Laur. Larsen Presidential Papers, 1853-1933
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Brief Description: This series contains the official presidential records and papers of Laur. Larsen, the first President of Luther College, whose administration spanned 1861-1902.  Included in the series is correspondence, writings, speeches, sermons, Norwegian Synod files, and college administrative files, dating 1854-1933.  Though he was commonly known as Laur. Larsen, other variations of his name include Peter Lauritz Larsen and Peter Laurentius Larsen.
Held at:
Luther College Archives
700 College Drive
Decorah, IA 52101
Phone: 563-387-1805
Fax: 563-387-1657
Email: archives [at]
Record Series Number: LCA/RG02/1st President
Created by: Larsen, Laur (1833-1915), Luther College (Decorah, Iowa)
Volume: 12.8 Cubic Feet

The collection is arranged into six series:

1) Correspondence (1857-1915)

2) Administrative Files (1854-1915)

3) Writings (1860-1933)

4) Sermons (1855-1909)

5) Synod Files (1863-1903)

6) Subject Files (1861-1903)

Biographical Note for Larsen, Laur (1833-1915) : Peter Laurentius (Laur.) Larsen was born August 10, 1833, at Kristiansand, Norway.  His parents were Captain (Army) Herman Larsen and Elen Else Marie Oftedahl.  Larsen entered the Kristiansand Cathedral School in 1842. In 1850, Larsen took his examinations for a Bachelor's degree at the University.  In 1851, he took a second set of examinations and studied theology from 1852 until June of 1855.  He  achieved degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy and Candidate of Theology.  He stayed to teach at Christiania from 1855 to 1857. In 1855, Larsen married his first wife, Karen Randine Neuberg.  They emigrated to America in 1857.  He became the pastor of Rush River, Wisconsin from 1857 to 1859. October 14, 1861, marks the beginning of Laur. Larsen's official Presidency of Luther College, a term of office that covers all of the College's formative years throughout the latter half of the 19th century and into the 20th. After forty-one years as the president of Luther College, Larsen stepped down on July 31, 1902. He was replaced by C. K. Preus. Larsen continued to teach Hebrew for nine more years before retiring from his professor duties in 1911. Larsen died peacefully in his sleep on March 1, 1915.
Access Restrictions: All materials are available for research.
Subject Index
Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) - College Finances
Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) - Faculty and Staff
Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) - History
Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) - Students
Norwegian Lutheran Church of America
Norwegian Synod
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Norwegian [nor]
Rights/Use Restrictions: Though we may hold the property rights, Luther College Archives does not hold the copyrights for all materials. Individuals may use materials for non-commercial, private use, but commercial users must secure permissions from the copyright holders and/or Luther College Archives to reproduce, publish, or quote protected materials and photographs. For more information about the Luther College Library and Information Services copyright and fair use policy, please visit
Technical Access Notes: Some materials in this collection require the use of a microfiche reader.
Other Formats: Some materials in this collection are photocopies.  The existence, location, and copyright status of originals are unknown.

Cite unpublished materials: Laur. Larsen Presidential Papers, RG02 Office of the President, Luther College Archives, Decorah, Iowa

Cite published materials as required by your chosen citation style (Chicago, MLA, APA, etc.).