Jorgensen Music


Rev. Parelius Rognlie


Rev. Parelius H. Rognile served as pastor of the Fort Ridgely and Dale Church during most of the time that Theodora Cormontan was a member and served the congregation  as a professional church musician. Numerous collaborations between Rognlie and Cormontan may be noted in the "Franklin, MN" entries under "Theodora Cormontan" in the menu bar for this website.

The following is from: Curtiss-Wedge, Franklyn.  The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Vol. 2.  Chicago: H.C. Cooper, 1916.  Page 1262. 

Rev. Parelius H. Rognlie was born near Trondheim, Norway, December 21, 1858. He attended the public schools in his native land for about four years. In the spring of 1870 he immigrated with his parents to the United States and lived in Houston County, Minnesota, one year. In the spring of 1871 he moved to Lyon County, Minnesota, at that time a wilderness, and with his parents went through all the hardships of the pioneer days. The next year most of the homestead land in the town of Lucas was taken up and a year or two later a school was organized which he attended. August 8, 1875, he, with thirteen others, was confirmed by Rev. Thorstensen in the Grove of Hellek Glaim on the Yellow Medicine River, there being no church in that part of the country.

His pastor and others urged him to go to college and take up the study of the ministry, but on account of lack of means and also on account of his father's poor health, he decided to stay at home for a time and help his parents. In 1881 he entered the preparatory school at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota, and later attended Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, earning his way by teaching school and doing farm work.

In the fall of 1885 he went to Europe in order to receive treatment for his eyes and was operated on at the State Hospital in Norway. When he returned to the United States, he resumed teaching and continued his studies by himself. In 1888 he was admitted to the Luther Theological Seminary, Minneapolis, and graduated June 26, 1891.

In February, 1891, he was called as pastor for the Fort Ridgely, Dale, Palmyra and Clear Lake congregations, Renville and Sibley counties. Minnesota. On July 22, 1891, he was ordained at Fort Ridgely and Dale Church by Rt. Rev. K. Bjorge, assisted by Rev. S. J. Bergh, Rev. N. P. Xavier, Rev. Thomas Johnsen and Rev. B. Askevold. He has remained at this place ever since [as of 1916] and now serves Fort Ridgely, Dale, Concordia, Clear Lake and Morton Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran congregations and every other month he serves Camp and Fairfax Norwegian Lutheran congregations, alternating with Rev. Thomas Hanson. He preached the first Norwegian Lutheran sermon in Bird Island, September 16, 1891, and organized the church there. He preached the first Norwegian Lutheran sermon in Fairfax December 10, 1893.

On June 13, 1895, he was married to Ronnaug Marie M. Gullerud and they have had the following children: Ingolf Herman Marentius, born March 26, 1896: Katharina Josephine, born December 26. 1897; Parelius Monrad, born January 28, 1900, died July 2, 1901; Palma Margrethe, born April 8, 1902; Clarence Parelius Monrad, born May 6, 1904; Julia Christine, born October 4, 1908.

The following is taken from a booklet published in 1996 by St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Franklin, Minnesota to celebrate their 75th anniversary as a congregation (1921-1996).  Trinity Lutheran and Concordia Lutheran of Franklin merged in 1921 to form St. Luke's:

In these early years when Rev. Ronglie served three or four churches at one time, he often drove up to 25 miles with horse and buggy in one day on dirt roads.  He never complained of this being a hardship though, as he was accustomed to it.  In the winter, he wore a fur overcoat, cap and mittens and several fur robes, and maybe some hot bricks along to help keep his feet warm.

His annual salary was low, but in those years the parishioners often gave him meat, potatoes, other foods and fuel.  Many people did not have money to give but gave food instead.  Pastor Ronglie also served Palmyra, Clear Lake, Morton, and Ft. Ridgely and Dale congregations besides Concordia, so services were only every three weeks, sometimes in the forenoon and often in the afternoon.  Often the pastor was invited for Sunday dinner after services in the members home.

Concordia had a Sunday School and in the summer they conducted parochial school for one month or six weeks, taught by a teacher from some Bible school.  She usually stayed a week at the homes of her pupils.  When the school was over, a barnefest (children's day) was held at the parsonage where the pupils presented a program of what they had learned.  This all-day affair was truly a day of Christian fellowship.  A church choir was also organized by Steffen Steffenson in the early 1900's.  

Confirmation classes always met down at the parsonage, and started at 9:00 or 9:30 a.m.  Classes were held in the pastor's office.  At noon Mrs. Ronglie would give them all dinner.  She set a long table with white table cloth and served a sumptuous meal.  After dinner, another session was held to study the Bible and memorize hymns.

[Parelius Rognlie served Fort Ridgely and Dale Church until the fall of 1928.  He read scripture when the cornerstone was laid for the current St. Luke's Lutheran Church on September 4, 1938.  He died on January 23, 1942 in Franklin, MN.]




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