Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.
This has been a study group with various topics discussed at monthly meetings, and programs or lessons on the Bible, religious topics or history, prepared by the members. When possible a priest has been present to give assistance with the study material. For many years, each Christmas, clothing and toys were sent to St. James Orphanage in Lincoln, and once a year clothing was gathered for the Pope's Warehouse. It has also been a social club with a Christmas dinner and a picnic as some of the outside activities. In July, 1982 we had an anniversary dinner for our members to celebrate our 50 years in existence. We have been meeting once a month, 10 months of the year, continually for 51 years. A Rosary for World Peace is recited at each meeting, and the members answer roll call with a current item for discussion. We have relaxed the study part of our meetings a little in recent years, but a short program on some religious subject or question is given each month by one of the members, and discussed by the group.
We have only eleven members now, all long-time members. Eileen Kudrna is the only one of the charter members still active in the club, and is the current President. Vice President for 1983 is Marie Townsley, and Secretary-Treasurer is Charlotte Banks. Other members are Edme Bachand, Harriet Blair, Edna Haba, Adeline Hohl, Emma Hohl, Edith Miller, Agnes Ruzicka and Lucille Svoboda.
THE ALTAR SOCIETY
The Altar Society of St. Wenceslaus Church, Wahoo, was once known as the Altar and Rosary Society. But since there is now a Rosaries for the Missions Club, the group is known as the Altar Society.
This Society was organized in Czechoslovakia and was brought to St. Wenceslaus Parish by Mrs. Frank (Marie) Simodynes, daughter of John and Rosalie Cernik, in 1875. Some of the descendants of this family still carry on this work, as faithful members of this group.
The members meet quarterly. The dues are $1 a year and they have a "Bakeless Bake Sale" once a year. The members can donate $3 instead of baking. With this they purchase supplies for the Sanctuary.
The ladies also serve funeral dinners, make and roll bandages, sew hospital gowns, and as a group, pray the Rosary for a departed member. Several volunteer members also launder the Altar linens and care for the flowers, as an ongoing project.
Devoted members of the Altar Society have served this parish since its founding over 100 years ago.
The present officers are: Rosalie Noha, President; Helen Malousek, Vice President; Agnes Ludvik, Treasurer; and Celestine Bouc, Secretary.
Wahoo Catholic Daughters of the Americas Court Our Lady of Peace 1956 was organized in January, 1966 under sponsorship of Msgr. Daniel Cooper, V.F. It is affiliated with National Catholic Daughters in New York City, N.Y., which is the governing body and sets by-laws for Courts all over the United States. The National Court sends guidelines to State level for special projects and charities. Originally the "Daughters of Isabella," this is a sister-organization to the Knights of Columbus. The name was officially changed to Catholic Daughters of America in April, 1921. Membership is open to all practicing Roman Catholic women eighteen years of age and older, for their moral, spiritual and intellectual improvement. This is a non-profit organization with many diversified programs. The Nebraska State Court has several District Deputies who work with courts in their region on a local level. Officers are elected at the biennial convention.
The Wahoo Court was invested with 43 Charter-members on January 30, 1966, under District Deputy Gladys Yindrich with Regent Anne Birkel of San Salvador Court, David City officiating, and State Regent Mrs. Emil Janssen of Crofton president. Edmie Bachand was elected first Regent of the new Court. Lillian Hradsky was Vice Regent. Msgr. Daniel Cooper was appointed Court-Chaplain. The Court meets on the last Monday evening of each month, except July and August, in St. Wenceslaus Church, Wahoo. Their main charity is an October auction of crafts, plants and baked goods. Proceeds have been sent to Indian Missions, Venezuelan Missions, Father Ritter's Covenant House, and Mother Theresa to name a few. Clergy Consultant for the Court is appointed by Bishop Glennon P. Flavin of Lincoln, and has traditionally been assistant Pastor at St. Wenceslaus, Wahoo. Father Douglas Fuller is currently serving in this position. Monthly bingo parties at the Wahoo Care Center are also sponsored by members. A special Memorial mass is offered in November for deceased members. The annual Christmas potluck-supper is an occasion to collect toys for needy children. Officers are elected in May to serve a two-year term. Present Regent is Helen Malousek. Past Regents include Edmie Bachand, Lillian Hradsky, Inez Barry, Helen Malousek, Agnes Hajek, Jacqueline Frahm and Maxine Masek. There are now 65 members in the Court.
The City of Wahoo first acquired the K of H Cemetery or what is commonly called "Sunrise Cemetery" in 1911 from Samuel and Minnie Reppert for $900.00. It had previously been owned for many years by Frank R. Scheel. The K of H in the legal name stands for Knights of Honor. This was an early-day fraternal organization that was active in Wahoo. Additional land was acquired through the years to enlarge the cemetery from the Berggren Estate. In 1977, Sunrise North was acquired and a new cemetery started. This land was purchased from Vernon and Helen Schmidt.
Wahoo or Greenwood Cemetery at the north edge of town is a very early cemetery in Wahoo. The City did not acquire it until 1912 from John R. and Mary D. Lee and Robert S. and Christina Lee for $500.00. There are many unmarked graves in this cemetery. Legend has it that the early graves were marked with wooden crosses and a prairie fire swept through the cemetery destroying all the crosses. Apparently no records were kept or else were lost. There have not been any additions made to this cemetery although burials are still occasionally made.
As soon as a rude shanty or sodhouse on the plain was built, the Swedish Lutheran people of Nebraska planned for a congregation and a church. In less than twenty years they were ready for the second step, an institution of higher education.
This is what Rev. J.P. Nyquist said at the founding of Luther Academy: "We will lay the Bible as the deepest foundation for the building, for the beginning of the school, for the beginning of all learning, for the beginning of every day's work -- and for the continuing of the special parts of the institution's work. But we don't mean to make proselytes of our pupils. Those belonging to our churches we intend to educate in their mother faith and to be good citizens. Others may continue to be what they are, but our zeal shall be to show the worth of the Bible and what Jesus is and has done for every human being. A good Christian is a good citizen."
On March 10, 1883, it was decided to establish the church school at Wahoo as ten acres of land and $10,000 had been given in subscriptions. The corner stone of the first building, a wing only of the proposed structure, was laid July 23, 1883, and the building was dedicated Nov. 10th the same year, the 400 anniversary of Martin Luther's birth. This building was called "Old Brick" and was destroyed by fire on Feb. 1, 1917. School opened Oct. 18th in one of the students' rooms with one teacher and five pupils. Dr. Martin Noyd was called as the first President and the first teacher. Dr. S.M. Hill soon came as the second teacher and during the first school year 37 enrolled.
In the summer of 1895 the second building was erected. This became a Ladies dormitory and the rectory. For many years the ratio of boys to girls was 4 to 1. Each year brought more students so in 1892 the third building was built, old West Hall. The first part was the old Saunders County Court house that was moved up on the campus. In 1905, it was enlarged to more than three times its former size.
In 1902, Dr. O.J. Johnson became president and through his energetic work "Old Main" was built in 1903 and the school prospered. The Business department expanded and a fine Music department was developed. It was during this time that Dr. Howard Hanson was a student and he later wrote in speaking of Wahoo, "People who are brought up on Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Grieg and Lutheran chorales can hardly be musically illiterate."
The name Luther Academy was changed to Luther College in 1909 when the Advanced Normal Course was introduced, adding two years of regular college work. It was accredited by the North Central Association and was in good standing until the end.
Dr. A.T. Seashore was president from 1914 until 1934. East Hall, the girls dormitory was built in 1923. After his death came Dr. Paul Lindberg, Rev. Floyd Lauerson, Rev. Theodore Johnson, Dr. Robert Nemeschy and finally Rev. Martin Ringstrom.
The Rectory and the old gymnasium were built in 1916. In 1952, the Herman Nelson Science Hall and gymnasium was built and the last building was South Hall, a men's dorm in 1955.
Much could be written about each of the fine departments, such as the Teacher-Training, the Art. dept, Public Speaking, Physical Education, and all Sciences. But perhaps it was the Music department that gave the most pleasure to the most people. For many years the Messiah was given and many prominent soloists came from afar to sing with the chorus. There were many piano, organ, vocal and instrumental recitals given that the public could attend. The Chaminade and Luthermen choruses took tours and sang in many states. One can't forget the daily Chapel hour, Bible studies, Missionary Societies and Prayer meetings.
Through all of these years the school struggled for money. The church supported them and so did many individuals, but it would never have continued for the seventy nine years if it hadn't been for the many, many fine and dedicated teachers who gave their all to the preservation of the school. The real history of Luther is written in the lives of those who came as students and then left as dedicated Christians to work in all walks of life.
In 1959, the last Senior Academy class graduated and that department was dropped. In 1962, the Lutheran Church of America was formed and as a result Luther merged with Midland College in Fremont and the campus was closed.
JOHN F. KENNEDY COLLEGE
John F. Kennedy College was a non-sectarian, co-educational, private and independent college which, in April 1965, was named for the 35th President of the United States. Housed in the facilities of the 75-year-old Luther Junior College, John F. Kennedy College was born in the fall of 1965.
The campus of approximately thirty acres covers the highest point of the city and is plentifully graced with flowering and non-flowering trees and shrubs. The buildings are located on the outer edges of the campus leaving a park like atmosphere in the center.
Raymond Greenhalgh, the first president, and a group of devoted townspeople serving on the first board of trustees held firmly to the belief that higher education must be based upon individual attention. At the start, 182 students enrolled. They came from 16 states, and the District of Columbia, and the next year the enrollment was up -- way up. With a student-faculty ratio of twenty to one, the student was in constant contact and direct communication with the professor in both the classroom and the informal gathering experience.
In the third year, Ted Dillow, who became the President, immediately informed the college staff, faculty, and community that the college was already in severe financial straits, and that he would be seeking additional trustees from outside the local area, which he did. Even though the financial plight continued the college went on to gain national acclaim primarily through its women's sports programs.
In 1970, the JFK Patriettes went to the finals of the National Amateur Athletic Union basketball playoffs. Two years later, they won the championship. The next year they were asked to participate in a State Department cultural exchange tour of Mainland China.
The college also hosted two international invitational tournaments in Omaha with teams representing Mexico, Canada, and the Republic of China (Taiwan).
JFK girls' softball teams won the Women's Softball College World Series in 1969, 1970, and 1971.
Unfortunately, to balance the good years, there were also major disappointments. Fires in 1971 destroyed two major buildings -- the faculty office and cafeteria building and Old Main housing the administrative offices, classrooms, the chapel-theatre and the library.
The college was scissored by increasing costs and declining enrollment. Faculty and staff continued without salary for months at a time at several different intervals; they continued to hold on because they believed in what they were doing. Then in July, 1975, when hope of financial recovery was impossible, the trustees voted to close the college and file for bankruptcy.
There is no monument to those who founded JFK or to those who struggled to keep it alive and productive, but the graduates, faculty, staff, trustees and friends of the college can look back and know, that because of their high hopes and dedication, many of their worthwhile endeavors were accomplished. Submitted by Connie Dillow
The revival of Wahoo's old college campus as a treatment center for alcohol/drug abusers began in early 1983. The centennial observance of the campus will be combined with a grand opening for CAMEL CENTER INC.
Along with outpatient treatment, counseling services and intervention, the privately owned thirty-day residential facility is expected to attract clientele from Nebraska and surrounding states. The fees are very competitive to other centers, and are much lower than hospital-sponsored programs.
Treatment techniques include the philosophy of Alcoholic Anonymous, problem recognition, a behavior change process, a concepts workshop and rational /emotive self-help techniques -- all of which teach the clients how to enjoy an alcohol/ drug free lifestyle. Family participation/counseling is highly encouraged.
Camel Center is staffed with experienced counselors and excellent supporting personnel, many who reside in the Wahoo area.
WAHOO PUBLIC SCHOOL
|New West Ward School|
|Old West Ward School, Wahoo, Nebr.|
In the spring of 1954, the taxpayers voted $243,000 in bonds to erect the new West Ward building and to build additions to the North Ward and the High School. The West Ward building cost approximately $175,000. The equipment for the building was purchased through a Federal grant allotted to the district because of the number of Ordnance Plant children being educated by the district.
On the site of the present Civic Center there was a one-room school which began at about the same time as West Ward. This was known as Central and remained until 1948 when it was cleared away to make room for the present gymnasium.
The first High School was a two-story frame building with three rooms on the first floor and three on the second. The story is told of Supreme Court Judge Reese, who in the early eighties was attending