Texas Church Founded by Swedes Celebrates 100 years
We can’t forget that this great country was founded by Swedes! A small town in Texas, remembers as their Bethel Lutheran Church celebrates 100 years.
In 1916, Augustana Synod sent Pastor O. H. Sylvan to Lyford, Texas to start the Bethel Lutheran Church there. Members met in homes, as the building wasn’t built until later.
The Swedish settlers first founded a town called Stockholm, a couple of miles West of Lyford. The only thing that exists of this former Swedish settlement is a small cemetery off in Texas, where some of the area’s Swedish settler’s are laid to rest.
Carved on a state historical marker is
The Swedes, who settled here between 1912 and 1914, were attracted by the area’s abundance of inexpensive, fertile farmland. They formed a farm club to share information and problems, and raised cotton, grain and corn. Some were dairy farmers. Stockholm, also known as Turner Tract, had churches, a school, grocery store and cotton gin. Near this site is the Stockholm Cemetery, one of the few physical reminders of the ghost town.
Smartly the Swedish settler’s decided to build their church by Lyford, where the railroad was placed. The website of the church has an amazing letter that discusses the funding of the building of the Swedish church. I love reading the dedication of the church and its members to keep it going.
During the depression, the small Swedish town of Stockholm, Texas, died. Here is a short video about the Swedish town of Stockholm in Texas, and its history.
It is so cool to see how Swedes helped formed America!
This article was inspired by Valley Morning Star‘s article.