Gustav Marius Bruce papers, 1879-1963


Gustav Marius Bruce papers, 1879-1963






Correspondence, reports, clippings, and photographs of a Norwegian-born Lutheran clergyman, theological professor, author, editor, and lecturer. Bruce immigrated to Yankton County, Dakota Territory, in 1884; attended Fremont College, Red Wing Seminary, University of South Dakota, Temple University (Ph.D.), and Hartford Seminary (D.D.). He was a minister in South Dakota, Illinois, Minnesota, and Nebraska parishes; teacher in the public schools of Yankton County, Jewell College, and Red Wing Seminary; professor at Luther Theological Seminary (1917-1949); vice-president of the NELCA; and held a number of offices in the church.

He was publicity chairman of the Norse-American Centennial, president of Østfoldlaget for 16 years, and of Bygdelagenes Fellesraad for 5 years. He was editor of several religious periodicals, a contributor to newspapers and magazines, and the author of several books on social and educational subjects. Correspondence and reports in this collection deal with Knut Gjerset's proposed encyclopedia on Norwegian Americans, Bruce's work as publicity director of the Norse-American Centennial, Norwegian pioneers in Canada, and bilingualism in the church.

An article, "Lidt pionærhistorie," is an account of the blizzard of 1888, as it affected the Bruce family. Correspondence regarding bygdelag affairs has been transferred to the Bygdelagene Papers; Andreas Wright; Mons Wee; commemorations of Ole Rynning, Bjørnson and Jonas Lie; Leif Ericson Monument Association; NAHA; Century of Progress; Tvillingbyerne Norske Literaere Forening (including information about Laura Bratager, S. Sneve, Gustav Mellby); and Norwegians in Canada

The collection originally filled three boxes. Material directly relating to Bruce's work with the NELC (Luther League, educational survey, negotiations with congregations) was transferred to Region 3 archives at Luther Seminary in 1999. Correspondence as president of the Østfoldlaget and the Bygdelagenes Faellesraad (including record books and scrapbook) was transferred to the Bygdelagene Papers.

Many clippings were transferred to appropriate collections. 1 folder: correspondence & reports concerning merger of Immanuel and Macalester Park Lutheran churches, 1921, forming Immanuel Lutheran church, St. Paul,Mn. 1 folder: Correspondence & reports concerning division of Le Sueur River Luth. church into Le Sueur River and Trinity churches, New Richland, Minn. 1952. 1 folder: Correspondence & reports concerning controversy in Marion, Zoar and St. Ansgar churches, La Moure county, N.D., 1950 1 folder: Correspondence & reports concerning controversy in United Lutheran Church of Brockett, N.D. (formed by merger of Hoff and Vaage churches), 1952-53 1 folder: Correspondence & reports concerning merger of Ny Stavanger and Buxton Lutheran churches, Buxton, N.D., 1948-49(1949) 1 folder: Correspondence & reports concerning division/of Valley Grove Lutheran Church, Nerstrand, Minn., into Valley Grove and Grace Lutheran churches. Includes transcripts of legal documents, maps of the property, inc. 1 folder: correspondence & reports concerning merger of congregations to form Trinity Lutheran church of Faribault, Minn., 1917; merger of North Branch and Our Saviours churches of Petersburg, Neb., 1937; and supply of pastoral services to other Petersburg area churches, 1937.


0.4 cubic feet (1 archives box)


Photographic prints



Bruce, Gustav Marius, 1879-1963, “Gustav Marius Bruce papers, 1879-1963,” Norwegian-American Historical Association , accessed May 20, 2022,