U. V. Koren

 Instrumental in the founding of Luther College

Early Years

Ulrik Vilhelm Koren was born December 22, 1826 in Bergen, Norway. As a pioneer minister in American, he played a significant role in the spiritual and intellectual development of Norwegians in America. An 1852 theology graduate from the University of Christiania, he married Else Elisabeth Hysing the next year and was called to the Little Iowa Congregation in America.

Time in America

The first Norwegian minister to settle west of the Mississippi, Koren’s pastorate included large parts of Northeastern Iowa and Southern Minnesota. He played an active part in the Norwegian Synod, holding various positions from secretary in 1855 to president of the synod in 1894 until his death in 1910.

Luther College

U. V. Koren (1826-1910) U.V. Koren was also instrumental in purchasing the land and locating Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. He was been described in the Luther College Semicentennial book as a man of “wide interests, excellent scholarship, and quiet dignity” and was rewarded in 1903 for these characteristics and other achievements with a doctorate of divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, and made a Commander of the Order of St. Olaf by the King of Norway. His prominent career ended with his death on December 19, 1910, three days short of his 84th birthday.

Other Information

Resources in the Luther College Archives

  • Koren Family -- collected materials
  • Luther College 1861-1961 by David T. Nelson

Works Referenced

  • Nelson, David T., Luther College 1861-1961, Luther College Press, Decorah: 1961.
  • Who's Who in the Luther College Archives

External Resources