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Ove J. H. Preus Presidential Papers, 1932 - 1948

By Alison Sancken

Collection Overview

Title: Ove J. H. Preus Presidential Papers, 1932 - 1948

Predominant Dates:1932 - 1939

ID: LCA/RG02/4th President

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).

Languages: English [eng], Norwegian [nor]


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.

Administrative Information

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

Box 1: Correspondence and Financial Statements, 1881-1951Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Collection Inventory Information, 1881-1951Add to your cart.
63:1 This folder contains a detailed inventory of the documents found within this box.
Folder 2: Correspondence, 1881-1947Add to your cart.
63:1 This folder contains various letters and notes from a multitude of people including a christmas card and a letter from the headquarters of the U.S. Marine Corps.
Folder 3: Micellaneous Correspondence and Programs, 1939-1948Add to your cart.
63:2 This folder contains a variety of a variety of documents including a program of events for the visit of Crown Prince Olav and Crown Princess Martha of Norway. Other documents include minutes from a meeting with the Luther College Corporation, a data sheet of Luther College salaries to staff members, and a letter to the faculty.
Folder 4: Bulletin and Article Honoring Preus and Announcing His Retirement, 1946-1947Add to your cart.
63:3 This folder contains a copy of the Luther College Bulletin and two articles from the Luther College Chips student newspaper.
Folder 5: Church Materials and Correspondence, 1943-1947Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Bank Statement and Checks, 1940Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Bank Statement and Checks, August - October 1940Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Bank Statement and Checks, October - December 1940Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Bank Statement and Checks, December 1940 - January 1941Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Checks found in a Playhouse of Decorah, 1934Add to your cart.
Box 2: Correspondence and Financial Statements, 1911-1950Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Bank Statement and Checks, January - March 1941Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Bank Statement and Checks, March - May 1941Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Bank Statement and Checks, May - July 1941Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Bank Statement and Checks, July - September 1941Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Bank Statement and Checks, September - November 1941Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Bank Statement and Checks, November 1941 - January 1942Add to your cart.
Folder 7: 71st Anniversary & Presidential Inauguration Correspondence, October 1932Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Correspondence and Articles of Incorporation, 1932-1933Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Correspondence, 1923, 1932-1936Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Correspondence, 1932-1936Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Correspondence, 1911-1937Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Correspondence with L.W. Boe, 1937-1939Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Correspondence with L.W. Boe, 1932-1937Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Correspondence, 1942-1943Add to your cart.
63:22 This folder contains a number of documents regarding the CCC Barracks on Luther College Campus
Folder 15: Correspondence, 1939, 1941-1943Add to your cart.
63:23 This folder contains a number of documents regarding the National Youth Administration.
Folder 16: Correspondence, 1938-1950Add to your cart.
63:24 This folder contains a number of correspondence letters with Morton O. Nilssen and a photograph.
Folder 17: Correspondence, 1943-1944Add to your cart.
63:25 This folder contains a number of correspondence letters with the Foreign Language Radio Wartime Control Committee.
Folder 18: Correspondence Regarding Museum Financials, 1947Add to your cart.
Folder 19: Sermon and Speech Notes, 1937Add to your cart.
Box 3: Correspondence and Minutes, 1926-1940Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Correspondence, 1933-1936Add to your cart.
63:26 Correspondence and Miscellaneous articles regarding KWLC
Folder 2: Correspondence, 1932-1939Add to your cart.
63:27 This folder contains a number of correspondence letters with T. F. Gullixson.
Folder 3: Correspondence, 1925-1938Add to your cart.
63:28 This folder contains a number of correspondence letters with E. C. Haavik.
Folder 4: Correspondence, 1932-1935Add to your cart.
63:29 Miscellaneous form letters written by Dr. Preus
Folder 5: Correspondence, 1926, 1928-1938Add to your cart.
63:30 Correspondence with M.O. Grangaard
Folder 6: Minutes of the Music Board, 1935-1939Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Correspondence, 1935-1939Add to your cart.
63:32 Correspondence with Wilhelm Morgenstjerne
Folder 8: Correspondence, 1937-1940Add to your cart.
63:33 Correspondence with O. M. Norlie
Folder 9: Correspondence, 1935-1938Add to your cart.
63:34 Correspondence with M. O. Nilssen
Folder 10: Correspondence, 1931-1939Add to your cart.
63:35 Correspondence with Theodore Hoelty-Nickel
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, 1932, 1941-1948Add to your cart.
63:41 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.
63:44 Correspondence with J.A. Aasgaard, O.L. Olson, and O.J.H. Preus
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. Fargo N.D., 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, 1935-1936Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Correspondence, 1935-1936Add to your cart.
Box 5: Correspondence and Photographs, 1914-1990Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Luther College Emergency Appeal, 1942-1945Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Correspondence, 1935-1941Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Correspondence, 1942Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Correspondence, 1943Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Correspondence, 1944Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Correspondence, 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Correspondence, 1946Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Correspondence, 1947Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Correspondence, 1948Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Corrsepondence pertaining to Loans and Admissions, 1932Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Correspondence pertaining to Loans and Admissions, 1933Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Correspondence pertaining to Loans and Admissions, 1934Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Correspondence pertaining to Loans and Admissions, 1935Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Correspondence pertaining to Loans and Admissions, 1936Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Correspondence pertaining to Loans and Admissions, 1937Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Letter to Mr. Karl H. Nordgaard, December 1, 1937Add to your cart.
Folder 17: Article and Speech on O.J.H. Preus for the Symra Society by David W. Preus, May - July 1990Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Letter from O.J.H. Preus's Mother, 1916, 1990Add to your cart.
63:71 This folder contains a letter written in Norwegian from Preus's mother.
Folder 19: Photocopies of an article in the Decorah Public Opinion, February 15, 1951Add to your cart.
63:72 Article pertains to Preus's Death
Folder 20: Photo Slides of O.J.H. Preus, n.d.Add to your cart.
2 slides
Folder 21: "Experiments in Higher Education" by O. J. H. Preus, 1944Add to your cart.
Folder 22: Letter from H. F. Hansen, 1941Add to your cart.
Folder 23: Letter to Claremont Gorder, 1944Add to your cart.
Folder 24: Festivities in Honor of Their Royal Highnesses, 1939Add to your cart.
O.J.H. Preus's copy of the Program