Northeast Nebraska church stands test of time

DAKOTA CITY, Neb.- What many consider to be the oldest Lutheran church building in Nebraska is located in Dakota City.

The church was built in 1860. Dennis Reinert is the president of the Dakota County Historical Society and says that particular time-frame is much closer to the days of the Lewis and Clark expedition then it is to present day. "This, of course, is 1860 construction, and that's pre-Civil War-- barely," Dennis said. "Once the Civil War came along, the Union took control of the rivers, and so construction would have shut down in many areas."

Dennis said that the founders of the church had tried to save some money by moving a building from another area, and bringing it to Dakota City. But, a prairie fire destroyed that structure, and so they had to start the church from scratch at the current site. It was built for about $2,000.

The church not only served as a house of worship on Sundays. It was also a courthouse at one time. "They had trials here, the land office was here. This building served a lot of different functions," Dennis said.

If you would like to tour this church, you can contact the Dakota County Historical Society via Facebook, or just stop by. The church is easy to find as there are signs on main street pointing you to the site.