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St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church

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1929, Charles A. Hausler. 18401 168th Ave. SE
  • (Photograph by Steve C. Martens)

The farming and ranching community of Lefor was formed in 1897 by German Hungarian immigrants from the Banat region of Hungary. Historically referred to by locals as the “Queen of the Prairies Church,” it is the third church to occupy this site on a high rise of land. It was preceded first by a sod church and then a stone church that served until this church was dedicated in 1929. Bishop Vincent Wehrle (Wehrle was appointed bishop of the Diocese of Bismarck in 1910) invited Hausler of St. Paul to design this church that can seat 450 and includes six classrooms and a gymnasium. The imposing Romanesque Revival church is constructed of concrete, structural tile, and two-color bricks with extensive diapering. The plan is unusual in the placement of the transept at the front. Large expanses of windows at the south end wall of the transept are subdivided. The robust proportions of the front bell tower are balanced by a spire whose square base has quatrefoil rose windows. Church histories describe the importance to the community of Banat-region German Hungarians of the church bells that were cast in Temeschevor, Hungary. As well as calling worshippers to services, the bells were also rung to warn of fires or other emergencies.

Writing Credits

Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay



Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay, "St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church", [Lefor, North Dakota], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of North Dakota

Buildings of North Dakota, Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015, 168-168.

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