I’m sure you all recall that a couple of years ago I discovered English Professor George Williams ’23 had left notes in his correspondence files describing his relationships with the letter writers. Here’s one that briefly describes the life and death of Joseph Davies, which I wrote about yesterday:
So far, so good, all totally as expected, but it’s the back side of the note that’s really interesting:
But who was Hans Ander? I’d never heard of him at all and he had had a small but important part to play in the history of the institution. The first part was easy–he was a graduate fellow in the biology department. He was also a band guy. Ander spent several years trading off leadership roles in the band with Lee Chatham. One year he’d be director and the next president with Chatham taking the other job each year. (I have no clue what these jobs entailed, by the way.)
Here’s the band in 1921. Ander is the serious fellow with the french horn at far left:
And in 1925 he’s in the white sweater sitting at the far right:
After this promising start, things began to get confusing. I now understand that the reason I struggled to untangle his story is that he and his father were both Lutheran pastors in Texas at the same time. After graduation Ander continued to serve as a pastor and also went on to a long career as a teacher and administrator Texas educational institutions. In time, he began adding sons to the ministry:
Ander’s second son, Hans Jr., also became a Lutheran minister and was martyred during World War II in New Guinea. After this loss Ander left Texas to spend the last years of his career as the founding dean of the Alabama Lutheran Bible Institute in Tuscaloosa, an institution dedicated to the training of black ministers and church workers. He died in 1949, only a year after opening the school.
Here he is in a photograph from the Evangelical Lutheran Church Archives, second from left. That’s his wife Bertha next to him:
I noticed that the posted newspaper article said Hans’ father’s first Lutheran pastorate was in Ander, Tex. I wondered if he might have been related to its namesake. Indeed he was … Theo Ander WAS the namesake!
According to the Handbook of Texas Online, “Ander, on Farm Road 1961 in northern Goliad County, was settled during the pre-Civil War German immigrations by families from Prussia, Saxony, Alsace, and Lorraine. The community was originally named Hanover after the German city and duchy. … In 1900 the citizens of Hanover applied for their own post office, only to discover that another Hanover already existed in Texas. They then chose the name Ander, in honor of Theodore N. Ander, pastor of the Lutheran church.”
(Source: Handbook of Texas Online, Craig H. Roell, “ANDER, TX,” accessed March 06, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hna33. )
Pingback: “Bethany College Honors Its Distinguished Graduate,” 1965 | Rice History Corner