Last Wednesday (9/20) Amy and I got to meet with an Apostolic couple, Rubin and Crystol Luthi to talk about their perspective on our project as well as look through some family records and Apostolic resources. To begin, we sorted through a lot of information on the Luthi, Moser, and Schmidt families. I created a few family trees and organized them based on who was from where or held tightly to their German or Swiss heritage. It turns out that Christian (Christ/Criss) Luthi was Ruben’s grandfather and brother-in-law of Chris Moser. Turns out that Chris Moser was one of the most influential people in bringing over the Luthi family to America, specifically Northeastern Iowa and later Minnesota, and even taught him agriculture and farming.
We gathered a lot of information, but don’t want to give it all away! So here’s a little snippet!
Unlike we previously believed, the community here is a large mix of Germans and Swiss. We now have a new gap to look into!
We deduced that the families are very interconnected, and based on the basis of Christian faith that family ought to take care of one another, it is pretty obvious that, even during times like the great depression, the Apostolic church took care of each other. There was also talk of punishment (kind of like bannishment)
We heard a lot about the agriculture here in Stevens County and especially about the relationship of Apostolic’s in Northeast Iowa to those here. There is still a lot of migration in this community throughout the Midwest. Amy and I have decided that this is interesting but I am not convinced that it would be worth investigating. I really think that opens the scope of the project too much.
It was between 1932 and 1935 that the use of German in Apostolic churches was being discussed, and there are still churches that are strictly German speaking. Some of the Luthi’s relatives spoke both English and German, but were reluctant to change.
My favorite piece of information was when Ruben told us that the Apostolic people really impacted Morris, and Stevens County as a whole. They were perceived as honest people which helped them be accepted here among a variety of other ethnicities and religious beliefs.
This is just one meeting from a local historian that Amy and I are blessed to meet with. Grateful for a wise, educated, organized, and invested community supporting us!