A Narrative History
The People of Iowa
SPECIAL TREATMENT OF THEIR CHIEF ENTERPRISES IN
EDUCATION, RELIGION, VALOR, INDUSTRY,
EDGAR RUBEY HARLAN, LL. B., A. M.
Curator of the
Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa
THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Inc.
Chicago and New York
AUGUST ENGELBRECHT, a distinguished figure in the educational life of Iowa, has been since 1890 connected with the Wartburg Normal College at Waverly, and since 1909 has been president of that institution. He is well known over the country in Lutheran Church circles, having for twelve years served as general treasurer of the Synod and member of the Synod board of education. Professor Engelbrecht has constantly sought to raise and broaden the standards of instruction in the Normal College, and at the same time the school has enjoyed a very progressive administration in the amplification and improvement of its physical plant. Since he became president a number of buildings have been added to the campus, including Wartburg Hall, Grossmann Hall, gymnasium, several houses for professors and extension to North Hall. The latest
improvement is the erection, in 1925-26, of Luther Hall, which is a beautiful appointed and modernly equipped Adminstration Building. Professor Engelbrecht comes from a gifted family. Musical talent has been strongly in evidence in his own family, and his father was a gifted musician.
August Engelbrecht was born in the Province of Hesse, Germany, April 8, 1862, son of Henry and Marie (Knaus) Engelbrecht. His father was a farmer, and well known in the affairs of his German community, serving as municipal
treasurer and was leader of an orchestra. He died in 1873. In the same year the widowed mother, accompanied by four of her children, came to America to join her oldest son, Simon, then a contractor at Iowa City, but who died in 1917, at Buffalo Gap, South Dakota, where he owned a large ranch. Mrs. Marie Engelbrecht died in 1881. The other children still living are Fred S. a farmer at Conover, Wisconsin, and Mrs. Lizzie Shermer, of Keystone, South Dakota.
August Engelbrecht was eleven years of age when he came to America. He had
attended the popular schools in Germany and continued his education in the
parish and public schools at Iowa City. He was a student in Wartburg College at
Mendota, Illinois, and also attended the Teachers Seminary, now the Wartburg
Normal College at Waverly. Professor Engelbrecht had eight years of experience as a teacher in Lutheran parochial schools, at Paducah, Kentucky, Defiance, Ohio, and Chicago. In 1890 he accepted the call of the Synod to return to the Normal College at Waverly. Since 1882, in a period of forty-eight years, he lost only a day and a half from his school work until the winter of 1929. Professor Engelbrecht served his Synod for twelve years as general treasurer, was president of the board of publications and member of other committees of his church. He has attended the meeting of the North Central Association of Schools, the Iowa State Teachers Association, the National Lutheran Educational Conference and the American Association of Junior College conventions. He is president of the Iowa Junior College Conference, Professor Engelbrecht is an independent in politics, but has been honored with election to the city council of Waverly for twelve years and has served on the finance, light and other important committees. During the World war he was working with the loan and other committees. He is a member of the Rotary Club and the Community Club.
Wartburg Normal College, of which August Engelbrecht is president, is
co-educational institution, owned and controlled by the American Lutheran Church. The school was founded in 1879, by the Rev. George Grossmann, then president of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Iowa and other states, a church body which is now a part of the American Lutheran Church. In 1879 the school began its activities in a small rented building, and now its campus and building represent a value of over $431,000.
The following departments are conducted: Junior College, including a
liberal arts course, a normal course, and a proseminary course, all fully
accredited; the Commerce Department, offering business, stenographic and secretarial courses; the Academic Department, equivalent to a standard four year high school, is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools; the School of Music, offering thorough and sound instruction on all leading instructions, in voice, harmony, chorus and orchestra work. The school owns two modern dormitories, and its laboratories, library and reading room meet the required high standards of a modern school.
Mr. Engelbrecht married Marie Deindoerfer. Her father, Rev. John Deindorerfer, D. D., was a native of Germany, and for many years was president of the Lutheran Synod of Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Engelbrecht have five children. Their son Rev. August W. is pastor of the Lutheran Church at Mendota, Illinois. Edwin G., assistant cashier of the Waverly Savings Bank, was overseas during the World war, with the Medical Corps and also with the artillery. Miss Ella is at home with her parents. Miss Rosa married Rev. H. Schalkhauser, superintendent of the Lutheran Orphans and Old Peoples Home at Toledo, Ohio. Herbert C., science teacher in the Belmond (Iowa) High School, was educated in the Wartburg Normal College and graduated with honors from the University of Iowa in 1929.
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