Anton Marius Andersen

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Anton Marius Andersen (March 8, 1847 - October 23, 1941) was an American Lutheran minister and the founding President of Trinity Seminary at Dana College.[1]


A. M. Andersen was born in Denmark, the son of Anders Jorgensen. He was one of seven children of a pious farm couple. After fulfilling his required military service, he decided to become a pastor, a decision his father opposed so strongly that he disinherited his son. Andersen entered a folk high school in Denmark and took lessons from his home pastor. He arrived in Wisconsin in the spring of 1872 and that fall went to Minneapolis to attend Augsburg College & Theological Seminary, which at that time was supported by Norwegian and Danish Lutheran congregations in this country. [2]


Andersen moved to Nebraska during October, 1874. After about one and one-half years in the Nebraska mission field, he was called by a congregation in Racine, Wisconsin. He stayed there for three and one-half years, and then accepted a call back to Washington County and Burt County in Nebraska. Rev. A.M. Andersen regularly preached in Orum when some of the residents of nearby Blair invited him to preach there. First Lutheran Church was organized on January 22, 1884 as the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church of Blair.[3]

In September 1884, the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church Association in America was organized. That led to the beginning of Trinity Seminary at Blair, Nebraska which was dedicated on October 21, 1886. [4] Danish Lutheran established Trinity Seminary for the purpose of training men for the parish ministry. [5]Trinity Seminary was a school without a name that first year of 1884-85 when Pastor A. M. Andersen held classes for four students in his Blair home, a simple white frame house. One of the first 12 students was C. X. Hansen, who later taught at Trinity and Dana from 1894 to 1941. He also served as Dana's president during three intervals. In 1889 Andersen accepted a call to another Nebraska congregation; he returned to Trinity as professor of theology for two years in the 1890s. [6]

In 1902 when he was named editor of the church publication, Danskeren. From that year to 1909 he was a board member of the school he founded. The Andersens remained in Blair until 1922, when they moved to Beresford, South Dakota. He served a congregation there, and then in 1935 moved to Glendale, California. In his later years his pioneering work among Danish-Americans was recognized by the King of Denmark with the Golden Cross of the Knights of the Royal Order of the Dannebrog. In 1938 Trinity Seminary, the school he had founded 54 years earlier, presented him with an honorary doctorate. A. M. Andersen died in Fresno, California at 94 years of age.[7]


At the suggestion of United Evangelical Lutheran Church President Dr. N. C. Carlsen, Pioneer Memorial at Dana College was dedicated to the founders of Dana College. Outside the office of the President of Dana College, is a plaque that reads: "This building is named Pioneer Memorial in memory of A. M. Andersen, Kr. Anker, C. X. Hansen, P. S. Vig, G. B. Christiansen, and many other faithful men and women who contributed to the development and influence of Dana College and Trinity Seminary." [8]


  1. ^ Andersen, Anton Marius (California Death Index) [1]
  2. ^ A. M. Andersen, Pioneer Pastor, First President (Dana College Review, Volume 40, Number 1. Fall 1983) [2]
  3. ^ A Brief History of First Lutheran Church in Blair, Nebraska (by Mark Friis-Hansen and Richard Jorgensen, editor. From "This Thy House, A Centennial History of First Lutheran Church 1884-1984" [3]
  4. ^ Rev. A. M. Andersen, founder of Trinity Seminary, Dana College's mother institution (Blair Historic Preservation Alliance) [4]
  5. ^ About Dana College (Dana College Catalog 2007-09) [5]
  6. ^ Trinity Seminary (Dana College Review, Volume 32, Number 1. Fall 1977) [6]
  7. ^ Presidents of Trinity Seminary and Dana College (Dana College)[7]
  8. ^ A Place Called Dana: The Centennial History of Trinity Seminary and Dana College (by Peter L. Petersen . Dana College (January 1985)

Additional Sources[edit]

  • Christensen, William E. Saga of the Tower: A History of Dana College and Trinity Seminary (Blair, Nebraska: Lutheran Publishing House, 1959)
  • Petersen, Peter L. A Place Called Dana: The Centennial History of Trinity Seminary and Dana College (Blair, Nebraska: Dana College, 1984)
  • Jensen, John M. The United Evangelical Lutheran Church: An Interpretation (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1964)
  • Nyholm, Paul C. The Americanization of the Danish Lutheran Churches in America: A Study in Immigrant History (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1963)

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