NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY MANUSCRIPT FINDING AID
RG4008.AM: Four Mile Congregational Church (Humboldt, Neb.)
Humboldt, Richardson County, Neb.: Congregational church
Size: 1 reel of microfilm
During Nebraska’s territorial years, Swiss-German homesteaders began settling along Four Mile Creek in the southwestern part of Richardson County. Throughout this period and during early years of statehood, church services for these settlers were conducted by traveling preachers in rural schoolhouses. On May 30, 1880, a meeting was held and people voted to organize as a German Evangelical Church Society. On March 1, 1885, the German Evangelical Church became a Reformed Church of the United States. An English translation of minutes dated June 29, 1893 (Series 1, Folder 2) describes the dissolution of the German Evangelical Community on the Four Mile and its reorganization as the German Reformed “Salem” Church Society. Under its new name, the German Reformed “Salem” Church Society stated that its purposes were “the worship of the tripersonal God in spirit and in truth; the advancement of Christian Life through the preaching of the word of God; the administration of the holy sacraments; and the preaching of Christianity in church and school.”
From 1885 until 1928, the Salem Reformed Church shared a pastor with St. John’s Church of Hunzeker community. In 1894 it erected its own church building on land purchased from John and Margareta Stauffer. In 1934 the Reformed Church of the United States and the Evangelical Synod of North America merged to form the Evangelical and Reformed Church. The church changed its name to become the Evangelical and Reformed Church. During the 1940s it shared a pastor with the Zion Evangelical and Reformed Church near Honey Creek. In March of 1953, the congregation voted to change its name to The Four Mile Evangelical and Reformed Church, taking its name from the stream in whose valley the church stands.
Salem’s affiliation with the Evangelical and Reformed movement ended in 1962, when the Nebraska Conference of the United Church of Christ was formed. In January of 1972 the congregation voted to leave the Church of Christ affiliation. In March of that year it became affiliated with the Congregational Christian Church and adopted its present-day name. The Four Mile Congregational Church celebrated its 100th anniversary on July 20, 1980.
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
This collection consists of four volumes and a fractional amount of manuscript material, on 1 reel of microfilm, and arranged in three series: 1) Historical Material, 1880-1893 and 1980; 2) Church Registers, 1880-1923; and 3) Collection Register, 1894.
This material relates to the history and religious ceremonial events conducted by the Four Mile Congregational Church, located in Speiser Precinct, Richardson County, Nebraska. These records cover time periods when the church was known as the German Evangelical Church Society and as the German Reformed “Salem” Church Society. To avoid confusion, this collection will be referred to as the records of the Four Mile Congregational Church, its present-day name, for this descriptive inventory.
The Historical Material of Series 1 includes a history of the church and its predecessors in a volume entitled, The Four Mile Congregational Church. Written in commemoration of the church’s 100th Anniversary in 1980, it also discusses the church’s auxiliary organizations and memorial gifts, as well as showing one hundred years of confirmation classes. Also included in this series are two warranty deeds. One, 1883, describes two acres of land sold by John Stauffer and his wife to the German Evangelical Community on Four Mile Creek. This is the land upon which the church erected its first and present-day building. An 1893 warranty deed transfers this land from the trustees and officers of the German Evangelical Community on the Four Mile Creek to the German Reformed Church Society. (The German Evangelical Community was reorganized as the German Reformed Church Society.) The series also includes minutes of special meetings. Minutes of a June 29, 1893, meeting describe the dissolution of the German Evangelical Community on the Four Mile Creek and its reorganization as the German Reformed “Salem” Church Society. Church constitutions are attached to both sets of minutes.
The Church Registers, 1880-1923, of Series 2 contain information on ceremonial rites conducted by Four Mile Congregational Church’s predecessors. Pertinent information about baptisms, confirmations, communion services, marriages and deaths is provided. Most entries are in German, although a few English translations of baptismal records are provided in Volume 1. Minutes, collection information, the church constitution, and church properties, including a cemetery plot layout, are also included in these volumes. Series 3 consists of one Collection Register, 1894. Donors and amount donated are shown.
The collection was loaned for microfilming in August of 1980.
Series 1 – Historical Material, 1880-1893 and 1980
- The Four Mile Congregational Church, a history of the church in commemoration of its 100th anniversary, July 20, 1980
- Warranty deed for land sold by John Stauffer and wife to the German Evangelical Community on the Four Mile Creek, 1883
- Warranty deed transferring land from the trustees and officers of the German Evangelical Community on the Four Mile Creek to the German Reformed Church Society, 1893
- Minutes, May 30, 1880, of German Evangelical Church Society on the Four Mile Creek describing organization of regular church society; Constitution attached
- Minutes, June 29, 1893, describing dissolution of German Evangelical Community on the Four Mile Creek and reorganization as the German Reformed “Salem” Church Society; Constitution attached
Series 2 – Church Registers, 1880-1923 (most entries in German)
Constitution, p. 1-5
List, p. 7
Confirmation Classes, 1904-1915, p. 8-9
Baptisms, 1880-1916 (a few English translations provided), p. 10-30
Confirmations, 1880-1898, p. 31-34
Constitution, p. 35-41
Marriages, 1882-1915, p. 46-48
Minutes, 1917-1919 (1919 entry in English), p. 98-102
Collections, 1885-1902, p. 119-120
Death Register, 1881-1914, p. 56-59
Minutes, 1880-1913, p. 73-94
Minutes, 1918-1923, p. 103-107
Communions, 1909-1916, p. 114
Collections, 1909-1916, p. 115
Communions, 1898-1910, p. 116
Collections, 1903-1909, p. 117
Communions, 1880-1898, p. 118
Church properties and cemetery plot plan (insert)
Series 3 – Collection Register, 1894
Congregational Church in Nebraska
Evangelical and Reformed Church in Nebraska
Four Mile Congregational Church (Humboldt, Neb.)
German Evangelical Church Society (Humboldt, Neb.)
German Evangelical and Reformed Church in Nebraska
German Reformed “Salem” Church Society (Humboldt, Neb.)
Germans in Nebraska
Humboldt (Neb.) — Churches
Reformed Church in Nebraska
Richardson County (Neb.) — Churches
Salem Evangelical and Reformed Church (Humboldt, Neb.)
Revised 07-01-2009 TMM