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RG3647.AM:  St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church (Kramer, Neb.)

Records:  1872-1973

Kramer, Lancaster County, Neb.:  Evangelical Lutheran church

Size:  6 volumes on 1 reel of microfilm


German Lutherans in the small Lancaster County settlement of Olive Branch, later known as Kramer, joined together informally in 1870 or 1871. A constitution for the congregation of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church was framed on July 31, 1874. On October 23, 1874, some two years after its first pastor had arrived, St. John’s adopted this charger and began formal operation.

The church is located on land that was originally part of a railroad land grant. Initially, the congregation was so small that several individuals served dual roles as trustees and elders. By 1875, its growth had dictated the division of these responsibilities. Physical expansion followed next with the construction of a new parsonage in 1877. This was replaced by the present pastor’s residence which was built in 1914. A new church building, the one presently used, was dedicated on September 17, 1911.

In 1876 St. John’s affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Until the First World War services were conducted exclusively in German. During the war, probably in 1918, English language services were initiated. English gradually became the language of the congregation.

A parochial day school was established in conjunction with St. John’s at the time of formal organization in 1874. At first class was held in the rear of the sanctuary. A new, separate school building was erected in 1925.

In 1971 the church membership included approximately 285 people. Commemorative programs were published on the 50th, 75th and 90th anniversaries of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. They are included in this collection.


This collection consists of 6 volumes and two folders of material on one reel of microfilm, and arranged in three series: 1) Church Records, 1874-1973; 2) Church Registers, 1872-1973; an 3) Printed Matter. This material relates to the history, religious events, and programs conducted by the St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kramer, Nebraska.

Series 1 is comprised of church records dating from 1872-1973. Included in these records are the church constitution, minutes of congregational meetings, and various treasurer’s reports and other financial information. The church registers in Series 2 date from 1872-1973 and include records of baptisms, confirmations, marriages and deaths. Also included are lists of pastors and officers of the congregation. Series 3 contains a typed transcript of the constitution as well as several anniversary programs


Series 1 – Church Records, 1874-1973

Reel 1


  1. 1874-1924; Original constitution, minutes of congregational meetings

  2. 1924-1973; Constitution, minutes of congregational meetings, financial statements, 1925-1932

  3. 1880-1901; Treasurer’s reports

Series 2 – Church Registers, 1872-1973


  1. 1872-1892; Includes lists of baptisms, 1872-1892; confirmants, 1872-1880; communicants, 1872-1880; marriages, 1872-1880; deaths, 1872-1880

  2. 1881-1924; Includes lists of members, 1881-1924; baptisms, 1881-1924; confirmants, 1881-1918, 1919-1923; communicants, 1881-1924; marriages, 1886-1923; deaths, 1881-1924

  3. 1919-1973; Includes lists of pastors, 1919-1947; officers of the congregation, 1923-1929; baptisms, 1925-1973; confirmants, 1925-1973; marriages, 1925-1973; burials, 1925-1973; communicants, 1925-1944; collections raised, 1925-1930; individual contributions, 1925-1930, annals of the congregation, 1925-1929

Series 3 – Printed Matter


  1. Typed manuscript of constitution

  2. Anniversary programs, 1924, 1949 and 1964



Evangelical Lutheran Church in Nebraska

Germans in Nebraska

Kramer (Neb.) — Churches

Lancaster County (Neb.) — Churches

Lutheran Church in Nebraska

St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church (Kramer, Neb.)


Revised 05-04-2009   TMM