Manuscripts Collection

United Church of Christ (Congregational)

The Society serves as the archives for the Minnesota Conference of the United Church of Christ, and selectively preserves the records of individual churches (usually when they disband).


Congregational Association of Central Minnesota. Association record book, 1853-1872.
Constitution, bylaws, confession of faith, and minutes of annual and semi-annual meetings of an association of Congregational churches organized at St. Anthony on July 29, 1853 and disbanded on October 12, 1872. Fairly detailed minutes document the organization's leadership; reports and essays on religious topics by the members; acceptance of new members; resolutions on such issues as slavery, prohibition, Sabbath observances, and narcotics; correspondence with Congregational leaders in other states; plans to operate a church-related college in Excelsior; and changes in the constitution. The meetings were held in various Minnesota cities including St. Paul, Minneapolis, Point Douglas, Anoka, Afton, Rochester, and Lake City, and in Prescott and River Falls, Wisconsin. The first leaders of the association were Sherman and Richard Hall, Henry M. Nichols, and Charles Seccombe. There are no minutes for 1865 or 1867.

Evangelical and Reformed Church. Northern Synod. Records, 1876-1965.
Minutes, church registers and histories, treasurer's accounts, newspaper clippings, programs, and photographs of this synod and its predecessor, the Minnesota District of the German Evangelical Synod of North America.

United Church of Christ. Minnesota Conference. Records, 1856-1989.
Correspondence, subject files, minutes, financial records, annual meeting and committee files, and records of and about individual congregations, all documenting the Minnesota Conference of the United Church of Christ (formed in 1957) and its merged predecessors, the Congregational Conference of Minnesota and the Northern Synod of the Evangelical and Reformed Church. The records document the work of staff and voluntary leaders of the conference, and the functioning and evolution of its administrative structure. Beneath the conference level, the records document the work of regional bodies and the experiences of individual congregations. The records also document the conference's operation of the Calhoun Beach Manor (1960-1989) in Minneapolis as United Church Homes, a residence for seniors.


Belview Congregational Church (Belview, Minn.) Parish records, 1897-1970 [microform].
Church record book (1897-1970), treasurer's books (1898-1914), and minutes and treasurer's records of the Ladies Guild (1913-1969) of this Redwood County church. The church was dedicated in 1897 and disbanded in 1969, although final paperwork was not completed until 1970. There was no merger with another congregation.

Congregational Church of Lake Benton (Lake Benton, Minn.). Records, 1880-1916.
Minutes of meetings (1880-1916), a register of communicants, baptisms, marriages, and deaths (1882-1906), and financial records. The church sold its property in 1916 and disbanded.

Cottage Grove United Church of Christ (Cottage Grove, Minn.). Records, 1858-1975.
Microfilmed volumes and unfilmed miscellany of two churches in Cottage Grove, Washington County, that merged in 1963 to form the Cottage Grove United Church of Christ: First Congregational Church (organized 1858) and St. Matthew's Evangelical and Reformed Church (organized 1874). The volumes consist of a record book, a minute book, church registers, and cashbooks containing information on each congregation's history, finances, members, and communicants, as well as baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and burials. Some of the information in the St. Matthew's volume is recorded in German. Most of the unfilmed items relate to the First Congregational Church and include historical sketches prepared on the occasion of various church anniversaries, a history of the Ladies' Aid Society, a pictorial membership directory (1974), and a program from the annual meeting (1931) of the St. Paul Association of Congregational Churches and Ministers.

Crystal Lake United Church of Christ (Lakeville, Minn.). Records, 1972-1992.
Parish records documenting the brief and fractious existence of a small UCC congregation in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Records include minutes of several boards and committees (most were inconsistently maintained), annual congregational meeting minutes, surveys, critical reports by outside agencies, financial summaries, letters of resignation, membership directories, pastoral and other correspondence, annual reports, and copies of the "Proclaimer" newsletter. Also present are a register of members including vital statistics (inconsistently maintained), two photograph albums of various church activities (one includes numerous newspaper articles, and a photograph album of church members (ca. 1991).

Cyril Congregational Church (Saint Paul, Minn.). Parish records, 1886-1958.
Parish registers (ca. 1886-1958), including minutes of annual meetings, and financial records, legal papers, administrative correspondence, and memorabilia of a church which existed from 1887 to 1958 to serve the Czechs and Slovaks of St. Paul. It was also known as Czech Cyril Congregational Church. Many of the records are in Czech.

Faith United Church of Christ (Minneapolis, Minn.). Records, [microform] 1920-1992.
Membership, baptism, marriage, burial, and other official records of Faith United Church of Christ in Minneapolis, Minnesota, known earlier as Faith Evangelical and Reformed Church, and later merged with Mayflower Community Congregational Church.

Federated Church (Morris, Minn.). Parish records, 1874-1979 [microform].
Records of a Stevens County church, formed in 1928-1929 by the federation of the First Congregational Church of Christ and the First Methodist Episcopal Church, both of Morris. The records include church registers (1874-1977) and minutes (1874-1979) for all three congregations.

First Congregational Church (Brainerd, Minn.). Parish records, 1872-1979 [microform].
Registers and minute books (1872-1979), treasurers' records (1897-1908), and records of women'sorganizations (1879-1970) of this Crow Wing County church. Also includes records of the People's Congregational Church of Brainerd (1901-1913) and the Church of the Open Air (1953-1979), established by the First Congregational Church in 1950. The Church of the Open Air conducts outdoor, drive-in services in Brainerd during the summer months.

First Congregational Church (Danvers, Minn.). Parish record book, 1918-1940 [microform].
Vital statistics data and minutes of annual meetings of this Swift County congregation.

First Congregational Church (Detroit Lakes, Minn.). Parish records, 1872-1974 [microform].
Records of a Congregational church organized in 1872 at Detroit, Becker County, site of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company's "New England Colony." They include church record books, board of trustees and church council minutes, records of several women's and men's organizations, correspondence, financial and legal records, and annual reports.

First Congregational Church (Glencoe, Minn.). Church minute books, 1857-1904 [microform].
Minutes of meetings of the congregation (1 v.) and ofthe Congregational Church Society (1 v.) of this Congregational church in McLeod County.

First Congregational Church (Hamilton, Fillmore County, Minn.). Minutes of parish meetings, 1860-1904.
A minute book, also including a list of members and articles of faith, and a few associated loose papers.

First Congregational Church (Marine Mills, Minn.). Records, 1857-1909.
Minutes, membership records, and accounts of this Washington County church, its trustees, and such women's organizations as the Ladies Union League, the Marine Mite Society, the Ladies Church Aid Society, and the Marine Sewing Society.

First Congregational Church (Milaca, Minn.). Parish records, 1899-1942.
Correspondence (1903-1933); membership records; reports of ministers, trustees, treasurers, Sunday school, and church societies (1919-1933); minutes (1903-1942); and financial records (1907-1942) of this Mille Lacs County (Minn.) church. The correspondence includes information on ministers' appointments, proposed mergers with other churches (1917, 1931), and the church's dissolution (1942).

First Congregational Church (Minneapolis, Minn.). Records, 1883-1931.
A record book containing minutes of meetings (1883-1890),constitution, bylaws, and membership lists of the church's Heart and Hand Society, a young men's group organized to promote Christian fellowship and to assist in prayer meetings; a Sunday School honor roll (1885); printed programs, including one for the church's 80th anniversary celebration (1931)that contains an historical sketch; and newspaper clippings about the church.

First Congregational Church (Tyler, Minn.). Parish records, 1878-1928, 1938.
Minute books (1879-1928) and lists of members of this Lincoln County church; and items concerning the construction of a new building (1922).

First Congregational United Church of Christ (Alexandria, Minn.). Parish records, 1894-1977 [microform].
Church record books, minutes of the church council and various governing boards, treasurers' records, minutes and treasurer's records of the women's society, and miscellany of this Douglas County church, largely for the 1930s-1970s.

First Congregational United Church of Christ (Glyndon, Minn.). Parish records, 1872-1971 [microform].
Church registers, minute books, treasurer's record book (1897-1915), minutes of the Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor (1884-1921) and of the Ladies Aid Society (1928-1953), and miscellany of this Congregational church in Glyndon, Clay County.

First Congregational United Church of Christ (Montevideo, Minn.). Parish records, 1873-1976 [microform].
Church registers and minute books (1873-1976), treasurer's record books (1888-1941), minute books of the Ladies Aid and Women's Missionary societies (1903-1934), and miscellany of this Chippewa County church.

Granite Falls United Church of Christ (Minn.). Parish records, 1872-1972 [microform].
Records of this Yellow Medicine County church, including historical pamphlets, church record books, minute books (1920-1971), annual reports (1940-1971), records of several women's organizations (1906-1964), and scrapbooks of a young girls' study and mission fund-raising group (early 1920s).

Linden Hills Congregational Church (Minneapolis, Minn.) Parish record book, 1902-1931.
A history of the church; minutes of committee and congregation meetings; records of membership, baptisms, and marriages; and data on finances. The church was organized in 1902.

Lyndale Congregational Church (Minneapolis, Minn.). Parish records, 1884-1942.
Minute books of the church (1884-1942) and its board of trustees (1885-1938), and register and record book (1901-1918) of its Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor.

Parish records of United Church of Christ churches in Otter Tail County, Minn., 1897-1972.
Church record books of the Dora Evangelical Church, Dora (1897-1937); the First Congregational Church, New York Mills (1903-1959), and the Zion Evangelical and Reformed Church, Perham (1897-1950), containing parish registers and administrative records. Also present are minutes of congregational meetings and of the Ladies' Aid (1897-1972) of the Zion church. Many of the records of thses churches are in German.

Peace Church (Duluth, Minn.). Records, 1872-1979 [microform].
Church registers, minute books, financial records, scrapbooks, records of the women's and men's auxiliaries and youth groups, Sunday School minutes, and other records of this Evangelical church organized by German-speaking immigrants in 1872. Originally called St. Paul's Evangelical Church, it was subsequently named St. Paul's Evangelical and Reformed Church (1934), St. Paul's United Church of Christ (1957), and, finally, Peace Church (1959). Also includes record books of two defunct Duluth-area German Evangelical churches: St. Jacob's Evangelical Church of West Duluth (1890-1899) and St. Paul's Evangelical Church of Hermantown (1923-1945). Most of the records are in German through 1928.

Pilgrim Congregational Church (Benson, Minn.). Parish records, 1876-1977 [microform].
Church record books; minutes of annual meetings and church governing bodies; minutes and cash books of the Ladies Aid Society (1876-1935); minutes of the Women's Fellowship (1947-1965); minutes and records of the Business and Professional Women's Club (1942-1952), missionary organizations (1886-1889, 1963-1969), and the Sunday school (1889-1901, 1923-1924); centennial scrapbooks (1976); and miscellany of this Swift County church, organized in 1876.

St. Paul's United Church of Christ (Plato, Minn.). Records, 1882-1981 [microform].
Records of a McLeod County church that originally was organized as a German Evangelical church, including church registers; minute books; financial records (1882-1916, ca.1951); annual reports (1937-1980); records of the Women's Guild (1916-1981), the Churchmen's Brotherhood (1947-1981), and the Youth Fellowship (1946-1980); minutes of meetings of the Sunday school staff (1958-1964); the record book of the centennial committee (1978-1980); a photograph album (1915-1978); and a scrapbook (1949-1980). Most of the earlier records are in German; translations are included.

Salem Congregational Church (Cambria, Minn.). Parish records, 1855-1956 [microform].
Minutes and records (1855-1941), pastor's record book (1903-1908), Sunday school record book (1879-1889), treasurer's record book (1911-1942), semicentennial scrapbook (1905), and memorabilia of this heavily Welsh parish in Blue Earth County. Some records are in Welsh.


Edward Josiah Brown and family papers, 1879-1975.
Medical case records and financial accounts (1879-1928), miscellaneous correspondence (1900-1931), manuscripts and letters to the editor on various topics (1887-1908), genealogical and family information on Brown and related families (ca.1900-1932), and extensive autobiographical accounts of Brown, a Minneapolis physician. The collection contains detailed information on Brown's early life and education in New Hampshire, his medical education in New York and in Berlin, his medical career (1882-1938) as an eye and ear specialist in Minneapolis, his activities in local medical societies and the Congregational Church, and information on his family.

Wilbur F. Fisk papers, 1863-1909.
Handwritten copies of diaries (1863-1864) kept by Fisk as a private in the Second Regiment, Vermont Infantry, telling of camp life and campaigns in Virginia and Maryland and of furloughs in Vermont. Typed copies of three sermons delivered by Fisk (1879-1906) and microfilmed copies of two volumes of sermons preached by Fisk (ca. 1895-1909) in Freeborn, Minnesota, and vicinity, where he was a Congregational pastor.

Richard Hall and family papers, 1822-1907.
Hall's correspondence, diaries, sermons, and an account book documenting his education at Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H., and Union Theological Seminary, New York City (1844-1848); his work as a Congregational minister at Point Douglas in Washington County, Minn. (1851-1859) and in St. Paul (1859-1873); and his travels throughout Minnesota as state superintendent of the American Home Missionary Society (1856-1874). Three American Home Missionary Society record books (1859-1874) contain copies of Hall's correspondence and financial data. There are also genealogical data on the Hall family, and a diary of Hall's father, Richard, Sr. (1822-1823), describing a trip from New Hampshire to New Orleans.

Gordon Mikkelson papers, 1929-1990.
Correspondence, memoranda, photographs, diaries, newspaper clippings, minutes, reports, financial records, maps, interviews, manuscripts, reminiscences, legal documents, speeches, themes, and printed matter related to the life and career of a Minneapolis civic leader, WCCO Radio executive, and conservationist. The papers document Mikkelson's career as a reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and other newspapers (1935-1950); bureau manager for the Associated Press in Pierre, S.D. (1939); regional information officer for the U.S. Office of Price Stabilization (1951); director of publicity and publications for Midland Cooperatives (1951-1957); and his work in public relations and special projects with WCCO Radio (1957-1988). The larger portion of the collection documents Mikkelson's participation in several organizations related to civic affairs and conservation, including the Minneapolis School Board (1958-1964); Metropolitan State Junior College (1964-1978, 1986); the Citizens Parkway Committee (1971); the 1200 on the Mall Association (1978-1981); Linden Hills Congregational Church (1955-1957, 1962); the Voyageurs National Park Association (1965-1971, 1979-1989); the Minnesota Environmental Sciences Foundation; the State Izaak Walton League; Turn In Poachers, Inc. (1981-1990); the Minnesota Para-Rescue Team (1972-1978, 1984); and the Deep Portage Conservation Foundation (1972-1989). There is also a group of papers related to Mikkelson's work with the 1967 and 1968 Plaisted Polar Expeditions.

John W. Murray diaries, 1855-1873.
Diaries (1864-1873) kept by Murray as a hospital steward at Rolla, Missouri, during the Civil War, and as a beekeeper and horticulturist near Excelsior, Minnesota, after the war. Daily entries include references to activities in the local Congregational church, a meeting of the Congregational conference in Minneapolis (1865), fairs, a stagecoach trip through southern Minnesota (1865), social life in the Excelsior area, country schools that Murray taught (1867-1871), daily temperatures, and weather conditions. An accompanying record book (1855-1862) contains sermon texts and gives a brief family history sketch.

Charles Seccombe. Records regarding First Congregational Church of St. Anthony, 1851-1876.
Record book (1851-1868) kept by Charles Seccombe documenting his experiences as pastor of earliest Congregational church in what would later become Minneapolis during the congregation's first 15 years. Also includes full typed transcript, additional partial transcript, and two newspaper articles (1874, 1876) containing historical information about the congregation. Seccombe's account documents the establishment (1852) of the congregation as a "union plan" bringing together Presbyterians and Congregationalists living in the pioneer settlement of St. Anthony (later Minneapolis) in Minnesota Territory; reorganization (1853) as a Congregational society; financial problems in its attempts to build a permanent church facility; congregation's eventual decision to release Seccombe as pastor (1866); ecclesiastical rules and principles adopted by the members at different times; and routine pastoral and congregational actions and events including admitting and releasing members, baptisms, marriages, deaths, offertory receipts, congregational business meetings and elections, and building repairs and renovations.

Howard Y. Williams papers, [ca.1908]-1973.
The papers of Williams, a Congregational minister and political activist in St. Paul (1918-1954) and in Butte, Mont. (1955-1964), primarily document his career in third-party and other political organizations from 1929 to 1970. As well as his personal and official correspondence, there are press releases, clippings, minutes of meetings, financial statements, membership records, political conference materials, speeches and articles, and scrapbooks (10 volumes, 1935-1968). The papers reflect Williams' activities in the League for Independent Political Action, 1929-1933; Farmer Labor Political Federation, 1933-1935; American Commonwealth Political Federation, 1933-ca.1937; Union for Democratic Action, 1941-1945; Independent Voters of Illinois, 1945-1946; American League for a Free Palestine, 1946-ca.1947; and United World Federalists, 1959-1970. His official correspondence, and some membership records, have been microfilmed. The collection contains a wealth of material on political protest groups, especially those active in the 1930s, and document New Deal administration, Frankin D. Roosevelt's elections, public dissatisfaction with the existing political and economic order, conflict among various political groups, and problems relating to cooperation with the socialist and communist parties. There is also information on religion, organized labor, education, race relations and problems (especially discrimination against blacks and Jews), pacifism, military training, Prohibition, veterans affairs, fascism, and banking reform. The papers also provide information on Williams' education at the University of Minnesota and Union Theological Seminary, New York City (1910s); his World War I service with the U.S. Tenth Engineers; and his work as pastor of People's Church, St. Paul (1920s).