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Messiah Lutheran Church 1881-1931

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[Page 65] Golden Jubilee—Messiah Lutheran Church


Reading Left to Right

First Row: Mrs. Andrew Johnson, Carolina Johnson, John Carlson, Mary Fellman, Theodore Erickson.

Second Row: Mrs. Olof Anderson, Frank Stolpe, John Bergh, F. A. Johnson, H. Jacobson, J. M. Lindstrom, Gross Anderson.

Third Row: Mrs. Marcus Johnson, Louise Nelson, Alfred Lindholm, Dr. F. A. Johnsson, Mrs. Gustafson, G. A. Carlson, Katherine Ekstrom.

Fourth Row: Mrs. Jacob Oberg, Albin Anderson, Alfred Olson, Mary Jamerson, Jacob Johnson, Chas. Eck.

Golden Jubilee—Messiah. Lutheran Church [Page 66]


The first society to be organized within the church was the Messiah Ladies' Society. At the annual meeting of the congregation held January 8, 1883, through the efforts of Rev. M. Frykman, it was unanimously decided that the ladies of the congregation organize as a society. The following members now living were present at this organization meeting: Mrs. Katherine Ekstrom, Mrs. Louise Nelson, Mrs. Mary Jamerson, Mrs. Marcus Johnson, Mrs. Caroline Johnson, and Miss Eva Beck. The name of the society was "The Ladies' Sewing Society". Its membership included the married and unmarried women of the church— young and old.

Meetings were held in the various homes every two weeks. These meetings were opened with devotion and then, as the name implies, the time was used for sewing. Two women were elected managers, whose duties were to buy the material, cut the same into articles such as men's shirts, aprons, pillow cases and other garments and household necessities. The material issued at one meeting was returned by the ladies at the next meeting as a finished piece of work. These articles were then sold at supper-auctions held twice a year, spring and fall. These auctions were the outstanding social events in the life of the church and were well attended. Sometimes, instead of a supper, light refreshments were served during the course of the evening at which time all the members of the congregation, men, women and children, enjoyed a delightful social time.

Undoubtedly the society was active from the very start, for we read in the records of the church that at the annual meeting of the congregation on January 30, 1884, "It was moved and carried that the congregation express its thanks and appreciation to the Ladies' Sewing Society for the work done during the past year and that the ladies be encouraged to continue their good work in the future."

In the treasurer's report for 1885, mention is made of the fact that the proceeds from auctions held on April 26 and September 27, 1885, respectively, were $110.37 and $81.30. The congregation also received $70.61 from a supper held on September 27, 1885, which was sponsored by the Ladies' Society. While these figures may not appear large at the Present time, they reveal an interest and spirit characteristic of pioneer workers, for they are large sums when the membership of the

[Page 67] Golden Jubilee—Messiah Lutheran Church

congregation, the circumstances of the members, and the hardships encountered are taken into consideration.

No records are available for the period from 1886 to 1893 except that mention is made, in the general report of the church treasurer, of money received from The Ladies' Sewing Society from time to time, indicating that the Society continued its work as begun in 1883.

On April 6, 1893, Rev. F. A. Johnsson reorganized the Society into two groups, the married women in one group and the unmarried in another. The name of the former group was "The Elderly Ladies' Society" or, as more often called, the "Tjugo-fem cents Föreningen" (since the regular monthly dues were twenty-five cents). This group, with a membership of forty, met one afternoon each month. Rev. F. A. Johnsson was elected president, with a vice-president, secretary, and treasurer to aid him with the work of the society. The name of the young ladies' group became the "Young Ladies' Sewing Society", which is now known as the Dorcas Society. An account of the latter society will he found elsewhere in this book.

From this time on, these societies had complete charge of all their funds; up to this time all moneys had been turned over to the church treasurer.

In June, 1893, the Elderly Ladies' Society decided to use all its effort towards increasing the Parsonage Building Fund with the reservation that it should be free to do any necessary charity work.

In 1902, the name of the society was again changed; this time it adopted the name "Messiah Ladies' Society." It contributed to the various activities and improvements of the church and purchased the church bell. At this time the society also had a mission fund, made possible by lifting offerings at each meeting. A committee of three was in charge of this fund. This mission fund replaced the flower fund formerly used for the purpose of sending flowers to members who were ill. From 1911, when this change was made, to May, 1920, the society had collected eleven hundred dollars for mission work in this manner, although contribution for this cause had been made from the time the society was first organized.

The society had felt for a long time that the mission cause had been somewhat neglected, due to the fact that the regular work of the society had taken most of the time of the members. As a result of this general feeling, a Women's Missionary Society was organized on May 7, 1920. A write-up of this society appears elsewhere in these pages.

At the time of this writing the Messiah Ladies' Society has a mem-

(Continued on Page 89)

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Messiah Lutheran Church 1881-1931

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