The congregation at Bethel Church (Dawes County, NE) was slowly shrinking. These chairs set
up on a stage behind the lectern were for the children's Sunday school
instruction. A curtain was drawn to separate them from the congregation of
about 12 farmers and ranchers.
When this photograph was done there were no more children coming to this church except
for the annual Christmas party for the region. In fact there were only a
few children left in the community. The chairs remained empty and eventually
the Sunday service was ended. A few years later the church celebrated its
100th anniversary and a few years after that, with the closure of the one
room school house nearby, the community stopped assembling there except on
rare occasions for a funeral.