ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Theological Seminary - Wisconsin Synod

Wisconsin University

Northwestern University

Northwestern College


Luther Preparatory School



   Richards’ Estate

      Watertown Cemetery


The site of Northwestern is property that originally was owned by John Richards (Octagon House builder) and that was also the location of Watertown’s first cemetery.



o   Traveling by St. Mark’s Pastor (and Synod President) Johannes Bading to Germany and Russia to gather funds for establishing of Northwestern College.  The Theological Seminary of the Wisconsin Synod was formally opened in the fall of 1863 in Watertown.  Instruction was initially given by Professor Edward Moldehnke, Ph.D., in the school building of St. Mark's congregation.  On September 14, 1865, the Synod's college, first known as "Wisconsin University" and then as "Northwestern University" opened its doors, and for five years the seminary was operated in conjunction with it.  In 1870, the students of the theological department were transferred to Concordia Seminary at St. Louis, Missouri in accordance with an arrangement made with the Missouri Synod to conduct a seminary jointly



Daniel Kusel Sr. helps establish Northwestern College



Northwestern College was founded in Watertown, Wisconsin, in 1865.  It was later merged with Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN, in 1995 to form the new Martin Luther College, based in New Ulm.


1866 - 1870

Adolf Hoenecke (1835-1908) received his theological training at the University of Halle in Germany.  He served as pastor of Wisconsin Synod congregations in Farmington, Watertown, and Milwaukee.  His learning and confessionalism made him the natural choice to head the Wisconsin Synod seminary, first from 1866 to 1870 in Watertown, and then again from 1878 to 1908, first in Milwaukee and then in Wauwatosa.



08 14       John Kaltenbrumm, a teacher at Northwestern, appointed Principal of Union School No. 2   WD



  Portion of birdseye view



 1886, Main building (the Kaffeemuehle)



               Campus buildings



07 04       Democratic candidate for governor, talk regarding President A. F. Ernst   WG

07 30       Main Building Fire (the Kaffeemuehle)

At 10:30 in the evening lightning struck the flagstaff on the belfry of the Main building of the Northwestern University and within a short time the entire building was in flames.


Then came the disaster of 1894.  During a thunder storm a bolt of lightning sought the flagpole on the cupola of the old college building as an object of its fury; the fire left nothing but the naked walls, rent and blackened.  It was a sore trial, and if the men that saw so much of their work laid low by this turn of fate would have shown their dejection no one could have blamed them.  But, as is often the case, the hour of need calls up resources that are unsuspected in the placid times of unbroken serenity.  One short year passed and the synod had replaced the building with a modern structure erected at a cost of $18,000.  The new recitation hall in almost every way is superior to the old one if one considers the uses to which it is put, though the older students will not have it that any building can be quite as fine and splendid as the one which typified their alma mater.  The new hall contains nine class rooms, the faculty room, the chemical and physical laboratories, the assembly hall and chapel on the third floor, and the library room, which has ceased to be adequate to the increasing demands of the expanding library.

Soli Deo Gloria, 1865-1915.  By Arthur Hoermann and Hans Koller Moussa.  Northwestern Publishing House, Milwaukee, p 61.


10 24       Cornerstone ceremony for new addition to building    WR

11 28       First matched football game between the Northwestern University and Sacred Heart College   WG



     College Champions


1904, 11 02


Members of the Wisconsin synod met at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in this city, about 225 ministers and laymen being present.  The matter up for consideration at the meeting was the erection of a $50,000 addition to Northwestern University in this city.


The matter of looking after the construction of the building was left in the hands of fifteen members, composing the board of trustees, three of whom reside in Watertown, being, Rev. Julius Klingmann, Fred. W. Gamm and John Schlueter. Plans are now being drawn, and it is expected that the contract will be let and work on the building begun early next spring.


Daniel Kusel, Sr. instrumental in founding of Northwestern


1905, 05 12


The faculty of Northwestern University takes this opportunity of extending to the people of Watertown and vicinity an invitation to participate in the ceremony of the cornerstone laying of the new dormitory Sunday, May 28.  Mayor Wertheimer and the city council will be present as well as visiting clergy and alumni.  The ceremony will begin at 2 o'clock.  The erection of the $50,000 building at the University indicates the growing popularity of this institution and our citizens should show by their presence on the above occasion that the untiring efforts of the faculty and others in charge who have made possible this work are appreciated.


1905, 05 18


Owing to delay in work, the ceremony of laying the cornerstone for the dormitory at Northwestern University has been postponed until Tuesday afternoon, May 30, Memorial Day. Arrangements are being perfected to make the occasion a memorable one. At least one, possibly two excursion trains will be used to bring the hundreds of Milwaukee visitors here.  A choir of several hundred voices from Milwaukee is also expected to take part.


1905, 05 23


The cornerstone laying of the new N.W.U. dormitory will take place next Tuesday afternoon.  This important event in the history of the University will be marked by interesting and impressive ceremonies.  The committee on arrangements reports that thousands of visitors will come to Watertown on this occasion. Excursion trains will arrive during the forenoon from Milwaukee and from points on the Northwestern road.  The visitors will be escorted from the depots to the University by the college band, military company, and reception committee.  The ceremonies will begin at 2 o'clock. Prof. A. F. Ernst, president of N.W.U., will deliver an address of welcome while the main address will be made by Rev. Christian Dowidat of Oshkosh.  The cornerstone will be laid by Rev. Ph. von Rohr, president of the Wisconsin synod. Musical selections will be rendered by the N. W. U. Band, a mass choir of 200 voices from Milwaukee and St. Mark's mixed choir.


1905, 06 03


The ceremony of the laying of the cornerstone of the new N.W.U. dormitory Tuesday afternoon was witnessed by an immense crowd of visitors and home people. It was an ideal day for this important event and nearly 2500 people were present. A special train of twelve coaches brought many of the visitors from Milwaukee, but other neighboring cities were also represented by good-sized delegations. The visitors arrived at about 11 a.m. and were escorted to the N.W.U. by the college band and the reception committee


A collection for the building fund amounted to several hundred dollars. In this connection it might also be stated that the institution has been exceedingly fortunate in securing liberal subscriptions from people all over the state, and the committee in charge anticipates no difficulty in securing all the funds needed to pay the new dormitory, which will cost completed $50,000.


1905, 08 09


The fall Semester of the Northwestern University will begin September 6. The indications are that the student body will be very large the coming year, much more than heretofore, as there will be greater accommodations for the students. The work on the new dormitory is nearing completion, the masons are engaged in plastering the same, which is no small job, as it is a very large building and when occupied, will be a credit, not only to the University, but the city as well, and a monument in brick testifying to the energy and industry of the president and his assistants.


1905, 09 02


It is expected that the registration at the Northwestern University for the First semester beginning September 6, will be much larger than last year and may possibly reach three hundred. The rooms in the third story of the new dormitory at the Northwestern University have been plastered and the masons are now at work on the walls of the rooms in the second story. The way the work is progressing the masons will be through by September 5th. It is expected that the building will be occupied at a much earlier date than was anticipated in the early summer.


1905, 09 06


The faculty, and the hundreds of N. W. U. students who arrived for the opening of the new school year, were greatly shocked Monday evening by the unexpected and sudden death of one of the younger students, Fred Braamstadt, whose home is at north La Crosse. It appears that the young man had been confined to a hospital for some weeks; he was convalescent, however, and returned home, full of hopes and plans for his studies at the University. He had been advised not to resume his studies at once, but finally obtained permission to be here with his fellow students on the opening day. He arrived on the 5:20. The journey to Watertown proved much however, for the unfortunate - he was only seventeen - and at 10:30 p.m., five hours after his arrival, he succumbed to heart failure. The deceased was popular and esteemed by is fellow students, and his death has cast a gloom over all.


1905, 09 21


The enrollment of the Northwestern University beginning of the present semester was the largest in the history of the institution. Nearly 300 students are enrolled and in attendance and the prospects for the University were never brighter than at the present time, which is certainly gratifying to those who have worked hard to build up the school and make it a successful educational center. The costs to the students in the Northwestern is so moderate and the advantages so great, there should be and undoubtedly will be, in time, twice as many students in attendance, for the expenses of the entire four year course will hardly exceed the cost of one year in many of the other institutions of learning in the state and the instruction imparted is not more solid and important than in the Northwestern, except in special lines.


The faculty is composed of able men who are enthusiastically devoted to their work and the students come under their personal supervision, which tends to give them moral stamina and nobleness of character and prepare them for the higher and better ideals of life.


1905, 10 17


Great was the joy of the friends, students and professors of the Northwestern University on Sunday, the 15th inst., for on that day they were permitted to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the old dormitory and at the same time the dedication of the new dormitory which replaces the old one destroyed by fire.


Early in the morning a goodly number of visitors arrived from the neighboring villages and cities and the surrounding country. They spent the morning hours in going through the several buildings used for educational purposes. For the accommodations of the visitors dinner, was served in the spacious dining hall   There are now 250 students in the school, and for some those accommodations have been much too small. In 1894 lightning struck the building, which burned down and was supplanted by a modern structure. This temporarily may relieve the pressing need for more room. In 1904 this synod decided to erect the building which was dedicated Sunday.


1905, 11 02


There was a unique and attractive advertising device Friday evening and Saturday in one of the front windows of Gamm's drug store, representing a fire, and was very realistic, over which there was a frying pan in which there were several little figures representing football players being roasted to a turn, who were supposed to portray members of the Marquette College team who played the N. W. U. Team in this Saturday afternoon, the game resulting in a victory for the home team by a score of 18 to a goose egg.


1905, 11 10


In spite of a snow-covered field the Northwestern University appeared on the checkerboard today and yesterday, running through hard practice for the Lawrence game which will be played at Appleton Saturday for the state college championship. All men are in good condition with the exception of Kumm and Pankow, but who will most likely be in trim by Saturday. A scrimmage took place between the first and second team today and Capt. Wendland paid special attention to speed and pulling the man along carrying the ball.


1905, 11 16


On Saturday, Nov. 11, the N. W. U. football team met an overwhelming defeat at the hands of the Lawrence team at Appleton. After the first few minutes of play Lawrence had everything its own way and their goal was never in danger. Several inexcusable fumbles on the part of Northwestern helped to bring up the score. Lawrence is surely the best small College teams we have ever met, their interference being well nigh perfect. We have no excuses whatever to offer, we were simply beaten because we met our superiors


1906, 01 24


Dr. Wenth takes the place in the faculty at Northwestern University made vacant by the passing away of the late Prof. Otto D. Hoyer. The Doctor is a native of Germany where he was educated having attended the gymnasium. After completing his studies there, he served one year in the German navy. Then he came to this country and studied English in an American college, afterward attending the Lutheran Seminary at St. Louis for three years and was then sent as a missionary to Canada where he labored for some time and then returned to Germany and was honored with the degree of Ph. D. at the University at Rostock. He then returned to this country and became pastor of the Lutheran congregation at Halfway where he remained until called to take the professorship at the University.


1906, 05 30


Under direction of Dr. Ott, F. H. Ullerich acted as chef at the big picnic dinner at the Northwestern University Wednesday. He understands the business, never missed a cog, the multitude was fed and yet there was plenty left. They don't do things in a small way up at the university and the people of this city are beginning to appreciate the institution for only words of praise are heard, relative to the faculty and students.


1906, 07 11


The fire department was called out shortly before 6 o'clock last evening having been summoned to the Northwestern University grounds.  In some unknown manner a fire started burning a small barn and chicken coop.  It was a stubborn fight on the part of the fire laddies for the reason that there was very weak water pressure.  Considerable criticism of the water works system was heard.  Superintendent Fix offered a plausible excuse in the fact that hundreds of lawns were being sprinkled about that time of the day, which has a great tendency to lessen the pressure, which it is said at the time yesterday, would hardly permit throwing a stream up to a second story window.


To some of the members of the fire department and interested citizens outside the companies, it was another excellent illustration of the fact that the fire engines should not be sold, as is being advocated by some.  The hold that the engines should be kept in possession of the city and in good repair in case of calls to the outlying districts, where the service of the engines are necessary, owing to the defective pressure or the absence of water mains.  Such a position is well taken and that both engines are absolutely necessary to give all necessary fire protection.



Northwestern University is again alive and students have taken hold of their books after two weeks of vacation. Recitations commenced Thursday morning at the usual time 8:30 o'clock with appropriate ceremonies . . . Nearly all students had returned punctually being present for the chapel exercises. While the boys were gone the recitation building and the dormitory received a general cleaning and minor things were repaired. The halls and stairways were oiled in the recitation hall. The students' reading room, which has so far been in one of the lower rooms of the main, building was taken over to the dormitory, where a special room had been made for it when the building was erected, but which had not been finished and arranged for its purpose until during this Christmas vacation. This room is also fitted with many reference books for studies . . . therefore serves at the same time for a reference room. The former reading room has been turned into an assembly room for the city boys, where they may leave their books etc., and study during free periods. Quite an innovation is the table in Mr. Bolle's class room for the business department. It's so arranged that academy students can perform actual business now.   01 08


o   Yesterday was a day of joy for the Northwestern University, that the quarantine was raised after two weeks of almost isolation.  It is true, students were permitted to walk about on the college grounds, but in the course of time that became rather monotonous, and as the hour and minutes when they again would be declared at liberty could hardly be waited for.  After doing a hard day's work studying and then not take a little outdoor exercise will probably not be noticed very much for one day but to be cut off the world for two whole weeks, work hard mentally and take no more exercise than a walk around the Northwestern university campus would soon be enough for any young man.   02 06


1907      Class of, Otto Emil Plath, father of Sylvia Plath



03 20     The reference room in the new dormitory of Northwestern University has recently been equipped with a fine oak book shelf.  During a recent visit to the Varsity; Rev. Machmueller noticed the dilapidated condition of the shelves and immediately acquainted the Ladies' Aid Society of his congregation with the facts on returning home.  In a comparatively short time Alexander Sitz, president of the Senior class, received a check for thirty-five dollars from the treasurer of the society with the aid of which the improvement was made possible.  The reference room now presents a neat and inviting appearance.  However, there is still room for other societies to give proof of their interest in Northwestern as the many rows of empty shelves will testify.  Dr. Ott for his part has contributed his share in placing all works of reference that could be spared in the library at the disposal of the boys.


03 27     Repairing the tennis courts

With the return of spring active work has again been begun in repairing the tennis courts of Northwestern.  While tennis has been played at the 'varsity for many years it was not until last season that definite arrangements for the accommodation of every player of the club were made.  A schedule of games for the entire season has been drawn up, the playing of which induced the keenest rivalry, and some remarkably skillful players were developed in consequence. . . . At the close of the season . . . officers were elected for the present year. . . . In these men the club has a corps of officers well able to prove themselves worthy of the confidence placed in them.  Its president is determined to make tennis more than a mere secondary branch of athletics at Northwestern. . . . To accommodate the increased membership, which will probably number twenty-five or more, sod will be skinned for a fourth court.  The old ones will be slightly elevated.   WL


04 10     Senior class not obliged to complete the entire year

Recitations at the seminary came to a close on April 9 and will be continued on April 22.  Owing to the fact that a number of congregations have been without pastors for many months, the senior class at the seminary, instead of being obliged to complete the entire year's work, will be graduated at the end of the second semester.


The examinations took place on April 9 and today the Mission Commission meets with the purpose of assigning parishes to the different candidates.  As has been the case for years past, the demand for ministers again greatly exceeds the supply.  Eleven congregations have sent in applications while only seven graduates are ready to enter the ministry immediately.  Mr. Koehler, the eighth, intends to continue his studies, presumably at St. Louis.   WL


05 13     Military company drilling daily in preparation for the sham battle   WL

06 17     Seniors smoke the pipe of peace; end of seven years war at Northwestern   WL

06 26     1908 Commencement  /  Farewell to the Senior of 1908!

Northwestern University celebrated its commencement at the university chapel yesterday forenoon, the exercises commencing at 10:00 o'clock.  Many relatives and friends of the graduating class and of the institution were present, the chapel being filled to its capacity.


The decorations for the occasion were neat and appropriate and consisted of the college colors as the college colors, black and red, and of the graduating class colors, purple and gold, above the stage was placed the motto of the class reading “Poscimur '08.”  The letters were in gold on a purple background. 


The exercises consisted of three orations by members of the graduating class, selections by the band, orchestra, choir and quartette of the university, addresses by Prof. A. F. Ernst, prayer by Rev. O. Hoenecke of Milwaukee and the hymn, “A mighty fortress is our God,” sung by the assembly.  All the numbers were listed to with intense interest by the audience and were a credit to the institution.    Watertown Weekly Leader


08 14     Schlueter and Mouffa appointed professors.   WG

10 16     Fourth artillery, US Army camped on campus   WG

10 23     Northwestern University football team defeated Sacred Heart College   WG

11 27     Banquet for football team



   University building, 1909

02 15     Lincoln Day Celebration, cadets and band take part in   WG

04 02     Annual banquet of university paper, ''Black and Red"   WG

05 07     Marchout at Lake Mills; band and military company    WG

05 14     Interurban excursion to Watertown on Memorial Day, Milwaukee Northwestern University Club   WG

05 28     Memorial Day observance, University Band, Cadets and Students    WG

06 04     Students injured; explosion of powder while loading shells for a sham battle   WG

06 04     University Co. and band gave a fine drill and a sham battle    WG

07 02     Northwestern University to be renamed; purchase land for professors’ residences    WG

08 20     Enrollment, number of alumni   WG

09 24     President William H. Taft stops at depot and speaks; students on hand   WG

---           WHS_006_593sm.jpg   Male Chorus, 1909



02 11     New gymnasium, campaign to raise $25,000 for    WG

02 25     Students celebrated Washington’s birthday; auspices of Lyceum and Philomathian societies   WG

06 03     Decoration Day observance, band, cadets and students, Oak Hill Cemetery   WG

06 03     Cadets and band marched to Juneau   WG

06 24     Dr. John Henry Ott, 25 years of professional activity in educational fields

07 15     Prof. William Notz declines call   WG



02 23     Recall Student Days.  Former students of Northwestern College, Watertown, will hold their fifth annual reunion in the Republican House on Feb. 28.  Invitations have been extended this year not alone [only] to the “grads” but also to those who attended the institution for a number of years only.  The college faculty will be represented and the Northwestern Club of Chicago will also send a delegation.    WG

03 02     Dr. F. W. Nott is 70.  Dr. F. W. Notz, professor of Greek at Northwestern College, observed his 70th birthday anniversary Saturday.  Receiving his degree of Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Tuebingen in 1863, he later accepted the chair of ancient languages with Pennsylvania College, and a few years thereafter with Muehlenberg College of the same state.  He will have completed fifty years of work in pedagogical fields at the close of this year.  Former students of Northwestern, now residing in Milwaukee, gave him a special reception at their annual reunion at the Republican House Milwaukee, on February 28.    WG

05 04     The Bee-Dee Co. team opened the season with a victory by defeating the strong North Western College team on the college campus by the score of 6 to 3.  George Richards did the twirling for the Bee-Dees and pitched first class ball while Miller did good work behind the bat.  Berg, Masch and Mahnke were the batteries for the college boys.  Unfortunately the stunt Creuz tried to perform and pick up the ball with his teeth turned out to be a fizzle and allowed the N.W.C. team their runs, who might have left the diamond with but one run to their credit had it not been for this incident.   

06 22     Last Friday evening Prof. J. H. Ott very hospitably entertained the senior class of the Northwestern College at a 6 o'clock dinner.   WG


 1911 College Champs



05 16       Cadets March to Jefferson

Cadets March to Jefferson

The cadets and military band of Northwestern College, this city, marched to Jefferson Wednesday morning on their annual “hike'' where they were the guests of St. John's Lutheran Church congregation Wednesday and Thursday.  Wednesday afternoon was devoted to outdoor exercises at the county fairgrounds.  Following is the program for that afternoon.


1:30 ball game, Jefferson vs. Northwestern.

3:15 dress parade and drill, cadets. 

3:45 sham battle, cadets.

Band concert afternoon and evening.


Thursday, Ascension Day, the young men attended services at St John's Lutheran Church in a body and will arrive home this evening.   WG

05 30       Watertown Cadets in Jefferson.  The cadets and the military band of the Northwestern College at Watertown were the guests of the local Lutheran congregation last Wednesday and Thursday.  With very few exceptions they all started on the march from Watertown at about five o'clock in the morning and arrived here shortly after ten o'clock.  The cadets numbered 64, the band 31 members, and besides these there were also some ball players here, all told over 100 guests from Watertown, who found a royal welcome at the homes of the members of St. John's congregation . . .   WG


05 30       Memorial Day / New Gymnasium

The laying of the corner stone of the new gymnasium at Northwestern College took place today, and hundreds of visitors are in the city for the celebration.  The program opened at 10 a.m. with speeches, chorus singing and music by the college band and the laying of the corner stone.  Luncheon was served in the college refectory. 


In the afternoon the military company gave a parade, drill and sham battle at 1:15.  Following this a double header baseball game, the first one between Northwestern College and St. Mark's young men of Milwaukee and the second one between Northwestern and Watertown.  The ball games were followed by a series of athletic events.   WG


WHS_006_552sm.jpg   WHS_006_553sm.jpg   WHS_006_554sm.jpg   1912


07 18       Appointments at N. W. C.

Prof. Edmund Bliefernicht of the Lutheran seminary of New Ulm, Minn., and formerly of this city, has been appointed to fill the vacancy left by Dr. F. W. A. Notz, retired, at the Northwestern College.  The Rev. Hermam Gieschen of Wauwatosa has received the call to fill the vacancy left by Prof. M. Sprengling, who will go to Harvard University as an instructor.  They will teach the ancient languages.  The above appointments were made at a meeting of the board of regents held in Milwaukee Tuesday, of which William Gorder, Sr., Fred Gamm and John Schlueter of this city are members.   WG


08 15       Business Education   [paid advertisement]

Why go to a different city for a business education when you can get it in your home town for less money?


The Commercial Department of the Northwestern College offers a thorough and up-to-date business education.  Thorough courses in Shorthand (Gregg System), Touch Typewriting, Bookkeeping, Penmanship, Arithmetic, Spelling, Geography, Banking, Business Law, Political Economy and Civics.


Students in the Commercial Department may also take courses in such branches as Mathematics, Natural Sciences, History, German, French and English.



This school is open to young men and young women

Catalogues will be sent on application by


519 College Ave., Watertown, Wis.   WG


08 15       Gymnasium – A gymnasium which is being erected at a cost of $30,000 will be finished Sept. 1st   WG


12 07       Splendid New Gymnasium

Northwestern College is to be congratulated on the splendid new gymnasium presented by the Milwaukee alumni.  The handsome building pictured and described in the current issue of Black and Red, the college periodical, cannot but add to the attractions of the college, and what means far more, to its usefulness, to its equipment for meeting all the needs of the young men who go there to fit themselves for the work they will have to do.  So universal is the recognition today of the need of real physical training and development that one does not have to argue for athletics in college.  The function of the college today is to develop every side of a man that it is able to reach, and only as it does this will it earn its right to appeal as a place that fits men for life.   WG


1913      Rev. Christians attended Northwestern, graduating in 1913. 

                  Northwestern College Band in 1913.  Irvin Gamm is standing fourth from the right in the second row from back.


                Sprinter Statue



06 26     Northwestern’s Fiftieth Anniversary Golden Jubilee, six thousand at services

06 29     A meeting of the board of trustees of Northwestern College will be held in Watertown on Wednesday when the matter of selecting a successor to Prof. Martin Eichman will be considered.  At this meeting it is proposed to devise a scheme whereby the duties of inspector will be lessened and it is with the probabilities that the former onerous duties will be divided.    WDT


Campus map, 1915


1919      Prof. E. E. Kowalke appointed president of the college

1919        Auditorium



   Dormitory and Gazebo


1922      W H Graebner, Northwestern College Board of Trustees, 26 years



               Gen. Carlos P. Romulo, ambassador from the Philippines, spoke at College during the darkest days of World War II    WDT




   College Band





   Watertown Daily Times, 08 10 1955


Northwestern College will begin razing two buildings on its campus Monday to make room for scheduled further expansion of the college.  The two buildings to be removed are the old classroom building and the residence at 1300 Western Avenue, which many persons identify as the "old Dr. John H. Ott residence."  The late Dr. Ott was for many years a member of the college faculty.  The home has not been occupied for some time.  The two buildings will provide the site for a new classroom and chapel building.  Plans for this project were announced some time ago, but no starting date has been set.  However, the site is being cleared and it is hoped work on the new structure can be started perhaps before the end of this year



   Watertown Daily Times, 11 28 1955


Northwestern College, now in the midst of its biggest building project since the college was founded, is making plans for the formal dedication of its three newest buildings sometime next summer or early autumn. Excavation work on the latest of the three new units was completed some time ago. It is the new classroom-chapel building. Footing for the classroom hall has been poured and form setting for the walls was started recently.



   Watertown Daily Times, 11 30 1955


The new classroom-chapel building to be erected on the Campus of Northwestern College will cost an estimated $360,000. Work on the new building has started and it is to be completed in August of 1956 at which time dedicatory services are being planned for the unit, together with that of two other new buildings constructed on the campus, the refectory and the dormitory. In addition to the permit for the classroom-chapel building, college authorities have been granted a building permit for a new $16,000 residence for faculty use. Construction of the new classroom-chapel building will bring the Northwestern College new building outlay on its campus to well over one million dollars.



   Watertown Daily Times, 03 02 1956


The cornerstone for the new chapel and classroom building now under construction at Northwestern College will be laid at a ceremony to be held at the college gym next Sunday afternoon, March 11, at 3 o'clock. Construction of the building got underway last fall after the old building which stood on the site was razed. It will be erected at a cost of $360,486.46, exclusive of furnishings and is scheduled to be completed in August of this year.



   Watertown Daily Times, 05 08 1956


When the Wisconsin Synod of the Lutheran Church meets in Watertown Aug. 21 to 23 for a recessed convention session a final decision on the long and controversial issue of breaking ties with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod is due to be taken, according to press dispatches from Milwaukee today. The sessions here will be at Northwestern College Gymnasium and the program as now prepared will include the dedication of new college buildings including the refectory, dormitory, class building and chapel. The Wisconsin Synod has been marking time since it passed its resolution at Saginaw Aug. 17, 1955, threatening to break with the Missouri Group over its long-standing doctrinal disagreements. At that time, most delegates thought it better not to sever relations until the Missouri Synod had discussed Wisconsin's attitude in its national convention.



02 18     Prof. E. E. Kowalke resigned his office as president of the college effective next July 1.  President since 1919   WDT

02 20     Prof. Carleton A. Toppe expected to accept the call to become president of the college   WDT

08 25     1959-60 term began; Prof. Carleton Toppe, new president    WDT



               Rev. Paul Kuehl joins faculty; taught Greek in the college department and Latin in the prep department.

09 19     Molding football teams out of players who often have only the slightest idea of what the game is about has been the lot of Coach Len Umnus for a full 24 seasons at Northwestern College.  The veteran mentor will be sending his 25th into combat Saturday in a nonconference opener at Elmhurst, Ill., and any intelligent bettor would wager that the Trojans will win.  He’d have solid backing from history.  Over the 24 years Umnus has been at the helm “up on the hill” the Trojans (formerly the Goslings) have won 115 games, tied 7 and lost only 36. Records hardly come any better than that.    WDT

10 26     Northwestern College, an original member of the Badger-Gopher Conference which was formed in 1957 with eight teams from Wisconsin and Minnesota, is leaving that league to join a new 12 team circuit that includes colleges in Wisconsin and Illinois. Dropping out of conference competition will be Northland of Ashland, Wis., Bethel of St. Paul and Northwestern of Minneapolis.   WDT


1962      Uncertain Future

Study to determine future



01 25     A new pipe organ for the chapel was delivered by truck from Buffalo, New York.  Technicians from the factory of the builders of the instrument will begin the installation immediately.  The organ is a two-manual and pedal pipe organ of twenty-one ranks containing a total of 1,152 pipes.  Its acquisition has been made possible through the gifts and bequests received from friends of the college over a period of years.   WDT

03 05     Arnold O. Lehmann, a professor at Northwestern College, has been awarded an Aid Association for Lutherans Faculty Fellowship to do additional graduate work during the 1963-64 school year.  He will also study during the 1963 summer session.  Prof. Lehmann will study for his doctor of philosophy degree at Western Reserve University, Cleveland.   WDT

03 09     Northwestern College at a special service held last night in the college chapel dedicated its newly installed organ.  The rite of dedication was pronounced by Prof. Hilton C. Oswald, who also served as liturgist.  The sermon was delivered by Prof. Carleton Toppe, president of the college, and Prof. Arnold O. Lehman was at the organ.  The two-manual organ which was recently installed consists of 19 stops, and 20 ranks of pipe.  It was designed as an instrument to accompany hymns and play worship service music.   WDT

03 14     Coach Leonard J. Umnus was named an award winner recently by the Sports Trail Century Club, an organization maintained by the Kendall Company, to recognize the contributions of dedicated coaches throughout the nation.  Coach Umnus was made a member of the Sports Trail Century Club for his record of 143 victories in football.   WDT



               Athletic Director Lloyd Thompson hired   WDT



               Franklin Frederick Zabell accepted the call to teach music and direct choir, 1972-1995.



03 30       Northwestern Professor Edgar Pieper has announced his retirement after 21 years of coaching and classroom work. Pieper was called to NWC in 1960 primarily to share the coaching load with Professor Emeritus Leonard Umnus, who at that time had sole responsibility for both the college and prep athletic programs. Since then, Pieper's schedule has included coaching college baseball for 21 years, college basketball for 10 years, college wrestling for 11 years, prep football for 15 years and serving as assistant college football coach since 1974. He has taught mathematics on both the college and prep levels as well as geography at the prep school. Pieper was born near Juneau Aug. 6, 1915 and graduated from Beaver Dam High School. He attended Iowa State University and La Crosse State Teachers College where he participated in football and baseball. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Second World War and, in 1951, received a M.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin.  WDT



08 25       120th year opening service; new faculty announced   WDT

10 28       Professors honored; Gerhard Franzmann, Paul Kuehl and Richard Strobel   WDT

12 04       Athletic Director Lloyd Thompson retires   WDT



03 01       Basketball:  62-45 victory over University School of Milwaukee   WDT


1986      Carleton Toppe Resigns

07 11       The sign attached to the door in the administration office proclaims, “Northwestern College President — Carleton Toppe.”  Since 1959, the words between those quotation marks have been linked together.  But at the conclusion of the 1986-87 school year, those words will be severed.  An era will end when Toppe resigns in 1986.  The American society has changed exponentially since 1959, and Northwestern College has also changed.  But with Toppe at the helm, Northwestern’s changes have been implemented at a “controlled pace.”  Toppe has been affiliated with Northwestern in one way or another since he enrolled in its prep school in 1926.  After four years in the prep school, he attended the college, graduating in 1934.  He attended the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon from 1934-37, before beginning a pastoral career in 1939.  He eventually accepted a call to join the faculty at Northwestern in 1948.  As a teacher, he mainly instructed courses in Latin, Greek, English and religion, before beginning his tenure as president of the college.   WDT

10 29       Pastor Robert J. Voss will succeed Prof. Carleton Toppe as the president of Northwestern College.  Voss, who currently serves as the executive secretary of the Board for Worker Training, will assume duties at Northwestern on July 1, 1987.  Toppe has been president of the college since 1959.  Voss graduated from Northwestern College in 1947.  He graduated from the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon in 1950.  After graduating from the seminary, Voss taught history and Latin at Northwestern for one year before entering the parish ministry at Faith, Fond du Lac.  He accepted a call to Siloah, Milwaukee in 1955, and became president of Wisconsin Lutheran College in 1963.  Wisconsin Lutheran College was merged with Dr. Martin Luther College in 1970, when Voss was called to become executive secretary of the Board for Worker Training.  Voss completed his doctorate work at Marquette University   WDT


1987      Rev. Luther Voss

10 09       Robert J. Voss can’t help but wink and smile when he speaks about his father.  “My dad was what I guess you would call a ‘man’s man.’  But inside, he was so soft that it was funny,  Voss said of his elder, the late Rev. Luther Voss.  Robert Voss and his father share a lot of the same qualities, including vocations.  Voss will be installed as the new president of Northwestern College at a service Tuesday night.  At the age of 61, he will become only the fourth Northwestern president in the past 116 years.   WDT



10 22     Plans for the merger of Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod schools are moving ahead at a rapid pace. The synod voted earlier this year to consolidate Northwestern College of Watertown and Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN, into one college at the New Ulm campus and to consolidate Northwestern Prep School of Watertown and Dr. Martin Luther Prep School of Prairie du Chien into one high school at the Watertown campus.  WDT



10 22     Accreditation continued for 10 years   WDT


1995      Luther Preparatory School

08 19     Students flocked to their first day of classes at Luther Preparatory School this morning, marking a new era at the campus.  Rev. Mark Schroeder is president of the school.  Once the home of Northwestern College and Preparatory School, Luther Prep now serves high school-age students. The transition to the preparatory school was finalized during a ceremony in the school's gymnasium which included the school's opening service, dedication of the expanded facility, installation of the staff and ordination of several staff members.   WDT



03 06     Professor Ron Hahm, Latin instructor, also for Watertown High School   WDT


2003      Luther Preparatory School

03 08     A local teacher will be trading in her school books for a uniform to proudly serve her country.  Hedy Gnewuch, 26, a teacher at Luther Prep in Watertown, is also a member of the 1158th Transportation Company of the Army National Guard in Black River Falls which has been called to active duty.  She has been ordered to report to Fort McCoy in Black River Falls on March 15.  After spending a week receiving shots and new uniforms, her unit will be deployed but the destination of the deployment is classified information.  “We won’t know until the plane lands.  So as far as leaving my family and friends in the dark, they will be for awhile,” Gnewuch said, adding she could be gone a minimum of one year to a maximum of two years.   WDT



08 09&17             Luther Prep football facility is upgraded  [WHS_005_553]   A new press box, concession and rest room facility is the centerpiece of an ongoing upgrade to the athletic facilities at Luther Preparatory School.  On September 17 Luther Prep dedicated the football complex.  WDT



03 26     Professor/Rev. Cyril Spaude, 1930-2008.  He served as professor of Greek and Hebrew at Northwestern College from 1966 to 1995.  Upon retirement from NWC served in WELS ministries including St. Mark's  WDT

10 01     Homecoming game played on a Friday night and under the lights, for the first time    WDT



               Daniel M. Deutschlander:  The Theology of the Cross:  Reflections on His Cross and Ours

02 20     Luther Prep String Ensemble participated in St. Mark’s dedication of new school, music center   WDT

08 24     2009-10 school year registration; total of 353 students in the 9th through 12th grade college preparatory high school   WDT

10 31     Ron Hahm to be inducted into hall of fame; former Northwestern Prep and Luther Prep head football coach   WDT



04 10     Meinhardt Raabe, famous munchkin, NWC grad, dead at 94   WDT



07 22     WELS Biennial Convention held on campus; 400 delegates attended   WDT



10 12       Show to honor Luther Prep auditorium

Milwaukee-native Fricke, the cousin of Trinity-St. Luke’s Principal Jim Moeller and the late Watertown Rev. Jim Fricke, will lead the performance, which features show tunes from productions that graced the Luther Prep auditorium stage.  The performance will happen on Sunday, Oct. 21, 100 years and one day after the Luther Prep auditorium was dedicated.   WDTimes article



06 15         


08 24       Professor Nathan Scharf is a professor at Luther Preparatory School.  Scharf serves as recruitment director at Luther Prep.  He is a West Allis native but attended Luther Prep as a high school student to study for the ministry before attending Martin Luther College and Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary.  He and his wife, Hannah, live in Watertown with their three children.  Scharf’s family has a deep heritage in the city of Watertown.  He and his father, Ralph, worked at the Watertown pool before entering the ministry.  His grandfather, Erwin, taught at Northwestern College and Prep until his retirement. His grandmother, Irene, worked at Bethesda Lutheran Homes for many years before her retirement.   WDT



Image Portfolio

Click upon to enlarge

   1902, from Picturesque Watertown booklet


                  1965, aerial view of campus


                  Weltburger, 07 26 1890, drawing



  1911, Dining hall



Cross References

               Schoenike home at 423 College Ave torn down during expansion (WHS00003)

               Max Gaebler, one of the first three students to enter Northwestern College

               College seal

               Prof John Henry Ott

               Weltbuerger Printing Co. printed the Northwestern College monthly magazine, The Black and Red, as well as the college high school paper.