Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Evangelical Lutheran Church - Lost Creek Township

Evangelical Lutheran Church - Lost Creek Township
Evangelical Lutheran Church - Lost Creek Township
Caption From Aunt Mildred's Album[1]
Evangelcal Lutheran Church
Platte Center, Nebr

Who's Who

  • "W.G." - the photographer's initials which I believe are those of William Albert Griepentrog.


"The history of the organization of this congregation [Evangelical Lutheran Church] dates back to 1884, a year after Reverend Herman Miessler had accepted a call to the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Columbus and the two missions, one of which was the Zion Mission. Previous to Reverend Miessler's pastorate, the Lutheran families in this vicinity had been served, on occasion, by Reverend E. A. Frese and Reverend H. Fischer, the second and third pastors of the Christ Lutheran Church in Bismark Township."[2]

A newspaper clipping notes Sunday School activities in 1885:

The Columbus Journal., July 15, 1885, page 3
The pic-nic of the German Sunday school of Metz[3], held in Mr. M. Bloedorn's grove was well attended and enjoyed by all.  No better place could be found than the old gentleman's grove, and no happier crowd be seen than the one assemble there.  Good singing, and music on the organ by Mrs. Wm. Bloedorn, contributed much to the pleasure of this picnic and made all wish that it would be only the first of many to follow.

As noted in the following clipping, the picnic did take place again in Mr. M. Bloedorn's grove:

The Columbus Journal., July 11, 1888,

The following 1899 Ownership Map shows the location of the original German Lutheran Church mission as being next to the Mr Bloedorn's property and the No. 17 County School of which Mr. Bloedorn was the superintendent.

1899 Ownership Map of North West Lost Creek Township, Platte County, Nebraska
1899 Ownership Map of North West Lost Creek Township, Platte County, Nebraska

The new church building shown in the above picture was dedicate July 22, 1900:

The Columbus Journal., June 27, 1900, page 3
Carsten Petersen, Sr., belonged "to the German Lutheran church, of which he served as an officer for six years, and at all times he has been a generous contributor to its support and an active worker in its behalf."[4]

As may be noted in the following newspaper clipping, Carsten Petersen, Sr. sold property to the Evangelical Lutheran Zion Association for $1 with the understanding that should the property no longer be used for religious purposes, the land ownership would revert back to him or his heirs.

The Columbus Journal., January 09, 1901, page 3
"Reverend Herman Miessler supplied the pulpit for the Zion congregation for twenty-two years. During all but four years of this time it was a mission.   After the Zion Lutheran Church [Later known as the Evangelical Lutheran Church - Lost Creek Township] was built, Reverend Herman Miessler became its first pastor on April 6, 1902, . He served the church for four years, 1902-1906, until it was on a sustaining basis and could call a pastor of its own.

During the pastorate of Reverend Theodore S. Estel in 1911, the Zion Lutheran Church was formally incorporated. A meeting for this purpose was held at the church on July 9, 1911. The incorporation made it possible for the Zion Lutheran Church congregation to hold and manage property for the benefit of the church. The formal name of the church as stated in the articles of incorporation is 'German Evangelical Lutheran Zions Church of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession' located in Lost Creek Township on Section 8.

'The following persons were elected: C. L. Martensen, chairman of the meeting; Gerhard Harms, clerk; C. L. Martensen, C. Petersen Jr., and Gustav Tessendorf, trustees of the church.
These articles of incorporation were filed for record at the Platte County Court House by Gerhard Harms, clerk, on July 25, 1911.

The members of the Zion Lutheran Church congregation present at this meeting included: Edward Arndt, Gustav Tessendorf, C. Petersen Sr., C. L. Martensen, A. Tessendorf, Gerhard Harms, Henry D. Martensen, 0. Loseke, Joseph Hoerle, A. Hoerle, E. Hinrichs, C. Petersen Jr., Con. Filbert, Joseph Hueschen, and Fred Griepentrog."[2]

As noted in the previous paragraph as well as the parishioners listed in the next paragraph,  the Petersen family and neighbors were active members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church congregation.

"Early day parishioners included the following: Edward Arndt, William Brunken, Diedrich Harms, Gerhard Harms, Louis C. Loseke, William Loseke, Otto Loseke, C. L. Martensen, Henry Martensen Sr., Carsten Petersen Sr., and Albert Tessendorf. Some of the later day parishioners were: Theodore Jepsen, Diedrich Harms, Chris Petersen, William Loseke, Ernst Loseke, Henry Hueschen, Henry Martensen Jr., Claus Braasch, Melvin Petersen, Melvin Hueschen, and Wilbert Hueschen. Reverend S. W. Holstein was the 1948 pastor of the church."[2]

On the 1914 Ownership Map of Lost Creek Township, Platte County, Nebraska, the church in the picture is listed as the "Evangelical Lutheran Church".  Note that the old church building a mile north is still designated as the "German Lutheran Church".

1914 Ownership Map of North West Lost Creek Township, Platte County, Nebraska
1914 Ownership Map of North West Lost Creek Township, Platte County, Nebraska


Obviously from the snow on the roof in the picture it was taken some time in the winter.  The photographer "W.G." whom I assume was William Albert Griepentrog died in 1917.  And, other dated photographs by "W.G." range from 1911 through 1916. For now, I will assume this picture was taken Circa 1915.


The Evangelical Lutheran Church - Lost Creek was located in Lost Creek Township Section 8, four miles west and one mile north of Platte Center, Nebraska.

According to Carolyn Petersen[5], about 1945, the church building was moved to Grace Lutheran Church, Platte Center, Nebraska and was used as for Sunday school. When the building was no longer of use at Grace Lutheran Church, it was moved back to the Lost Creek Township Section 8 site  in 1956 and was converted into a house.  The parsonage also remains at the site.

The following satellite view shows the location of the Evangelical Lutheran Church - Lost Creek Township, Section 8 site:


  1. Mildred (Brunken) Kletke shared this photograph on December 29, 2003.
  2. Curry, Margaret. The History of Platte County, Nebraska. Murry & Gee. Culver City, California. 1950. p 260. - Zion Lutheran Church [Evangelical Lutheran Church - Lost Creek Township]. Downloaded September 22, 2014. from
  3. Metz was an U.S. Post Office in Platte County servicing the Carsten Petersen, Sr.  home that was discontinued in 1885. The Columbus Journal., August 26, 1885, page 3.
  4. Phillips, G. W. "Past and Present of Platte County Nebraska - A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement" Vol II p 439. - CARSTEN PETERSEN, SR. Downloaded September 20, 2014 from
  5. Carolyn Petersen of Columbus, Nebraska provided this information during a telephone conversation on September 22, 2014. Carolyn attended church services at the Evangelical Lutheran Church as a child and remembers her grandfather, Carsten Petersen, Jr. and then her father, Melvin Petersen, ringing the church bell every Sunday morning.