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TERRITORIAL CHURCH

Near here stands the first Lutheran church building constructed in Nebraska. It has occupied this
site since 1860.

The congregation was first served by Reverend Henry W. Kuhns, a missionary sent by the
Allegheny Synod to Nebraska Territory. Kuhns preached his first sermon in the front room of
the Bates House (hotel) in November 1850 and formally organized the church on July 22, 1859.

The membership immediately made plans for building, but their effort of moving an abandoned
store from the abandoned town of Pacific City was frustrated when the structure was destroyed
by a prairie fire while being moved to Dakota City.

This church was designed and built by Augustus T. Haase, a local carpenter and member of the
Emmanuel Lutheran congregation, at a cost of $2,000. For several years the building also served
periodically as a Territorial courthouse, with religious services being held on Sunday as usual.
Samuel Aughey, a leading scientist of the period, was the second pastor to serve the church.

This old church still stands as a monument to the steadfastness of purpose of the early settler and
as a symbol of pioneer religious life.

Dakota County Historical Society
Historical Land Mark Council
US 73-77, Dakota City
Dakota County
Marker 23

 


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Last updated 4 June 2004

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