In July 1866, a group of German Lutheran families from Ixonia, Wisconsin, arrived in the area that became the city of Norfolk. They staked claims along the North Fork of the Elkhorn River. They were later joined by their pastor, Reverend Heckendorf, and they established the first school and built the first church in Madison County. A new church was built in1878 and the present church was built in 1907. Many of the first settlers are buried in St. Paul's cemetery.