Walsh County, North Dakota


Taken from “Walsh Heritage”, Vol 2, pg 916

     St. Olaf Norwegian Lutheran Evangelical Congregation was organized Jan. 29, 1901, at the home of Rev. E.B. Wollan. St. Olaf was first affiliated with the Sarepta, St. Ansgar, South Park and Mountain Lutheran Congregations, Adams and Edmore, and later with Mountain, Hoff and Trinity Congregations of the Adams parish. In 1921 it was decided to join the Fairdale Parish served by a Hauge Synod pastor, Rev. E.O. Ulring, whose parish was made up of Silvesta, St. Hans, and Vang Congregations. At the time of Rev. Ulring’s resignation, the churches voted at a special meeting to be served by the Free Church pastor here at the time, Rev. George Larson. He served the Aadalen and Hitterdahl congregations near Fairdale. Beginning in 1931, the parishes of St. Olaf, Silvesta and Vang were served by Rev. Oscar Rud. During his administration, Highland Congregation, north of Fairdale, served by the veteran pastor, Rev. J.T. Langemo, retired, and they joined Silvesta.

     Charter members of St. Olaf Congregation were: Carl Ramberg, Anton Ramberg, Elling Hogfoss, Emil Olson, Thomas A. Olson, A.C. Hanson, H.E. Hanson and Lewis Hanson. First services were in private homes and in the north and south school houses. The north located on the Irvin Hammer farm near Fairdale and the south is one of the Dewey schools near the Wollan Home. Dedication of the cemetery by Rev. J.T. Langemo of Edinburg, assisted by the acting pastor, Rev. M.O. Silseth, took place July 17, 1907.

     The St. Olaf cornerstone was laid by Dr. M.O. Bockman, Minneapolis, assisted by Rev. Silseth June 27, 1910. Dedication of the St. Olaf Church by Bishop T.H. Dahl, Minneapolis, assisted by G. Kluxdal, was Nov. 12, 1916. First officers of the church were: temporary secretary, Elling Hogfoss, who served 29 consecutive years; Secretary, Anton Ramberg; treasurer, Emil Olson; trustees, Lewis Hanson and H.E. Hanson; and “Kirkeverge,” Elling Hogfoss.

     A Luther League was organized in 1916, St. Olaf Ladies Aid Society formed in 1901.  St. Olaf Dorcas Society dates from 1927 and St. Olaf Lutheran Daughters of the Reformation was organized in 1937. Fiftieth anniversary was in 1953, the fence completed in 1955. The parsonage was built in 1965 and the cemetery association organized.

     Pastors who served were:  E.B. Wollan four years, Rev. M.O. Silseth four years; Rev. Gudmund Kluxdal seven years; Rev. O.T. Lavaas one year; Rev E.O. Ulring five years; Rev. George Larson five years; Rev. Oscar Rud five years; and Rev. H.S. Larson.  In 1965, St. Olaf merged with Aadalen and Silvesta to form Our Redeemer’s Lutheran at Fairdale. Pastors after Larson were: 1944-1947 Rev. O.J. Bilstad, 1949-1953 Rev. Lester Carlson, 1954-1955 Rev. Edward Nordley (interim), 1955-1958 Rev. Stephen Engelstad, 1959-1966 Rev. Donald F. Peterson, 1966-1967 David Gabrielson (interim), 1967-1970 Rev. Emil Greiner; 1970-1974 Rev. Duane Hetland and 1974- Rev. Craig Carlson.

Photo and Caption:  Pastor and Mrs. O. Ulring family, who served the Fairdale area in the 1920’s.

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