Page 1

~t:

lIudin ilJ4lJ'~l-

i:.~, Qtnllege

1884

.

1934

N.ew lltlm~ tiIllinn.esuta


A Brief History of

DR. MAR1lN LUTHER COLLEGE

By

E. R. Bliefernicht

New UIm, Minn.

1934


The late Rev, C. .r. Albreclit Foumler and First ['r"sidellt


In order to understand the reasons for the founding of Dr. Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minnesota, it will be of aid to us to go back to the beginning of the church body that established this institution. In the fifties of the nineteenth century, German and Norwegian Lutheran settlers moved into the state of Minnesota in ever increasing numbers. With these early settlers came pastors who were willing to share the hardships and privations of pioneer life, and devote their time to the spiritual welfare of their brethren. Weare informed that these pioneer pastors frequently journeyed from forty to fifty miles afoot to reach their various preaching places. Among these early pastors we mention the following: Missionary Heyer, Pastors Blume, Brandt, Wier, Mallison, and Thompson. These men soon recognized the advantage of an organization in order to carry out their work effectively, and, in 1860, at St. Paul they organized the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Minnesota. The confessional attitude of this newly formed church body was not so very definitely Lutheran. On the contrary, it was the rather loose unionistic attitude of the then General Synod, to which larger organization the newly organized Synod belonged. A few years later, in 1867, under the leadership of Pastor Sieker, the Minnesota Synod declared its severance from the General Synod and joined the General Council, which had just been formed. Since the General Council had been founded by such men who deemed the doctrinal position of the General Synod not in conformity with true Lutheranism, the mem3


bers of the Minnesota Synod felt that they had now found affiliation with a truly Lutheran group. However, they soon realized that their new affiliation had not improved matters. They found the same conditions obtaining: pulpit and altar fellowship with sectarians, no definite stand on the lodge question and Chiliasm. Although a committee of the Minnesota Synod appeared before the session of the General Council and asked for a definite reply in regard to the so called "Four Points", no definite reply was forthcoming. Consequently, the Minnesota Synod severed connection with the General Council. Within the short space of ten years, the Minnesota Synod had changed its affiliation twice and now stood alone. For the little Synod this meant much. It had been receiving financial aid for its missionary work both from the General Synod and from the General Council. To carry this burden alone was next to impossible. In the meantime the Wisconsin Synod and the Missouri Synod had pushed their mission outposts into Minnesota. Neither of the two, however, for the time being, would recognize the Minnesota Synod as orthodox, owing to its affiliations with the eastern church bodies. Yet, during the time the Minnesota Synod was a member of the General Council, the Wisconsin Synod made efforts to get into closer touch with the Minnesota Synod. As early as 1866 the Wisconsin Synod had sent Dr. Moldehnke as its representative to the meeting of the Minnesota Synod. In 1868 Rev. Streissguth was present, and in 1869 Pres. J. Bading and Prof. A. Hoenecke. 5


The latter two suggested a union of the Wisconsin and Minnesota Synods. This paved the way for the later affiliation and the ultimate union of these two bodies. The year 1871 brought about the first real attempt at co-operation between the two Synods. The then president of the Minnesota Synod, Rev. J. H. Sieker, stated in his annual report that, owing to doctrinal differences, and owing to disagreement in regard to church policy, further affiliation with the General Council was impossible. He also called attention to the fact that the future development and continued existence of the Minnesota Synod could be secured only by preparing young men for the ministry to supply the crying needs of the many mission fields. The Minnesota Synod itself was too small to make any arrangements for the training of pastors .. In the same year, 1871, the Wisconsin Synod had received a favorable report on the Minnesota Synod from its delegate, Prof. A. Hoeneke, and Pres. J. H. Sieker, who was present at this meeting of the Wisconsin Synod, found here a conservative, confessionally true Lutheran church body. The following proposal came from the brethren of the Wisconsin Synod: "Proposals for Co-operation between the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Minnesota and Wisconsin: 1. In regard to the institution at Watertown, Wisconsin and the education of pastors: a. The Synod of Wisconsin offers the Synod of Minnesota, in regard to the institution at Watertown, all rights and privileges 7


o. Hoyer President. 1885-1893

which the Synod of Missouri enjoys namely, to offer the Minnesota Synod the opportunity to prepare its pastors at Watertown without tuition charges, to offer free room to such students, to reduce the cost of board, and to permit them to share all donations the institution may receive. b. The Minnesota Synod, on the other hand, is to appoint a professor at Watertown and to support him with the sum of $500 8


Former

Director's

Residence

per annum, the balance of the salary to be paid by the Wisconsin Synod." Beside these, the proposal included stipulations in regard to Wisconsin Synod publications, but these are not for immediate interest in this connection. Both Synods ratified the above proposal in 1872, and, according to the agreement, the Wisconsin Synod provisionally called Prof. Easterday. However, owing to financial stress, the Minnesota Synod was not able to carry out the stipulations of the agreement. From 1871 to 1874, particularly, certain sections of the State of Minnesota suffered from the grasshopper plague. We find that in the year 1871-72 only $250 was contributed toward the support of the professor at Watertown, in 1872-73 only $375, and in 1873-74 still less. Therefore the Minnesota Synod informed the Wisconsin Synod in 1875 that it was not in a position to keep its promises in regard to the proposed co-operation. A deficit of $700 had accumulated in the 9


treasury of the professor's salary. Besides, owing to the distance and expense of travel, very few students from the Minnesota Synod attended this school at Watertown, Wisconsin. We can well realize that this information was a great disappointment to the members of the Wisconsin Synod. In fact, at this time there was evident in the Minnesota Synod a strong inclination to look to the Missouri Synod for teachers and pastors, for it was decided to lend financial support to the Teachers' Seminary at Addison, Illinois, and to the Theological Seminary at St. Louis, Missouri. In 1872 the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of America was established, which body the Minnesota Synod joined at once. In this body a movement developed to establish a General Theological Seminary. It was proposed to unite the Theological Seminary of the Missouri Synod at St. Louis and the Theological Seminary of the Ohio Synod at Columbus, Ohio, into one institution, and to ask the Wisconsin Synod to refrain from founding its own theological seminary. This plan was heartily endorsed by the Minnesota Synod. But owing to the controversy on the doctrine of conversion, election, and predestination, which had flared up in the meantime, this plan came to naught. This situation left the Minnesota Synod in the same predicament in which it had been before. It had ever growing mission fields owing to the steady immigration, and yet it possessed no ways and means of providing men to carryon the work in these mission fields. Nevertheless, the leaning toward co-operation with the Wisconsin Synod was predominant, for we find that in 1879 a resolution was passed favoring a union with the Wiscon11


J. Schaller President. lS9:l-190S

sin Synod. This resolution suggested the use of the institutions of the Wisconsin Synod namely the Northwestern University as it was th~n called, located at Watertcywn:Wisconsin, and the Theological Seminary, which had been founded in 1878, then located at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The reports of the Minnesota Synod for the years 1880 to 1882 do not in any way refer to the above-mentioned aITangement for the education of the pastors, We can well understand 1~


this. The disturbing election controversy was absorbing the interests of all, and we find that the doctrinal discussions in these sessions of the Minnesota Synod center entirely on this theme. In the year 1883 a new epoch began in the Minnesota Synod. In the previous year, the Rev. C. J. Albrecht had become pastor of St. Paul's congregation at New Ulm. Pastor Albrecht had long harbored the thought that the Minnesota Synod should establish and maintain its own educational institution. Coming to New Ulm, he found support for his plan among the members of his congregation. The following is a quotation taken from a history of St. Paul's Lutheran congregation, which history was published in 1903: "One member of the local congregation, Mr. Friederich Boock, proposed that the pastor inquire of the members of the Minnesota Synod whether it would not be possible to establish an educational institution in New Ulm. The pastor, who had harbored such a plan for a long time, was glad to have found someone of the same mind. He traveled from congregation to congregation and discussed this important matter with pastors and congregation members." It is evident that Pastor C. J. Albrecht can truly be considered the founder of Dr. Martin Luther College. Pres. C. J. Albrecht brought the proposal of St. Paul's congregation to the attention of the Synod in its session in New Ulm in 1883. In his annual report he gave due cognizance to the fine attitude of the Wisconsin Synod in offering the facilities of its institutions to the Minnesota Synod. But at the same time he stressed the desirability of having at least a preparatory 13


school in the midst of the Minnesota Synod. He called attention to the fact that such a school would avoid sending boys in their early 'teens so far from home. He also emphasized that such an institution would tend in a better way to consolidate synodica.1 consciousness. Furthermore, he emphasized that such a school would offer an excellent opportunity for the education of children beyond the course offered in elementary schools, even though they did not intend to prepare for the ministry. We find that the Synod readily entered upon the idea of having its own institution. An offer was made by the New DIm congregation as follows: The members pledged themselves to donate the necessary piece of land and to furnish $4000 in money toward the proposed building. This sum of $4000 had been pledged not only by members of the congregation, but also by people not belonging to the congregation. The year 1883 represented the four hundredth anniversary of Luther's birth, and the Synod felt that they could not erect a better monument in honor of the great Reformer than by the establishment of a Lutheran institution for the education of the youth. It was resolved to establish a school. This school was to be a preparatory school for such who desired to become pastors, or a progyrnnasium, as it wag called. At the same time it was to offer an academic course to such who desired a general or business education beyond the scope of the elementary school. At the very outset, New DIm was not definitely designated as the place where the school was to be located. The building committee, which was appointed, was to receive offers from any other city up to September 15, 1883, and to 15


Center

Street

to College

Heights

make a choice of another city, providing the offer proved to be more attractive. However, it appears no better offer was forthcoming, and consequently the school was located at New Ulm. One of the stipulations was that building operations were not to begin until at least $14,000 had been pledged by members of the Synod, and at least one half of this amount be available in cash. The following were appointed as a building committee: Rev. O. Hoyer, St. Paul; Rev. C. J. Albrecht, New Ulm; Rev. L. Frey, Stillwater; Mr. F. Walther, Minneapolis; Mr. W. Lindeke, St. Paul; Mr. Friederich Boock, New Ulm; Mr. Wm. Ruemke, New DIm. An electoral board 16


was appointed, which was to call teachers to serve at the institution. This board consisted of the president of the Synod, the vice president, and the visitors. At the same synod session, a board of trustees was elected. It consisted of the following members: Mr. Friederich Boock, New VIm; Mr. H. Beusmann, New VIm; Mr. F. Walther, Minneapolis; Mr. A. Paar, st. Paul; Mr. W. Lindeke, St. Paul. The officers of the Synod and building committee were to have plans made for the proposed building. Such were the resolutions, pertaining to the proposed institution, adopted by the Minnesota Synod in 1883. In anticipation that the resolutions of the Synod of 1883 would meet with general approval, and that the money would readily be pledged and sufficient cash be at hand, the New VIm congregation purchased some land lying south of the present Union Hospital. Excavations for the foundation had actually begun, but owing to the fact that a clear title could not be procured to some of the land purchased, and that a clear title could not be got to additional land adjoining the lots already purchased, the plan to erect the institution here was abandoned. A new suggestion came from Mr. E. G. Koch, a member of the New VIm congregation. He advised that the institution be located on the wooded bluff southwest of the city of New VIm proper. This proved to be a happy suggestion. It was readily accepted, and the New VIm congregation purchased from Mr. E. G. Koch outlot No. 321, consisting of four acres, for the price of $100. The location of Dr. Martin Luther College is a very favorable one. New VIm itself is very picturesquely situated on the low17


er bluffs of the Minnesota River, but towering high above the city, the place selected for the school is almost ideal. It can compare favorably with that of any other institution of our J oint Synod of Wisconsin. The Minnesota Synod had in mind in 1883 to erect the school as a monument to Martin Luther, and this conception is ideally represented in fact by the school on its commanding height. We might make a digression here, and state briefly how the present campus of twenty-four acres was gradually acquired. It consists of six outlots. The purchase of the first outlot has been stated. The remaining five were acquired partly by purchase, partly by gift. The next tract of land to be added was outlot No. 320, located on the corner of Center Street and Summit Avenue. It was purchased in 1885 for the sum of $100 from Bernhard V. von Glahm. Another outlot, No. 318, directly behind the original parcel, was bought in 1887 from the Haub Estate for the price of $200. In 1897 Mr. E. G. Koch donated outlot No. 319 lying on Center Street and Highland Avenue. Thus a square of sixteen acres was completed. But it was desirable to have additional land especially for gardening purposes. In 1899 outlot No. 317 was purchased from E. G. Koch for a consideration of $325. This lies south of outlot No. 318. When in 1909 both St. James and Hutchinson made offers to the Minnesota Synod to remove the school from the city of New VIm, the New VIm Commercial Club purchased at quite a consideration the last outlot, No. 322 and donated it to the Synod. This outlot lies on Summit Avenue and is directly south of the original parcel of land. We now have a fine campus consisting of twenty-four acres. The east half is beautifully wooded, especially by oaks and 19


Inspector's

Residence

basswood, The west half is suitable for gardening purposes, and offers a fine football and baseball field, However, the hopes and expectations of the Synod were not fulfilled, We often experience today that the congregations of our Joint Synod do not respond equally well and readily for the purpose of carrying on the Synod's work. We often hear that "in the good old days" such unequal zeal was not so common, and that there was much better co-operation. In the case of the Minnesota Synod we find that by the spring of 1884, only thirteen congregations had acted on the Synod's resolutions, and had actually gathered funds for the proposed institution. Seventeen congregations had not stirred a finger. They had not collected a single cent. Instead of reaching the goal which had been set, namely, pledges amounting to $14,000, only $12,000 had been pledged. But we may state that of the $12,000, the sum of $7,551.21 was actually at hand in cash. In addition to this disappointment, another came. It was found that the building planned by the building committee could not be constructed for $14,000. The low20


est bid the building committee received in the spring of 1884 was $16,000. Although the basement had been excavated, and a part of the foundation was laid, no contract was entered upon. In order to expedite matters, the Synod was convened earlier than usual in 1884. It met in the month of May. It was evident to the delegates of the Synod that the building committee had not complied with the Synod's stipulations. Nevertheless, no one wanted to have the matter rest here. It was resolved to appropriate $18,000 for the proposed building, and all were urged to work assiduously to obtain this sum. To this resolution there was a proviso added that the building committee should be empowered to erect the building only under this condition - that all but $1500 of the total of $18,000 be pledged by July 25 of that year. Cheerfully the building committee proceeded with the construction work. We glean from the minutes of the board of trustees in its session July 29, 1884, that the contract amounted to $16,500, but of this amount only $14,500 was pledged. In accordance with the Synod's resolutions, building operations could not proceed, since of the proposed $18,000, all but $1500 was not pledged. The president of the Synod was authorized by the board of trustees to get in touch with all congregations, and to ask them to give their consent to proceed even under these unfavorable conditions. The congregations must have favored this plan, for we find that construction work went on without interruption. Soon after the Synod's session in May, 1884, the foundation had been completed sufficiently far to lay the cornerstone. For this occasion a memorable day in the history of the Lutheran 21


J. ~Ieyer President. 1918-1920

Church was selected, namely June 25, the day the Augsburg Confession was read before the Imperial Diet of Augsburg in 1530. Prof, A. L Graebner of the Theological Seminary at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, preached the sermon for the occasion. The text for his sermon st.ill lives in the memory of some of the older members present on that occasion. It was 1. Sam. 16, 11: "And Samuel said unto Jesse, are here all thy children ?" All through the summer of 1884, construe22


tion work carried on with all possible speed, for it was hoped to dedicate the building and open the school in the coming fall. True, by the time September came, the building was not as yet ready for occupancy, but only a few weeks later everything was in readiness. On November 9, 1884, not on November 10, as has been frequently but erroneously stated, the building was dedicated. We find that in the minutes of the Board in session on November 10, 1884, it is stated that the Board met for the first time in the college building, which had been dedicated the day before. The sermon for the dedication was preached by Pres. C. J. Albrecht of New Ulm. This original building is still a part of our complex of buildings today and is still giving good service. According to present-day architecture, the building very likely would not be constructed on the lines it was built at that time. There are many things about the building that we would want to be otherwise today. The rooms are unusually high, and although the outer shell and the bearing walls are all well constructed of brick, the rest of the building is wood construction. But from an architectural viewpoint it favorably compares with the rest of our buildings constructed at a much later date. It has grace, proportion, and, with its high Gothic windows and slender steeple, it is still an imposing structure. The general outline of the building was copied by the architect, Mr. H. Schapekahm, from the former building of the Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. The building offered facilities for a kitchen, a dining room, a wash room, a cellar, and homekeepers' rooms in the basement. On the first floor it provided rooms for a professor's resi23


A. Ackermann President. 1908-1918

dence, and two class rooms. The second floor contained study rooms and class rooms, and in the attic there were four very spacious bedrooms. Since there was no central heating system, stoves were provided for each room, and many a time even today students, wo resided here, let their memories go back to the days of wood-sawing and stove-stoking. The lighting was provided by a large number of kerosene lamps. All this was quite primitive according to modern conceptions of heat and light, yet ;:1 24


happy family of scholars lived within the confines of the "old building", received a good education, and primarily learned the lessons of moderation and contentment, which is such a difficult thing for our present generation to master. Originally rain water was used for all purposes, evidence of which fact is still seen today in the large cisterns near the old building. Later wells were dug; and finally the old deep well, just west of the building was drilled and a windmill erected to lift the water. We still hear tales of the ordeal a morning ablution in ice-cold water meant to those students. It surely served as an "eye-opener", particularly if we remind ourselves of the fact that hours of rising had been set by the Board at 5 :00 A. M. from April 1 to October 1, and at 5 :30 A. M. from October 1 to April 1. The building, being of wood and brick construction, with its many stoves and lamps, presented quite a fire hazard. This was recognized by the board, and in November, 1884, it was decided to purchase a hose cart with a hand pumper as a protection against fire. We dread to think of what might have happened to the building's inmates if fire had ever got underway. Giving due credit to the efficiency of the "student fire brigade" we fear that the building would have been a complete loss in case of a fire. But the hose cart and pumper were never purchased, and even in those days it would have required more than a resolution to put out a fire. A school consists primarily of a teaching staff and scholars. Long before the building was completed, the electoral board had been busy planning to secure teachers. In July of that year, the board had a list of prospective candidates, both for the progymnasium and the academy. From this list, G. Burk, student at


the Theological Seminary of the Wisconsin Synod, was chosen as teacher for the academy, and in October, Pres. C. J. Albrecht could report that G. Burk had accepted the call extended to him. In fact, when school began on November 10, Prof. Burk was the only member of the faculty duly called. We may state that Prof. Burk has remained with the school from its very beginning to the time of this writing, and will, by the grace of God, in June 1934, round out fifty years of labor at Dr. Martin Luther College. This is surely an infrequent and singular distinction. Very few can look back upon such an unbroken line of service in one and the same school. In order to provide at least one more teacher, the electoral board twice extended a call to Prof. A. Graebner of the Theological Seminary at Milwaukee, but both times he declined acceptance. In the emergency, Rev. C. J. Albrecht took upon himself the duties of a director, and Rev. A. F. Reim, pastor at Sanborn, Minnesota, volunteered his services to this school free of charge. With this group of three men as a faculty, and with an enrollment of eight students, the institution began to function on November 10, 1884. In January, 1885, Rev. O. Hoyer of St. Paul was appointed provisionally as the "first professor", and in the spring of 1885, he was definitely called as the director and "first professor". Soon after the opening of the school, the number of scholars increased rapidly. By Easter, 1885, the school enrollment was forty-four. This number included five young men who had had some advanced schooling and desired to take a course in theology. This course had not been contemplated, but the need for pastors warranted an arrangement to give them the most necessary training for the ministry. Offi27


cially, this class was not enrolled in the spring of 1885. It was for the time being a voluntary venture by the faculty. As a matter of interest and record, we present the following data from the first catalogue: BOARD OF CONTROL

* Rev. J. Albrecht, New Ulm, Chairman. Rev. L. Frey, Stillwater, Secretary.

** Mr. G. Boock, New Ulm, Treasurer. Rev. M. Tirmenstein, *** New Ulm. Rev. K. Schulze, Mankato. Rev. M. Quehl, Minneapolis. Mr. W. Lindeke, St. Paul. Mr. J. Juergens, Jordan. Mr. F. Strauch, St. Peter. FACULTY O. Hoyer-President, German and Latin G. T. Burk - English Rev. A. Reim, Sanborn - Mathematics Rev. J. Albrecht - Religion There was a preparatory and an academic department, each consisting of one class. The former was arranged "for those wishing to enter the college department, which will be opened as soon as necessary". The academic department was intended "for those qualifying themselves for a thorough business life, or for higher studies". The latter statement is rather broad in its meaning. The "Sexta" of the preparatory department was designated after the fashion of a German gymnasium. It may also be of general interest to publish the first roster of students: • Must read C. J. Albrecht.

** Must read Friederich Boock. ",,:n,

Must read St. Paul. 28


SEXTA Albrecht, Henry Enders, Edward Fritzke, Gustave Hackbarth, Frank Kreuter, Adolph Mueller, Reinhold Opitz, Frank _ Schrader, John Schwanz, Otto

_

Blakely Mankato _ Milford _ New DIm _ Redwood _ New DIm _ Woodbury _ Shakopee __Nicollet _

ACADEMIC DEPARTMENT Anderson, Harry _ Brighton Boock, George _ New Ulm Buenger, Wm. Milford Cordes, Wm. _ New Ulm Crone, Ferdinand New Ulm Deike, Henry Braunschweig, Germany Drusch, Fred _ New DIm Freitag, Albert _ New Ulm Gutknecht, Paul Jordan Gewecke, Albert _ New DIm Jahnke, Wm. _ St. Paul Keller, A. _ New DIm Laudenschlaeger, Henry New Ulm Mielke, John _ New Ulm Mayer, George _ __Wuerttemberg, Germany Mayer, Henry Milford Newton, James West Newton Ruemke, Wm. _ New DIm Schroeder, W. C. Lafayette Scharf, Carl New Prague Silber, Albert _ Mankato Sandau, Louis New Ulm Tappe, Otto __ -- New DIm Vogel, Alfred _ New DIm Weber, Fred _ - ------- St. Paul Winkelmann, A. New DIm Winkelmann, Henry _ New Ulm 30


.5::


Wittenberg, Henry _ Hamburg Woesthoff, J. _ Blakely In the first catalogue the preparatory department is outlined on the basis of a three-year course. The curriculum was to include three years of Religion, Latin, English, and German; one year of Greek; two years of Arithmetic; one year of Algebra; two years of History; one year of Physiology; one year of Geography; two years of Drawing. The academic department offered a four-year course. This included Religion, English, and German, as stated for the preparatory department, plus Bookkeeping, Zoology, Botany, French, Civil Government, Commercial Arithmetic, Theory and Practice of Teaching, Logic, Political Economy, Chemistry, and Physics. In the very first year, and in the succeeding fourteen years, the academic department, both in regard to attendance and in regard to the scope of its work, was the main-stay of the school. In the year 1885-86 a change was made. In addition to the preparatory and academic departments, there was inaugurated a theological department. The purpose was to supply quickly ministerial candidates for the missions of the Synod. The students enrolled in this department were young men who, as a rule, had had advanced training in German schools. The question of arranging this department had been discussed at a pastoral conference in the spring of 1885, and the Synod in its session ratified the plan proposed by the pastoral conference. The very first class officially enrolled in this department will also be of interest: Baur, J ._ Neckar-Thailfingen, Germany Eitel, Joseph .....__ ._.._.... Dottingen, Germany Feldmann, F. R. _'_'._._ Bruetzingen, Germany Freund, J. _._ .._. .__ ._._._._ Racine, Wisconsin 32


Fischer, G Eger, Austria Haar, W. . Nellingen, Germany Hauser, C. . Hamburg, Germany Hinderer, P Geisslingen, Germany Lahme, G _ _._._.Minneota, Minnesota Luebbert, W. . Shakopee, Minnesota Poethke, R. _ _ Berlin, Germany Schroeder, Theo. . Philadelphia, Pa. The catalogue for 1886-87 announces the following courses: A preparatory department with "Sexta", "Quinta", "Quarta"; a college department with a "Tertia"; an academic department with classes A, B, C, D; a commercial department, not clearly defined; and a "'German practical theological department".


In the meantime in 1885, Prof. A. F. Reim had been duly called. We all realize that the courses offered in the preceding paragraph present a very ambitious program for a faculty consisting of three full-time professors, Director O. Hoyer, Prof. G. Burk, Prof. A. F. Reim, and one part-time assistant, Rev. C. J. Albrecht. The catalogue for 1886-87 records that several students of the academic department expressed the wish to become teachers, and to meet this demand there was added in 1887-88 to the existing five departments a sixth, namely, a normal department. We must realize that such a big program taxed the faculty to the very limit, and we find that repeatedly the board was having under discussion the teaching load carried by the faculty members, and yet the board could not see its way clear to add further teachers to the faculty, owing to financial difficulties. In spite of all efforts, there was still a debt of $8,000 resting upon the Synod's shoulders caused by the establishment of this school. But let us not assume that the work done in these various "departments" by such a small faculty, was slip-shod. Where there's a will, there's a way. We could point today to many a person still among the living, who received his secondary or theological training at Dr. Martin Luther College in these years, and who would be a credit as a graduate to any modern school much better equipped in the line of material things. At the session of the Synod in 1887, the question arose whether the school should offer only the work of a progymnasium, or whether the classes should be extended to include also the upper classes of a full gymnasium. The Synod decided to extend the course and to add 34


another teacher. At the spring session it Wc1S also decided to build or buy a dwelling for one of the professors. In the fall of 1888, a "Secunda" had to be arranged as a matter of course, and in order to supply sufficient teachers, Mr. O. Gerstenmaier, teacher of St. John's school at St. Paul, was appointed. However, Mr. Gerstenmaier was not to serve very long. He died in November of the same year. A few weeks later, Mr. F. Boock, a very active member of the board, passed away, and his vacancy was filled by the appointment of Mr. Karl W. A. Krook of New Ulm. In the meantime, the board was looking about for a suitable candidate to provide the necessary teaching force. A call was extended to Rev. C. L. Janzow of St. Louis, and also to Prof. M. Guenther of Concordia Theological Seminary. It was planned that the new man was to be the director of Dr. Martin Luther College, and Prof. O. Hoyer was to take over the position of Inspector. Both of the men called for directorship declined. To provide for the vacancy in the faculty, Rev. Chr. Reichenbecher was appointed, and upon the Synod's urgent request, Rev. C. J. Albrecht continued to serve on the teaching staff. The year 1888-89 must have been quite a trying time. The faculty was deprived of the service of one man, Mr. Gerstenmaier, and yet all the work in the various departments had to go on. There were five classes in the progymnasium and gynmasium, with eighteen scholars; sixteen students in the theological department; forty-nine in the academy; six in the normal department; twenty-seven in the commercial department. The small teaching force must have worked most heroically to fill all the demands of the


manifold classes. There approached the school year of 1889-90. The work of the final class of gymnasium "Prima", consisting of two men, A. Ackermann, and F. Koehler, had to be arranged. This added still more work to the already overburdened faculty. The Synod in its session in 1889, abandoned the electoral board, and vested the duty of calling teachers in the board of control. After some discouraging experiments with one man who had been called in the spring of 1889, namely, Prof. Sander of St. Peter, Minnesota, the board finally in August of that year, called a man whose person was to mean much for the school. It was Rev. J. Schaller of Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Rev. Schaller accepted the call extended to him, and for three years devoted his time primarily to the theological department, lecturing on Old Testament and New Testament Exegesis, and on Church History. His idealism and zeal soon made itself felt and added much to shape the later destiny and character of the school. Although Prof. Schaller had been admitted to the faculty, the work for the year 1889-90 was done with difficulty. The teaching load was still very great; therefore, in 1890, a graduate of the Theological Seminary at St. Louis, Missouri, J. Hoeness, was called as a member of the faculty. Thus the school continued in its various departments until 1892. Up to that time it had provided 30 pastors for the Minnesota Synod, eight teachers, and had offered an academic and commercial training to a large number of young men. The attendance had gradually grown to eighty-eight scholars, In the year 1892, two weighty questions were under consideration by the Synod. One was whether the theological department should be changed from


a "practical" to a "theoretical" course. The other question was whether to change the hitherto "friendly" affiliation with the Wisconsin Synod into a more definite and permanent organization, which was to include also the Michigan Synod. The latter plan prevailed. In 1893 the Synods of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan formed the General Synod of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and other states. The agreement was that each of the Synods remain an independent unit and retain its property rights, but that the operation of the four institutions, Michigan Lutheran Seminary, Theological Seminary now located at Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, Northwestern University at Watertown, Wisconsin, and Dr. Martin Luther College at New Ulm, Minnesota, be under the control of the General Synod. For Dr. Martin Luther College this meant a complete transformation. Henceforth, the school was primarily to serve as a normal school of the General Synod. The course was to comprise three preparatory classes, and two normal classes. At the same time, Dr. Martin Luther College was to be a "feeder" for Northwestern University. It was to offer three years of preparatory work: "Sexta", "Quinta", and "Quarta". On September 6, 1893, the school was opened under the new arrangement. The main purpose now was to provide teachers for Lutheran elementary schools. It was to provide young men with the general and technical knowledge necessary for a teacher, but, from the 'very beginning, the catalogue emphasizes that the ideal teacher is not he who possesses merely the necessary intellectual equipment, but rather he who has a really Christian personality and is at heart a man of staunch 38


........ ....::=


Lutheran convictions. The catalogue states that the aim of the school would be to offer the necessary intellectual knowledge, but, above all, to try to produce men of a Christian character. With the new arrangement there also had come a change in the faculty. Prof. J. Schaller became the director of the school, since Prof. O. Hoyer had accepted a call to the Michigan Lutheran Seminary. Besides Prof. Schaller, the faculty included Prof. G. Burk, and Prof. A. Reim. The services of Rev. C. J. Albrecht were not necessary any further since the theological department was dropped. Prof. Reichenbecher had a paralytic stroke and was permanently incapacitated, and Prof. J. Hoeness had accepted a call to a congregation in Missouri. In order to enable the small faculty of three men to carryon the work of the school, assistance was obtained by calling upon students of the Theological Seminary at Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. They were Messrs. W. Ulrich, J. Brenner, and J. Siegler; besides, Mr. A. Ackermann, student at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, served as supply. W. Ulrich and J. Brenner served during the first term up to Christmas, A. Ackermann during the second term, and J. Siegler from Easter until the close of school in June. For a normal school, a practice school is of indispensable importance. The locality of Dr. Martin Luther College precluded an independent practice school, since it is located so far from the residential section of the city. In order to supply this need, the St. Paul's congregation placed its school at the disposal of the normal department, and here at various times throughout the year, the students of the upper normal class obtained their practice teaching. Later the practice teaching was condensed, and one half day per week was allotted to this pur40


pose. But even this arrangement, although an improvement, provided a very small number of unit hours of teaching in the practice school. In order that the new arrangement, namely, the operation of Dr. Martin Luther College by the General Synod, might become more conscious to the members of the Wisconsin Synod particularly, members of that Synod were added to the board of control: Rev. Ph. v. Rohr, Winona, Minnesota; Dr. W. Notz of Watertown, Wisconsin; and Rev. R. Siegler, Barre Mills, Wisconsin. The operation of the school with the aid of the assistants was not very satisfactory; therefore two men were duly called in the summer of 1894. One was Prof. J. Mohr, who was to take charge of pedagogical subjects and supervise the work in the practice school. The other one was Prof. A. Ackermann, who had served as an assistant during the year 1893-94. His work was devoted especially to Latin and German. We now have the following faculty for the school: Prof. J. Schaller, director; Prof. J. G. Mohr, inspector; Prof. G. Burk; Prof. A. F. Reim; Prof. A. Ackermann. The schoo] had evolved from an institution offering a rather promiscuous course into a school with a definite two-fold aim: to prepare the teachers for our Lutheran schools and to offer a three-year preparatory course for a full college. However, the idea of a general Christian education above the elementary grades was not lost sight of, and we still find at this time an academic course with a goodly representation of sholars. At random we pick from the catalogue of 1896-97, the following statistics: Normal Department 29 scholars Preparatory Department 17 scholars 42


..No w tile Day is Over"

A Class Picnie

Academic Department Total _

21 scholars 67 scholars

The academy students were enrolled in the regular preparatory department classes, and in addition received instruction in Bookkeeping, 43


Phonography, Commercial Law, Typewriting. The academic department enjoyed a goodly at~nce, even after the year 1897. In the year ~99, of a total enrollment of 67 scholars, thfrty-two were registered in the academic department. It was but natural to try to relieve the regular teachers of the added burden of providing commercial courses. Therefore, a new member was added to the faculty in 1899, namely, O. Montgomery, teacher in St. John's school, St. Paul, Minnesota. He was to take charge of the commercial branches. In June, 1900, Prof. J. Mohr resigned, and the number of teachers for 1900-01 was decreased to five. In the following year, 1901, J. E. Sperling, teacher of the Lutheran elementary school at Appleton, Wisconsin, was called to take charge of the pedagogical branches and practice school. He began his work in November of that year. More and more it became evident that young men preparing for the teaching profession needed considerable training in music, since most of them had to serve their congregations as organists. We find that gradually, from a rather haphazard course in music, efforts were being made to outline the course definitely, partly by demanding a definite prerequisite in piano playing before permitting one to take lessons on the pipe organ. Another change for the school had begun in 1896, when the General Synod decided to permit girls to enroll for the normal course, and in 1898 the first girl graduated from the normal department. This distinction goes to Lillie Mohr. This innovation was brought about by necessity. Congregations were gradually beginning to employ women teachers, especially for the lower grades. Frequently these teachers had only an elementary school training, or 44


a make-shift preparation in some secondary school. It was maintained that if women teachers are to be employed, they should have fully as competent a training as the male teachers, and that the Synod's normal school is the proper place to train them. We know that even to this day this ideal has not been reached, for even at this writing some congregations still employ women teachers who have little or no preparation for the teaching profession. From the beginning of the school up to the year 1900, it appears that very little consideration was given to recreational opportunities. Probably due to the fact that scholars had to do their own wood-sawing or coal-lugging, it was deemed that this would provide sufficiently for physical exercise. This thought comes to one when you read that in the year 1901, a steam heating plant was installed. A low pressure boiler was placed into the basement of the building. Simultaneously, with this change in the heating plant, the Synod provided funds for building a "turn-hall". Many older scholars will still recall the wooden structure west of the building. It was a formidable building, 25x40 feet, and, we are told, that here actually basket ball was played, and thus the first definite provision for physical recreation in winter was provided. But we find nowhere that the building was heated in winter. Later some apparatus was provided: parallel bars, and a "horse". Other athletic activities were confined to baseball, which was purely a venture among scholars with an occasional game with "outside" teams. Soon a change came in the preparatory department. The General Synod saw the need of additional teaching force, and in December, 1903, Prof. J. Meyer came to take charge of 41;


Latin and Greek. In order to offer boys from the Minnesota Synod more convenient facilities, a "Tertia" was added to the course of those who were preparing for the ministry. This had the advantage of giving the young boys four years of schooling, in place of three, near their home, and this made it possible that only a three-year stay at Northwestern University was necessary. In 1906 another professor's dwelling was built, the present inspector's residence. At that time it was located east of the old building. We may add here that in 1918 it was removed to its present location south of the boys' dormitory. The number of scholars was gradually growing. For the year 1907 there was a total enrollment of 106 scholars; besides, it was impossible with the number of members of the faculty to do justice to the musical training necessary for Lutheran teachers. Various teachers were giving organ and piano lessons, but there was a lack of a properly outlined course, and also a lack of correlation. Voice training was almost entirely neglected. Owing to the suggestion of the board, the General Synod, in 1907, decided to provide a teacher to take charge of the musical training. Prof. F. O. Reuter was called. Prof. Reuter was eminently fitted for the position, both by natural talent and proper training. Prof. Reuter's memory lives still in our midst, although an untimely death called him from his labors in 1924. He lives in our midst in his well-known choir and organ compositions, in all of which we find the masterly touch of true Lutheran church music. Prof. Reuter entered in the spring of 1908. He at once laid a sound foundation for musical training. Class singing was established. A male 48


and mixed choir were organized, and from that time our school has ever been aiming to follow this lead. Music in general, Lutheran music in particular, has been fostered very much. Even to this very day we are proud of our college choir, which, under the leadership of Prof. E. D. Backer, is following the lofty aim which had been given by Prof. Reuter. The year 1908 marked another change in the personnel of the faculty. The director, Prof. J. Schaller, accepted the call as director of the Theological Seminary at Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. His successor, Prof. A. Ackermann, was made both director and inspector. To fill the vacancy in the faculty, Rev. E. R. Bliefernicht

of Darfur, Minnesota, was called. Owing to the increase in scholars (there were 115 in the year 1908-09),and owing to the demand for better facilitie.s to offer the necessary courses in music, and owing to the inadequate facilities the one building offered for the various purposes of a boarding school of this type, agitation was begun under the leadership of Director A. Ackermann to induce the Minnesota Synod to appropriate funds for a separate building to serve as a dormitory, and, if possible, to procure funds for another building to be utilized as a chapel and music hall. When this became known, offers came from two other cities, St. James and Hutchinson, to relocate the school. However, owing to the fact that Dr. Martin Luther College had become so intimately associated with New Ulm, sentiment alone probably would have sufficedto keep the school here. But from New Ulm there came offers for facilities which the school needed. The city of New Ulm provided an adequate water supply, sewage facilities, and a concrete sidewalk on Center Street up to 49


the campus. The New Ulm Commercial Club offered the much desired four-acre tract of land which was needed to round out a square of twenty-four acres. The Minnesota Synod in its session in 1909, decided to keep the school at New Ulm, and appropriated the necessary funds for a boy's dormitory and a chapel. A building committee of five men was appointed to take charge of the work: Director A. Ackermann; W. Poppenberger, of St. Paul; L. Buenger, New Ulm; E. Giehrke, of St. Peter; J. Albrecht, Hutchinson. In the latter's place, J. Kroeger of Mankato served. Under the direction of this committee, a thoroughly modern and fireproof boy's dormitory was erected. This building today compares favorably with the dormitory of any school of our size and type. It

provides separate study and bedrooms, sanitary lavatories, and shower baths. The south end of the basement was arranged for a gymnasiumindeed a great improvement over the old "turnhall". The cost amounted to $45,000. In addition, a chapel was erected at the cost of about $12,000. It off.eredan auditorium with seating capacity for about 300, and was to be the home of the proposed new pipe organ. It also had ten individual piano practice rooms to the rear of the balcony. At the same time a modern twoboiler heating plant was placed in the basement of this building. The original building was remodeled, and now more nearly came into its own as a recitation hall. The dining room, kitchen, and housekeepers' rooms remained in the basement, but the entire first and second floors were remodeled into class rooms. In connectionwith this construction program, particularly since there now was a separate boy's dormitory, the board decided to go back 51


to the previous system of having one member of the faculty in charge of the boy's dormitory. The music hall and the dormitory were ready for occupancy in the fall of 1911. In the year 1911-12, Prof. E. R. Bliefernicht served as inspector of the new dormitory. This system of having an independent inspector of the boy's dormitory has been retained at our school ever since, and thus far we feel, has given us good results. In order to be able to cover the classwork properly, F. Schweppe of St. James, graduate of the Northwestern College of Watertown, served as assistant instructor during the year 1911-12. In the year 1912-13, Alexander Sitz, graduate of the Theological Seminary at Wauwatosa, served as inspector until the Christmas recess. Then Henry Nitz, student at the same theological school, took over the duties of inspector until the Easter vacation. At that time the Board appointed Prof. Hugo Mosel, as inspector, and he served from the spring of 1913 until June of 1916. In the fall of 1915, Prof. J. Meyer accepted a call as pastor to Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. In order to have ready supply for this vacancy Rev. K. Koehler was added to the faculty for the remainder of the school year. In the spring of 1916, Rev. M. Wagner of Colome, South Dakota, was called as inspector. He assisted with class-work until June, and, in the fall of 1916, entered upon his duties as inspector of the boy's dormitory. Prof. Wagner was most admirably adapted for this particular type of work and successfully filled the position until his untimely death in March, 1931. In the same year, 1916, Prof. J. E. Sperling resigned from active duty, and Prof. R. M. Albrecht became his successor as teacher of pedagogy. Prof. A. F. Reim resigned in June, 1917. 52


His successor was Prof. H. R. Palmbach, who took charge of all mathematics and science branches. He at once began to provide for better facilities in the teaching of chemistry and physics. Thus far the only equipment at hand had consisted of a Crowell's cabinet. Individual chemistry tables were procured, offering each scholar an opportunity to carry out the required number of experiments. The most trying period for the school was the time during the World War. When school began in the fall of 1917, prospects for a successful year were good. However, soon after the opening of school, Prof. O. Mongomery resigned. All efforts to obtain supply were in vain. The faculty members carried the extra burden as well as could be done. Soon the next blow followed. In January, 1918, Prof. A. Ackermann resigned. That left a faculty of six men to carryon the work formerly done by eight. Although the school did secure W. K. Bodamer,

student of theology at Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, as assistant, nevertheless, the lack of one man and the general shifting of the work among the teachers, did not produce the best results. Prof. H. Klatt, who had been called in December, 1917, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of O. Montgomery, could devote only his Saturday forenoons to work at our institution, since he still continued to teach at St. Paul's Lutheran School. Not only was the teaching staff in dire straits, but the attendance also showed a decided decrease, only 77 being enrolled. In the summer of 1918, Rev. J. Meyer of Oconomowoc,Wisconsin, who had been an instructor at Dr. Martin Luther College for some time before this, was called as director. He served in this capacity until August, 1920, when he accepted a call to the TheologicalSemi53


nary at Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. His successor is the present director, E. R. Bliefernicht. As soon as the War was over, Dr. Martin Luther College, together with all other secondary schools and colleges, enjoyed an increased attendance. Several changes were made. In order to make our arrangement of class designation more intelligible to our fellow citizens, and for that matter also the members of our synod, the old Latin designation for classes was dropped. Also the course was reconstructed. It was stipulated that only he who had finished an elementary eighth grade could be enrolled in our lowest class, Before this time, our course was not strictly that of a secondary school. It had happened that scholars were enrolled who had finished only the seventh or sixth, or even only a fifth grade. True, these were given an opportunity to make up deficiencies in the old "F Class", but it did not really solve the problem. We practically presented a secondary school, and a normal school with a goodly admixture of elementary school material. Some were opposed to rejecting those who had not completed the eighth grade. They feared our enrollment would be seriously impaired. These fears were unfounded. We now had a definitely standardized secondary school course, and instead of decreasing, our enrollment increased. In the course of time, the curriculm also was revamped and made to correspond in general to the work done in our public high school. Naturally, we must needs demand more than mere 16 credits for a four-year course. Our aim is essentially different from that of a public school. We must insist on certain prerequisites for those who would become teachers or pastors, such as History, Latin, Mathematics, and 54


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the Sciences, and particularly those becoming teachers must cover considerable ground in piano instruction in order to become efficient organists. In addition to these prerequisites, we must of needs set aside in each class certain periods for instruction in Christianity, because that is one of the prime requisites of our course. The work in the normal department was elevated to the college level, including English, History, Mathematics, and the Sciences, plus the technical courses in Pedagogy, and the required review courses. For the school year, 1919-20, we were host to an entire student body of another school. The number was not very large. It consisted of eleven girls who were the scholars of Bethany College, Mankato, Minnesota. This school could not function with so small an enrollment. Consequently, the entire student body was transferred to Dr. Martin Luther College. It was not incorporated into our student body, but participated as a unit of its own in the branches we offered. In order to support those courses that these scholars had registered for, which we were not able to offer, Prof. F. Laukandt was transferred to our school for the time being. The ever increasing number of girls attending our school brought problems in regard to proper housing facilities. It so happened that at the time We could frequently not suceed in persuading families to take girls as roomers and boarders. Therefore in 1920, the Joint Synod decided to remodel the director's residence for dormitory purposes. This provided a more satisfactory arrangement than finding room and board for girls in private families. The first matron to take charge of our girl's dormitory, called Hillcrest Hall, was Miss Luella Sitz. She served until 1924. Since then, Mrs. H. 56


Goeglein has had charge. The arrangements offered in Hillcrest Hall are not perfect. Nothing is perfect, but we can comfortably house thirty girls in our dormitory. In 1919, the Joint Synod decided to allow two more teachers at Dr. Martin Luther College in order to take care of the ever increasing amount of work. Since Director J. Meyer had accepted a call to the Theological Seminary at Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, Prof. A. Schaller, pas-

tor at RedwoodFalls, Minnesota was appointed to fill this vacancy. He was to devote his time primarily to the teaching of German. At the same time Prof. C. Schweppe,pastor at Bowdle, South Dakota, was called to fill one of the professorships granted in 1919. Since Prof. G. Burk's time was to be devoted exclusively to the teaching of music, Prof. Schweppe was placed in charge of the English branches. Both of the men entered upon their work in September, 1920. In the same year a committee consisting of Rev. A. Torgerson, and Rev. E. Hansen of the Norwegian Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, appeared in New VIm for the purpose of making arrangements to place boys and girls from their synod into our school in order to prepare them for the teaching profession. For conscience' sake, a small group of Norwegian Lutheran pastors and congregations could not submit to the Opgjoer, which was to be the basis for the amalgamation of the Norwegian Synod, the Hauge Synod, and the United Synod. Consequently, the so-called "Minority" withdrew, but they were left without facilities of any kind to educate pastors and teachers. ConcordiaCollegeat St. Paul had offered to give the young men of this Norwegian Synod the preparatory training for a 57


course in theology. The committee that carne to us asked whether we would be willing to enroll in our school such of their midst as desired to become teachers. There was no question on our part; therefore for a number of years a small number of scholars from the Norwegian Synod was enrolled in our school. It soon be-

came evident that these scholars needed instruction in Norse, just as our scholars needed instruction in the German. In order to fill this need, Prof. O. Levorson came to us in the year 1922, and in August, 1923, was duly called as a member of our faculty. Our Norwegian brethren supplied part of his salary until the opening of Bethany Collegeas an institution of the Norwegian Synod. In 1922 our capable teacher of music, Prof. F. Reuter, was stricken with a severe illness. He was given a furlough for the time being, and his work was done as well as possible by the remaining members of the faculty. However, all of us realized that this was but a very poor make-shift. When Prof. F. Reuter had been given leave of absence for the year 192324, his place was temporarily filled by Prof. E. D. Backer, who up to that time had had charge of the musical instruction in the school of Sydney, Nebraska. In the same fall of 1923, Prof. A. C. Stindt, teacher at Lewiston, Minnesota, came to us. He filled the second professorship which the Synod had allowed in the year 1919. Prof. Stindt and Prof. Albrecht henceforth were to divide their time between our school and the practice school, each devoting a half day to supervisory work in the practice school and the other half of the day to pedagogical branches. With the advent of Prof. A. Stindt, our practice school could be more adequately arranged. 59


~\Iis~ Luella

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An .\1'1)01' Day S('cne


The local St. Paul's congregation decided to give us the entire second grade with additional scholars from grades three, four, and five. Now for the first time it was possible to give the members of the graduating class of the normal department an adequate opportunity to observe teaching, and to acquire a sufficient number of unit hours in practice teaching. The number of scholars was fast increasing; therefore in February, 1924, another man was added to the faculty: namely, Prof. R. Janke, former pastor at Lewiston, Washington. In the year 1924, there passed away two men whom we shall not soon forget. On June 9, Prof. F. Reuter succumbed to the illness that had stricken him in 1922. His death meant a great loss to us. He not only was a most capable music teacher and choir leader, but, above all, a man thoroughly imbued with the highest ideals of sound Lutheran church music. and who, through his compositions, added many a jewel to the great treasure of our Lutheran musical heritage. Only a few weeks later, July 10, the Lord called from our midst Rev. C. J. Albrecht of New VIm. He, the real founder of our school, was always keenly interested in the development of the institution which he had helped to establish. He lived to see the day that our institution, in its varied course of development, emerged the school it is today. The enrollment began to increase in leaps and bounds. In 1919-20 there were 93 scholars. It ran 216, 257, and 261 in the years 1925 to 1927. It was physically impossible to house these scholars properly. The recitation hall could not take care of the large classes. Our dining room and kitchen facilities were hopelessly inadequate. In order to remedy these conditions, the Joint Synod acted very prompt61


ly. In 1926 an addition to the boy's dormitory was completed at an approximate cost of $41,000. In the same year the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Synod was celebrated, and a jubilee collection of about $53,000 was gathered. This money was to go towards a new recitation building, the need of which was recognized as early as 1926. The ever increasing number of students laid a heavier teaching load upon the members of the faculty. Nearly every grade of the high school department was divided into two divisions. In order to be able to do justice to these demands, the Joint Synod decided to add another teacher. The man who was called is Prof.

E. Sauer, who came to us in January, 1928. Our greatest need was a new recitation building. The old recitation building, not being a fire-proof building, presented a fire hazard. In order to accommodate classes, chairs had to be placed in the aisles, presenting a further hazard in case of fire. In 1927 a program was presented to the Joint Synod, involving the construction of a new recitation building, a boiler house, and the remodeling of the old recitation building and the chapel. The Synod appropriated the sum of $328,000for this proposal. As a building committee, the synod appointed the Board of Control consisting of the following members: Rev. C. G. Fritz - Fairfax, Minnesota Rev. G. Hinnenthal- New VIm, Minnesota Mr. O. Stindt - Menomonie,Wisconsin Rev. E. Birkholz - Marshall, Minnesota Mr. F. H. Retzlaff - New VIm, Minnesota Mr. Herbert Sitz - New VIm, Minnesota Mr. R. Rohrke - Hoskins, Nebraska In addition to this board, the following also 63


were appointed committee:

as members

of the building

Rev. A. Ackermann - Mankato, Minnesota Director E. R. Bliefernicht New VIm, Minnesota Prof. H. R. Klatt - New Ulm, Minnesota Prof. M. J. Wagner - New VIm, Minnesota Mr. John Roeder - New VIm, Minnesota. The plans and specifications were drawn up by the well-known firm of Toltz, King, and Day, Inc., St. Paul, Minnesota. It may be added that the city of New Ulm was induced to construct a sanitary sewer in the valley under the college hill at a cost of $200,000. The result of these building operations is the complex of buildings we have today. We have a well-planned campus, well-constructed and well-equipped buildings. We have a modern recitation building, 150 by 208 feet, with thirteen modern classrooms, a fine auditorium and gymnasium, and an adequate library. In fact, it is only since this building has been completed that our library has come into its own. Its 7,000 volumes are now accessible to students. It has excellent equipment for the reading room. This one feature alone, the library, would be worth the cost of the building. The outward design of the building is the English school type. The building is of plain, but very substantial construction. The large Wirshing organ, purchased in 1914, was supplied with an electric action and placed into the auditorium. The gymnasium is a great improvement over the 'one in the basement of the boy's dormitory. It is large and well-lighted; it supplies room enough for one college-size basketball court, and two high-school-size basketball courts. In connection, it offers locker rooms and shower 66


baths for both boys and girls participating in athletics. When the question of reconstructing the old recitation building came up, many had their misgivings about spending $30,000 on this project. Yet our architects and engineers assured us that the building was well worth such an investment. He who remembers the old building, sees very little change in the exterior, but he would never recognize the interior. We now have ample cellar room. The first floor is utilized for two fine dining rooms, one for boys and one for girls, and a modernly equipped kitchen. On the second floor we have seven modern hospital rooms as well equipped as any hospital rooms, also a diet kitchen. The other half of the second floor offers excellent rooms for the housekeepers. On the third floor there are two piano studios, an entertainment room, and rooms for the maids. Furthermore, the stairway has been placed on the eastern side of the building, and is shielded by a fire tower and fire-proof doors. The former chapel is entirely remodeled. It now contains a classroom for vocal instruction, fourteen individual piano practice rooms, and five organ practice rooms. Our entire complex of buildings with the exception of the girl's dormitory is heated from a separate boiler house. The experience of the past six years has shown that we are operating very economically considering the number of cubic feet of space we are heating. Ever since the erection of the old "turnhaU" in 1901, more attention has been given to physical education. And this is as it ought to be. The gymnasium in the boy's dormitory was a movement in the right direction. In 1922, tennis courts were erected, both for boys and 68


girls. The baseball field was improved by leveling the entire diamond. The gymnasium in our new recitation building and the establishment of a gridiron have given adequate facilities for physical training. However, the mere presence of such facilities does not mean that full use will be made of them, nor will the training be wisely carried out. Years ago, Prof. H. Palmbach had been appointed athletic director, and at the same time served in the capacity of a coach for basketball and baseball. Later, Prof. O. Leverson looked after the training of basket ball players, and Prof. C. Schweppe took charge of baseball. This arrangement did not prove very satisfactory, since these teachers were carrying a full teaching load and, in addition to that, tried to do justice to athletic training. In order to have athletics properly cared for, and. above all, to have every scholar participate in some form of physical exercise during the school year, Prof. V. Voecks was appointed temporarily for the year 1930-31, and, in 1931, his position was made permanent. He now serves as athletic director and as coach of the various activities involved. In 1931 we suffered another severe loss in the faculty by the death of our inspector, Prof. M. Wagner. He died on March 26. His death was keenly felt, for he was a man who had the proper tact, evangelical spirit, and that particu1<1.1' personality required for such a position. The vacancy caused by his death has not been filled, owing to a reduced attendance during the years of the late depression. The faculty could well take care of the class-work when Prof. E. Sauer was appointed to inspectorship. In the same year, 1931, Prof. A. F. Reim who had resigned in 1917, died, and on January 1, 1933, Prof. Em. J. E. Sperling passed away. 71


Dr. Martin Luther College at present has a faculty of thirteen men: E. R. Bliefernicht, President. - Education.

Religion. G. Burk - Music R. M. Albrecht - Pedagogy. German. H. R. Palmbach - Mathematics. Sciences. H. R. Klatt - History. C. L. Schweppe - English. A. Schaller - German. Latin. O. Leverson - English. E. D. Backer - Music. A. C. Stindt - Pedagogy. R. J. Janke - Mathematics. E. Sauer - German. Religion. V. Voecks - History. Latin. E. Sperling - Assistant in music. Note: The names of the faculty members, with the exception of that of the president, are arranged according to seniority. Our present Board of Control consists of the following members: Rev. E. G. Fritz - Fairfax, Minnesotachairman. Mr. F. H. Retzlaff - New VIm, Minnesotavice-chairman. Mr. H. A. Sitz - New VIm, Minnesotasecretary. Mr. R. Rohrke - Hoskins, Nebraska. Rev. G. HinnenthaI- New VIm, Minnesota. Mr. O. Hellermann - Mankato, Minnesota. Rev. E. Birkholz - RedwoodFalls, Minnesota. Rev. J. Brenner - Milwaukee,Wisconsin President of Joint Synod of Wisconsin, ex officio. 74


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In the fifty years of its existence, Dr. Martin Luther College has prepared, directly through its former theological department, fifty-three men for the ministry. Indirectly, it has prepared a very large number of pastors by giving them the required preparatory training for college entrance. It has provided for the General Synod, and later the Joint Synod, 388 teachers for Lutheran schools. It has given further hundreds a general education under distinctly christian influence, and thus helped them to live their lives more richly and fully. Dr. Martin Luther College offers today a thorough four-year high school course. This is designed in the first place to prepare young men and women, desiring to become teachers, for entrance into the normal department. Furthermore, this course prepares young men desiring to become pastors, for entrance into the college department of Northwestern College at Watertown, Wisconsin, and, last, it offers a thorough high school course to such who wish to become neither teachers nor pastors, but who prefer to take up some other occupation or profession. In addition to the high school department, it offers three years of a teacher's college to those desiring to serve the Lutheran Church as Christian day-school teachers. In all of its courses, Dr. Martin Luther College strives to do thorough work. Its main aim has been, and is today, to have all instruction Christ-centered. We are primarily a teacher's college. In these days of depression in which the tendency is to lose interest in Christian elementary schools on account of the apparent financial burden they bring with them, let us not lose sight of Luther's words, "Where the 76


word of God does not rule supreme, it is dangerous to place a child for education." If our fellow-Christians heed these words of the great Reformer, then our elementary Christian school will not only continue to exist, but will multiply, and our Dr. Martin Luther College will continue to serve a long time in the purpose for which it was established. May the Lord givÂŤ His blessing to this end.

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SOUHCES Evangelisch-Lutherischer Synodalhote 1886 - 1890 Minutes of the Board of Control June 1884 - July 1889 Minutes of the Board of Control Oct. 1917 - May 1932 Reports of the Ev. Luth. Synod of Minnesota 1871 - 1879, 1881 - 1885, 1887 - 1917 Reports of the Ev. Luth. Synod of Wisconsin a. o. States. 1883 - 1886 The Catalogs of the School 1885 - 1933

DMLC: A Brief History 1884-1934  
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