Our Early History
On December 27, 1892, a meeting was held “for the purpose of forming and establishing a Church Association in Skanee”. It was resolved that “the members of the meeting form and embody themselves into a Lutheran Church Association with the view of being incorporated and united with the Illinois Conference and Synod.” At a later meeting, with a pastor of the Swedish Lutheran Church present they resolved the name should be The Swedish Lutheran Church of Skanee and the constitution should be that of the Augustana Synod. In 1893 the articles of the association were acknowledged.
Walfred Been (founder of Skanee) was asked to furnish plans and classifications for a church building with a capacity of 250 persons. On February 25, 1893, he laid out plans before the trustees and they were accepted. At the same meeting, steps were taken to secure means for building. Sixteen of the members offered to burnish logs to be sawed, the total being 19,000 feet of hemlock. The Been and Bush sawmill cut 22,000 feet of hemlock for the church for which they made no charge. A committee of six were appointed to take charge of building the church. They were: Inglebregt Oust, Allen Elmblad, Axel Rylander, Andrew Anderson, Alfred Peterson and August Gardberg. The work on the foundation of the church building began on the August 15, 1893.
In 1895 various plans for a steeple were submitted, and the one by Walfred Been was accepted. In 1895 the church was completed except for interior decorations. The congregation consisted of 172 members; 91 elders and 81 children.
This history of the foundation of the church is taken from the early records of Skanee Evangelical Lutheran Church.)
Interesting parish statistics:
The first baptism were held on December 28, 1892. They were Anders Oust, Allan Roselle, Emil Roselle
The first confirmations were in 1893: The confirmands were: Charles Johnson, Otto Hjalmer Johnson, Sophia Alina Rylander
The first marriage in Skanee occurred on January 3, 1894 when August Paulson and Annie Ohman were united in matrimony.