THE TOWN WITH NO CRIME
A Fact That Made Ripley's
Believe It Or Not
In a sermon entitled, "Four freedoms from Fear -- in Christ" Dr.
Walter A. Maier made the following statement.
"You can prove that Christ's creed exerts a quieting, calming, constructive
influence. I point you to Bremen, a Kansas town which in thirty years has
not witnessed a single arrest nor one court action. Why? Because the people
of Bremen believe in the Lord Jesus and trust His promises! That community
is made up almost entirely of members of my church. Bremen has two Lutheran
congregations which hear the full Gospel every Sunday. Their two Christian
day schools, which make public schools unnecessary, instruct the children
of Bremen in Scripture and the Savior's love. The Spirit pledges that Bible
truth "is able to build you up," and Bremen, Kansas, today proves the power
of this truth.
If the whole country would follow this Kansas community by making
loyalty to the Savior the supreme issue in their lives; if the millions
of American children could be brought up in Christ's conquering truth every
day, this would be a peace- crowned, fear-freed nation. To secure this
blessing let us who know the Lord work and pray to the end that our country
repent of its evil, ask God in Jesus name for forgiveness, come back to
the Almighty, who made America great, and stay with the Savior who alone
can keep us great!"
The sermon containing that statement aired in 1947 and was
included in a book of Dr. Walter A. Maier's sermons, entitled, "Global
Broadcasts of his Grace" that was published in 1949. I came across that
sermon in 1979 and, as a result of reading it, wrote to the Bremen Chamber
of Commerce to find out if Bremen was still crime free. Following
is the reply I received.
"Dear Mr. Branscome:
Our Bremen Business Association Pres. Handed to me your letter concerning
the village of Bremen and a Dr. Walter A. Maier sermon of 1949.
I am not the mayor and we do not have any, nor do we have a police
department in this village nor in our township nor the adjoining township.
I will not be able to give you the authentic information you want,
but will give you some, and for any police or sheriff work, you will need
to write to the Marshall County Sheriff, Marysville, Kansas 66508.
Now to your 1949 reading: I will say that at that time, Dr. Maier
could perhaps have said 45 years. I think that if you will read Ripley's
Believe It Or Not of those years or in the 1960's you will find that he
states that for 60 years the area here has not had the need of any police
or sheriff of any kind.
That statement will not necessarily refer to "Bremen" but to Herkimer
Township and Logan Township with the towns of Bremen and Herkimer located
in Logan Township and no town in Herkimer Township, which borders the Nebraska
I believe that since that time we have had the services of the sheriff's
department of Marshall County. We do not have the services of a constable
here -- seems as tho at every election someone gets 3 or 4 votes and that
will be 1 or 2 more than 4 or 5 other people, so he is elected, but he
never accepts the credentials to serve.
Since Dr. Maier's address we have had break-ins in business places
in Bremen, but no Bremen residents have ever been found guilty, that I
recall. I am retired and lived in this Bremen home since 1936.
We have no public school here, but the bus system comes through
our village to pick up highschool children for Marysville and/or Hanover
-- we are at the crossroads. A full fledged Lutheran Parochial school is
maintained three and one half miles from Bremen with three teachers and
is located in Herkimer Township -- Bremen is within one mile of the Logan-
Herkimer Township line. Families transport their children to the Parochial
School via family car service or the share-driving program.
To your questions:
1 I do not think we have had any arrests or court action since
2 No public school, but system as described above. Kindergarten
children do go to the Maryville system via mini- bus.
3 Still believe none, but the Sheriff, Lawrence Martin, of Marshall
County, Marysville Kansas would have the books for that fact.
4 Yes, you can still call our town totally Lutheran, tho we did
have a Catholic family living here in town in 1949. They moved to Hanover.
We do have two Lutheran Churches with a Bremen Address and are in the country.
The church nearest the Nebraska border sends their children and a teacher
to our school system next to the church nearest to Bremen.
I believe the residents of Herkimer Township are 98% Lutheran
and here in Logan Township, we do have a mixture, but nationality is Bohemian
& Germans. We do have a very little bit of other nationalities infilter
now and then. The wife of one of our Parochial teachers is a Hawaiian American
of Chinese Ancestry. This is all I can give you..
Orval M. Lohse
March 9, 1979