Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Busy Weeks... Always something!

Days fly by and there is always more to do, more to experience, more to fill my mind. This week started with my brother Steve's birthday on Monday. He would have been 54, but life on earth ended for him at age 52. I miss him, my family misses him. We were all full of memories of Steve on his special day.
This weekend Mom and Dad are coming to Denver to visit, so there is a lot to do in preparation of them coming. (is it getting done? procrastination!!!) As always, they're bringing some things down and I'm sending some things back with them. Sort of an on-going exchange between Denver and the farm.
They're cutting trees down across the street from me where the bank is putting in a parking lot. It's sad to see the mature and majestic, tall maples drop to the ground. My windbreak from the north is disappearing.
School continues to absorb my mind. Homecoming is next week. I've been working with the Freshmen class on decorations for their hall. Midterms were due Monday, but there continues to be things to grade and enter. I'm preparing the room for the 8th graders to start clay, let the dust begin. I got a new kiln this year so hopefully I'll be able to learn the new methods of firing pieces. Always something... and much, much more. How are you doing at "hanging in"?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Grandview Covenant Church History

Formerly established as
Grand View Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Mission Church
In 1873, religious services of Swedish settlers began when Rev. John F. Wretlof, a 29 year old preacher from from Boone, IA, arrived along the Sioux River in Sioux Township. Pastor Wretlof was born Dec. 26, 1843, in Göteborg, Sweden, and had immigrated from Sweden, August 3, 1864. He came to Rock Rapids on the stage in May 1873, transferred onto a mail wagon to Larchwood, and then set out on foot across the open prairie in search of Swedish settlers that lived in this region. After walking most of the day, he heard a dog barking in the distance and followed the sounds of activity to the Jackson dugout along the Big Sioux River, about one and a half miles southwest of Granite, IA. He stayed with the Jacksons for a few days and met with other Swedish pioneers in the area, sharing God’s Word in preaching, song and prayer, the start of a religious community.
Above: 1888 map of Sioux Township, Lyon County, Iowa.
These settlers introduced him to more Swedes, taking him to Dakota Territory, to the north, where Wretlof eventually started two more congregations, The Beaver Valley Lutheran Church, of Valley Springs, SD and Swedona Mission (Covenant) Church, north of Brandon, SD. Rev. Wretlof soon brought his newlywed bride, of one year, the former Augusta Johnson, to the community, and they homesteaded near Valley Springs, SD.
Various traveling missionaries from Dakota Territory/South Dakota also visited the region regularly from the early beginnings of the community. For the next 39 years, organized mission meetings were held in the woods at John and Johanna Longs, Peter and Anna Newbergs on the Dakota side of the river, and Isaac and Carrie Swansons, for about 31 years families met in a school house near John Longs, with Wretlof coming about every third Sunday to lead the worship service, as well as meeting in other homes near the Sioux River. Mrs. Isaac Swanson gave him lodging most of the time, while he was in the community, in the early years.
Left: Friends and relatives meeting at the Charles and Anna Swanson home.
As years passed, the number of people increased on the land, including more immigrants from Sweden, allowing the religious community to grow. From about 1904 to 1914, the religious meetings were held in the homes and groves of: Axel and Olga Bonander’s northwest of Granite, Charles and Emma Long south of Granite, Martin and Anna Ruud’s southwest of Granite, and Charles and Anna Swanson east of Granite.
On August 3, 1912, the Grand View Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Mission Church of Granite, Iowa was organized, in the home of Charles and Anna Swanson on section 21 of Sioux township, under the supervision of Rev. Wretlof. Five families were the foundation of this congregation.
Members included: Mr. and Mrs. Charles Long, Cecelia Martin and Willie, Mr. and Mrs. August Swanson, Mr. and Mrs. Charles T. Swanson and Mabel, and Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Swanson and sons Swan, Edward and Anton, a group of 15 members with Rev. Wretlof.
Rev. Wretlof was elected chairman, L.C. Meberg, acting secretary; and more families joined the congregation, and a subscription list was circulated by the congregation members for the building of a church. Trustees; August Swanson, Charles Swanson and Swan Swanson were commissioned by the congregation to build a church, one and one half miles southwest of Granite, on an acre of ground donated by Swan Swanson.
Right: Sunday School at the Granite School in 1912.
Rev. Wretlof had started instructing the first confirmation class, of 7 members, which was confirmed in the new church in 1914. Children's Christmas programs were held Christmas 1912 and 1913 at the Charles T. Swanson home. The gatherings for these Christmas programs lasted until 3 or 4 a.m., before the wagons and sleighs headed on their way home in the early hours of the day. (There had been several programs in the community in the past as well.)
Left: Ladies Aid meeting at the C.T. & Anna Swanson home. In the picture is the Swanson's new King automobile.
Mrs. C.T. (Anna) Swanson conceived the idea of forming a Ladies’ Aid society, so on March 18, 1913, the ladies of the community were gathered at her home under the direction of Rev. Wretlof to meet every other week with Mrs. Swanson as their first president. This group did much sewing, including making a large blue block quilt with a yellow star in each square was made with people paying to have their names sewn in red on points of the yellow stars. The Ladies' Aid auctioned the quilt off and it was bought by Charlie Long for $60.00! The society also held large dinners for the community and invited others of the region to their fundraisers. Their income was said to be several hundred dollars a year, used for local and missionary purposes. (In 1982, the societies name was changed to Covenant Women.)
A constitution was adopted and the church was given the name of, The Grand View Swedish Mission Church of Granite, IA, affiliated with the Swedish Christian Missionary Society of South Dakota. Erected during 1913 - 1914, a stone foundation supported the gothic, stained glass windowed church with the grand staircase leading up to the front doors. The new church building was 26 x 48 ft. in size, comprised of eight rooms with a front arched auditorium with a slanted floor and a furnished basement. It was meant to hold about 200 people. The building was lighted with gas and heated with a hot air furnace. Upstairs, furnishings were procured including the beautiful altar oil painting (for $113.) “Ascension” and a piano, won in a contest by Mabel Swanson, for the church. The total cost of the church was $5,094.14, most of which was paid before it’s dedication, on Sunday, May 31, 1914. Before a large gathering of people, this church was dedicated to be a House of God, to worship Him in, and to be a spiritual light, full of warmth and guidance of the people, with the hope that many may find their soul’s salvation. Rev. Wretlof, Rev. O. H. Miller of Stockholm, SD, and Rev. K.O. Axelson, South Dakota traveling missionary, all took part in the dedication services, setting the church aside for its most high and holy mission.
The Sunday School was organized by Pastor Wretlof, on April 26, 1914. Miss Mabel Swanson was the first superintendent and over the years many faithful superintendents, teachers and students have been active in making it a vital part of our church through song, lessons, special programs and summer Bible School.
About 1918, Rev. Wretlof, with old age approaching, was aided by Rev. Emil Bergren from Swedona Mission church, as he was asked to give pastoral aid. He would motor down from Swedona about every other Sunday to preach an afternoon service. In 1919, a seminary student, Rev. Arvid Carlson from North Park College in Chicago, IL was called for the summer. He also interchanged with Rev. Bergren in preaching in Swedona and Salem, SD churches. Rev. Wretlof resigned, March 24, 1919, and only months later, on December 1, 1919, our faithful shepherd and minister of 46 years passed away in his home in Brandon, SD. May there always be a Peace of Christian Love over his memory.
A parsonage was conceived by the congregation and about 20 acres of ground (the former Quist place in the NW corner of Granite) owned by C. T. Swanson, was considered a good central location in the community. Rev. Bergren commissioned the trustees; August Swanson, C. T. Swanson, and Ed Swanson to purchase this land and a deed was recorded and improvements on the house were made.
The church got its first resident pastor, Rev. R. A. Larson, from Worthington, MN, who came with his family, June 9, 1921. At this time he brought about the church opening to the English language, with morning Swedish services and evening English services. Rev. Larson also organized the Young People Society in 1921 with Emil Swanson as the first chairman. This group started out meeting weekly for teachings and social time in area Christian homes. After three years Rev. Larson preached his farewell sermon Sunday, July 13, and left Granite, July 22, 1924, for Buffalo, NY.
Successors to the pulpit at Grandview were Rev. Samuel Hogander, The Rev. Charles Carlson and the Rev. Herman Carlson, who resigned in 1930. During the vacancy which followed his resignation the church was visited occasionally by different pastors. Rev. Bergren, at this time fieldsman of the South Dakota District, assisted the church considerably as did Rev. Raymond A. Johnson.
Rev. H. R. Jacobson began his ministry in the spring of 1934, and served the Grandview and Swedona churches jointly. In 1946, Rev. France Ericson took charge and in the same year the church joined the Northwest Conference but remained in the South Dakota District.
Right: Ladies taking a break out the back door of the church: Amelia Bennett, Olga Bonander, Tresa Grotewold, Tilda Swanson, Anna Monson, and Ella Bjork
Rev. David Kline accepted the call as full-time pastor in 1950. In 1952, he was succeeded by Rev. Ralph Powell as supply preacher. In 1953, Robert Fuchs (Fox), a student of the Baptist Seminary in Sioux Falls, took over the pastorate. Rev. France Ericson resumed duties as interim pastor in 1955.
A Martha Missionary Circle was organized in 1955, in the home of Mrs. Ethel (Swanson)
Palmberg, who was elected the first president. Its activities included projects such as sewing for the mission fields, childrens and retirement centers. They have sponsored various students in foreign countries and after 30 years of faithful service their responsibilities were turned over to the Covenant Women.
Rev. Paul Nelson served Grandview from 1957-1965. During this time a new constitution was adopted in January 1958, establishing the church name as the Grandview Covenant Church of Larchwood, IA.
during the next 12 years, the church was served by students of the Baptist Seminary in Sioux Falls, they were: David Samf (Sems), Jerry Edinger, Gale O’Neil, David Ehman and David Rushton. From 1977 to 1980, Dr. Ralph Powell returned to Grandview, assisted by John Ziulkowski, another seminary student, served Grandview.
The AWANA Youth Club, was started in 1975. It reaches out to all denominations. When this group started, they met once a week during the school year in the Larchwood Gym. Volunteer leaders and helpers prepared a very spiritual and enjoyable evening for the boys and girls of the community. The AWANA club dissolved for a time but has become active again in 2002.
Terry Lundquist, a graduate of North Park Seminary, served 1980-1981. Dr. Ralph Powell returned in 1981 to serve as our faithful and conscientious pastor. He was assisted by the following Baptist Seminary students: Harold Schroeder, Michael Campbell, Scott MacDonald and Tim Friez.
Modernization and improvements have come to the church as the years have passed. New electrical and pluming brought lights, improved kitchen facilities and restrooms. On May 25, 1941, the congregation had electric lights for the first time at our evening services. Pews, replacing the folded theater chairs and a new pulpit were installed in April of 1962. The pews and new pulpit were a memorial gift in honor of Carl J. Johnson. An addition was built onto the back giving room for another classroom and later office. Evergreen trees were planted to surround and protect the church on top of the highest point in Lyon County. In 1983, an addition was built, expanding the sanctuary to provide seating for an additional one hundred people, adding space for a new entry, sunday school rooms, and a reception area in the fellowship hall in the basement. Dedication services were held November 20, 1983.
Carl and Tracy Dieters donated more land to the East of the church and ample parking was added to the church grounds for the growing church.
The church celebrated their 75th anniversary September 12-13, 1987, when there were 32 families having membership. The church was active with Covenant Women, Sunday School, a Young People group, Daily Vacation Bible School, and the Awana Youth Club.
Constitution and By-Laws of the church were revised Sept. 25, 1988. The purpose of this church is to unite believers in fellowship for spiritual edification, for the winning of sinners to Christ, and for the propagation of the gospel of Jesus Christ through home and world missions.
Following those before with faithful service to Grandview were, Rev. Jack Brooks, Rev. Heidi Wiebe and Pastor Hariet Shelton. The last two graduates of North Park Covenant Seminary.
In 2002, the Awana program was reinstituted in an effort to teach community youth about the Bible. Evening meetings are held at the Larchwood Recreation Center. Pastor Hans Eric Nelson, another North Park Graduate served the congregation from 2002 to 2004. Currently Pastor Penny Nance is serving the congregation, with members and the faithful attending from South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa.
There is a church cemetery 1/2 mile west of the church building overlooking the Sioux River Valley.
We are happy to celebrate history that is past, experience that is present, and hope and assurance that is our future. Praise be to God for our heritage.

Our Little White Church on The Hill by my Grandmother Phoebe (Swanson) Johnson
(Tune “The Church in the Wildwood”)

Oh, come to the church in the country,
Our little white church on the hill,
Where the Master waits, now, to give welcome,
And each heart with new gladness to fill.

Oh, come, come, come, come
Worship the God of our fathers,
We trust Him as Counselor still.
May His Gospel Light always shine brightly
In our little white church on the hill.

How dear to us now is the chancel,
Where true hearts, in faith, have been wed,
Where our babes in God’s name have been christened,
And our youth in confirmation have read.

Here, loved ones, now gone, seem to linger;
In their stead, we labor today;
May we seek joy and peace in the Savior;
Love and praise Him each step of the way!

6th graders

The youngest grade I teach art to at DMS. They are new to the routine of middle school, yet this group still gets so excited in art class that I continually remind them to quiet down. Here they are working on a drawing of a "Secret City" of their creation. Secret City revolves around the vocabulary of: forshortening, shadows, surface, contour lines, size, density and overlapping to "build" their drawings. Here is my current group of 6th graders at work.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

An old gas truck for inspiration...

I've driven by this old gas truck in town for many years. It's down the street from our post office and behind the town elevators. Finally one night this week, I pulled my car over and parked so I could explore the truck at close range. A few people drove by and I'm sure they wondered what that woman was doing photographing the truck over and over and over again, moving around it like I was stalking my prey. I had noticed it was moved a little and there are stakes for a garage nearby so things were changing and I wanted to take some photos of it before it disappeared. I think it is full of character.The photos in these collages were taken to serve as the theme for a project my painting class at school will do.I even played with the filters and "switched up" some of the photos. I'm intrigued by old things. Isn't everyone?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Charles and Emma Barnes Family

Charles Alfred Barnes - my Great Grandfather on Mom's adopted side.
Charles Alfred Barnes, the son of Alfred W. Barnes (1824-1851) and Menora (Minora) Jannette Bassett, was born on Oct. 25, 1850 in Pittsford, Rutland Co., VT. His father died and his mother remarried Rev. Lewis Seymour Cooley (1831-1898). At the age of 7, he with his mother and stepfather moved to Woodstock, Ill. (1857). They lived there until 1861, when they moved to Littleton, Buchanan Co. IA when Charles was 11, they moved into town after two years on the farm. His stepfather being a minister, the family moved from place to place in the upper IA conference, his boyhood days were spent at Rockford, Mayville, Butler Center, Shell Rock, Union, Geneva and Nora Springs, all in IA.
While yet a young man he joined J. D. Andrews in the monument business at Crete, Neb., later he took up a tree claim 3 miles Northwest of Ellsworth, MN, Long Prairie Township and known as the S. E. Quarter of section 18, in township 101 North of range 43 west of the 5th principal Meridian in Minnesota and containing 160 acres. This land was acquired under the Acts of Congress approved March 3, 1873, March 13, 1874 & June 14, 1878, "To encourage the Growth of Timber on the Western Prairies." (V.A. Barnes note "I think he applied for this sometime in the year of 1872 but he did not receive the final papers until 1884 and I have the final papers signed by President Chester A. Arthur.) His brother George had located there sometime before and both of them went through all the pioneer days with many trials and privations, twice he was eaten out by grasshoppers, tree and crops, and he had to go back to Iowa and obtain more money to carry on, besides receiving help from his brother George. He went through the bad blizzard and hot and dry summers and strong winds.
Right: Valdi, Charles, Celia, & Emma Barnes, Rev. Lewis & Menora Cooley.
His old partner, Josiah Daville Andrews gave him a letter of introduction to his wife's sister, Emma Pierce and after a long correspondence in which most of the courting was done by mail, he was united in marriage to Emma Cecelia Pierce of Ackley, IA, in Feb of 1881. They immediately left of Minnesota but on account of the heavy blizzard of that winter, the trip took over six weeks. Charles improved his tree claim, built a small house, set out trees, built a large barn and lived there until the fall of 1897. His health was none to good and early in the fall he had the chance to sell the place for 35 to 40 dollars per acre to Charles Loveland who had made a strike in the Alaska gold rush. Mr. Barnes was also desiring to go into some kind of business, so he sold the farm and moved to Ackley, IA. He went through all the hard times and pioneer days with poor crops and poor prices and Loveland had the farm and took 3 good crops at good prices and sold it for 65 dollars per acre.
Later in the fall of 1897, he bought two lots at the little townsite of Harris, IA. Osceola Co. and built a two story frame store and residence and embarked in the hardware business, moving his family there in the spring of 1898. He bought and donated the Church bell at Harris and for many years it called the people to worship. Many years afterwards the church burned to the ground and we don't know what happened to the bell. For twenty years he was engaged in the hardware business. He took an active part in all the City affairs and saw the townsite grow from a few places to a fairly large size incorporated town. In 1917, his health became poorly and he sold the business in the spring and moved to Sioux Falls, SD where he had a son living. He had planned on living a retired life of happiness with his helpmate for many years, but his plans lasted only three years for on Oct. 8th 1920, God touched him suddenly while he was on his way home from the neighborhood store. (heart attack) His burial took place at Mount Pleasant Cemetary at Sioux Falls, SD. His health had been none too good but there had been nothing to feel alarmed about and the Sunday before he passed away the family had been out to the cemetery and he spoke of buying a lot and picked the location where he would like to be buried and the plans had been to go out there the following Sunday and pick out a lot. It might be said in connection with this that we picked out the lot that he wanted but we found out about two or three later that it had been sold and so we had to move the remains and a monument to another lot that we bought.

Emma Cecelia Pierce Barnes - My Great Grandmother on Mom's adopted side.
Born 31 January 1855 east of Winchester, Randolph Co., IN. She moved with her parents (J.M. Pierce and Sarah Jane (Wilson) Pierce) to Iowa in the fall of 1855, to Ackley, IA, where she lived until her marriage. The newlywed couple moved to Ellsworth, MN for 20 years before moving to Harris, IA and in 1917 moved to Sioux Falls, SD.
She was a reader of the Bible for 60 years consistently reading it from cover to cover until she had read it through 29 times and was in the book of Psalms in the 30th cycle when she was taken with her last illness. Mrs. Barnes died at her daughters home at 1:30 Monday afternoon. She had been confined to her bed for 16 months as the result of her last stroke.

Emma and Charles had two children Valdimir Alfred Barnes (1885-1962) and Sarah Menora Jane Cecelia Barnes Wettestad (1891-1972) Both are buried next to their spouses and parents at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Sioux Falls, SD
Celia, my Grandmother, got her name by being named by her mother; Sarah after her grandmother on her mother's side, Menora after her grandmother on her father's side, Jenny (Jane) after her mothers twin sister, and Cecelia after her mother. She went by the name of Celia.


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