Former President Dr. Marvin J. Ludwig passed away on May 16, 2018.  The above is an undated photo (likely early 1990’s) of him on the steps of Defiance Hall.

Here’s a photo of President Ludwig at his last Commencement in 1994, doffing his cap to the crowd as they acknowledged his receiving President Emeritus status:


Dr. Ludwig served as DC’s President from 1975-1994, and presided over the construction of four new buildings on campus.  He was active in organizations outside of campus, such as Rotary International, YMCA (as Secretary General of the YMCA of Ethiopia before coming to DC), and the United Church of Christ.  The College awarded him the Pilgrim Medal on his retirement.   A memorial service will be held at St. John UCC on campus on June 29 at 11:00AM.   Read his full obituary in the Crescent-News.

Barb Sedlock

Lead Librarian and Coordinator of Metadata and Archives



cthse paintings FCHS

This is a photo by John Myles of two of Professor Hermann Wiebe’s Ohio courthouse paintings, nine of which are on temporary loan to the new Museum and Welcome Center of Fulton County, Ohio, in Wauseon.

The original oils depicting the courthouses of Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky, Williams, and Wood counties, plus the Statehouse, are now on exhibit at the Museum.   Here’s another photo showing how the Museum has enhanced the Sandusky County painting with other Sandusky courthouse pictures:

cthse paintings FCHS2

If you would like to visit the Fulton County Museum, which just opened this month, it is across Rt. 108 from the fairgrounds, north of Wauseon and the turnpike exit.  Here is their website:

Museum & Welcome Center of Fulton County, Ohio

The Museum is open from 10-4, Mon-Sat., 12-4 Sundays, and closed on Tues. and Weds. from November through April.

The other 81 paintings of Wiebe’s collection can be viewed at their home in Defiance College’s Pilgrim Library.  The loaned paintings currently in the Fulton County Museum will return to the Library in January, 2019.  Digital images of all the courthouse paintings are available on this section of DC Memory.

Read Wiebe’s descriptions of the paintings on this section of DC Memory.

The Ohio Supreme Court made a video about Wiebe and his paintings, which is available at this section of their website.

Copyright of the paintings is owned by Defiance College and images may not be reproduced without permission.

Barbara Sedlock

Lead Librarian and Coordinator of Metadata and Archives




Mcmillen scrapbook002

Recently, former professor Jo McCormick donated a scrapbook she found at an auction or flea market (she doesn’t remember exactly where) that has Defiance College content.  The business card glued into the front says Charles David McMillin, and the name is echoed on the above page from the scrapbook, on the athletic game tickets.  We can’t find McMillin in our alumni directories, but there is a Charles McMillin listed as a freshman in the student roster of the 1915 academic catalog (which would be listing the student registered in the previous year).

Since the one ticket is dated 1914, it’s probable that the above photo of a baseball diamond is from the same year.

The scrapbook also includes many other photos, none of which are identified, unfortunately.  This is one of them, possibly members of McMillin’s class in 1914?:

Mcmillen scrapbook001

There are also some amusing hand-drawn caricatures, photos of bands, general candid student photos, and a page of decaying organic matter which might have been the remains of a cigar.  There are no plans to digitize the scrapbook in the near future, but the original can be viewed in the Pilgrim Library’s Archives.

Another new addition to the archives is a set of glass lantern slides, depicting college buildings and scenes such as May Day, all undated.  We don’t know where they came from; Institutional Advancement found them in a storage area.  It was difficult to get a good scan.  This is the best I could manage without having the proper equipment:

glass slide

The typed label on the other side reads” “Defiance Chapel with Service Flag, Slide No. 14.”  This is apparently the auditorium in old Weston Hall, where chapel used to be held.  Notice the Red Cross flag on the balcony to the right, which makes me wonder if the image is from the World War I era.

Note the company name printed on the side of the slide: Kansas City Slide Company.  Walt Disney worked for the KCSC early in his career, around 1920.  There’s no evidence Walt worked on Defiance College’s slides, but it’s fun to think about an association, a sort of “six degrees of separation” between DC and Disney.

We currently don’t have the equipment to properly digitize these glass lantern slides, but hope to in the future.  Schauffler College’s archives, curated by Defiance, also contains a large collection of glass slides waiting to be digitized.

Barb Sedlock

Lead Librarian and Coordinator of Metadata and Archives




[The above photo is from a bit later, probably 1940’s, since we have few images from the 20’s and 30’s].

How did Defiance College weather the 1920’s economic boom and 1930’s Depression?  Come to Schomburg Auditorium on Thursday, April 5 at 7:00PM to find out.  Professor Don Buerk and Archivist Barb Sedlock will give a presentation on DC’s history in the 1920’s and 30’s.

Buerk will speak about events that happened at DC in the time frame, and put it in context with information about what was taking place in the wider world outside of Defiance.

Sedlock will concentrate on student life, with anecdotes culled from the 1920’s campus newspaper Collegian, and from 1930’s Crescent-News clippings.  Apparently a past history class was assigned to view the 1930’s microfilm on file at the Defiance Public Library and to make copies for the Archives of any articles that appeared about the College.  That filled a gap in our knowledge about DC history, since the College did not publish a student newspaper during the 1930’s and part of the 40’s.

Here are some examples of interesting tidbits of student life in the earlier 20th century.  Clicking on the highlighted dates leads to the relevant story in the Collegian:

December 8, 1921: Students developed a fad for playing the Rook card game.  Look for the article titled “Radical Rookers…”  Wikipedia says the game was introduced in 1906 and was sometimes called “missionary poker” because it served as an alternative for those Christian denominations who objected to the face cards in regular decks because of the gambling association.



We don’t have any images of DC students playing cards in the 1920’s, but this one is of a card game in the Hive in 1969.

March 1, 1925:  The administration issues a ruling on college dances.  Look for the article “College Office Issues…”  Men and women were not permitted to dance together when the dance was open to all!  But women were allowed to attend and dance if they had their parents’ permission to dances by invitation.  Apparently the ruling was sparked by some kind of unspecified “agitation” on campus about dancing.


Again, we don’t have any images of a DC dance from the 1920’s.  The above is probably a square dance being held in 1962.  [The original slide has the black corners and I couldn’t figure out how to eliminate them when we scanned it.]

October 22, 1926:  An editorial calls for more men to support the athletic teams.  Look for the column with “Come on, YELL.”  The writer thinks the teams lack support and school spirit is not strong enough.  The cheering from the student section was “mostly feminine” and deeper male voices are needed for it to be effective.

Barb Sedlock

Lead Librarian and Coordinator of Metadata and Archives







Young CN001

Rev. Andrew Young was a close confidant of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and was present when King was assassinated in Memphis.  Young ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1970 but continued to be active in the Civil Rights movement.  He came to campus to speak as part of DC’s Forum series in November of 1971.

Young held a Q&A session on campus on his arrival, then had dinner in the Union, and at 8:00 PM gave his Forum address entitled, “With Liberty and Justice.”  The Forum brochure said he was scheduled to speak in the College Community (now Weaner) Center, but the Defender of November 11 and Crescent-News publicity said his presentation would be in St. John United Church of Christ.

Here is a photo of Young talking with students, which appeared in the Nov. 18, 1971 Defender:

Young Def001

The Defender did not go into a lot of detail about Young’s presentation, but did say that Young advocated for change being made through negotiations. He blamed President Nixon’s administration for not doing more for minority populations, and also talked about inflation and the economy.

After his DC appearance, Young went on to further national prominence when he was elected to Congress, served as Ambassador to the United Nations, and became Mayor of Atlanta.

Link to the Nov. 11, 1971 pre-visit publicity Defender article

Link to the article from November 18, 1971 Defender that reported on Young’s visit



In October, I posted about the acquisition of what is now the oldest known Defiance College newspaper, “The Truth-Seeker.”  The issues we own have now been digitized and are available in this section of DC Memory.

The first issue is dated October 1897, and the last one we presently own is December 1899.  We don’t own all the issues in the date range, however.  Perhaps someone will find and donate those in the future.

The first issue states that it is the “official organ and mouthpiece of Defiance College.”  Most issues have articles by then-President John Latchaw.  The October 1897 issue has an article about student room and board being priced at $2 a week.  Another article lists changes to campus, such as new faculty hires and newly-enrolled students.  And did you know that DC had a School of Typing and Shorthand back in those days?

Barb Sedlock

Lead Librarian and Coordinator of Metadata and Archives






It’s kind of hard to tell from this grainy photo that appeared in the September 21, 1967 Defender, but that’s John Denver on the right, giving a performance as part of the Mitchell Trio, in what is now the Weaner Center.

Denver replaced original group member Chad Mitchell, and sang with the trio between 1965-1969, before he hit the big time as a solo artist in the early 1970s.

The archives has a nice, clear William Morris Agency photo of the group, but because of copyright restrictions, I can’t reproduce it here.   The above photo in the Defender is the only other one I’ve found of the group performing on campus.

According to a newspaper clipping from the Crescent-News (undated but likely mid-September), the performance was sponsored by the DC Student Government, and was held on the same day as a picnic and the opening home football game against Kenyon.   The C-N said that the other singers besides Denver were Mike Kobluk and David Boise.  Wikipedia confirms that the three produced an album the same year.  The Trio was accompanied by Paul Prestopino and Bob Hofferan on guitar, banjo, mandolin, and fiddle.

Here’s a link to the page in the Defender this photo came from.  There’s just a caption, no accompanying story.

Barb Sedlock

Lead Librarian and Coordinator of Metadata and Archives