K. G. William Dahl

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K. G. William Dahl (born 1883 - September 9, 1917) was a Lutheran pastor, author and social advocate.[1]


K. G. William Dahl was born in Osby, Skåne in Sweden. Both Dahl's father and grandfather had been Lutheran ministers of the Church of Sweden parish. His brother was the composer Viking Dahl. K. G. William Dahl immigrated to America from Sweden in 1902. He attended Augustana College and Seminary in Rock Island, Illinois. His home in Osby, Skåne had been near that of Augustana College founder Tuve Hasselquist. Dahl was ordained into the ministry of the Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1907.


Dahl was initially assigned to Immanuel Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska where he then served as associate minister under Dr. Lindberg. He subsequently served rural parishes in Roberts County, South Dakota, including the Walla Lutheran Church in New Effington. Dahl also served the nearby Lake Traverse Indian Reservation.[2]

In 1912, Dahl wrote Hedens Barn, a book written in his native Swedish language. This book has a setting in rural Roberts County, South Dakota and tells of life among the early pioneer homesteaders. The book is a study of people struggling against the elements to make a new life on the prairie.[3]

Dahl moved on to Axtell, Nebraska in 1912 as the local Lutheran minister. Within the year, he called a meeting to organize the Bethphage Mission Association to develop the institution he envisioned. A charitable institution for the care and treatment of epileptics, it was operated by Swedish Lutherans.[4]

Bethphage Mission reflected a unique architectural style hearkening to Pastor Dahl's native Skåne in Sweden. Bethphage Mission soon became known as the "miracle of the prairie" for its dedication to helping people with disabilities grow toward independence.[4]

In 2003, Mosaic an affiliate of Lutheran Services in America, was formed through the consolidation of Bethphage Mission with Martin Luther Homes. A heritage of supporting and advocating for people with disabilities continues to the present day through Mosiac at Bethphage Village.[5]

Selected works[edit]

  • Hedens Barn (Rock Island, IL: Augustana Book Concern. 1912. translated by Emeroy Johnson)


  1. ^ K.G. William Dahl of Bethphage Mission (Swedish Churches in Nebraska )
  2. ^ 100 Years of Precious Memories, (Walla Lutheran Church, New Effington, South Dakota, July 3, 1994)
  3. ^ Dahl, S., & Lindgren, M. D. (1984). Children of the Prairie. Minden: Fifth Street Printing ).
  4. ^ a b [1] “Evangelical Lutheran Church in America - Bethphage Mission, Inc.”
  5. ^ [2] “Mosiac at Bethphage Village – Axtell, Nebraska”

External links[edit]