The late Arthur Strawn writes poetically, lovingly of ‘our little building’
Composed by Betty Jane Wilson, president,
Valley Falls Historical Society
Following the historical society’s acquisition of the historic Lutheran church, the June 9, 1970, Valley Falls Historical Society’s newsletter, edited by the late Arthur Strawn, advised the members:
“The Valley Falls Historical Society has become the owner of property. The historic little church building (Lutheran church located at Hwy. 16 and Elm Street) is now officially the property of our society.”
Included in the newsletter was a copy of correspondence to the then society president Frank Shrimplin, containing the quit-claim deed to the property and comments from the Central States Synod of the Lutheran Church of America from whom the property was acquired. Excerpts from the correspondence included:
“We are pleased that this arrangement for restoration and maintenance of this church can be made. We believe the building is a significant element in the history of church life in Kansas and it is fitting that the community be related to the preservation of this story.”
After restoration had begun and was progressing steadily, through the aid of voluntary work, material and monetary contributions, Arthur Strawn included in the July 28, 1970, historical society newsletter, his personal comments:
“Once again the ‘little building’ stands proud and strong on its foundation. It is still dilapidated but wears its shambles as the aged their cares and crowns of white.
“It is the symbol of educational life of our community. The school children can be made aware of the crude beginning of education in our community and contrast it with their brick and metal structure of which the community is proud. In its day, our ‘little building’ was also the pride of the community.
“It is the symbol of religious life in our community. The Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Congregational societies used this building in missionary efforts to establish faith in our community.
“That faith has served us well these many generations. The Christian church, as well as the Congregational church, were organized in our ‘little building.’ ”
The Valley Falls Historical Society Museum will open at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 10.
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