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 1911 National Swedish Baptist Conference

Amazing what a little town can accomplish if it wants!  Three years after it had built a new church building, the First Swedish Baptist Church of Kiron invited Swedish Baptists from the United States and Canada to come to Kiron to hold their national conference.  And come they did with delegates from Baptist churches located through out the States and Canada.  The Chicago and North Western provided most of the transportation.   The people on this photo are delegates - typically the pastor and wife from the various Swedish Baptist churches.  Rev. Anton Anderson, Kiron's pastor, can be seen in the front row (two to the right of the man with the light trousers).  What you are seeing here are Swedish immigrants who were probably born between 1845 and 1875.  For a significant number of these people, Swedish was the only language that was comfortable to them.  They did not think American words could ever convey the richness, the depth, and the fullness of a message or song delivered in Swedish.  But time was moving on.  Within 15 years they were going to have to come to terms with the reality of English.