Period of Development 1867-1902
In this period, three pastors served the congregation. Pastor Vomhof served the congregation until June 7, 1868. On that day he preached his farewell sermon, having accepted a call to Davenport, Iowa. A rather long vacancy occurred, and during this time Pastor A. Kuhn was called. He accepted the call and was installed in his office as pastoer on April 26, 1869. In the spring of 1882, Pastor kuhn received and accepted a call from the congregation in Greenwood, Hennepin County, Minnesota. The next pastor was the Rev. K.F. Schulze, who was called from Courtland, Minnesota. Pastor Schulze accepted the call, and was installed by a close friend of his, Pastor Emmel, on January 15, 1883. He served the congregation until the end of this period.
The early part of the history of this agency is furnished by histories contained in various anniversary booklets, and a short history written by the first pastor, contained in a book of official acts for that period.
These sources reveal that Immanuel Lutheran School was organized with the congregation on September 14, 1867. The first teacher was Pastor Vomhof. He taught during the school year 1867 to 1868. From June 1868 until
April 1869, there was a vacancy and no information is available with reference to the school. In April 1869, Pastor Kuhn was installed and he taught school, from October until July, when in the spring of 1882 Pastor K.F. Schulze was called.
Pastor Schulze taught school from January 1883 until the summer of 1883. In the fall, Mr. C.F. Diessner was engaged temporarily until the spring of 1885. He was replaced by Mr. H.D.F. Brockmeyer, who was called from St. Louis, Missouri. He began his work on the 20th day of April, in 1885. Of him it is said. "Mit groszen Eifer hat Lehrer Brockmeyer fuer die Schule gearbeitet." On the 17th day of July, 1887, the congregation called a second teacher in the person of Mr. W. Schreiber from Hollywood, Minnesota. He accepted the call and began his work in August of the same year. In the spring of 1890, Mr. Brockmeyer's health began to fail, and he was given a three months leave of absence, during which time a student, August Hohenstein taught the first class. Mr. Brockmeyer, because of his failing health, resigned on September 18, 1890. Pastor B.A. Gossweiler of Dallas, Iowa was chosen as his successor. On October 4, 1891, Mr. Schreiber accepted a call to a congregation in Blue Earth, Minnesota. As his successor teacher E. Reim of Stillwater, Minnesota was called. He accepted the call. Pastor Gossweiler also
accepted a call to Blue Earth, and Mr. Reim took over the upper class. Mr. F. Mehrstedt of Good Thunder, Minnesota accepted the call as teacher of the lower grades, and began his work on the 29th day of October 1893. At the end of two years labor, Mr. Mehrstedt was forced to resign because of illness of his wife. Teacher Reuter was temporarily engaged. He died shortly afterward, and during the vacancy, Students Carl A. Dress and Carl A. Bolle helped out. Candidate Dress was called to teach the second class on March 15, 1897. In December 1899, Mr. Dress received a call to Bremen, Indiana, which he accepted. Teacher Gottleib Taggatz of Town Dryden, Minnesota was called. He accepted the call and began his work as teacher of second class at Easter time in 1900. On October 6, 1901, Teacher Reim accepted a call to Appleton, Wisconsin. Mr. Taggatz was appointed for the upper class, and Teacher H.C. Bode, the father of the present teacher, Miss Eunice Bode, of Mountville, Minnesota, was called. He accpeted the call and began his work in November. Thus the school staff at the close of this period included two teachers, namely, Mr. Gottlieb Taggatz and Mr. H.C. Bode.
*From Dr. Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minnesota.
The early years of the school have not been recorded. The first indication of enrollment is mentioned when Teacher Brockmeyer was called. When he began his work the enrollment was 68 pupils. In two years the enrollment jumped to 168 pupils. For several years Mr. Brockmeyer taught this group alone. In the congregational meeting on January 2, 1887, the enrollment was reported to be 172. Mr. Brockmeyer was still teaching alone. It is little wonder that his health failed. In the meeting of the School Board on November 5, 1899, the enrollment was reported to be 190 pupils, and the final report of enrollment in this period was given in the School Board meeting on April 7, 1902, when it was reported that the enrollment of the school was 194 pupils.
It seems that during the early years, the school was conducted in the church which had been erected on Broad and Washington Streets. In the fall of 1883, the congregation passed a resolution to build a new church. This church was dedicated at the present site on the corner of Second and Spring Streets on the 12th day of October 1884. On February 20, 1887, it was decided to build a new school, and it was built on Broad and Washington Streets. It was dedicated on July 3, 1887. This building served the school to the close of this period.
Summer vacations during this first period are rather interesting. In the congregational meeting June 2, 1889, it was reported that the vacation period would be from June 15th to August 15th. In the May 18, 1890 meeting of the congregation, the summer vacation was set from August 1st to September 1st. In the congregational meeting on June 5, 1892, it was decided that the summer vacation should be from July 15 to August 15, and in the School Board meeting on June 10, it was resolved to have vacation from June 17th to August 1st. The summer vacation for 1901 was set from July 1st to August 1st in the school meeting on June 10, 1901.
The salaries of teachers in these years are also interesting. In the meeting on May 1, 1887, the congregation set the salary for the new teacher at $400 per year. In the congregation meeting on October 5, 1890, the teacher's salary was set at $450 plus living quarters in the school. When Mr. Reim was called, he wrote the congregation that he and his family could not live on $450 a year, and he asked the congregation to increase the salary $50 a year. This was done in the congregational meeting on March 6, 1892. On January 6, 1902, it was reported in the School
meeting that Mr. Taggatz was receiving $45 a month and Mr. Bode was receiving $37.50 a month. His daughter, teaching in the same school during 1945-46 received $115 per month. On one occasion in 1890 Mr. Schreiber asked for a raise. He was told he was too bold in asking, and his request was denied.
In the meeting on April 7, 1902, a discussion took place on the subject of what method should be employed in teaching reading. Some favored the Phonetic method, while others preferred the whole word method. It was finally decided to leave the matter to the teacher.
Various other brief items are worthy of note in this period. In the meeting of the congregation of January 30, 1887, it was decided that if a second teacher were called, the tuitions should be raised to 75¢ per month. The school picnic seems to have been an annual affair. In the congregational meeting on June 5, 1887, it was announced that the school picnic would be held on July 4th. This was an affair for the whole congregation, and it is interesting to note that a resolution was passed stating that no hard drinks were to be sold or given out. The congregation specified in its meeting on February 5, 1888, that the Dietrich's Catechism should be used in the school. In the Congregational meeting on March 6, 1892, the teacher asked what he should do with his children when he had to play the organ for funerals and weddings, and he was told to take them with him to church. This seems to have been a common practice.
The school was closed several times during this period. In the School Board meeting on September 5, 1899, it was decided to close the school for three days for the "Street Fair". On October 7, 1901 the School Board closed the school for a week, because of a diptheria epidemic.
The Day School seems to have been the only agency used during this period for the Christian education of the children on the elementary level. As already indicated the references to "Christenlehre" and confirmation instructions were few and scattered. The following is the only reference to the Sunday School. Pastor Vomhof wrote a statement in the book containing the official acts for the period that he organized a Sunday School on November 10, 1867. The common assumption is that the Sunday School went out of existence during the pastorate of Pastor Kuhn, and was not started until the late years of Pastor Schulze's pastorate or early in the pastorate of Pastor Winter. One of the disappointments of this research is that an accurate date for the reestablishment of the Sunday School was not found.