Rev. Clarence W. Spiegel Memoir
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University of Illinois at Springfield Norris L Brookens Library Archives/Special Collections Rev. Clarence W. Spiegel Memoir SP43. Spiegel, Rev. Clarence W. Interview and memoir 1 tape, 90 mins., 18 pp. Spiegel, former professor and counselor at Concordia Lutheran Seminary in Springfield, discusses his arrival at the Seminary; transition from parish pastor to teacher; condition of the Seminary, improvements, and its curriculum. Interview by Norman Langhoff, 1981 OPEN See collateral file Archives/Special Collections LIB 144 University of Illinois at Springfield One University Plaza, MS BRK 140 Springfield IL 62703-5407 © 1981, University of Illinois Board of Trustees Preface 'Ibis manuscript is the product of a taped intel:view carxiucl:e:1 by Norman Ia.D;hoff for the Oral Histozy Office on August 25, 1981. Linda Jett transcribe:i tapes and edited the transcript. Rev. Clarence W. Spiegel, former professor and counselor of married students at Concordia Seminary in Spri:rgfield, Illinois, discusses c:::an.irq to Concordia in 1938 after 14 years as a parish pastor. He discusses his role at conc:ordia and his interaction with the students and their pxoblems. Readers of the oral history llle1l¥)ir should bear in mini that it is a t:t:anscript of the spoken word, and that the interviewer, narrator and editor scu:Jht to pl.'eSerVe the info.tmaJ., conversationa.l style that is inherent in such historical sources. 5anga1oon state university is not responsible for the factual aoouracy of the l't'le!llDir, nor for views expressed therein; these are for the reader to judqe. It may not be '!he manuscript may be read, quoted. and cited freely. repn::x:tucea in Whole or in part by any means, electronic or med:lanical, without penuission in writing fran the Oral History Office, 8an;;JaD¥:m state Unlversity, Spr.i.n:.Jfield, Illinois 62794-9243. Rev. Clarence w. Spiegel, Springfield, Illinois, August 25, 1981. Norman tanghoff, Interviewe:r. Q: I gave you an outline or a list of questions to consider. And Ithink maybe we can start by you just generally giving me the situation as it was, as you recall it When you first came to Sp:rirqfield. A: we hadn't gone into that at all, had we? Q: No, not at all. A: When I came to Sprirgfield in the early part of 1938, this seminary campus was really a site to behold. In fact it was so n.m. down, so neglect:.ed., that I hesitated or I d:readed rather to bring anyof 1tf:! visitors out there to show them the canpJS. It was just too sadof a place. See, we had had a synoclical meeting just before thiswhich had passed a resolution to do SCID8t.h.ing about what was called the :Bul:d, a new' building. '!hat•s the building that you go into when you go towam. the seminary on Enos Avenue. Q: On Enos. From ••• A: .Anci that had three stories and an attic. .Anci in the days When theatt.erdance of the seminary was pretty high they used both of those floors and they used the attic, lTlind you, in that building as a part of the d.ormitoxy. Q: Ch boy. A: It l1lakes your hair st:arXI. You can just imagine what might have happe.nad. And of OCLlrSe, the interior just reflected l'leglect at everytw::n. '!hey had BUOC.'le6d8d just prior to my ca.ni:rq the:t'a in rencvat.i.rgthe l::.uilding to the extent that they took off this attic which had acupola. '!hey teak that off and just made a flat roof over it am lJ!ft us with two stories. And in that operation then we managed to get sane fairly nice cl.asslxx:a1ls on the second floor. But that didn't change m.uch Cl1 the first floor which shawec1 signs of age and use antlneglect. But we had four roams there that could be used as classroans and one of thsm was then used as the science laboratoey. 'lhat building then served until we qot the new building that was over toward Fau:teenth street where the faculty houses were. Q: Okay. I urderstard. A: .Anci as far as the dor.m.itoey oon:iitions were concerned the st.udents lived partly in this building that I have just described and partly in a frame bui.J.d.in;. It was called castle Garden. 'lbat building' had 2 just everythinq in it. It had the libral:y in it ani had the read.irg :room and th.ings like that. It also had dorndtoJ::y space. Arrl then we had this build.in.J at the corner of Enos and Fifteenth Street, had the hospital upstaim, had the dining r<XD. down below. But that of course was also in a very bad state of repair. Eventually it got same attention so that little by little, of course, the canpJS was stretched rut in a very respectable :manner. Arrl it just so happened we had a synodical l'l'l8eti.nq down in st. Icuis that mmmer. And actually frien:ls of mine, you know", that were comin;J t:brough, they would come and stop by on their way to st. I.cuis. 'the convention was in st. I.cuis. '!hey would stop by and I just dreaded to taka them out there to show them the canpJS because it was just . • • Q: '!hat's really interest.irg. You came here. Was that the reason you cama here? Because the ca:q:us was so run down and that or what? A: No, I tell you, that's one of the questions that you had in yourletter ar.d really it's a good question. Because you want to know" what moved me to cane here. Well, the fact of the matter is that that decision was one of the hardest decisions that I ever made. In the first place I never even dreamed that such a thi.nq would happen you see because I hadn•t done anything other than to be a :parish pastor. Q: Hc:M larg had you been in the ministry at that time? A: I had been a :parish pastor for arouni fourteen years. An:i that was my life. I was dedicated to that, you k:nc::w. I'll never forgetthis. In the late part of 1937 I was sitting at the breakfast table and the telephone rang. I answered ard it was Weste.m union. ''We have a telegram for you." I said, "Read it." And she said, "It says, 'You are called as professor to ~i.n:Jfield. '" And I said, "'!bank you," but I was about ready to fl1p, you know". Because I wor:dered, "Now how could this have happened?" I knew' I was on the list. You know, they published the list. See this was over in Cleveland, Ohio. And I figUred nobody over there in Illinois k:nows me. I won't even be considered. So I just dismissed it frcm\ my mind. and never even ga.wit a thought. Didn't even know" or realize that the board of electorates had met and here they had done this thing. And it so happenec1 that a very good f:rierxi of mine, a pastor in Ohio who was a member of the board of electorates had put me over in that meeting, in that vote of the election meeting with the effect that I got the call. And here I had never dane anyt:hing at all which would slightly hint that I had ambitions or the thought that maybe same day I mi~t be called. into sane position like that. Well, you can sort of J.ll'la9'ine what that did to me. 'lhat is, first of all to realize that something like that had ha};;pened. And then the next question was, ''Now what are you go:irq to do about it?'' I don't knc:M that I ever went throughl!nythj.n; like that siege, you k:now, cx:mirq to clarity, c:a:ning to a decision. But ~ythere I was. You see, this was just before 'Ihanlcsqivirq ar.d Just before the Advent Season and the Christmas festivities an:i New Year and all of that, all of those t.h.:irgs that youhave to get ready for. Then I had this tb.in.1 that had to be decided sooner or later. But I sirrply took :my time to do it. And of course my first reaction was, "Well, I'm not confident. I'm not suited to this. I haven't done anything to prepare for it. It's a mistake." (la~ter) I was arguin;J myself into a position, you know, that youjust1fy sayirq flatly, "Fo:t9et about me." But I stayed with it and carried it along ani did 'rtr:l regular work and visitatlon an1 serncnizinq, that was through the Advent season, through Olristmas season, through New Years Eve and New Years Day ani through all of that an:i into Epiphany, you know and there I was weighin:J this ani that and the other and discussirq with different and separate people.And the trouble was 'When I went arourrl to visit 'rtr:f friends-this is Clevelani--they said go. Ani that wasn't what I wanted to hear, youkncM, I wanted them to give me arguments why I should decline the call. Well, to make the stoey short, I finally at long last saw that whether I could un.ierstan:1 it or not or whether Irr:f thoughts coincided or not this llDlS't be the lord's will ani if that's the case, of course, then I have no choice. Arxl so then, as we say in the fear of God I finally sent the word that I had come to a decision that I would get ready and cane aver. Q: Had you been to Sprin;field prior to that time? A: I had been in Sprin:]field as a student at the seminary. When theyhad an anniversaey here ani it happened just durirg the tbne that I was a student there and. a mnnber of us came over just to take in the celebration. Arxi that was the off-harxl glance that I had had of the campus so that I knew generally what it looked like. But of course I had no way at that time being there just for a day, you know, you oame down, mill arourxi with the ClXMd and go hane again at night you don't get to see ani cane to any judgment about corxiitions at all. But arryway, my first job was, of course, to establish a residence and. then become aquainted with the men here. Most of them were older men w1x:1 had been here a lon:J time. I was in corrparison with the rest I could be called the baby of the pack. (laughs) There was one who was a couple years older than I who'd been there a year arxi a half before I got there. But ot:hel:wise, the rest of them had all grown old in their work there in the seminary. My field that I was called for is what they call "Symbolics." 'lhe symbols are the confessional writirqs of the Lutheran church by which it identifies itself with certain theology you see in contrast to Presbyterianism and so forth. An:i were basel primarily upon the Augsburq confession and the so-called Eook of COncord which contains all of the confessional writi.rqs 'M'lich the leaders of Illtheranism back in Illther's day saw fit to acceptmutually as the doctrinal stance by which they wished to be judged bythe religious world. Ani in that way if there was any mark of identification which differed from the rest that could he fourd out: bycarparinq what for i.nstanoe, the Presbyterians, the Baptists stood tor upon which they based their supposition as against the I.llthe:ran church which bases its whole doctrinal system upon primarily the Au.gsbul:qconfession ani then the confession that went into what is eventuallycalled the Book of COncord. Arxi then anybody who wants to kncM what the stance of the Iutherem church is will take the so-called Book of Concord am look at it line for line, page for page, ani if they see any differences there, any variations they will knc::M this is a position which the I.lltheran church is t.a.kinJ irrespective of what others in Holy Cbristial'Xiom are sayirq with regard to the same subject, for instance, like a doctrine of predestination or saneth.i.nglike that, you see. Q: HeM did you happen to become an expert in that area? A: I wasn't an expert. '!hat's the fun of it, that's the joke of it, you know, I was not an expert, I was not a scholar. I was a pastor.My heart am soul were in pastoral work am I loved the ministry ani I said to the Lord, "Lord, do you know' what you're doincJ to me? Do you mean this, is this for real?" I had the worst time in the world because I had dedicated-! had wanted to be a pastor fran the time that I was yea high. I was happy in the work at pastoral ministry.And I wasn1t kidding myself to what I knew what I was going into because this would be sayirg actually goodbye to that phase of the work am getting into academics and t:h.in;Js like that am I tried to argue with myself arxi so on that I s.inply don't have the background, I don't have the equipnent for it. Well, I •d go at'Ol11'Xi azn talk to 1r:1 friems. 'nley'd say qo. '!here I was, :really sanet:hirg. of course, when I finally made up my mini then I resigned myself to it. But I tell the brethren of the ministJ:y whenever I have an occasion, Whether it's in a synodical session or whenever it's in a small group, I tell them, "I wasn't kiddir:g myself when I acoepted this position. I actually left the highest call:in:J that possibly can be given to a human bein;J in order to do sezvant work for those Who eventuallyshould be elevated to that position which I was taken out of." I couldn't figure that out that the Lord wanted it that way, you knc:M'. But, finally the die was caste ard I had made the desision that tb4t's the way the lord wanted it. Am. He • d have to make it clear in heaven if I couldn't see clearly between rrM and then, He'd have to make it clear. But a:eyway, I threw myself into it here. But you oould imagine that what an adjustment that lA:W.d be, you know, What it required. But I had good frierds ani they all stood by me, ani I had a lot of encouragement. Ani of course, I got my greatest joy out of the students because I loved yourg people, you knc:M, ani I just mom than received them with open a:nns and of oourse since I wasn't llDlCh beyord their level as it was--of course I could associate with them very, very conveniently, you know and I enjoyed that very much ard devoted. myself a great deal to the interests of the students. Although, of course, at that time we had just a few less than a h~. But anyway, the members of the faculty were very cordial, very unierstan:ling. I couldn't live on the canpJS, I lived out on !DWell Avenue. It so happened that a teacher of Trinity who owned property out on Lowell Averrue had just passed away the fall before I got there and his hana was available. So I was qlad to have a placeinto which I cxW.d nove. I lived out on Lowell Avenue for a number, of years before we moved over to the canpus. Q: 'Ihe houses on ca1'l'plS were reserved for older, senior professors? A: Well actually, it wasn't a case of reservation. 'Ihey had just 8o many houses. And those houses were occupied an:i for instance, a man by the name of Barrens lived in the house right next to the president's hatle. When he passed away then that was the first openinqthat presented itself, you see. And there was Wf chance then to It¥:~Ve on to the canpJS, ard I chose to do that. 'Ihen I lived on the canp.1Suntil, oh ! don't kncM how many years it is now. We decided that maybe the time had ccane for us to begin 1:hinJd.nq about the future. When we had to leave the canpus that we'd have a place that would be Rev. Clarence w. Spieqel 5 desirable, ard so we began house hunti.n:J. My son, Art lived CNer here on seventh street an:i he called our attention to the fact that-one time he says, "'!here's a place for sale out here, there's a sign in the yard. You might want to look at it." We came and looked at this, it appealed to us. we had a lot here. Art lives right next door now. We had this as a vacant lot until just last year. And so we made the move then, and than for a good number of years I CCil'ftl'l1lted back ani forth. But in that ti.ltw! then umer, I forqet which president that was-anyway I became a counselor. Oh, I want to say this, we had a small student body that would either approach a h'l.ltm'ed or it 'WOUld go slightly above a hun:med. '!hat's the way this t.hing' was sort of lirnPin:l alc:n:J. Men had gt'tJW1'l old in their work. '!here wasn't much to itxiioate that there would be any great charv;,Je in the foreseeable fllture. BUt then we had a meeti.r.g at sag.inaw, Michigan Which beca:me very significant in the histoJ:y of cur particular seminary. Because that oanvention of the synod was sort of dedicated, if I may use that 'WOrd, to the idea that we•ve got to qet rid of sane of cur educational institutions. Pemaps m.mlber one on the list of t.b.clse plans was this seminary [Spri.rqfieldJ because there were t.b.clse in the semina:ty who couldn't see ha.Vi.rq two seminaries ninety miles apart, you knc:lw. Q: 'Ibis was about what time? A: In point of time? Q: Yes. 1940s? Early forties? A: 'lhis was just before 1938 When this :matter was to cx:me to a head, you k:now'. No, it was later than that. It was in the early 1940s When they all -went to synod. th.inld.rg-well then that meetinq was up in saginaw, Mic:b.igan. 'nlat was to be a regular slaughter festiVal as far as the whole educational <Xn'lflict was oorx::erned. l':lecause a 1'D.ll'll'ber of institutions includin:.J this seminary [Spri1"11field] were on the bloc:k. '!here w -went. Of course we went with fear and trepidation, you kfl,ow,but determined. that we were goi.n::J to fight with eve:eythi:rq that w had for the synod to maintain this insti'bltion. Well, the upshot of t:bat synod was that 'While the so-called camn.ittee on higher education had very grandiose plans as to what they were goin;J to ac::cxa.rg;>lish, the sy.nod clid:n't close a single one. so it 90SS to show though that there can be that ldn:i of a institution, m:ganization that can do its own t.hinking irrespective of the wise-acres that seem to be nmnirgaffairs. So, of course, .evetjlbody cam heme gleeful. Not only t:h.cct then, you see, but those institutions then that suffera:i m::st were put on the priority list for sa:ne redressin;J. so that's 'What began to give us the upswi.nq, you see. Well that's the one thi.nq. so that tile decision on the synod, of CXJUrSe, was kind of a shot in the am. '1ben right after the l'k>rld war, after the close of the l'k>rld War1 lo and behold we find that in this particular given year w enrolled aver a hl.lr:drai new men. we had. been down m:oun::t. eighty1 you kn.ow. 'Ihese were men lt4'lD in the trenches had made a WM, "If I get cut of this,I'm goi:rq to dedicate nr:1 life to the Lord." And here they came. With wives, and children. OVer a hundred. Don•t you suppose that that set thi.r.gs aflame here. Q: I'11 bet that was fun. Rev. Clarence w. Spiegel 6 A: W&ll of course, that marked an era. 'Ihat closed one era an:l itmarked the beqi.nnin:J of a new era. Here we were, instead of linpin;ralong with aroum eighty-eight or ninety-five or hun:h'ed arxi twostudents, here we were qoirq over two J:rurrlred. 'Ihat adjustment justsinply forced us, you knc:M, to get with it with eveey1:hj.rq we had.An:i that then marked the beginnitg of the new era for this seminaJ:y sothat fran there on out, this lookirY:r down with your nose, you know, on this old ramshackl.ed thirg here. 'lhe people in the synod, inclu.dinc]the boal:d for higher education were oanpelled to respect it becausesynod had given the ~tean:l the field had proven that it neededthis canpus. So that's when little by little the upgradirq and the new build.i.n;Js and t.hin;s like that came into their own. And, of course, as time went on then we just--it was just phenanenal to see how the enrollJnent from year to year would not only be up, but it wasgiving' us the kini of manhood that the church could use to greatadvantage namely men who were older, and who had gone through the University of Hal:d I<'nocks ani now had cane to the decision-and much of that, by the way, was done in the tl:'elrhes--those decisions, you see. An:i of course, then we started to get men that were in theirthirties am in their forties, with families, you see. You should tryto imagine what that does to the caliber of a student :body am of acampus. All of a sudden they had these responsible people who hadbeen inmensely successful in their particular chosen field ani who hadlived in palaces. To sinply give that all up and cane here an:i livelike in the Hay Hanes and so on, ob., boy. All as a matter of dedication, see. 'Ihey weren't horsirq around. When they came, theycame with detel:mination ani they were qo:irq to get everything out ofthis education that we had in store for them. '!hey really gave us theworks, you know, but they added inmensel¥ to the stature so that allof a sudden the stock of Springfield sem.inal:y was way up. '!be rest ofthe institutions ani the syncxtical :board of directors could do nothingbut look on an:l see what • • • Q: Why do you suppose they chose Sprin;field instead of st. louis orAntioch or someplace else? A: Well because st. louis, you see, had up tmtil that time had beanplanned ard was functionin:} as the place into Which the so-called prepschools fed men. Q: I see. A: See places like Ft. wayne, Milwaukee, St. Paul, Seattle, they wereall prep schools as we called them. Actually according to our nananclature we didn't qo by college terms, we sinply-they were pzepschools ard they went there six years and they spent three years atthe seminal:y. Of course, thJ:ough all of that then we had those menani they were then sent to st. Louis. '!hey would all then be on theyourger scale, you see. D.lr:irq my time ani for years after that yrudidn't see a:rrt older men. You had them as they would have gonethJ:ough high school ani they've gone through two years of college.Ani then all of a sudden they were fi.niin] themselves at the seminary,so they were all on the younger side, you see. art it was Spr~ield Who historically had been receiving men who at a later time in l1fehad decided that they wanted to be ministers. 'Ihey would cane arxi ' .i ...L...a.L.IJ....._-------~-------·--·-· I, I ' J I I ReV. Clarence w. Spiegel take the courses that they offered. here. 'Ihey had two years where they had general subjects, then they would beqin in their third year to take on se.mina:ty -work and they 'WCUld haVe three years of seminaty and one year out in the field. '!hat would cx:mprise their course that they 'WOUld take, you see. And. the situation, of course, was that when I got here w were still small. I sort of think back with gratitude to the fact that I was able to see it when it was at its worst. And. then have it becane what it is 'I'DII, see. '!here are fw who can quite appreciate that because when I got here all the men, most of the men were way up. I remember at the faculty meetin:J they'd sit around the table and I'd sit over in the corner because I didn't fit in with all those old gray haired men that were at the table, I'd sit back there at the win:iow. I never openEd nw m::Rith because who was I that I should l:le tellin:] those old fellows hclw' to run this seminary. 'lhey were very gracious, h.cMever, but at the same time those were the facts. Of course little by little the c::h.arge came but I able to see that cha.n:Je from the old to the new, and I can't ever l:le gratefulenOI.lCJh for having had the benefit of that experience. To see how an institution that was practically on the rocks, when the I.ord determined that it's not to go to the rocks, really keeps it and then all of a sudden let somet.hirq happen that puts thoughts into the lllinds of people that find them coming in groves. We were really having a good ti:me with ourse1ves, you knoW', not only seei.nq what was happening but deoi<ii.rq how are w goi.rg to cope with this. Just try to imagine, for instance, now the few students that w have, less than a hl.:lnClred, that were dormitory students, they lived on the campus, you know. Well then comes this year when these married students come flock.in; in and most of them didn't have aey banes yet, you know, they had merely come and here they were w had right at the comer of Enos and Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth street I should say-now wait a minute. Anyway, it's the street, it's not a numerical street, it's a street that is . • • Q: carpenter? A: • • • just west of the campus. well aeyway, that corner b.lilding had the dining' hall, am upstairs we had a hospital. Then we had quarters, living quarters for the matron and those that took care of the kitchen and so on. And so what we did up in that big donn that was a laJ:g'e roc:an that wasn't really serving art:/ great p..u::pose at all because of the fw that were there, but what we did then is at least to give those people a place to sleep. we put wires across that big room and made little cubicles smaller than this (gestures] with a :bed in it and there the husband and wife slept. Right next door on the other side of that curtain was the next c::ouple, and on the other side was the next oatple. And. that1s the way we housed about twelve oatples up there until they fO!..U'Xl a place, you see. And. then our regular d.o1'ln students would go to breakfast, then they'd see these wanen ca:ni.rq down from the upstairs in their robes and so on to eat breakfast. You (X)Uld just .ilnaqine that picture of experience that these fellCMS went thl:a.lg:h, you k:now. But arr.rway, we lived through all of that. And that then became the pattern, of c::a:u:se, of the additional challenge that the seminary got out of this was nt:M how" do you cape with this and how' do you provide for these people who want to study for the ministry ani yet who have children, they have housing problems, an::l they have this that and the other. And that was reallyquite a valuable experience for the seminary because it forced us into doing things that we1d never dreamed of • • • Q: Did the lcx::al. churchs begin to buy houses or did they just find rental property? A: No, they had to fin:i whatever they could. Preferrably, of course,in the vicinity of the seminary. And then, mini you, it was at that time, that that housing project was built [Hay Homes] an::l that was just made to order for our students, you see, exactly what-an::l we didn't have the stuff in there then that we have now you see. In fact the students, they were so welcome over there because they added so much to the atmosphere. 'Ihey very wisely placed our students into these units in such a way that the vicinity would be affected by the presence of these students that lived in their midst. It was really an ideal situation. Of course, as far as pastoral work am::n;r the students was ooncerned this was made to order, it was wonderful, you know'. '1Wo blocks to walk to school, you know. Well that's the waythe good I.oni took care of th.i.tgs. out of that then, of course, came our enlarged canp.lS an::l the new buildirgs that we had an::l it got to be really nice before we left. Nobody would ever have predicted, I koow I remember hearin;J officials of synod sayin;J, ''Who ever would have thought Sprirqfield would tum out like this?" so that when the decision finally came to-first of all for the senior college to move out of that canpus arxi then for our seminary to come to the decisian, well we'll m:JVe over there, a transformation had taken place here that was not only an amazement to the synod at large but also to the cityof Springfield. Because they left sanething pretty nice here by the time we were ready to leave, you see. Q: '!hat was a shame. I think that was a blow to Springfield. A: It was. '!here was no question about it. But anyway, I felt jl.ISt as you do at the tilne, but at the same time they seemed to think--well, I'll tell you. '!his, of course, is getting off just a little bit but then it fits into the general picture, maybe I told youthis already. But by the time the seminary actually moved., that was after Jack Preus' brother had bec::cme president, he was president here at the time, we had that nice office J::uildin;J there on that lot in back of the gymnasium, you kn<:M, and that office buildinq was b.rl.lt rather stranqely, it was a nice buildinq an:i all. But it was so planned and set up that you entered fran 'Ihirteenth street am-I forget the names of those streets. 'Ihirteenth street-the numeral streets are the one that nm east an::l west • • • Q: No. North ani South. A: North an::l south. Well, anyway, the street that went right on through fran Inther's statue over. 'Ihe entrance to that new building ws on that street ard as you entered there was a little round reception place. And then you had to go into--am there was a meeting roan off to one side ani the lunch roam on the other side ard a ladies toilet was goirq off of that little reception hall. '!hen you went t:hrough a narrow passage way into the place where the office help was I ! ·' . t . I' j ! l Rev. Clarence W. Spiegel workin;J. It happened one day that one of the secretaries went into the restroom. Ani there was a negro boy in there. Well of course, as soon as she came into the roan, he darted out and he got out of there and l!MaY wit.hcxzt anybody ever noticin], you see because they were all inside there. Well, a'!'rjWay, that incident then caused the thought to became very pressin]. 'Ihis'11 never do in this neigh):xn:hood. Ani it was qetti.rq so that the girls couldn•t c:x:me out at night for meetings and t.hin;Js like that a1. the account of the Hay Hanes, you see, already at that time that situation had developed. Q: '!hat's unfortunate. 'Ihe Oeparbnent of COrrections, of course, is in that building nr:M. A: Right. Q: Ard they've had the same kinds of problems. A: 'Ihat's right, you see. I guess no matter how you look at it, maybe the Lord, I guess I shouldn't say maybe, the Lord definitely saw well this has got to be changed. And so for the good of the institution, He saw to it that we got to a place were we have a \\IOI'rlarful canpJS now • Q: Earlier on, when you mentioned sanet.hirq about the science buildinq, either the science buildinq, or the science area, which strikes a cord. Maybe you could talk a bit about the curriculum ani in:iicate what sane of the activities were. A: Very good. 'Ihe curriculum, of coorse, was very modest. Because actually we were not anyth.irq mre .•• Errl of Side one, Tape A: we did what we possibly could in order to give them at least an approach to sane academic equipement. Ani so it happened that we did have one of the professors was in a position to give them at least same of the :t'Udilnents in the scientific field, you see. Ani so he had a kind of lab. One of the roans in that old building was a kind of a lab in which we had the n:&t necessaty t.hin:Js in ol:der to at least e>!pOSe those students to sane of those thin;Js that represent the scientific world. And then, of course, as they 'WOUld pass their tQ;ts in that particular t:hirq they had credit for whatever it was worth, you see. Q: One of the t.hin:Js I fini i.nterestin;J when I see-I see you've g::>t a catalogue over there-as you read through there, you see sane unusual or strarge names like homiletics, exegesis. What do these t.hin:Js mean? How' are they addressed? A: Well, what it has to do--dogmatics for instance, is doctrine. Exegesis is the exposition of scripture. Hermanuetics is the :rules by which you govem yourself as you proceed to explai.nirg scriptures. You just don't go your awn way, you dcn't jurtp to conclusions, but you follow a certain established steps by means of Which you finallyarrive at the--what the main interest that a theologian has or that the chUrch should have is to arrive at what we call the inte:rrled sense, the interned meaning that the Holy Ghost put into the words that are in the Bible. In other woxds, you don't read into those words what you thi.nk they should say, :but you tey to fi.rd cut as you analyze, arxi as you study ard as you look at the rruances of the larYJU898 ard so on, either Greek or Hebrew or 'M1atever it might be, then you tey to cane to a conviction that this is what the Holy Ghost wanted to say. And that's, of course, the science, you see. Exegesis, arxi hennamletics ard all of those things fit into that. Of course, pastoral theology that's llc:M to be a pastor. Hanilatics is how to prepare serm::ms ani t:hin;Js like that, you see. Ani so t:hose are the sciences within theology each of which has as its objective a certain phase of scripture study so that 'When the theologian takes up the scripture particularly in the original languages, Hebrew an:i Greek, then he is determined to fi.rd what we call the i.nte:rxied sense. Not what I can make of it, but what really did the Holy Spirit mean to say here ard all of the factors that you could bring in incllldin;r the personality of the author, who was inspired by the Holy Spirit, all of those factors have to be taken into account to finally cane to a decision. ''Well, this must be the tneanin:1 that this sentence carries with it." Ani that's why, of course, yoo. departmentalize the field of theology ard you take one thing at a time. Q: was there any arphasis at all on matters like philosophy, for exanple, or logic within philosqily? A: Well, of couse, we figured that logic arxi philosophy, arxi so on, are all human sciences in which the qenius of the in:fivldual who is the creation of God, is put to a test as to what he firds as he studies God's creation. or the things that happen roun:i about, you know, things about which the Bible doesn't pass judgment. '!he Bible is solely interested in causin:J a man to become a believer so that he enters into the I<in;tJ.an of Heaven. '!hat's the whole pm:pose of the Bible. '!be Bible doesn't mean to compete at all with these other fields. It doesn't go into the matter in order to answer questions.However, the Bible is not disinterested, it's merely that the Bible leaves science to man. And He holds him responsible for usirg his knowledge an:i his brain ani all of the resources at his disposal to His glo:ey, not to man's glory ani edification, but to God's glo:ey.Now of course, when that miscarrys, that's where the tragedies coma in, you see. But at least, God's equipment for life here on Earth .is one thirg; but aside fran that then there is the equipment for liv;iJlqin the I<in9:ian of God. Ani that's what we call conversion. And if people know hew' to d.istin;uish arxi keep those t.hi.rqs neatly apart, then they can live better toqether, you see, so that a theologianwould never hesitate to go to a bonafide scientist and ask him to helphim. If only the scientist in turn~go to the theologian ani let hbn help him in spiritual matters, yc:u see. Albeit, that the theologian :kr'lcNs what he's taJ.kin; about. '!hat's of course the bigproblem where rationalism gets into the picture, you krlt:M, and you try to combine revelation an:i man's thin.k:irq arxi the two don't jive, an:l they cane up with all kims of theories ard that's where we have to grapple with t.hi.rqs like evolution am so on, you see. so that thare I' i \ is absolutely not:hinq that should cause the scientist, the physicalscientist, to be at odds with the theologian. They could live very, very nicely together, as long as they're both living Ul"der the fear of God. But where God is told to keep out of the picture, there of course, they can1t acc.arplish anythirg because they can only be t:a..lld.rg either at each other, or past each other, witha.tt arrt justifiable or worth while consequence, you see. Q: S\lrely, this must•ve posed some very interesting questions an:i resulted in sana ve.ey nice discussions in saue of the classrooms ••. A: Rsal.ly, you krlc:M, the scientist and theologian could have themselves a very good time, if only there would be the nutua1 respectand appreciation. If a scientist would taka enough interest, you krlow, on his own mini you, to si.rrply read the scriptures an:i live in the scriptures so that the Holy Spirit--yoo. see, that's Where we give all credit to the. Ho~:( Spirit, we don't take any credit for whatever we gain in urxierstan:.U.rq an:i encouraqement an:i st.ren:)th fran the Bible. '!hat's all the work of the Holy Spirit. '!he trouble canes in where a person wants to mix his own Jcnc:Mledqe and his own expertisean:i experience, ani so on, with his readin:J, with his study ani then come to conclusions that take him afar afield instead of leadin;J him deeper into the mysteries of godliness, you see. 'lhe honest, fair scientist has never caused religion aey trouble whatsoever. He respects it for what it is ani he is glad to leam what he can't gainthrough his scientific investigations. on the other hard, the theologian will not tJ:y to tell the scientist how to do his work, but he will gladly learn fran the scientist in order to have the 8bility to look more deeply into the won:lers of God's creation. so that there would be a tremendous advantage if the scientific field ani the field of theology could work together. Q: I just can't ~ine the profound differences between, we'll SEr:f pre-World War II senunarians and post-W'orld War II seminarians. surely in the classes that occurred after this big influx of students here, okay, there must have been some really loud an:i pronounced talk among the students themselves about the matter of faith. A: Oh, yes. My general inpression was, ani I was pretty close to the students in those years, my general ilrpression was that what they went through in the war, brought forth in them a dedication, whether that was abroad or whether that was at heme, "If I get through this, I':m goin] to devote the rest of my life to the Lord." In my tilne, of course, I have seen men come, mini yoo., at the age of forty-three, and start at the bottan of the ladder ani subject themselves to all of that torture of leamirq ~that was required of them, there were no exceptions made. Either you took it or you left it. Ani if you could take it, why you'd get your diplana. If you couldn't take it, 'W&ll then you just had to bow out. Arxi it was really a won:lerfu1 ~ience to meet those people. I happen to have the privilege of bemg 00\mSelor to the married students. When we got this influx of married students, there we had them, see. Arrl, of oourse, it soon became very evident that these married students needed to be dealt with. '!hey needsd to be encouraged, coached ani guided. I remember when we were in this situation then arxi one time the matter of the I! ' respective load that the irdividual faculty members were to carey ani when the matter came to me ani I had been very l'l'DlCh-I'd been touched very much by the influx of these people ani I had leamed to know same of them well enough that I realized what problems they were facirq. SOme of them came on a shoestr~, you know. So out of that then, I finally :made the suggestion to the president, "Why don't you ask the faculty when we have the meetirg in which the respective loads,faculty loads are discussed, Why don't you make the suggestion to the brethren that they will let me carry a lighter academic load, then I will devote myself to these married students ani become their counselor." "Oh," he said, "that's a capital idea, I'll do that." so that was done, that was lJl"derstood. '!hen I, day an:i night, SUI'rlaysani any day, I was sinply on the go in and out anaq the students. And I net them at f!NerJ level and every situation in which they would cane. In that way then, we really established sarnethi.rg here that was the envy of the whole system, you know. '!bey appreciated the fact that they were just not here left to drift the best they knew heM. That we were basfn3' eve:ryth.irq we possibly had at their disposal. And by all means we were tJ:ying to inform ourselves as to h.cM they were farin;r ani what resourses they had ani what they needed and h.cM to take care of them, see them through. It's a great satisfaction to me to think back, you know, that I've got student-wise, the '\\!Orld over that look to me as their old daddy, you know. I had the full appreciation and the backing of the administration, you know, of all of that, you see. I deemed it a very great privilege, mini you, youcan't imagine the leg work that was associated with that. '!he others could be sittin;J in their studys, OV'8r their books and I was running" my legs Off1 goin:] into the housingt Hay Hanes1 and all aver town wherever they happened to be living. Day and night and sundays, ani what have you, in order to make sure that everything was all right. Just one illustration that I always like to cite, one Surxlay, I said to my wife, "I'm just going out for a while, I want to look up one of our students. He happened to be liv.irg in the Hay Hames. I think this was early SUrx:lay evening, it doesn't really make arrt differenoe anyway--it was on a sunday. so I went over there. When they saw me at the door they smiled ani invited me in. Well as I usually say,''HOW' are t:hin:Js?" "Oh," they said, ''they're fine. 'nlis moming,"this was a sunday night, mind you, "this morni.n:J we had fifty cents ani the big question was heM much of this goes to the collection an:1 how 11UJCh do we keep?" Fifty cents! Well the decision was twenty-five cents will go to the collection plata ani twenty-five cents will buy a loaf of bread. '!here I was to harx:i them some money. see, that was what I did as maxriage counselor . • • Q: sure, sure. A: .•• go around as I see the need that-and I had resourses that nobody knew of. Nobcdy knew where that money came from. Ard in fact, most people didn't even krlottl that I was qivirx] money when I went around like that, you know, it was all between the students ani me. But that's the way I operated, you can imagine what satisfaction there was in that. But what an eye-opener it was to see how some people bad to live and skim through, you krlc:M. 9J.t that's how some of these fellows finally made it. Q: 'lba.t is amazirg. A: (laughter) Oh, you lo:lc:M it. Ym have to live through somethinglike that in order to l<r'laN what tnarVels go into this whole business, you knc:::lw. I suppose to a degree that that situation is still real in some instances, but I doubt very much that it at the present time at either of our seminaries is anythj.n;r like that which I had to copewith. Q: I would say not. I would guess not. A: It is amazing. But really a rich experience. But there's where you had a chance to realize what the caliber was of same of these boysthat finally go into the ministry, an:i that student is still in the ministry, he's way out west. And he's doin;J fine but he's never forgotten that, an::1 I'll never forget it. (laughter) Q: No, that's not something you want to fcn:qet. Gee whiz, these guys, nCM when they came here they didn't come out of the prep schools so they didn't have much of an academic backgrourrl • • • A: None, none. sane of them did, of course, but they came lazgely from the farms, you J<:now. From mechanics jobs an::11:lti.n;s like that, you knc:M. Q: Golly. It seems to me, I don't know, I've got a little bit of education, ard I would have a terrible time learning Greek and Heb:r:ew. A: Arxi you should see what throes they went through. Oh, they justwrestled with that, you know, and as far their teachers were conceJ::ned they were here, and When they came they came with the idea of takinJ what was on the schedule. .An:i, oh, sane of them-the sweat would stand out on their foreheads, you knall, ani they'd just wrestle with that. I.sarninq Greek, mird you. Rsally through it all, while theyhad their irdividual manents, lilce we all do, but through it all it was remarkable that they could maintain the air that they did. Air of dignity, air of utter depen:lence upon the qood Lord, live by the day,take it as it comes, and not aey of them ever suffered. 'they had tough sledding but they all ackncMled;ed that that was a qoodschooling a good experlence. And they'd come with their children, youkn.c:M. Q: How many students do you think ycu•ve guided through the seminal:yhere? A: I •ve never really tried actually to estimate that, but it goes into the thousanis, of course. I had the distinct privilege-! alwaysrega:t:ded it as a distinct privilege-of having the occasion to getinto the hares, I made it my business to get into the hanes to 'knatl how they were situated. Ani, of course, my perennial question always was when I come, ''Well, how are thirtJs?" 1bey would never open up, they would never cc::atplain, bUt I would ask them a question they would tell me. Atxi then, I was so situated, even my collegues didn't know how I operated. 'Ihey didn't kncM what I did, or what I had to work with an:1 so on. But I had resourses that I had at nry disposal arrl I was always in a position that wherever the need-wherever I met with the need that I was able to satisfy it, at least to tide them over, you kl'lcM. By the same token, of course, I succeeded in gainin:J that confidence that they would not hesitate to open up to me in case of an f!lTl6l:96J'lCY or sanet:hi.rq that would require same extra lift of sane kind. But through all that sweat and all thoSe tears, I really-of course by nature, I am inclined toward people, I love people-gave me an opportunity that I can't ever be thankful enough for. Ani I'm qladthat the powers that be appreciated it. 'Ihe one who really is responsible for that phase--ani he seemed to see that-is our pastpresident, Jack Preus, who after he became president, said to me one t:i,.me while we were having a faculty p:>tluck, "Let's just take a little walk." Ani then he opened up to me am said to me, ''My purpose in t:ak.in;J this walk with you is to ask you whether you would consider actir:g as counselor to the maxried students. I 111 see to it that yourload Is arran;;JE!d in such a way that you can handle it and I think that1s where you can Pit in YaJr best licks.11 well, I knew What that meant. ot:harwise I had been makin:] myself available, you know. But this meant nJ:M that I would make it my business to C;p• AM I was go~ day an:i night. suniays, saturdays, day an:i ru.ght. Q: It goes back to yaJr time though in the pastoral minist.J:y. 'l.lle same sort of behavior, the same sort of activity. A: Of course. '!hat was not:hing new to me because I was that kind of a pastor too. I was on the qo all the time, of course, (laughs) the joke of it was my wife went fran the :feyinq pan into the fire because when I was a pastor she never had me ard when I was a prof here, she never had me really. (laughter) Because every spare manent that I had I was out either teac:hing att\On:J the students. But I can't ever be thankful enough for-ard nt:::M, of course, I have-you see, the married. students came in during my time so that I always call all of these l girls that came in there all mine an:1 they're all over the world. Of :r course, they'll never forget what it meant, you know', because there are very ffM people that would came an:i say that they had m. You've qot to them ani you say, "Are thin;Js all right?" If you asked them, "Are thin;Js all right?" 'lhey'll tell you. You can go a dozen tilnas am they'd never say a peep about their circumstances. But I got it aut of them. Q: '!hat's got to be very satisfyi.rq feelirq. I know when I deal with some of my students out there that have peculiar problems, you lalcM what little bit I do, am it's not my job to do it, you know, but ~t little bit I can do to help out is really-makes me feel very good. Very gratifyil'q. A: 'lhere is a tremen:1ous satisfaction, I should say so. I can think of cme particular case; and it canes up annually because fiiN6rY Christ::mas, of CQlt'Se, I get that same greet.fn3' tram this and I justhave to think, you knc:M, there they were with their family am justbarely ekirY:J out an existence, you know'. 'lbey lived in the Hay Homes and I'd make it my business as I made rrrt roun::ls just to drop by,l.ll'l!!ll'll'1, you know'. Just to say "Well, how are thin;Js?11 'Ihey would be frank to tell me, you knc:M. 'Ihat way, I don't know that I suooeeded a hun:lred percent, but I kept the wolf fran the door in many, many instances because I had those certain ones that said J:'lal7, "Dc:ln't yr:n ever want for D:a'le.Y· If you need. rroney, yr:n just say so. And it's no'body's business Where it cama fran.'' '!hat's, of course., that•s a good canbination Where you got that. '!hose assets, you knc:M, available ard it's ncibcd.y1s business. Q: '.that is interestin:.;J. A: so, I feel that the lord was ver.y, very ki.nd to me because I felt it very keenly at the time when we left the pastoral minist:ty. Verykeenly. And I think the Lord sort of c::anpensated. for that by putting me into this position where I was practically doin:.;J that same t:hi.nqthat I would be doin:,;r in the ministry, you see. Q: And tea.ch.infJ as well? A: Yes. And. that, of course, was the-that was after the-that was the ostensible, outward occupation b.It at heart I think-and another thing used to qet the president•s goat because I lived right next door to the president. And he'd see those ld.ds, those guys c:xmdrg aver from the do%:ms into my house, you JcnciW'. Sanetimes they'd c::ane as late as ten o'clock at night. '!bey were never discouraged. If I had to sit until midnight with them, I sat until midnight. Oh, that one president, he just practically hated me. Because, after all you had a certain amount of popularity, you k:nc:w. But it's not so much as to What you are, but what you are able to do for them that causes them. to cane. Q: SUre. '!hat's right. A: I never offered aey a:pologies because I knew that it was the interest of these men-in fact, in sc:ane instances, it was just simplyeitherr, either I helped them, or t:hay 'Wall.d just simply have to dO somet:hing else. As a result, of course, I still get word fran arr:1 rrumber of them. I think of one in particular 'Who's in the Blil.ippines. And I qet word at regular intervals, you k:n.cM, and here they are havin:.;J a fine family and he has done fabuliously well. And, oh. my, when I think back to the c:onditions that they had to got:ln:ough. Q: Okay, well, I think we've gone quite a ways today. I don't t:hirlk we can get to all these questions and th.irqs. If it's okay with you,we'll brin:,;r it to a close right l'I.Oil, for today. A: Very wll. Q: And I'11 take this back ard it will be typed up. En:i ot side Two, Tape one . l
|Title||Spiegel, Rev. Clarence W. - Interview and Memoir|
Concordia Seminary, Springfield (Ill.)
|Description||Spiegel, former professor and counselor at Concordia Lutheran Seminary in Springfield, discusses his arrival at the Seminary; transition from parish pastor to teacher; condition of the Seminary, improvements, and its curriculum.|
|Creator||Spiegel, Rev. Clarence W.|
|Contributing Institution||Oral History Collection, Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield|
|Contributors||Langhoff, Norman [interviewer]|
|Digital Format||PDF; MP3|
|Rights||© Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this material, please contact: Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield, One University Plaza, MS BRK 140, Springfield IL 62703-5407. Phone: (217) 206-6520. http://library.uis.edu/archives/index.html|
|Title||Rev. Clarence W. Spiegel Memoir|
|Source||Rev. Clarence W. Spiegel Memoir.pdf|
|Rights||© Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this material, please contact: Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield, One University Plaza, MS BRK 140, Springfield IL 62703-5407. Phone: (217) 206-6520. http://library.uis.edu/archives/index.html|
University of Illinois at Springfield
Norris L Brookens Library
Rev. Clarence W. Spiegel Memoir
SP43. Spiegel, Rev. Clarence W.
Interview and memoir 1 tape, 90 mins., 18 pp.
Spiegel, former professor and counselor at Concordia Lutheran Seminary in Springfield, discusses his arrival at the Seminary; transition from parish pastor to teacher; condition of the Seminary, improvements, and its curriculum.
Interview by Norman Langhoff, 1981 OPEN See collateral file
Archives/Special Collections LIB 144
University of Illinois at Springfield
One University Plaza, MS BRK 140
Springfield IL 62703-5407
© 1981, University of Illinois Board of Trustees
'Ibis manuscript is the product of a taped intel:view carxiucl:e:1 by Norman Ia.D;hoff for the Oral Histozy Office on August 25, 1981. Linda
Jett transcribe:i tapes and edited the transcript.
Rev. Clarence W. Spiegel, former professor and counselor of married students at Concordia Seminary in Spri:rgfield, Illinois, discusses c:::an.irq to Concordia in 1938 after 14 years as a parish pastor. He
discusses his role at conc:ordia and his interaction with the students and their pxoblems.
Readers of the oral history llle1l¥)ir should bear in mini that it is a t:t:anscript of the spoken word, and that the interviewer, narrator and editor scu:Jht to pl.'eSerVe the info.tmaJ., conversationa.l style that is inherent in such historical sources. 5anga1oon state university is not
responsible for the factual aoouracy of the l't'le!llDir, nor for views expressed therein; these are for the reader to judqe.
It may not be
'!he manuscript may be read, quoted. and cited freely.
repn::x:tucea in Whole or in part by any means, electronic or med:lanical,
without penuission in writing fran the Oral History Office, 8an;;JaD¥:m state Unlversity, Spr.i.n:.Jfield, Illinois 62794-9243.
Rev. Clarence w. Spiegel, Springfield, Illinois, August 25, 1981.
Norman tanghoff, Interviewe:r.
Q: I gave you an outline or a list of questions to consider. And Ithink maybe we can start by you just generally giving me the situation as it was, as you recall it When you first came to Sp:rirqfield.
A: we hadn't gone into that at all, had we?
Q: No, not at all.
A: When I came to Sprirgfield in the early part of 1938, this seminary campus was really a site to behold. In fact it was so n.m. down, so neglect:.ed., that I hesitated or I d:readed rather to bring anyof 1tf:! visitors out there to show them the canpJS. It was just too sadof a place. See, we had had a synoclical meeting just before thiswhich had passed a resolution to do SCID8t.h.ing about what was called the :Bul:d, a new' building. '!hat•s the building that you go into when you go towam. the seminary on Enos Avenue.
Q: On Enos. From •••
A: .Anci that had three stories and an attic. .Anci in the days When theatt.erdance of the seminary was pretty high they used both of those
floors and they used the attic, lTlind you, in that building as a part
of the d.ormitoxy.
Q: Ch boy.
A: It l1lakes your hair st:arXI. You can just imagine what might have happe.nad. And of OCLlrSe, the interior just reflected l'leglect at everytw::n. '!hey had BUOC.'le6d8d just prior to my ca.ni:rq the:t'a in rencvat.i.rgthe l::.uilding to the extent that they took off this attic which had acupola. '!hey teak that off and just made a flat roof over it am lJ!ft
us with two stories. And in that operation then we managed to get sane fairly nice cl.asslxx:a1ls on the second floor. But that didn't change m.uch Cl1 the first floor which shawec1 signs of age and use antlneglect. But we had four roams there that could be used as classroans and one of thsm was then used as the science laboratoey. 'lhat
building then served until we qot the new building that was over toward Fau:teenth street where the faculty houses were.
Q: Okay. I urderstard.
A: .Anci as far as the dor.m.itoey oon:iitions were concerned the st.udents
lived partly in this building that I have just described and partly in a frame bui.J.d.in;. It was called castle Garden. 'lbat building' had
just everythinq in it. It had the libral:y in it ani had the read.irg :room and th.ings like that. It also had dorndtoJ::y space. Arrl then we had this build.in.J at the corner of Enos and Fifteenth Street, had the hospital upstaim, had the dining r