Saints Peter and Paul Church

Whenever I travel I keep my eye on the horizon for church steeples. I love to visit older churches to see the grandness of these works of art, and to marvel at the parishioner’s devotion to their faith and the many sacrifices made to see these structures built for the glory of God.

On my business trip last week to South Dakota, I noticed a church steeple rising out of the cornfields. A few days later I was able to visit this gem of the plains.

In 1878 a group of  German settlers from Wisconsin moved out onto the open prairie of South Dakota. They built themselves a small wood frame church in 1882. Soon a small town began to grow up around the church and in 1885 the railroad came to town ensuring the community’s future growth. Just 9 years later in 1891, lightning caused a fire that severely damaged the little church. Undaunted, the parishioners built a larger wood frame church to suit their growing community. Tragically, in 1908, this church too burned to the ground. Determined to build a larger and more lasting structure, this time they planned a church of brick and stone, and just a year later they realized their dream.

Scaffolding surrounds the steeple as construction of the church nears completion.

The footprint of the church building honored their Savior and was built in the shape of a cross. In the ensuing years it was decorated with handmade altars, statues, stained glass from Europe, and a pipe organ was installed in the church balcony. Canvas paintings of biblical scenes were ordered from Germany and installed on the walls.

View from the balcony.
View from the balcony

View from the aisle

High altar

The grandness of the building the the artwork installed inside it was all meant to inspire the faithful to lift their thoughts to God.

Hand-carved pew


View from the front looking towards the balcony containing the pipe organ

 Today, the little town of Dimock which grew up around the church contains only about 125 citizens.

But though their numbers have decreased over the years, the parishioners and their ancestors have left a visible testament to enduring faith.

I loved this little church on the plains. I hope it remains for generations to come.


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Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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83 Responses

  1. This story reminds me of my family’s Mennonite country church in Oklahoma and its 4 incarnations caused by fire, tornado, and then a wrecking ball. What those churches stand for, man!

  2. What a gorgeous find. Your photos are grand and I appreciate getting to see inside such a fabulous piece of history.

  3. Jo Anne says:

    your photos are beautiful. it reminds me of a beautiful old Lutheran Church we attended in Texas, when we were still in the Army.

  4. It’s beautiful! Thank you for taking these pictures to share with us. I LOVE old churches.

  5. Jeannelle says:

    First shot is gorgeous….you must have placed a cloud order ahead of time! Beautiful interior scenes, too.

  6. Pam K. says:

    Beautiful shots with the natural light inside the gorgeous church!

  7. Laura says:

    I love looking at churches also. You did a wonderful job sharing with us. Thanks!

  8. Tina says:

    Takes my breath away. So beautiful, I hope it lasts foreever.

  9. Karen says:

    Beautiful! A lovely place to spend time in devotion. I love the angels. xx

  10. What a treasure. Thank you for sharing its beauty.

  11. Karen says:

    What a beautiful church. I am going to put it on my travel wish list of places I’d like to visit someday. Thanks for sharing the story and photo of the beautiful church. I love your blog. Your posts are a blessing to me.

  12. RochelleM says:

    Wonderful photos. I grew up in a small town west of Wichita; many of those small towns have beautiful churches that thrive even though the population is small.

  13. Ann Untereiner-Mechtenberg says:

    I was doing some ancestry research when I happened on your website. I grew up in this little church…the pride of our town for sure. I recently was home after a long time away and shared Midnight Mass. It is still as beautiful as I remember, my 17 year old daughter was equally impressed. We sat in the balcony so we could take in all of the churchs beauty…I am thankful for your post as I have downloaded your pictures. You have a wonderful photographers eye. Thank you for sharing our treasure.

    • Ann, this church is also part of my family having Mathias Schlimgen as my great-great grandfather. I bet he is yours also. Anna Schlimgen was my great-grandmother with Tillie [Hohn] Bauhs being my grandmother. As I recall Mathias gave land for the parsonage and his brother Englebert gave the land the church sits on. I still remember the Hohn/Boehnen runion we had a few years back and held High Mass for the family.

  14. Ann Untereiner-Mechtenberg says:

    I was doing some ancestry research when I happened on your website. I grew up in this little church…the pride of our town for sure. I have heard many stories through the years that my Grandfather traveled to Nebraska in a horse and buggy to bring the plans back to build the church. I recently was home after a long time away and shared Midnight Mass with a full church. It is still as beautiful as I remember at 55 years old, my 17 year old daughter was equally impressed. We sat in the balcony so we could take in all of the churchs beauty…I am thankful for your post as I have downloaded your pictures. You have a wonderful photographers eye. Thank you for sharing our treasure.

    • Suzanne says:

      So wonderful to hear from you. I just loved your church, and am so glad I stumbled upon it.
      Thank you and,
      Happy New Year!

      • Ann says:

        Your pictures and the church were so inspiring to my 17 year old daughter that she made the church the center of her Semester class project for her photography class.

        Thank you for your inspiration.

        God Bless,

        Ann Mechtenberg

    • Ann says:

      Hi John,

      Thank you for the note. We may be related through marriage as I know that my former husband’s grandmother was Marie Bohnen Mechtenberg. So as my Dad, John Untereiner, would describe…my daughter, Jessica and my former husband would be “shirt-tail cousins”. Seems that everyone ended up related in some way our little Dimock Parish.

      On a historical note, I was always told that my Great Grandfather, Emilee Untereiner, rode to St. Helena, Nebraska to get the plans to build the church. In the 1970’s, I attended a wedding at the Nebraska church as my first husband was from a neighboring community. Much t0 my sadness the church had fallen into disrepair but it only mad me more thankful that the Dimock church had been preserved left to draw and inspire future generations.

      God bless,
      Ann Mechtenberg

      • Ann, I know of Esther Mechtenberg who was my mother’s first cousin. A fine, funny, energetic lady who lived her life to the fullest. I met her at our Hohn/Boehnen family reunion. I know of the Untereiner name and thought it was in the Hohn family but did not see it. However, did see the name under my 3X great-grandfather’s family Johannis Schlimgen from Dane County, Wisc. I did not see your father’s name however in the Untereiner list. Someone has done a lot of work for the Dane Families and put it online. If you are interested and have’t seen it perhaps you would want to check it out.

        • Ann Mechtenberg says:

          Thank you for the ancestry source…Dane County Families. I did look at it and have concluded however unfortunate or not we are not related. You are however related to my father’s John Untereiner’s sister, Charolette Untereiner Zehnpfenning by marriage as her mother-in=law, Ida Bohnen Zehnpfenning, wife of Harry is a decent of Mattheis Schlimgen. My father’s first cousins, daughters of Joseph Untereiner, Alvina, Dortohy and Mary Jane are also decendents of Mattheis as well as their mother was a Bohnen, sister to Ida. I hope it explains why my father, John is not listed.

          Its fun to see how it all connects. Much like a puzzle with all the pieces in place. This site is especially unique as I know many of the families listed on this site, how they all interconnect. A friend from Dimock also tells people she had to marry her husband because he was the only one that was not a relative…lol.

          I am blessed that we have connected in Spirit through this wonderful website, the love of Sts. Peter & Paul church and our interest in ancestry.

          God Bless,

          Ann Mechtenberg

  15. Doug Fergen says:

    I grew up in this church and I miss it daily. But when I come home I come here for solace!

  16. Marilyn Hansen Hancock says:

    Your photos were so beautiful! My great -great -grandfather’s family donated the land for this church so the article has a special meaning. I shared them with my 87 year-old mother that loved them!! Having gone to this church in my childhood, I was so fortunate to see it again last year….having not seen it for years, I realize how it draws it’s parishioners back….

    Thank you for sharing – it reflects the beauty of the community and the people in it.

  17. Bob Schlimgen says:

    Suzanne: Thanks for sharing our gorgeous church in my little hometown of Dimock. I am a member of the parish and proud of it. Did you notice the adjacent cemetery. We are equally proud of it and its’ historical significance in our parish.

  18. Doug Fegen says:

    It would be awesome to have an orchestra and a college choir do Handel’s messiah there! The people of this Parish are to be commended for in many states, churches of this era have been defaced and destroyed!

  19. Cindy B. says:

    I used to play that organ! Have yet to find one that compares in South Dakota. Those Germans know how to build something to last. The folks who built these churches didn’t spend time in front of TVs, computers,sports events or video lottery machines. Their faith was their life and you see it expressed in their church. The edifice was paid for within a year! Incredible! Maybe posterity could learn a lesson from our ancestors?
    Thanks for the beautiful pictures and if you want to see more churches like this, take the back roads thru eastern Nebraska, there are still some every six miles that haven’t been demolished in the name of “modernization”.

    • Renee says:

      Are you the Cindy I went to Dimock school with? Your dad worked in the cheese factory?

    • Ann says:

      Could you be Cindy Hohn? I have so many fond memories of singing in the choir with you as a wonderful organist and your mother, Mary, always the dedicated page turner at your side. When I am back attending mass and anticipate a crowd I enjoy sneaking up to sit in the choir loft so I can take in all the church’s splendor.

      Fun Fact: The kneeler in the front row on the right side of the loft is still broken…we sat there..your Mom always warned us not to kneel there as it was near the balcony edge and not to fall over the

      God bless,
      Ann Mechtenberg

    • Doug says:

      Cindy, As a child I use to be fascinated that we had such great musicians in the choir. You and your brother Dan and Ray Roth were wonderful. I used to meditate on the stained glass windows during the music. Then as I grew up as I became part of the choir it was even more exciting to be in the loft singing praises to God. This was and is a very special place in the world.

      Cindy you were such a role model for many organists that followed you in Dimock. Thank you for all your hard work.

      I remember Bishop Dudley was just shocked that a small rural parish had a music program that rivaled those in S Falls.

  20. Thank you for providing awesome pictures which take me home. My son was baptized there,as was my dad, Joe Roth, and his dad was a member of this parish. I was married there and will be buried near by some day. It is a cornerstone for my family for generation. My cousin Nancy referred me to your site. I greatly appreciate your awesome work.

  21. Diana Vanness says:

    It is a beautiful church. Have been in it several times. Only live 5 miles from it. Not many churches around that have its beauty.

  22. Thanks for these exquisite pictures of this beautiful country church. I too grew up in Dimock and so this church has been an important part of my life. I loved going into the church as a child and just feeling the grandeur of God’s presence there. At times when I go back there I still just sit in the Church and let myself cherish its beauty and remember gratefully its significance in my life. I too belong to the Schlimgen family several of you spoke of. My mother was a Schlimgen.

  23. Renee says:

    I grew up in Dimock and do remember that church. Wow, it sure brings back memories of my childhood!

  24. Marilyn Hansen Hancock says:

    Dear Sr Doris,
    My Mom and I were so delighted to see your comments! My grandmother was Mary Oberembt Zeier from Dimock! We hope you are doing well! It is not surprising this beautiful Church brings out such fond emotions from everyone who was a parishioner!
    Marilyn and Jeanette

  25. Marilda Behrend Myers says:

    I was born in Dimock in 1918, but moved to Parkston when I was 3. My maternal grandfather, Emile Untereiner, was chairman of the building committee when this beautiful church was built and my grandmother, Dorothea Holthaus Untereiner, is listed as one of the donors for one of the transcept windows. We love to go back to feel God’s presence in the sanctuary and then visit many of our family members who are buried in the cemetery. I am grateful to those whose dedication built this magnificent church on the prairie, and also to those current members, who support and maintain its beauty.

    • Ann says:

      Hello Marilda,

      We must be cousins as Emilee and Dorthea are my Great-Grandparents. It has been told that our Great Grandfather rode to St. Helena, Nebraska to get the plans construction. I have attended that church over 30 years ago and even at that time the church had fallen to disrepair. I am so thankful that the parishoners of the Dimock church have chosen to maintain the church so it can continure to draw and inspire into the future.

      Do you have any photos or stories that you could share of Great Grandparents? I am always collecting family history as it is an interest, a hobby, also for my daughter and future generations.

      God Bless,
      Ann Mechtenberg

      • Carol Camp says:

        I’m Marilda’s daughter, Carol. I live in Idaho, and my mother, who is 93 years old, lives in Sioux Falls. She was your dad’s first cousin. (I was very sorry to hear of his recent death). As far as I can recall, I only met your parents once – just a few years ago in Dimock, when we stopped to visit them after wandering in awe through that wondrous church!
        My mother (who loves to read email, but has a hard time responding) is the daughter of your dad’s oldest sister Mary (Maria Elizabeth) and Bill Behrend. She was born in Dimock, but grew up in Parkston. She does have some family photos of the Untereiners going back to the time they were in Texas in the 1890s, when your grandfather Alphonse was quite young.
        It would be fun to compare stories, as we hadn’t heard about Emile’s trip to get the church plans, or that he was a blacksmith. My mother remembers him and Dorothea fondly, however – his grapes and the wine he made, and that the children would get a teeny taste on special occasions. I’m sure she’d have lots more to share with you! So nice to connect with family via this wonderful post!

        • Ann Mechtenberg says:

          Thank you Suzanne again for your wonderful artisty and the joy that your pictures have brought to many and helping Marilda, Carol and I to connect. The power of your pictures, the love of the St. Peter and Paul church and blessing of Spirit have brought us all together. I thank you for this connection and hopefully we can find another way to connect and share our family history. Right know I find it is a “God Wink” for me.

          Wow, Carol, …your mother reads e-mails at 93..that is so great..I am imprssed. I am thrilled to hear that she lives in Sioux Falls as I do as well. It would be awesome to get together with your Mother sometime and document these stories and pictures for future generations. My Dad has often told me I look like Dorthea,as I do not look like my 5 sisters so my daughter has been curious to see a picture of Dorthea. I remember viewing a family protrait and she was short with dark hair and so am I. My daughter and I enjoy listening to family storytelling and to look at old photos from the past and see the traits in the generations today. Perhaps we could get to know each other through e-mail. My e-mail is or I am on facebook..Ann Untereiner Sorensen-Mechtenberg.
          I have lots of questions?

          Thank for the note..hope to hear from you again soon.

          God Bless,

          Ann Mechtenberg

          • Suzanne says:

            You’re so very Welcome Ann. When I stopped by that afternoon last fall to take a peek at the church and take pics, I had no idea these would be enjoyed by so many. Am so pleased that all of you have found me and used this post to connect with each other and share stories.
            Blessings to all this Holy Week!

          • Ann Mechtenberg says:

            Thank you for the note and blessings to all as well as we celebrate another season and remain thankful for all that God has done for us.

      • Kathleen Zehnpfennig Archibald says:

        Hi Ann, we also must be cousins because Emile and Dorthea Untereiner were also my great-grandparents. Their daugther, Caroline Mathilda Dorothea was my grandmother. Caroline married William Charles Zehnpfennig, she died in 1918, leaving behind 5 children very small children. I am the yougest daughter of Melvin Zehnpfennig, Caroline & William’s son. I have 4 sisters and 3 brothers, and grew up in Michigan. In 1971 my parents, 1 brother and I went on vacation to South Dakota to visit my dad’s relatives. Of course we visited this beautiful church. About 6 years ago, my husband, my youngest daughter and I went to South Dakota for vacation. I was so excited to visit the church once again. It was also interesting to discover I was born the same day as Grandma Dorthea, only 99 years later…lol

        • Ann Untereiner Mechtenberg says:

          I do remember your trip to SD when I was a teenager. You may not remember but our parents took several pictures of us as they believed we looked like each other. We recently went through photos and came across one of our fathers that was taken during that trip. I have a picture of your Grandmother from one of our other cousin if you would like I could forward to you. As she passed so young you may not have one. My email address is Let me know your thoughts.

          Sts, Peter & Paul Church continues to be a symbol & beacon of God’s unfailing love and light. I am blessed to have grown up with such wonderful memories of this church.

          Good to hear from you and have a Blessed New Year. Ann

    • Ann says:

      PS: A piece of history…Our Great-Grandfather’s was a black smith by trade in his early years before settling on a farm east of Dimock which I am sure he made a contribution to the steel foundation for the churches steeple. The orginal farmhouse on the Untereiner family homestead was recently deconstructed to make way for a Wildlife Refugee soon to be dedicated on the land.

  26. ab says:

    in-laws live near Dimock. The spire is the sign for our kids we’re almost to great-grandmas.

    You should drive i-94 in MN in Stearns County between Sauk Centre & St. Cloud- there’s 6-8 small towns with the same sort of thing- German Catholic immigrants who built incredible churches in the 1900-1920 time frame. Same sort of thing in Hoven, SD; Strasburg and Richardton ND.
    Book about it too.

  27. Donna Brech-Van Wyhe says:

    What a beautiful church..I was baptized in that church 79 yrs ago..we live about 4 miles from Dimock. It is one of our must stops when we get back to So. Dak.

  28. Jennifer Jadczak Winters says:

    My most favorite place on earth. As a grandchild of the Walz/Kurtenbach clan I love going to Dimock spending time with our family and going to mass. There are a lot of joyful and sad memories in that structure. Thank you for sharing the photographs.

  29. Doug Fergen says:

    I have ofund some hsitory of hte Dimock church for any one that might want it. It can be found here.

    • Ann Mechtenberg says:

      Thank you Doug,

      The information on this website about Sts. Peter and Paul church is a great addition to my collection of history for my daughter, Jessica. As I mentioned before she was so inspired by Suzanne’s photography and chose the church to be the subject of her Semester Photography class project The information shared on the site was a great addition to her project.

      The site included information on Sacred Heart Church and School at Parkston, which is helpful as it contributes to the story of Jessica’s father’s ancestry too. It was interesting to note that in the history posted of Sacred Heart Church it referred to Sts. Peter and Paul Church membership as being so large that there was a need for a second church at Parkston to be started.

      Its a fun to think that Dimock was larger than Parkston and our church was listed as 2nd largest in size at the time it was built to St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Sioux Falls. I reread that fact several I attended the consecration of St. Joseph’s Cathedral in the 1990’s to honor the completion of payment of the building fund. I remember thinking at mass that it must be an anniversary celebration but NO the date on the cornerstone was unveiled during the ceremony. My thoughts turned to seeing the Dimock church’s cornerstone and its the date as achool girl, being unaware of its monumental significance. It is Amazing to ponder that both churches were built at the same time and it took approximately 100 years to complete the payment for the Cathedral in Sioux Falls. The faithful, dedicated, artistic, charitable members of the Dimock parrish completed the payment of the building in the record time of one year and at the cost of #35,000 is inspiring to contemplate. An miraculous feat by any measure, but to think these newly American transplanted immigrants, whom were struggling to homestead a new life on the disolate, dusty Plains…DID IT.. AMAZING.

      I am a “Believer” and the construction of St. Peter and Psul Church reminds me to be grateful for the touch of God’s hand. As you appropriately noted, the continued dedicated stewardship of the caretakers, past and present of the church is not go unnoticed. It is to be honored, thanked, appreciated and admired as it seems to be also guided by faith and have the blessing God’s grace.

      I was unaware Dimock originally was called Rome, the name seems befitting, as it reminds me of the quote “All Roads Lead to Rome”. Many people, just as Suzanne in this piece, have mentioned a sense of being drawn to our church as they travel along Hwy 37. The church seems to have a spiritual energy to bring forth powerful emotions for many who see or enter there, but also to have people return.

      Another fact, I was unaware, is that the initial site of Dimock was geographically West, commonly known to us locals as the “Hillside”. That the town moved due to the construction of the railroad. I have often thought of the enormous hours of manual labor it took to support the church’s construction. My thoughts are drawn to images of women, supplying food and drink to the men and how that alone must have been a labor intensive task. The image of parishoners gathering in community to share a meal and be consumed with pride of accomplishment of a days labor. l was relieved to read that labor was shorten abit, when the railroad built a temporary line to bring materials closer to the construction.

      Each posting, each story paints a clearer picture of history, a passionate interest to me. Suzanne, your photos artistry seem to create a stirring in each viewers Soul. What a gift you have. Your site gives the viewer the additional opportunity to give thanks, connect, share their thoughts, emotions and memories. As I mentioned before, we are all sharina a “Godwink”.

      Happy Easter greetings,

      Ann Mechtenberg

      • Suzanne says:

        God works in mysterious ways….I’m glad to be used to bring all of you together. Have a Blessed Holy Thursday!

  30. Cathryn Wermers-Rehfuss says:

    What a surprise this was. My father was born in Dimock and we went to this church many times on special occasions. It is so beautiful, also the cemetary next to the church is so historical. Can’t vs Dimock without going to the cheese factory.

  31. Nancy (Puetz) Mitchell says:

    I grew up 3 houses from this church and lived in Dimock until I graduated from high school. Your photos captured the beauty of this majestic building.

  32. Julie (Koch) Sebert says:

    I too have spent many hours at this church, not only on Sunday’s but as a summer job. My good friend Robin(Schoenfelder) Radke and I spent many hours scrubbing floors,polishing pews, mowing the lawn and having alot of fun. It is a beautiful place and I have many wonderful memories.

    • Doug says:

      I want to thank you Julie, Robin and all the people that helped to keep the church up. I have worked in many church in Michigan and have not found that same compassion and zeal to keep such a jewel alive. When I was working in Catholic churches out here I could not find such compassion out here. Many thanks goes to who have worked tirelessly to keep this church alive. I still believe there are many bright days a head for this congregation and the church. But we must continue to teach our children this dedication.

      I can not tell you how many destroyed churches I have seen out here thinking that modernity meant throwing out all the treasures of the church.

      When I walk in the cemetery to visit family members, I am always comforted to hear the bells toll in the wind. As a child working in the fields Dad would always do the Angelus at noon no matter where we were. Those precious memory carry me in my faith today.

      • Suzanne says:

        I agree Doug. In our travels Harland and I have been to many churches, some beautiful and unscathed, but some stripped of the old beautiful altars, statues, communion rail, pulpit…they look like they’ve been gutted. Heartbreaking..

  33. Kimberly says:

    Thank you for the beautiful photos. My parents were married in this church.

  34. Lyn (Lynda) says:

    Wow, these photos are awesome and capture the beauty of this wonderful church.
    I grew up in this church and graduated from St. Peter and Paul and can still recall the smell of the waxed wood floors in the school.
    Mathias Schlimgen was my great grandfather. Sister Doris, you are my mother, Agnes’s first cousin.

    • Suzanne says:

      Thank you Lyn. It’s such a beautiful church it would be hard to take a bad picture there. What a treasure.

  35. Lyn, This could be another family reunion. Mathias Schlimgen is my great-great grandfather through his daughter Anna, first wife to John H. Hohn, father to my grandmother Odelia Hohn. Small world.

  36. nancy kelley says:

    Hi, all this talk about Hohns=I am looking for people that would remember Tobin 18 school. I used to teach there back in the 1960’s. Hohns, Schoenfelders, Osters, Webers, Maeschen, Storms; Does anyone know any of these families?
    Would like to hear from you.

    Nancy Kelley

  37. Lyn (Lynda) says:

    I remember the school. It was across the road and a little west of the first farm we lived on, but my memories are from the late 40’s and early 50’s. Storms lived across the road from us. I remember the Osters, Hohns, and Schoenfelders, but haven’t had contact with them for 50 years. I also remember the tornado going through Osters farm. My mom did receive Christmas cards from the Storms before she passed away a few years ago.

    I have fond memories of going to that school for Christmas programs. It was magical to me as a little child. I remember a sheet strung across a wire to seperate the audience form the “stage” and fishing for little presents.

    Sorry I can’t help you locate these families now.

  38. nancy kelley says:

    Thank you so much for the response. Brings back so many memories. I should have said when I taught there at Tobin 18 they had moved the school to an old church there. They had me in the old school for a few days til they were finished with the church (as the new “school”) and that was about 1966. Another teacher there, too, was Joan Hohn fromParkston. When I taught there I was Nancy Fanger. I would love to hear from any people that would remember that time. I lived in Mitchell at the time. Now live in Huron.
    Thanks again.

  39. Dave Fergen says:

    Suzanne, thank you for posting such beautiful pictures and history of the church! My parent’s were married in Saints Peter & Paul church nearly 50 years ago. I live in Lincoln, Nebraska. My family and my siblings are heading back to South Dakota to celebrate the actual day. (December 29th, 2012) I had Google searched the church and stumble upon your wonderful website. I do believe the Lord works in mysterious ways. Your talents as a photographer is a true gift. Your article on the church is over two years old and people are still posting comments. Merry Christmas!!

    As I read the article I couldn’t help but recognize the churches history with my parents. A very strong Catholic community came together to build a church. The church tragically burned to the ground twice but each time they came back and built an architecturally stronger church. My parents have had many goods time but also some challenging times. At 50 years they have certainly built their relationship out of brick and mortar similar to the church. The passion for the church in Dimock, South Dakota speaks volumes for the hard working faithful people of the area. I was in the church recently and it looks as good as it ever has. My parent’s deep love for each other and faith in the Lord started there nearly 50 years ago! I love my parents dearly and wish them many happy years to come.

    Dave Fergen and family

    PS Doug it is great to see your posting. Could you do me a favor and past this site onto the Fergen side of the family. Wasn’t your brother Chuck the ring bearer in the wedding?? Merry Christmas Doug!

  40. JuLee Fergen Titze says:

    Thanks for posting the pictures of the church. I remember celebrating Mass there when my grandmother, Helen Weber Fergen passed away. What a beautiful site! My parents were married in this church 50 years ago this December 29th. The story of this church reflects the trials and joys of their lives together. Just as the church is built on a solid foundation, so is my parents’ years together. I love them both dearly and pray that their faith and love sustain them for many years to come.
    JuLee and Aaron Titze and family

    • Doug Fergen says:


      So glad you found this site. miss you , Dave, Mike and Lisa…Remember the Fergen Christmas partys in Dimock? This church means so much to the Fergen Family. It was a rock in Grandma’s faith!

  41. Mike Fergen says:

    Church, family and faith have in many ways have defined us as a Fergen family. As a young man serving at church with my brother Dave, really helped build my foundation for God. It is amazing how the Christian messages as a a youth have become so important to me as the older I get in life. The funerals, weddings, and celebrations at the Dimock Catholic Church have placed a positive impact on my life and what life is all about.

    I am so proud of my parents Henry and Carol Fergen as they are about to celebrate 50 years of marriage on the 29th day of December, 2012. They are what I aspire to as a parent. They define love, faith and hope in each other. Many joyous memories in my life have developed from watching my loving parents.

    Today, I came across this passage that in many ways are what we may be seeking as a church, family, community or as an individual. Faith is a belief that God is real and that God is good. God says that the more hopeless your circumstances, the more likely your salvation. The greater your cares, the more genuine your prayers. The darker the room, the greater the need for light. God is near and always available, but it is only given to those who seek the faith in The Lord.

    We love you Mom and Dad!!
    Mike, Karen, Ciera Fergen

  42. Lisa and Ryan Thompson says:

    The pictures you have taken are beautiful. What a story as well. It just correlates with the hardworking people of the area, that it was rebuilt twice after being destroyed. I did not know that fact. My brother Dave Fergen directed me to your site and requested I share some memories in honor of our parents, Henry and Carol Fergen, who were married in this church and will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary Dec. 29th, 2012. Some of my first memories of the town and the church are of my grandmother, Helen Weber Fergen and all of my Dad’s family. We would visit for holidays and Saturday night card games often, and I even had the opportunity to stay with Grandma in the summer. We would attend church, and to me as a young person, the structure was intimidating. Over the years, I have attended many weddings and some funerals as well there for relatives. It is such a beautiful church. I remember too, as a young adult, looking through my parents wedding album. The altar was so grand and well decorated. In the world we live in currently, it seems things are changing at record pace. But when recalling all of the memories of that church and the memories of my parents over these last 40 some years that I recall, I am comforted by what hasn’t changed. My parents have lived out the vows they made that cold December day 50 years ago in front of family and God. To honor and love each other for richer/poorer in sickness/health as long as they both shall live. I am proud of their commitment and love for each other. I know their relationships with the Lord and the way they instilled that faith in our own family is what held them/us together in the tough times. As we come together this weekend to celebrate, I say thank you to God, community, and family. It really is all that matters.

  43. Carol Zehnpfennig Evans says:

    I grew up attending this beautiful church, too; and I have many fond memories of it. Unfortunately it was being remodeled in the summer of 1971 when I married; so I didn’t have the pleasure of walking down the aisle on my father’s arm (Charles A. (Chuck) Zehnpfennig.

    I wish I’d known about the Boehnen Hohn reunion mentioned above. My siblings and I would have been interested.

    Greetings to all Dimock area friends who remember the Zehnpfennigs (Chuck & Charlotte’s “kids” – Jeanne, Carol, Tom & Mark).

    Carol Zehnpfennig Evans

  44. Donna Palmlund says:

    Beautiful! I just took pics of this church yesterday, but did not capture the inside nearly as well as you did. (Needed a wider angle lens) I had just photographed the Catholic churches in Bow Valley and St. Helena Nebraska the day before, I didn’t go inside either of these, but wish now I had, looked them up online, because they are all very similar, inside and out. They all had the same architect, Josef Schwartz of Sioux Falls.

  45. Lisa Mofle says:

    Absolutely beautiful pictures!! This is also the church I grew up in. I went to the public school that was next too it as an elementary student as did my father. I haven’t been back there for many years. I still remember going to mass there. It is as beautiful as I remember it. Thank you for sharing your pictures. Lisa

  46. I can remember as a child going to weddings and funerals in this church. It is truly beautiful and awe inspiring. I recently took my kids to see this wonderful church and show them all their relatives buried in the cemetery right next to the church. What a wonderful job of keeping this church up!!!!!

  47. Natalie says:

    Hi there! I’m the South Dakota writer for I’m working on an article about the community of Dimock, and I’m wondering if I may have your permission to use a couple of your lovely photos. I would, of course, give you proper photo credit in my article. 🙂


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