A HANDSHAKE THAT HELPED START A COLLEGE
During this coming school year Tabor College will be celebrating its 75th anniversary. A description of the beginning of this Mennonite Brethren College is given in a biography of Peter C. Hiebert, one of the founders and long-time professors of the school. Written by Wesley Prieb, this biography will be published by the Center for M.B. Studies in Hillsboro.
The idea for a college began on the honeymoon of the P. C. Hieberts. Their wedding day was January 1, 1907 and the wedding transpired in the Ebenfeld Church near Hillsboro, Kansas. Following their wedding, the Hieberts took the train from Hillsboro for their honeymoon trip to McPherson, Kansas, some 25 miles distant. While the young couple was on their honeymoon in McPherson, they visited Mr. and Mrs. H.W. Lohrenz, who had also been married recently. Henry Lohrenz was a student at McPherson College. During their visit the young visionaries discussed the possibility of starting a Mennonite Brethren school. They shared their ideas and encouraged each other to get involved in a bold venture. In his memoirs P.C. Hiebert recounts what occurred:
We gave each other the right hand of fellowship, pledging mutually that we would work together to build up the educational work among our Mennonite Brethren churches. We parted. I went to the West coast to do evangelistic work, and he continued his education, and we started promoting the movement that should build a college.
UNTERHALTUNGSBLATT NOW COMPLETE
A recent acquisition in the Center for M.B. Studies in Winnipeg has been a microfilm copy of the entire Unterhaltungsblatt. This periodical, which was primarily an agricultural paper, was published by the German community in south Russia. Its importance for Mennonites is that it is the first periodical, in Russia, in which articles by and about Mennonites appeared. Beginning in 1846 and ending in 1862, it contains articles by such prominent Mennonite agriculturalists as Johann Cornies. Also included in this acquisition are the first five years, 1863-1867, of the Odessaer Zeitung, the successor to the Unterhaltungsblatt.