Addison E. Knickerbocker was called from Christ Church, Red Wing. During his 11 years he had made many friends among members of St. Paul’s. He started here in 1921 and ended his service in 1948; was the longest rector (27 years) of any St. Paul’s rector.
At the end of his 2nd year, he reported conducting 190 services, with membership at 661. Income was $30,000, with a net income over expenses of $1,350. The church property had a net value of $83,000. A mortgage of $2,500 was paid off the next year. A new rectory was purchased and decorated with funds raised by the Women of the parish. The choir numbered between 60 and 70, the Sunday School was averaging 300 each week.
The choir continued to be a powerful factor in recruiting boys and men as well as families. On February 23, 1923, a first in radio broadcasting was arranged by Mrs. Eleanor Poehler on WLAG, the pioneer radio station that became WCCO. Music at Easter and Christmas was further expanded with three musicians from the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra playing at services. They were regulars for several years.
The girl’s choir was not developed on a par with the male choir until the 1940’s. Under the direction of Mrs. Paul Oberg, they had a camping program and enjoyed Camp Lawton for several weeks each summer.
Boys camps were continued at Lake Sylvia, Chisago Lake and Bush Lake until 1928. With outside cooperation and financial help, the choir alumni bought and presented to the church seven and a half acres of lakeshore property on Deer Lake in Wisconsin as a permanent memorial to beloved choirmaster, Edgar C. Lawton. This was dedicated to the continuation of tent camping.