NORWAY-L Archives

Archiver > NORWAY > 1999-03 > 0922097153

From: Neil A Hofland <>
Subject: Re: Lutheran Seminary-Chicago
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 1999 10:05:53 +0000

Hi Roger,

On Sun, 21 Mar 1999 13:44:21 EST writes:
>Hi, My grandfather Lewis M. Olson started, but not completing, Lutheran
seminary in Chicago sometime in the period of 1885 to 1894. I am
wondering how I could identify which Seminary it was, and if possible to
get information from the seminary. I have explored all the options I can
think of. Does anyone else have any ideas?>

First let me point out that seminary has a different connotation now than
100 years ago. We, or at least I, think of a seminary as some sort of
school training ministers. 100 years ago the term meant a school of
higher learning, like college does today. It is true those training to
be ministers attended, got their basic higher education, and then took
special courses to become ministers. But most of the students were just
what we would call college students today. They had no plan to become
ministers but wanted a higher education.

I don't know what Lutheran seminary your grandfather attended in Chicago
sometime during the period of 1885 to 1894. I have a list of all 75
Norwegian Lutheran Academies and Seminaries that have existed and when.
There were none operating in Chicago during this time period, so it must
have been a Swedish or Danish Lutheran seminary.

When I first read your message I was ready to respond that it was
probably Augustana, but then I checked. Augustana started in Chicago but
moved to Paxton, Ill. in 1863 when the Illinois Central Railroad offered
them some free land. In 1869 the Norwegians and Danes broke away and
formed a new school named Augsburg in Marshall, Wisconsin. A few years
later another split occurred between the Norwegians and Danes and the
Norwegians moved Augsburg to Minneapolis, where it still is.

Perhaps the Swedes later moved Augustana back to Chicago or opened a
branch there. I just don't know. Maybe somebody in Chicago can solve


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