By Alta Olson (written in 1993)
The Beaver Valley Lutheran Church of rural Valley Springs, South Dakota, is this year celebrating its 120 anniversary.
As the earliest settlers of Swedish descent settled where the Beaver Creek and Split Rock Creek flow into the Sioux River, the rich farmland became the origin for the name Beaver Valley and the landmark for the beginning of the Beaver Valley community.
On June 8, 1873, a meeting for the purpose of organizing a church was held in the dugout home of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Olander.
A parsonage was built in 1879 and the first church building was erected in 1882. The first record of an organized Ladies Aid Freentimersforeningen was January 3, 1890.
Records show the members at their meeting sang hymns, had Bible study and discussion led by the Pastor or one of the members. They met in the homes (mostly dugouts) and the hostess would serve delicious meals, made with what they had.
They were so thankful for the gifts of friends and neighbors, and that they could get together for fellowship and praise their Lord and Savior.
The families of Beaver Valley felt a special love and closeness for each other. If help was needed, a light would be placed in a window at night. At that time the land was open prairie, so a light could be seen for many miles. The people were grateful for help and depended on each other.
They had brought their Bibles, hymn books, catechisms and sermons with them from Sweden, and they spent time each day in devotions and prayer.
The present church was built in 1922, the present parsonage in 1961, and in 1968 an education unit was added (to the main church).
We thank God for all his blessings in the past and ask for his continued guidance in the future.