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Helena Matilda Grotelueschen was born on February 8, 1874, at the A. Jo-
hann (John) Grotelueschen farm, 12 miles north of Columbus, Nebraska.  She was
called Lena by all her family and friends.  Lena was the fourth of eleven children
born to A. Johann and Anna Catherine Loseke Grotelueschen.
Lena went to the local public school and attended Christ Lutheran German
School for her confirmation instruction.  Over the years, her parents kept as many
as 75 different children at their house in the cold winter months.  These children
stayed with Lena and the family so they could attend Christ Lutheran German
School, which was less than a mile away from the Grotelueschen home.  Lena was
confirmed with Herman Kallweit of Platte Center, a town 25 miles away from Christ
Lutheran.  He may have been one of the children staying with the Grotelueschens. 
Christ Lutheran was organized in 1871.  It was one of only seven organized Lu-
theran congregations in the state of Nebraska in 1871.  Members came to Christ
Lutheran Church and German School from many miles around until more local
churches were built in Nebraska.
Lena Grotelueschen was a person who enjoyed life and people.  Being
around her was never boring.  Her hearty laughs and friendly smiles were her
trademarks.  Lena’s life was char-
acterized by a staunch Christian
faith to which she often bore faith-
ful witness to her family and
friends.  She minced no words ex-
pressing her strong convictions. 
She loved to sing the Lutheran
Chorales and her favorite Gospel
Lena had a special talent as
an artist and would draw pictures
of animals, especially horses and
dogs.  Her family felt she could
have been another “Grandma
Moses”.  She would write poetry
for her own enjoyment.  Lena also
liked to whittle wood; her specialty
was whistles.
Local School District #48
had a debate group which divided
into teams and debated on politics
or any subject they read about at
that time.  Lena was a member of
this debating group and enjoyed
entering into the debates.
Helena at age 20
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