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Photo Friday: Schooling a Future U.S. President

This slate roster lists the names of those who attended the Abilene Brethren in Christ Church's Sunday school in 1904 -- including future U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower. (Brethren in Christ Historical Library and Archives)

We’ve blogged before (here and here) about President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s connections to the Brethren in Christ Church. Today’s Photo Friday continues that tradition by unearthing a relic: the slate roster used to record the 1904 Sunday school attendance at the Abliene Brethren in Christ Church — the congregation that Ike attended as a child.

There’s not much to note about the roster bearing the future president’s name. It seems that young Ike didn’t have many peers in the Brethren in Christ Sunday school — only six others attended classes with him. And it seems that Ike wasn’t an ideal pupil, at least by the exacting standards of obedient attendance held by the Brethren in Christ — in fourteen weeks, he missed four classes. What might his Sunday school teachers have thought of the would-be Commander-in-Chief?

4 responses to “Photo Friday: Schooling a Future U.S. President

  1. Devin: It may be of interest to you, that DDE was in fact a cousin to the Witter family. Rev. Ray Witter was a preacher in the B.I.C. church, and was featured in an article(s) I recall reading in LIFE magazine in the mid 1950’s. I know this to be true as my grandmother was a friend of the Witter family when she was a young girl, living in Kansas.

  2. Devin, I recently read an interview of Andrew Young conducted by Mary McDonagh Murphy. [pps 206-207, Scout Atticus & Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird 2010]. According to Ambassador Young, when he was in seminary he worked for Adlai Stevenson. Young’s first pastorate was at Thomasville Georgia. Black leadership asked him to run a voter registration drive to encourage people to vote for Ike. When he asked why, he was told that if Eisenhower wins, he will appoint judges who are men of integrity and are the most intelligent people in the South. They figured Stevenson appointees would be Dixiecrats and old segregationists. “So for Georgia in 1956, Eisenhower was my choice. And he didn’t let us down.” Young proceeds to name five Eisenhower appointees whose decisions were important during the civil rights movement.
    Perhaps this facet of the Eisenhower administration is already well known. It was a new discovery for me.

  3. THE REST OF THE ROSTER: I was interested in learning details of the other individuals listed on the slate. Here is what I found: (Errors and omissions are unintentional)

    Nancy Wagaman, teacher
    Nancy H Sollenberger (1853- 1939) married Daniel Senger Wagaman (1849-1924). They had seven children. By 1900 they left the farm and resided in Abilene. The 1910 and subsequent census records indicate D. S Wagaman was a real estate agent. Two sons became merchants. Samuel Leslie was associated with A. L. Duckwall. This Abilene entrepreneur founded a variety store chain “Duckwall’s” now known as ALCO. Daniel Emanuel became the proprietor of a clothing store in Great Bend, Kansas. A third son, Jacob Harry is known as a Bishop of the BIC church in California.

    Irvin Metz
    Irvin Metz (1892 – Hope, Dickinson, Kansas) was the son of Daniel Webster Metz (1841-1902) and Rebecca Leah Shisler (1855-1895). They had nine children. Daniel W. Metz was from Clarence Center, Erie, NY. By 1880 they resided at Garden Plain, Whiteside, IL; by 1885 at Falls City, Richardson, Nebraska. They engaged in farming at these locations. The family experienced much sorrow. The details of their four children laid to rest between 1884-1886 are inscribed on the four sides of a memorial stone at the United Brethren Cemetery near Morrill, Brown, Kansas. Mother Rebecca died at Hope, Dickinson, Kansas in 1895. Some of the children were dispersed to relatives. Father Daniel died at Abilene in 1902. By 1905 Irvin Metz was living in Abilene with his married sister Ida.

    Jno Dayhoff
    John Henry Dayhoff (1891-1982) was born to Harry Wenger Dayhoff (1862-1907) and Elizabeth Martin (1861-1923) at Hope, Dickinson, Kansas. In 1915 he lived with Roy and Beulah Zook Franklin at Buckeye, Dickinson, Kansas. On 16 NOV 1916 he married Erma Irene Brechbill. At the time of the 1917-1918 Draft Registration they lived at Tabor Iowa where hewas a day laborer for the Tabor Cemetery Association. In 1920 they were at Ross, Fremont, Iowa (near Tabor). John was a janitor at Tabor College. From 1925-1930 they were in Dickinson County Kansas where John was first a poultry man and later a truck driver for an oil company. John Dayhoff died in Abilene.

    Laban Stauffer
    Laban Negley Stauffer (1891-1961) was the son of Henry Allen Stauffer (1850- ) and Nancy Negley Stauffer (1864-1942). In 1895 they farmed in Ridge, Dickinson, Kansas. By 1905 they had moved to Abilene where Henry Stauffer was a painter. In 1910 Henry was the proprietor of a hotel in Ramona, Kansas. Laban married Ethel Pearl Sweet 30 April 1913. By 1920 they and their three children resided in Hutchinson Kansas. He was a commercial trucker for an oil company. Laban died in San Bernardino County, California

    Ellen Lenheart
    Numerous Lenherts lived in Dickinson County Kansas. Despite an extensive search I could not locate Ellen Lenheart. “Ellen” may be the 1905 Abilene Sunday School Roster Ella Lenhert. Ella Lenhert (1891- ) was born to John Huntsberger Lenhert (1865-1940) and Katie Gayman Fiss Lenhert (1869-1946) at Abilene, Dickinson, Kansas. The family farmed in Logan, Dickinson, Kansas. In 1900 Ella was “at school”. The next available record, 1910, shows the family in Enid Oklahoma. Ella, 19, is engaged in “gospel work” “everywhere”. Shortly thereafter she married William Henry Fry. They continued to live in Enid. William was a bricklayer. Beginning in 1911, they had eight children.

    Neora Sauer (1889- )
    Neora Sauer was born in Kansas, a daughter of Abner D (1858-1929) and Katherine Elizabeth Strayer Sauer (1857-1935). In 1900 the family was at Enterprise, Dickinson Kansas where Abner was a carpenter and Neora was “in school”. By 1910 they lived in Abilene. Abner was a millwright. Neora, 20 years old, was employed as a teacher.

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