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June 27, 2022
June 24, 2022
Wednesday, February 23, 2022 5:31 PM
NORTH MANCHESTER – One of the last relics removed from the University of Manchester administration building was the 1889 cornerstone of Bumgerdner Hall at what was then North Manchester College.
Last week the cornerstone was moved to the reception area of the Neher Maintenance Center, where it lay on a pallet for several days and received a few visitors, according to a press release from Manchester College.
Then on Friday morning, longtime maintenance technician Andy Brown was on the stairs nearby and noticed that a square section at the bottom of the cornerstone was a different color than the stone.
“I wondered,” he said, “Could this be a time capsule?”
He approached and saw that the section looked like tin. When he touched it, the lid opened and some of the contents fell out. There were journals, written lists and small books.
Everything inside the box dated from 1889, the year Roanoke Classical Seminary founded by the United Brethren Church in Roanoke, moved to North Manchester and changed its name. Bumgerdner Hall stood at the east end of what was later called the administration building. The building on College Avenue had a central portion which was constructed in 1920, connecting the 1889 building to the 1895 Bible School building at the west end.
“One of the best things for me is that we found a handwritten list of teachers and a list of students,” said Manchester Archivist Jeanine Wine, who carried the fragile finds in an archive storage box from the maintenance center to the archive area in Funderburg. Library.
Wine carefully spread the objects out on a table, looking at the names and making connections, making plans.
An exciting discovery was the name of a student, Silvanues L. Heeter, possibly written in his own handwriting. Heeter’s family conducted genealogical research tracing their relative’s educational history from Indiana to Minneapolis, where he worked as an assistant superintendent of schools.
There are several items related to family members of Manchester’s first president, David N. Howe, and the United Brethren Church.
There are newspapers, including The Voice, proclaiming “Prohibition’s Success”, the North Manchester Journal, and periodicals, including The Highway of Holiness published by the Holiness Association of United Brethren in Christ, The Union Signal and the Religious Telescope. Each journal is labeled with the name of a person, possibly who donated it.
There were two small books describing the government of the United Brethren in Christ church, one from JM Baker, the pastor of Laketon. Also included were a program from the Philophronean Literary Society, a postage stamp, a program from an organ concert, damaged pieces, and a photo of Fern Williams, whose name also appears on the student list.
“As we look at these items, it’s an opportunity to honor Manchester’s rich history and recognize that it was the people who helped establish our legacy,” said chairman Dave McFadden, a Manchester graduate in 1982. “President David Howe—who rolled up his sleeves and led construction crews—and generations of students, faculty, staff, and alumni make us who we are today and what we will be for generations to come.”
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