Book II: Evangelical Lutheran Friedens Gemeinde 1894-1965
by Orion A. Rudolph
German script translated by Dorothea
Germans from Russia Heritage
Collection, North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo, North Dakota, 2008,
180 pages, softcover
Click here for an alphabetical list of surnames
located in this book.
Church Book II: Evangelical Lutheran
Friedens Gemeinde 1894-1965 is a
translation of the original church record book from the Friedens Church. The
German script was translated by Dorothea (Bergstedt) Ziegler – Dickinson, ND
and typed by Orion A. Rudolph – Ashley, ND.
The Friedens Church is one of
seventeen Evangelical Lutheran Congregations churches in McIntosh County, North
Dakota. These rural congregations are now associated with Zion Lutheran Church,
The Friedens Gemeinde church book
contains baptismal registers, meeting minutes, communion registers, death
registers, offerings, member registers, marriages, and burials. As a special
enhancement for the book, Rudolph photographed all the tombstones at Peace
Lutheran Cemetery. Rudolph also compiled
all dates and had the inscriptions translated.
Orion A. Rudolph writes, "It was in
the year 2001 when my interest was triggered in this old church record book. My
wife and I were called one evening by a church centennial committee person and
asked if we could possibly write a paragraph of the Hoffnungs (Hope) Lutheran
Church, its beginning and ending for the 2003 Zion Lutheran Centennial Book.
Also that my wife’s name is listed in it as being the last one baptized there
before the church closed. We thought that might be a nice thing to do. Upon
looking through this book, we both knew it was next to impossible to write
anything. It was at least 90% in the old German script. A problem indeed was at
hand. It took us several months to find someone to write the paragraph that was
"I kept thinking, how about the
future generations, and say 25 to 50 years or more from today?"
"With this question to be answered,
it meant I better get busy quickly and try my best to get this German church
book translated. But who would help with that endeavor. After several more
months of searching for someone that I felt was very confident and could do a
good job for me. I knew I could do all the typing once it is translated, but
getting it translated was the problem. A local lady, Mrs. Leona Neu knew I was
looking for someone that could help me. One day she handed me a telephone
number and said, "You call this person, I believe she will be able to help with
your endeavor." I made that phone call, a lady answered, I told her who I was,
who gave me her phone number, where I was calling from and what I am trying to
accomplish etc. Her first remarks were, "Do you recognize anybody’s name on
some of the pages." I said, yes. There are a lot of pages that I thought were
minutes of meetings and a signature on the bottom of some, signed D. Bergstedt.
She chuckled a bit and said, "That was my dad." We lived in the Ashley area
during 1922-1933. He preached in quite a few other churches around there too. I
attended country grade school east of Ashley. What he wrote in that book I know
I can read that script and tell you what it is. She said, "I would be very
happy to help you on this kind of project to translate this old church record
book." So after a lengthy conversation of getting acquainted, I told her I would
start with by copying about 20 pages from the old book and mail them to her. A
week later I received the copied pages and her translations of each page back
from her. 'Very nice hand writing too.' So this process of sending 20 some
pages at a time kept on until the entire book was all translated and typed."
About the Author
Orion A. Rudolph was born in June
1938 at the family farmstead eight miles northwest of Fredonia, North Dakota.
He attended country school one mile from the farmstead in grades one through
four. He attended grades five through eight at Fredonia city grade school, and
also attended Kulm High School, Kulm, North Dakota.
Rudolph served in the United States
Navy for four years, and after being discharged from the navy in 1963, he
married his high school sweetheart. They set up their home in Aberdeen, South
Dakota. During this time, Orion and his wife, Delores, raised two girls.
Rudolph worked for a trucking firm
doing office work until 1969, when he began attending Northern State University
in Aberdeen for four years, graduating in 1973. Following his graduation,
Rudolph and his wife moved to Ashley, North Dakota where he worked at an
implement parts store for 19 years.
It was in the year of 1985 when
tragedy struck the Rudolph family. Their oldest daughter was killed at 19 years
of age in a tourist helicopter crash at Keystone, SD during a return air flight
around Mount Rushmore.
The GRHC published Church Book I: Evangelical Lutheran Hoffnungs Gemeinde 1904-1944 earlier this year.
Rudolph also compiled two family histories: Rudolf Rudolph, Descendants of
Johann Georg Rudolf and Hoffmann-Hoffman, Descendants of Johann Georg
Hoffmann. These family histories are both catalogued in the GRHC archives.
When asked why he got involved with
this large project, Rudolph said, "Spiritual drive...the more I got involved,
and with Dorothea's encouragement, the more spiritual drive I had for this
project." He wants the books to be accessible in the English language so future
English speaking generations can read these books.
About the Translator
Dorothea Ziegler nee Bergstedt grew
up in the German-Russian community of Ashley, North Dakota. Her father, the
Rev. Diedrich Bergstedt came directly from Germany, while her mother was an
American-born German who could speak both German and English. She said, "My dad
taught me very good phonics. We spoke German at home all the time. I was
through the eight grade and we hardly talked anything in English." Ziegler’s
dad, a Lutheran Pastor, had parishes in the area east of Ashley, and also Dunn
Center and Dodge, North Dakota. Her dad was the pastor in this east of Ashley
area during the time period 1922-1933. The little churches in this area are all
She attended country grade school
just a mile south of the country parsonage where the parents lived. After she
finished the eighth grade she went to Fargo, North Dakota to attend high school
there. She attended two years of Bible school in Fargo. Then two years of
nurses training school. She practiced nursing for 23 years at Fargo and
Dickinson, North Dakota and Waterloo, Iowa. In addition to the nursing
profession, she was also a professional wife, mother, and homemaker. She also
transcribes German language into English which she enjoys doing.
Click here to
see an article about Dorothea Ziegler in the Dickinson
Book II: Evangelical Lutheran Friedens Gemeinde 1894-1965
$35 plus Shipping & Handling