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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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Mission House

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 203 - 204

Mission House. No institution in Sheboygan County has been more beneficial and far-reaching, in its influence for good, than the school known by the above name. It is located on section 20, in the town of Herman, ten miles northwest of Sheboygan, and seven miles east of Elkhart Lake. This institution had its origin in a desire of the membership of the Reformed Church in the United States to educated young men for the ministry, and for the profession of teaching. To carry out this idea, a Mission Committee was appointed, consisting of pastors H. A. Muehlmeier, Kluge, Schiller and Bossard; and of Elders H. Helming, F. Reineking and C. Stoelting.

At a meeting of this committee, held on the 6th of December, 1860, it was decided to found such a school. Having no house in which to conduct a school, Rev. H. A. Muehlmeier, the present Inspector, opened his house to the first students, furnishing them with a home, as well as giving them instruction. On certain days of the week the students would talk four miles, carrying their dinner with them, to receive instruction from Rev. Dr. J. Bossard, pastor of the Saron's congregation.

The first pupil to attend was Christian Shoepfle, now a pastor in Defiance, Ohio. Later came August Becker, a pastor of Cleveland, Ohio; H. Helming, a pastor in Indianapolis, Ind.; J. Yoth, deceased; and Rev. Mr. Gehring, of Florida. In 1862 the first building was erected, and though not an extraordinarily fine one, it still does good service. In 1864, Rev. H. A. Muehlmeier was chosen House-Father, which position he filled very acceptably for many years. The school prospered, and from time to time other buildings were put up. In 1885 was erected a fine building, which contains lavatory, library, museum, recitation-rooms, etc. About the time the first building was put up, S. Steffen gave five acres of ground for a building site; and F. Reineking donated ten acres of land, adjoining that given by Mr. Steffen. A committee appointed April 26, 1865, purchased seventy-five acres from Mr. Steffen, for the small consideration of $1,500. The object in acquiring land was to give the students an opportunity to help earn their way through school, and also to develop a strong physical manhood. There reputation of this institution for thorough work has become widely known, and students from almost every State in the Union have been attracted to its halls. Each year witnesses a growth in its attendance, and in its means and methods of instruction.

Rev. Dr. Bossard was the first professor to receive any pay for his services. The first year he got $400, which was afterward increased to $500. Now the school supports a corps of seven professors, men of experience and ripe scholarship. The members of the faculty are Rev. H. A. Muehlmeier, D. D., professor of Systematic Theology and History; Rev. J. Van Haagen, D. D. Exegetical Theology and Logic; Rev. H. A. Meier, Historical Theology, German Language and Literature; Prof. J. Glaubitz, A. M., Latin and Greek; Prof. F. Grether, A. M., English Language and Literature; Prof. J. W. Grosshursch, A. M., Mathematics and Physics; and Prof. E. Wentz, A. B., Music, Algebra and Latin. The work is divided into two departments, that of the college proper, and that of the theological seminary. In the former, young men receive a broad and liberal education, which well fits them for the Profession of teaching; and in the latter, special training for the ministry.

The Mission House is under the control of three synods, namely; Synod of the Northwest, Central Synod and the German Synod of the East. it is supported, however, by the labors and sacrifices of the members of the German Reformed Church throughout the United States. This is an institution in which the intelligent people of Sheboygan County take a just pride. The vast amount of good it has done and is doing, by enlightening and purifying, can scarcely be over-estimated.


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