Walsh County, North Dakota


“Walsh Heritage,” Vol. 1, pg 340-342

The beginning of the North Trinity Church was in conjunction with the South Trinity Church in 1879. The history of its beginning is included in the report of the South Trinity Church. Charter members were: Carl Almen, John Almen, Andreas Ask, Henry Hanson, Ole Haugerud, Andrew Hoghaug, Haakon Johnson, Jorgun Johnson, Johannes Kohlar, Iver Iverson Ljone, Mons Monson, and John Paulson.

On May 30, 1885, the church members met at the home of Pastor Nykriem to divide the congregation into a north and south district. The new congregations were to be known as North Trinity and South Trinity. The decision went into effect on December 29, 1885. The North Trinity Church congregation held its first business meeting on June 13, 1885. Plans were discussed for the construction of the church on the land donated by John Almen for church and cemetery. The land was located on the NE quarter of Section 35 in Glenwood Township.

At a meeting held January 30, 1886, it was decided to solicit funds for the construction of the church. At the yearly meeting of November, 1892, the final plans were drawn up. Collections for the building project at that time totaled $620. Construction of the church was begun in 1893 and completed the same year. Stones for the foundation were hauled from the Dundee area, and the foundation was built by Magnus Hultin. Lumber was hauled from Auburn, as the railroad had come by this time.

In 1893, North Trinity Church joined the Hauge Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Synod and had pastors in conjunction with Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church at Grafton. The first business meeting was held on January 2, 1894, conducted by Pastor M. G. Hanson of Grand Forks. He also served the churches between 1892 and 1898.

The pastors who served were: Rev. B. K. Barstad, 1898-1904; Rev. T. J. Knutson, 1904-1908; Rev. J. J. Jacobson, 1908-1913; Rev. John Halvorson, 1913-1914; Rev. E. O. Munkevold, 1914-1919; and Rev. O. T. Ness, 1919-1920. The merger of synods caused North Trinity again to become a part of the South Trinity and Zion Lutheran congregations. The three parishes were served by Pastors Adolph Egge, 1920-1926; C. M. Grimsrud, 1926-1929; and L. M. Hellaklev, 1929-1953.

Pioneer members of this little church are listed as: C. F. Almen, Alfred Anderson, Selmer Adsem, Per Anderson, Gustav Beck, Anton Dahl, Martin Dahl, Oluf Dahl, Hans Hanson, Carl Hultin, John Hultin, Magnus Hultin, Anton Johnson, G. A. Johnson, Gustav Johnson, John Johnson, Peter Larson, Lars Lundgren, Axel Magnusson, Andrew Monson, August Nelson, Carl Oberg, John Oberg, John Olson, Anton Selliken, A. F. Sinclair and Tion Swanson.

The Ladies’ Aid of North Trinity congregation was organized in 1885 when P. A. Nykriem was pastor. Charter members were Mrs. John Almen, Mrs. Per Anderson, Mrs. Martin Dahl, Mrs. Henry Hanson, Mrs. Ole Haugerud, Mrs. Carl Hultin, Mrs. Lars Lundgren, and Mrs. Andrew Monson. Meetings were usually held in their homes. In addition to the charter members previously named, pioneer women active in church work were: Mmes. Selmer Adsem, Anton Dahl, Olaf Dahl, G. A. Johnson, Gustav Johnson, Peter Larson, August Nelson, Carl Oberg, John Olson, Tion Swanson, and Joe Thompson.

The highlight of the Ladies’ Aid Society was the annual picnic and auction sale held during the summer. It started with a regular program, services and auction sale. Then a complete meal was served at tables in family style. Neighborhood congregations were attracted to this event. Children were especially fond of the lemonade stand and the homemade ice cream prepared ty the ladies and frozen in hand freezers by man power. Proceeds were used in mission work, paying pastors’ salaries and renovating the church. Later it was simplified to an auction sale and picnic supper served cafeteria style.

The first wedding in the North Trinity Church was of Sena and Albert Thompson. The first Young People’s Society was organized by Pastor Barstad. The roll of 1903 included Hattie Anderson, Laura Monson, Olga Almen, Clarence Bakke, Edward Hanson, Arthur Ellefson, Sam Nilson, Herman Dahl, Victor Almen, Otto Almen, Hilda Almen, Nellie Almen, Cora Hanson, Emma Ellefson, Alma Dahl, and Constance.

The first organist of the church was Mrs. A. N. Monsebroten, who had studied music at St. Olaf’s College when it was newly organized. Others were: Alma Monsebroten, Hannah Almen Tallackson, Ida Almen Mastre, Anna Johnson Russum, Cora Larson Sager, Lillian Monsebroten Sando, Dagmar Almen Midboe, Verna Larson, Ella Dahl, Olave Flom Johnson, Marie Grimsrud Langemo, Sophia Gryde Swanson and Mrs. Adolph Egge.

This is a poem taken from Agnes Qually’s original collection published in a little book called, “Smatter.”


The little white church looks so peaceful nestled close to the river’s edge.

It stands as a stalwart sentinel to guard the graves of the dead.

It has no colored windows, no pretentious pillars of stone.

There is no special pipe organ, no statues nor colored dome.


But my little white church is hallowed, a sacred shrine since my callow youth.

It stands as a guardian symbol for honesty, hope and truth.

It was here my good parents brought me to the baptismal font as a child.

Again, at the altar I promised to serve my good master so mild.


As child, youth, and woman I listened to the story of Christ and redemption.

Again, as a prodigal I pledged vows with hope and elation.

It is here I have brought my children. (One has long slept ‘neath its sod).

It is here I, too, have a longing to rest by this church where I learned of God.

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