Period of Expansion 1902-1922
In the spring of 1902, Pastor Schulze's health began to fail and on September 21, 1902, he resigned his office as pastor. His successor was the Rev. A.F. Winter of Stillwater, Minnesota. He was installed on November 23, 1901 by Professor Schaller who was assisted by the Rev K.F. Schulze and the Rev. A. Deuber. Pastor Schulze died on March 23, 1903 and was buried on March 27th. Pastor Winter served the congregation during the whole of this period.
At the beginning of this period the school staff included Mr. Gottlieb Taggatz and Mr. H.C. Bode. In November1904, teacher John Gieschen of Stillwater, Minnesota was called as a third teacher. He accepted the call and was installed on November 1, 1904.
On February 8, 1905, it was reported in a School Board meeting that Mr. Bode had a call to Deshler, Nebraska. The School Board passed a resolution asking him to remain, and he abided by their decision. However, in a special meeting of the School Board on December 4, 1905, it was reported that Mr. Bode would accept another call to Willow Creek, Minnesota. He stated, as his reason for leaving, that the children in the country are easier to work with than the children in the city. In June 1906, mr. Taggatz accepted a call to Gaylord, Minnesota, and it was almost a year before the school functioned with a complete staff.
On October 15, 1906, Mr. William H. Seltz of Henderson, Minnesota was called as successor to Mr. Bode. He accepted the call, and taught the second class. Mr. Gieschen was appointed teacher of the upper class, and Miss Ida Sperling, the first woman teacher on the staff, was called to teach the lower grades.
In the School Board meeting on October 3, 1907, it was reported that Mr. Gieschen had accepted a call to Root Creek, Wisconsin. A slate of candidates including Mr. T. Seifert, Mr. Henry Maier, Mr. Herman Albrecht, Mr. Banke, and Mr. Albert Stindt, was prepared. However, none of these candidates accepted the call. Mr. Hugo Frey, of Hadar, Nebraska accepted the call, and he was installed and began his work on November 25, 1907, as the teacher of the first class.
On March 14, 1911, it was reported that Miss Sperling had quit teaching. Student Meyer and Pastor Manz helped out for a time, and it was decided to ask Student F. Meyer to teach, but the faculty of Dr. Martin Luther College refused permission for a student to accept such a call. In its meeting on July 30, 1911, the congregation called Mr. H.C. Westphal as an assistant pastor whose main duty was to teach in the school. He declined the call and on August 6, 1911, the Rev. W.C. Nickels accepted the call as assistant pastor; however, his primary duties were to teach the lower grades in school.
In the meeting of the congregation on January 14, 1912, it was reported that Mr. Frey had a call to Monroe, Michigan. The congregation asked him to stay, and he following their advice. Pastor Nickels accepted a call to Smiths Mill, Minnesota, and in its meeting on July 6, 1913, the congregation engaged Mrs. Lena Seifert as teacher for the lower grades. In the School Board meeting on November 5, 1917, it was reported that Mr. Frey had resigned, and Mr. Seltz would teach the upper grades. However, in the meeting on November 11, 1917, it was reported to the congregation that Mr. Frey had had an accident and needed a rest. Pastor Nickels was helping out in the school in his place. In this meeting, Mr. Seltz was appointed teacher of the upper class, and a teacher for the middle class was called. The candidates were: Mr. Herbert Ehlen of Northrop, Mr. Otto Boernecke of Fairfax, Mr. William Keller of Sanborn, Mr. John Pelzl of Sleepy Eye, Mr. Walter Schroeder of Goodhue, Mr. C.F. Pape of La Crosse and Mr. John Gawrisch also of La Crosse. Mr. Ehlen received the call. On November 25, 1917, it was reported to the congregation that Mr. Ehlen had declined the call, because he was afraid that he could not handle the music work. The call was sent back to him a second time. This time it was accepted. He was installed on January 6, 1918, but he began to teach on January 2nd. This staff, namely, Mr. H.W. Seltz, Mr. Herbert Ehlen, and Mrs. Lena Seifert served the school until the end of this period.
There was some attempt at adding a fourth teacher to the school staff during this period. In the congregational meeting on November 9, 1913, it was decided to have a fourth teacher and to start a kindergarten. In the meeting of the School Board on November 20, 1913, it was decided to start the fourth class on December 1st. Miss Anna Schulze was asked to teach the new grades. The arrangement was of short duration. In the meeting of the School Board on April 13, 1914, it was reported that Miss Schulze had stopped teaching, because she could not adapt herself to the method of teaching reading which the School Board had required. The School Board wanted her to teach the whole word method, and she could teach only the phonetic method. In the meeting on April 19, 1914, the School Board decided to get along with three teachers.
The enrollment of the school during this period fluctuated a great deal. The earliest report of enrollment was in the School Board meeting on December 9, 1902. In this meeting, it was reported that the enrollment was 191 pupils. On April 7, 1903, the enrollment was reported in a School Board meeting to be 202 pupils. In the meeting on November 3, 1903, the enrollment report showed that 199 pupils were enrolled. The highest enrollment found for the school was 221 pupils. The enrollment was reported to the School Board in its meeting on December 6, 1904. On December 8, 1908, it was reported to the School Board that the enrollment was 171 pupils. On November 3, 1913, it was reported to the School Board that the enrollment was 187 pupils. In the School Board meeting on December 4, 1916, the enrollment had decreased to 152 pupils, and the final report of enrollment in this period was given in the School Board meeting on December 5, 1921 when the enrollment showed a further decrease to 122 pupils.
The present school building, located on Broad and Washington Streets, was erected during this period. According to the minutes of the School Board for July 27, 1903, it was decided to have school in the church basement during the time in which the school was being built. On February 8, 1903, the School Board recommended to the congregation that the old confirmation class room be used for a third class room for the school. The congregation, however, elected a committee to present a plan for a new school; since the old building was in such bad condition. The committee chosen included the following: Mr. H.C. Hauer, Mr. Herman Bathke, Mr. William Engel, Mr. Joachim Kroeger, Mr. John Polchow, Mr. Carl Brandt, Pastor Winter and the teachers, Taggatz and Bode. On March 5, the committee presented a plan to the congregation for a four-room school. The plan was adopted. The committee chosen to collect the funds included: Mr. Carl Brandt, Mr. Fritz Hammann, Mr. Johann Riesing, Gottlieb Laube, Mr. John Studt, Mr. Firtz Hartig, Mr. Henry Feldbusch, Mr. Frank Demmin and Pastor Winter. The building erected cost $9,500, and it was dedicated on September 20, 1903. The officiating pastors on this occasion were Professors Schaller and A. Ackermann, the present senior pastor of Immanuel Church, and Pastor Heidmann.
Varios other items of interest occurred in the school during this period. Summer vacations were much the same as in the last period. However, in the congregational meeting on June 8, 1919, it was resolved to close school on June 17th and resume classes when the public school did, perhaps, granting a longer vacation than was customary.
The salaries of the teachers remained much the same during this period. In the School Board meeting on January 6, 1902, it was reported that teacher Taggatz received $45.00 a month, and teacher Bode received $37.50 per month. In the meeting of the School Board on May 1, 1911, it was reported that teacher Frey and Seltz were each receiving $35.00 per month.
Various attempts were made during this period to have all the children of the congregation attend the Day School. In the School Board meeting on August 26, 1908, it was reported that an attempt would be made in that direction. In the congregational meeting on June 8, 1919, the teachers were requested to canvass the members of the congregation who had children of school age in an attempt to enroll them in the school. In the School Board meeting on October 3, 1921, the teachers were requested to furnish a list of the names of the parents whose children were not attending the school.
One slight reference in the congregational minutes of June 6, 1915, indicates that some form of teacher training work should be done in Immanuel School. In this meeting it was resolved to have girls from Bethany College who were taking the normal course to teach the lower grades for one year. This, however, is the only reference which has been preserved. What was done, or how long it was done, remains unknown.
In the congregational meeting on February 12, 1911, it was resolved to make the school a free school, which, more than likely meant, that hereafter no tuition should be charged.
On June 10, 1917, it was decided that hereafter the congregation would buy and present diplomas to the graduates of the school when they had completed the eight grades.
In its meeting on February 3, 1913, the School Board resolved to adopt a new method of penmanship in the school. This was very likely the Palmer Method. In the School Board meeting on July 7, 1919, the question with reference to whether religious instruction should be in German or English was discussed, but no decision was reached. On August 10, 1919, the congregation resolved to begin teaching English grammar in the 7th and 8th grade of the school.
The school had various holidays during this period. In the meeting of the School Board on April 21, 1908, it was resolved that classes should be dismissed on the afternoon of May 1st so that the children might attend the festivities in connection with the opening of the new street car line. On September 16, 1908, the Church Council resolved that classes should be dismissed on the afternoon of September 18th so that the children might go to the fair.
One interesting resolution is found in the School Board minutes for October 6, 1902. In this meeting it was reported that a Negro boy was attending the school. Because he could not understand German, it was resolved to release him from religious instruction.
In the School Board meeting for December 4, 1907, reference is made to recommending to the congregation that a Christmas program be presented in the church by the children. Since the congregational minutes for that period have disappeared, the action of the congregation is unknown; however, this may well mark the beginning of the children's Christmas programs in the church on Christmas Eve.
In the School Board meeting on February 2, 1914, it was resolved that the teachers and pastor should meet every two weeks to discuss school affairs, and this was the custom for a long period of time.
Already in 1920, the School Board was mindful of the fact that teachers must continue in their professional growth. In their meeting on May 7, 1920, it was resolved that the teachers should attend summer school.
As stated at the close of the last period, it has not been determined whether the Sunday School was in existence in the beginnning of this period or whether it was re-established early in this period. However, in the School Board meeting on January 8, 1908 the secretary recorded the following: "Fraulein Sperling berichtete, dasz so viele von unsern Schulkindern in die englische Sonntagschule gehen. Der Vorstand erklarte, dasz dieses schon vor unseren Jahren eingerissen sei." That is evidence sufficient that the Sunday School waas then employed.
During this period the Sunday School received more official attention than any time in the past. In the Church Council meeting on April 8, 1910, it was resolved to begin English Sunday School in various districts in Mankato. Since the congregational record for this period is missing, the final action remains a secret. In the School Board meeting on November 3, 1913, it was resolved to recommend to the congregation that "Christenlehre" be held with the Sunday School in the English language. No action on this recommendation is contained in the congregational record. However, on September 13, 1914, the congregation resolved that "Christenlehre" should be held again at 9:15 a.m. and English Sunday School at 10:30 a.m.. In the congregational meeting on January 12, 1919, it was finally resolved to conduct "Christenlehre" in connection with the Sunday School in the English language.
On February 8, 1914, the congregation resolved that pupils who attend the Day School should also attend Sunday School, and a short English sermon should be preached at the Sunday School session for those children who could not attend the regular English service which was held in the evening.
In the congregational meeting on December 12, 1915, it was resolved that the Sunday School children should present their Christian program on second Christmas Day.
In the February 9, 1919 meeting of the congregation, a committee was appointed to canvass for pupils for the Sunday School. This must have had some effect, for in the congregational meeting on January 11, 1920, it was reported that the Sunday School enrollment was 263 pupils taught by a staff of 21 teachers.
The Sunday School staff requested the congregation to elect a superintendent and an assistant superintendent in its meeting on February 13, 1921. Teacher Frey was elected superintendent and Teacher Ehlen was elected assistant superintendent. The duties of each were to be determined by the School Board and a committee from the Sunday School staff. In the congregational meeting on December 11, 1921, teacher Ehlen was elected superintendent and teacher Selz was elected assistant superintendent.
During this period there was some slight reference made to a released time plan for religious instruction. On January 9, 1921, a plan was presented to the congregation whereby children would be released from religious instruction. The congregation referred the plan to the pastor and the School Board. In its meeting on July 8, 1921, the School Board asked the pastors and the teachers to present a plan for the children to be released from high school for religious instruction. On August 14, 1921, in the congregational meeting, it is recorded that a course of study in religion for children attending public school was read and adopted. What the plan was is not stated, and whether it was put into effect or not is unknown. It is possible that this is the plan which was finally developed in the next period on Thursday afternoon.