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RG3066.AM:  Zion United Church of Christ (Talmage, Neb.)

Records:  1884-1994

Talmage, Otoe County, Neb.:  United Church of Christ

Size:  2 reels of microfilm


The Zion United Church of Christ, Evangelical and Reformed, of Talmage, Nebraska, was incorporated on June 27, 1884. Services had been held since March 1, 1883, first in a room over the store of John Henry Damme, early settler in Otoe County and a charter member of the congregation. The membership was composed of a number of primarily Prussian Germans who had come to Nebraska from Missouri and Iowa. The first church was a building purchased in 1884 from the Methodists. This building was used until the present structure was purchased in 1899. The pastorate was served by traveling ministers until the arrival of A.D. Woth, who became the first resident pastor in 1894. The decision to obtain permanent service was made because the members wanted to join in the Evangelical Synod of North America, while maintaining the distinctive character of their preferred form of worship.

In 1895 the congregation voted that German would remain the language of their church as long as there were four members who wished it. The language question again arose in 1917, when Rev. Theo Hoefer began to conduct services in English. There was a basic conflict between the older, primarily German-speaking members, and the younger, English-speaking members. The problem was accentuated by the resolution of the county Civil Defense that all public meetings were to be conducted in English. The church conducted services in German until 1919, when it began to hold separate German and English services. This situation continued until 1922, after which time services have been held in English.


This collection consists of two reels of microfilm containing the records of the Zion United Church of Christ of Talmage, Nebraska. Five bound volumes and several loose items relate to the history of the church, dating between 1884-1994. The records include registers of marriages, births, baptisms, deaths, confirmations, finances, constitution and rules of the church, and minutes of meetings.


Reel 1


  1. Church register, 1884-1922 including:

    Baptisms, 1884-1922, pp. 2-35 and pp. 276-277

    Confirmations, 1889-1922, pp. 100-107 [no confirmations were recorded for the years 1890-1893, 1900, 1902, 1911, 1916]

    Collections taken on Holy Days, 1884-1922, pp. 150-153 and p. 275

    Burials, 1888-1922, pp. 160-172

    Weddings, 1884-1921, pp. 200-208

    Accounts, receipts and expenditures, 1885-1920, pp. 250-274

    “Church papers paid,” n.d., pp. 287

  2. Secretary’s book [Protokolbuch], 1884-1922 including:

    Constitution and by-laws, pp. 1-7

    Minutes of meetings, 1884-1890, pp. 9-18

    Minutes of meetings, annual and special, 1891-1922, pp. 25-115

    Chronicle of the parish, with a brief history of Talmage, pp. 207-215, 218

    List of names of the heads of the church, p. 220

  3. Secretary’s book [Protokolbuch], 1924-1956 including:

    Minutes of meetings, 1924, p. 5

    Minutes of meetings, 1925, n.d., pp. 10-12

    Minutes of meetings, 1926, Jan., p. 13

    Minutes of meetings, annual and special, 1926-1956, pp. 15-262 [includes treasurer’s reports and letters]

    Records of Members for roll call purposes, 1946-1951, pp. 263-268

    Constitution and By-laws, rev. 1932, pp. 275-284

    Communicant members, pp. 284-290

Reel 1 (cont.)


  1. Secretary’s notebook bearing entries dated 1932-1935, all of meetings of the church board. Apparently these notes were taken in the meetings and later transcribed elsewhere. 25 pp.

  2. History of the church, printed as part of the program of services of the 75th Anniversary service held August 16, 1959

  3. Constitution and by-laws, 1963 revision

  4. History of the church compiled by the church historian including:

    History of the church, 1883-1963, pp. 1-8

    List of marriages, 1923-1963, pp. 9-11

    List of baptisms, 1922-1963, pp. 12-17

    List of confirmation classes, 1923-1963, pp. 18-20

    List of deaths and burials, 1923-1963, pp. 22-25

    List of memorial gifts, mostly undated, pp. 26-27

  5. Comprehensive list of church officers, 1884-1922

Reel 2


  1. Church records, 1922-1994 including:

    List of baptisms, 1922-1994, pp. 1-26

    List of confirmation classes, 1923-1994, pp. 133-143

    List of marriages, 1923-1994, pp. 157-163

    List of deaths and burials, 1923-1994, pp. 193-209 and 240

    No. of services, in German and in English per year, 1922-1950, pp. 241-242

    List of special collections, 1922-1943, pp. 301-305

    List of members, 1923-1994, pp. 341-355

  2. Minutes, May 27, 1956 – Jan. 19, 1992



Evangelical Church in Nebraska

Evangelical and Reformed Churches in Nebraska

Germans in Nebraska

Otoe County (Neb.) — Churches

Talmage (Neb.) — Churches

United Church of Christ in Nebraska

Zion United Church of Christ (Talmage, Neb.)


Revised 06-12-2009   TMM