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Biography of Bertha Louise Ahrens

Bertha Louise Ahrens (B. Feb. 26, 1857), missionary teacher among the Choctaw Freedmen of Indian Territory since 1885, and principal teacher at Oak Hill Academy, 1905-1911, is a native of Berlin, Prussia. Her parents, Otto and Augusta Ahrens, in 1865, when she was 8, and a brother Otto 5, came to America and located on a farm near Sigourney, Iowa, after one year at Bellville, Illinois; and four, at Harper, Iowa. The schools and Churches first attended used the German language. Her first studies in English were in the graded schools at Sigourney and here at seventeen, she became a member of the Presbyterian Church under the pastorate of Rev. S. G. Hair. He loaned her some missionary literature to read and it awakened a desire on her part to become a missionary. This desire was expressed to the Women’s Missionary society of the Church and she was encouraged to attend the Western Female Seminary, now college, at Oxford, Ohio. After a course of study at this institution she enjoyed a year’s training in the Bible school connected with Moody’s Chicago Avenue Church, Chicago. During the next year, after hearing in her home town an appeal in behalf of a Negro school in the south, she was led to offer her services to the Presbyterian Board of Missions for Freedmen. In December 1885, she received a commission with request to locate among the Choctaw Freedmen at Lukfata, in the southeast part of Indian Territory. The route at that early date was quite circuitous. Going south through Kansas City over the M. K. T. Ry., to Denison, Texas, she passed...

Biographical Sketch of Mrs. John Claypool

Mrs. John Claypool, matron 1908-9, the successor of Adelia Eaton, came from membership in the class of Mrs. A. W. Crawford of the First Presbyterian Church of San Diego, California. Her work is gratefully remembered for its uniform faithfulness and efficiency, and the sweet beneficent influence exerted by the noble womanhood and manhood of herself and husband, previously employed in a bank, who also came and remained with her at the institution. Through the aid of the latter, the profit on the poultry was greater that year, than in any other. The garden that year was greatly enlarged and surrounded with a new fence. He nailed the pales on the panels and they remain as a memento of his interest and handiwork. The fact that she represented one of the Churches giving most loyal and liberal support to the Academy, and was thus a living link connecting the work of the institution with the many friends, supporting it on the Pacific Coast, gave to her work an additional charm that was greatly appreciated. They are now living in...

Biography of Adelia M. Eaton

Adelia M. Eaton was the second daughter of Harvey Eaton, one of the hardy, prosperous pioneer farmers of Pocahontas County, Iowa. She grew to womanhood on the farm, where she learned to be industrious and earnest.

Biography of Mary I. Weimer

Mary I. Weimer, who served as matron 1909 to 1911, a native of Port Royal, Pennsylvania, came to Oak Hill from Knox, in the Devils Lake Region of North Dakota; where, after a course of preparation at the state teachers college at Fargo, she achieved an unusual degree of success, both as a teacher and manager of affairs on the farm. These interests prevented her from coming the previous year when first solicited. At the Academy she rendered a service so efficient and faithful as to merit the gratitude of all. After the loss of the Girls’ Hall, which occurred during her first year, when all of its occupants were deprived of comfortable quarters, the fear was entertained she would want to be excused from further service. Instead of pursuing this course she became one of our best counselors and helpers in the effort to provide for the comfort of herself and the girls, and keep the latter from returning home at that critical period. The superintendent will never cease to be grateful for her favorable decision at this trying hour, and the self-denial she voluntarily proposed to undergo, in order to make it possible, to continue the work of the institution. It was the period when Mrs. Flickinger was a helpless invalid at Fonda, patiently awaiting the return of her husband, with daily anxiety. He could not leave, however, until the cellar excavation and concrete walls of the building had been completed. This done, Samuel Folsom was ready to serve as foreman of the carpenters, in the erection of the new building, and it fell to the lot...

Biography of Malinda A. Hall

Malinda A. Hall rendered six years of faithful and efficient service as assistant matron, and teacher. Having completed the grammar course at Oak Hill in 1900, and then a four years course at Ingleside Seminary in Virginia, she was well prepared for the work at the Academy, and proved a very reliable and valuable helper. She was capable and always willing, when requested, to supply any vacancy occurring among the other helpers. She enjoyed good health, and never lost a day from illness. Her strength and energy enabled her to execute promptly and efficiently, every work entrusted to her. Her work throughout was characterized by a never failing promptness, faithfulness and energy. She was familiar with the needs and traits of her people, was thoroughly devoted to the promotion of their best interests, and her suggestions were always gratefully received. The ability and enthusiasm of her work, as the teacher of a large class in the Sunday school and leader of the young people in their Endeavor meetings, will never be forgotten by those, who came within the sphere of her voice and influence. Since her marriage in 1911 to William Stewart she has been devoting her time and attention to the improvement of their home on the farm near Valliant. She is needed on the farm, but the thought lingers, that there continues to be a great need for her services in the educational work among her people. Miss Hall’s exploits, as a sharpshooter with her own gun, during her first year as a teacher at Oak Hill, indicate her responsiveness to the spirit of chivalry that prevailed...

Biography of Mary A. Flickinger

Mrs. Flickinger is gratefully remembered for five years of untiring service as assistant superintendent of Oak Hill Industrial Academy. The sphere of her observation and suggestion included all the women’s work in the buildings, occupied by the students, and the special care of the garden and Boy’s Hall. In connection with this daily oversight, there was always manifested a feeling of personal responsibility, to carry to completion at the end of the day, any unfinished work, that would otherwise prevent some of the larger girls from enjoying the privileges of the school, during the evening study hour. Trained in her youth to execute speedily all the kinds of work, usually required on a well arranged farm, and also as a sewer and nurse, one proved a very valuable helper. She became the home physician, administering the medicines and caring for the sick. Her method of treatment included the prevention of some of the milder, but common forms of disease, by the regular administration of some inexpensive antidotes. These two principles were frequently expressed: “Self-preservation is the first law of nature,” and “Prevention is better than cure.” The young people were also encouraged to learn, how to keep and intelligently use, a few simple remedies in the home. She and her husband are both natives of Port Royal, Juniata County, Pa., and their marriage occurred there, June 20, 1878. They have filled pastorates at Doe Run, Pennsylvania, Walnut, and Fonda, Iowa. They raised the funds and secured the erection of Churches at Marne, Fonda, Pomeroy and Varina, Iowa; and a commodious parsonage at Fonda. He has served as a trustee...
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