Rev. Holmes Dysinger has for the past twelve years been connected with the Western Theological Seminary of the Lutheran Church at Atchison, and since 1910 had been dean of the seminary. He had spent more than thirty years in the work of the church as a minister and as an educator, and had been connected with prominent schools and pastorates in nearly all parts of the country.
Mr. Dysinger is of an old Pennsylvania family and was born at Mifflin, that state, March 26, 1853. The Dysingers’ original home was in Southern Germany. They came across the ocean and settled in Pennsylvania not long after William Penn planted his colony there. Joseph Dysinger, father of Rev. Dr. Dysinger, was born in Juniata County, Pennsylvania, in 1824, and for seventy years was a resident of Walker Township in that county. In early years he followed contracting but later was a farmer. He finally retired to Mifflin and died in that Pennsylvania city in November, 1904. Politleally he was a democrat and a very active member of the Lutheran Church. Joseph Dysinger married Mary A. Patterson, who was born in Walker Township, Juniata County, near Mifflin, in 1831. She is now living at the venerable age of eighty-six, at Atchison. A brief record of the seven children is: Austin, who was a teacher and died at Ottawa, Illinois, in January, 1905; Holmes; George W., a practicing dentist at Minneapolis, Minnesota; James H., a teacher living at Los Angeles, California; William S., pastor of the First Lutheran Church at Los Angeles; Sarah Catherine, who died in infancy; and Samuel P., manager of a planing mill and resident of Los Angeles.
Rev. Dr. Dysinger was educated primarily in the rural schools of Juniata County, Pennsylvania. He also attended the Airy View Academy at Port Royal in his native state, and in 1878 was graduated A. B. from Pennsylvania College at Gettysburg. In preparation for the ministry of his church he continued his studies in the Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, graduating in 1881 and in the same year receiving the degree Master of Arts from the college. Doctor Dysinger was ordained a Lutheran minister in 1883. He had benefited by extensive opportunities at home and abroad, was a student at Leipsic, Germany, and did post-graduate work in connection with the University of Chicago in 1906 and in Leipsic, Germany, in 1910. In 1889 he received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Wittenberg College at Springfield, Ohio, and that of LL. D. from Midland College, Atchison, Kansas, in 1917.
For five years he taught in the public schools of Pennsylvania, in the preparatory department of Gettysburg College four years, one year in North Carolina College, five years at Newberry College in South Carolina, and for four years was cinnected with the Lutheran Theological Seminary of the South at Newberry, South Carolina. Doctor Dysinger was president of Carthage College at Carthage, Illinois, from 1888 to 1895, and from that year to 1900 filled the pastorate of the Lutheran Church at Polo, Illinois. He was in active pastoral work for ten years. In 1900-02 he was pastor of the First Lutheran Church of Kansas City and until 1905 had charge of the church at Vandergrift, Pennsylvania. Doctor Dysinger entered the faculty of the Western Theological Seminary at Atchison in 1905. In 1910 he was made dean. Since coming to Atchison he had bought a home at 938 South Fourth Street. Doctor Dysinger in politics is independent.
On September 22, 1886, at Blairsville, Pennsylvania, he married Ada Frances Ray, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Ray, both now deceased. Her father, who died at the age of ninety years, was active in mercantile affairs at Blairsville for over seventy years and much of the time was head of a large firm doing business there. Mr. and Mrs. Dysinger have five children: Mary Ray, who graduated A. B. from Midland College at Atchison in 1909 and is now librarian of the college; Cornelia, who graduated A. B. from Midland in 1911, and is still at home with her parents; Margaret Louise, who graduated A. B. from Wilson College at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, is now the wife of Dr. C. F. Malmberg, a member of the faculty and professor of philosophy in Thiel College at Greenville, Pennsylvania; Helen Frances, a student in Midland College; and Dorothy Holmes, who attends the Atchison public schools.