Wednesday, September 21, 2011

100 Years Ago #4


This article is part of a series written by educators from the college graduating class of 1911 upon their 25th college reunion in 1936. We are constantly facing changes in education, however you may be surprised to find some parallels between schools in 1936 and schools in 2011. I hope you enjoy some history of education, specifically Lutheran education.

The following words were originally shared via the Lutheran Education Association Administrators' Listserve by Greg Hassedahl, principal of Bethany Lutheran School in Overland Park, KS.

These words are from the graduating class of 1911 from Concordia University, Seward, NE upon their celebration of 25 years from graduation. The verbiage and punctuation is as they wrote it for their commemorative booklet from 1936. I added necessary [rough translations] from German.


P. Gabbert placed in Kalispell, MT who was then living in Brighton, CO.

Dear Classmates,

Nineteen hundred eleven, what a memorable date in our lives twenty-five years ago. How confidently we looked in the future! To some, I hope, it brought their realization of their dream; to others, the opposite. Some are with their Savior whom they served faithfully, but a short time.
I pause and pay my respect to the memory of John Noerenberg. I had the privilege to seem him a few years before he passed into "The Great Beyond." I am living now in the congregation where years ago , our sainted classmate Rudolph Leuthaeser labored. I can see the fruits of his labors. His pastor once told me that he was all teacher, and one of the best they had. Such a remark brought tears of gratitude to my eyes. His scholars, now members; all speak of him as a good Christian teacher and leader. Hoping that, after we leave this vale of tears, the same can be said of us. "Blessed are the dead, which die in the Lord, for their works follow them." I visit his grave quite often. Asleep in Jesus, a blessed sleep. "Eia waren wir da." [Aha! There were we.] Others, like myself have left the ranks and joined the "Have Beens".
The greatest event in my service was the World War from 1917 to 1919. It was the undoing of my service, although I hung on until the Lord saw fit to take me from actual service and put me on the retired list, via a serious illness.
At the aforesaid time I was stationed at Stilleville, Illinois (perhaps Steeleville?). Up to that time all was well "On the Southern Front". At the time when war was declared we had dropped the German. But we were surrounded by Italians, who were miners in the neighboring villages. To make a long story in short, they marched in front of the teacherage on May second, 1917 and ordered me to close the school. They even tried to sing "America," but I was the only one who could sing. The congregation saw fit to send me out "West" to gain strength. This they did. Coming back in autumn I began to teach. I taught with a revolver in my hip pocket. No protection. One night they laid for me, but the ex-teachers heard about their shady dealing and without telling me, took me away where they couldn't get me. This delayed their ogre dealing. The fateful date came October 10, 1917. I had sent my family away and was staying at the home of a school-board member.
While preparing my Bible History on "The Beauties", they surrounded the house and gave me twenty-four hours to get out or to be tarred and feathered and hanged. As no protection was forthcoming from the government I was forced, 'midst tears and lamentation['] of officers of church to leave. At this time I had contracted "The Flu". I should have been in the hospital, but I could not. While very ill on the train I contracted a weakness of the lungs and asthma. I consulted a doctor. He did not know which sickness I had contracted. He gave me some medicine which resulted in making me nearly blind. Finally after a consultation, they decided to send me partly West[.] I accepted a call to Kansas. As the years went on I became worse, and finally after a most trying service, the doctor, at my last charge, advised me to go to Colorado.
As I could not serve under trying conditions I reluctantly accepted the Lord's bidding. I am feeling fairly well now, but must stay here. Stay out-of-doors and keep away from excitement & worry.

This, dear classmates, is in short the high light in my career. I deeply regret that I could not serve twenty-five years or serve the Lord forever in this world.

The Lord has blessed me with ten healthy children. Two are preparing for the ministry, one will begin preaching next year. I have a dear loving spouse who has faithfully stood by me and helped me fight the battles of life. May God reward her bountifully for it some day.

To those who are active as yet, I hope that they can round out another twenty-five years of service. May God grant it. Also, to our dear instructors who are still active may I wish the same. May God reward them bountifully for their blessed work. I pause also to respect the memory of our President, Director Weller and Professor Strieter and Professor Schuelke. To the rest, God bless and protect you and give you a peaceful evening of life. To one and all "Deo Duce" [With God for a leader], our motto (the class motto). Keep up the good fight and keep faith and yours be the crown of life at the close of the day's battle.

P. Gabbert


Image: School Desks, DQmountaingirl, uploaded via Flickr October 5, 2008, Creative Commons License

Thursday, September 1, 2011

100 Years Ago #3


This article is part of a series written by educators from the college graduating class of 1911 upon their 25th college reunion in 1936. We are constantly facing changes in education, however you may be surprised to find some parallels between schools in 1936 and schools in 2011. I hope you enjoy some history of education, specifically Lutheran education.

The following words were originally shared via the Lutheran Education Association Administrators' Listserve by Greg Hassedahl, principal of Bethany Lutheran School in Overland Park, KS.

These words are from the graduating class of 1911 from Concordia University, Seward, NE upon their celebration of 25 years from graduation. The verbiage and punctuation is as they wrote it for their commemorative booklet from 1936. I added necessary [rough translations] from German.


J. Ehlers placed in Cleveland, OH who was then serving in Kendallville, IN.

Now, as to the high spots in my life since 1911, well, sometimes it is difficult to determine when we are running in high, in intermediate, in low, or even in reverse. But, as I take it, you wish to have noted here chronologically some of the more important and interesting data in our lives and careers since that memorable and hurried departure from our Seward Normal in 1911.

You will recall that my call was to St. Paul's Congregation, Cleveland, Ohio. Rev. Paul Schwan, son of Dr. Schwan was my first pastor. He is still living and we are, of course, to this day fast friends. My first colleagues in Cleveland were: E. Glave, Miss Schaefer, Miss Zeuter, Miss Mirtz, E. Faulstich, Mrs. Mielke, and F. Eggers. My own brother Karl also assisted one year in Cleveland. Other pastors at my congregation in Cleveland were: Rev. Karl Henrichs, assistant to Rev. Schwan and now with Valparaiso University; Rev. E.J. Friedrich, who is at present professor at our seminary in St. Louis, and Rev. C.W. Spiegel, the present pastor of St. Paul's church. Since 1932 I am with St. John's Congregation, Kendallville, Indiana, and my pastor is Rev. M.F. Kretzmann, secretary of Synod. It should be gratefully acknowledged here that all of my pastors have been ever ready to overlook my many weaknesses; and all of them are sincere friends of our day-schools. Here in Kendallville, we have a two-room school and Mrs. Esther Hartmann of Louisville, Nebraska, has been my capable co-worker for the past four years. Other efficient assistants in the local school, who did part-time work were: Miss Erna Kretzmann. Also Mr. Martin Schlaremann and Mr. Henry Lieske, student graduates of St. Louis. Kendallville is an interesting place to work and I am happy in my new set-up. Next year we shall have, d.v., [Latin for Deo volente, God willing] three full-time teachers.

In 1913 Miss Bertha Hausrath of Cleveland with her winning smile won me over and I married her for our mutual happiness. Yes, there was also a great sorrow: Doris, our eldest daughter, died at the early age of seven. The other children are: Marie (Micky) now a freshman in the Kendallville high school: John (Jackie) hopes to enter high school next September, and there is also Lois, the baby, at present in the sixth grade.

And now my concluding remarks. While I have had my cup of sorrow and sickness in the family, I personally should be grateful to the good Lord for all his dispensations. I have not lost a single minute in school these twenty-five years because of personal illness. We have never lacked food nor clothing. It should be mentioned that even in these recent years of depression my congregations never failed once in paying my full salary each month. Other calls, yes, I have has a number: three to Pennsylvania, one to Iowa, and one to Missouri. Now don't you think, this is about all this page will comfortably accept?

J. Ehlers


Image: School Desks, DQmountaingirl, uploaded via Flickr October 5, 2008, Creative Commons License

100 Years Ago #2


This article is part of a series written by educators from the college graduating class of 1911 upon their 25th college reunion in 1936. We are constantly facing changes in education, however you may be surprised to find some parallels between schools in 1936 and schools in 2011. I hope you enjoy some history of education, specifically Lutheran education.

The following words were originally shared via the Lutheran Education Association Administrators' Listserve by Greg Hassedahl, principal of Bethany Lutheran School in Overland Park, KS.

These words are from the graduating class of 1911 from Concordia University, Seward, NE upon their celebration of 25 years from graduation. The verbiage and punctuation is as they wrote it for their commemorative booklet from 1936. I added necessary [rough translations] from German.


F.W. Eggers placed in St. Louis, MO who was then serving in Norfolk, NE.

One score and five years ago the honorable faculty of our dear Alma mater graduated a class of eighteen young, enthusiastic, and hopeful men to be sent out in due time to all corners of the United States, to serve in the Lord's vineyard, feeding His lambs.

How well I recall the evening when our beloved and sainted Director Weller read the names of the different class members and stated the place to which each had been called.

As I hailed from the "wild and woolly West" I expected to get a call somewhere out in that region. But imagine my consternation when he said: "Eggers: St. Louis, Missouri". Oh, boy! Still farther away from "Home Sweet Home."

Since then a quarter of a century has gone by, and by the grace of God we are still counted among the living ones of our class.

On August 13, 1911, I was installed as teacher for the lower grades, (1 and 2) at Trinity Lutheran Church, Rev. Adolf Hanser, pastor. On that same day Rev. Oberschultz was ordained as assistant pastor of that congregation.

I went to work almost immediately. A long list of names of prospective pupils for our school was handed me. These I was to call on before the opening of school. Oh boy, did I sweat, as I was not used to a semi-southern climate, having been born not far from the Canadian border. Neither was I used to a large city like that of St. Louis. I had a difficult time of finding my bearings at first. The majority of people were foreigners.

WIth the help of God I opened that fall with an enrollment of fifty-six pupils. Before the ending of that school-year I had sixty-eight. The next year I had an enrollment of seventy-four in the two lower grades. In this enrollment I had seven nationalities represented. It is needless to say, that they kept me on the jump. But I enjoyed the work of teaching these youngsters the "One Thing Needful".

In the summer of 1914 I accepted a call to Pierce, Nebraska. The main reason for accepting this call was on account of the climate of St. Louis, which did not agree with me nor my wife. The congregation after three meetings reluctantly let us go with their blessings.

In Pierce I had a mixed school with all eight grades. This meant much unaccustomed work for me as I had never had the upper grades before. But the Good Shepherd also blessed my meager efforts at this place. The first year there I taught school in a wing of the church, which was separated from the auditorium by sliding doors.

Shortly before the close of school the next spring, the trustees of the congregation came to me with the surprising statement that they thought the time opportune to recommend to the congregation to build a new school house. At their next meeting they almost unanimously decided to do so. During that summer they build a modern two-room brick school house with full basement and furnace.

That same summer they also renovated the church and installed a two-manual, eight stop Hinner's pipe organ.

The third year there our enrollment had increased so much that they employed a lady teacher to take the four lower grades.

God indeed had been good to us and blessed my meager efforts wonderfully during our six years stay here at Pierce. Yet, in the summer of 1920 I felt obliged to accept a call extended to me by my present congregation, a member of the Wisconsin Synod, of which Rev. J. Witt is the pastor and also president of the Nebraska District.

Here I was called to take charge of the intermediate grades. At the time of my calling they had three teachers here. But during the so-called "Depression" they disposed of the lady teacher for the lower grades, although we had over a hundred pupils. But I still teach the intermediate grades as my colleague, who has been here twenty years, has the two upper and two lower grades, following the arrangement they have at the Seward Training School.

During the first year that I was here this congregation installed a nine thousand dollar Reuter, three manual, electro-pneumatic pipe organ in our church. A wonderful instrument indeed! Wish to God I could perform on it more efficiently to His praise and glory.

One wish that I have had for the sixteen years that I taught here, the good Lord did not see fit to grant me. That is a modern up-to-date school building. We have been sadly in need of one all these years, but the congregation does not think that they have the means to build one. But I am not giving up hopes that God will answer my prayer in one way or the other.

Now something about my family! God gave me a loving, faithful, and Christian wife and a wonderful mother to my children. You all know her and she knows all of you, too. She is the former Miss Selma Gans, daughter of the now sainted Pastor Gans of Middle Creek, Nebraska. The good Christian training and nurture she received in the parsonage she now applies in daily life as a teacher's wife and mother of his children. She has faithfully shared with me all the joys and tribulations during the twenty-four years of our married life.

God has wonderfully blessed our union with five healthy, sturdy, and God fearing children; three boys and two girls.

Edmund, now twenty-two years of age, was born in St. Louis. He is now employed at the Nash & Finch Wholesalers here in Norfolk.

Ruth, who will be twenty-one in August; born at Pierce, graduated from Seward Normal last spring and is now teaching the four lower grades at the Emmanuel School of St. Louis, Missouri.

Lois, who will be nineteen in June, born at Pierce, is now employed at the Bell Telephone Company here in Norfolk. She also finished the high school course at Concordia Teachers College at Seward. But because her two younger brothers were old enough to go to the Seward College, she was willing to sacrifice her chance. She now holds a very lucrative and desirable position.

Bernard, who will be seventeen in October, born in Pierce is a Junior in the high school department at Concordia Teachers College at Seward.

Now comes our "baby", Fredric Jr., who will be fifteen in June, was born here at Norfolk. He also is attending Concordia Teachers College at Seward and is a sophomore in the high school department.

My wife and I must truly confess that our dear Lord and Savior, God the Father our creator, and God the Holy Ghost our Sanctifier, has graciously and wonderfully us poor and unworthy sinners. Yes, we feel constrained to join in with the author who wrote: "Praise to the Lord who hath fearfully, wondrously, made thee; Health hath vouchsafed, and when heedlessly falling hath stayed thee; What need or grief Ever hath failed of relief? -Wings of His mercy did shade thee.

F.W. Eggers


Image: School Desks, DQmountaingirl, uploaded via Flickr October 5, 2008, Creative Commons License

100 Years Ago #1


This article is part of a series written by educators from the college graduating class of 1911 upon their 25th college reunion in 1936. We are constantly facing changes in education, however you may be surprised to find some parallels between schools in 1936 and schools in 2011. I hope you enjoy some history of education, specifically Lutheran education.

The following words were originally shared via the Lutheran Education Association Administrators' Listserve by Greg Hassedahl, principal of Bethany Lutheran School in Overland Park, KS.

These words are from the graduating class of 1911 from Concordia University, Seward, NE upon their celebration of 25 years from graduation. The verbiage and punctuation is as they wrote it for their commemorative booklet from 1936. I added necessary [rough translations] from German.


G.F. Alpers placed in Altamont, IL who was then serving in Red Wing, MN.

My first call led me to Altamont, Illinois where I was installed on the last Sunday in August, 1911. I served in this place for nine years, or until 1920. During these years the enrollment was not less than fifty-six and one year I had seventy-two enrolled. My first pastor was Hartmeister [Hard master]. When Director Weller told us about our calls, he made the remark: "Hoffentlich ist er nicht so hart wie sein Name." [Hopefully he is not as hard as his name] Well, he was not. We always got along very nicely. During the entire time I have been in office, I have had four pastors. Three of these were "hart" [Hard]: first Hartmeister, second Burkhardt, third Meyer, and fourth Hardt.

On August 14, 1913 I was married to my ever faithful wife Anna, nee Hoebermann. She has shared joys and sorrows with me for the past twenty-three years. The Lord has blessed us with six healthy children, four boys and two girls. The oldest, Esther is at present assisting her mother with house work. She intends to take up studies again in the near future. Elwin, the oldest boy, is attending high school in Red Wing. He will be a Junior next year. He went though ninth grade in our parochial school and passed the State examination, so he has attended only one year thus far. Edmund and Doris and Kenneth are not as yet of school age.

In 1920 I accepted a call to my present location. The enrollment has been from thirty-one to fifty-five in the sixteen years I have been here.

My health has been quite good the entire years that I have been in office. Several times I was forced to remain out of school for a short time, but never longer than two weeks at one time.

A number of my former pupils hold responsible positions. A number are parochial teachers, several ministers, one bank examiner, business men, etc. And yet the main thing that I hope for is not that they gain prominence in this world but that they are faithful Christians, and, thank God, there are those. This the dear Lord has given us by His grace. "Die Sach und Ehr Herr Jesu Christ, Nicht unser, sondern Dein ja ist." [Special and honour Lord Jesus Christ, not ours, but yours yes is} Ja: [Yes] "Von Gottes Gnaden bin ich was ich bin und Seine Gnade an mir ist nicht vergeblich gewesen." [From God's grace I am what I am and His grace at me has not been futile].

G. Alpers


Image: School Desks, DQmountaingirl, uploaded via Flickr October 5, 2008, Creative Commons License