Ove J. H. Preus Presidential Papers, 1932 - 1948 | Luther College Archives

By Alison Sancken

Collection Overview

Title: Ove J. H. Preus Presidential Papers, 1932 - 1948Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1932 - 1939

ID: LCA/RG02/4th President

Primary Creator: Preus, Ove J. H. (1880-1951)

Extent: 1.8 Linear Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: This collection is arranged into one series, Presidential Papers (1881 - 1951).

Subjects: Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) - Administration, Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) - Anniversaries, Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) - College Finances, Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) - Norwegian Royal Visits, United States - National Youth Administration

Forms of Material: Correspondence, Photographs

Languages: English, Norwegian


A collection of correspondence and presidential papers from 1881 - 1951 that document the administration of Ove J. H. Preus, the fourth president of Luther College.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection contains correspondence, photographs, financial statements, meeting minutes, and articles from the office of Ove J. H. Preus, fourth president of Luther College. Topics include a royal visit from the Crown Prince Olav and Princess Martha of Norway, inauguration materials, Luther's 71st anniversary celebration, National Youth Administration, and Luther College Loans and Admissions. Materials in this collection cover the dates of 1881 - 1851 and includes a speech made in 1990. All materials are in English except one folder of correspondence that is in Norwegian.

Biographical Note

Ove Jacob Hjort Preus was born January 21, 1880 at Spring Prairie, Wisconsin to Reverend Christian Keyser Preus and Louise Augusta Hjort.  His father was a well known Lutheran pastor and the second president of Luther College.  His mother was from an equally prestigious Norwegian American family.  Ove's brothers and sisters went on to lives in service to their church or country.

Ove Preus attended Luther College from 1895 to 1901 when he received a Bachelor of Arts.  From there he went to Luther Seminary in Connecticut and attained a Certificate of Theology.  Following his graduation in 1904 he spent two years in post graduate work at John Hopkins University in Baltimore before answering a call to serve a congregation in Tacoma, Washington in 1905.

In 1908 he married Amanda Magdelene Forde and they lived in Tacoma until 1910 when they moved to Los Angeles, California.  While in Los Angeles, Ove earned a law degree from Southwestern University, finishing his studies in 1916.  Upon completion of this degree he and Magdelene returned to the Midwest in answer to a call from Beloit, Wisconsin.

The service in Beloit lasted only two years before being called to De Forest, Wisconsin in 1918.  Here the family stayed until 1928.  Ove and Magdalene's family started to grow and eventually numbered six - one daughter and five sons.  In 1926, while pastor in De Forest, he was elected president of the eastern district of the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America and he retained both positions until 1929.

Two more moves where in the future for the Preus family - physically and professionally.  In 1929, Ove accepted the Presidency of Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  He held this position only three years before another presidency was offered to him - this time that of Luther College, his alma mater.  It was an election that was difficult to accept, but his life-long dedication to the needs of his church won out.  Facing formidable problems, he and his family returned to Decorah, Iowa to take over the leadership of the troubled college.

His presidency was not an easy time both for internal reasons and for the external challenges facing everyone during the recovery from the Great Depression and the onset of World War II.  But he weathered these with strength and intelligence, leaving Luther College in 1948 stronger than he had found it.  He stayed on at Luther as a professor of Bible Study and Norse Culture until his death at the age of 71 in Decorah in February of 1951.

Subject/Index Terms

Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) - Administration
Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) - Anniversaries
Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) - College Finances
Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) - Norwegian Royal Visits
United States - National Youth Administration

Administrative Information

Repository: Luther College Archives

Alternate Extent Statement: 5 boxes

Access Restrictions: All materials are available for research.

Use Restrictions: Though we may hold the property rights, Luther College Archives does not hold the copyrights for all materials.  Individuals may use materials for non-commercial, private use, but commercial users must secure permissions from the copyright holders and/or Luther College Archives to reproduce, publish, or quote protected materials and photographs.  For more information about the Luther College Library and Information Services copyright and fair use policy, please visit http://lis.luther.edu/about/policies/copyright.

Technical Access Note: Some materials in this collection require the use of a microfilm reader and a slide projector.

Original/Copies Note: Some materials in this collection are photocopies and reproductions. The existence, location, and copyright status of originals are unknown.

Preferred Citation:

Cite unpublished materials: Ove J. H. Preus Presidential Papers, RG02 Office of the President, Luther College Archives, Decorah, Iowa

Cite published materials as required by your chosen citation style (Chicago, MLA, APA, etc.).

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1: Correspondence and Financial Statements, 1881-1951],
[Box 2: Correspondence and Financial Statements, 1911-1950],
[Box 3: Correspondence and Minutes, 1926-1940],
[Box 4: Correspondence and Articles, 1924-1949],
[Box 5: Correspondence and Photographs, 1914-1990],

Box 4: Correspondence and Articles, 1924-1949Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Correspondence with Bryon C. Nelson, 1927-1935Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Luther College Concert Band Tour Correspondence, 1932-1940Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Correspondence Pertaining to Lutheran Deaconess Hospital, Chicago, 1932-1947Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Articles Pertaining to Health Services, 1938-1939Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Correspondence with A. J. Bergsaker, 1939-1947Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Correspondence pertaining to Board of Education NLCA, 1941-1948Add to your cart.
Norwegian Lutheran Church of America
Folder 7: Correspondence with the Planning Commissions of the NLCA, 1944-1945Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Articles and Reports Pertaining to the North Central Association, 1941-1949Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Correspondence, 1929-1939Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Correspondence with Arthur Andersen, 1934-1940Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Correspondence with the Augsburg Publishing House, 1932-1938Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Centennial Appeal of NLCA, 1938Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Correspondence with Norwegian-American Historical Museum, 1924-1939Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Correspondence with First National Bank and Trust Co., 1933-1934Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Correspondence with Emil Estenson, 1931-1939Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Correspondence, 1933-1943Add to your cart.
Folder 17: Correspondence, 1936Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Correspondence, 1935-1936Add to your cart.

Browse by Box:

[Box 1: Correspondence and Financial Statements, 1881-1951],
[Box 2: Correspondence and Financial Statements, 1911-1950],
[Box 3: Correspondence and Minutes, 1926-1940],
[Box 4: Correspondence and Articles, 1924-1949],
[Box 5: Correspondence and Photographs, 1914-1990],