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Sharon Oltmanns transcribed and submitted this page.

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The History of SS. Peter & Paul
Evangelical Lutheran Church of
Castle Grove Township
Monticello, Iowa




1958—It was decided to buy the new hymnal out of the Memorial Fund. Also members donated money to the fund as special memorials. The church and parsonage was rewired.

1959—The organist was to paid $2.00 per service. A new church seal was bought. Boys started assisting the deacons with collections on Sundays. A telephone was installed in the church.
Also in 1959, it was agreed to send league members to Leadership Training school. They were in 1959 Patty Hasler and Eleanor Oltman, 1960 David Specht and Atis Lubnas, 1961 Elizabeth Specht and Donald Johnson, 1962 Garry Kromminga and Phil Schlarman, 1964 Barbara Hugh and Marilyn Richardson and in 1965 Elaine Schafer.

1960—Rev. Zellmer received $125 for janitor work and Philip Schlarman mowed the lawn at $5 a time.

1961—Had a Lord's acre of corn. Rev. and Mrs. Zellmer went to the Luther League Convention at Miami Beach as counselors. Mrs. Zellmer was appointed Lutheran Welfare Society Publicity representative. Don Rieniets and Alva Stadtmueller repaired the parsonage floor for new tile.

1962—Church services were held at Bible Camp at Strawberry Point on July 1st.

1963—An Organist Edition of the Hymnal and Altar Prayers was given by Mrs. Otto Senft in memory of her father.

1964—A joint council meeting with Hopkinton was held to discuss the pastor's salary. We participated in the Preaching-Teaching Mission held by the Cedar Rapids Conference. Rev. Thalacker was speaker for the 85th Anniversary.

1966—Mrs. F. H. Kromminga attended the organists institute at Dubuque.

1967—(January 22) Pastor Zellmer was granted a release to accept a call from Eldorado, Iowa. At a joint meeting, with District President Bruno Schlactenhaufer, Pastor Norton J. McCaughan was called to serve our congregation from Texas. He came in July of 1967. Also in 1967 Paul Hugh, Jr. mowed the lawn at $10.

1968—Our constitution was verified with the State of Iowa and copies were made for voting members. A Stewardship Committee was formed consisting of the Financial Secretary, Treasurer, Secretary of Stewardship of the ALCW, the President and Treasurer of the Luther League. Individual cups were approved for communion. Paul McCaughan received $5 for mowing. Barnett's Glass Company repaired the stained glass windows in the church at the cost of $1400.

1969—A tent was had with other Jones County Congregations at the Jones County Fair for display. A scholarship fund was looked into with Pastor McCaughan, Richard Stadtmueller and Max Specht on the committee.

1969—90th Anniversary. A special collection was taken for the Ministerial Memorial Fund.

1970—(May) Pastor McCaughan was granted a release to accept a call he received from Union State Line, Jackson, Minnesota. The congregation decided to switch from the Cedar Rapids Conference to the Dubuque Conference. A joint council meeting was held August 26, 1970 to call Pastor Karl J. Reimer. He accepted the call and moved to Castle Grove in November.

1971—A plaque was placed n the back of the church in memory of Marvin Luerkens who was killed in Vietnam. A Bible was purchased in memory of Herman Reth. It was decided to ring the bell during the Lord's Prayer. It was moved that Nancy Lubben or Lance Kromminga were to play the organ once a month.
Items bought from 1958 on were a projector, record player, dehumidifier, dual track windows, a refrigerator, windows fixed in the parsonage, communion card rack, 24 foot ladder, 4 road signs, built an outdoor bulletin board, 12 chairs with removable arms, altar hangings, memograph machine, typewriter, humidifier, clock over the back door, water heater, adding machine, 2 large fans, a fire extinguisher, 2 maroon ropes for reserving pews, reusable communion glasses, 24 steel chairs and film strips for the Sunday School.
At special meetings, delegates elected to attend District Conventions were: 1959, Max Specht at Waverly, 1960, George Seehusen at Waverly, 1961, John Monk at Luther College, 1962, Paul Hugh at Waverly, 1963, Herman Reth at Waverly, 1964, George Heiken, 1965, Louis Ulferts at Waverly, 1968, George Heiken at Waverly, 1970, Louis Ulferts, 1971 Henry Stadtmueller, 1972, Morris Montgomery, 1973, George Heiken at Forrest City, 1974, Max Specht at Dena College, Blair, Nebraska, 1975, Paul Hugh at Luther College, 1976, Ben Eiben at Wartburg College, 1977, Mrs. Max Specht at Luther College, 1978, Max Specht, Sioux Falls, South Dakota and 1979, Mrs. Wesley Hanken at Waverly.

1973—At the annual meeting, it was agreed to send $20 per month to the "Support for Mission Fund" at St. Edwards, Nebraska. In 1973 old hymnals, except 6, were sent to St. Edwards, Nebraska. The attic of the church was insulated. The parsonage was painted and a pulpit light was bought.

1974—Vacation Bible School money was sent to the Lutheran Orient Mission.

1974—Barn and school house damaged in the storm. Louis Ulferts, Henry Stadtmueller, Don Monk and Don Ahlrich were appointed as a committee to build a new garage. Left over material from building the garage, old furniture and other remains were auctioned off.

1974—(September 26) It was moved to adopt to sell approximately .91 acre on the west of the road for widening for new cement road. Land and fencing payment would amount to $701.81.

1974—(October 27) Church's 50th Anniversary of the church building.

1975—(January 19) A vote of thanks was given to Mrs. A. J. Schlarman who served as Sunday School Treasurer for 15 years. It was moved to continue sending $20 per month for 1 year to St. Edwards, Nebraska.

1975—Trees were bought as a memorial for David Dahl. They were planted around the church yard, replacing evergreens destroyed in the storm. Pastor Reimer gave 2 German Services on Sunday afternoons. All churches were invited to attend. A special surprise thank you family night was held for Emma Kray for being Sunday School Teacher and then Superintendent for 20 years. A beautiful Bible was presented to her.

1978—Storm windows were put on the stained glass windows.

1878—Pastor Reimer was given his release as he was retiring from active ministry. He served as a salaried minister until July 15th, but continued to serve our church until Sept. 10, 1978.

1978—Pastor Donald Wahlgren was called by a joint meeting of both congregations in August. He accepted the call and moved to Castle Grove on Sept. 13th.

1979—Centennial Year. In recent years our church has chosen to be called by SS. Peter and Paul.

A little history on St. John's Lutheran Church of Hopkinton: The first Corporation was drawn up on February 1st, 1901. Up to this time and until 1917, St. John's was served by pastors from SS. Peter and Paul. After 1917 they were served by Ryan, until 1941 when Rev. Thalacker served them until 1944 when Rev. Diers took over for six more years until 1950. Rev. Zellmer was the next pastor from SS. Peter and Paul to serve and they still served by pastors from SS. Peter and Paul.


In the fall of 1930 a meeting was held to organize a brotherhood by Rev. G. Wolf. Elected president was J. H. Specht, secretary—Alva Stadtmueller, and treasurer—L. D. Burrack. Ed Stadtmueller was later appointed vice-president.

Officers elected in the fall of 1931 were president—John Gerdes, Louis Heiken—secretary and John Husman—treasurer. Raymond Kromminga later replaced Louis Heiken as secretary.

The first rules of the organization were lost so a second one was drawn up, signed by Raymond Kromminga and Rev. Wolf.

Interesting talks and discussions and debates were held at the meetings. At one meeting Rev. Geyken took them on a musical trip to Germany and back to America, and gave talks at other meetings, too.

Debates were held such as "Who to Vote for, Rooselvelt or Hoover" and another "Which is the best Separator."

A pie eating contest was held with John Specht winning. Another contest was on guessing the price of hogs—first was Alva Hahn and second Will Siebels.

Fourth of July picnics were held in the John Specht timber.

A gravel hauling bee was held with 22 helping. Forty yards of gravel was hauled around the church. Will Siebels put in tile to lead water away from the parsonage and garage, which came from the southwest spout of the church.

At one meeting all newcomers received a cigar.

Entertaining with a musical comedy were Alva Hahn and Clarence Stadtmueller.

Other members were Henry Otten, Carl Heiken, Henry Ohe, Henry Stadtmueller, Carl Willms, E. L. Kromminga, Martin Geyken, Will Rickels and George Monk.

LADIES AID 1913-1960 space

The ladies aid was organized on Sept. 13, 1913. Rev Hans Naether was the minister.

The first meeting was held at the home of Mrs. Henry Burrack. The next three at the homes of Mrs. Chris Eiben, Mrs. Herman Hahn, and Mrs. Albert Heiken.

The first President was Mrs. Henry Knake and the first secretary was Mrs. Chris Eiben.

Charter members were Mrs. Thomas Ahlrich, Mrs. Lorenz Balster, Mrs. Henry Burrack, Mrs. Chris Eiben, Mrs. Herman Hahn, Mrs. Siebelt Harms, Mrs. Albert Heiken, Mrs. Gerd Heiken, Mrs. Marie Heiken, Mrs. Henry Knake, Mrs. Al Laude, Mrs. Henry Ortgies, Mrs. Luebbe Ortgies, Mrs. Henry Poppe, Mrs. John Rickels, Mrs. Andrew Scheer, Mrs. Austin Stadtmueller, Mrs. John Stadtmueller, and Mrs. Albert Weers.

Being members between 1913-1924 were Mrs. Tobe Caspers, Mrs. Eibo Eiben, Mrs. J. H. Folkers, Mrs. Martin Geyken, Mrs. Henry Gerjets, Mrs. John Gerdes, Mrs. Henry Johnson, Mrs. H. Kray, Mrs. Henry Ohe, Mrs. Henry Seehusen, Mrs. Alva (Fanny) Stadtmueller, Mrs. Louis Stadtmueller, Mrs. J. H. Specht, Mrs. George Specht, Mrs. Carl Wilms, Mrs. John T. Tapken, Mrs. F. Streeb, Mrs. John Tapken, Mrs. E. L. Kromminga, Miss Anna Heiken, Mrs. A. Sitzler, Mrs. J. E. Alhrich, and Mrs. William Ahlrich.

The ladies met in their homes and then in later years in the church basement.

Meetings consisted of songs, scripture reading, prayer, talks by the women or minister, and a business meeting. Closed with the Lord's prayer or doxology. Lunch as adopted at the Sept. 4th, 1925 meeting was to be a bun with meat, a rye bread sandwich with cheese, one kind of cake or cookie, a pickle, ice cream in the summer time, jello in the winter and coffee.

On May 28th, 1928, the ladies bought shrubbery to plant around the new church. In 1936, 100 evergreens were bought to plant around the church grounds for a wind break. New plants and shrubs were bought in 1955 to put in front of the church.

New hymnals were bought for the church in 1932. The ladies loaned the money to the congregation to pay for them, until they had the funds to pay them back. Later they donated them to the congregation as a gift.

The ladies refinished the hall floors in 1935 and had the church floor cleaned and revarnished. In 1938 they varnished the church pews and the church hall way. Mr. Ahrenholtz was hired in 1939 to paint the church, and again in 1948 he was hired to clean and touch up the church interior. Then in 1953, Jacques painted and redecorated the church.

Items bought by the ladies through the years were electric altar lights, altar cloths, tables for flowers for funerals, small chairs for the Sunday school and song books, file cabinet, large mats, wooden chairs, carpeted the church nave and chancel, six new tables, refrigerator, and dinnerware.

Mattress covers and slips were sent to the Muscatine Homes. From 1938-1948 they sent them eggs for Easter. Canning was started in 1947 for the homes and continued until Iowa Law prohibited this. They also did sewing for the Martin Luther Home.

The aid helped needy families, and during the war years sent boxes to people in Germany and boxes to the boys from our church who served in the service.

Members of the society were remembered with a plant when they were in the hospital. New babies were given a gift. They provided the parsonage with paper and paint and other needs.

To finance these project they had bazaars, bake sales, gave plays, had four ice cream socials, five church suppers, and then had lunch stands at farm sales. They served Luther League dinners, the conference for ministers, the Luther League Federation, and a dinner for the Lutheran Welfare. Later funeral lunches were served and wedding receptions. In 1937 they took a trip to visit the Muscatine Homes.

In 1960 the aid disbanded to join with the A.L.C.W. The last officers were President—Mrs. Ben Eiben, Vice President—Mrs. William Lubben, Secretary—Mrs. Edward Siebels and Treasurer—Mrs. John Monk.


The A.L.C.W. of S.S. Peter and Paul was organized when the Ladies Aid and Women's Missionary Society disbanded.

The aim of the society is to teach, serve, and give of our time, talents and gifts. As Jesus made use of the services of women during his earthly ministry, we try to serve to the Glory of the Triune God.

We joined with the Cedar Rapids Conference and adopted our constitution on October 13 1960. Later we transferred to the Dubuque Conference.

The first elect general officers were: President, Mrs. John Wacker; Vice-president, Mrs. A. J. Schlarman; Secretary, Miss Caroline Heiken; Treasurer, Miss Ella Rickels; Secretary of Stewardship, Mrs. Alva Stadtmueller; and Secretary of Education, Mrs. Richard Zellmer.

Two circles were organized. One was the afternoon, Ruth Circle and the other was the evening, Naomi Circle. Each circle has its own officers.

Every woman becomes a member of the A.L.C. W. when she reaches the age of 18 or older and is no longer active in Luther League. At the age of 70 she may become an honorary member.

Two main departments help us to fulfill our goals. One is the Educational and the other is Stewardship.

The educational department promotes devotions, Bible Study, prayer and educational programs. The ladies attend conference, district, and national conventions. A special project has been to buy books and a library is established for every one to use.

The stewardship department keeps up with the needs of our own church. They serve lunches for funerals, weddings, and anniversaries. They care for the cleaning and decorating needs. Also help by remembering people in the county home and the long care center at the hospital.

We give to the annual Thankoffering, Missionary for a Day, memorials, and gifts of money to the American Lutheran Church. We remember many different Lutheran Homes with gifts of money, as well as non-Lutheran homes and camps.

A very large number of quilts are made each year for Lutheran World Relief. Also given are men's and children's clothing, home made soap, commercial soap, old glasses, sweaters, and layettes. Also New Guinea Sewing has been done.

Stamps are collected for the Bethel Home, in Germany, with Rev. Hermann Wilm, Bieleseld, Germany, giving a very nice program at a special guest night. We collect and give to many other projects. We also have other interesting guest nights.

Present officers are: President, Mrs. Louis Ulferts; Vice-President, Mrs. Paul Hugh; Secretary, Mrs. Herman Reth; Treasurer, Mrs. Henry Stadtmueller; Secretary of Stewardship, Mrs. Morris Montgomery; and Secretary of Education, Mrs. Donald Wahlgren.

Projects done for the Centennial were to carpet the church entrance and steps. Also we bought material for a new library book case built by Mr. John Wacker.

We hope our work will continue as we start into the second century of our congregation. May the Lord guide and direct us.


The first meeting was held in November of 1920, forty-five members were enrolled in the parsonage of Rev. Scherf.

The first elected President was Fred Heiken. Vice President was Alva Stadtmueller, Secretary was William Seehusen, Treasurer was William Ahlrichs.

Program Committees included Fanny Eiben, Emma Heiken, and Frieda Geiken. Entertainment committee included Anna Husman, Emma Harms, and Ben Heiken.

The meeting included Prayer, Bible Readings, Program (Vocal Solos and Duets, mixful sketches) and a business meeting. The first solo was sung by Frieda Geiken. The first duet was given by Rev. and Mrs. Scherf. Every month a due of ten cents was paid by each member. The money was used for church purposes.

In the years of 1922 and 1927 Rules and By-laws were adapted. In 1927 the purpose of Luther League was stated as follows: a) to aid in producing loyal members of the congregation, b) to help in training the young to become faithful and active members of the Lutheran church in general, c) to advance and elevate the religious and moral life of its members by means of lectures, discussions of biblical and religious topics and social interaction, d) to give the congregation and the church such service as may be in its power.

During any meeting of the society both English and German language were accepted.

Newly elected officers took office at the beginning of each year.

In order of business for each meeting was as follows: opening exercises (hymn, prayer), roll call, reading of minutes of previous meeting, election of new members, reports of officers, reports of committees, unfinished business, new business, collection of dues, closing exercises (hymn, prayer).

The first Ice Cream Social was held in June of 1922, after which $32.80 was added to the treasury. Various socials were later held. Five dollars was collected from a Pie Social held in 1922 and $15.00 was collected from a Basket Social held in 1923.

At the present day the Luther League has sixteen members, primarily made up of confirmed high school students.

Newly elected officers assume office in September.

The officers of 1978-1979 are as follows: President is Sharlene Tobiason, Vice President is Karen Jones, Secretary-Treasurer is Paul Siebels.

Meetings are held on the second Sunday of every month. Some activities of the Luther League include bowling and volleyball.

Yearly events include a wiener roast for the newly confirmed, a Teachers' Dinner in December, Christmas Caroling, decorating the church Christmas Tree, and a social evening following the service on New Year's Eve.

The annual Ice Cream Social is held the second Sunday in July. Preparations for the Social include making posters and sending post cards for food and cash donations to members of the congregation. The afternoon is spent preparing the food and basement for the evening. The treasury benefits quite well following the social. Various amounts of money is given to the church. Donations of money are also given to the Oriental Mission to buy medicine.


The Sunday School enrollment is 44 children. They range in ages from 3 years through high school. They are divided into seven classes. Nursery–Mrs. Lyle Tobiason, teacher; Kindergarten–Beth Hanken and Mrs. Wesley Hanken, teachers; 1st and 2nd grade, Mrs. Susan Isaac, teacher; 3rd and 4th grade, Shirley Tobiason, teacher; 5th and 6th grade, Caroline Heiken, teacher; 7th and 8th grade, Mrs. Richard Kromminga, teacher; high school–Mrs. Don Monk and Steve Monk, teachers. A special musical selection is sung at the Easter Church service. The Christmas Eve service is the program put on by all of the Sunday School members.

For the past 10 years we have been the guests of Henry Caspers on a bus trip to places of interest for a day. A picnic lunch is enjoyed at noon. This trip is taken after school and Bible School is over and is a day relaxation for children and Sunday School teachers.

The past superintendents, to the best of our knowledge, were Fred Heiken, Loretta Specht, Emma Kray and our present superintendent, Phyllis Kromminga.

The past secretary-treasurers, Vernon Burrack, Jr., Loretta Specht, Hattie Schlarmann, Sharon Tobiason, Bernhard Tobiason, and present secretary-treasurer, Duane Kromminga.