Picture or sketch

No. 45-First Plymouth church, 20th and D

   From the First Plymouth tower, music floats out and soars upward like birds shaken free by the great organ inside, grazing Mark, Matthew, Luke and John at the top of the tower with their golden wings. As one enters the church thru the large forecourt, his pleasant sense of gracious earthly living and worship is heightened by the presence of this heaven-looking tower.

   First Plymouth Congregational church, built in brick, cost half a million dollars, was designed by H. Van Buren Magonigle and has become widely known for its architectural freshness and beauty. A picture of it illustrates "Religious Architecture" in Encyclopedia Britannica.

   Among individual items of interest are three stones incorporated into the building: The Bethlehem stone from the birthplace of Christ; Pilgrim stone, gift of Plymouth, England, sailing port of the Mayflower; Martin Luther stone in the base of the tower, taken from the home of the reformer. In the singing tower--traditional name of the carillon harking back to mediaeval times when watchers aloft blew warnings of invaders or flooding of dikes, are the bells, made by the famous carillon builders, John Taylor and Co., of Loughborough, England. The church celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1941. Rev. Raymond A. McConnell is its pastor.

Picture or sketch

No. 46--Cotner college

   This is Cotner college-Cotner boulevard between Aylsworth and Colby--back, back in the early days of existence. The grass around it appears to be unbroken prairie growth. There are no walks around the building, not even paths. And yet this is very much a picture of Cotner now. After 1889, when the college opened, a tide of green washed up over the campus--a whole grove at the north and big sheltering trees elsewhere. And so also did a tide of youth sweep into the building to give it life. Now both tides have receded. And still, Cotner does not represent a totally lost cause. Young people who wish to attend a denominational college have merely been deflected to other Christian church institutions--Drake, in Iowa, for instance, nearest Nebraska.

   A small church college is one of those anomalous places where students in the morning gaze worshipful upon a preacher, professor and in the evening, plot to put his cow up in the belfry tower. Scattered over. the world as teachers, preachers and missionaries, Cotner students recall happy days here, not only inspirational but full of pranks and fun. The college was named for Samuel Cotner, who donated a large tract of land in Bethany to the school. Closely connected with the school is the name of W. P. Aylsworth, first chancellor and later president emeritus, greatly loved and revered by the procession of students who passed thru the college during his lifetime. He was killed a number of years ago, as twilight was approaching--on Cotner boulevard, named for the college, and near the street named for him--by a speeding driver who did not stop, and was never located.

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© 2000, 2001 by Kathie Harrison, Ted & Carole Miller