HOME Bios & Families Cemeteries Census Help History Libraries Military Obituaries Photos Surnames Towns-Townships Vital Records


Montcalm County Vertical File ~ Lakeview Library Treasure

Following is the translation of a document written by Pastor Ole, found in a zinc box at the fifth stone south of the northeast corner of the St. Petri Church. The document was written on August 16, 1876 the same day the masonry was started for the foundation of the church. It was uncovered the winter of 1973.

The Original of this document is in the care of Clair and Alice Ellafrits. The original document written by Rev. Ole Amble is not in English and is at the Settlement Lutheran Church of Gowen (noted by Reeta Peterson)

Other contents of the box were:

  • The first constitution of the congregation
  • Constitution of the Norwegian Danish Lutheran Conference.
  • Report of the annual meeting of the Conference.
  • A childís Sunday school paper.
  • An Indian Head Penny (1871) and a nickel
  • Newspapers:
  • Greenville Democrate
  • The Danish Pioneer (Den Danshe Pioneer)
  • Scandinavian (Chicago)
  • Hjemdabl (A Norwegian Paper)

Pastor Ole's Document

Wednesday the 16th of August 1876 shortly after midday, the first stone was laid in the foundation of this church.

This church shall be called St. Petri Church and it shall be the church for St. Petri district of the Little Denmark Danish Evangelical Lutheran Congregation in Montcalm county, Michigan.

St. Petri district which heretofore has been called "Little Settlement" was given the new name yesterday.

St. Petri cost will be assumed by the district members only.

The location of the church and the land around it, designated for a cemetery (almost one acre) was presented to the district by Peter Nielsen. The foundation under the church will be laid free of charge by Peter Andersen.

The church will be built by carl Jensen. He will be paid two dollars ($2.00) a day and free meals. His helper will be paid one dollar ($1.00) a day and free meals.

Peter Anderson provided the carpenters with meals free of charge.

The carpenter Carl Jensen is a member of Little Denmark Congregation. He was born in Sieby Denmark on August 4 1850.

Little Denmark Congregation which consists of Danish people only, was organized by the Norwegian pastor T. H. Wald of Whitehall, Michigan on Monday Apr. 23, 1873. He also served them every fifth Sunday until the congregation got itís own Pastor Ole Amble.

Pastor Amble was born in Sogndal, Norway on Wednesday July 28, 1847 and was baptized in Kaupasger Church (annexed to Sogndab) on Sunday June 22, 1847 and was confirmed in Tefsens Church Sunday June 22, 1862. In May 1871 he came to Madison Wisconsin and soon after was called as pastor to Iowa Rivers and Kaupaager Congregation in Allamdkee County, Iowa and was ordained by the president of the Norwegian Danish Conference Pastor Johan Olsen in Lashervalley Norwegian Lutheran Church in Rock county, Wisconsin on June 11, 1872.

After being called as pastor of Little Denmark Congregation, Pastor Amble preached his first sermon May 24, 1874. This was Pentecost Sunday (records show that this service was in the Settlement School).

Pastor Amble belongs to the Norwegian Danish Lutheran Conference in America whose president is Pastor Johan Olsen of St. Ansgars, Iowa.

The family fathers of St. Petri are as follows:

    • Peter Nielson who gave the land for the church and cemetery.

    • Hans Hansen

    • Niels Peder Jensen

    • Niels Christiansen

    • Lars Larson

    • Mads Christensen

    • Fritz Fagerlin

    • Niels Jensen

    • Pader Pedersen

    • Lars Pedersen (trustee)

    • Jens Peder Pedersen

    • Lars Hansen (vice-president)

    • Peter Andersen (who built the foundation and boarded the carpenters)

    • Jens Pedersen

    • Johan Olsen

    • Anders M. Johansen

    • Erik Pedersen

    • Christian Andersen

    • Christen Madsen

    • Morten Christiansen

    • Johan M. Johansen (deacon)

All these men were born in Denmark.

St. Petri district consists of nearly 95 souls and on December 31, 1975 the whole congregation including Little Denmark district was 466 souls. These statistics can be seen in the 7th annual report.

St. Petri Church as far as the carpentry is concerned will be completed by November 1, 1876.

Officers on the whole congregation are as follows:


    • Niels Christensen

    • Peder Pedersen

    • Mads Sorensen

    • Lars Hansen (St. Petri)

    • Peder Madsen

    • Hans Pedersen


    • Rasmus Hansen

    • Rasmus Jensen

    • Peder C. Hansen

    • Lars Pedersen (St. Petri)

    • Jorgen Hansen

    • Andrea Wedel Svella


    • Lars Hansen (St. Petri)


    • Peter E. Hansen (trustee #3)


    • Rasmus Nielsen

The president of the United States is now General U.S. Grant and the governor of Michigan is John Bagley.

This document was written by Pastor Amble. It has not been read by anyone previous to the placement in the box.

Pastor Amble has arranged the contents of this zinc box, procured it and had it soldered.

"Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us; and establish those the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands established it." Psalm 90:17

I am very happy that this church is to be built. It will be the first church to be built in the Little Denmark congregation. The members of St. Petri district have without request or challenge from me or others agreed to build this church and I must give them great credit for their interest in truth and many I have reason to believe seek after freedom in Christ Jesus. The Lord will bless me and and all the people. He gives us all that we can live and die in the faith in Godís Son and through Him will be saved!!!

Gowen Michigan in the house that Little Denmark congregation has bought for a parsonage for itís pastor.

Wednesday August 16, 1876, 12 oíclock midnight
Ole Amble
Pastor for Little Denmark Danish Evangelical Lutheran Congregation

Ole Amble
Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Minister
John 3:16

If you have additions or corrections please contact Paula Johnson
Copyright © 1996-2017 - Montcalm County MIGenWeb

These electronic pages (or any portions thereof), including GRAPHICS & PHOTOS may NOT be copied, saved, or reproduced
in any format for presentation or publication by individuals, organizations, newspapers, etc. (all are copyrighted).

Current County Coordinator: Paula Johnson (c) 2017
Previous content & design by: Gerry Christiansen (c) 2007-2016
Kevin Everingham (c) 2003-2007, Kathleen Rodegeb (c) 2000-2002, Dave Wheeler (c)1998-2000
Beth Wills (c)1996-1997