The Huenemanns and Lakeland

In doing some research to refresh my memory on the specifics of our family history connected with Lakeland, I've learned that for a period of about 30+ years, beginning in 1913 with my grandfather, a Huenemann was attending Lakeland, at the time called Mission House. My grandfather's name was William. He went to college and seminary at Mission House. With four growing children and more on the way, he sold his farm in Waukon, Iowa to be able to study. He subsequently became an ordained minister in the German Reformed Church of the time and served for awhile as pastor at the Town Herman church near campus around 1921. Eventually he raised a family of 13 children. The change of his life work underpinned by the education he received at Mission House influenced the values and life of his family for generations to come.

My grandfather's time at Mission House was soon followed by my oldest uncle, Ruben Huenemann (who went to the Academy graduating in 1926, and returned for seminary in the 1930s), and later by my father Edward (who graduated from college in 1943, and attended seminary 1944-45), and his brothers Calvin ( who graduated in 1937), Lawrence ( who graduated from college in 1944 and attended seminary in 1945) and William Huenemann (who graduated from college in 1948, and seminary in 1951) and by Robert Volkert (who graduated from seminary in 1946; his wife was Dorothea Huenemann, the youngest sister). Lawrence's wife Mary Lou Hugunin attended the college in 1941-43, and my mother Gladys Frances Oesau also attended college for two years, 1943 to 1945. Ruth Huenemann, the oldest sister, studied three years at the Mission House Academy around 1924, and Miriam another sister studied at the Academy for one year. In addition, the father of Calvin's wife Adele was a professor at Mission House seminary for about 20+ years beginning in the late 20s or early 30s; his name was Dr. Karl Ernst. William (my uncle) and Mary Lou and G. Frances (my mother) are still living; the others have passed away.

My Uncle Ruben became the first president of the seminary when it separated from Lakeland to become established as an independent UCC school in New Brighton, Minnesota, now called United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. He was a UCC pastor, as were my Uncle Bill (William) and Bob (Robert Volkert). My father Edward and my uncle Lawrence were ordained in the Presbyterian Church. Eventually my father chaired the Department of Religion at Hanover College in Indiana and later became Associate for Theological Studies at the national headquarters of the United Presbyterian Church USA at the Interchurch Center in New York. My Uncle Calvin did not follow the religious path of his brothers and earned a PhD in English from the University of Wisconsin, later becoming the chair of the Division of Language and Literature at the state university in Kirksville, Missouri. Ruth became one of the first women to earn a PhD at Harvard, and had a distinguished academic career in public health at the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley, retiring in 1977. Miriam was married and became a full time wife and mother.


Kathryn Huenemann Habib

Submitted Photos:
(click to enlarge)
no attached files

Random Story
Share This Story