Abelone Larsen


missionary work, Cherokee Nation


Editor's Introduction

In 1892, at the invitation of a Danish immigrant who had married a Cherokee woman in what was then Indian Territory, the Danish Lutheran Church Association sent a student from Trinity Seminary in Blair, Nebraska, to investigate the possibility of doing mission work among the Cherokee. The student, Niels Laurits Nielsen, returned in the summer of 1893 and began working among the Cherokee, eventually founding a school and a church at Oaks, Oklahoma. The Oaks mission became one of the most important missions of the United Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church (later the UELC) and continues as an institution supported by the present Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

The following account by Abelone Larsen records her years at Oaks between 1913 and 1919. Arriving in the United States as a young immigrant woman of twenty, her desire was "to serve God. " After working in Chicago for several years, she was invited by Niels Laurits Nielsen to join the mission staff in Oklahoma. Here she served off and on between 1913 and 1919. In 1919 she returned to Chicago where on June 18, 1920 she married C.B. Larsen. They settled in Blair where her husband was a long time professor of New Testament at Trinity Seminary and of philosophy at Dana College. She died in Blair October 25, 1977. The following account was written shortly before her death.

Dr. John Mark Nielsen Dana College