Links:          Codington County
Norwegian Evangelical
Lutheran Congregation

    Helgen church also got a descendant in the `New World'. Many people from here settled in an area near the town of `Florence'. At a meeting on 7th September 1880 the “Garfield Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Congregation” was formed. Among those present at the meeting were Gunder  H. Stuverud and C. J. Stenstavold. Four years later the name was changed to “Helgen Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Congregation”. Together with the neighbouring congregation, St.Pauli, Helgen Church in Codington.they had a consultation meeting in the home of Hans J. Grønstein where they were calling their first priest. In 1889 they began to build a church and this was dedicated in 1904. All church records and documents were kept in the priest's house. Unfortunately, the same tornado that had destroyed Holden church in Big Stone came also to Florence and destroyed Helgen vicarage with all the old records in it. The church is now called “New Helgen Lutheran” and continues its work.

     In Florence and the area around we find more immigrants with names that will be known to many: Jens Grønsten, John Hansen Grønsten, Hans A. Wibeto, Johan J. Ustrud, Old H. Wibeto, Andreas Stuverud and Frank Faehn. Possibly more (?): Carl, Jørgen, Lars and Nils Holtan, Peder, Ole P and Martin Amdal, Torstein N and Jens Bergan, H.C. and T.M. Hagen,  E.T. Hegna and Guri Langeland !?