and had a constitution by which the congregation could lawfully function and, even more importantly, could stand up in the community and proclaim its true purpose: Always to save souls.
The weekly paper printed the second piece of publicity pertaining to Immanuel Lutheran: “Sever Olsen (sic) is building the new German Lutheran church edifice here.” This brief article was placed in the August 30, 1865 edition. Mr. Oleson was the villages premier carpenter and operated out of a shop on the corner of Main and Harrison streets.
Immanuel Lutheran now had its own house of worship. This building still stands on Dodge Street, directly south of the congregations second church structure. Both house Du Quaine Lectern Mfg. Corporations business. This first edifice was erected in the style of Greek—Revival. To this day, this building remains the purest example of classical architecture in the Kewaunee area.
It is not known who dedicated the new church or when. There are no records to indicate what the initial expenditure was and the cost of repairs and up—keep until 1869. As was the custom, adult males were assessed about $8.00 per annum. Widows and others gave what they were able to.
Many migrants arrived in Kewaunee and many new faces were seen worshipping at Immanuel. It was a period of growth. But trouble was brewing and the storm clouds were on the horizon.
Pastor Bachmann was a product of what was called “Mission Houses” in Germany. A type of boarding school that matriculated men for mission work in foreign lands. The course of instruction included several branches of theology, but shaped, for the most part, to the practical side of mission work. This accounts for the reason that Pastor Bachmann was so skilled in handling himself professionally under such extreme conditions. It also accounts for his not being strictly confessional.
Kewaunee was a lumber town, but already there was a steady growth of agricultural influences pervading the community. The countryside that lay about the village, was, as yt filled with the endless acres of standing timber. But each year saw a steady increase in tillable acreage, primarily in wheat. Dairying, on any scale, had not as yet commenced, Cattle that existed were strictly for domestic usage. To produce needed income, many families turned to cottage industries: basket weaving or shingle and post making are just a few.
All capable males over fourteen were either working at the sawmill during warm weather, or out in the timber stands during winter preparing logs for the big spring run down the Kewaunee river to the boom waiting to be hauled out and sawed up.
Most of the improved portion of Kewaunee lay below the hills with a hundred or so chimneys and an equal number of privies exuding effluvia. Way out of town towards the “corners” (site of the present water tower) was the English cemetery and near—by D. D. Garlands nursery and residence.
All year long oxen could be seen draying timber products to the village. About town stood stacks of railroad ties, fence posts and shingles. Saw dust was everywhere and was used on the surface of the roads. It was a typically new community and trouble makers were quickly shown the way out of town.
Just as Pastor Bachmann had slipped into Kewaunee, he likewise departed. After twenty—two months of laboring in the Kewaunee vineyard, he apparently returned to Germany and is lost in the mists of time.
Some of the apocryphal stories that exist about Pastor Bachman suggest that he was a bogus preacher. Let the existing church records refute this error with a passage in the man’s own hand, right after the first page of baptisms, to—wit: “All the children I baptized myself, otherwise it will be so noted. Signed — Gustaf Bachmann, Lutheran pastor to Kewaunee, Wis. in the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Wisconsin.” Even so, a perusal of Bachmanns meticulous records repudiates any notion that he was anythimng but what he was.
Pastor Bachmann was supposed to have, on one of his many perambulations about the area, become tired and put his head down upon what he thought was a a large pine log. Instead the log was purportedly a large pine snake. Another source suggests that Bachmann was devoured by a denizen of the forest, which accounts for his rapid disappearance. Actually his leaving would appear to be quite in order.
Again, let the existing records lend some light: his last pastoral act was to christen Christian Mueller on September 9, 1866. The several baptisms that followed were clearly annotated showing that Pastor Bachmann had left after the ninth and a vacancy pastor was handling his duties. The last reference to the man was at the baptism of the Viert twins, on September 26th, with the following, to—wit: “Was baptized by Pastor C. Thiele. The father (Carl Viert) of the twins stood proxy for Pastor Gustav Bachmann.” The staunch Vierts simply wished to honor their churchs former shepard by making him a sponsor for August and Auguste, in absentia.
Let Pastor Bachmann now depart in peace. As Gods instrument here in Kewaunee, he had built a strong foundation at Immanuel Lutheran congregation. Despite the growing tension within the church body, Bachraann had held the congregation together with his talents and personallity. May his rememberance remain with us and be held in honor and esteem. Now those storm clouds, mentioned earlier, came to cause distress and troubled souls in the young church body.
He was almost forty—two when Immanuel’s second pastor was installed in his first charge at New Berlin. An advanced age, in those days, for any man to go into the ministry. He was about fifty when he stepped into lmmanuel's pulpit. Sad—to—say, when he left Kewaunee a bakers dozen years later, the congregation was divided and drifting. Indeed, the dark clouds mentioned previously, hade come and they came under the aegis of one Carl Christian Ludwig Nietmann. It wasnt rain that came down upon Immanuel Lutheran congregation, but that old bogey of confessional faith: Rationalism.
No one, in this day and age, may point fingers. Satan comes in many guises and under many names. Rationalism now goes under the more sophisticated term called, “Secular Humanism.” No matter what the name, the meaning is the same:
Man is always superior to God. In the final analysis, the end always justifies the means. Hence todays youth revolt, blatant fornication, abortion and the use of drugs.
In the 186Os Rationalism came in another form. Back in Europe, in Luthers Germany, the dry—rot of true faith had been steadily advancing for too many years. By 1817, the German Lutheran church had reached a state of advanced corruption. Too helpless, the church Dr. Luther helped found, had become a mere tool of the state. Filled with all too many weak — even — evil preachers, all creating havoc among their flocks. At this point, in steps King Friederich Wilhelm III of Prussia, one of those rullers whose only claim to fame is having done something foolish. In 1817 the king ordered the infamous Prussian Union.
This union was the merger of two church bodies: The Reformed Church and the Lutheran Church. With a scratch of a pen, the Lutheran dogma was watered down to the venal and “the acts of remembrances” of the Reformed statutes. First of all, the Lords Supper could be viewed in two lights: The Reformed considered the partaking of communion as a mere act of remembrance. A confessional Lutheran receives Jesus Body and Blood — no remembrance, no transubstantiation.
On the secular side, the Reformed people had joined religious dogma with the making and retention of money. Therefore, over the years, the richer citizens of Prussia had left the Lutheran faith and had become Reformed. Even foolish Friedrich Willhelm was a reformed member. But the masses of Prussians in Brandenburg, Schlesien and Pommern, were not.
Of course the Prussian Union turned many peoples lives up—side down. Seminaries were in a state of turmoil. Confessional pastors found themselves in a precarious state. The weak king, angered by the meddling of mere subjects into what Friedrich Wilhelm considered royal business, caused the king to make drastic promulgations: Fines, imprisonment and loss of jobs were just some of his acts of tyranny. By the late 1830s the exodus from the German Goshen commenced.
Now into this picture, comes the Alt—Lutherischen leute (Old Lutheran people). Some prevailed in the more remote parts of Prussia and even erected their own houses of worship where their decendants continued even into Adolph Hitlers time. Many were made fun of. Many were referred to, in the dialect of Platt—Deusch, as “gelfaeutge”. Yellow feet, or as the way barnyard fowl strut. Didnt Jesus predict anyone who believed in Him would be reviled? Nothing has changed. Today we of Immanuel are the yellow feet. Today we are reviled for honoring our Lord and Savior. Yes, God does work in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform.
As stated before, our forefathers made their wny to the Kewaunee area. And here, yet another confrontation ensued as to whether the true faith or a watered down, meaningless one would prevail.
While the confessional side of the asile continued to expand, the liberal side also flourished, While Pastor Bachmann was here, his vigor precluded a split. His sucessor, who did not possess that command, only made matters worse. All of Pastor Nietmanns good intentions came to naught.
Pastor Ludwig Nietmann was born Nov. 8, 1817 at Hardegsen, Hanover, Germany to Heinrich and Catharine Nietmann. Nietmann arrived in America on April 28, 1852 and proceeded to Buffalo, New York, gate—way to the west. Buffalo was also a city with many Germans of every social degree and religious persuasion. Many migrant Germans heading to Kewaumee county passed through Buffalo. Did Pastor Nietmann meet one George Froney? Mr. Froney too was a native of Hardegsen. George Froney would settle in the Town of Canton, but never was a known guest at Immanuel. Why?
The pastor—to—be Nietmann married Aug. 27, 1854 to his first wife, Wilhelmine Christian Rubbert, at Buffalo. Mrs. Nietmann was to have a good influence on her husband. A staunch Lutheran woman from Pommern, she was musically gifted she passed this capability onto her eldest daughter, Lydia (Mrs. Anton Hoffman), whose decendants include several members of Immanuel congregation.
Did Mrs. Nietmann pursuade her spouse to enter the Buffalo Lutheran Seminary and become a pastor? We will never know. All things point to the fact that Ludwig Nietmann entertained the idea to join the ministry when he came to America. He was ordained in the Lutheran ministry on Oct. 5, 1859 in New Berlin, Wis. and subsequently served in congregations in Greenfield, Milwaukee county; then St. John, Golden Lake, Jefferson county, Wis. There is a reference to him being at St. John, Two Creeks also known as Maacks church.
Rev. Nietmann was the first pastor of St. John, Golden Lake. That congregation’s centennial booklet relates but a few brief lines to Nietmann. On the other hand, the write—up states Mrs. Nietmann was a honored individual and a faithful wife. She died Sept. 17. 1867 and is interred in that church’s cemetery beneath a un—marked grave. A reproduction of Nietmann, in the booklet, shows him with a pretentious stock at his neck, with a very determined mien.
It was at the Golden Lake church that Nietmann met future members at Immanuel, Kewaunee. Herman Pautz and family attended services at St. Johns and would move to Kewaunee in 1866. Rev Nietmann would follow sometime in 1867.
Was it Pautz who suggested his former pastor at Golden Lake to fill the now vacant pulpit at Immanuel? Or did the folks from Sandy Bay, who might have met Ludwig Nietmann at Buffalo? Immanuel’s records do not state how their second pastor was called. Nor does there exist any reference to the exact date Pastor Nietmann came, when he was installed or who installed the man. Sometime in 1867 the widower Nietmann and his five mother—less children came to Kewaunee and to Immanuel Lutheran congregation.
In the Apr. 10, 1867 edition, the local newspaper reported that “The German. Lutherans have erected a parsonage.” Did Pastor Nietmann move into the new abode at this time? It is not known. The tiny house was situated directly west of the two—year old church edifice, facing Miller Street. When the Nietmann’s moved in it was the pastor’s two oldest children, Lydia and Christine, who performed the duties of keeping house for their father. Girls, aged ten and eleven were expected to manage younger siblings, care for a garden and prepare meals in those days.
One more note concerning the real property upon which the congregations improvements were situated: An over—due (and probably over—looked) sale from James and George Slauson to the “Emanuel Gemeinde” was made regular by a deed, dated Jan. 12, 1867 and recorded the following March. The legal description read, as folows: “Lots 1 and 2 of block 14 in the original plat of Kewaunee.” Immanuel congregation paid $100.00 for the land.
The first public notice that Pastor Nietmann was, indeed, residing in the community came, with the uniting of Carl Schumacher to Dorothea Wegener in matrimony on Jan. 12, 1868 with Nietmann tying the knot. No mention of this marriage ceremony can be found in the official church records. Did Pastor Nietmann forget to include it among his pastoral acts? The Immanuel Lutheran indicates that a marriage was performed back in November, 1867 when Johann Propp took Christine Ebert, as his bride. There is no indication that a vacancy pastor performed the ceremony. One therefore must presume that Nietmann did indeed, unite the pair.
Pastor Nietmann distributed Lords Supper, for the first time, at Immanuel Lutheran, on Jan. 12, 1868 to twenty five communicants. His first confirmation class was held on Palm Sunday, Apr. 5, 1868 with a class of twelve repeating their baptismal vows.
As his predecessor did, Pastor Nietmann attended to his other charge, out at St. Peters, Town Carlton. An annual agreement between the two congregations can be noted in the records of Immanuel. Nietmann took on the task of being the first pastor of St. John’s Lutheran congregation, Sandy Bay, Town of Carlton with a similar written agreement. These two charges enjoyed Christian services Sunday afternoons on an alternating basis for many years.
In 1869 a permanent financial record commenced. Among other things, it can be noted that Pastor Nietmann received the sum of $554.77 for his services that year. Over the years that followed one reads of the many expenditures required to maintain a church. Here are some of the needs fulfilled, as follows: Fire insurance was $26.00 in 1872. Coverage over the decades reflected not only the increased value of the congregation’s structures but inflation as well. In ten years the premium rose to $45.00.
Janitorial responsibilities were initially delegated to the ladies, like Mrs. Brunk and Mrs. Pilgrim. One notes sums of $3.00 and $6.00 being paid — per annum! The most replaced cleaning items were brooms. Judging by the records, every window pane in the church, school and parsonage were replaced at least once. Storm windows installed in the 1890Th reduced glass breakage considerably.
There were endless broken lamp chimneys, reflectors and candles needing replacement. The kerosene drum always seemed to be empty. William, the eldest son of Pastor Nietmann, was paid periodically to freshen the saw—dust upon the school floor. What school, one may ask?
As early as 1872, the mention of a school is to be seen in the account books. What it looked like cannot be ascertained at this point. It was razed when the second church was built and transformed into a shed. Purportedly German and catechism instructions were given here. In 1870 a newspaper account of the Christmas eve service included this passage, “Children of the Lutheran School sang several songs.” This same article introduces the Christmas tree into church. Back at the Christmas of 1865, another observer related that Christmas services had been conducted at the Lutheran church, but did not state if there was a tree in the church.
This Christmas tree was, by—the—way, according to a witness, laden with gifts for the children and illuminated. Pastor Nietmann addressed the assembled in both traditional German and English. A first, at Immanuel.
Another first is the mention of a instructor. No name is given, but very likely it was Pastor NietnannTh capable daughter, Lydia. At another accounting of Christmas services, it was noted that the church was “filled to capacity.” Through the 1870s Kewaunee was filling up with more settlers. Many of these were of German nationality. Some began attending services at Immanuel.
Services at Immanuel began to be advertised. In 1873 the following appeared in the local paper, “St. Emmanuel Ev. Lutheran Church — services at 9 A.M. Sundays.
And now the time of troubles began. Nationally, there was a severe depression. In Kewaunee, the days of the company mill were numbered and there was distress in the community. The dependence upon white pine was turning to dairying. The day of yoked oxen was passing to the day of the much cow. Rail fences were replaced with barbed wire. Barns were built that took the place of simple log sheds and the pioneer log cabin disappeared beneath a veneer of clapboards. The day of the farmer had come and with his affluence came influence.
Pastor Nietmann found himself in a dilemma. His wide, encompassing style of dogma was meeting with criticism from the more confessional members of Immanuel. In the Mar. 31, 1874 issue of the local newspaper, one can read the following: “Last Sunday was confirmation at the German Lutheran church and a large number of Lutherans and other denominations assembled ——— “. It was the and other denominations, that caused a hum of disapproval..
Other denominations indeed! These hardy German farmers were under no illusion. All to many recalled the old days back in Germany where the preacher soft—peddled salvation because the local squire or the richest merchant could influence him. These were no peasants to be buffeted about by agents of the land—lord. They need only look out upon their own acres and look at their church dues. No, let the Sons of Herman, the Sieglers and the rest of those lodge members take note: here at Immanuel Lutheran only strict confessional practices, thank you.
And louder still came the voices of opprobrium. Outwardly it would seem the Pastor Nietmann had everything under control. In the same year, 1874, didn’t he host the meeting of the Northern District of the Wisconsin Lutheran Synod? And didn’t he, himself, ordain one E. Zocher, a recent graduate of Concordia, St. Louis? But the lodge people were still approaching the Lords table to the dismay of the stout adherents in Christ.
Now appeared a small, but significant, fissure in the membership of Immanuel. Through the 1870’s a trek to St. Johns, Rankin, commenced. True it was just a few families, but even a, few can make the difference. They presented their babes to be baptized and their youth to be confirmed. The day of reckoning had arrived for Rev. Nietmann.
Despite his ability to articulate, in an age that adored elocution. Despite his formidable appearance, replete with full robe and extended lappets of fine lawn. Despite Pastor Nietmann’s being the very acme of a loving husband and a devoted father. He lost it all when he lost his Christian direction.
In 1876 Pastor Nietmann went up to Ahnapee and there he confirmed a class of youths in the German Methodist church. Not only that, he publically announced his intention to preach a sermon in this church every fourth Sunday. Shortly after, he conducted a burial service for the late Mrs. Barstar, out of the same church.
This was followed by his giving two public addresses. One out at Zavis, in the Town Carlton, on Decoration Day. The other at Immanuel on July 4th. A totally non—religious service! An observer noted that Immanuel’s interior “festooned with evergreens and flags.”
Then Pastor Nietmann officiated at what was described as a “multi—baptism” when he christened five related children at one time. None of these children’s names are recorded in Immanuel’s records. Indeed, many other pastoral acts go unrecorded. The church’s records look neglected and one can discern the Nietmann’s hand writing has deteriorated to a scribble. The unfortunate man was under tremendous pressure. Did he stop to bid his elder son good—by? William Nietmann, who had taught German school at Immanuel, now entered the seminary at Springfield, Illinois.
The last mention of Rev. Nietmann and his family, in the church’s records, is their partaking of the Lords supper on Aug. 20, 1876. According to the records, at a meeting of the congregation, Nietmann was given to understand that his services were being terminated.
Taking rented quarters, Ludwig Nietmann now set out upon a course that was to lead him on a wide tour of the German residents in Kewaunee and Manitowoc counties. According to the public records, he continued to perform ministerial acts. In January, 1877, the Algoma newspaper, “The Record”, related “——— that popular Kewaunee pastor, preached to a large congregation of Reformed Lutherans here last Sunday (January 21st). It is this branch of the Lutheran society that is contemplating the erection of a new church edifice. Should this project be carried out, we hope to record the arrival of Mr. Nietmann among us as a permanent resident.
God saw otherwise. There would be no new church edifice. No Reformed Lutheran congregation. No Nietmann as an Algoma resident. God would still sift, shift and separate His people here in Kewaunee. He would now send to Immanuel, Pastor Johannes Vollmar.
According to the Kewaunee newspaper, Pastor Vollmar came highly recommended. As for Rev. Nietmann — why he was “retired?” Pastor Vollmar came from Elkton, Iowa. The congregation paid $12.00 for Vollmar’s moving expenses. The parsonage was spiffed up with twenty—six yards of wall paper which cost all of $2.16.
And what about the new pastor? His photograph shows a man about thirty or so. His wife, Lucia, nee Ruegg, was Swiss born. The Vollmar’s had two daughters, one of whom would die during there residence here, in Kewaunee. As for his sermons and his ministerial duties, one cannot say, as the man left nothing behind on those lines to be remembered. His hand writing shows a steadfastness that his predecessor had lost. Pastor Vollmar at least held the rending congregation together before he left.
However, Pastor Vollmar had announced himself as the outlet, in the community, for grape—vine cuttings from Iowa. A pastor going into trade? Selling out of state goods from Iowa? It simply was not done, It was his politics that caused him to be shown the door.
In October, 1878 it was proclaimed that Pastor Vollmar had received enough voted to attend the Republican convention, in Green Bay, as a delegate. A pastor attending a, political convention? And Republican yet! Whatever else divided Immanuel congregation, having a Republican clergyman flung the liberal and confessional elements together.
In May, 1879, Pastor Vollmar announced he was leaving. A peaceful release was granted to him by Immanuel congregation and the Vollmar’s moved to Immanuel Lutheran congregation at Michigan City, Indiana,
Once again the young congregation was leader—less and set adrift.
Immanuel Lutheran church had learned the meaning of “speaking in tongues” (I Cor, 14). For too many years the believers had been assailed with fine words but heard none that fed their hungry souls. They cried out to God, God heard them and he sent August Pieper.
On July, 6, 1879 candidate Pieper was ordained and installed at Immanuel Lutheran congregation. Pastor Reinhold Pieper of First German, Manitowoc, officiated with Pastor Jaeger, St. John’s Lutheran, Town of Gibson assisting.
Immediately Pastor Pieper made it clear he was going to preach salvation by the Grace of Christ crucified. No deviation. Into Immanuel congregation came those who had previously hesitated about being a part of a church that had little or no Lutheran confession. Gone were the slackers, fence—sitters and liberals.
Gone too was Rev. Nietmann. From a weak reed like Vollmar, Louis Nietmann had nothing to fear. He had continued to make his circuit about the county marrying anybody and everybody who approached him. He opened a German school in Algoma, confirmed a class of five at Sandy Bay and still functioned out in the Town of Carlton.
Immediately after the arrival of Pastor Pieper one may read in “The Enterprise,” the following: —— Rev. Nietmann and his family are moving to Sheboygan ——“. The article further relates that Nietmann claims his age precludes the strenuous life he had endured here in Kewaunee.
He would live five and a half more years. He would assume the pulpit of the “Kanonen Kirche” (St. Peter’s Lutheran), so typical of Nietmann, a break—away congregation of St. John’s Lutheran, which itself was a break—away church from Trinity Lutheran. Today, only Trinity remains. Gone is St. Peter’s and gone is Rev. Louis Nietmann.
He dies after a two week illness, on February 6, 1885. His mortal remains were taken to Wildwood cemetery and there interred. There being little or no money, members of his congregation donated a plot in their lot and there he lies to this day without a marker and forgotten. Two years later his favorite daughter, Anna, aged 17, died. That portion of Wildwood was later condemned and her remains scattered. Pastor Nietmann had married a second tine n 1868 to Catharine M. Ley and had by this union five more children, of whom only Lorena, a missionary in Japan and Gustave, a farmer near Sullivan, Wis. remained. Penniless, the widow moved to Sullivan to be with Gustave and there in 1922 she would die and be buried in a little country cemetery. Of his family, only the descendants of his talented eldest daughter, Lydia Hoffman remain in these parts. The Najacht family in Sheboygan represent Lydia’s sister, Christine Hensel.
Who can judge Rev. Nietmann? Read Matthew 7:1—5. God had a purpose for Nietmann and for his successor, Rev. Vollmar. Even in their lifetimes, here, God dealt with His servants. Did He not take from each pastor a beloved, young child?
Now Immanuel Lutheran church could celebrate God. In the pulpit was a fierce, young man who did not speak in tongues but spoke vigorously of prophesies. And Immanuel grew.
God through the Holy Spirit caused the hearts and souls of the needy in spiritual nourishment to respond to this eagle—eyed young pastor in the pulpit of Immanuel. More and more listeners returned for yet another sermon about Jesus and his teachings. Soon the existing church structure was too snail to hold all of the audiences that presented themselves each and every Sunday.
The nave, of the new church, would be 6O X 36 with a spire of 7O feet. It would be the first steeple in Kewaunee. Mr. Frank Hamachek would erect the framework for the tower. A member of Immanuel, Mr. Joachim Kuehl, was contracted to construct the new edifice at the total cost of $3,500 exclusive of the labor to be supplied by the members. The cornerstone was laid Sunday, July 9, 1882.
Before any of these events could take place two things had to be accomplished. First the soon—to—be replaced church was moved south into the place where one can still view it. The site had been occupied by what was referred to as “the school”. It cost $5.75 to move the old church.
The other necessity was money. Besides borrowing money from several of the more affluent church members, the Congregation secured a loan of $2,000 from Wilhelm Sturm a resident of the Town of Cooperstown. In those days one went to an individual for financing. Until 1890 Immanuel’s records show quarterly payments towards paying off the principal and interest of this financing.
At this time the records began to be written in the more legible “Lateinisch” rather than in “Steilschreiben”.
It took 70,038 bricks to veneer the outside walls of the new church. To dray the bricks from the brick—yard seventeen members donated their wagons, teams and time. These seventeen members are, Fritz Propp, Joh. Kuehl, Joh. Tess, Wilhelm Tegge, Chris Boettcher, Wilh. Kuehl, Joh. Giese, C. Naser, Joh. Streu, Aug. Stuebs, Ed. Steffen, A. Pagenkopf, Carl Treckel, Heinr. Aude, Peter Keup, F. D. Besserdich and L. Outzen.
There were other expenses too: Twelve new pews costing $48.82. A new pulpit was $40. Albert Lietz constructed a new sidewalk around the church, costing $15. There were twelve new chairs totaling $4.80. The lectern was acquired for $20. It is not known if Immanuel Lutheran congregation replaced the three hundred foot wooden fence that had been erected around the old church in 1877. Did the new church get a boot scraper like the old one for a cost of thirty—eight cents?
Then there were expenses for the new school. Books ran $86.63 and two black—boards cost $5.00. Extra Bible history books came to $1.60. Later on Joachini Kuehl made six school benches for the students costing $12.00. Things like matches and string, two cemetery lots (for whom?), candy and Christmas books for the pupils are all duly noted in the accounts.
The first mention of an auditing committee is in 1893, when Messers Wilhelm Kuehl, Fritz Kuehl III and F. C. Waterstreet are named in the record.
The ministry of Pastor Pieper in an unqualified success. He restored Gods Word in the Holy Bible as the basis for all lines of action. A new church structure was erected. The congregation now had a full time school — which, by—the—way operated eight months of the year. Sunday after Sunday, members of Immanuel found themselves enthralled by this stern young man standing in the new pulpit within their new gothic sanctuary. But he was still a man, with man’s failures.
He was a bachelor when he arrived back in 1879 and his widowed mother was his housekeeper. In 1881, Pastor Pieper stood in the pulpit and announced his betrothal to Miss Emma Koenig. On the 5th of June following, the Pastor announced his nuptials, which had taken place in St. Louis. His wise mother now vacated her son’s household and moved to Newtonburg where she died. She is interred in St. John’s Lutheran cemetery.
The young couple started out wedded life with Mrs. Pieper falling ill. But there were good times too, for the Pieper’s and the congregation. A huge picnic was organized in the summer of 1883. Joining in were several congregations, including: St. Paul, Montpelier and St. Peter, Canton. Then there were those well attended mission fests that are now only dim memories, but worthwhile recounting.
“The Enterprise” relates the first published mission fest, back in 1878, stating: “Mission Fest at the German Lutheran church was celebrated with Rev. Prof. Ernst Whitewater, giving a German sermon. Rev. Johannes Ahnapee (St. Paul, Algoma) gave an English address. These gentlemen were assisted by Pastors Lucas, of Two Rivers and Doehler, of Sturgeon Bay.” In 1883 one may note another significant gathering when Immanuel’s Pastor Pieper, assisted by Pastor J. E. Aulich, St Paul, Montpelier; Pastor J. C. Ooehlert, St Paul, Ahnapee and Pastor C. Jaerger, Centerville lent support to those striving at “Greenlands Icy Mountains” or “Ceyloms isle.” One Pagenkopf was paid $6.50 to supply baked ham at this festival.
Pastor Pieper had been given a call to go to the church in Two Rivers, back in 1881. Another call was made from Green Bay. Both had been refused by the congregation. A third call from Menominee, Wis., was at last agreed upon. Pastor Pieper preached his last sermon at Immanuel on Sunday, Jan. 11, 1885.
When Pastor Pieper was installed into the pulpit of St. Paul’s Lutheran church in Menominee, Wis., he gave a sermon that descendants of the original audience recalled years later. That was the God—given power he had. Let us honor him for his message of salvation and pass onto his successor.
On Jan. 23, 1885, Pastor Peter Kleinlein came to Kewaunee to assume his new pulpit at Immanuel Lutheran. The new pastor and his immediate predecessor, Rev. Pieper, had exchanged congregations. It was a highly unusual move. Did the Menominee congregation ask Kleinlein to leave? Immanuel of Kewaunee had no affiliation in any synod at the time and there is no way one can determine what the circumstances were. One may presume that it was a friendly exchange. The new pastor arrived on one of the coldest days in memory. One source suggests that it was a minus 24 degrees while another states that it was 32 degrees below zero!
As there was no rail service to Kewaunee, a number of men from the congregation made the sixty mile round trip to Green Bay with their respective teams. Sixty miles of bitter cold for both men and animals on untended roads was quite an undertaking.
A witness described the arrival of “quite an elderly looking gentlemen.” Years later an observer of the arrival stated that Pastor Kleinlein arrived in Kewaunee with some decided opinions about the weather and the roads.
Pastor Oehlert, Algoma, installed Pastor Kleinlein on the following Sunday, Jan. 25th and thus begins his tenure of four and a half years.
It is remarkable that not a single pastoral act can be recalled by anyone. To be sure, he made his rounds. Kept the church’s records in a script that can only be described as being powerful. It was as if every inch of strength was used to force the nib of Pastor Kleinlein’s pen upon the paper.
A picture shows Pastor Kleinlein with a determined expression made of him about 1865 as his cravat and collar reveals that particular style made famous by President Lincoln. Not an August Pieper, it is true, but God accomplishes things in His own manner.
It is known that Mrs. Kleinlein was a seriously ill woman. She arrives in Kewaunee first, in April. Almost at once Pastor Kleinlein had to take her to Milwaukee for medical treatment. Going to Milwaukee, in those days, revealed the seriousness of the problem. Very likely it was Mrs. Kleinlein’s physical situation that would influence the pastor to eventually ask for, and receive, a release.
The tenure of Pastor Kleinlein, at Immanuel, was (all things considered) a tranquil one. Never—the—less, the construction debt was steadily reduced. The membership remained constant. An addition to the parsonage completed the entire structure raised upon a new foundation. The parochial school was also given a new footing along with a much needed basement.
One may note the new term: Parochial school. Pastor Pieper had commenced a full—time educational facility in 1884. Besides books, benches and other equipment, a teacher, Pastor Kleinlein’s daughter, was hired to educate the attending children of the congregation. Her wages are not recorded and it was not until 1890 that the records show any amounts paid to teachers.
Children attending school from the country walked to and from. Those attending what was referred to as “German” or catechism school from St. Peter and St. John’s congregation, boarded with city Lutherans. It became the practice to have one of the pastors mature children go to both of his other charges and hold classes in each respectively during summer.
The practice of having a Christmas tree continued. So did the congregation continue giving each child a simple gift following Christmas services.
Immanuel continued the practice of holding joint picnics with surrounding Lutheran congregations. On June 28, 1885, Immanuel and St. Paul (Montpelier) had an outing in the woods north of Kewaunee over—looking the river. Next year, at the same site, another gathering of Lutherans was held, and a delightful time was had by all.
In Nov. 1888, Pastor and Mrs. Kleinlein welcomed back their son John, who had journeyed all the way out to the Territory of Washington. Perhaps he too might have been the catalyst to induce his father to move on. At any rate, Pastor Kleinlein resigned his post at Immanuel and went on his way. One source relates that he went to Rushville, Nebraska to a more salubrious climate for his ailing spouse and another suggests that he moved to the Peshtigo area.
Unlike Pastor Pieper, he never returned to visit his Kewaunee charge. It is thought that at least one son went into the Lutheran ministry. Pastor Kleinlein may not have been a clergyman that would attract men’s praises, however God is not interested in what the world deems significant. One need only search the Scriptures and read of Paul, Mary Magdalene, David, Solomon and Sampson, sinners all, but God utilized then just as he did Pastor Kleinlein, and would now send to Immanuel the congregations sixth shepherd, William Bergholz.
He was born in the least significant village in all Holstein, Behrensdorff. A tiny place looking ever eastward upon the Kieler Bucht, the far western arm of the Baltic Sea. His first cries were muffled by the sounds of battle. The first struggle between the Danish monarchy and the Germans over the succession to the coronet of the double Duchy of Schleswig—Holstein. When, eighty—seven years later, William Bergholz slept with his fathers, it was in the midst of a world depression and growing concern over yet another war.
Those eighty—seven years saw much contention and most of it centered upon Bergholz himself. He served Immanuel longer than any other pastor before or since; thirty—four years and five months. It was to be his burden in life to come to the pulpit, in Kewaunee, at a time when great social, philosophical and political changes occurred. He was spared nothing. Before he closed his eyes, he saw three of his five children and as many grandchildren preceed him. The innate conservatism that his entire pastorate projected was misunderstood and brought him many an anxious moment and even public censure.
It was from Christ Our Savior Lutheran church, at Fremont, Nebraska that he was called to serve the Kewaunee congregation. Indeed the first long distance telephone call made by Immanuel was to confirm his comming. The call cost all of 80 cents. It had taken a few minutes for the phone call to go through. It had taken sixteen years for William Bergholz to step into the pulpit at Immanuel.
At seventeen, William Bergholz migrated to Davenport, Iowa, and shortly thereafter joined his parents at Belmont, Wis. He went on to school at Watertown. Here he came under the influence of the Wisconsin Synod. In May 1891 Pastor Bergholz convinced Immanuel to join the Wisconsin Synod. That affiliation continues to this day.
Following his graduation from Watertown, Pastor Bergholz proceeded to the seminary at St. Louis, where he studied under the auspices of the celebrated Dr. Walther. On July 13, 1873 candidate Bergholz was ordained at Indian Creek (Monroe County, Wis.) by his brother—in—law, Pastor A. F. Siegler. Pastor Siegler may have been instrumental in leading his wife’s younger brother into the ministry. A son, John Siegler, would become a teacher at Immanuel school during his uncle’s tenure.
After his ordination, Pastor Bergholz was assigned three rural congregations at Dorset Ridge, South Ridge and Indian Creek, all in the beautiful Coulee region between Tomah and Kendal. In 1877 he assumed the pulpit of St. Peter’s Lutheran, Eldorado, Wis. Then St. John, Wrightstown. From here he moved to Nebraska serving at Plymouth until illness forced him to move to Fremont where he was residing when he received the call to Kewaunee
Twenty—five years had passed since the Holy Spirit had breathed life into Immanuel of Kewaunee. Kewaunee now had grown to be a city, no longer confined to a few streets below the hills. The community had spread as far south as Henry Street and as far west as First Street. Kewaunee boasted two breweries, and several emporiums dealing in food, furniture and finery. There were three hotels, a couple of manufacturing establishments, a mill to grind flour and too many thirst parlors.
The enmity between the Czechs and the Germans had intensified, reaching into every nuance of daily life. The several newspapers being printed had taken up positions on this ethnic rivalry and each publication brought forth new accusations of wrong—doing by the other.
The one thing that continued to bring most of the town together was the absolute loathing of the Republican Party. The Republicans were for stiff tariffs which caused high prices for such things like jute from which grain sacks were made. The long struggle to get a railroad into Kewaunee was constantly being hindered by eastern interests like the Vanderbilt’s who were Republicans down to their fingertips.
The severe social crisis affecting all society during the Civil War had bred youth of the 1890Th. As yet, no one could foresee that the daring l890s fledglings would engender the Roaring twenties. Nor could anyone guess that the children of that frenetic decade would parent the Flower Children and Youth Revolt, a phenomenon our generation is confronted with. It was to be Pastor Bergholz’s misfortune to deal with the cynicisms of the fin de siele, (the end of the century) and then go on to see the German inspired world he so admired, destroyed.
Not all was negative and destructive. Sunday church services were now at 10:00 A.M. — a concession to the farmers. In the parochial school, almost forty scholars were learning their lessons. The construction debt was paid off. Continued enhancements were made in and around the church, school and parsonage.
Some of these include a street lamp that cost Immanuel $5.00. New wallpaper for the church. The school was given form report cards, a world map and the teacher got a new hand—bell. Even Pastor Bergholz’s horse came in for a new set of fly—nets, and guests could now hitch their respective steeds to the new hitching post.
Some new expenses begin to show up in the financial journals: The rifling of the new church bells, for instance. At first teacher Ziegler, the pastor’s nephew, received $5.00 for his services. Then the task fell upon the pastor’s sons, William and Eugene, then finally, just Eugene.
In 1892 the Bavarian Brewery, located at the corner of River Road and Miler Street, burned down. At the height of the conflagration an excited man tried to break into the church and ring the congregation’s new bells. A very unhappy Pastor Bergholz announced that in the future, in an emergency, he would unlock the church and he would pull the ropes. On Halloween, 1911 some miscreants made entrance to the church’s foyer and with much vigorousness began ringing the bells and consequently awoke the entire neighborhood.
Prior to the arrival of Pastor Bergholz, the parochial school was under the birch—rod of Emma Kleinlein, the pastors daughter. However, the eldest Bergholz child was but fourteen when the pastor was installed. The congregation secured the services of John Ziegler to teach.
John Ziegler was the son of Pastor Bergholz’s sister, This sister was the wife of the man who had installed Bergholz in his first charge. In 1890 the records show this gentleman received $25.00 a month for his services. Teacher Ziegler’s successor was Mr. Carl F. Brenner, Mrs. Bergholz’s nephew.
Teacher Brenner, besides conducting the parochial school, held German and music classes. It is not clear if this was considered a part of his responsibilities or not. In January, 1892, Mr. Brenner conducted the burial rites of a twenty three month old child. It is not known if Pastor Bergholz was indisposed or away on pastoral business. This was not a precedent. After Pastor Kleinlein departed and before Pastor Bergholz arrived, church elder, Ferdinand Pautz, stood in for Pastor Doehier., Algoma, the congregations vacancy pastor, on the occasion of three funerals.
The use of the German tongue in all of the pastoral duties carried out by Pastor Bergholz was the cause of growing restlessness by the members of Immanuel. Many of the members were second generation by this time and could and did use the muttersprache of their elders, but desired the use of more English in sermons and in the catechism class.
The stylish use of Celtic, French and English given names had started just as Pastor Bergholz came to Kewaunee. Going out of fashion were names like Ferdinand, Frederike, Karolina, Wilhelmina and Ludwig. While Edna, Ralph, Orville, Clarence and Arthur were becoming popular. When one young miss was presented for baptism and her parents related the name “Edna” to Bergholz, he simply called the baby “Aetna” and inscribed it in that manner in the record.
It was this reluctance upon the part of the pastor to move with the mode of the time, in something that was not scriptural or dogmatic, that was to foment antagonism. Superimposed upon the congregation and its pastor was the hated Bennett Law. This piece of legislation demanded that every school adopt the presentation of lessons in reading, writing, arithmetic and American history in the English tongue. Immanuel’s school was no exception.
Those desiring more English usage in Immanuel’s church and school were criticized by the pro—German faction. Outside the church, the pro—English were laughed at by the Czechs who remarked at what poor Lutherans they really were.
The Bennett Law was eventually repealed. However the discussion over language usage in Immanuel would continue with the unhappy situation being aggravated during the first world war.
Music in Immanuel church and school, happily, was a positive happening. After all, the Lutheran church is known as the singing church.
One need only go back in history and read of the several instances when people sang spontaneously, even when it meant defying the authorities: What of the Prussian soldiers singing, “Nun danket alle Gott” (Now Thank We All Our God), as they marched into battle? Their king, Frederick the Great, was over—heard to observe: “What, they sing to God! I’m their father”. So much for the agnostic thinking. Another instance of spontaneous singing occurred when the grandnephew of the great Frederick, Frederick William III, promulgated his infamous Prussian Union. At once the Berlin Lutherans gathered before the royal palace and loudly sang the wonderful Crueger hymn, “Jesus, meine Zuversicht” (Jesus Christ, My Sure Defense).
The habit of unaccompanied signing stretches back to the Vaterland where, on certain occasions, either •the pastor of a male member of the congregation, known for his ability, would lead off a hymn. This practice easily made its way to the early Lutheran churches here, where often as not, there was no musical instrument to guide the congregation. Until German language services turned to English, after the 1st World War, almost all grave—side rites were completed with a song, usually, “Lass Mich Gehen” (Leave Me Go) as the coffin was lowered into the grave.
Lutheran hymns were taught in the home. Usually the mother, as she went about her duties, sang to the small children. Perhaps the father, as he went about his chores, would intone a verse to those children accompanying him. This practice was carried over to America; to Wisconsin and yes, right here in Kewaunee. In those days there were little, or no distractions to get in the way of parent—child relationships.
Most certainly a cappella singing was practiced at Immanuel in the very early years. In 1877 the church accounts show expenses involved in the purchase of what must be, a second—hand organ, for $25.00. Trottman Draying moved the instrument into the church for $7.30.
In 1879, Immanuel congregation began the practice of presenting the incumbent organist with a Christmas contribution. The recipient (name unknown), was presented with $5.00. In 1880 the same amount was also given. In 1881 the amount was only $1.60 and in 1884 it was $15.00.
In 1890, the old organ, showing wear and tear, was rapidly 1ringing its use to an end. Even so, the instrument was carted over to Hashek’s, a popular general store located on the northwest corner of Ellis and Main Streets, to see if repairs could lengthen the organs life. Work worth $20.00, was performed. Again, Trottrnan’s moved the old pump organ, this time for $3.00.
In 1891 the loyal instrument was moved next door to the school. In 1893 one may note that, again, repairs were made upon it costing $25.00. A new Hinners and Albertson pipe organ, from Perkin, Illinois, was put into use during a dedication ceremony, in August, 1892, with teacher Brenner serving as the organist. One should also note that an observer declared that there were three—hundred voices singing at this organ dedication.
The new organ cost $800.00. The ever—true record books of Immanuel lend a new light on how God works in his own manner. Some of the necessary funding required to buy both organ and two church bells was derived from outside contributions. Non—Lutheran business people gave, as did non—Lutheran individuals.
The Hinners organ lasted not quite fifty years. In 1939 is was determined that this faithful, but failing, servant needed replacing. A Wangerin organ, from Wangerin Organ Co., Milwaukee, was acquired for $2,500.00. On June 16, 1940 dedication services were held in the morning and in the evening.
It is this latest instrument that was re—built and moved to a new location in the balcony of the present building. The dedication service having been held on March 18, 1990.
The reference to music in Immanuel would not be complete without referring to the many instances where groups, other than members of the congregation sang. Way back in 1870, at Christmas, a witness said, “The children of the Lutheran school sang several songs.” This, before a capacity throng. This annual Christmas program continues to be celebrated to this day. God still expects us to “hold a feast” for Him.
The initial mention of a church choir was back in 1886, when Immanuel congregation was invited to attend a Mission Festival at St. Peters, Forestville. At this time an observer wrote “The (Lutheran) choir will sing at Forestville,” This same group of dedicated vocalists, over the years, has always provided tasteful and inspiring songs in Sunday services, festivals and other occasions.
The importance of choral compositions may be underscored by the acquisitions of sheet music to better enhance the program. in 1878 Immanuel paid $16.90 for choral music. The record stipulates — for thirteen singers. The following year another $1.79 was spent for choral selections. In 1883, choir music in the English language was obtained. Ten years later more choral selections were added to the church’s choir library.
Other instances of the use of music to celebrate God, include a Sacred concert presented by Otto Baganz, a brother of Immanuel’s former pastor, Louis Baganz, on June 14, 1938 On October 8, 1978 the congregation observed the twenty—fifth anniversary of the dedication of the present church and school with special festival music provided by the Lancer singers of Manitowoc Lutheran High along with the congregations school children and choir. On Sunday evening, April 27, 1980, the Lutheran Seminary male chorus of Mequon, presented a program including such songs as: 0 God, Our Lord; Thy Holy Land and “Gott 1st Unsere Zuversicht und Staerke.”
In 1926 the Lutheran band was founded under the baton of Frank Wawirka. These musicians wore a white cap, shirt and trousers. In 1933 a revived band of twenty—seven members led by Charles Pelner, wearing a black uniform with gold stripes, provided band music in the old opera house, at the county fair and at AAL picnics. The members included, Arno and Ellsworth Waterstreet; Lloyd, Orville Lester and Harold Kuehl; Melvin Hardtke; Edna, Arden, Milton, Ralph and Anita Stuebs; Erhard Brandt; Harvey and Wilbert Trombley; Raymond Burmeister; Albert Schultz; Orville Heider; Randolph Hoffman; Herbert Bargemann; Myrtle Jerovetz; Nola Kuether; Mable Streu; Erwin Jacobs and Alvin and Arden Besserdich.
The holding of Mission Festivals is another manner in which the members of Immanuel celebrate God. One June 10, 1878 (a Monday!), five—hundred souls gathered together to listen to four guest pastors present addresses in both German and English.
In those days, all of the Lutheran congregations in Kewaunee and Door counties belonged to the “Peninsula Conference.” All would, of course, be invited to attend each other’s mission fests. Then to the German community was a cohesive one with many cross—hatchments betwixt the various congregations which promoted a large attendance at these gatherings.
During Bergholz’s pastorate, Immanuel celebrated two anniversaries. In 1904 the congregation celebrated forty years of being a church body. One consideration, at this time, was the desire to honor the four surviving signers of the organizational meeting, back in September, 1864. It was thought that these elderly gentlemen might not be alive for the golden anniversary ten years down the line.
A festival service was celebrated on April 24, 1904. The four gentlemen, F. D. Besserdich, John Kuehl, Charles Hardtke and Frederick Besserdich, were indeed present.
On September 27, 1914 Immanuel congregation celebrated fifty years of Christian service. Three, of the above mentioned four, were still alive. Only Mr. Hardtke was not present, having passed away on June 29th,
Improvements, decorating and repairs, were generally the cause for recognition, either with mention at a regular church service or a special day set aside with song, word and repast.
The church was redecorated, re—shingled and several banks of new pews included, back in June, 1901. Ever since Thomas Edison had invented the electric light, Kewaunee was kept in thrall waiting for electricity. Word filtered back from Green Bay of not only electric lights but of street—tars operating with the new invention. In 1889 Manitowoc began using the incandescent lights and at once kerosene lamps were shown the door in that progressive community. Immanuel installed electric lights in 1908.
Other improvements include the installation of the magnificent art glass windows in April, 1919. A central heating system was also added the same year. The organist’s tedious task of pumping the bellows while playing, ended with an electric blower being put into service.
Immanuel honored Pastor Bergholz with a number of remembrances while he served here. In 1899, on the occasion of his silver wedding anniversary, he was given a surprise function. At this gathering, a tray containing $154.00 in gold was presented to the delighted couple. Upon Pastor Bergholz’s golden jubilee, in 1923, of being ordained as a Lutheran clergyman, the congregation presented him with a purse of $150.00 in gold.
Besides the on—going language question, Pastor Bergholz had other heart—aches, discord and even danger. In 1891, the pastor’s horse bolted and demolished his buggy. Thankfully, he was unhurt. In 1901, the Bergholz’s lost their son Eugene, at the age of twenty—one. During a violent electric storm, on July 10, 1904, lightning struck the church steeple, which sustained damage.
In 1897 Immanuel was confronted by several dissident members who, along with a number of out—side trouble—makers, began a new church. The German language question was a big factor, along with the desire to include lodge members in the membership. Called “St. Johns,” this church was erroneously referred to as the Lutheran society.
In reality, this congregation was a part of the “German Evangelical Union,” an off—shoot of the United Brethren, Of course, Pastor Bergholz was blamed for it all by people who should have known better.
Into this unfortunate bruhaha came one Rev. Ehmke, Back when Rev. Nietmann moved to Sheboygan in 1879, he chose Ehmke, of Jefferson, Wig., to succeed him in his Reformed Lutheran church.
It is not known if Rev. Ehmke ever came at that time, however he did present himself in Kewaunee, to take charge of the Evangelical church to preach and give communion to all who presented themselves before him,
Ehmke left in July, 1897 to be succeeded by one C. Wiesse. The following December, it was noted that a Christmas tree was erected and that Santa Claus made merry. All of this in the Union Congregational Church.
Wiesse left directly after Christmas for Chicago. In February, 1898 one Schuetze took over. After a years time, St. Johns church came to an end, It was a lesson for Immanuel. A Christian, Biblically inspired congregation must always be aware of the “tares and chaff” there—in. That is as imperative today as it was in 1897,
Despite the rending of Immanuel’s membership over Christian practices and the retention of pure dogma, progress was continued.
A new parsonage, designed by a Mr. Tegen, of Manitowoc, for Immanuel, was erected in 1905. The old parsonage had to be removed from the site in order for the new one to be constructed. The congregation sold the old parsonage to a member, Fred H. Besserdich, who in turn sold the building to a Mr. Bohman. Bohman then moved the house to property he owned on the River Road where it still can be seen.
The new parsonage housed Pastors Bergholz, Baganz, Kuether and Zink. In order for the pastor to be closer to the newly erected church on Dorele and Wisconsin Streets, the congregation rented a house on Second Street, from member John Fahs, for Pastor Zink. Teacher Rupperecht now moved into what was now referred to as the “teacherage.” When Mr. Rupprecht moved to Milwaukee, teacher Werner Roekie moved into the teacherage. Later, the home which had served the congregation as the parsonage/teacherage for many years was sold to a private party. This sale represented something more than just a transfer of real estate no longer considered useful. It was the conclusion of one period of time. The scene of many a valiant battle for souls. Gone, forever, the condescending, “That German Lutheran church.”
One of the most significant acts of Pastor Bergholz, during his pastorate, was the founding of the Ladies Aid Society in 1891. To be sure, there had been some sort of unofficial organization over the years to handle those gatherings when meals were served.
As yet, funerals were followed by meals given at the home of the deceased or other relatives. Even so, the women of Immanuel did produce, with much effort, many worthy gastronomical productions that were the envy of their sisters everywhere.
One only needs to go back to that 1878 Mission Festival. It can only be considered a small miracle that five—hundred hungry guests were served with no real facilities available. How, for instance, did twelve and a half pounds of coffee beans get turned into a delicious brew? And where?
The charter members of Immanuel’s Ladies Aid Society are listed in alphabetical order as follows: Mrs. Joachim Besserdich, Mrs. Herman Braun, Mrs. Fred Brunk, Mrs., M. Fensel, Mrs. H. Heiter, Mrs. Henry Krohn, Mrs. John Kuehl, Mrs. Carl Pinger, Mrs. A. Rathmer and Mrs. Carl Struck.
The good women of the congregation have, over the years, significantly contributed to the improvement and beautification of the church sanctuary, both inside and out, not to mention the several residences belonging to Immanuel using their diligence and skills.
One of the most outstanding productions Immanuel’s school students and instructors have seen to—date was the spring (1907) presentation, in the school house, before a audience of no less than two—hundred delighted guests. The teacher, Miss Margareta Hartwig, directed the successful show. To cap an already sensational evening, ice cream was served to the assembled guests.
As the new century moved into the war—like second decade, the community of Kewaunee took a deep breath, as it were, and, for a moment looked back upon sixty years of growth. It was decided by all, that a fete befitting the sustained progress made and future advancements should be held. In June 1913, a several day gala celebration proceeded to draw the entire population of the city along with thousands of guests to Milwaukee and Ellis Streets. Among the many entries in that never—to—be—forgotten parade were the children of Immanuel. The congregations children marching represented the German migrants of yore.
No one realized that this community party would ring down the final chapter of the pioneer era. Significant too, is the troop of Immanuel’s school children representing the Germans of the town. This spectacle would reveal the Teutons at the zenith of their ascendancy.
To have been a German Lutheran during the First World War was to know what the word “apprehension” meant. All things German were now suspect. “The Banner” a German language newspaper printed in Kewaunee, had to carry an imprimatur declaring that the contents were devoid of all seditious material.
Wasn’t editor Otto Ahnert a German and, to—boot, a son—in—law of that German Lutheran preacher? No matter that Ahnert was a native of Milwaukee and had a brother in the army. Nor did it matter that pastor Berholz preached the bible. Didn’t that German church speak and sing in German? Even the best of the lot were slackers.
Sharp eyes and ears observed every nuance of the Lutheran pastor and his flock. When Immanuel’s service flag was dedicated on April 28, 1918 it was Rev. Pfeuhler, of Forestville, who officiated, not Bergholz. No matter that Immanuel sent ten young men; Carl Broecker, William Fager, Arthur Kuehl, Ottmar, Ralph and Ted Lietz,. Conrad Naser, Arthur Rhode, Reine Stuebs and Edwin Waterstreet, off to confront the “Runs”. All Germans were suspect. All German natives over fourteen were required to register.
Small wonder that an English hymnal made its appearance at this time. But through it all, Pastor Bergholz proceeded. Never changing course. Never equivocating. Cry epithets — and foes of Immanuel did — he did not waver.
It was him comportment that outraged his detractors the most. Pastor Bergholz always carried himself up—right as did Mrs. Bergholz. Not haughty, but self—assured. He appeared to be impervious to the whirls and eddies about him. He did enjoy a bit of badinage from time—to—time. As he himself said, “I must make a little fun”. He seemed more relaxed out in the country. Perhaps it was because away from town his movements and utterances were not observed and consequently not subject to disapproving witnesses. Here the pastor could converse in German and enjoy what was left of the old fashioned customs still being observed by his rural flock.
When the war was over, no one really knew what the struggle had been all about. What many people ardently desired was to get back to what is referred to as “normalcy”. But getting “em back on the farm” and returning to the good old days was not to be.
Even the Wisconsin Synod accepted the fact that English would supersede the German tongue and suggested that member congregations and schools use more English and less German. Even so, the old gentleman continued to preach and teach in his beloved tongue.
Pastor Bergholz seemed oblivious to the fact that many would—be members of all ages and both sexes, stayed away from services, the communion table and fellowship. For him it was too late to change now. Then, like a thunder clap, it was all over.
On January 26, 1924 and over—heated school stove caused the flooring to give way sending the stove and all. to the cellar.
The effect upon the almost seventy—six year old pastor was too much. At once his health began to fail. On April 27, 1924 Pastor Bergholz presented his resignation. His .f lock of so many years presented the valetudinarian with a parting purse of $500.00 in gold. “Dass ist aber doch schoen,” (“This is indeed nice”), he was reported to have spoken.
In June the Bergholz’s moved to 609 South Oakland Street in Green Bay where he remained until July 30, 1935 when his gracious Lord called him home. He was interred in Riverview cemetery, where he awaits his Masters call.
The Greeks would have referred to Immanuel congregations’ seventh pastor as, “Chrysostom” (“the golden mouthed”). Installed on July 16, 1924, he would give his first sermon on the following Sunday. At once the congregation recognized a thorough man of God and a pastor who would work fearlessly with his flock,
Changes came quickly. English was now preached every other Sunday. The minutes were written in English. Many, who had held back from attending divine services or being confirmed, because of the language barrier, now hastened to listen to Pastor Baganz. In no time the sanctuary was filled to capacity and the size of the balcony was enlarged to accommodate the increased audience.
It was Pastor Baganz’s ability to reach out to all who were in need of spiritual mane that made the man so appealing. The young people were encouraged to form a society to enjoy Christian fellowship. Non—Germans, who had hesitated to approach Immanuel’s portals, now presented themselves Sunday after Sunday.
Although never overtly appearing critical of his predecessor, Pastor Baganz instituted inevitable changes. Among these was the allowing of ladies to approach the communion table with cosmetics and up—to—date hair—styles.
By 1927, Mrs. John Haney proposed that all of Lot 4 of Haney’s second addition to the city of Kewaunee be turned over to Immanuel. A stipulation was included that the said property was to be used only for church and parochial school purposes. After Mrs. Haney died in 1941, her daughters, Mrs. D. B. Dana and Mrs. Charles Campbell, re—deeded the land, retaining the stipulation but not exercising the condition that the congregation pay $5,000.00.
Although but forty—five years old the present house of worship was too small to accommodate the many worshippers, had no proper lavatories and a possible architectural problem. The added weight of the enlarged balcony had created stress upon the north wall. When the church was erected, the land to the north, even over Miller Street, was swampy. In order to sustain the weight of heavy masonery, the north foundation was rested upon a great virgin cedar. This now was sinking a bit and it was only a matter of time before remedial action would have to be taken.
Then to, the school was way behind in all sorts of state codes. The unforgotten fire lurked in the minds of anxious parents. The schools plumbing was antiquated and the building far too small to accommodate the growing student body.
The only answer was a new church—school complex. Mrs. Haney’s offer struck a spark in Immanuel congregation. However God intervened. Instead of a new house of worship and an adjoining school, Pastor Baganz asked for and received a peaceful dismissal so that he might move to St. John’s Lutheran church, Burlington, Wis. In December, 1928 Pastor Louis Baganz bade farewell to Immanuel and Kewaunee and moved away.
In Pastor Baganz, God had wrought a beautiful voice. After years of service, in God’s vineyards, Pastor Baganz lost his gift of speech. But what was lost in the elder Baganz, God permitted a pastoral son, Theophil Baganz, to enjoy his, now voiceless fathers’ appellation, “The golden—mouthed.”
Pastor Wm A. Kuether was forty years old when he came to Immanuel, The son of a Poinmeranian migrant, William Kuether and and his brother, H. A. Kuether, both entered the ministry. William was ordained, June 19, 1912, at Renville, Minnesota, with Pastors G. Schuetze and H. Hupfer officiating. Pastor Kuether served at Trinity, Marinette, Wis, and at Zion, Louis Corners (near Kiel, Wis.) before moving to Kewaunee.
It was to be Pastor Kuether’s misfortune to appear at Immanuel, to shepherd a congregation having much expectations, super—imposed upon a background of a financial debacle, followed by another calamitous world war.
At once, all considerations of building a new church and school upon the Haney land, on the hill, evaporated with the onset of the depression. Then, when monetary impediments waned, governmental restrictions, due to the war, took their place. Probably no one will ever fully realize how many members of Immanuel, along with their pastor, prayed that the congregations buildings would hold up until replacements could be undertaken.
However, there were other undertakings: The school continued to serve, with yet an even larger enrollment. The church sanctuary was redecorated and on July 5, 1931, the Rev. Prof. August Pieper delivered a German sermon at a Sunday set aside to give thanks to God, for improvements completed.
Professor Pieper returned on Nov. 10, 1932 to lead his former flock in a special divine service observing fifty years of worshipping in the still existing church sanctuary. Present too were Pastor’s Bergholz and Baganz
Other pleasant moments to reflect back upon, include the annual AAL picnics, generally held at Bruemmer Park. In 1936 the Men’s Club came into being and for almost twenty years contributed much to the betterment of Immanuel. In the spring of 1940, the Young Peoples Society presented the play, “Attorney for the Defense”. That same year the almost fifty—year—old organ was replaced by a new Wangrerin instrument from Milwaukee.
On July 28, 1940 the Diamond Jubilee of Immanuel congregation was joyfully commemorated. God was celebrated with services conducted by Pastor Paul Pieper, son of Rev. Prof. August Pieper; Pastor Hogey Bergholz, grandson of Pastor William Bergholz; Pastor Theophil Baganz, son of Pastor Louis Baganz and Seminarian Arden Stuebs, a son of the congregation and great—grandson of Pastor Louis Nietmann..
Despite the good positive happenings that had occurred over the years, discontent surfaced. Continual concern over the congregations deteriorating structures was just one. The business and agricultural decline in the 192Os and 3Os had weakened the fiscal ability of both city and country members to contribute, creating a money pinch. Also, the social aspects of the recent years had caused many a young person, along with others, to go elsewhere for jobs and security. Now the terrible conflict in Europe and Asia spilled over into America an into Kewaunee too.
Those discontented desired a change in Immanuel’s pulpit. They pointed out that Pastor Kuether’s singular manner of enunciating sermons was out—of—date. Others suggested that another sermon theme, other than Nebuchadnezzar, would be welcomed, After all, it was said, the Old Testament had eight books relating to the Babylonian King and another subject would be desirable.
Pastor Kuether, on—the—other—hand, had many supporters who eschewed any ministerial changes. The pastors wife, Caroline, and their children were pleasant enough folks and accepted by all. Even so, Pastor Kuether reached the decision to leave and preached his last sermon at Immanuel on Sunday, September 26, 1943.
Pastor Kuether became the resident pastor of his other charge, St Peters, Town Carlton, Here he labored until his death on October 23, 1956.
It was to the pastor of St. Pau1s congregation of Dale, Wis. that a call was made. Having accepted this call, Pastor Waldemar F. Zink, moved to Kewaunee on January 5 and on the following Sunday, January 9, 1944 was installed as pastor of Immanuel congregation.
A native of Frankenmuth, Mich., Pastor Zink, like his predecessor, had a brother in the ministry. He attended Michigan Lutheran Seminary, Northwestern Lutheran College and Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary located, in those years, in Wauwatosa. After serving at Kewaunee for twenty—one years, Pastor Zink moved on to Trinity at Coleman, Wis,, and then in 1979, retirement. He passed away November 11, 1989 a resident of Manitowoc, Wis,
It would take seven long years of striving, struggling and prayers — mostly prayers — before the first shovel of dirt was turned and the long awaited construction of the new church—school complex commenced. There were countless meetings. There were personal confrontations public and private to exhort, yet, one more dollar towards the needed goal.
Through it all Pastor Zink would prevail. Each and every Sunday, in the pulpit, every sermon was proceeded by asking Gods assistance, with the words, “Lord open Thou my lips and let my mouth show—forth Thy praise.” At last ground was broken on Apr 22, 1951 and after two and a half years the splendid modified English gothic structure became a reality.
Even before Pastor Zink’s time the men of the congregation had been improving the landscaping on the site of the proposed sanctuary, by planting trees. In the meantime the two bells were removed from the old church, as was the corner stone. At that removal, there still were ‘members alive who recalled that day seventy years before when the masons tucked the stone, marked “A.D. 1882 upon its face, into the place where it had remained to that day.
On Sunday, Oct. 11, 1953, at 8:30 A. M. a Valedictory Service was held inside the old church. A brief address by Pastor Zink, along with a Scripture Lesson, The Lord’s Prayer and two hymns were sung. And thus ended three—score and eleven years of service to God.
Directly after, the congregation proceeded to their new house of worship. Besides the hymns, prayers and chorales, Prof. John P. Meyer, President of the Lutheran Seminary, at Thiensville, Wis., presented the morning address. Pastor Arden Stuebs, of St. Paul’s Lutheran church at Bangor, Wis. preached at the dedication of Immanuel congregations school in the afternoon.
A delicious meal was served to hundreds of guests that day and there was much Christian fellowship. All were delighted with the new edifice. To close out a day devoted to celebrating God in His new sanctuary, an organ concert was presented in the evening. Mr. Robert J. Theis, of Cleveland, Ohio presided over the console and several choirs sang anthems between each organ solo.
One other salient should be given at this time: From the very beginning of Immanuel congregation, German had been the only tongue spoken. Then as time passed, German and English were both used. Gradually that passed to more and more English and less German. A few years after the congregation moved up the hill, it was decided to dispense with the use of German all—together. The old German hymnals, with songs that all the old timers knew by heart, were put aside and quickly forgotten.
As for the Christian day school, once in their new quarters., the students were able to expand their dimensions in all directions. With a gym at their disposal, both bogs and girls participated in sports and polished—up their respectabilities. In this manner the school began to play other Lutheran school teams in games as basketball, baseball and track. There were math and science fairs presented which made use of God given talents and skills.
After twenty—one full and fulfilled years, Pastor Waldemar Zink asked for and received a release. After he preached his farewell sermon, Pastor Zink left Kewaunee on January 31, 1965.
The following May, Immanuel received the good news: Pastor Arnold W. Tiefel, of Bethel Lutheran, Menasha, Wis. had accepted the call to Kewaunee. Pastor Tiefel was installed on June 27, 1965.
At once the new shepherd of the Kewaunee flock found himself having to move almost before he had time to settle into the rented parsonage. The congregation was the beneficiary of the Brandt estate. It was decided that the legacy would be utilized in erecting a splendid new parsonage adjacent to the church—school complex.
Then, the magnificent art—glass windows ordered the previous year and costing $12,000.00 were duly installed in the sanctuary. In the last window from the rear, on the right side of the nave, facing the altar, observe the “kite” at the top and read the word “Immanuel.” Even in glorious tinted glass, “God with us” is celebrated.
Pastor Tiefel commenced his ministry with the congregation’s centennial. A booklet entitled, “A Century in Christ,” was published. The many photographs therein were especially well received.
Immanuel congregation had set aside five days to celebrate one—hundred years of Gods mercy: These included the four Sundays in October and one Wednesday evening. Such guest .preachers as Pastors Zink, Theophil Baganz, Schabow, Stuebs and Floyd Mattek presented superb sermons. Organists included, Mr. Roekle, Mrs. Timm, Mr. William Kuether, Mr. Harold Goede, Mr.Rupprecht, Miss Judith Sieker, Miss Bertha Bierwagen and Miss Laural Novak.
The day of holding public dinners on the anniversary Sunday ceased during the pastorate of A. W. Tiefel. In their stead, following divine services, a noon pot—luck repast was presented in the fellowship hall.
During Pastor Tiefels ministry, several young people from the congregation, continued their Christ—centered high school education by journeying down to Manitowoc Lutheran High School. Although not a member of the school federation, Immanuel has, over the past several decades, witnessed a number of young folks matriculating from that edecuational institution and thus, in their own way, celebrating God.
The practice of exchanging pulpits during the mid—week Lenten services was renewed again at this time. This brought the pastors from St. Paul, Algoma; Emanuel, Kolberg and Salem, Nasawaupee into our sanctuary and allowed Pastor Tiefel to preach the road to Golgotha in the above named churches.
At a voters meeting, held Jan. 13, 1975, Pastor Tiefel asked for and was granted a peaceful release. On Sunday, Feb. 2nd., Pastor Tiefel preached his farewell sermon and then moved to Oshkosh, where he was installed as pastor of Faith Lutheran congregation. Pastor Tiefel is now retired and a resident of Appleton, Wis.
On Sunday, May 25th., the church bulletin announced that Immanuel had a new shepherd. Unlike most of the congregations previous pastors, Pastor Joel Phillip Sauer did not come from a sister congregations pulpit, but rather from the position of Dean of Students at Michigan Lutheran Seminary, a Wisconsin Lutheran Synod high school, at Saginaw, Michigan.
A Kenosha, Wis. native, Pastor Sauer attended high school and college at Watertown and graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wis. On July 27, 1952 he was ordained and installed at Our Savior, Bylas, Arizona. Later Pastor Sauer would serve at Immanuel, Campbellsport, Wis. and St Johns near Peshtigo, Wis,, before moving to Saginaw. Pastor and Mrs. Sauer (Marie Raath). are the parents of nine children: Phillip, Pastor Stephen, Faith, Mara, Elise, Ann, John, Beth and Joel T.
On Sunday evening, July 13, 1975, Joel Ph. Sauer was duly installed as Immanuel’s eleventh pastor. Vacancy pastor, Harmon Krause, officiated, assisted by Pastors David Worgul, Andrew Martens and Phillip Jahnke.
Pastor Sauer commenced his ministry here at Immanuel, by going out and personally calling upon the parishioners so that he might become acquainted with his flock. At once the official organ of Immanuel, the Sunday bulletin, was embellished •with a greater scope of church events for the edification and enlightenment of the congregation. Bible studies were introduced for the enrichment of Immanuel’s souls.
Other achievements include the 25th anniversary of the church—school edifice on Oct. 8, 1978. For the occasion, repairs and redecorating was completed inside and out. Five sets of new altar cloths were put into use. Pastors W. Zink, A. Tiefel and K. Kratz conducted the festival services.
In 1981 a new public address system was put into operation in the nave of the church. That same year a pictorial directory was published. Another directory was printed an 1987. That same year the statue of Christ, which formerly adorned the chancel in the old church was placed in the baptistery.
Under Pastor Sauer the listing of parishioners and their respective monetary contributions ceased. However, members, their addresses and telephone numbers were now included in a much augmented Church Annual. In recent years a practical data—system has been installed. Nor has the day—school been ignored, with acquisitions of textbooks, sports—gear and educational equipment designed for current teaching practices.
In 1987 the Wisconsin Synod introduced the “Sampler” to each congregation complete with new liturgy and hymns. Another step in updating the worship services with current word usage and music considered more in line with today’s singing.
Back in November of 1871, Immanuel congregation donated $10.00 to the Kewaunee Fire Co. By todays standards, a mere trifle, but at that time ten dollars was a lot of money.
A month before the community experienced a visitation of fire. From the north and west, a wall of flame made for the city of Kewaunee. A prolonged summer of heat and drought had turned the community into a tinder box. On Oct. 8th the word reached town that a whirlwind of fire was heading south and east from the northwest.
Everyone capable of action hurried out River Road to met the fiery enemy. Already the marsh was aflame. Overhead, clouds of smoke rolled above their heads. Sparks fell like rain. From tree top to tree top the stately white pine and cedar exploded in fire. Back to the town the fire fighters retreated. Nothing could save Kewaunee now.
Almost the first structure visible from River Road was the German Lutheran church structure. Yes, our Immanuel Lutheran church. How the whitewashed clap boards must have stood out against the dark of twilight and the clouds of smoke. Only a miracle could save it. And just when all hope was lost, it commenced to rain.
The sprinkle turned into a steady downpour. And it was a miracle. Immanuel’s first church and the community in which it was situated was saved. Just good luck? No, it was the will of our Heavenly Father. God had other plans for His church and the community in which it stood.
Despite the ravages of fire. Despite the fact that every coin available was needed for food and raiment for the cold winter ahead. Despite it all, Immanuel voted to donate that ten dollars to the local fire company. One can be sure those sturdy Germans coming away from yet another trial thanked God for their deliverance.
All through Immanuel’s history one can discern Gods hand in guiding this congregation through the snares and tangles of misguided souls. Just as Aaron, of old, was led astray by false friends in a hour of weakness. Immanuel had its share of “Aarons.” Yet God piloted his Kewaunee flock through it all.
During this year of celebrating Immanuel’s anniversary, let all true believers indeed thank their God for His manifold blessings. Yes, let us Celebrate God with us now and in all years to come.
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation! 0 my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation! Join the full throng; Wake, harp and psalter and song. Sound forth in glad adoration! Hymn 39 — The Lutheran Hymnal
Pastors of Immanuel Lutheran Congregation
Gustav Bachmann 1864—1866; Ludwig Nietmann 1867—1876; Johannes Volimar 1877— 1879; August Pieper 1879—1885; Peter Kleinlein 1885—1889; William Bergholz 1889—1924; Louis Baganz 1924—1929; William Kuether 1929—1943; Waldemar Zink 1944—1965; Arnold Tiefel 1965—1975; Joel Ph. Sauer 1975—
G. Thiele 1866; ——Brockman 1867; L. W. Yabel 1867; H. Stute 1889; Christian Doehler 1889; Henry F. Pusehl 1943—1944; Floyd Mattek 1965; Harmon Krause 1975
Teachers who have served
Lydia & Christine Nietmann to—1876; Emma Kleinlein 1885—1890; John Siegler 1890 1891; Carl Brenner 1891—1893; H. Schmah 1893—1894; Authur Daus 1894—1895; Win. Bergholz Jr. 1895—1900; Win. M. Boelte 1900—1903; Franz tlehrstedt 1903— 1904; Hans Herfurth 1904—1906; Margareta Hartwig 1906—1908; Eleonore Horn 1908-1909; Ella Schaefer 1909—1914; Lillian Hoffman 1914—1915; Hulda Wichmann 1915—1916; Edna Rogge 1916—1918; Ada Schroeder 1918—1919; Anna Herberer 1919; Lucy Helmke 1920; Elfrieda Braun 1920—1921; Clara Lichtenberg 1921—1926; Elfrieda Pautz 1926—1927; Odelia Stuebs 1927—1929; Emma Sell 1927; Erna Lemke 1930—1932; Viola Leitzke 1930—1936; Ora Wollenburg 1936—1939; Edgar Wayhausen 1939—1941; Floyd Mattek 1941—1947; Mrs. Ray Gallagher 1944—1945; Elizabeth Johannes 1945—1948; Clarence Novak 1947; Rebecca Keller 1948—1950; Harold Goede 1947—1952; Ardyce Hopp 1950—1952; Caroline Lehrke 1952—1954; Norman Pommeranz 1952; William Manthey 1953; Herbert Rupprecht 1953—1958; Mrs. Rupprecht 1954—1955; Bertha Bierwagen 1955—1957; Dorothy White 1957—1958; Grace Hagedorn 1957—1962; Paula Luce 1958—1960; Otto Blase 1958—1959; Werner Roekle 1959—1972; Berdella Kiehnau 1960—1961; Elvira Krueger 1960—1964; Judy Engelland 1961—1963; Ruth A. Brockhoff 1961—1964; Natalie Engel 1963—1964; Ruth Sieker 1964—1970; Paul Willems 1964—1971; Mrs. Lois Willems 1964—1966; Mrs. Joyce Malavitz 1967—1989; Edward Behling 1969—1970; Bonnie Eisenman 1970—1975; Vernon McClelland 1971—1985; David Fahlauer 1972 1979; Mrs. Susan Uecker 1975—1976; Mrs Susan Jacobs 1977; Mrs. Marie Sauer 1977—1980; Denise McCartney 1977—1980; Doris Kitzerow 1979—1980; Gayle Schultz 1980—1981; David Dahl 1980—1982; Bonnie Hanmann 1980—1987; Mrs. Carol Stuebs 1981 Michelle Pfeifer 1982—1984; Leonard Epple 1948 ——— ; Mrs. Ruth Siegmund 1985— 1986; Thomas Marten 1986—1990; Mrs. Kathleen Marten 1987—1990; Connie Lauber 1989—1990; Mrs. Marie Sauer 1990
First Confirmation Clas Palm Sunday — March 24, 1866
First Communicants — Easter Sunday 1865
M/M Conrad Naser, M/M Fr. Bargemann, M/M ——— Schulz, Mrs. Nielsen, Mrs Bohne, Mrs Gesell, M/M Joh. Schulz II, M/M Joachim Besserdich, M/M ——— Krueger, M/M Roehrdanz, M/M Johann Besserdich, Fritz Besserdich, Mrs. Hoffmann, M/M ——— Stueps, Pastor Bachmann.
Organizations in Immanuel
Ladies Aid. A senior organization was organized in 1891, under Pastor Bergholz. In 1927 a junior group was formed. In 1964 the two societies merged into what is now referred to as simply the ladies Aid. Over the years the women of Immanuel have had an opportunity for Christian fellowship, performing many worth—while activities, enriching all areas of the congregation.
Young Peopes Society. A very necessary out—let for the young folks of Immanuel. Yet another opportunity for budding souls to be nourished in the Word. Founded by Pastor L. Baganz in 1927, the Y.P.S. has funded any number of projects in and around our church.
School Association. Founded in 1961 as an avenue of Immanuel’s bringing Christ to the community. Certainly another path to introduce otherwise unchurched lambs into the flock. Also an excellent Christian outlet for the many instructors who so generously gave of their time and talent.
Altar Guild. Began in 1972 from an idea proposed by Mrs. A. W. Tiefel, the pastors wife. Maintains the altar cloths, prepares the communion ware for the distribution of the lords Supper, beautifies the chancel with flower and plant arrangements and un—covers and covers the altar before and after services.
The Holy Bible — The Lutheran Hymnal — WELS 1990 Yearbook — Immanuel Lutheran Annuals 1973 thru 1988 — Anniversary booklets of Immanuel 1940 (75) and 1965 (100th) — publications of the Dedication Services of Immanuel’s present facilities, 1953 — publication of the Dedication of the Stained Glass Windows in the present house of worship, 1965 — A short biography of Joel Ph. Sauer., 1975 — publication of Organ Rededication Services, Mar 18, 1990 — WELS Anniversary Booklet of the Northern Wis. District, 1917—1967 — Area WELS anniversary booklets: Emanuel, Kohlberg, 1962; St. John, Town Gibson, 1973; St. Peter, Town Carlton, 1965; First German, Manitowoc, 1955; St. John, Town Two Creeks, 1967; St. John, Town Newtonburg, 1951; St. Paul, Algoma, 1962 and St. John, Maribel, 1955, Area MLS anniversary booklets: St. Paul, Montpelier, 1965; St. John, Rankin, 1967 and St. Peter, Forestville, 1975. Immanuel Lutheran financial records, baptism, marriage, burial, communion and confirmation records. Congregational records of St. Peter, Carlton; St. John, Sandy Bay; St. Paul, Montpelier and St. John, Rankin. Answers in the form of letters fron St. Johns Lutheran church, Golden Lake, Jefferson county, Wis. and Trinity Lutheran church, Sheboygan. On site inspection and perusal of official records of the Golden Lake church burial grounds and of Wildwood Cemetery, Sheboygan. Rogets Thesaurus — Webster’s Dictionary — The real estate recordings in the Register of Deeds office at the Kewaunee County Court House. Published atlases: Hixsons “Tourist Guide of Wisconsin”, circa 1920; Rockfords “Atlas of Wisconsin,” circa 1970; Wis,—DOT highway map; Die General Karte,” Mairs Goegraphischer Verlag, Stuttgart, W. Germany. Newspaper publications: “The Kewaunee Enterprise, ”The Kewaunee County Banner,” (German language); The Ahnapee Record,” Algoma, and newspapers from Jefferson, Manitowoc and Sheboygan, both in English and German. “Wisconsin a History,” James W. Nesbit, 1973; “An Encyclopedia of World History,” Wm. L. Langer, 1948; “Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europaeischen Staaten,” V. lsenberg, 1960 and “Germany a Modern History,” Marshall Dill Jr., 1961. Official newsletters and periodicals from “Die Pommersche Leute,”“Pomnerscher Verein Freistadt” and “Die Pomnersche Zietung,” the last published in Luebeck— Travemuende, W, Germany. Not published material, but equally important include the personnal assistance, support and help from such persons as, Mrs. Marie Sauer, Mr. Herbert Bargemann, Pastor Sauer, Mr. Leonard Epple, Mrs. Marion Koudelka, Mrs. Myrtle Ziemer, Mr. Robert Cox, Mrs. Lois Cox, Mr. Dayton lhlenfeldt and Mrs. Ruth Ihlenfeldt, These people and the many unnamed persons who lent their time and expertise in the various locations in Wisconsin helping to reveal facts and figures for this booklet, deserve the thanks and appreciation of the members of Immanuel Lutheran congregation.