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Luther Academy (Wahoo, Neb.) records, 1883-1950


Collection Title:    
Luther Academy (Wahoo, Neb.) records

Collection Number:    

1883-1950 and undated (bulk 1883-1897)

4 boxes (2 linear feet) and folders in oversized box

Swedish (bulk), English

Luther Academy (Wahoo, Neb.)

Subject Headings:    
Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod of North America. Nebraska Conference.
Wahoo (Neb.)
Universities and Colleges
Midland Lutheran College (Fremont, Neb.)
Luther College (Wahoo, Neb.)
Johnson, O.J.
Hill, Samuel Magnus, 1851-1921
Brodine, Peter Johan, 1846-1917
Johnson, Oscar John, 1870-1940
Swanberg, Fredrik Nicolaus, 1853-1913
Peters, Gustav, 1832-1918

Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center, Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois.

Luther Academy was founded in 1883 in Wahoo, Nebraska. Samuel Magnus Hill served as acting president and helped shape the history of the school. This collection includes meeting minutes for the board of the Academy, two student groups, and of several meetings of the Nebraska Conference of the Augustana Synod. Also included are news articles related to the school, correspondence with presidents and reports of the Nebraska Conference, and some student and religious writings.


Conditions Governing Access:    
Collection is open for research.

Reproduction and Use:    
Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the Swenson Center and the copyright holder. 

Preferred Citation:    
[item identification], in I/O:50 Luther Academy (Wahoo, Neb.) records, Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center, Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois. 


Source of Acquisition:    
Gift of Midland Lutheran College, Fremont, Nebraska in 2003, by Iris Doksansky, archivist.

Related Materials:    
I/O:20 Luther Junior College and Academy (Wahoo, Neb.) records
MSS P:3 Samuel Magnus Hill papers

Gustavus Adolphus College: 
Collection of Luther Academy and College, Wahoo, Nebraska

Publication Note:    
For a detailed history of the early years of Luther Academy, its leaders and close ties with the Nebraska Synod, see “Prairie Grass Dividing” by James Iverne Dowie, Rock Island, Illinois, Augustana Historical Society, 1959. 

For further detail on the life of Hill, see “Samuel Magnus Hill: Swedish Educator, Poet, and Minister” by James I. Dowie and Lars Nordström, Swedish Roots in Oregon, 2004. 

Received in 2003, accessioned in 2004. This material is likely only part of the Luther Academy archives, which were transferred to Midland Lutheran College in 1962.

Processed By:    
Processed by Christina Johansson, 2006. Finding aid updated (and series added) by Shelby Jensen and Lisa Huntsha, 2018.


Administrative/Biographical History:    
Luther Academy was founded in 1883 in Wahoo, Nebraska. Classes began that year in October with only five enrolled students, and one teacher, Martin Noyd, who was also president. Martin Noyd was a Swedish immigrant and educated at Augustana College and Theological Seminary (1869-1876). The Academy was built on the contributions from local Swedish Lutheran congregations and individuals from eastern Nebraska. Noyd remained president until 1886, when he resigned due to the college’s financial problems and opportunities for him in Kansas. 

After several attempts to fill the vacant position, professor Samuel Magnus Hill took the role of acting president in 1887. He was asked to fill the position permanently, but preferred the “temporary” role, which lasted for 14 years. Much of the history of Luther Academy is tied to the life and career of Hill. Hill continued to teach at the school until 1915 when he relocated to Colton, Oregon. Other presidents of the school included O.J. Johnson (1901-1913), L. Bonander (pro tempore 1913-1915) and August Theodore Seashore from (1915-1953). 

The name was changed to Luther College in 1909. In 1962, Luther College merged with Midland College in Fremont, Nebraska, and changed its name to Midland Lutheran College. After the merger, the original campus was taken over by John F. Kennedy College until its closing in 1975. Midland Lutheran College changed its name once in again in 2010 to Midland University.

Scope and Content:    
The materials in this collection relate to the first four decades of the Luther Academy and its close ties to the Nebraska Conference of the Augustana Synod.

The collection consists of board of directors meeting minutes (1883-1912), minutes from the executive committee (1899-1922), and articles of incorporation. There are also records from two literary student organizations—Norden and Wartburg Society—along with correspondence from President O.J. (Oscar John) Johnson, newspaper clippings, and various early papers and manuscripts.
Additionally, there are Nebraska Conference meeting minutes (1888-1899), letters to conference presidents G. Peters and F.N. Swanberg, P.J. Brodine concerning the financial aspects of the school, and pastoral reports. 

System of Arrangement:    
Arranged by material type and then chronologically. 

Materials arranged in the following series:

I. School records (1883-1922 and undated) includes minutes from board meetings, bylaws (published, drafts, and revisions), reports to the Nebraska Conference, income and expense reports, a ledger of books donated presumably to the school library, a greeting to Augustana College on its 50th anniversary, bound ledgers from student clubs Norden and Wartburg Society, and a notebook from student Gilbert C. Bengtson.

II. News articles (1883-1950 and undated) includes newspaper clippings and full newspaper issues related to Luther Academy from “Augustana,” “Augustana och Missionären,” “Omaha-Posten,” “Wahoo-Bladet,” “Till Verksamhet,” and unidentified papers. Also includes a scrapbook, a few programs for the Svensk-Amerikanska Nationalfesten in Nebraska, and two photocopied articles related to the history of the Academy. 

III. Correspondence (1885-1913 and undated) includes letters to and from Luther Academy presidents, Nebraska Conference presidents, and others, including A.J. Östen, Samuel Magnus Hill, O.J. Johnson, G. Peters, F.N. Swanberg, and P.J. Brodine.

IV. Nebraska Conference (1885-1899) contains items related to the Nebraska Conference of the Augustana Synod, or its member churches. Includes minutes from some conference meetings, mission reports, pastoral reports, employment reports, and a report on debt of the conference.

V. Other items (1834 and undated) includes four notebooks that are related to either Luther Academy or the Nebraska Conference. Includes spiritual songs and writings by Jacob Dahlberg, Martin Persson Petteburg, and Carl Bostrom. 

Collection Inventory:    

Series I

Box 1

1. Minutes from board meetings, bound, “Protokoll bok för Direktionen vid Luther Academy,” 1883-1898, Swedish
2. Minutes from board meetings, bound, “Protokoll bok för Direktionen vid Luther Academy,” 1898-1912, Swedish
3. Minutes from executive committee meetings, bound, “Executiv kommittens för Luther Academy Protokoll bok,” 1899-1914, Swedish
4. Minutes from executive committee meetings, bound, “Exekutiv kommittens för Luther Academy Protokoll bok,” 1914-1922, Swedish
5. Draft bylaws, “Förslag till Stadgar för Luther Academy,” undated, Swedish
6. Bylaws, published, “Stadgar för Luther Academy, Wahoo, Nebraska,” 1891, Swedish
7. Draft amendments to bylaws, “Förslag till ändringar i stadgar för Luther Academy,” 1896, Swedish
8. Reports from “Direktions Kommitten” to the Nebraska Conference (5), 1889-1897, Swedish
9. Report from Samuel Magnus Hill to Pastor P. Sjöblom, chairman of the executive board for Luther Academy, on the school year and progress, 1898, Swedish
10. Income and expense records for Luther Academy to Nebraska Conference, 1885-1888, 1892-1893, 1898-1899, and undated, Swedish
11. Ledger of donated books, 1883-1892 and undated, Swedish and English
12. Greeting from Luther College to Augustana College at its 50th Anniversary Party, “En helsning från Luther College till Augustana College på femtioårs festen,” 5 June 1910, Swedish

Box 2

1. Record and account book for the literary club “Norden,” 1896-1899, Swedish
2. Ledger “Luther Wartburg Society Minutes,” 1884-1889, Swedish and English
3. Ledger “Luther Wartburg Society Minutes,” 1889-1892, Swedish and English
4. Student notebook belonging to Gilbert C. Bengtson, 1912-1913, Swedish (bulk) and English

Series II

5. Scrapbook of Luther Academy, 1883-1894 and 1900, English (bulk) and Swedish
[Including program for Swedish-American National Party, 1900]
6. Program for Swedish-American National Party, “Program för Svensk-Amerikanska Nationalfesten i Wahoo, Nebraska, September 12-13, 1899,” English and Swedish
7. Photocopy of booklet “Luther College Wahoo, Nebraska: The College with a Grand Record.” 1927-1928, English 
8. Photocopy of “A History Story of the Nucleus of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Madrid, Iowa” (August T. Seashore, president) by B. F. Anderson, 1949, English
9. Newspaper clippings, 1902-1903, Swedish

  • “Svenskarnes ärestod i Nebraska,” 1903, Swedish
  • “Behöfvas våra mindre skolor?” undated, Swedish
  • Untitled by O.J. Johnson, 1903, Swedish
  •  “Hvarför icke studera vid Luther Academy under vinter-månaderna?” by O. J. Johnson, 1902, Swedish

10. Articles related to Luther Academy in “Augustana,” 1922, 1923, 1930, 1933, 1950, Swedish
11. Article in “Augustana och Missionären,” (and typed translation) 12 September 1883, Swedish
12. “Omaha-Posten” newspaper, 11 May 1933, Swedish
13. “Wahoo-Bladet” newspaper, Swedish (see folder in oversized box)

  • December 1889
  • 15 July 1890
  • 15 June 1890
  • 15 August 1890
  • 1 October 1890

14. “Till Verksamhet” newspaper (see folder in oversized box)

  • 1 August 1885
  • 1 September 1885
  • 1 October 1885
  • January 1886
  • February 1886
  • April 1886
  • June 1886
  • September 1886
  • December 1886

Series III

Box 3

1. Letter from A. J. Östlin to Samuel Magnus Hill on sending a student to Luther Academy with a full scholarship including clothes and food, 7 August 1888, Swedish
2. Letters written by President O.J. Johnson (2), 26 March 1900, and 7 March 1913, Swedish.
Letters written to President O.J. Johnson (11), 1898, 1901, 1902, 1908, 1913, Swedish
3. Letters addressed to Pastor G. Peters, Nebraska Conference President (63), 1887, 1888 (bulk), 1889, Swedish
4. Letters addressed to F.N. Swanberg, Nebraska Conference President (17), 1893, 1896, 1897 (bulk), and undated, Swedish
5. Letters addressed to Pastor P.J. Brodine, Nebraska Conference President (20), 1889-1900, Swedish
6. Letters and reports written to the Nebraska Conference (26), 1885-1898, and undated, Swedish
Series IV
7. Reports addressed to Mission Board, “Missions Styrelsen,” 1885-1898, and undated, Swedish
8. Articles of Incorporation of the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church of Carbon County Wyoming Territory, 1888, English
9. Summary of the minutes from the meeting, “Utdrag af protokollet som fördes vid lagligen uthysta mötet i Strömsburg, Polk County (Nebraska),” 28 February 1888, Swedish
10. Pastoral reports from Nebraska Conference churches (Elim, Hooper, 1888; Newman Grove, 1888; Swedeburg, 1888; Concord, 1897; Wausa, 1897)  1888 and 1897, Swedish
11. Minutes of a Formal Reorganization and Articles of Incorporation of the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kearney, Nebraska, 1890, English
12. Brief summary of Nebraska Conference’s autumn meeting, “Kort referat öfver Nebraska konferensens höstmöte i Saronville, Clay County Nebraska, 9-13 September 1891,” Swedish
13. Employment reports from sixth and seventh annual meetings, “Ambetsberättelse” från sjette årsmötet i Wahoo and sjunde i Wahoo (Nebraska), by Pastor Brodine, 1892, 1893, Swedish
14. Summary of proceedings at the Nebraska Conference autumn meeting, “Referat öfver förhandlingarna vid Nebraska konferensens höstmöte i Wausa, Knox County, Nebraska, 29 August to 3 September 1893,” Swedish
15. Minutes of proceedings of the pastoral conference meeting in Omaha, 1893, Swedish
16. Minutes on the proceedings at the Nebraska Conference tenth annual meeting, “Protokoll öfver förhandlingarna vid Nebraska Konferensens tionde årsmöte i Wahoo, Saunders Co, (Nebraska), 18-24 February 1896,” Swedish

Box 4

1-2. Summary of proceedings at the Nebraska Conference tenth annual meeting, “Referat öfver förhandlingarna vid Nebraska konferensens tionde årsmöte hållet i Wahoo, Saunders County, Nebraska, 18-24 February 1896,” Swedish
3. Notes from Nebraska Conference meeting, 10-13 February 1897, Swedish
4. Notes from the Nebraska Conference thirteenth annual meeting, “Nebraska konferensens trettonde årsmöte, Holdredge, Nebraska,” 1899, Swedish
5. Report written by P.J. Brodine on conference debt and how to liquidate, 1899, Swedish

Series V

6. History of Newer Philosophy, “Nyare Philosophins Historia,” by Jacob Dahlberg, 24 May 1834, Swedish
7. Handwritten songbook, “Andliga sånger tillhör Martin Persson Petteburg,” undated, Swedish.
8. Notebook containing sermons by Carl Bostrom, undated, Swedish
9. Notebook of religious writings, no author or title, undated, Swedish

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