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The History of Renville County, Volume 2
Compiled by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge
Franklin Congregation was organized in 1876 by the following: Thomas Tweet, Hellek Peterson, Holger Jacobus, who was also the first postmaster of Franklin, Erik Lokken, Jens Skarness, Magnus Johnson, E. S. Johnson and Engebert Thompson. Jacobus was the first secretary. It is not remembered who came here to preach before there was a regular called minister, but Rev. Erikson of Hawk Creek, was the first regular called minister who served the congregation for two or three years. Many members were added to the congregation during that time and later. After Rev. Erikson several of the [ministers] were: Revs. L. N. Pederson, Prof. Theo. Rumestad Jacobson, of Westbrook, Minnesota, M. G. Hanson and S. E. Sorensen, of St. Paul, who served the congregation for about thirty years, after which the Franklin, Hauges, Zions and Camp congregations consolidated so as to call one minister together who should then reside here. G. O. Rosing of the United church was called and accepted and moved here from Minneapolis and was minister for about three years. Hauges congregation then called Rev. Thos. Hanson, and the other three congregations called Student J. S. Sneve, who accepted and served here for nearly two years, when he resigned and left in the spring of 1898, when the present minister, Rev. Thos. Hanson, was called and is still serving as the congregation minister.
Trinity church of Franklin congregation was started in 1889, but was not completely finished until 1895. Still later extensive improvements have been made such as installing a new altar and church bell, and the building of a full basement under the whole church neatly partitioned off into various useful compartments, same costing over $1,200. The church has a large Sunday school and conducts a parochial school during the summer months, for the instruction of religion to the young.
It has also a very active Ladies' Aid society, producing several hundred dollars each year for benevolent and [religious] purposes.
The first child on record as being baptized here is Julia Anette Monson. The first funeral was that of Inger Skarnes. The first confirmation was held July 8, 1877. Among those then confirmed might be mentioned Jacob Pederson and Emma M. Johnson.
One of the first marriages was that of J. M. Johnson and Carrie Lökken. Many of the younger generation use English more than their ancestral tongue, hence the church work is carried on in both languages. It might he mentioned that the young as well as the old for a great part are very loyal to the church, attending regularly and giving freely.
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