Ottawa Church

In 1880 people began to settle on land in the Sheyenne valley.  They settled near the river because here they found water and wood.

In the beginning services were held in homes.  They felt the need for organizing a congregation and land was obtained from Hans Koloen for a cemetery in Pilot Mount Township.

On April 8, 1885 services and a congregational meeting were held and a number of families joined the congregation.  It was decided that the name of the congregation should be Ottawa Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church.  Ottawa is an Indian name that means "the center of good things."

The first election of officers included the following:


H. Koloen Deacon
A.P. Rusten   “
A.H. Berg   “
John K. Olson Trustee
Ole 0.  Groff   “
Nels Torgerson   “
John K. Olson Sexton


It was decided to call Rev. I.L. Lundeby as pastor at a salary of $125.00 for twelve services.  By the end of 1885 it is recorded that twenty-eight families had joined the congregation.

From 1889 to 1899 funds were gathered to start building a new church.  By the turn of the century it was definitely in mind to get the building done, even though the total amount was slow to grow.  The annual meeting of 1902 reported that $185.25 was in the treasury for the purpose of building.  It was suggested at the meeting of February 28, 1903 the building begin and a committee of three was appointed and given authority to hire someone to begin work on the building.  By April of that year $1,178.80 was in the building fund, and the church was completed during 1903.

The first ladies aid meeting of any record was held in May of 1887.  The aid met once a month at the home of members, full dinners usually being served.

Pastors who have served Ottawa are:


Rev. I.L. Lundeby 1885-1886
Rev. O.K. Quamme 1888-1904
Rev. V.E. Boe 1904-1906
Rev. J.M. Jensen 1906-1911
Rev. T.E. Sweger 1912-1918
Rev. O.J. Ovrebo 1918-1941
Rev. E.O. Lee 1941-1943
Rev. Wilhelm J. Madson 1943-1948
Rev. CW. Holm 1948-1952
Rev. R.E. Johnshoy 1953-1957
Rev. Quentin Quanbeck 1957-1961
Rev. L.R. Vanderpan 1961-1963
Rev. Harald Dordal (interim) 1963-1964
Rev. Arlington Mitskog 1964-1968
Rev. Hans S.T. Floan 1969-1972
Rev. Oscar E. Twedt 1972-1977
Rev. Mark Winick 1978-1981
Rev. Milton Olson 1981-


Source: Cooperstown, North Dakota 1882-1982 Centennial Page 156

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