HASTINGS COLLEGE, PANORAMIC VIEW (NORTH)
mestic Science Hall have been constructed, the former
offering a fine place for all indoor athletics, the latter a
unique home for those specializing in domestic economy.
Hanson Field, the athletic ground for all outdoor sports,
adjoins the gymnasium. All buildings except the last named,
are heated from a central plant completed in 1912.
R. B. CRONE, LL.D.
In 1902 a commodious and convenient
building was erected for the seminary in Kountze Place. It
has dormitory accommodations for about fifty students,
together with necessary class rooms, a chapel, a large room
for a library, a gymnasium and a refectory. During the
following year Dr. Stephen Phelps retired from the faculty
as professor of homietics (sic) and pastoral theology and
was succeeded by Dr. Matthew B. Lowrie, who in turn was
succeeded as professor of New Testament literature and
exegesis, a chair which he had
filled for ten years, by Dr. Chas. A. Mitchell. During
the next year the chair of ecclesiastical history and
missions was made vacant by the death of Dr. Alexander G.
Wilson and soon afterwards Dr. Charles Herron was called to
LIBERTY MEMORIAL HALL, HASTINGS COLLEGE
BY A. P. VANNICE, A.B.
The United Brethren church began
operations in Nebraska in the year 1858, a conference having
been organized that year by Bishop Edwards. Rev. J. M. Dosh
was the leading spirit in the pioneer enterprise. Slow
progress was made because of lack of men and money. In 1861
the membership numbered 135. Shortly after this the
organization was discontinued and the work was placed under
the care of the West Des Moines Conference of Iowa.
Illinois Conference, found a home in York county and also
took up the work.
ganized churches and a membership of 7,156. During the
first year the conference was divided into two districts, J.
R. Mouer being presiding elder of the East district and S.
M. Snider of the West. Since 1914 the conference has had but
one superintendent. For two years the office was held by S.
M. Snider. He was succeeded by W. O. Jones who is the
present incumbent. Among the men who were active at the time
of the union and subsequently were: L. L. Epley, A. R.
Caldwell, H. H. Spracklen, M. O. McLaughlin, Wm. I,. Schell,
F. W. Brink, E. F. Wagner, H. H. Heberly, S. Harvey, J. F.
Mouer, Jas. Mason, T. K. Surface, J. M. Eads, W. Beasley, J.
P. Blakely, S. S. Lemonds, and A. B. Small.
Any history of the United Brethren
church in Nebraska would be very incomplete without mention
of the work done along educational lines. The work was begun
at Gibbon, in 1886, when a school was established, known as
the Gibbon Collegiate Institute. It was successful for a few
years but the size of the town and the lack of adequate
support made it necessary to seek a change of location.
tendance of the school has been about 400, with over
sixty in the college department. Its graduates are numbered
by the hundreds and are to be found in many countries
occupying positions of trust and honor. Ten are
missionaries, fifty are ministers, and over a thousand are
BY REV. JOHN C. HORNING
The history of the Reformed church in
Nebraska begins soon after the organization of this
territory into a state. Among the Swiss and German colonies
that settled in this new state were many of the Reformed
faith. In the early seventies we find ministers who migrated
with or followed these people and ministered to their
spiritual needs. It was largely due to their unaided
initiative that the work in the interest of the Reformed
church was begun. These ministers in their spiritual
adventures shared with the settler the hardships and
privations of frontier life, often earning their own
livelihood by teaching school or engaging in some useful
employment. These frontier settlers were not able to give
much financial support, but they longed for the
ministrations of the church of their fathers. Answering this
desire for religious worship these pioneer ministers labored
among them, conducting services in homes and in schoolhouses
until a house of worship could be erected. The devoted
people shared with them the fruits of the virgin soil. All
these things worked together for sturdiness of stock and
self-reliance in labors-qualities that wrought for the
strength of the growing state.
An epochal event that gave more
permanency to the work of the Reformed church in this new
state was the organization of the several congregations into
the body, known as Nebraska Classis. This became a
constituent part of the Synod of the Northwest. This
historical event took place in St. Peter's Reformed Church
at Headland (now Yutan) on the twenty-second day of October,
1874. The active participants in effecting this permanent
organization were Rev. Frederick Dieckman of Omaha, Rev.
Frederick Hullhorst of Headland, and Rev. Abraham Schmeck of
Columbus, who may be considered as the pioneers of this
denomination in the state of Nebraska. Associated with them
were Elders Christian Sauter, Samuel Imhof, and Frederick
Scheele, laymen of the various congregations. This classical
body has had a gradual growth until today it consists of
fifteen ministers, three of whom have retired from active
service, and thirteen congregations with a membership
numbering 1,620. To this number is added the 350 or more
members of the Reformed churches of Lincoln, Omaha, and
Dawson, which are connected with Lincoln (English) Classis,
making a membership of 1,970, with a thousand or two
adherents. There are also two congregations belonging to the
Reformed church in America, located at Holland and
About the year 1870 Rev. Frederic
Dieckman came to the city of Omaha from Eastern states. He
conducted preaching services and organized what was known as
Salem Reformed Church. In 1878 there was reported a
membership of fifty-three in the church and a Sunday school
enrollment of fifty-eight. Little information is obtainable
concerning this congregation, which, lacking mission
supervision and support, was discontinued some time later.
The work was organized in other parts of the state and not
until 1905 were further efforts put forth in the city of
Omaha. At that time under the direction of the Board of Home
Missions, of which the Rev. Dewalt S. Foust was the general
superintendent, Rev. F. S. Zaugg of Dayton, Ohio, was
challenged to undertake work in this city. He entered upon
this work in September, 1905, and after making a survey of
the situation it was determined to locate the church at the
corner of Deer Park boulevard and South Twenty-third street,
where a substantial brick church building was erected at a
cost of $8,000. Meanwhile services were held, and on
February 28, 1906, a congregation was organized in the home
of Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Hinkhouse, 3519 South Twenty-fourth
street with twenty-four charter members. The work grew in
numbers and influence under the aggressive leadership of
Rev. Mr. Zaugg, who in 1911, because of failing health,
resigned. Rev. C. M. Rohrbaugh served as pastor until the
spring of 1913, and after the supply pastorate of Rev. C. E.
Holyoke of one year or more, Rev. J. F. Hawk became the
regular pastor in January, 1915, and continues the spiritual
leadership of this congregation. The church has effectively
ministered to the moral and spiritual upbuilding of the
community and has sent forth a number of leaders in church
work. Her sons served in some department of the army or navy
and a number of them have received commission.
While ministering to the congregation
in Omaha Rev. Frederick Dieckman, in the early seventies,
journeyed overland some thirty miles to a Swiss and German
settlement in Saunders county, and in the vicinity of what
was then known as Headland held preaching services in homes
and in the schoolhouse. Encouraged by these occasional
visits a group of people under his supervision effected the
organization of a Reformed church. In the year 1874 Rev.
Frederick Hullhorst, who was a practicing physician of the
homeopathic school as well as pastor of the Reforrmed (sic)
church at Columbus, Nebraska, accepted a call to the
pastorate of the church at Headland.
In the year 1878 there emigrated to
this country colonists from the vicinity of Odessa, Russia,
and settled in the neighborhood of Sutton, Nebraska. Through
the missionary endeavors of Rev. Frederick Dieckman of
Omaha, a congregation was organized on December 9, 1873.
They were without regular pastoral ministrations for several
years. Among the active laymen of the congregation were John
Grosshans, and the Griess Brothers. On November 8, 1876,
Rev. W. J. Bonekemper arrived from Germany. The members of
this congregation, having had his father and brother as
their pastors in Russia, invited him to become their
spiritual leader. He was ordained to the Gospel ministry in
the Congregational church of Sutton on February 11, 1887, by
Revs. Frederick and Charles Hullhorst, and on February 20 of
the same year reorganized the congregation under the name of
Immanuel Reformed Church. He continued the pastor of this
church for thirty-two years. In 1895 its membership,
confirmed and unconfirmed, was over 1000. In 1896 some
members withdrew and organized an independent Reformed
congregation, being served by an unordained minister. A
second and similar congregation was organized in 1909, but
this is now being served by a Reformed minister. Rev. L.
Kunst became pastor in 1909, and was followed in 1913 by
Rev. L. P. Kohler and in 1916 by Rev. R. Birk, who is at
present the aggressive pastor.
In 1881 Rev. Edmund Erb came to the
state of Nebraska. He was a native of Maryland. Reared on a
farm by Christian parents he was led to enter the Gospel
ministry. Graduating from Franklin and Marshall College at
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and the Theological Seminary of the
Reformed Church at Mercersburg of the same state, he was
ordained to the ministry in July of 1863 in the Reformed
church of Danville, New York, to the pastorate of which
congregation he had been called. After serving this
congregation for some years he became the pastor of the
Reformed churches of Navarre and Apple Creek, Ohio,
successively until his removal to Nebraska.