Danish Lutheran Church History

Withee, Hixon Twp., Clark Co., Wisconsin

In 1892 a group of Danes from Chicago were offered cheap land if they came to Withee. Although that promise failed, they stayed, formed a Danish colony, and started the church in 1893. A. S. Nielsen was the first pastor. The church was built in 1896 and in 1909 a church hall was built for the social activities of the church. The Danes believed that the body be nurtured physically and socially as well as spiritually. In 1913 Christian Frost was hired to teach folk dancing and gymnastics. He continued doing this for some time. Some of you may remember the gymnastic apparatus in the old church hall.

Danish was the predominate language spoken at the church for some time. In the 1940s this was discontinued and English was spoken at all services.

As time went by, members realized the need for a new church. It was built south of the old church which was surrounded by the cemetery. The new church was dedicated in October, 1958. In 1987 a new hall and educational wing was added. The building is completely handicap accessible.

The sister church at Wolter's Corner joined Nazareth in 1958. In the 1960s a number of families from Bethany Lutheran Church at Owen transferred membership to Nazareth. The Finnish made up a large portion of Bethany's membership. A structure on the north side of the church houses the bell from Bethany.

The American Evangelical Lutheran Church (Danish Synod) joined with three other synods to form the Lutheran Church in America in 1963. In 1988 the LCA merged with other Lutheran synods and became the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Nazareth belongs to the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin of the ELCA. Each year outdoor services in the pines west of the church are held along with participating churches of the area. In over 100 years, Nazareth has seen many changes, but it remains a pillar of strength and encouragement to people from the Owen and Withee communities.

 Danish Folk Dancers, (circa 1913)

Back Row, left to right: Marie Frost, Alfred Frost, Mable Sorensen, Chris Frost, Dagmar Hansen, Jens Andreasen, Cecelia Jacobsen, ?; Front: Katherine Stockholm, ? Marie Madsen, Holger Hansen, Thyra Hansen, ?, Jennie Jacobsen, Theodore Sorensen.



Antique Christmas Card featuring a photo of this Church

Rev. Dixen & Wife; Rev. Dixen and his brother

Church Parsonage

1894-1895 Baptisms, 1900 - 1927 Miscellaneous Baptisms


The new Danish Lutheran Church built in 1958.

Credits: Interior Church Photo, contributed by Diane Kleinke; Exterior Photos of the old and new churches, and the dancers as well as the details are an excerpt from"Withee Memories", 1901-2001, pg. 49.

(Central Committee: Dorothy Klabon, George Waller, and Mary Ann Beahr)







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