REV. EDWARD N. TRAIN
To Rev. E. N. Train is given the credit for the building of the new and modern Swedish Evangelical Mission Church at Hilmar, Merced County. He was born
in Sweden, June 22, 1881, the youngest son of Gustav and Mathilda Train, who came to America in 1886, and made their first settlement at Lindsborg, McPherson County, Kans., where the father followed making and repairing shoes. They were poor but honest people and, with their family of eight, had a struggle for existence. The father had been well-to-do in Sweden but lost his means through signing notes for another and had to begin all over again and in a land of strangers. Our subject attended the local public school, after which he entered the office of the Lindsborg News as printer's devil and started to learn the business. He next became a grocer's clerk and worked hard to get the necessary means to attend college and finally entered North Park College, near Chicago, and finished the regular theological course, graduating with the class of 1907. This college is controlled by the Swedish Evangelical Mission Church of America. Although he had graduated, the rules of this church require three years service as a preacher and mission worker before ordination; accordingly Mr. Train complied with the rules and was ordained a minister in 1910. He began his duties as a mission worker and preacher in South Bend, Ind., during his last year in college and, after finishing, returned to South Bend, in all spending five years there.
The year of his graduation Mr. Train was married, on June 12, 1907, at Clyde, Kans., to Miss Elvira Ostlund, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Ostlund, who were farmers in Republican County, Kans. She was born and educated in Kansas, taking a musical course in the Conservatory of Music at Lindsborg, Kans., studying vocal as well as instrumental. She developed a fine soprano voice and sang in the Messiah, the oratorio which is rendered annually in the Lindsborg College and said to be the best rendition of the Messiah in America. They have had five children, all boys: Edward N., Jr.; Roy Enoch; Wesley Andrew; John Harvey Lind; and Ronald James Waldo.
Following ministerial work, Rev. Train went from South Bend, Ind., to Helena, Mont., and a year later took a post graduate course in the Montana Wesleyan
University and won the Ryder scholarship. He was then sent to Seattle, Wash., in 1913, and while there also did post graduate work at the University of
Washington, pursuing classical studies, modern and ancient languages. He was at Seattle for seven years. In 1919 he came to Hilmar, Merced County. Reverend Train is a leader in the young peoples' conferences of the Swedish Evangelical Mission Church and is recognized as an organizer of the young peoples' organizations, having specialized in that in Indiana, Washington and California. He is deeply interested in the public schools at Hilmar; is treasurer of the California Conference of his Mother Church; is president of the Young Peoples' League of California; is vice-chairman of the board of directors of Emanuel Hospital at Turlock and is active in all other philanthropic and worth-while enterprises that have for their object the raising of the moral and religious
standard of the people.
It was largely through the efforts of Reverend Train that the handsome church edifice at Hilmar was erected at a cost of $40,000. It is a modern structure 68
by 80, stucco construction, with a belfry sixty-two feet high. Ground was broken on January 4, 1921, the cornerstone was laid Easter week of that year and the building was dedicated in November of the same year. It is the best-appointed church in any country town and is the pride of the congregation, which was organized only in 1903. Every modern convenience is installed in the construction and arrangement of the building and the various rooms, and all in
all it is considered to be a model of its kind.
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