I was using DC Memory to look for another topic today; that search led me to the Defiance Collegian for May 21, 1917, and there I discovered a page that had photographs of different Defiance College professors’ houses in 1917. The Enders house on College Place is included in that issue. Here is a copy of that section of the Collegian:

The original is on the dark side, so if you have trouble reading the captions, Enders’ house is the first one in the second row. It looks very like the picture of the home that was on the real photo postcard we reproduced in the August 1 blog post.

So now we have double confirmation that the unlabeled real photo postcard in the Aug. 1 blog is indeed Enders’ house. It would be interesting to compare the other houses in the newspaper image with the houses that still exist on College Place to see if these are still standing, and how much they might have been altered since 1917.

Barb Sedlock
Lead Librarian and Coordinator of Metadata and Archives




Comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory died this past weekend.  Gregory visited the Defiance College campus to give a talk for DC’s Forum series on February 21, 1968. The Defender student newspaper reported that Gregory was recovering from one of his protest fasts and was very thin.  He ate dinner in the student union, viewed a BASA exhibit, and held a question and answer session after his talk.  The presentation was given in what is now the Weaner Center, which at the time held various physical education equipment like gymnastic ropes hanging from the ceiling.  Gregory wryly joked, “The next Negro speaker you have, you better move those ropes.”  The Defender said he spoke calmly and casually about his experiences in the segregated South, politics, African American history, and other related topics.

View the link to the story in the Feb. 28, 1968 Defender.  Scroll down to the lower half of the page to find the article:   goo.gl/1JcR8V

Barbara Sedlock

Lead Librarian and Coordinator of Metadata and Archives

Professor Enders’ House, then and now

Enders house001

This real photo postcard was found among a group of papers that had belonged to DC Professor George Enders, who taught philosophy and psychology from 1910-1941. The papers were rescued from a dump in California and eventually made their way to the DC archives.

The card has no writing on it nor a date, but since there were no less than 4 copies of postcards of this house, it must have been important to the Enders family.  As there is nothing in the background but fields, or any buildings beside the house in the picture to give context, it was hard to be sure what it was.

Among the papers found in the dump was correspondence sent to Enders from Stollberg Hardware Company in Toledo about his order for “finishing hardware for your new residence”, dated 1911, and an invoice from the Western Gas Fixture Company, also in Toledo, for lighting fixtures installed in the house, dated July 1911.

If the house was built in 1911, then the postcard fits the era; in the early 1900s, real photo postcards were extremely popular.  The Enders were likely proud that they could build a new house and wanted to commemorate the event by having a photo postcard made.

Once we processed the rest of the correspondence, there were one or two letters addressed to Enders at 34 College Place.  Also, the papers included photos of Enders and his family standing in front of a house, with a visible address, 34.  Archives volunteer Carol Hull pointed this out to me, which I had failed to notice.

Here’s a picture of Prof. Enders with a relative, possibly his daughter Ruth, and you can see “34” above Ruth’s head:

Enders house002

So, postcard in hand, Carol and I walked over from the Library to the block of houses between Clinton and College Drive that face the campus.  The house with number 34 as its address looks almost exactly like the house in the postcard:

34 College Place

(My thanks to Carol for taking this photo with her phone.)

A garage has been added, and new siding that makes the house a uniform color was put on, but otherwise the house appears unaltered, at least from the outside.  The house is privately owned so we could not look inside.

Judging by the postcard, with nothing built beside the house in 1911, this must have been one of the early houses constructed on what would become known as “Professors’ Row.” Here’s a picture of Professors’ Row from the 1918 Oraculum (scroll down to the bottom of the two pictures):  goo.gl/Xnqypq  but that photo was taken from the Clinton St. end of the block, and number 34 is too far down the row to be really visible.

The DC Archives is the beneficiary of the Enders’ family having saved documents which others might not have kept.  (Do you save invoices from the hardware store?  For most people, once the bill is paid, into the shredder they go.)

We are also thankful to the unknown dump worker who recognized the value of the papers and made the effort to save them.  Our thanks to the Healdsburg Museum and Historical Society for forwarding the papers to the Andrew Tuttle Museum, and to the Tuttle for sending them to us.

Barb Sedlock

Lead Librarian and Coordinator of Metadata and Archives





This is a family passport photo of Stella (Scharff) Petersen, with husband and children. Scharff attended Defiance College’s Academy (a preparatory course for students not ready for college level work) between 1909 and 1912.  The Archives recently was given a file of papers associated with Scharff, including the above family passport, some of Scharff’s grade cards, a list of wedding presents, and other documents that give insight to 1910s social history, not to mention Defiance College history.

For example, among Scharff’s papers was this program below from the 1912 Academy commencement, a document which the Archives lacked:


Scharff’s name is listed inside as a graduate, along with “Wm A. Van Blarcon” (Blarcom), whose descendant gave the Archives some interesting photos a few years ago from the same era.

Another cool document among Scharff’s papers gives some insight on the behavior expected of DC students in the 1910s:


This is a grade card from the 1911-12 academic year.  DC apparently gave grades of “G” and “E”–“good” and “excellent,” perhaps?  But look at the remarks section: Scharff was given 4 demerits for “loud talking in dining room.”  Can you imagine that kind of restriction being put on students in the dining hall today?  On another card, she was given 2 demerits for running up the stairs.

There’s interesting social history in the list of wedding presents: 1 dozen silver tea spoons, sterling gravy ladle, fern dish, cut glass celery dish, etc.  It’s interesting to compare the gift list to what might be given as wedding gifts today.  Also among the papers is a record from a furniture store in Connecticut that listed the household goods the couple purchased a few months after their wedding.

An unknown family member provided biographical information in the collection of papers about Scharff.  She was born in Copenhagen, and the family emigrated to the U.S. in the 1890s.  Her mother died when she was 12, and her father apparently left the picture, forcing her to go to work at age 14.  By 1909 she had accumulated enough savings to think about acquiring some higher education.  She saw an ad in the Saturday Evening Post about DC and enrolled in 1909.  She was taken on as an office assistant to President P.W. McReynolds, and took classes in shorthand and other business-related courses.  After she graduated, she investigated becoming a missionary–we have correspondence between Scharff and the Board of Foreign Missions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.  But fate intervened, and before she could go down that path, she met and married Carl Petersen in 1916.   The above passport is marked with stamps from a visit the family made in Denmark in 1921.

The Scharff papers have not been digitized, but the originals can be viewed during weekday office hours, 8-4:30, or an appointment can be made for evening or weekend access.  Visit the Archives page of the Library’s website for contact information  here

Barb Sedlock

Lead Librarian and Coordinator of Metadata and Archives





This is a photo taken on October 1, 1918, labeled “Raising Post Flag, College Army School, Defiance, Ohio Company ‘A’ in Line.”  The photographer was Edward Bronson, who left a wonderful collection of panoramic photos of life in the Defiance area between 1906 and 1949.  The Defiance Public Library owns the original photos, and recently allowed us to make copies of the Bronson photos which show the Defiance College campus and activities.

This photo is unusual in that the exact date it was taken was recorded.  The World War I Student Army Training Corps lived and trained on the DC campus in 1918.  Of course nobody knew on October 1, 1918 that the war would be over in a little more than a month.   Here is a link to an advertising card used to recruit men for the Corps:  goo.gl/C2bPnV


This is a second Bronson photo of May Day activities on campus in 1914.   Building on the left is Trowbridge Hall, in center, Weston Hall, Sisson in the background, and old Defiance Hall behind the May pole dancers.   Here’s a link to a 2013 blog post on the importance of May Day on college campuses in this era, with additional photos of DC activities.

We would like to thank Defiance Public Library for giving permission to post the photos from their library collection.  They are an important addition to DC’s archives.  There are over 25 photos of DC in the Bronson collection.  The panoramic camera Bronson used to take them is on display at the Andrew Tuttle Museum in downtown Defiance.   All of the Bronson photos may be viewed on Defiance Public Library’s section of the Ohio Memory website.

Barb Sedlock

Lead Librarian and Coordinator of Metadata and Archives



While the summer solstice won’t arrive for another month, summer on the DC campus begins in early May after graduation.  Here’s some summery scenes from DC’s past.

The above photo was taken, we think, in 1968, showing the Anthony Wayne Library (now Hubbard Hall) on the right, and a portion of Enders Student Union on the left.


This photo is of incoming freshman students who were on campus for summer orientation in 1967.  The bleachers are set up for an outdoor play that was presented later in the day.



This picture is of students participating in an archaeological dig during summer school, possibly the Brooke site outside of Defiance along the Auglaize River in 1971.


This is a summer scene from campus in 1967, featuring Sisson Hall.

Barb Sedlock

Lead Librarian and Coordinator of Metadata and Archives



Missing from the DC Memory website, that is.  We thought that all the existing print Oraculum yearbooks had been scanned and loaded into the DC Memory website.  But a recent doublecheck revealed that several that did not get uploaded with the other yearbooks.

Missing from DC Memory as of April 2017 are:



and 1991/92, the cover of which is pictured above.

Some of the confusion may have been caused by the fact that in the 1910’s, in some years there were two Oraculums published.  For example, there is one currently on DC Memory labeled 1915, but the archives has an totally different print edition with “June 1915” on the title page that had not been digitized.

If you are looking for material from the above yearbooks, please contact library staff and we will try to get the relevant scans to you.   We will upload the missing Oraculums when time and budgets permit.

Barb Sedlock

Lead Librarian and Coordinator of Metadata and Archives