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Lutheran congregation dates back to 1867

(Taken from New London Buyers' Guide/Hortonville Centennial, August 16, 1994. Posted with permission from the Press-Star, New London/Hortonville, Wisconsin.)

Hortonville has had a regular Lutheran preaching station since 1867.

But members of the Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church date their anniversaries from August 14, 1870 - the dedication of their first church building.

In January of 1897 the congregation voted to build a new church on the corner of Nash and Embarrass Sts. Five days later the first stones were hauled for the basement of the church.

Less than three months later bids were opened for the building of the church. The bid was let to the local Diestler Lumber Co. for $5,165. Later $500 was added to the total.

The cornerstone of the new church was laid Sunday, June 13, 1897. The church was dedicated Sunday, Nov. 28, 1897. That day, the second English service in the history of the congregation was conducted.

The present church is solid brick in Gothic style. The church tower is about 100 feet high. An extensive remodeling of the original building took place 1960.

Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church
Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church

Christian day school built

In 1882 the Bethlehem Lutheran congregation established a Christian Day School. Church members build a one-room school on the present church site.

In 1897 the school was moved to the rear of the church. Classes were taught by the church pastors for many years.

The school term increased from six nine months through the years up to 1911. In 1920 an eighth grade class was added. The present school was built in 1908 and two rooms added in 1949.

German Lutheran School
Lutheran School once called the German Lutheran School