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

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