As I was perusing again the history of Onalaska, Wisconsin, From Sawmills to Sunfish, I discovered a photo that should have been included with one of first posts I made on this blog.
Our grandfather, Emil Borreson, was baptized October 6, 1872, by Pastor Wollert Frich (also spelled Wallert Frick) before the congregation had its own church building. In 1856, Pastor I. B. Frich began conducting worship services in Onalaska homes while he was serving at Halfway Creek Lutheran east of Holmen. At some point after 1866 Pastor Frich began conducting services at the Methodist Episcopal Church which is pictured here.
So Emil would have been baptized in this church building, unless the baptism took place in an Onalaska home. First Lutheran was organized as a congregation on October 31, 1870, just two years before Emil’s baptism, with eleven charter member families. The year was 1884 before the congregation had its own place of worship at the corner of I and Fourth Streets. I still smile every time I see his baptismal record, number 8 on the first page of the old Ministerialbog.