Swedesburg History

Hubert Humphrey at Marysville

The organizational meeting of the Swedesburg Evangelical Lutheran Church of Marysville was on February 25, 1873 in the home of J. M. Peterson. There were 29 adult Charter Members and 35 children: The families of J. M. Peterson, J. P. Larson, Carl Olson, A. Mattson, G. Mats Johnson, G. Anders Mattson, K. Anders Kellstrom. S. P. Peterson, and S. Eric Anderson. Some of these families still live in the area.

Pastor John S. Nelson, the same pastor serving Carlslund, also served the Swedesburg congregation. He became a member of Swedesburg, and lived on a farm near the church for the rest of his life. Early meetings were held twice-monthly in member’s homes until the construction of the first building of hewn logs in 1874. it was 32 feet long, 22 feet wide, and 14 feet high. The current building that we know as the Marysville Church was built in 1891-1893. At one time the congregation owned a parsonage on a 40-acre farm, occupied by Pastor Norsen. This was sold in 1898 for $500.

In a meeting at the Clinton Mattson home in 1950, the Swedesburg congregation voted to disband and joined Zion Lutheran Church (previously Carlslund).

The Marysville building was again used regularly in 1951 when the ‘town’ church was under construction, but was later left unoccupied, deteriorated, and was vandalized.

The building’s deteriorating condition is of immediate concern for the group headed by Clinton Mattson, Walter Bodin, and Walton Larson. It is their hope that the building can be preserved from further damage and complete ruin. There has been some discussion about razing the building and erecting a suitable monument in its place. When word of this got out the comments were, “Whatever you do, don’t tear down that church!”

Time and the elements have taken their toll in damage to the building. The roof is moss-covered and rotting, the steeple no longer stands erect (although it has been said that it never did stand perfectly straight!), vandals have broken the glass from the windows, and some of the brick is broken and falling away. Wright County Journal Press December 3, 1970

Clinton Mattson (father of Dick Mattson) led a group of parishioners to persuade Zion to preserve the church until he became ill. Walter Bodin, of another old Marysville family, then assume leadership. Crew members included Robert Barker, Clarence Bodin, Reuben Bodin, Clayton Dixon, Donald Fadden, and Henry Johnson. They gave the church a good cleaning, painted the floors and walls, and replaced the windowpanes. Linda M. Mainquist

In the 1970s the building was restored for the 100th anniversary of the Swedesburg congregation. A noted guest at the 1973 centennial celebration was Hubert H. Humphrey (pictured), who attended in his Model T Ford.

Worship services are now held in this historic and beautiful setting on Monday evenings during the summer.

In 1979, Marysville Church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places for having local significance in the themes of architecture, exploration/settlement, and religion. It was nominated as one of Wright County’s finest examples of a brick Gothic Revival parish church and for its association with the area’s Swedish Immigrants.

The bell from the Swedesburg church is installed in the bell tower at Zion.

zion
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