Arthur Church

Arthur Joseph Church was born to George and Bessie (Coyhis) Church. Arthur was raised in Gresham WI. He was number five in a family of ten. His siblings include: Elmer, Ida May, Jason, Allie, Levida, Marvin, Alma, Irma and Dewey.  Arthur is now the only living member of the family.


He went to school in Morgan, as did everyone in them days. He liked school in general but he didn’t like the six-mile walk back and forth to school each day. He especially didn’t like the walk in the winter, especially the cold Wisconsin winters. Arthur also attended Tomah Indian School in the 6th and 7th grade. Although he liked school he didn’t like being away from home. He also didn’t like the way he was treated being an Indian child back then. The last two years of his school Arthur attended Haskell Institute in Kansas.

As a young child growing up Arthur enjoyed teaching himself the guitar. Arthur’s family was on the musical side.  His father played the fiddle; one sister played the organ, and one the guitar and he has always been known for his good guitar playing. And as any boy did he enjoyed the outdoors and hanging out with his buddies. He also enjoyed fishing as he does now.

64 years ago, much to the dismay of a lot of people Arthur and his wife Alvina (Mortz) eloped. She is his one and only and he had been and is very happy with her. They met through Arthur’s good friend and Alvina’s brother. They have six children with them and two nieces that joined the family.


Their children are; Monte, Curtis, Donald, Anita, Michael and Patrick. Their two nieces are Eileen Frechette and Jeanne Church. Their grandchildren include: Craig, Cris, Chad and Cheri, (Monte’s children); Steve and Becky, (Curtis’s children); Brian, Rob, Cindi and Eric Hayes, (Anita’s children); Arthur Joseph, Morgan and Kathryn, (Michael’s children); Tiffany, Whitney and Haley, (Patrick’s children); Kim and Jennifer, (Jeaneen’s children). They also have multiple great grand children.


Arthur enjoys spending time with both his kids and grandkids. When his children were younger he enjoyed hunting and fishing with them just like he does now. He also enjoys goofing around and helping them with their school class projects.


At the age of 14 Arthur started supporting himself. He had various jobs that included a professional guitar player, and a factory worker. Due to the shortage of jobs in the 50’s he went west to look for work and moved his family to Oregon where he worked in the timber industry. 20 years later he retired from the timber industry.

Arthur enjoys traveling and he has done a lot of it with his oldest son Monte. Arthur’s son Monte, heads the Native American Ministries for the Seventh Day Adventist Church, so he has had the opportunity to travel many places with his son. His favorite trips were to Alaska and eastern Canada.


Now Arthur enjoys a little fishing and hunting once in a while. He also enjoys his guitar very much. He has been playing it all his life and is very proud to have taught himself how to play.


Arthur’s lesson for the youth is this; "Start a savings account, no matter how small and add to it as often as you can, no matter how little. Take care of your shoes."