The story behind the Jewell History Museum Building

     The Jewell museum building began its life as the first and only church building of the North St. Petri Lutheran Church, two miles east and one mile north of Randall, Iowa.

This map showing the location of the church dates from 1918.

     In 1846, a 24-year-old school teacher, Torkel Henryson, began soliciting passengers for a proposed immigration to America in 1847.   After a seven week voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, more weeks on the Hudson River and Lakes Erie, Huron and Michigan, 165 men and women landed in the village of Chicago and then settled in Lisbon, Illinois near present day Joliet.   Stories of cheaper land west in Iowa resulted in an "expeditionary force" of six men to "spy out the land."   Land was bargained, and in 1856 covered wagons containing twelve families and some young unmarried people picked up the trail for northwest Story County.

     By 1864, after church services had been held in various locations in and around Story City, the country church St. Petri Lutheran was moved into town to the present location.   As the congregation grew, a new church, Bergen, was started in Roland in 1878.   After more growth, two other congregations, South St. Petri Church in the 1870's and North St. Petri Church built separate churches.   In 1893, this future Jewell History Museum structure was built two miles east and one mile north of Randall and served as North St. Petri Lutheran Church.   Synodical affiliations caused a rupture in 1899 when the South St. Petri Church linked itself with Immanuel Church of the United Lutheran Church Synod while St. Petri Church ramained with the Norwegian Synod.   In 1919, North St. Petri Church decided to be served by the pastor of the Elim Congregation in Randall.

Click to enlarge

Immanuel Lutheran Brethern Church

     Before this wood framed North St. Petrie Church was moved to Jewell, the Immanuel Lutheran Brethern Church was organized in Jewell on May 11, 1951 under the leadership of Pastor Joseph Aarhus.   The church began with charter members who moved quickly to start, build and complete a basement church at this corner of Johnson and Deckor Streets.   They dedicated the new structure on December 16, 1951.

     Less than four years later, on June 6, 1955, at a special meeting of Immanuel Lutheran Brethern, the members of North St. Petrie Church offered to sell them their church building for one dollar and the cost of moving it to Jewell.   On January 27, 1956, Brown House Movers moved the building to Jewell and placed it on the existing foundation plus an additional eight feet at the north end of the basement.   In the process of moving, the steeple was removed and never replaced.

Pastors at Immanuel Lutheran Brethern included E. L. Reisem, Eugene Boe, George Bavis, Bill Turpin, David Hagen, Harley Frey, Al Storry, Bob Woolsey and Wilbur Van Langen.

The Jewell Historical Society Museum Building is located at 501 Johnson Street in Jewell Junction, Iowa.

The front door needed to be replaced with a wider door.

The old rotten wood beams were replaced with new.

The new door is installed!

This next news article (below) was published in the South Hamilton Record News in May of 2022.

The Jewell Historical Society Museum is located at 501 Johnson Street in Jewell Junction, Iowa.

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