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The Norwegian Lutheran Academies
By B.H. Narveson (Volume XIV: Page 184)

The Norwegian pioneers in America sought to perpetuate their ancestral traditions and institutions in the land of their adoption. {*} This accounts for the usual presence of the modest white church on a lofty place in the community. It explains why the Norwegian settlers considered religion so basic in their program of enlightenment that they asked the mother country to send trained pastors and teachers into the new settlements.

* The author, who has spent ten years in a Norwegian-American academy as a student and teacher and draws in part upon his own recollections and impressions in this article, presents his findings simply as a preliminary survey. One purpose of the essay is to encourage the preservation of records of the Norwegian-American academies, the writing of recollections of academy life by persons who studied or taught in such institutions, and the preparation of a historical account of each academy. He believes that the academy has made a larger contribution to church and nation than is generally appreciated. Ed

The Norwegians, numerically weak alone, at first collaborated with the Swedes and Danes to forward their common Scandinavian objectives in church, school, and home. Thus, after building dwellings, they turned their attention to the building of churches and the organization of congregations. The homeland stood ready to lend assistance.

As early as 1839 Elling Eielsen, a pious layman, came to conduct inspirational meetings among the Norwegians and in 1846 the first church body, known as Eielsen's Synod, was established at Jefferson Prairie, Wisconsin. Two years later the majority of the members withdrew from this synod under the leadership of Paul Anderson; in co-operation with other groups they organized, in 1851, the Northern Illinois Synod. It was notably the Swedes and the Norwegians who joined with the Germans and the English in this venture and through the synod's effort laid the foundation for Illinois State University, established in 1852 at Springfield, Illinois.

In 1851 at Luther Valley, in southern Wisconsin, a third group of settlers tried to organize a synod. Two years later they met to adopt a more permanent plan, through a reorganization, at East Koshkonong, Dane County. This marked the beginning of the Norwegian Synod. Other synods came into being during these early years, but these three are the main groups within which we shall observe, in this paper, the unfolding academy program.

The Norwegians naturally shared educational facilities with other synods in areas where they found themselves in a small minority. This fact will account for the Norwegian names appearing on the rosters of Hartwick College at Oneonta, New York, of Hillsboro Academy (1839-47) at Hillsboro, Illinois, and of others. {1} A few Norwegians who settled near Green Bay, Wisconsin, were associated in a communistic enterprise there, and sent their children to Nils Otto Tank's private academy conducted at Green Bay from 1851-53.

Educational opportunities were meager in the 1850's. There were in the United States only sixty-four public high schools then as compared to six thousand and eighty-five church academies -- private and denominational. These private (non-Lutheran) schools did not qualify as seminaries by preparing candidates of theology. This situation was discouraging, as was also the fact that several Norwegian pastors returned to Norway after a brief sojourn in America. {2}

By the late 1850's the movement to new communities of the stronger elements in the different settlements brought a need for more pastors. This situation prompted the groups to seek a solution of their school problem by arranging with other synods to use their schools, or by building schools of their own. We have mentioned one such school at Springfield, Illinois, which was founded in 1852 under the auspices of the Northern Illinois and Illinois synods. From its catalogue we learn with respect to this institution that "The University building is an elegant four story edifice, situated about half a mile north east from the main part of the city. The first story is of cut stone and the rest of brick." We read further: "The exercises of the University are opened each day by reading the Scriptures and prayer, some member of the faculty officiating, and all students are required to be present. They are required to attend public worship on the Sabbath in the church connected with the institution unless they bring a written request from their parents or their guardians specifying the particular congregation with which they desire them to Worship." Lars P. Esbjørn is listed as "Professor of Scandinavian Languages, Chemistry, Astronomy etc." and under the caption "Theological Department" we read, "This department has been strengthened by the recent appointment of Rev. L. P. Esbjørn as Professor of Scandinavian Languages and Literature, who also gives instruction in various branches of theology." {3}

On the student roster the names of ten Norwegians and seven Swedes occur in a total of one hundred and sixty-four. Several of the alumni also were Scandinavians, as for instance (1855-56) the Reverend Andrew Andreen of Rockford, Illinois, and Lewis H. Norem of La Crosse, Wisconsin; (1857-58) the Reverend Peter H. Peterson of Chicago, Illinois; (1858-59) Abraham Jacobson of Decorah, Iowa, and John Pehrson of Geneva, Illinois. Amon Johnson of Bem, Wisconsin, and Walter C. Johnson of Springfield, Illinois, were two of the three seniors in the college that year, and one notes incidentally that Abraham Lincoln's son, Robert Todd Lincoln, was a junior. Reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, English grammar, spelling, history of the United States, declamation, and composition were required as a "careful training and thorough instruction in the Preparatory Department." {4}

While this group was progressing, the other two synods were arranging for training their youth also. The Eielsen group opened its first school at Lisbon, Illinois, in 1855 with P. A. Rasmussen, a recent graduate of Concordia Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, as teacher. {5} Three students registered but the school had been open scarcely a year when the professor left the church body because he disagreed with the principles in the Eielsen Synod's constitution. No successor was found and the school was discontinued.

The Norwegian Synod, in the meantime, found a satisfactory temporary arrangement for training its candidates for the ministry by collaborating with the German Americans. {6} They accepted the German Missouri Synod's offer to share the instructional facilities at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri. Accordingly the Reverend Laur. Larsen, recently arrived from Norway representing the Norwegian Synod, lectured there from 1859 to 1861 on theological subjects in the German language. Then the Civil War broke out and obviated further work at the seminary, whereupon the professor and his students returned to the North. Shortly thereafter, on October 14, 1861, the Synod opened the Norwegian Luther College at Halfway Creek, Wisconsin, and Larsen became the first president, remaining in office until 1902. Later F. A. Schmidt was added as a second teacher and the school was moved to Decorah, Iowa, to be temporarily housed in the St. Cloud Hotel from 1868-65. In 1865 it was transferred to its own campus near the city, where a spacious building had been erected for the school and where it is still flourishing. {7}

The school established at Springfield, Illinois, as a polyglot institution began to find doctrinal and language differences disconcerting. {8} Moreover, the location seemed too distant from the center of Scandinavian Lutheran congregations. In 1860 Professor Esbjørn and his Scandinavian students left Springfield and moved to Chicago. Encouraged by gifts from the homelands, including a library of five thousand books from King Charles XV, they established a school there known as Augustana Seminary. {9} In 1862, since several college subjects were included in the curriculum, the school was called Augustana College and Seminary, the name under which a charter was granted in 1863.

Esbjørn's first annual report (June, 1861) gives the following information:

Instruction has been given by the teachers Esbjørn, Rev. [A.] Jacobson, Amon Johnson, Knute Ericksen, and C. J. P. Peterson in the subjects designated by the board: sacred history, Hebrew, Greek, New Testament, practical theology, homiletics, symbolics, church history, and dogmatics; English, Norwegian and Swedish grammar, German, logic, Latin, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, algebra, trigonometry, history, and geography. A few of the more advanced students have taught in some of the beginners' classes -- and at the end of the first year we can raise our Ebenezer and exclaim -- " Hitherto hath the Lord helped us." {10}

A student of this period, Dr. A. W. Dahlsten, wrote (1910) about the school:

I lived with several other students in the four rooms above the schoolroom back of Carlson's church. Near the schoolhouse there had been built a little frame house where board was furnished us. The supplies were sent in by our Lutheran congregations in the Conference; the congregations located farther away sent in cash contributions -- we were all poor, but suffered no want -- many looked upon this whole movement as an experiment and were dubious as to its success. Everything had to be done in faith in God and in our own people. {11}

In the early 1860's there was a large influx of Scandinavians both from the homelands and from the eastern states. The settlers' financial situation was growing serious because of the war, and selling of land to newcomers was, as a result, given impetus both as a private and as a corporate venture. Consequently offers came to Augustana Seminary and College to promote the sale of land. In 1862 the president of the Illinois Central Railway made offers to the school which prompted the Reverend T. Hasselquist to search for lands in behalf of the school. He reported his findings as follows:

Two places (along the" Illinois Central ") attracted our attention; the one station was Neoga about 180 miles south of Chicago, and the second Paxton, with the neighboring Pera, about 100 miles from Chicago. Paxton is surrounded by the finest prairie land such as you can find only in Central Illinois, especially suited for the profitable raising of corn, which is the wealth of the West, and especially .of Illinois. This place we considered suitable for the establishment of a large colony and also for the location of our institution of learning. {12}

Hasselquist convinced the Norwegian Augustana Synod of the desirability of accepting the offer and at a meeting in Chicago in June, 1863, it was decided to move the college and seminary to Paxton, Illinois.

Esbjørn returned to Sweden and Hasselquist became the school's president. Ten students attended during the first year at Paxton and fifteen during the second. By 1869 a total of one hundred and sixty-three students had been enrolled there. The Norwegian teachers who had instructed at the Augustana school since 1860 were Abraham Jacobson (1860-61), J. Olsen (1866-67), and Professor A. Weenaas (1868-70). {13} During these years the growth in this country of the two Scandinavian groups was such as to require separate institutions. Hence the Swedes decided to continue at Paxton while the Norwegians founded a new school at Marshall, Wisconsin, June 29, 1869, which they named Augsburg. A further split occurred between the Norwegian Augustanans and the Norwegian-Danish Augustana Synod and this resulted in the latter moving their school to Minneapolis, where Augsburg Seminary thrives as the school of the Lutheran Free Church today. {14}

While the Augustanans were building these foundations, the Eielsen group had made another effort to establish a school. {15} This time they bought some land and a building near Deerfield, Wisconsin, in 1864 and opened a school there in 1865 with a theological candidate, Andreas P. Aaserød, as teacher. For two years the teacher and the twenty students in attendance labored amidst difficulties and dissensions. The obstacles triumphed and the teacher resigned. Unable to find a successsor, the synod discontinued the effort in 1867. It did not cease to work for an educational institution, however. In 1868, both at Red Wing, Minnesota, and at Trinity Church in Chicago, plans were in progress for the erection of schools. A tempting offer from Chicago resulted in the establishment of Hauge's College and Eielsen's Seminary there in 1871. {16}

As late as 1864 there were too few teachers to fill the vacancies that occurred in the congregations, according to advertisements in the church papers. The requirements were moderate and the reimbursements not too inviting, according to the following advertisement:

There is a vacancy at West Koshkonong Church for a precentor and schoolteacher which we wish to have filled as soon as possible. The song leadership usually commands an annual income of from $60 to $70, while the teacher, who will conduct at least a ten months' school, is paid at the rate of $15 per month and free room and board while the school is in session. The school is conducted on the peripatetic (omgangsskole) basis and over four different routes about six to seven miles apart.

Although we prefer that the schoolteacher also assume song leadership in the church, there is no objection to applications from capable teachers who are unable to qualify for the latter.

In any event the applicant is requested to state to what extent he is able to direct singing, to instruct a choir, or to play some instrument. Applications, accompanied by recommendations, should be sent as soon as possible to the undersigned.

KOSHKONONG PARSONAGE, April 11, 1864
JACOB AAL OTTESEN
Parish minister for Koshkonong
Add. Utica P.O.
Dane Co., Wisconsin {17}

In the same year similar requests for teachers were made by other pastors. One came from the Reverend O. J. Hjort of Village Creek, Alamakee County, Iowa. He offered $180 for a forty-week period of instruction, free house, and feed for one cow -- or, as an alternative for the latter, rent of six acres of land.

To improve opportunities for basic enlightenment, congregational libraries were established in the larger Lutheran communities. These included recent publications from Norway as well as literature published in this country of interest to Scandinavians and Lutherans. The pastors stimulated interest in reading, too, by selling devotional books and other religious literature to the parishioners at the close of the Sunday services.

While the struggle to found secondary schools and seminaries was holding the attention of the leaders in the various church bodies, another contest which also loomed large involved most of the laity: the common-school controversy. During the 1860's the university-trained clergy of the Norwegian Synod, concluding that the education afforded in the common school was inadequate (since it omitted religious instruction), looked for a solution through schools of their own which would include both religion and Norwegian alongside the secular branches. More moderate spokesmen from the other synods opposed their views and could see little if any harm in the American public schools. {18} Yet others defended the public schools as a positive good. The contest was deadlocked for some time, since the Synod group lacked teachers and school buildings and could not carry forward their plan immediately. The others combined to support the schools as they were. Both groups re-emphasized confirmation instruction, increased the period of parochial training, and made attempts to include Norwegian Lutherans on school boards. The recently organized Luther College at Decorah added an English course and teacher-training instruction in order to provide more teachers from the Norwegian constituency for the public high schools and church parochial schools.

The Reverend H. A. Preus, president of the Norwegian Synod, bore the brunt of the controversy for the university-trained group of pastors. On a tour to Norway in 1867 he lectured on the school question, which was of constant concern to him. His biographer says that "he preached, wrote, brought the topic up at congregational meetings, at ministerial conferences and synodical meetings." {19}

On March 4, 1869, a meeting was called at Madison, Wisconsin, for the purpose of forming a Scandinavian Lutheran educational society. Knud Langeland, editor of Skandinaven; R. B. Anderson, an educated and aggressive layman; C. L. Clausen; J. A. Johnson; and others promoted the plan. C. L. Clausen was elected chairman and all present were asked to subscribe to the one predetermined purpose of the meeting, namely, "To pledge support to genuine public education among the Scandinavian people and especially to bring about the establishment of Scandinavian professorships in American higher schools." Those unwilling to sign such a pledge -- a majority of the three hundred delegates which had assembled -- withdrew and, under H. A. Preus's leadership, met on the following day to study the question of Lutheran education. It was at this meeting that the foundation principles were laid for the subsequent academy program which was to continue for three-quarters of a century among the Norwegian Americans.

Both groups made progress along their self-determined paths of interest. The Scandinavian Lutheran Education Society set up as its goals: to train Scandinavian Lutheran teachers for high school positions; to establish Scandinavian professorships in universities and colleges with a view to creating ultimately a Scandinavian-American university; and to stimulate enlightenment throughout the Norwegian communities by establishing good libraries. {20}

The aims of the second group can best be understood by quoting sections of H. A. Preus's speech at the Madison meeting:

Next after striving for improvement in child instruction as related above [improvement of training in parochial schools, adding English instruction at Luther College so as to prepare Lutheran high school teachers, and broadening the parochial school curriculum] we ought also see to it that smaller high schools [academies] are erected in localities convenient to the larger and older Norwegian settlements, e.g., at Koshkonong, Wisconsin, in Goodhue County, Minnesota,. etc. We could begin on a moderate scale and broaden our program as the interest becomes livelier. With thc establishment of several such schools higher education may become a general advantage rather than the privilege of a few. And out of a due consideration for the place woman occupies as sister but especially as wife and mother, we should also consider providing our girls with an opportunity for more enlightenment than is generally the case now. As to whether we should propose coeducation, that is another matter which we do not propose to settle now.

Such a school ought to have three instructors and the curriculum should consist, in addition to religion and district school subjects, of Norwegian, English, science, history, etc. These schools would be more largely attended if conducted so that the children could help their parents during the busy seasons of the year.

Oh, the spiritual assistance such schools would give to our people is hardly measurable! Parents would discover that money spent on their sons' and daughters' education had been exceedingly well spent. And the children would subsequently be more thankful to their parents for it than if they had received an inheritance many times the cost of their schooling and failed to take advantage of such an education. {21}

A committee was set up to survey the possibilities of establishing such a higher Norwegian-American school for Spring Prairie, Bonnet Prairie, Norway Grove, Sun Prairie, Madison, East and West Koshkonong, and Liberty congregations. This survey did not bring immediate results, although the concern for basic education of the young confirmands did. In fact, the other community, Goodhue County, mentioned by Preus at the Madison meeting, did venture into the new field under its aggressive leader, the Reverend B. J. Muus. An academy was opened at the Holden parsonage in 1869 and at the request of Kirkelig maanedstidende's editor for a story about its inception, the founder prepared this statement:

ACADEMY IN HOLDEN, MINNESOTA

Since the editor wishes information about my academy, I shall report as follows: Ever since I first began my work in this congregation, I have been conscious of the tremendous advantage that would result from establishing such a higher school where the children of the congregation could obtain a somewhat more complete education than was available through our religious and common schools. Many obstacles presented themselves, of which I choose to mention only lack of accommodations and of competent teachers. By building an addition to the parsonage; we now have provided spacious school quarters in the basement and have procured in T. Jesme, a former student of Luther College, a man whom I believe to be both a willing and qualified teacher.

The original schedule follows:

Bible 
Instr. in Faith 
Church History 
English 
Norwegian 
Geography 
History 
3 hours     
2 hours 
1 hour 
6 hours 
6 hours 
2 hours 
2 hours
Writing 
Arithmetic 
Physics 
Geometry 
Drawing 
Singing 

3 hours
3 hours
2 hours
1 hour
1 hour
4 hours

But so few students enrolled that for economic reasons I had to eliminate physics, geometry, drawing, and singing. Because of the inadequate preparation of the students entering, more time had to be devoted to writing and arithmetic. This first term has been conducted at a great deficit financially and yet I shudder at the thought of giving up the cause. I believe, of course, that such an institution will definitely benefit the growing youth. Consequently, I will attempt another three months' term which will begin on January 7. The tuition charge for the three months will be $10. I know that it will take time before many of our compatriots will awaken to the significance of the cause, hence I am planning another term. If then they do not see the need of such an arrangement, I shall not be in position personally to expend more money, since I can scarcely afford to sustain the present deficit. I only know that I have offered my fellow countrymen a rich opportunity to educate their young and if they fail to grasp the opportunity at least I shall be personally exonerated in the matter.

HOLDEN PARSONAGE, Nov. 19, 1869
Respectfully,
B. J. Muus {22}

The committee elected at Madison to study prospects for erecting an academy among the congregations in that area reported favorably. Funds were collected and a former orphanage building was purchased for $18,000. This was the beginning of Monona Academy (1876), a school which in the five years of its brief life span served two hundred and fifty boys and girls. J. J. Anderson was the president.

In 1878 a Luther College graduate, Hagbart Engh, opened a Lutheran high school at Coon Valley, Wisconsin. {23} He operated at his own expense for one year, but discontinued the plan to accept a teaching position at Monona Academy at Madison in 1879. That same year the Hauge group succeeded in completing arrangements for a school at Red Wing, Minnesota. {24} An academy, college, and seminary were operated jointly until 1917 and since have been amalgamated (1932) with St. Olaf College at Northfield, Minnesota.

The stronger elements in the pioneer settlements began to move westward from Wisconsin and Illinois to Iowa and Minnesota, finding desirable lands that were cheaper. When they had established themselves, the larger settlements again either transferred the schools which they had abandoned or else made new foundations. An Augsburg Seminary teacher, Halsten S. Houg, encouraged by Pastors Johan Olsen and B. Gjeldaker, opened a new school at St. Ansgar, Iowa, in 1878, called St. Ansgar Seminary. The St. Ansgar circuit of the conference became interested in this private establishment and lent its support from 1882 on. A building was erected and many young people were attracted to the school. In 1902 the seminary became a part of the United Church school system, but found it difficult to continue for lack of support and was closed in 1910. {25} The school had a noteworthy record in providing a "thorough practical education on a Christian foundation" for 2,868 young people of confirmation age.

From the middle 1880's one finds new schools throughout the entire area of the north central states where Scandinavians settled. Willmar Seminary (academy) at Willmar, Minnesota, opened a career that was both extensive and interesting. Unlike most of the academies, which were feeders for one or another synod's particular college and seminary, this school catered to all Lutheran groups and welcomed other Protestants. Enrolling 116 in the opening year, the institution numbered over 400 annually on its student roster in the early 1890's. From 1885 to 1919, there were 7,110 students who passed through its portals.

Here, as usual, the pastors in the area assumed leadership while the laymen built the physical plant. Seventy-five teachers instructed the youth over the thirty-five years of its existence. The laymen Lars O. and Mikkel O. Thorpe frequently came to the school's financial aid. H. S. Hilleboe, J. C. Jansrud, Alfred C. Pederson, Albert Struxness, S. O. Tjosvold, and others were active leaders in the institution.

Bode Academy, Bode, Iowa, organized by a Norwegian Synod corporation in 1887, received support from the local congregation for the first eight years. The average attendance was seventy. For the following years and until the suspension of the school in 1902, a few enthusiastic leaders carried the responsibility for maintenance and operation. By that time the inadequacy of the buildings and lack of means for rebuilding forced the school to give up the work. Eight hundred students enrolled in the various courses and some of the teachers were John E. Granrud, Celia Gullixson, O. A. Sauer, Andrew C. Kirkeberg, Lars O. Lillegaard, and O. L. Olson. Captain T. A. Rossing and N. Pedersen were two of the school's founders.

K. A. Kasberg conducted a cost school at Stoughton, Wisconsin, from 1888 until 1894, when he was able to interest a larger committee of Norwegian Synod members to share his responsibilities in the project. Five years later the Synod took the school over as a church academy under its own corporation, but a fire that destroyed the building in 1900 terminated the Synod's connections. In twelve years 2,124 boys and girls from one of the Synod's strongest communities tended the Stoughton Academy.

A Lutheran high school came into being at Albert Lea, Minnesota. Its incorporators were the Reverends T. A. Torgerson, O. H. Smeby, H. J. Strand, J. Th. Ylvisaker, and L. P. Jensen; and the laymen G. A. Hauge, Vegger and Hans Gulbrandson, S. N. Storre, A. O. Moen, Erick K. Flaskerud, Ole Johnson, J. B. Thompson, John Thompson, and B. H. Skaug. Conducted for two years in rented quarters, the school later moved into a new $18,000 building on its own campus under the name Luther Academy in 1891. In 1911 a girls' dormitory was erected at the cost of $30,000. From 1923 on, a converted church building provided a gymnasium. The first president, L. S. Swenson, a Luther College graduate who later earned his master's degree at Johns Hopkins University, popularized the school from the beginning. One hundred and fifty-nine students enrolled either to review their grade subjects or to begin high school work. The neighboring pastors taught religion and Norwegian, and three other teachers carried the academic work. In 1897 President McKinley appointed the young administrator as minister to Denmark, and the Reverend E. I. Strøm assumed the president's chair at the academy. Later presidents were J. E. Thoen, C. A. Fritz, J. O. Tweten -- all pastors; J. A. C. Torgerson and M. L. Ullensvang, who conducted the school for one year at their own expense and risk; and S. S. Reque, Kalmer Jacobson, and E. A. Jenson. In 1920 the attendance rose to 240. Eighty-seven students were in attendance the last year and the second summer session in the school's history enrolled 16 students as its final effort. In 1928, after the buildings were disposed of and the outstanding accounts paid, a substantial residue was turned over to Waldorf College as a part of the agreement of amalgamation. During the forty years of the academy's existence 102 teachers had taught 5,494 students in the academic, commercial, normal training, and music fields.

Also in 1888 the Reverend Ole H. Aaberg opened an academy at Devils Lake for the Lutheran pioneers of Ramsey, Benson, Rollette, Bottineau, and Ward counties in North Dakota. The school varied from the normal in that it also instructed children below confirmation age. It was in operation during the winter months only, and courses were offered in the English and Norwegian languages during the twelve years that it flourished. In this way the field was opened.

The Reverend Bjug Harstad seemed almost obsessed with the academy idea, since he started four such schools -- three in the vicinity around Portland, North Dakota, and the fourth in the Pacific district, Pacific Lutheran Academy. The first of these was the Franklin School conducted at the parsonage seven miles southeast of Mayville, North Dakota. Harstad, Johan Mehus, and. Stephen Hustvedt, all Luther College men, agreed to split the tuition income three ways as salary. The attendance of 55 each year perhaps suggests why the experiment collapsed in 1880 after a two-year trial.

In 1880 Harstad inaugurated a second school, the Gran Boarding School. Again the church buildings -- this time those of the Gran congregation, one-half mile south of the parsonage --supplied classrooms. Mr. and Mrs. Sattra were in charge as house parents while A. Ingberg assisted Sattra and Harstad with the instruction. As many as 85 were registered for the six-day-week school, spending Saturday at home with their folks and returning on Sunday for church services and study.

Then, upon the discontinuance of Gran School in 1889, Bruflat Academy came into being at Portland, North Dakota, to provide "better parochial instruction and to establish academy training for those who desired it." {26} A building costing $20,000 was erected and a $15,000 endowment was set up. In 1912 enrollment in the academy was 75 and in the parochial division, 28. The thirty-year total enrollment at Bruflat Academy was 2,354.

The brief biographies above present the beginning and spread of the academy movement and a list of all the Norwegian Lutheran academies and of their presidents appended to this paper will reveal the enfolding program.

Next let us inquire into the various phases of academy education in order to present a picture of the average Norwegian-American academy which flourished among the Norwegian Lutherans in the Middle West for more than fifty years.

Since the presidents or principals were as a rule clergymen, one presumes that the academy programs were conservative and restrictive. The backers in the congregations likewise had been trained in church schools and wanted their children educated conservatively in the light of Christian discipline. Some of the presidents were college graduates who had little previous experience except four years at an academy before they matriculated for college work. There were also those who held advanced degrees in fields outside of theology -- men who proved to be fine leaders for the schools and in whom the constituency had utmost confidence. A few, in years of depression or during brief presidential interims, conducted the schools without definite policies, owing to circumstances over which they had no control. A number rose from teaching positions to the presidential chairs, while others had the positions thrust upon them almost too abruptly to formulate any program or policy. {27}

A former president of Scandinavia Academy at Scandinavia, Wisconsin, writes in his biography about his struggles:

I remained in charge of the academy for five years. In many respects these were five heavy years. There was much work to be done, far more than should be asked of one man. The problems of discipline were difficult and required more tact than a young man usually has at his disposal. At times I encountered opposition of a character that was often unreasoning and sometimes even unfriendly. Our student body was small, the number rarely passing the hundred mark. No doubt the acute economic misery of the decade was largely responsible for the slight progress we were able to show. . . . The boys and girls who came to us were often very poorly prepared. But since our purpose was to help the sons and daughters of the farm, we refused admission to none, even if they were deficient in intellectual power: we had many young men who have since proved their abilities in a variety of ways. . . . We did not carry our pupils very far forward; but we gave them some of the fundamentals of education; perhaps we also did something to stimulate their ambition to seek for greater treasures in higher institutions. {28}

Another academy teacher of the years 1889-91, who was later a teacher for thirty years and is now professor emeritus of history at Columbia University (New York City) also writes in his biography about the academy days:

It was late to look for a school position but I went at once to consult President Northrop. "There was a man here from Albert Lea looking for a teacher only about ten minutes ago," said the President. "When he left he said that he was going to the Nicollet House. If you hurry over, you may find him there. His name is L. S. Swenson." Within an hour I was engaged to teach at the Lutheran High School in Albert Lea. . . . It had been founded by leaders in 'the Norwegian Lutheran churches in that region and was supported by generous members of that faith. L. S. Swenson, the principal was an able and energetic man with a year of graduate study at the Johns Hopkins University to his credit. He was assisted by two teachers besides myself, a Lutheran clergyman, who taught music and religion, and a woman graduate of the St. Cloud Normal School, who taught the elementary branches of the preparatory year. About a hundred very earnest young men and women were registered as students.

I taught a section in English grammar, a section in reading, a section in arithmetic, all the high-school mathematics, all the high-school science, English literature, and history -- a total of thirteen classes. My teaching periods, ranging from thirty to forty minutes, were continuous every school day from 8:30 to 5, with one hour out for lunch. At the beginning I simply studied the lessons with the classes and tried to teach them how to study. After that, the initiative was left largely to the classes. I might say to the class: "You have only four lessons to prepare and I have thirteen. I haven't looked at the lesson in history for today. What did you make of it?" While different members were talking it over with each other, I would skim the lesson and then enter the discussion as a sort of bystander. The classes decided how much they could do for thc next day, suggested things that they would like to know more about, and read each other's papers. . . . The results when in later years I compared them with results in classes under more specialized direction, were at least respectable. . . .

How much religion the school learned I do not know. I do know that Reverend L. A. Larson was an efficient teacher of music. He was at home with the organ, piano and cornet and gave many private lessons. He was also an excellent conductor of a chorus consisting of the faculty and selected students and of a male quartet consisting of the men in the faculty and two students. We had two basses. There were many rehearsals for the chorus and more rehearsals for the male quartet, and many public appearances. At times music seemed to be the most important thing in the school. {29}

The writer' continues that in the second year he had fewer classes and more time for outside activities.

The tenure varied in the different periods. One school which had an average teaching staff of six teachers in the years 1901-26 averaged a three-year tenure; another rose as high as a six-year average. {30} The closing period experienced more changes in teaching staffs than the beginning or middle periods, hence shorter tenure. Tenure, however, does not always reveal qualification of the teachers. Analyzing one faculty of one hundred and two faculty members, fifty-eight of whom were men, from a school operating from 1888-1928, we find the following facts which throw light on their qualifications. We examine their subsequent services and consider each teacher under one head only: pastors, 15; college teachers, 11; university teachers, 2; normal school teachers, 2; school (city) superintendents, 3; junior college presidents, 2; county superintendents of schools, 2; bankers, 5; farmers, 3; high school teachers, 6 (known); and one of each of the following: college president, United States minister in the diplomatic service, congressman, editor of a church paper, manager of an orphanage, register of deeds, doctor of medicine, founder of a large commercial college, teacher in a correction school for girls.

In the foregoing discussion one can learn something about the teacher at work in the 1890's and about the professional qualifications of the faculties. To learn what the board and president of an academy sought in a teacher we quote from an academy bulletin issued in 1912 which reads as follows:

The teachers make the school. The academy has, therefore, spared no efforts to secure teachers who are graduates of institutions of repute, and who have had successful experience in school work. They are loyal to the school, devoted to their work, capable, enthusiastic and helpful to their students. Several of the teachers reside in the dormitory and come into daily contact with their students. As companions and advisers of the students they seek to guide them to the highest ideals of Christian manhood and womanhood. {31}

Private individuals or entire parishes might operate a school. It was more common for those interested in establishing an academy to form a corporation of anywhere from five to ten men which was responsible for raising funds, employing teachers, and maintaining an acceptable curriculum of subjects. In critical situations the board, or corporation, might be expanded to number as many as five hundred. In this case the members chosen widely from different congregations were each expected to raise, say, ten dollars, for maintenance per year while in office and to interest their congregation in the church school program.

One academy was started by a stock company -- each share was sold for ten dollars. Sometimes support was inspirational in its total effect rather than financially encouraging. Congregations sent gifts in money or equipment for kitchens, living rooms, and the like; and in the first period even food for the students was contributed. A wife once complained that her husband gave so many carcasses of beef to Luther College that she scarcely had enough meat for her own table.

In the two decades preceding the 1930's the church subsidized the schools in amounts from five hundred to three thousand dollars annually. {32} This encouraged the schools. The faculty and students then knew that the church not only tolerated but sanctioned and assisted in carrying on the work which they regarded so essential.

Added to the above-mentioned irregular income (including gifts and inheritances bequeathed to the schools), there were some regular sources of income. The bookstore made slight profits but it existed as a convenience for the student rather than as a profit-taking unit. Tuition fees of from thirty to seventy-five dollars per student were the main source. Room rent definitely came next. Incidentals from laboratory and library fees scarcely covered the overhead. As for board, this item from an academy's bulletin interprets itself: "The cost of board for the first month will be $3.25 per week. This is a trial price. If at the end of this month we find that the board can be furnished for a lower figure, without actual loss, we will cheerfully and gladly reduce the price." {33}

Economy and thrift are Scandinavian traits which also circumscribed the academy budget. There were perhaps only a few instances of short-term regimes where borrowed money was spent for what seemed at the moment to be unnecessary equipment. Few schools balanced their accounts when they closed, even after the property had been sold. It is difficult to budget with an unpredictable student body. Whether there were two semesters or three quarter terms, sickness, inability, disinterest, or other factors might cause a student to withdraw from school. Out of 2,116 students enrolled at one academy over a twenty-five year period, only 420 graduated from its different courses, or one out of every five enrolled. {34} Why did not those concerned seek larger incomes for running expenses? Perhaps the administrator could not convince the board that the tuition price should be raised. Perhaps the board could not see the clients paying a higher tuition rate. Let an administrator of 1893 speak for himself:

We should no doubt have been able to do more if we had received adequate financial support; but the problem of finance was one that the governing board was never able to solve. Some of the good citizens believed that the institution could be self-supporting. They pointed to schools that were run for profit and wondered why we could not do quite as well. With the most rigid economy we sometimes came surprisingly near breaking even; but, of course, we could not have done so well as that, if we had paid decent salaries. Unfortunately I had neither the skill nor the suave assurance of the born salesman. I found it extremely difficult to approach a man with a request for a donation. When I tried to help out in this way I was soon discouraged. I went twice beyond the limits of the Waupaca settlement, but found little sympathy for the cause that I tried to present. "I don't believe in these high schools," said a farmer who was rude as well as plain-spoken. "See what they do to our young men. There is my brother, what has become of him? Only a Democrat." {35}

The teacher was subject to the board and principal, and otherwise capable administrators sometimes lacked the ability to rally their constituency to the support of the institution.

But the institutions needed more than foundations, funds, food, and faculty. They had to present and promote certain aims and purposes which justified their existence and the right to ask for priority in educating the Lutheran young people. These objectives were definite and in the main faithfully considered in operating the academies. To acquaint us with a typical recital of these aims we quote from an academy bulletin:

Camrose Lutheran College [academy] is enlisted in the cause of Christian education. Its founders were actuated by the conviction that only educational training which is secured under the refining and regenerating influence of the Christian religion can be complete or adequate for the purposes of life. The general aim of our college, therefore, is to give young men and women a higher education based on the Christian faith as taught in our Lutheran Church and to foster, encourage, and guard the Christian life of our students. The college will endeavor to give its students an adequate training in the various academic courses outlined and at the same time seek to transmit to them in as large measure as possible the religious and cultural treasures of our forefathers. {36}

Dr. O. M. Norlie, who has followed the academy movement with intense interest since his youth and has written often to encourage the work, has in a brief sentence stated the reason why academy proponents supported the aim set forth above. "In early and middle youth, the time of religious development -- the age of confirmation, conversion, choice and character formation -- the age of beginning religious indifference, skepticism and immorality, the academies are needed by our young people." {37}

If, then, someone who read the aims expressed in the bulletins became interested and wanted to enroll, the catalogue further suggested some requirements that must be met before a student could enter one of these preparatory schools. One president submitted these instructions in the church paper of his synod in the 1860's:

Students should as a rule send in their applications by the first of August at the latest. They should be at least fourteen years of age, be able to read Norwegian readily, write moderately well, and with some experience in handwriting, be able to cipher to the scale of four and possess about as much Christian experience as a well prepared confirmant. It is additionally desirable that they know some English. Their pastors must give assurance that they have moderate gifts for learning and have both a good record morally as well as promise of progress in an institution where Christian discipline is practiced.

Students must, furthermore, provide besides their clothing and books, light, bed clothes, wash basin, towels, and a chair. In winter they are not permitted to use less than two bed coverlets, preferably one woolen blanket and a stitched quilt. They must possess sufficient wearing apparel so as to be able to change occasionally for the sake of cleanliness. Due to recent experiences with sickness among the students, this latter condition is strongly emphasized. {38}

What was expected of the boy or girl enrolled at an academy? The Glenwood Academy catalogue offers a full statement:

But few specific rules are given, as the students are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the Christian spirit and character of the school. All students must attend devotional exercises in the chapel, and they are all expected to attend public worship on Sunday.

When the student has conferred with the faculty and has selected his program for the term, no change can be made except by special permission of the faculty.

Regular attendance during all prescribed recitations and examinations and a strict observance of study hours are demanded.

Students must without delay, report to the principal any absence from classes. Such absence, unless accounted for, will be regarded as neglect of duty.

No use of tobacco in any form is allowed in the buildings.

Students who deface, mar, or destroy school property, must pay the damage resulting therefrom. Students are strictly forbidden to attend degrading theatrical performances or to visit billiard halls, pool rooms, bowling alleys, and other places of similar character.

Any student who shall willfully violate any of the rules herein set forth is liable to be expelled from the academy.

Students are strictly forbidden to attend dances, either public or private, or to visit saloons. Any student who shall willfully violate this rule will be punished by immediate expulsion from the academy. {39}

A more general form of the system of rules and regulations comes from Jewell College: "The rules are few and only such as the faculty deems necessary for the welfare of the students. Secret societies, strong drinks, card playing, and similar games of chance and whatever hinders the highest development of the student are prohibited." {40}

The curriculum occupied the place of first importance from the beginning. It was patterned after the intermediate school (middelskole) in Norway and was not unlike the high school program of this country, or the private academy program. It was only after 1890 that the high school took predominance in this area of education. Naturally religion occupied a prominent place in the academies and the Norwegian language and culture always were, and still continue to be tangible contributions in the church academy program. {41} For a number of years Norwegian was used as the medium of instruction; the twentieth century saw nearly all instruction conducted in the English language.

The academic, college preparatory, commercial, normal, and parochial normal courses were the leading offerings. Some academies offered all of these while others emphasized the academic only. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century a preliminary course in the common branches was offered. Some schools localized their courses for immediate community needs. Albion, for instance, had an agriculture course; Camrose and Columbia, Americanization courses; Columbia also offered Bible training in a special course; Bruflat, Madison Normal, Sioux Falls, Waldorf, and others, normal training with emphasis on parochial work; St. Ansgar, Gale, Glenwood, too, stressed parochial training at various times; Oak Grove and Red Wing Ladies seminaries offered domestic science, dress-making, millinery; military drill and manual training interested still others. Music, especially private piano lessons and voice training, was common instruction among all in the closing period. Red Wing Ladies Seminary, Jewell College, and Park Region offered the most complete work in this field. Opportunities to participate in musical organizations were offered in nearly all schools, especially after 1890. The accompanying first advertisement of one of these schools which made good its promise suggests how ambitious the program could be.

 

THE ALBERT LEA
Lutheran High School

Will Open Nov. 1st, 1888
-----------
Instruction will be given in the following Languages:
ENGLISH, NORWEGIAN,
GERMAN, LATIN, GREEK.
In Mathematics;---
ARITHMETIC,    ALGEBRA,    GEOMETRY.
RELIGION,     ETHICS,
PEDAGOGICS,      HISTORY,
GEOGRAPHY,    ZOOLOGY,    PHYSIOLOGY,
BOTANY,      CIVIL GOVERNMENT,
NATURAL PHELOSOPHY,      BOOKKEEPING,
COMMERCIAL LAW,      PENMANSHIP,
VOCAL and INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC, and
PHYSICAL CULTURE.

Open for Both Sexes!
Students may Select their own Studies.
Tuition: Winter term, 22 weeks, $15; Spring
term, 11 weeks, $8. Board cheap.

For admission apply to
REV. O. H. SMEBY, or
L. S. SWENSON, Principal,
Albert Lea, Minn.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
An Academy Advertisement
[Albert Lea Tribune, August 31, 1888.]

The music department usually emphasized piano instruction for three or four years following the standard music school requirements in primary, intermediate, advanced, and teacher certificate grades. Only a few schools offered graduation courses in music and only three or four provided opportunity for instruction in pipe organ. Voice culture was. limited to preparatory and some advanced work, offered in private lessons. Wind instrument and violin lessons were given privately, and group organizations were maintained when talent seemed to warrant such efforts.

One ought to include other intellectual activities which, though extracurricular, played an important part in the academy experience. Lyceum courses offering annually three to five musical or lecture numbers stand first. Occasional lectures by the members of a board of visitors, or the academy inspector, or college professors, though less formal, were enjoyable and enlightening. {42} Literary and debating societies provided programs for mutual entertainment and intellectual discipline. The faculty critiques at these programs meant much to the students and promoted better preparation of their part in the performance, be it an essay, journal, recitation, musical reading, or simply humor. These societies carried auspicious names. A third-century Greek would have pricked up his ears upon hearing some of them: Olympic, Adelphic, Philomathian, Aurora, Demosthenian, Delphian, Amphictyonic, and Alpha Beta Chi. The Romans claimed some of their class mottoes and society names: Portia, Utile cum dulci, Concordia, and Forum. Jewell College's "Hawkeye" is more local in color.

The Scandinavian cultures produced a number of names too: Normanna, Norrønna, Modersmaalet, Edda, Idun-Edda, Dovre, and Muspelheim. Even the newspapers in the reading rooms emphasized Scandinavian interests and tradition. From a list of papers and magazines found one year in the Bruflat Academy reading room we may mention: Skandinaven, Decorah-posten, Amerika (Madison, Wisconsin), Vesterheimen (Mayville), Nordmanden (Grand Forks), Fram (Fargo), Tidende (Fergus Falls), Statstidende (Hillsboro), and Nordvesten (Minneapolis). Naturally, the local and state newspapers were to be found on the shelves, besides as many church and English papers as could be provided by the funds set up for this purpose. The reading rooms were usually maintained under the supervision of one of the teachers and as such open during certain hours only.

A few schools published monthly magazines. These concerned themselves with the news and views of the local school, but also maintained columns for exchanges from other academies and high schools. They opened their columns to alumni who contributed articles either about their college experiences or academy memories. This friendly change between the students of the daughter and mother schools also characterized the school's annual. The yearbook contained reminders of classmates, teachers, athletic and forensic teams, and the like. {43} Its cost usually was fifty cents to one dollar -- the advertisers paid the balance.

The spirit of friendliness noticeable among the boarding students also existed between faculty and students. Perhaps one reason for this was the presence of a number of pastors' children whose home training usually reflected a high degree of courtesy and understanding, though there were exceptions. Perhaps the farmers' children, less sophisticated and aggressive upon entering, were more docile and amenable to the current "academy spirit." The boys and girls who had experienced or might have experienced difficulty in keeping up with the students in the larger high schools found this considerateness and the fact that student bodies were small an advantage in making progress. One boy has often expressed appreciation for the opportunity given him to play on a basketball team notwithstanding the fact that he was handicapped by a child's disease. He lacked self-confidence and was often overwhelmed by an inferiority complex, but today is a successful high school superintendent and regards his academy experience as the touchstone to his success. He needed the personal interest which the academy could and did give him. Today the counseling system of the high schools seeks to satisfy this need. Moreover, the pupils today are younger and perhaps their adjustment is a simpler matter.

At times after the 1920's friction was apparent between the high school graduates enrolled in the commercial department and the four-year students of the academy. The former maintained an aloofness not so much because of a feeling of superiority, as because they were unacquainted with academy ways and oftentimes belonged to other church denominations. The commercial teachers, themselves loyal to the program, reconciled them in time to the new situation, while the music and athletic departments sublimated the unit through organization work.

Athletics were unpopular in the early period of these institutions. Even in 1903 a student comments editorially in one school's paper referring to football: "This game however, never gained a very strong foothold. Only two seasons in the history of our school have we put football teams in the field, the seasons of '92 and '93. The reasons for this are readily discovered. The sentiment of those who founded, and who support our academy, has ever been strongly opposed to the game, and we are. In baseball we are not handicapped by any such weakness. . . here our players have even acquitted themselves with great credit on college teams."

Victories in basketball competition between high schools and academies were rather evenly shared, although the former definitely led the field after the academy enrollments began to fall off. In baseball the academy boys held the edge in scoring throughout the academy history. Wisdom on the part of coaches precluded competition too far above the class to which the schools belonged, but as a rule the competitors had larger enrollments.

It is difficult to assemble a picture of the physical plants which would be representative of the schools, but a few general statements may be made about number, kind, and size. In the 1870's there was usually a single building -- rented quarters or a renovated schoolhouse intended for temporary use only. Luther College, St. Olaf College, and Augsburg Seminary each had a commodious building in which to conduct school. Board sidewalks, mowed lawns, and dirt roads were typical of early campus scenes.

By the 1890's a number of sizable buildings occupied the campuses. A dormitory, croquet courts, and a pasture for football and baseball completed the typical campus picture. By 1920 three buildings -- and the colleges had more -- usually adorned the large areas about the main building. Three schools outside of the college class boasted gymnasiums as separate buildings. Built in stone and brick as a rule, sometimes with a brick veneer only, these school buildings made attractive homes for the youth. Boys' housing facilities, classrooms, commercial department banks and office equipment, the library, and heating units occupied the main building.

A chapel or auditorium, usually located in the main building, had a capacity of from fifty to three hundred. Here the students assembled with the faculty for morning devotion led by the president or by one of the teachers. The exercises consisted of the singing of an opening hymn, Scripture reading, and prayer, followed by a brief sermon and a closing prayer. Announcements about official routine closed the half-hour assembly period in the morning. In the evening under the preceptor's or preceptress' leadership a briefer devotion preceded study hours. In some schools the evening service was conducted in the dormitories after study hours.

A typical day's routine schedule follows:

6:30 
7:00 
8:00 
9:30 
10:00 
12:10   
Rising bell 
Breakfast 
Recitations 
Devotions 
Recitations     
Dinner 
1:30 
4:00 
6:00 
7:00 
7:30 
9:30 
10:00   
Recitations
Recreation
Supper
Devotion
Study
Rest at will
Lights out

During the years when the academy had been serving a limited constituency the public high school had been making strides forward. Education on the high school level had become an essential and young people in large numbers were continuing in the classroom beyond the grades. The public high school set the pace in progress, for funds were available for experimentation and specialization. Endowments were established to insure standards. Programs of study offering a larger variety of subjects were introduced. More specialized graduate courses were required of teachers to meet the higher standards of instruction. These and other problems, such as equipment and salary schedules, made competition difficult to meet. Besides, the state school was tax supported, hence free, and often nearer at hand than the church academy.

From 1915, therefore, one academy was discontinued each year for five years. With the additional complication of laxity in church attendance after World War I the academy boards found it difficult to maintain the church schools. The conservative program of the academy seemed to many unprogressive in contrast to the wider offerings of the larger public high schools; hence the term "unprogressive" unduly stigmatized the valuable disciplines that the academies were inherently disposed to teach because of their emphasis on formal traditional subjects. {44}

Efforts were made to show the church people the values which lay in church school instruction and training. The church papers opened their columns to articles and discussions. A book entitled The Academy for Princes appeared. An education society was formed to lay stress on church school education. {45} Despite these and other stimuli, such as subsidies and scholarships, the enrollments continued to fall and more academies were withdrawn from service. An epic part was played by the colleges in one synod during the 1920's. In 1921 the athletic department at St. Olaf College invited the academies to participate in a basketball tournament at Northfield. The following year Luther College and Red Wing Seminary added forensic and debate to the nucleus and the academies met at Luther College with the Lutheran Students Union for a three-day conference and tournament. Interest was heightened by the addition of loving cups in the sports as well as in the forensic activities. All four senior colleges contributed toward this course; for more than a decade the schools were goaded on to a keen interest in their own activities and students were introduced to the colleges which in many instances they later attended.

Notwithstanding all the good will, cash, and accumulated admonition and reason poured upon the spreading disintegration, the following September each year saw some academy fail to open its doors until now only three remain to bear the name. {46} On the other hand we see flourishing high schools well equipped and near at hand, able and apt to care for our children's mental discipline. Often their teachers are men and women trained in the church colleges.

To care for the religious aspect of education today there are numerous institutions and organizations. {47} Some states have set aside time for weekday religious instruction for the young children in the grades. Bible schools, Bible camps, and Luther League programs seek to emphasize religious instruction. College pastors, deans of religion, and radio facilities are intermediaries in the school programs.

Sunday school curricula so organized as to provide Bible classes for youth of high school age have become popularized. Lutheran students' associations and conventions seek unity and direction among the young people in promoting religious emphasis. Youth issues in the church organs and Pocket Testament leagues aim to draw the attention of youth to the potency of the Word of God. And there may be other educational factors' which, with those here mentioned, provide a spiritual nourishment like that given by the academy in its day. Whether these replace the academy satisfactorily or not we hesitate to say. The future historian will no doubt give the final verdict.

 

Norwegian Lutheran Academies
Name  (1)    Years of Service

Enrollment (total)

No. of Teachers (2)

Approx. Value (3)

 

Affiliation (Synod) (4)

Location
1. Tank Academy ....................................
1851-1853
 
8
  
1
  
$ 3,000 
   
Dutch Ref. 
Green Bay, Wis.
2. Illinois State University .......................
1852-1860 
548
7
25,000
 
N.Ill.
Springfield, Ill.
3. Lisbon Seminary ..................................
1855-1856
3
1
1,800
 
Eielsen

Lisbon, Ill.

4. Augustana Seminary .............................
1855-1856
49
3
5,000
 
Scan. Aug.
Chicago
5. Augustana College and Seminary..........
1863-1869
203
1-3
2,000
 
Scan. Aug.

Paxton, Ill.

6. Luther College Preparatory ..................
1861-1928
5700
6
900,000
 
Nor. Synod

 

Halfway Creek, Wis. (1861)

Decorah, Iowa (1862)

 

7. Eielsen Seminary .................................
1865-1867
40
1
2,000
 
Eielsen
Cambridge, Wis.
8. Augsburg Seminary (Academy) ..........
1869-1870
10
1
4,000
 
Nor. Aug.
Marshall, Wis.
9. Augsburg Seminary (Academy) ..........
1870-1872
21
2
2,000
 
Nor.-Dan. Conf.
Marshall, Wis.
10. Marshall Classical School (Augustana College and Seminary)
1870-1881
382
3
4,000
 
Nor. Aug.
Marshall, Wis.
 

(1) There were other schools among the Norwegians which offered academy subjects and were operated by Lutherans. Humboldt College at Humboldt, Iowa; Mankato Commercial College at Mankato, Minnesota; and several Bible schools could be listed. Only a partial list of Bible schools has been included above. For a fuller discussion and a more extensive list of such schools the reader may consult O. M. Norlie, History of the Norwegian People in America, 391-399. The numbers given to the academies in this list correspond to the numbers in the list of presidents that follows.
(2) Data for the years of floruit.
(3) Evaluation listed for the years of their floruit; operating schools--as of 1940. Expenditures, evaluation, and library book totals are listed in Lutheran World Almanac (Minneapolis, 1921).
(4)   United--United Lutheran Church (Norwegian)
N. Ill.- Northern Illinois
N.D.E.F.C. -- Norwegian-Danish Evangelical Free Church
Anti-M. -- Anti-Missourian Brotherhood
N.L.C.A.- Norwegian Lutheran Church in America (1917)

 

 

Notes

<1> Among the others were Albion Academy at Albion, Wisconsin (1854); and Gale College at Galesville, Wisconsin (1859).

<2> Halvor Halvorsen, ed., Festskrift til den norske synodes Jubilæum 1853-1903, 123 (Decorah, Iowa, 1903).

<3> Illinois State University, Catalogue (1858-59).

<4> Henry O. Evjen, "History of Illinois State University," a master's thesis submitted at Ohio State University in 1938; Evjen, "Scandinavian Students at Illinois State University," in Norwegian-American Studies and Records, 11:17-80 (Northfield, 1940).

<5> N. N. Rønning, "Norske amerikanske skoler," in Symra, 6:38-50 (1910).

<6> Kirkelig maanedstidende, 12: 476 ff. (October, 1857).

<7> J. Magnus Rohne, Norwegian American Lutheranism up to 1872, 195 (New York, 1926); G. Bothne, Der norske Luther College, 25-32 (Decorah, Iowa, 1897); Karen Larsen, Laur. Larsen: Pioneer College President, 137 (Northfield, 1936).

<8> George Stephenson, Religious Aspects of Swedish Immigration, 182 (Minneapolis, 1932).

<9> E. Norelius, Ev. lutherske Augustana synoden i Nord-Amerika och dess mission, 22 (Lund, 1870).

<10> After Seventy-five Years, 1860-1935; a Jubilee Publication, 31 (Rock Island, Illinois, 1935).

<11> After Seventy-five Years, 31.

<12> After Seventy-five Years, 33

<13> After Seventy-five Years, 35.

<14> L. Lillehei, ed., Augsburg Seminary and the Lutheran Free Church, 28 (Minneapolis, 1928); Clarence J. Carlsen, The Years of Our Church, 51-93 (Minneapolis,

<15> N. N. Rønning, in Symra, 41.

<16> Rohne, Norwegian American Lutheranism, 187, 188, 189.

<17> Kirkelig maanedstidende, 9:191,279 (June and September, 1864).

<18> Theodore C. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America: The American Transition, chapter 8 (Northfield, 1940); Teologisk kvartalskrift, 2:184-190; 3:73-95 (Minneapolis, 1877).

<19> Adolf Bredesen, "Pastor Herman Amberg Preus," in Symra, 6:122 ff. (1910); Herman A. Preus, Syv foredrag over de kirkelige foreholde blandt de norske i Amerika, 32-36 (Christiania, 1867).

<20> The education society held a second meeting at Decorah in June, 1870.

<21> Kirkelig maanedstidende, 7:115-126 (April 1, 1869).

<22> Kirkelig maanedstidende, 23: 383 (December 1, 1869); see also J. C. Jensson, American Lutheran Biographies, 545 (Milwaukee, 1890). In 1874 the same energetic Muus, along with the Reverend N. A. Quammen of Christiania congregation near Northfield, Harold Thorson, a businessman of Northfield, and others founded St. Olaf's School. I. F. Grose, "The Beginnings of St. Olaf College," in Studies and Records, 5:114 (Northfield, 1930).

<23> O. M. Norlie, History of the Norwegian People in America, 277 (Minneapolis, 1925).

<24> Rohne, Norwegian American Lutheranism, 189.

<25> St. Ansgar Seminary and Institute, Catalogue (1902-03).

<26> Norlie, History of the Norwegian People in America, 277.

<27>" When schools with staffs of comparable size were considered, teachers in private schools were found to have much more extended experience than teachers in public schools . . . and much more extended preparation for the subject they were teaching." L. V. Koos, Private and Public Secondary Education, 188-192 (Chicago, 1931).

<28> Laurence M. Larson, The Log Book of a Young Immigrant, 237 (Northfield, 1939).

<29> Henry Johnson, The Other Side of Main Street, 87 (New York, 1943).

<30> Gale College, Galesville, Wisconsin, and Luther Academy, Albert Lea, Minnesota, respectively.

<31> Pacific Lutheran Academy and Business College (Parkland, Washington), Catalogue (1912).

<32> Sometimes these subsidies were based on enrollments and a per capita allotment.

<33> Clifton (Texas) College, Bulletin (1919).

<34> Gale College (1901-1926).

<35> Larson, Log Book, 27. Larson received $700 and lodging as salary. In 1920 the academy salaries in one synod were scheduled as follows: Class I (permanent), low, $1300-1500; high, $1400-2000; Class II (elected annually), low, $700-1500; high, $900-$1700; increase, $100 annually until maximum was reached. Beretning Om den norsk lutherske kirkes første ordinære fællesmøte avholdt i Minneapolis, 72 (1920).

<36> Camrose College (Alberta, Canada), Bulletin (1912).

<37> History of the Norwegian People in America, 367.

<38> Kirkelig maanedstidende, 12:207 (July 1, 1867).

<39> Glenwood (Minnesota) Academy, Twelfth Annual Catalog (1905).

<40> Jewell (Iowa) College, Catalog (1912).

<41> O. M. Norlie, "Religion at Our Church Schools," in Lutheran Church Herald (October and November, 1918).

<42> The Norwegian Lutheran Church of America elected an academy inspector whose duties it was to visit the academies (1920). The state of Minnesota likewise employed an inspector of private schools within the state. Both made their visits instructive by briefly addressing the student bodies and faculties.

<43> See The Pioneer, 177-192 (Decorah, Iowa, 1932). This Luther College annual presents a series of picturesque reminiscences of academy days from 1869 to 1905.

<44> The academies continued to teach what to think while the educators on the progressive front were trying to free the schools of tradition and teach the pupils how to think. The academies continued until the last to indoctrinate their students; for they were, after all, church schools. "The offerings of the private schools as a group are unquestionably more traditional and conservative than are those of the public schools "; L. V. Koos, Secondary Education, 162.

<45> O. M. Norlie, The Academy for Princes (Minneapolis, 1917). Education association meetings were held at Albert Lea and at St. Paul in 1918 and 1920 respectively. See Lutheran Herald, August 2, 1918, and January 18, 1920.

<46> Augustana Academy at Canton, South Dakota, is flourishing. Oak Grove Ladies' Seminary at Fargo, North Dakota, maintains an academy division. Outlook College in Saskatchewan, Canada, revived the academy in 1943 after a few years' lapse. Pacific Lutheran Academy at Parkland, Washington, closed its academy division with the present school year.

<47> For the report of educational statistics for the years 1917-37 in the Norwegian Lutheran church see Report of the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America, 76-84 (Minneapolis, 1938).

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