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The​ ​History​ ​of​ ​a​ ​Lutheran​ ​College: Northwestern​ ​University,​ ​Watertown​ ​WI Northwestern​ ​University​ ​can​ ​trace​ ​its​ ​beginnings​ ​to​ ​1863,​ ​to​ ​a​ ​decision​ ​of​ ​the Evangelical​ ​Lutheran​ ​Synod​ ​of​ ​Wisconsin​ ​in​ ​Milwaukee.​ ​Here​ ​they​ ​determined​ ​to​ ​both​ ​raise money​ ​and​ ​erect​ ​a​ ​building​ ​for​ ​the​ ​new​ ​school.​ ​After​ ​much​ ​discussion,​ ​they​ ​chose​ ​the​ ​city​ ​of Watertown​ ​as​ ​a​ ​suitable​ ​spot.​ ​This​ ​would​ ​be​ ​the​ ​spot​ ​for​ ​one​ ​building​ ​-​ ​a​ ​building​ ​that​ ​would​ ​be paid​ ​for​ ​with​ ​funds​ ​raised​ ​both​ ​in​ ​Europe​ ​and​ ​at​ ​home.​ ​The​ ​hope​ ​was​ ​that​ ​this​ ​building​ ​would​ ​be able​ ​to​ ​accommodate​ ​both​ ​a​ ​seminary​ ​for​ ​pastors​ ​and​ ​a​ ​college.​ ​Accordingly,​ ​in​ ​1864​ ​a​ ​plot​ ​of about​ ​six​ ​acres​ ​was​ ​purchased​ ​from​ ​a​ ​Mr.​ ​Richards​ ​for​ ​about​ ​600​ ​dollars,​ ​and​ ​construction started​ ​on​ ​the​ ​first​ ​official​ ​building​ ​of​ ​Northwestern​ ​College.​ ​Despite​ ​the​ ​strain​ ​caused​ ​by​ ​the Civil​ ​War,​ ​construction​ ​was​ ​completed​ ​on​ ​October​ ​14​ ​of​ ​the​ ​following​ ​year. When​ ​it​ ​opened​ ​the​ ​college​ ​had​ ​three​ ​teachers:​ ​Pres.​ ​Martin,​ ​Dr.​ ​E.​ ​Moldehnke,​ ​and Johann​ ​Kaltenbrunn;​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​eight​ ​students:​ ​Pastor​ ​E.​ ​Pankow,​ ​August​ ​Gamm​ ​(now​ ​a railroad​ ​operator​ ​in​ ​Milwaukee),​ ​a​ ​Mr.​ ​Goldammer,​ ​the​ ​later​ ​teacher​ ​P.​ ​Denninger​ ​(who​ ​died​ ​in Watertown),​ ​and​ ​John​ ​Gamm​ ​(later​ ​lost​ ​from​ ​our​ ​records).​ ​There​ ​were​ ​also​ ​three Anglo-Americans:​ ​George​ ​Small,​ ​George​ ​Moreland,​ ​and​ ​Henry​ ​Enos.​ ​In​ ​the​ ​course​ ​of​ ​that​ ​first year​ ​an​ ​additional​ ​15-16​ ​students​ ​later​ ​enrolled,​ ​almost​ ​all​ ​of​ ​whom​ ​were​ ​of​ ​English​ ​or​ ​Irish descent. The​ ​goal​ ​of​ ​the​ ​institution​ ​was​ ​threefold.​ ​First,​ ​to​ ​give​ ​young​ ​Christians​ ​a​ ​solid​ ​education that​ ​would​ ​equip​ ​them​ ​to​ ​study​ ​theology​ ​and​ ​become​ ​capable​ ​ministers​ ​for​ ​our​ ​church​ ​body. Second,​ ​those​ ​who​ ​didn’t​ ​wish​ ​to​ ​enter​ ​the​ ​ministry​ ​would​ ​still​ ​receive​ ​a​ ​quality​ ​education founded​ ​on​ ​Christ​ ​and​ ​his​ ​Word.​ ​Third,​ ​even​ ​for​ ​those​ ​students​ ​who​ ​could​ ​only​ ​attend​ ​classes​ ​in short​ ​spurts,​ ​the​ ​aim​ ​was​ ​to​ ​give​ ​them​ ​the​ ​necessary​ ​instruction​ ​for​ ​practical​ ​life. With​ ​these​ ​goals​ ​in​ ​mind,​ ​the​ ​school​ ​was​ ​divided​ ​into​ ​three​ ​departments:​ ​a​ ​college proper,​ ​a​ ​preparatory​ ​school,​ ​and​ ​an​ ​academy.​ ​The​ ​idea​ ​was​ ​that​ ​students​ ​of​ ​the​ ​prep​ ​school and​ ​the​ ​academy​ ​could​ ​in​ ​most​ ​cases​ ​be​ ​instructed​ ​at​ ​the​ ​same​ ​time. That​ ​our​ ​synod​ ​placed​ ​such​ ​an​ ​all-encompassing​ ​goal​ ​for​ ​the​ ​institution​ ​at​ ​the​ ​very beginning​ ​reflects​ ​that​ ​she​ ​took​ ​Luther’s​ ​advice​ ​seriously.​ ​For​ ​that​ ​man​ ​of​ ​God​ ​time​ ​and​ ​again stressed​ ​the​ ​importance​ ​of​ ​starting​ ​and​ ​maintaining​ ​schools​ ​of​ ​higher​ ​learning:​ ​not​ ​only​ ​to provide​ ​the​ ​church​ ​with​ ​competent​ ​ministers,​ ​but​ ​also​ ​to​ ​bring​ ​up​ ​Christian​ ​laymen​ ​for​ ​a​ ​life​ ​of useful​ ​citizenship.​ ​He​ ​expressed​ ​himself​ ​accordingly​ ​in​ ​his​ ​Address​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Christian​ ​Nobility​: “For​ ​the​ ​schools​ ​should​ ​be​ ​instructing​ ​gifted​ ​men​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Scriptures,​ ​so​ ​that​ ​they​ ​may​ ​become bishops​ ​and​ ​pastors​ ​and​ ​take​ ​their​ ​stand​ ​against​ ​the​ ​heretics,​ ​the​ ​Devil,​ ​and​ ​all​ ​the​ ​world. However,​ ​do​ ​we​ ​see​ ​this​ ​happening?​ ​I​ ​have​ ​great​ ​fear​ ​that​ ​the​ ​schools​ ​might​ ​become​ ​gates​ ​to Hell,​ ​if​ ​they​ ​don’t​ ​eagerly​ ​embrace​ ​the​ ​Scriptures​ ​and​ ​teach​ ​their​ ​students​ ​to​ ​do​ ​the​ ​same.” He​ ​also​ ​speaks​ ​in​ ​his​ ​sermons​ ​about​ ​encouraging​ ​our​ ​youth​ ​toward​ ​receiving​ ​a​ ​higher education: “You​ ​would​ ​have​ ​to​ ​be​ ​a​ ​crude​ ​and​ ​ungrateful​ ​blockhead,​ ​indeed,​ ​a​ ​pig​ ​among​ ​men,​ ​if you​ ​saw​ ​that​ ​your​ ​son​ ​was​ ​gifted​ ​-​ ​he​ ​could​ ​help​ ​an​ ​emperor​ ​maintain​ ​his​ ​kingdom​ ​and​ ​crown, he​ ​could​ ​help​ ​a​ ​prince​ ​rule​ ​his​ ​land,​ ​give​ ​counsel​ ​to​ ​cities​ ​and​ ​states,​ ​or​ ​even​ ​help​ ​someone


defend​ ​his​ ​life,​ ​family,​ ​goods,​ ​and​ ​honor​ ​-​ ​but​ ​you​ ​were​ ​too​ ​timid​ ​to​ ​invest​ ​in​ ​his​ ​education​ ​and enable​ ​him​ ​to​ ​do​ ​these​ ​things.” “What​ ​if​ ​you​ ​had​ ​a​ ​child​ ​who​ ​had​ ​the​ ​gifts​ ​for​ ​teaching,​ ​and​ ​you​ ​could​ ​direct​ ​him​ ​towards it​ ​-​ ​and​ ​yet​ ​you​ ​didn’t​ ​do​ ​it?​ ​Instead,​ ​you​ ​forgot​ ​about​ ​it​ ​and​ ​were​ ​totally​ ​unconcerned​ ​with peace,​ ​justice,​ ​good​ ​government,​ ​etc.​ ​By​ ​doing​ ​that​ ​you​ ​would​ ​visit​ ​just​ ​as​ ​much​ ​harm​ ​against worldly​ ​authority​ ​as​ ​the​ ​Turks​ ​do​ ​-​ ​indeed,​ ​as​ ​much​ ​as​ ​the​ ​Devil​ ​himself.” “It​ ​should​ ​also​ ​be​ ​mentioned​ ​here​ ​how​ ​many​ ​educated​ ​people​ ​are​ ​needed​ ​for​ ​medicine and​ ​the​ ​other​ ​sciences.​ ​A​ ​man​ ​could​ ​preach​ ​for​ ​half​ ​a​ ​year​ ​and​ ​write​ ​a​ ​giant​ ​book​ ​on​ ​just​ ​these two​ ​needs​ ​alone.” At​ ​the​ ​same​ ​time,​ ​Dr.​ ​Luther​ ​strongly​ ​cautioned​ ​against​ ​sending​ ​children​ ​to​ ​schools where​ ​the​ ​Word​ ​of​ ​God​ ​is​ ​not​ ​taught. Therefore​ ​our​ ​synod’s​ ​position​ ​on​ ​higher​ ​education​ ​has​ ​been​ ​the​ ​same​ ​since​ ​the beginning​ ​-​ ​and​ ​by​ ​God’s​ ​grace​ ​we​ ​have​ ​maintained​ ​that​ ​position​ ​up​ ​to​ ​the​ ​present​ ​day. The​ ​beginnings​ ​of​ ​Northwestern​ ​College​ ​were​ ​admittedly​ ​humble,​ ​not​ ​to​ ​mention somewhat​ ​unique.​ ​Due​ ​to​ ​the​ ​makeup​ ​of​ ​our​ ​country,​ ​as​ ​a​ ​school​ ​it​ ​was​ ​predominantly​ ​English. Not​ ​only​ ​was​ ​German​ ​treated​ ​as​ ​a​ ​foreign​ ​language​ ​in​ ​conversation,​ ​but​ ​in​ ​the​ ​classroom​ ​it​ ​was almost​ ​non-existent.​ ​It​ ​is​ ​not​ ​surprising​ ​then​ ​that​ ​the​ ​vast​ ​majority​ ​of​ ​the​ ​students​ ​were​ ​either​ ​of English​ ​or​ ​Irish​ ​descent.​ ​Obviously​ ​the​ ​school​ ​would​ ​not​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​flourish​ ​under​ ​such conditions.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​only​ ​later​ ​-​ ​when​ ​Dr.​ ​Meumann​ ​was​ ​called​ ​-​ ​that​ ​German​ ​began​ ​to​ ​be​ ​used more,​ ​at​ ​least​ ​in​ ​the​ ​classroom. In​ ​addition,​ ​our​ ​young​ ​school​ ​had​ ​to​ ​continuously​ ​struggle​ ​with​ ​financial​ ​needs.​ ​Attempts were​ ​made​ ​to​ ​increase​ ​the​ ​cash​ ​flow​ ​through​ ​tutoring,​ ​but​ ​this​ ​only​ ​helped​ ​so​ ​much.​ ​Yet​ ​in​ ​spite of​ ​these​ ​difficulties,​ ​the​ ​school​ ​was​ ​able​ ​to​ ​build​ ​a​ ​two-story​ ​dormitory​ ​for​ ​the​ ​students. (Unfortunately,​ ​it​ ​burned​ ​down​ ​on​ ​December​ ​31,​ ​1874.)​ ​Then,​ ​in​ ​the​ ​spring​ ​of​ ​1869​ ​an​ ​outbreak of​ ​smallpox​ ​hit​ ​Watertown,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​school​ ​was​ ​forced​ ​to​ ​close​ ​until​ ​that​ ​fall. Around​ ​this​ ​time​ ​discussions​ ​began​ ​with​ ​the​ ​Missouri​ ​Synod​ ​to​ ​cooperate​ ​more​ ​closely with​ ​our​ ​respective​ ​worker-training​ ​systems.​ ​As​ ​a​ ​result,​ ​our​ ​synod​ ​suspended​ ​its​ ​seminary operations​ ​and​ ​sent​ ​our​ ​pastoral​ ​students​ ​to​ ​St.​ ​Louis​ ​for​ ​theological​ ​training.​ ​In​ ​return,​ ​LCMS sent​ ​a​ ​new​ ​professor​ ​(Professor​ ​Stellhorn)​ ​and​ ​a​ ​number​ ​of​ ​new​ ​students​ ​to​ ​Watertown.​ ​It​ ​was also​ ​at​ ​this​ ​time​ ​that​ ​our​ ​current​ ​president,​ ​A.​ ​F.​ ​Ernst,​ ​was​ ​first​ ​called​ ​as​ ​inspector.​ ​In​ ​addition, he​ ​was​ ​tasked​ ​with​ ​implementing​ ​a​ ​plan​ ​to​ ​reorganize​ ​the​ ​college. This​ ​was​ ​to​ ​help​ ​realize​ ​two​ ​new​ ​governing​ ​principles​ ​that​ ​the​ ​synod​ ​had​ ​presented​ ​and adopted​ ​for​ ​the​ ​school.​ ​First,​ ​the​ ​German​ ​language​ ​must​ ​be​ ​given​ ​equal​ ​footing​ ​with​ ​English.​ ​In line​ ​with​ ​this​ ​was​ ​the​ ​second:​ ​the​ ​framework​ ​of​ ​the​ ​school​ ​should​ ​now​ ​be​ ​reorganized​ ​according to​ ​the​ ​German​ ​gymnasium​ ​model.​ ​Some​ ​differences​ ​would​ ​obviously​ ​have​ ​to​ ​be​ ​allowed​ ​-​ ​this was​ ​after​ ​all​ ​an​ ​Anglo-majority​ ​land.​ ​However,​ ​the​ ​gymnasium​ ​model​ ​had​ ​acquitted​ ​itself​ ​well​ ​as an​ ​educational​ ​system​ ​for​ ​nearly​ ​600​ ​years​ ​and​ ​was​ ​therefore​ ​appropriated​ ​for​ ​our​ ​school. The​ ​new​ ​school​ ​year​ ​opened​ ​with​ ​a​ ​greater​ ​number​ ​of​ ​students.​ ​Lewis​ ​O.​ ​Thompson became​ ​the​ ​new​ ​president,​ ​since​ ​President​ ​Martin​ ​had​ ​resigned.​ ​Pres.​ ​Thompson​ ​was​ ​a Norwegian​ ​with​ ​an​ ​English​ ​education​ ​and​ ​a​ ​thoroughly​ ​Anglicized​ ​outlook.​ ​However,​ ​in​ ​all​ ​other respects​ ​he​ ​was​ ​a​ ​virtuous,​ ​responsible​ ​man.​ ​Along​ ​with​ ​him​ ​the​ ​school​ ​boasted​ ​two​ ​other teachers:​ ​Dr.​ ​Meumann​ ​and​ ​Professor​ ​Kaltenbrunn.​ ​Two​ ​more​ ​teachers​ ​were​ ​now​ ​added​ ​to their​ ​number​ ​-​ ​Professor​ ​Stellhorn​ ​from​ ​the​ ​Missouri​ ​synod​ ​and​ ​Professor​ ​Ernst,​ ​the​ ​new


inspector.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​now​ ​that​ ​the​ ​school​ ​truly​ ​began​ ​to​ ​bloom.​ ​Soon​ ​the​ ​German​ ​students​ ​were​ ​in the​ ​majority,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​excitement​ ​was​ ​palpable.​ ​However,​ ​President​ ​Thompson​ ​decided​ ​he​ ​was not​ ​a​ ​good​ ​fit​ ​for​ ​the​ ​school​ ​and​ ​resigned​ ​after​ ​only​ ​one​ ​year.​ ​After​ ​a​ ​brief​ ​interim​ ​Professor Ernst​ ​was​ ​then​ ​chosen​ ​as​ ​president.​ ​A.​ ​W.​ ​Easterday​ ​was​ ​also​ ​called​ ​to​ ​teach​ ​mathematics,​ ​a position​ ​that​ ​Thompson's​ ​departure​ ​had​ ​left​ ​vacant.​ ​Professor​ ​Easterday​ ​had​ ​already​ ​been​ ​an assistant​ ​teacher​ ​for​ ​some​ ​time,​ ​so​ ​the​ ​choice​ ​was​ ​natural.​ ​In​ ​addition,​ ​a​ ​teacher​ ​specializing​ ​in English​ ​was​ ​soon​ ​called. By​ ​1871​ ​our​ ​school​ ​had​ ​reached​ ​an​ ​enrollment​ ​of​ ​132​ ​students:​ ​58​ ​in​ ​the​ ​gymnasium (the​ ​majority​ ​of​ ​whom​ ​came​ ​from​ ​the​ ​Missouri​ ​Synod)​ ​and​ ​74​ ​in​ ​the​ ​academy.​ ​Then​ ​in​ ​1872​ ​the first​ ​class​ ​officially​ ​graduated​ ​from​ ​Northwestern​ ​College.​ ​The​ ​first​ ​graduate​ ​class​ ​consisted​ ​of four​ ​students​ ​-​ ​and​ ​only​ ​E.​ ​Pankow​ ​(who​ ​enrolled​ ​in​ ​1865)​ ​had​ ​spent​ ​his​ ​entire​ ​time​ ​at​ ​the school.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​only​ ​partway​ ​through​ ​their​ ​education​ ​that​ ​the​ ​three​ ​other​ ​graduates​ ​-​ ​ ​J.​ ​Bading, F.​ ​Pieper,​ ​and​ ​O.​ ​Hoyer​ ​-​ ​had​ ​enrolled. However,​ ​at​ ​this​ ​point​ ​it​ ​became​ ​apparent​ ​that​ ​the​ ​joint​ ​educational​ ​venture​ ​between LCMS​ ​and​ ​WELS​ ​was​ ​simply​ ​not​ ​viable​ ​-​ ​at​ ​least​ ​from​ ​our​ ​synod’s​ ​standpoint.​ ​Therefore,​ ​both sides​ ​agreed​ ​to​ ​terminate​ ​the​ ​program.​ ​In​ ​1872​ ​Professor​ ​Stellhorn​ ​and​ ​most​ ​of​ ​the​ ​students from​ ​the​ ​Missouri​ ​Synod​ ​left​ ​and​ ​went​ ​to​ ​Fort​ ​Wayne,​ ​Indiana.​ ​Dr.​ ​Notz​ ​was​ ​then​ ​called​ ​in​ ​his place.​ ​In​ ​spite​ ​of​ ​these​ ​departures,​ ​the​ ​school​ ​continued​ ​to​ ​grow.​ ​In​ ​1872​ ​the​ ​enrollment​ ​was 135​ ​students.​ ​In​ ​1873​ ​-​ ​154​ ​students,​ ​1874​ ​-​ ​172​ ​students.​ ​By​ ​1875​ ​the​ ​enrollment​ ​had​ ​reached 180​ ​students,​ ​with​ ​93​ ​in​ ​the​ ​gymnasium​ ​and​ ​123​ ​in​ ​the​ ​academy.​ ​It​ ​should​ ​be​ ​noted​ ​that​ ​at​ ​this time​ ​there​ ​was​ ​still​ ​a​ ​large​ ​number​ ​of​ ​students​ ​from​ ​the​ ​Missouri​ ​synod​ ​enrolled​ ​in​ ​the gymnasium. Around​ ​this​ ​time​ ​a​ ​movement​ ​began​ ​with​ ​the​ ​goal​ ​of​ ​erecting​ ​a​ ​general​ ​seminary​ ​for​ ​the entire​ ​synodical​ ​conference.​ ​Our​ ​synod​ ​reacted​ ​to​ ​this​ ​by​ ​recognizing​ ​the​ ​necessity​ ​of​ ​starting our​ ​own​ ​seminary.​ ​This​ ​decision​ ​was​ ​not​ ​well​ ​received​ ​by​ ​Missouri​ ​at​ ​the​ ​time.​ ​Consequently, the​ ​number​ ​of​ ​students​ ​from​ ​the​ ​Missouri​ ​synod​ ​who​ ​attended​ ​our​ ​school​ ​continued​ ​to​ ​drop.​ ​In addition,​ ​the​ ​Missouri​ ​Synod’s​ ​Wisconsin​ ​district​ ​decided​ ​to​ ​start​ ​their​ ​own​ ​college​ ​-​ ​Concordia College​ ​in​ ​Milwaukee.​ ​Also,​ ​our​ ​school​ ​lost​ ​another​ ​professor,​ ​this​ ​time​ ​due​ ​to​ ​insufficient​ ​funds from​ ​the​ ​synod.​ ​In​ ​light​ ​of​ ​all​ ​of​ ​this,​ ​the​ ​enrollment​ ​started​ ​to​ ​drop:​ ​in​ ​1878​ ​-​ ​184​ ​students,​ ​1879 -​ ​174,​ ​1880​ ​-​ ​154.​ ​There​ ​was​ ​then​ ​a​ ​brief​ ​period​ ​when​ ​the​ ​numbers​ ​went​ ​back​ ​up:​ ​1881​ ​-​ ​160, 1882​ ​-​ ​176.​ ​However,​ ​in​ ​1882​ ​the​ ​board​ ​of​ ​control​ ​decided​ ​that​ ​girls​ ​would​ ​no​ ​longer​ ​be​ ​eligible for​ ​admission1,​ ​and​ ​for​ ​the​ ​next​ ​three​ ​years​ ​the​ ​enrollment​ ​at​ ​Northwestern​ ​sank​ ​to​ ​its​ ​lowest point​ ​-​ ​166,​ ​131,​ ​124.​ ​Yet,​ ​from​ ​1885​ ​onward​ ​the​ ​enrollment​ ​slowly​ ​began​ ​to​ ​rise:​ ​130,​ ​144,​ ​146, 163,​ ​175,​ ​185,​ ​178,​ ​182.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​then​ ​decided​ ​that​ ​the​ ​department​ ​responsible​ ​for​ ​training teachers​ ​would​ ​be​ ​moved​ ​to​ ​New​ ​Ulm,​ ​and​ ​enrollment​ ​took​ ​another​ ​downturn:​ ​168,​ ​163,​ ​160. When​ ​the​ ​science​ ​teacher​ ​then​ ​resigned,​ ​the​ ​downturn​ ​continued:​ ​136,​ ​134,​ ​151,​ ​141. However,​ ​in​ ​1902​ ​Professor​ ​Ernst​ ​took​ ​over​ ​as​ ​inspector,​ ​and​ ​this​ ​marked​ ​the​ ​beginning of​ ​another​ ​period​ ​of​ ​growth:​ ​1902​ ​-​ ​143,​ ​1903​ ​-​ ​155,​ ​1904​ ​-​ ​161.​ ​Then​ ​in​ ​1905,​ ​when​ ​Inspector Eickmann​ ​was​ ​installed,​ ​the​ ​number​ ​jumped​ ​to​ ​206.​ ​But​ ​the​ ​greatest​ ​jump​ ​came​ ​in​ ​1906,​ ​when by​ ​God’s​ ​guidance​ ​the​ ​enrollment​ ​at​ ​Northwestern​ ​reached​ ​250​ ​students.​ ​It​ ​should​ ​be​ ​noted that​ ​from​ ​the​ ​very​ ​beginning​ ​our​ ​school​ ​had​ ​had​ ​to​ ​deal​ ​with​ ​a​ ​continual​ ​hindrance:​ ​so​ ​many​ ​of 1

​ ​This​ ​decision​ ​was​ ​later​ ​reversed​ ​by​ ​the​ ​synod.


our​ ​students​ ​didn’t​ ​come​ ​from​ ​our​ ​own​ ​synod.​ ​But​ ​thanks​ ​be​ ​to​ ​God!​ ​In​ ​the​ ​past​ ​few​ ​years​ ​this situation​ ​has​ ​been​ ​reversed,​ ​and​ ​now​ ​almost​ ​all​ ​of​ ​Northwestern’s​ ​students​ ​come​ ​from​ ​a​ ​WELS background. When​ ​we​ ​now​ ​turn​ ​our​ ​attention​ ​to​ ​the​ ​campus,​ ​it​ ​should​ ​be​ ​said​ ​that​ ​God​ ​has​ ​given​ ​us much​ ​cause​ ​to​ ​rejoice.​ ​Despite​ ​the​ ​fact​ ​that​ ​from​ ​the​ ​very​ ​beginning​ ​our​ ​college​ ​has​ ​had​ ​to​ ​deal with​ ​almost​ ​constant​ ​financial​ ​difficulties,​ ​the​ ​campus​ ​has​ ​continually​ ​improved.​ ​Already​ ​in​ ​1869 a​ ​large​ ​tract​ ​of​ ​land​ ​-​ ​consisting​ ​of​ ​about​ ​30​ ​acres​ ​and​ ​lying​ ​adjacent​ ​to​ ​the​ ​original​ ​plot​ ​-​ ​had been​ ​purchased​ ​and​ ​completely​ ​paid​ ​for.​ ​Although​ ​six​ ​of​ ​these​ ​acres​ ​were​ ​later​ ​sold,​ ​the​ ​school was​ ​still​ ​in​ ​possession​ ​of​ ​the​ ​other​ ​28.​ ​This​ ​was​ ​more​ ​than​ ​enough​ ​room​ ​for​ ​later​ ​building expansions.​ ​It​ ​also​ ​provided​ ​the​ ​student​ ​body​ ​with​ ​plenty​ ​of​ ​recreational​ ​space. The​ ​president's​ ​house​ ​was​ ​built​ ​in​ ​1872​ ​but​ ​needed​ ​to​ ​be​ ​enlarged​ ​in​ ​1896​ ​due​ ​to​ ​a​ ​fire. It​ ​was​ ​a​ ​wooden​ ​structure​ ​and​ ​had​ ​caught​ ​fire​ ​on​ ​New​ ​Year’s​ ​Eve​ ​1873.​ ​To​ ​expand​ ​the​ ​school’s living​ ​quarters,​ ​a​ ​new​ ​three-story​ ​brick​ ​building​ ​was​ ​constructed.​ ​Lying​ ​in​ ​the​ ​spot​ ​where​ ​the​ ​old inspector’s​ ​dwelling​ ​was,​ ​it​ ​had​ ​room​ ​for​ ​perhaps​ ​60​ ​students.​ ​A​ ​year​ ​later​ ​the​ ​students​ ​erected a​ ​Turner​ ​Hall.​ ​They​ ​did​ ​this​ ​from​ ​their​ ​own​ ​means,​ ​receiving​ ​assistance​ ​only​ ​from​ ​their​ ​friends. This​ ​building​ ​has​ ​been​ ​a​ ​great​ ​blessing​ ​for​ ​their​ ​physical​ ​well-being,​ ​especially​ ​in​ ​winter! With​ ​the​ ​growth​ ​of​ ​the​ ​student​ ​body​ ​the​ ​kitchen​ ​had​ ​become​ ​far​ ​too​ ​small,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​eating space​ ​far​ ​too​ ​cramped.​ ​So​ ​in​ ​1888​ ​a​ ​new​ ​cafeteria​ ​was​ ​built,​ ​which​ ​also​ ​contained​ ​a​ ​small infirmary.​ ​This​ ​was​ ​a​ ​major​ ​advancement,​ ​and​ ​added​ ​much​ ​to​ ​the​ ​comfort​ ​of​ ​the​ ​students. However,​ ​on​ ​July​ ​30,​ ​1894,​ ​the​ ​school​ ​received​ ​a​ ​serious​ ​setback.​ ​The​ ​original​ ​main building​ ​was​ ​struck​ ​by​ ​lightning​ ​and​ ​almost​ ​completely​ ​burned​ ​down.​ ​It​ ​just​ ​so​ ​happened​ ​that​ ​at the​ ​same​ ​time,​ ​our​ ​synod’s​ ​new​ ​seminary​ ​had​ ​just​ ​been​ ​built​ ​and​ ​debts​ ​had​ ​been​ ​incurred. Consequently​ ​the​ ​financial​ ​situation​ ​was​ ​extremely​ ​grim.​ ​However​ ​-​ ​as​ ​he​ ​so​ ​often​ ​does​ ​-​ ​our gracious​ ​God​ ​stepped​ ​in​ ​and​ ​gave​ ​our​ ​little​ ​church​ ​body​ ​the​ ​courage​ ​to​ ​construct​ ​a​ ​new​ ​building in​ ​place​ ​of​ ​the​ ​old​ ​one.​ ​The​ ​new​ ​building​ ​was​ ​50​ ​percent​ ​larger​ ​and​ ​dedicated​ ​completely​ ​to educational​ ​purposes​ ​-​ ​and​ ​paid​ ​for​ ​completely​ ​through​ ​the​ ​offerings​ ​of​ ​our​ ​synod’s​ ​loving congregations.​ ​With​ ​this​ ​new​ ​construction​ ​our​ ​college​ ​now​ ​looked​ ​the​ ​part.​ ​Although​ ​the buildings​ ​were​ ​small,​ ​the​ ​campus​ ​now​ ​included​ ​a​ ​teaching​ ​hall,​ ​a​ ​dormitory​ ​(with​ ​room​ ​for perhaps​ ​100​ ​students),​ ​and​ ​a​ ​two-story​ ​cafeteria.​ ​A​ ​separate​ ​building​ ​had​ ​also​ ​been constructed​ ​for​ ​the​ ​inspector’s​ ​living​ ​quarters;​ ​however,​ ​this​ ​was​ ​deemed​ ​somewhat​ ​unpractical since​ ​the​ ​inspector​ ​then​ ​lived​ ​separately​ ​from​ ​his​ ​pupils.​ ​In​ ​1902​ ​two​ ​more​ ​houses​ ​were​ ​built​ ​for the​ ​professors.​ ​This​ ​meant​ ​that,​ ​apart​ ​from​ ​the​ ​inspector’s​ ​house,​ ​our​ ​campus​ ​now​ ​included​ ​four houses​ ​for​ ​our​ ​teachers. However,​ ​since​ ​in​ ​the​ ​last​ ​few​ ​years​ ​the​ ​number​ ​of​ ​students​ ​has​ ​happily​ ​continued​ ​to increase,​ ​our​ ​synod​ ​determined​ ​in​ ​1904​ ​to​ ​greatly​ ​enlarge​ ​the​ ​cafeteria,​ ​so​ ​that​ ​it​ ​had​ ​room​ ​for 200​ ​students.​ ​The​ ​kitchen​ ​would​ ​also​ ​be​ ​correspondingly​ ​enlarged.​ ​Construction​ ​then​ ​began​ ​on this​ ​building,​ ​which​ ​contains​ ​the​ ​inspector’s​ ​living​ ​quarters​ ​and​ ​connects​ ​with​ ​the​ ​old​ ​dormitory. It​ ​has​ ​room​ ​for​ ​over​ ​200​ ​students. This​ ​new​ ​building​ ​was​ ​constructed​ ​with​ ​practical​ ​considerations​ ​in​ ​mind.​ ​It​ ​allows​ ​for sufficient​ ​supervision​ ​of​ ​the​ ​students,​ ​yet​ ​at​ ​the​ ​same​ ​time​ ​offers​ ​enough​ ​room​ ​and​ ​comfort​ ​for the​ ​students​ ​to​ ​study​ ​unperturbed.​ ​From​ ​every​ ​standpoint​ ​it​ ​was​ ​constructed​ ​with​ ​the​ ​well-being of​ ​the​ ​students​ ​in​ ​mind.


For​ ​the​ ​first​ ​time​ ​since​ ​it​ ​opened​ ​its​ ​doors,​ ​our​ ​college​ ​is​ ​now​ ​in​ ​command​ ​of​ ​the necessary​ ​space​ ​and​ ​facilities.​ ​This​ ​is​ ​a​ ​great​ ​blessing.​ ​Its​ ​true​ ​impact​ ​can​ ​only​ ​be​ ​measured​ ​by those​ ​men​ ​who​ ​have​ ​been​ ​directly​ ​answerable​ ​for​ ​the​ ​physical​ ​and​ ​spiritual​ ​well-being​ ​of​ ​the students.​ ​They​ ​know​ ​firsthand​ ​the​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​worries,​ ​cares,​ ​and​ ​needs​ ​the​ ​school​ ​has​ ​had​ ​to​ ​go through​ ​and​ ​can​ ​really​ ​appreciate​ ​the​ ​current​ ​state​ ​of​ ​our​ ​campus. The​ ​educational​ ​materials​ ​are​ ​also​ ​sufficient.​ ​Things​ ​have​ ​improved​ ​little​ ​by​ ​little​ ​-​ ​and that​ ​in​ ​spite​ ​of​ ​the​ ​fact​ ​that​ ​the​ ​synod​ ​and​ ​board​ ​of​ ​control​ ​were​ ​unable​ ​to​ ​give​ ​much​ ​assistance. Sometimes​ ​even​ ​the​ ​necessary​ ​funds​ ​were​ ​lacking.​ ​The​ ​library​ ​now​ ​contains​ ​7,000​ ​volumes, most​ ​of​ ​them​ ​newly​ ​minted​ ​and​ ​of​ ​considerable​ ​value​ ​-​ ​and​ ​this​ ​in​ ​spite​ ​of​ ​the​ ​loss​ ​suffered​ ​by​ ​a fire​ ​in​ ​1894.​ ​All​ ​of​ ​the​ ​most​ ​important​ ​reference​ ​books​ ​are​ ​present,​ ​to​ ​the​ ​great​ ​aid​ ​of​ ​the teachers.​ ​There​ ​is​ ​adequate​ ​scientific​ ​apparati​ ​for​ ​the​ ​instruction​ ​of​ ​physics​ ​and​ ​chemistry.​ ​The map​ ​collection​ ​is​ ​extensive,​ ​and​ ​there​ ​is​ ​also​ ​present​ ​a​ ​number​ ​of​ ​powerful​ ​visual​ ​aids​ ​for learning​ ​in​ ​geography​ ​and​ ​history.​ ​Professor​ ​Ott​ ​deserves​ ​special​ ​praise​ ​for​ ​many​ ​of​ ​these things,​ ​especially​ ​for​ ​the​ ​establishment​ ​and​ ​administration​ ​of​ ​the​ ​library. Our​ ​faculty​ ​now​ ​includes​ ​ten​ ​reputable​ ​professors:​ ​President​ ​A.F.​ ​Ernst,​ ​Dr.​ ​F.W.A.​ ​Notz, Dr.​ ​J.​ ​Henry​ ​Ott,​ ​D.A.​ ​Otto​ ​Hoyer,​ ​Albert​ ​Kuhn,​ ​Karl​ ​Bolle,​ ​Dr.​ ​Arthur​ ​Hoermann,​ ​Hermann​ ​A. Franck,​ ​Inspector​ ​Martin​ ​Eickmann,​ ​and​ ​Wilhelm​ ​F.​ ​Notz.​ ​Sadly,​ ​Professor​ ​Hoyer​ ​has​ ​been​ ​ill since​ ​January​ ​of​ ​1905​ ​and​ ​has​ ​been​ ​unable​ ​to​ ​teach.​ ​In​ ​his​ ​place​ ​Edmund​ ​R.​ ​Bliefernicht​ ​has been​ ​temporarily​ ​called​ ​from​ ​our​ ​seminary​ ​in​ ​Wauwatosa​ ​and​ ​has​ ​now​ ​worked​ ​with​ ​us​ ​since January​ ​of​ ​1905. When​ ​we​ ​now​ ​look​ ​back​ ​on​ ​the​ ​40-year​ ​history​ ​of​ ​our​ ​school,​ ​we​ ​must​ ​confess​ ​that​ ​we have​ ​gone​ ​through​ ​many​ ​difficult​ ​and​ ​trying​ ​times.​ ​Problems​ ​have​ ​arisen​ ​and​ ​mistakes​ ​have been​ ​made. However,​ ​more​ ​could​ ​still​ ​be​ ​said​ ​of​ ​the​ ​grace​ ​and​ ​mercy​ ​of​ ​our​ ​God,​ ​whose​ ​support we’ve​ ​experienced​ ​through​ ​many​ ​difficult​ ​times.​ ​To​ ​him​ ​be​ ​eternal​ ​praise​ ​and​ ​glory​ ​for​ ​all​ ​his goodness​ ​and​ ​faithfulness!​ ​We​ ​also​ ​have​ ​much​ ​to​ ​say​ ​about​ ​the​ ​love​ ​and​ ​generosity​ ​of​ ​our churches,​ ​who​ ​have​ ​never​ ​left​ ​us​ ​in​ ​the​ ​lurch,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​newly​ ​completed​ ​building​ ​reflects​ ​that commitment. And​ ​thanks​ ​be​ ​to​ ​God​ ​-​ ​our​ ​work​ ​has​ ​not​ ​been​ ​in​ ​vain.​ ​Two​ ​hundred​ ​and​ ​thirty-six students​ ​have​ ​graduated​ ​from​ ​Northwestern​ ​College,​ ​most​ ​of​ ​whom​ ​have​ ​gone​ ​on​ ​to​ ​notable positions​ ​of​ ​employment.​ ​However,​ ​that​ ​is​ ​far​ ​from​ ​all.​ ​Many​ ​have​ ​completed​ ​the​ ​six-year gymnasium​ ​course​ ​and​ ​have​ ​become​ ​either​ ​virtuous​ ​pastors,​ ​professors,​ ​and​ ​teachers,​ ​or mature​ ​Christian​ ​laymen.​ ​Finally,​ ​over​ ​3,000​ ​young​ ​people​ ​have​ ​either​ ​gone​ ​through​ ​the academy​ ​or​ ​at​ ​least​ ​spent​ ​some​ ​time​ ​at​ ​our​ ​school​ ​and​ ​received​ ​a​ ​solid​ ​educational​ ​foundation. Almost​ ​without​ ​exception​ ​all​ ​of​ ​them​ ​have​ ​fond​ ​and​ ​thankful​ ​memories​ ​of​ ​our​ ​college​ ​and​ ​have made​ ​their​ ​thanks​ ​known​ ​from​ ​time​ ​to​ ​time. However,​ ​thanks​ ​be​ ​to​ ​God​ ​for​ ​everything.​ ​May​ ​he​ ​always​ ​make​ ​us​ ​the​ ​more​ ​faithful​ ​and competent​ ​to​ ​know​ ​more​ ​and​ ​more​ ​the​ ​high​ ​calling​ ​which​ ​he​ ​had​ ​given​ ​to​ ​us.​ ​May​ ​he​ ​make​ ​us more​ ​capable​ ​to​ ​fulfill​ ​both​ ​this​ ​calling​ ​and​ ​the​ ​corresponding​ ​expectations​ ​that​ ​our​ ​churches have​ ​placed​ ​upon​ ​us.​ ​And​ ​we​ ​know​ ​he​ ​will​ ​continue​ ​to​ ​do​ ​all​ ​this​ ​in​ ​his​ ​grace.


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