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Luther Academy records, 1883-1944

Acquisition: Donated to SSIRC in 2003

Access: The collection is open for research. A limited amount of photocopies may be requested via mail.

Processed by: Christina Johansson 10/2003

SSIRC control #: I/O:50


Historical Note

The collection was donated to the Swenson Center in the fall of 2003 by Midland Lutheran Church in Freemont, Nebraska. This material is most likely only a part of the Luther Academy archives, which were transferred to Midland Lutheran College in 1962 when Luther College closed.

The Luther Academy in Wahoo, Nebraska was founded in 1883. The first teacher and president employed was Martin Noyd, a Swedish immigrant from Hälsingland, Sweden who was educated at Augustana College and Theological Seminary in Rock Island, Illinois (1869-1876).

A small school was built with the contribution from local Swedish Lutheran congregations and individuals in eastern Nebraska. The first term enrolled 5 students and after a year the enrollment had increased to 39. Due to the financial struggles at Luther Academy, Martin Noyd resigned from his position as President on January 1, 1887.

After several attempts to fill the vacant position, Samuel Magnus Hill accepted the position as acting president in 1888. Hill held the position of acting president and teacher at Luther until 1915 when he relocated to Colton, Oregon. The third president was Pastor August Theodore Seashore who served the school from 1915 to 1933.

For a more detailed history of the early years of Luther Academy, its leaders and close ties with the Nebraska Synod, please see Prairie Grass Dividing by James Iverne Dowie, Augustana Historical Society Publications Vol. XVIII. For further detail on the life of the third president Samuel Magnus Hill, see Samuel Magnus Hill: Swedish Educator, Poet, and Minister, by James I. Dowie and Lars Nordström.


Content Note

The material in this collection relates to the first four decades of the Luther Academy and its close ties to the Nebraska Conference. There are minutes from the board of directors meetings 1883-1912, minutes from the executive committee 1899-1922, and the articles of incorporation. Included are also records from two literary student organizations Norden and Wartburg Society, along with some correspondence from President O.J. Johnson, newspaper clippings, and misc. papers and manuscripts from the early years of Luther Academy.

In addition there are also minutes from the Nebraska conference meetings 1891-1899, letters to the Conference Presidents concerning the financial aspects of the school and pastoral reports.


Folder Inventory

Box 1, folders 1-4

1. Protokoll-bok för Direktionen vi Luther Academy, 1883-1897
2. Protokoll-bok för Direktionen vi Luther Academy, 1898-1912
3. Exekutivkommittens för Luther Academy Protokollbok, 1899-1914
4. Exekutivkommittens för Luther Academy Protokollbok, 1914-1922

Box 2, folders 1-13

1. Förslag till stadgar Luther Academy, Wahoo, Nebraska. n.d.
2. Stadgar för Luther Academy, Wahoo, Nebraska
3. Utdrag ur Incorporation 1888, and minutes of a formal reorganization and Articles of Incorporation 1890.
4. Förslag till ändringar i stadgar för Luther Academy 1896.
5. Record and Account Books for the Literary Club "Norden" (in Swedish).
6. Minutes from the student organization the "Wartburg Society", 1884-1889, in English and Swedish
7. Minutes from the student organization the "Wartburg Society", 1889-1892, in English and Swedish
8. Records of donated books.
9. Clippings: Hvarför icke studera vid Luther Academy under vintermånaderna; Behöfvas våra mindre skolor; Svenskarnes ärestod i Nebraska.
10. Program för Svensk-Amerikanska Nationfesten i Wahoo, Neb. Sept. 12-13 1889.
11. A History Story by B.F. Anderson class of 1952.
12. Expense/Income 1885-1899, and n.d.
13. Letters: A. J. Östlin to S.M. Hill re. sending a student to Luther with a full scholarship, incl. clothes & food.
14. Letters addressed to O.J. Johnson 1898-1913 and two letters written by the O.J. Johnson dated 1901 and 1913 (3rd President).

Box 3, folders 1-16

Luther Academy and Nebraska Conference

1. Letters addressed to Pastor G. Peters, President of the Nebraska conference 1887-1889
2. Letters addressed to Pastor F.N. Svanberg, President of the Nebraska conference 1893-1897
3. Letters addressed to Pastor P.J. Brodine, President of the Nebraska conference 1889-1893, 1897-1900.
4. Letters addressed to the Nebraska Conference - general
5. Report on conference debt and how to liquidate - by P.J. Brodine
6. Utdrag af protokollet som fördes wid lagligen uthysta mötet i Strömsburg, Polk Co., Nebraska den 28 febr. 1888.
7. Reports from "Direktionskommitten" to the Nebraska conference 1889-1897.
7a. Report to "Direktionskommitten" from S. M. Hill re. the school year and progress for 1898.
8. "Embetsberättelse" från sjette och sjunde årsmötena i Wahoo, Nebraska, 1892, 1893.
9. Kort referat öfver Nebraska-konferensens höstmöte i Saronville, Clay County, Nebraska 1891.
10. Referat öfver förhandlingarne vid Nebraska konferensens höstmöte den 19 aug. - 3 sept., 1893.
11. Referat öfver förhandlingarne vid Nebraska konferensens 10:e årsmöte hållet i Wahoo, Saunders Co. Nebraska den18-24 feb. 1896
12. Protokoll öfver förhandlingarne vid Nebraska konferensens 10:e årsmöte i Wahoo, Saunders Co., Nebraska 1896.
13. Protokoll öfver Nebraska Conference meeting, 10-13 1897.
14. Nebraska konferensens 13:e årsmöte, Holdredge, Ne. 1899.
15. Pastoral Rapporter 1888-1897 (most likely not a complete file)
16. Reports to "Missionstyrelsen," 1885-1891.

Box 4, folders 1-2

1. Written manuscript entitled "Nyare Philosophins Historia," dated May 24, 1834 Jacob Dahlberg. Notes in the back indicates that the manuscript was donated by M. Th. Andren, Aug. 5, 1904.
2. Gilbert C. Bengtson's student notebook. Includes the following chapters/titles: Kyrkohistoria. Ett ukast; Swedish Essays; Criticism in English literature; Outline of Swedish and English history. The notebook was donated to the Luther Archives by Bengtson's nieceMarie Veburg Clayton who attended Luther 1933-44.
3. Clippings pasted in album “Luther Academy History, 1883-1894.”
4. Clippings – misc.