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Highland Prairie Lutheran Church Pioneers

Pioneer list submitted by Helen Steele

Highland Prairie Church in rural Fillmore County is one of the two oldest Norwegian Lutheran Churches in Minnesota, with records dating back to 1854.  The picture on the left is of the chapel in the cemetery at Highland Prairie.  The original wooden church was replaced by a brick structure in 1869.  That building burned to the ground on Easter Sunday, 1973, and was replaced by a modern church in a different location on the church property.  This smaller replica of the brick church was built on the church's original site from bricks salvaged from the fire.

Highland Prairie Chapel

Arnold Ness remembers that those living east of the church were from Nannestad, those living west of the church were from Telemark. There were also a few Norwegians from other parts of Norway. The persons signing the incorporation papers were Elertson from Telemark (the first Norwegian farmer in Minnesota) and Lars Ask who came to America in 1851 from Ringerike, and to Fillmore County in early 1853.

A beautiful park surrounds Highland Prairie Church, and in it is a Pioneer Memorial Stone that lists the early pioneer families by year.  The plaque only lists married couples; their unmarried children and single adults were not included. It is important to remember that the year of formal membership in the congregation may be some time after the couple actually settled in the area. The stone was dedicated June 24, 1930.
Memorial Stone, Highland Prairie Church Park



Ole and Gunhild Overland
Halvor and Kari Erickson
Knud and Aslaug Overland
Johannes and Tone Overland
Stener and Gina Overland
Hans and Toril Franson
Eyvin and Kjersti Dolali
Aslak and Ellen Dolali
Osten and Anne Dolali
Ellert and Karen Ellertson
Jorgen and Betsy Sanderson
Ole and Olava Wold
Ole and Lisbet Fugledal
Lars and Tolline Trulson Ask
Torjus and Gunnil Eiken
Ole and Osbjor Jameson
Carl and Maria Rue
Saamund and Gunnil Nykaas
Hans and Dorthea Blom
Gunder and Helfe Blom
Ole and Lena Eiken
Nels and Mathea Ellertson
Isak and Helen Ellertson
Anders and Gunhild Byholt
Gunder and Gunhild Dahle
Carl and Thea Rue
John and Gunlaug Overland
Ole and Beata Overland
Gunerius and Thorbjor Johnson



Even and Allaug Ellertson
Peder and Anne Erickson
Ole and Bergit Rekaness
Johan and Mathea Jahr

Ole and Kari Kaasa
Ole and Bergit Nordness
Knud and Ann Gronleid
Tollef and Ragnhild Gronleid



Ole and Margit Thorud
Johan and Inger Maria Stensgaard
Jens and Martha Larson
Chris J. and Bertha M. Stensgaard
Olaus J. and Gustava Gaarder
Ellef and Dordie Dahle
Tollef and Bergit Gjotill
Andreas and Olava Meldahl
Larts C. and Tilla Jensen



Lars and Inge Jahr
Hans and Beata Tudahl
Ole and Gunhhild Swenson
Chresten and Kari Swenson
Jorgen and Liv Tudahl
Peter and Oline Olson
Gunerius and Bendike Hegle
Lars and Kathrine Humble
Lars and Sophie Humble
Johan and Bertha Maria Gaarder
Ole and Caroline Tudahl



Kittil and Bergit Haugejorde
Gunder and Gunhild Knudson



Rev. N. E.. and Hannah Jensen
Hans and Johanna Rotterud
Lars and Sorina Ronningen
Halvor and Ingrid Haasarud



Ola K. and Margit Sogla
Anners and Kjersti Ness
Knud and Ingeborg Kvaarve



Even and Inge Maria Tangen
Ole and Kari Kopperud
Helge an Karen Hallum
Lars and Anne Marie Flatttum
Knute and Bertha Rosing Gedestad
Anund and Gunhild Berland
Olaus and Bergit Olson
Andreas and Mria Kasberg
John and Aslaug Aadneson
Martin and Lina Gudmundson



Osten and Gunhild Engeretson
Mikkel and Margit Nordness
Christian and Maria Sundby
Jens and Else Stegansjord
Bjorn and Helga Endru
Endre and Gunbjor Wraa



Mikkel and Sissel Hegland



Andreas and Martha Dahl
Peder and Inge Maria Jensen



Michael and Margrete Rein
Anders and Kari Hjelle


Engel and Maria Loveg
Ole and Siri Eggen
Engebregt and Tone Eggen
Lars and Anne Flaen


Hans and Andrine Flattum
Jens and Else Bjerkeq
Gullick and Karen Rustad
Jens J. Kaxrud
Hans and Ingeborg Masvold
Ole and Anne Folkestad



Lars and Maria Gaustad
Lars C. and Anne Howe
Ole and Gunbjor Haruldson
Even and Berit Helgemoe
Arnt and Tilla Helgemoe



Rev. K. R. and Sara Magelssen
John and Anne Holle
Gulbrand and Maria Westby
Jacob and Katherine Sandsness
Ole and Gunhild Glenna



Ingebrett and Martine Vaaler
Hans and Karen Smedstad
Martin and Gunhild Smedstad
Erick and Betsy Fossen
John and Kari Byboth
William and Karen Williams
William Williams
Mons C. and Maren Sande
Jens and Maria Austad
Ole and Egelev Lyberg



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