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This is a complete and accurate transcript of the tape of the oral history interview of Edna Louise Asher Case (CN 196, T1) in the Archives of the Billy Graham Center. No spoken words have been omitted, except for any non-English phrases which could not be understood by the transcribers. Foreign terms which are not commonly understood appear in italics. In very few cases words were too unclear to be distinguished. If the transcriber was not completely sure of having gotten what the speaker said, "[?]" was inserted after the word or phrase in question. If the speech was inaudible or indistinguishable, "[unclear]" was inserted. Grunts and verbal hesitations such as "ah" or "um" were usually omitted. The transcribers have not attempted to phonetically replicate English dialects but have instead entered the standard English word the speaker was expressing.
Readers should remember that this is a transcript of spoken English, which follows a different rhythm and rule than written English.
... Three dots indicate an interruption or break in the train of thought within the sentence on the part of the speaker.
.... Four dots indicate what the transcriber believes to be the end of an incomplete sentence.
( ) Words in parentheses are asides made by the speaker.
[ ] Words in brackets are comments by the transcriber.
This transcript, made by Todd Thompson and Paul Ericksen, was completed in August 2004.
Collection 196, T1. Interview of Edna Louise Asher Case by Robert Shuster, November 27, 1981.
[recording begins at 7-1/2 ips]
SHUSTER: This is an interview with Mrs. Edna Case by Robert Shuster for the Billy Graham Center Archives. The interview took place at the Billy Graham Center on November 27th at 11:15. Mrs. Case, you are, of course, a...a niece of Mrs. William Asher and Mr. William Asher [pauses], I wonder if you could begin by just giving us a brief biography of your aunt and uncle and particularly their Christian work.
CASE: Yes, my aunt [Virginia Asher] had a Catholic background. She was born into a Catholic family. And at an early age she came to...
[recording changes to 3-3/4 ips]
...know the Lord as her own personal Savior and had a great zeal for being a witness and they.... She met my uncle, and he too was a Christian. And they...she married at seventeen years of age and they did a great deal of...had ministry quite a bit among the mission type of ministries that were held in Chicago.
SHUSTER: You mean city rescue mission?
CASE: City rescue mission. I...maybe Pacific Garden [Mission]. I’m not really sure about the time because this...this was, of course, before we ever knew her. But [clears throat] then she had a beautiful contralto voice, and, of course, this attracted a lot of people and in this way, why, she was able to minister to them through her singing. And....
SHUSTER: Was she...was...did she have any kind of voice training or was it just...?
CASE: Yes, she did have. And this book, The Council Torchbearer, gives the background of all of this time of her life...of their life. And she did have voice training. In later years as she was...they were a little bit older, why, they traveled with Dr. [J. Wilbur] Chapman around the world in his meetings that he held. And then later, of course, she was with the Billy Sunday party in which she helped a good bill...bit in singing with Homer Rodeheaver. They...their duets...their...they were quite well known for their duets. Her work, however, with the Sunday party had to do with businesswomen. She had a very great love, a deep concern for businesswomen. And she related to them so well. She had a marvelous memory for names. For all the campaigns that she...they held, she would remember these women when she would meet them and where they were from and so forth.
SHUSTER: What do you mean by “businesswomen”?
CASE: Women who worked in factories. They worked in offices. Many nurses. Just...both professional and then...and just the common shop girls particularly. And she would go in...when they went into a town, she would have a contact person and form a committee. They would set up new meetings in the factory or in the shop or wherever they were allowed to. My aunt would speak to the girls about the Lord and then invite them to come to a gathering on...on some evening. This way the councils were formed in the local cities throughout the country and later became a national organization in which they had quite a ministry in reaching businesswomen.
SHUSTER: Had your aunt worked herself for a while in a factory or...?
CASE: No, she hadn’t. She hadn’t had that experience.
SHUSTER: How did she become involved in this work? Do you know or you just...?
CASE: I don’t really know except that she had a real zeal for the Lord, for people to know the Lord. And it might be perhaps in some of her early years she had met some of these girls who work in the shops and maybe work in menial ways that didn’t have much opportunity. And her heart just went out to them that they should have a better life in knowing Christ.
SHUSTER: What...what about your uncle? What work did he do with the Sunday party?
CASE: He didn’t do anything really official with them. There were times when he traveled with them. And I...I just don’t know. He probably held some of the meetings that they had, the noonday services that they held someplace, all the time. And I think Uncle Will probably spoke in some of those. But he had a church in New York, which he was pastor for a number of years and...and he had some other church too...other churches too, which I really don’t recall the locations or the years quite on that.
SHUSTER: Did you ever attend a Sunday campaign meeting with...?
CASE: Yes, I did. Since my aunt and uncle didn’t have any family, no children, they considered we three girls their family. And each of us attended a campaign meeting from time to time when we were not in school and when it was possible. I went to Beckley, West Virginia , when I was in high school. And I was there for a week and attended the meetings. And it...it was very interesting to have that close contact with the different members of the party and get to know them that well. Although, also I had seen them in Winona Lake [Indiana] and gotten acquainted with some of them there.
SHUSTER: What were the meetings like?
CASE: Well, they had a tabernacle usually. I guess as far as I remember they always had a tabernacle [laughs]. And some of it...there were noon meetings and other committee meetings and other organizational meetings held with people during the daytime of these campaigns, and then at night, of course, they had the big meeting in the tabernacle. And there was a choir. Mr. Home...Homer Rodeheaver directed and Mr. Sunday, of course, was a very forceful speaker, one that you had to listen to closely because he spoke so fast, so rapidly. He was very graphic in his speaking too. He...he could paint word pictures that just really illustrated the Scripture and incidents that he wanted to relate. And he was very active on the platform, walking back and forth and his gestures were very open, expressive too. The different members all had their own delightful characteristics and friendliness. The women of the party, Florence Kinney and Frances Bennett, they were.... Bob Matthews played the piano and.... Anyway, in between times, where their were times when we could get together for fellowship times or just social times, why it was really interesting to know them.
SHUSTER: What...how did the members of the party get along together?
CASE: Well, apparently they...they did fine. I don’t recall of there to be any very serious differences. Of course, each of them had their own departments. And so they...they worked that way and then they worked closely with Mr. and Mrs. Sunday. And then there would be staff meetings when they all got together. But I, of course, never attended any of those or any of the meetings as they met with any of the staff people. But I think they probably did very well and I know they had their prayer times and discussed the problems and....
SHUSTER: What...did Mrs. Sunday have a function with...?
CASE: Oh yes, Mrs. Sunday was general manager. [clears throat] A very...a very efficient person. Of course, her first concern was Mr. Sunday. And she took the very best care of him and she took off of him the load as much as she possibly could of details and minor things. And then she also was in very close touch with each member of the party. And her advice was always glad...they were glad to have and to discuss with her, and problems that came up, why, she quite often was the one to handle them. Mr. Sunday, of course, was under a very great strain with his preaching and had to be relieved of...of much of this, so I...I would say that she was a general manager. “Ma” Sunday everybody called her [laughs]. She was nice to know. We had some personal contacts with her. For instance, I had a piece of needlework [pauses]...I’m trying to think of the...
SHUSTER: Embroidery or...?
CASE: Well, not pettipoint, but the other needlework point. And I...I never was very good at sewing of any kind. We somehow or other didn’t have those talents. And so, Mrs. Sunday found that I had this and hadn’t done anything with it, and so she said, “Well, here, give it to me, I’ll do it for you.” So, I still have that piece that she had...had done for me at that time. And she was very, very friendly with us and very kind to us as when we were around. That takes me back to thinking of my aunt as she traveled from place to place. She was always looking for things to send home to the girls, and as...at the time when King Tut’s tomb was opened  and all these discoveries were made, well, of course, everything was King Tut. Now I remember a dress that she sent to me (in those days everything that was at all dressy was silk) and it had all this King Tut designs on it. It was really quite a beautiful thing. And somehow or other, the memory of that’s always stuck in my mind. I can remember that dress so well. But, we had many nice things that were given to us by Aunt Jenny and Uncle Bill.
SHUSTER: Well, why don’t we talk about your aunt for a while. What kind of person was she?
CASE: She was very emotional [clears throat]. And she was very loyal to family. I recall the early days when we lived in Chicago. We had a flat upstairs over the store and they would come whenever they...there was a break in between the meetings and it was possible, why, they would come to visit. And they were almost always there like at Christmastime. One year when they were there, I heard music coming from a back room and when I rushed back to see what it was, here was a Victrola, (which is the first one that we had ever had and they weren’t really too plentiful even in those days), when I heard this music coming and it was so interesting. They had...she and Uncle Will had given it to us. And she met people very well. She had a very loving way of relating to people. And as I mentioned she just was phenomenal in her memory, for remembering...remembering and remembering the names and places where they came from. She was very loving toward us. And we went to her...to the home at Winona Lake practically every year and spent maybe a month or two there in their home and shared a lot of the experiences that we probably would never have known otherwise.
SHUSTER: You mentioned that she did a great deal of work with businesswomen around the country. [pauses] Did she have a particular...she...interest in working women?
CASE: Yes, she [clears throat]...she did. And [clears throat] as I mentioned that she really had a compassion for the working girl. She...professional people were...were great. She related very well to professional people. In the lines that...of nurses and so forth. But I think that if the girl...the shop girl perhaps was...meant the most to her, the factory girl, where she felt that she could be of such good help. But also bringing these different types together in the council work as it was established, the shop girl got to know the professional. And this...this was really so very beneficial and gave these girls such a much wider experience. And what we call now discipling in these days was in contact as they came to these council meetings. They met every week and had a Bible study. This was the real purpose of these meetings was to have Bible studies, so that these who...girls who had come to know the Lord had a chance to also get to know the Bible and then to be discipled by the ones who were already Christian women. And when they met in...in their national meetings, it was at Winona Lake. And usually the...many of the lesser meetings, the committee meetings and so forth, were held at The Virginia, the cottage where they lived, the house were they have. [clears throat] They had a conference perhaps for a week with Bible studies and different people speaking in meetings. The closing meeting was always held down at Kosciusko [?] at the lake [in Kosciusko County, Indiana]. And my aunt stood in a boat and gave the Bible study, the message for the evening. Her theme song you might say was “The Light of the World is Jesus.” And at the close of this meeting she would sing that song with the girls joining in. The boat would then be propelled away across the water some distance, and the voice would be coming “The Light of the World is Jesus” across the water. It was very effective. This was part of her personality, I guess, her make-up of...of having things that were beautiful and effective that would show the Lord to these girls.
SHUSTER: How many people attended these meetings?
CASE: The conferences?
CASE: Oh, we...there would be probably a couple hundred [clears throat] would come to Winona Lake.
SHUSTER: And how many clubs were there around the country?
CASE: I really don’t know how many to estimate that. There might be that in the book. I can’t recall whether it’s related or not.
SHUSTER: But these clubs grew out of the committee that she organized during evangelistic campaigns?
CASE: Yes, yes, and very definitely came from that.
SHUSTER: And the main activities then were Bible study and...?
CASE: The main activity was Bible study. Of course, a conference is like any conference. They had social activities, swimming, and this...like we do. It can’t be all study, all work. And they...they were very enjoyable. And then the individual councils in the cities also would plan their activities for certain holidays or...in order to give the girls a social life with...along with the Christian Bible study.
SHUSTER: Did they engage in any kind of social or reform activities? I mean social....
CASE: [clears throat] Yes, they had their, you know, missionary outreach was in every council. As a national council they built a hospital in Korea for the lepers. In later years I recall that they were able to provide a bus in order to transport people back and forth to that hospital. And then they had various other missionary outreaches that came both from the local established council or...and from the national. In our own city we had...
SHUSTER: In St. Louis.
CASE: ...In St. Louis we had a...a businesswomen’s council. My sisters were both members of it. And we...still to this day, there are several people that were members of it at that time. And that was back in, what, 1928, somewhere at that time where it was organized. But they would do outwork reach in the city. They would come to our own mission down in the inner city and go into their churches in various missionary outreach.
SHUSTER: Of course, one of the things that Billy Sunday is most identified with in the popular mind is his campaign against alcohol and with Prohibition. Were your aunt and uncle involved in that work at all?
CASE: I don’t recall that they...perhaps during campaigns they have...might have followed up some program that was put into effect by the...the party. I’m not sure about that. I know that they certainly would be very strongly supporting it. [sound of passing train in background] But, I don’t recall whether they had any immediate contact in that line or not?
SHUSTER: And the Business Women’s Council then...?
CASE: I don’t know about that. I don’t recall anything in St. Louis in which they...although I...I was growing up in those years and it was a little bit hard for me to remember such things. I...I certainly am very sure that if any of the council members had any such problems, that they would...would receive as much help as they could possibly give them.
SHUSTER: Were the [pauses]...would the groups with the various committees more or less spontaneously organize themselves?
CASE: You mean the in the...the council?
SHUSTER: Right. Did they...into a permanent group or was it a...?
CASE: That was pretty well set up while the campaign was in that city.
SHUSTER: But I mean the decision to be a permanent group after the...after the campaign left town.
CASE: Oh, well....
SHUSTER: Was that spontaneous activity on the...did your aunt set up a network?
CASE: It had a...it had a pretty good foundation while the campaign was there. I mean, they...they got them together. Through the Bible study, of course, they had many that came to know the Lord and then there would be this decision to organize immediately into an organization that would continue after the campaign left. And from then on then the local group carried the responsibility in whatever activities were....
SHUSTER: Did your aunt have anything to do with running the clubs beyond leading the ann...the national conference each year?
CASE: She would visit them in the.... At times when she had free time she would go to visit. Sometimes if there was a council that needed help because it was not able quite to...it was not strong enough, she might go at her...on her time and spend a couple days there and meet with the leaders and...and...and give it what support that she could. She kept in very close touch with every council.
SHUSTER: What happened to the group after she died?
CASE: They were in existence for a long time and as a matter of fact they may still be in existence in some cities. But if you add up the years from that time till now you would realize that many of the original members would not be living, would be in poor health, and depending on how strong the council is, whether the younger ones that came in were carrying it. I...I do not have any information on that right now. I know our St. Louis group is not meeting.
SHUSTER: Do your recall when the last national meeting was?
CASE: The last national. No, I don’t.
SHUSTER: Were there national meetings held after her death?
CASE: Yes. Yes, they were. Some of the strong and...stronger members served on a national basis. Margaret Huff, who was a missionary in...at the Cumberland Mountain Mission in Fort Blackmore [Virginia?], was a very close friend of my aunt’s. She attended many of the Sunday campaign meetings and she became sort of a successor in helping the groups to stay together and to keep in touch with until her death.
SHUSTER: What [pauses]...do you have any remembrances of Billy Sunday as he was like personally?
CASE: Not anymore than I have already mentioned in...in seeing him preach and I...very often he was not pub...he was not available. I don’t mean available, but I just didn’t see him around with other members. He...he rested a great deal. He had some meetings with people from the city who were on...on that committee (the local committee for the campaign), but he...he was always friendly whenever I did see him. And....
SHUSTER: Was he as vigorous and as [pauses] aggressive in...
SHUSTER: ...private life as he was in the pulpit?
CASE: Yes, yes, he was, yes, he was.
SHUSTER: What about Homer Rodeheaver. What do you recall of him?
CASE: Well, I....I guess I knew Mr. Rodeheaver a lot better, because many times when I was at Winona Lake, Mr....the Sundays were not there. But through the conferences Mr. Rodeheaver was always on the platform. We got to know him as we went to Rainbow Point, where his home is on the island in Winona Lake. His sister Ruth was there and we knew his stepmother, Mrs. Rodeheaver, who was a very, very delightful person. And so that way we were more on some of the family gatherings with them. Mr. Rodeheaver of course, had a great sense of humor and he looked on Jenny’s girls as being sort of responsibility for them too. And I recall at the time that his younger brother Jack had his...was killed in a plane accident. Jack was just loved so very much by Homer and this was just almost something that he could hardly rise above. And there was a great depression around there for...at Winona for a while and for years afterwards, except that, of course, Mr. Rodeheaver did accept it and...and loved Jack in his memory as much as he did when he was living.
SHUSTER: Did [pauses]...now Homer Rodehea...Rodeheaver, of course, started a music company. Was he a...a capable business person?
CASE: I don’t know. I...that...that...that grew out of the music schools that he had during the conferences at Winona Lake. [unclear]....
SHUSTER: Now, what were they?
CASE: That was a music...the music schools that he set up were classes in various phases of Christian music. And it...it would be held for about two weeks at Winona. And they...he had capable teachers and people who were interested in leading music and organizing choirs and writing music and publishing music. And then from that, the publishing company, I think, grew out of that maybe at the same time. And I...I...as far as his business ability, Jack...not Jack...Joe...his brother Joe was business manager and I think Joe was probably the business head of the it.
SHUSTER: You [pauses]...now, of course, your father [Alexander Asher] was involved in rescue mission work, was superintendent of the mission in St. Louis.
SHUSTER: How did he become involved in rescue mission activity?
CASE: Well, we were living in Chicago at the time.
SHUSTER: What time was that?
CASE: Oh, about 1910. We had been living in Crawfordswille...Crawfordsville [Indiana], and my grandmother had the bakery on Clark Street. My father’s younger brother John was not married and he lived with Grandmother and helped in the...in the business. And then he...through surgery he died. And so Dad felt that it was up to him that he should go to Chicago and help Grandma with the work...with the bakery work.. So we moved to Chicago and we had this very nice bakery. And at that time Dad began going to Pacific Garden Mission. And he probably was familiar with it before that, although I don’t recall too much. (I was too young at the time.) But we had the....
SHUSTER: Why did he start going to Pacific Garden Mission? Because it was close by or...?
CASE: Somehow or other Dad felt like he wanted to give the witness. He had been saved. He had been saved in his young manhood and he had this desire to tell...to testify to it and to help other people, so he would go to Pacific Garden Mission and it got to the point so that they invited him to speak. And he would go down there and preach, up one night a week at least. And this way we came to know Mr. [Mel] Trotter and Harry Monroe who were involved in the mission at that time. And through them became acquainted with many, many mission people throughout the land who would come to Chicago and who would be at Pacific Garden Mission. And we would get to know them that way. I recall the Saturday nights when the mission men, both Mr. Trotter and Mr. Monroe and any visiting missionar...mission men, would come up to the bakery and Dad would’ve put a ham in the oven after the bakers were all through using the oven and it was still hot. And then we could all sit around downstairs and have ham sandwiches and coffee and lots and lots of laughter. I’ve never known any group of men...men to have a bigger sense of humor than the mission men had. They just had a marvelous time together.
SHUSTER: Why do you think that was?
CASE: Well, I think first of all, it was the joy that they had in them. Secondly, in the type of mission work you let that out, you weren’t reserved. Thirdly, they had many experiences to share and a lot of them were funny. And there was a great comradeship among mission men, something that I...I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anywhere else. The International Union of Gospel Missions was organized somewhat later, and this gave a contact for mission men all over the country. And then they too would have their national conventions and they would have conferences at Winona Lake sometimes or other places. Mother and Dad went to those conferences a number of times. And we had a real privilege in knowing so many of those men. And then, of course, it was only a step from mission men to evangelists. And I really feel that we had a wonderful heritage of all this background of...of knowing such wonderful Christian people that we have, who were giving out the message of salvation.
SHUSTER: Harry Monroe, of course, was superintendent of Pacific Gard...Pacific Garden Mission. Did you know him very well?
CASE: Yes, he was...he was just a charming person. He was a very big man. And he was bald. And he had a way of talking that he would squint his eyes practically closed, especially when he was preaching or when he was giving an invitation, this was true. But it was also true in private conversation or when he was in a group. This was just a characteristic of his. And he...he himself had been saved out of a life of deep sin, and his...his joy, his love of the Lord was just so evident and it just permeated him into his just normal conversation.
SHUSTER: How was he saved?
CASE: He was saved at Pacific Garden Mission. It...that’s in that book [Founding of Pacific Garden Mission: Over Thirty-Five Years Contributed to the Master’s Service] by Mrs. [Sarah D.] Clarke. It tells about that. And he [pauses]...he...he...I guess he.... I don’t recall the details without refreshing myself with...with the book. But he was saved that way and his...his love, his humility, his gratefulness to the Lord for taking him out of that kind of a life was just overpowering.
SHUSTER: How did his preaching compare with say, Billy Sunday?
CASE: Well, entirely different. He st...he...he stood at a pul...pulpit, or stood on the platform. He was an emotional person. Of course, Mr. Sunday was too, but in a very different way. Mr. Monroe had a way of...I really don’t...speaking very...in a low sort of a high-pitched voice like he was trying to reach out and touch you practically. And he would use his hands and gestures, but he wasn’t act...active back and forth like Mr. Sunday was.
SHUSTER: He was intense?
CASE: Very intense.
SHUSTER: What...what kind of activities were there at Pacific Garden Mission?
CASE: I think as far as I can recall, that there was really just the night meetings. They did, of course, house transient men and also fed them. And [pauses] don’t recall that they had any work among women and children. They might possibly have had a Sunday school. I don’t remember. Any time that we went it was of an evening. And the room was practically filled with men, transient men from that...in...down in that area. [clears throat]
SHUSTER: What...how did Mel Trotter compare to Harry Monroe?
CASE: Well, [clears throat], excuse me. I might say he was sort of a balance. He had a great sense of humor. And, of course, the two of them together were...would just, as the saying goes, “keep you in stitches” when they were telling incidents and that sort of thing. I think Mr. Trotter perhaps was more of a business person. And I know it was Mr. Trotter that invited Dad to go to St. Louis and take the city rescue mission there. There may have even been sort of a mission organization of some of the other missions from the other cities at that time, at which the I...IUGM [International Union of Gospel Missions] grew from. But...and...and perhaps Mr. Trotter had some office in that. I...I just am really not sure how that was. But he was...he was a very loving person. I know as...as a little girl, why, I was always so glad to see him come. I’d run and he’d take me up on his lap, you know, and talk to me. And then as I got older he’d say, “Oh, you’re growing up. You’re almost too big to sit on my lap anymore.” [laughs]
SHUSTER: Is [pauses]...did you ever go to his mission in Grand Rapids?
CASE: No, I never did. Dad went. Some of the mission conferences were held there.
SHUSTER: You mentioned that he recruited your father for the mission in St. Louis. How did the mission in St. Louis begin?
CASE: I’m not sure of the actual beginning. At the time we went it was not very old. It was a four-story brick building. It was absolutely great. Down in the...well, the river is the beginning of the city and the mission was at 9th Street. So it was right down in the very inner city. And Mr. Card, Daddy Card as he was so well known, had been superintendent there for a while. And the mission was having a bit of financial problem. It may have been too big an undertaking at the time for the resources. I’m not real sure about the business angle of it on there at that time. But anyway, I think Mr. Trotter thought maybe if Dad went there that he might be able to give it some help. And we went in 1916. And it was not however a transient work. It was more of a family work.
SHUSTER: How do you mean?
CASE: Well, we had a few of the men who came through the city and needed a place to sleep. And we didn’t do very much in the way of feeding, but we did have some rooms on the third floor (it was a four-story building)...had some rooms on the third and fourth floor where they could stay overnight. But then also there were people, families who had come in from the rural areas with the men looking for work. The times were hard, and those families could not afford to settle in any place but in the downtown area. And so that work and the work that we had that grew out of the city rescue mission work in another location became a family work. Parents and Sunday school. We had women’s work. We had young girls’ and young men’s clubs in which we were able to minister to them in a social way and in camping ways. And so we didn’t have the type of work that the Pacif...Pacific Garden Mission was. Later, in 1918, they figured that...that they were not able to support that building any more and they had to close it. But our work was transferred over then to Market Street where Mr. Card was at that time...had a work. And so Dad was with him associated for a couple of years until a group of praying women in St. Louis felt that a work was needed over on Morgan Street or Franklin Avenue, pretty much in the location of the other mission, and asked Dad if he would be willing on a faith basis to take that work. And that was really a family work in which we had contact with the families and were able to minister to them in many ways.
SHUSTER: Well, you’ve mission...mentioned some of the activities of the mission. There was Sunday schools, and women’s club and....
CASE: We had...
SHUSTER: ...activities for....
CASE: ...we had a visiting...a woman visiting missionary who would go into the homes of the people who were coming or into the homes of any people we knew where there was a need or problems or sorrow, and [pauses] who would bring them a Christian witness and also pray with them and or...and get...bring them some practical help. Those people then would come to the mission. It became their church, that’s what it really was. It...not only their church, but it became their social center. Not that we did much in the way of social sev...social center work, except in the fact that these boys clubs and girls clubs met and we would have speakers from the different churches sometimes that would come down and talk with them. [pauses] So that...we...tod...to this day we know many of the young people that were saved in the work at that time. And we...we still have contact with many of them.
SHUSTER: You mentioned also giving some practical help. What kind of...?
CASE: Yes. Peter’s Shoe Company in St. Louis was a Christian...was headed by a Christian family. That was...they were interested. In fact, Mr. Peters was on our board. And they would outfit the children with shoes every fall before they went back to school. And we would take groups of them over and...and they would fit them with shoes for...to last for the school year. They did that about twice a year. Then also we had, during the time when the war period [World War I] was on, Dad thought that it would be a very beneficial thing to have breakfast for the children before they went to school. So we had...one of the mothers of our family would cook breakfast in the morning and the children would all come there for breakfast before they went to school. And, of course, the practical things: churches sent in clothing and food in which we were able to give it to those who had the greatest needs.
SHUSTER: Were you able to do anything as far as helping people find work?
CASE: Yes, a number of times. These men who were on our board were businessmen. And quite often they found places as far as work was concerned. We had at least two of our young people put through Wheaton College by board members who went to the mission field. One of the young men became dean of the seminary in Guatemala City.
SHUSTER: Now who was that?
CASE: Doyle Brewington [BS from Wheaton in 1934]. And then he went to Princeton after he was in Wheaton. And Pearl Gregg with one of the families that lived just a couple of doors from our mission. After her education here at Wheaton she went to the Kentucky mountains as a missionary, later to Hawaii, and later to Japan.
SHUSTER: What were the...as someone who was involved very deeply in missions, city rescue mission work, what were some of the difficulties of that kind of activity?
CASE: Well, there we met up more with the type of person who might be involved in alcohol. And that, of course, in a way presented a problem. It presented a problem to one...some extent by having a family around in those...or in that environment.
SHUSTER: You mean your family?
CASE: Uh-huh. But I don’t recall that we had any outstanding problem. There were things like men who would come in for conferences with Dad and had been...had lost their family or have had to leave their family because of the alcoholic habit. And I know that he was instrumental several times in getting those families back together again. I suppose that this might have been one of the biggest problems. I don’t recall that we had the crime problem that...anything like we have now. In fact, both there at the city rescue mission and when we went up a mile or so and had the city gospel mission, which later became Broad Center, we walked through that area without any fear, any danger. The mission was so highly respected and the people in the area, even thought they didn’t come (the business people in the area)...even though they didn’t come very often to the services, were...were more protective than anything. Sometimes we had people who were in...not our own people, but Dad would have contact with people who were in jail. He would be called upon to go and visit them and give what help he could.
SHUSTER: Did...what kind of person do you think would be most effective in rescue mission-type work?
CASE: Rescue mission?
SHUSTER: Or city mission.
CASE: City mission. There really is a difference. The rescue mission is more the person that comes and goes, and maybe has been separated from his family.
SHUSTER: Transient community?
CASE: Yes. What type of person? Well, my father was a very outgoing person. I think it...tha...I think that’s a characteristic that is pretty much needed. Anyone who doesn’t reach out to people, who is a reserved type.... And my mother was, so it was very difficult for her. Although, once people got to know her why they really loved her very much. But, I think the outgoing type of person, the person who has a concern for others. You really have to sort of forget yourself when your in a work like that. There’s long hours, they’re irregular hours. We lived right in it until...in the areas until1920, I guess it was, we finally moved our farther and then we would make our trips back and forth to the mission, riding the street cars back and forth. But, you can’t be repulsed by anything that you see or meet up with if you are going to really touch a person for the Lord. And I think it takes that...some back experience perhaps is...is very helpful like....
SHUSTER: Back experience, you mean?
CASE: Well, I’m thinking of a person’s background. Like Mr. Trotter and Mr. Monroe who had been through that. I don’t think my father ever had quite that deep an experience. He realized that he was a sinner and he knew the Lord...he needed to know the Lord. But with the get to knowing other mission people you...you learn what people have been through, and you can relate to someone who you are dealing with that is going through those same experiences.
SHUSTER: Did you have many or any contact with black families?
CASE: Not at that time. The city rescue mission was right across the street from an Italian block of people [clears throat], who kept their homes in really very nice condition. They only came now and then. There was...we didn’t have much contact with them at all. As we went farther up from the city rescue mission into the family work there were not black people in the area. We didn’t...we just didn’t have the race situation as we...as we have had in later years.
SHUSTER: How long was your father with the mission?
CASE: Well, he was in St. Louis mission work from 1916 until he died in 1941.
SHUSTER: And did the activities of the mission change over the years or the type of people he was working with?
CASE: Yes, quite...quite noticeably.
SHUSTER: How so?
CASE: Well, in the...in the fact that we went from the transient to the family people. And then when you get into a family work you...you are dealing with a lot different ages, different types. And it just change...and then in the later years, Boyle Center, who was located about a mile from where our work was on Franklin Avenue, closed out. It was under the Presbyterian Church. And Dad was a Presbyterian minister. He had taken his seminary work. And so Presbytery asked him if he would incorporate the Boyle Center Church, (that was an organized church), into our mission work. And that changed the character quite a bit. At that time then out of the people who came to the mission we had elders and deacons, and a regular church organization, a church ministry, and yet we kept the flavor of the mission work. We had the services every night, we had the same women’s meetings and Sunday school and so forth.
SHUSTER: When did your father...when was your father ordained?
CASE: When was he ordained? Zenia Seminary was located in St. Louis when we moved here.
SHUSTER: And so he started going...?
CASE: So he started going to Zenia. And at the same time he was pastor of a German Presbyterian church over on the south side, and he was ordained in that church.
SHUSTER: He was a very busy man.
CASE: Yes, he was busy. And taking it at a later age like that where he had...had a family it was a little bit difficult. But, there are...there are advantages. We had the seminary boys that came to the mission to help with the work. And many of the churches wonderfully supported our work, both with their services, with their ministries of coming down with their Christian Endeavors and taking different services and also in...in financial support. So we really had a marvelous support. Christian Endeavor was very active in St. Louis at that time and they did a great deal of work in our mission.
SHUSTER: Did you have any contact with Paul Rader?
CASE: Yes, he came to St. Louis. I was trying to think which mission we were in at the time. But anyway, he built the Taber...they built the Tabernacle out in University City, which is just over the limits of St. Louis and he held a campaign at that time. And we went to all those services. And....
SHUSTER: What do you recall of his meeting?
CASE: Well, I don’t recall a whole lot from that. I know we did...had...had small contact with the personal work which...at that time. And his meetings were well attended and he was very well liked. Out of his...his work grew the St. Louis Gospel Center.
SHUSTER: Which was another mission?
CASE: Well, it was more of a church. The mission...the Paul Rader meetings were attended by a lot of the church people. [clears throat] The Gospel Center was somewhat of a continuation of the people that were very active in it...in the gospel...in the Paul Rader meetings and in supporting it and bringing him to the city and so forth. And out of the St. Louis Gospel Center grew the Midwest Bible Institute. So, you know, a person just doesn’t realize the...the influence, the outreach of some of these ministries that are held.
SHUSTER: Yeah, continually expanding. What kind of a preacher was Paul Rader/? Do you recall?
CASE: Very...a very interesting preacher. He was a little more on the Billy Sunday type. And he spoke very well. His...his pre...his presenting the Word was very well done. He was...he was interesting. He had the appeal. And many, many people were saved in those meetings.
SHUSTER: You said you did some of the personnel work with the meeting?
CASE: A very small am...[laughs] amount. I did do...went to some of the personal worker’s training, but some of the time I did not get down there, and.... But I got acquainted with a lot of the people who were doing that.
SHUSTER: And personnel work was talking with people who came forward and helping them....
CASE: Yes. Well, going through the congregation, inviting people to come forward.
SHUSTER: Did you ever actually talk with people who’d come forward? Were you actually involved?
CASE: Not in that meeting, no. In the Billy Graham meetings I did some of it.
SHUSTER: What kind of people were the people that you talked to? What kind of people were coming forward at Billy Graham meetings?
CASE: Well, I talked to a very interesting high schooler for one thing. They were people who, I think, were more business people, professional people, social people.
SHUSTER: What...what kind of things touched them, caused them to come forward?
CASE: I guess, I wouldn’t know quite how to answer that. Billy Graham has a tremendous...he can grip a person. He has such a down-to-earth, matter-of-fact way of presenting the gospel, so logical. I think that this...I really think that this is...appealed to people, at...at least at meetings in St. Louis. He never said it but the implication was, you know, “You should know the Lord. Why don’t you?” And people would ask themselves that question and, I guess, just feel like this was the time to do it.
SHUSTER: And, of course, you had...another evangelist I think you had some acquaintance with was William Biederwolf.
CASE: Yes, my father worked with Dr. Biederwolf. They held some meetings together. That....
SHUSTER: When...when was that?
CASE: Well, that was after we came to St. Louis. And when Dad was able to be away from the work certain periods of time, like two weeks or so. He was...he admired Dr. Biederwolf. I...I...I guess he’s...probably was...admired him almost more than any man that he knew. He...he just thought he was such a fine person. Dr. Biederwolf was quick speaking, but a very logical person. After Dad died I found a book that had his sermons filed and he...I think he was greatly influenced by a lot of those sermons and probably used some of the material in his own. Mrs. Biederwolf [Ida Casad] was a charming person too. They went to Winona, of course, quite...quite a lot.
SHUSTER: Where did your father and Biederwolf hold their meetings?
CASE: I...I don’t remember. I just can’t recall that. He lived in Indiana and....
SHUSTER: He later moved to Florida, of course, didn’t he?
CASE: Yes, yeah later. That was more after he wasn’t preaching too much.
SHUSTER: Did...how did the meetings with your father and Dr. Biederwolf work? They each...they preached on alternating days or...?
CASE: No, I think Dr. Biederwolf did all the preaching.
SHUSTER: And your father organized it?
CASE: He did that and he probably spoke to men’s groups and organizational groups and did some of the business of planning appointments and this kind of thing.
SHUSTER: Well, let’s see. We’ve talked about your aunt and Billy Sunday, Homer Rodeheaver, Paul Rader, William Biederwolf and your father’s work. Were there other evangelists or Christian workers who you came to know during your time in St. Louis that made a particular impression on you?
CASE: Well, we had Dr. [R.A.] Torrey and Mr. [Homer] Hammontree of what was then Washington Compton Church, the church that we joined when we went to St. Louis. It was located in the midtown area at Washington and Compton Streets. The church is still there, but the Washington Compton congregation has moved out to the city limit edge near Washington University, and it’s called Memorial Presbyterian now. But I remember when Dr. Torrey was there. He was a very profound speaker, I think.
SHUSTER: How so?
CASE: Well, I guess...I think he comes closer to being a Bible study person than an evangelistic type, which was great. We...I mean, we really appreciated that. And...but he was coming at that time, of course, to a church. Now I think that makes a little difference. If you’re holding a meeting in a mission or in a tabernacle you get maybe a different type of people. But, of course, it drew from many churches and I appreciated those meetings with Doc...when Dr. Torrey was there.
SHUSTER: One of Torrey’s co-workers, of course, was Mr. [Walter] Jacoby, did you know him at all?
CASE: I knew Mr. Jacoby when I lived in Chicago. I was born in Chicago and lived here, oh, practically ten years after...before we moved to St. Louis and went to the old Moody Church over at...on Chicago Avenue. And I knew Dr. Jacoby then but I was pretty much of a child and I recognized him as being an authority person, and holding....
SHUSTER: Do you mean he was an imposing person or very...?
CASE: No, very down to earth, very, very kind. I went to the children’s meetings and he worked well with children.
SHUSTER: Well, what do you mean an authority person?
CASE: Well, he...he was...he was not the pastor, but he was one of the church people that were in authority [laughs]. Those were interesting days. I...my memory is not too clear on it, but I...I can remember one object lesson that they had at a children’s meeting where they lined up ten bottles on the platform in front of us and they took something and broke a bottle. And these bottles were...well, I don’t know. Anyway, it was representing the Ten Commandments. And they broke this bottle with...much to my horror as a child. And then...then the lesson was, of course, how you break one bottle you break the set. Therefore you are responsible for all the other bottles too. And it was quite impressive.
SHUSTER: Mrs. Case, how did you come to attend Wheaton College [pauses]? How did you hear about the college?
CASE: Well, I sometimes wondered about that myself [laughs]. My sister was here before I came. She...she went to Washington University in St. Louis for two years and then my...and then she had an illness that took her out of school for awhile. And so I expect it was probably...it might have been through my aunt and uncle that we heard about Wheaton. And....
SHUSTER: Mr. and Mrs. Asher?
CASE: Yes. And....
SHUSTER: Did they have a connection with the college, or they just knew about it?
CASE: That I just don’t know. It might be that they had some friends who had a definite connection or something of this kind. I myself don’t seem to be quite clear on that in...in those years. I was in high school at the time. But anyway, she came here for two years. And so when I graduated from high school, then my family wanted me to come too.
SHUSTER: That was in ‘25?
CASE: ‘25, yeah. I graduated in January ‘25. And then I didn’t come to Wheaton until September. But I...so I finally agreed. I really didn’t know too much about it and I guess as any harum-scarum [reckless] teenager, why, I maybe wasn’t too interested in sewing myself up with college, but anyway we were sort of brought up to do what the parents wanted, so [laughs]...so I came to college. And [pauses] I...I’m very sure that in all three of our cases that my aunt and uncle were very helpful in seeing us through to a certain extent financially. But anyway, I...it was, of course, it was wonderful. I am very, very happy to have had my four years in Wheaton and to have had the experience and have learned what I did and much...some to my sorrow and some to my [laughs] good. But it...it’s a great place. And my daughter had four years in Wheaton, too. So I really had eight years in Wheaton. I enjoyed it almost as much with her while she was here as...as I did my own. But Wheaton was very much smaller. I think the atten...the enrollment was about three hundred at that time and, of course, our class was quite small compared to what they are now. And we knew practically everybody in the class. [sound of passing train in background] And you come as a freshman a little bit timid and apprehensive and so forth, but that...that was soon dispelled. We had the literary societies and other activities right at the beginning of the year that helped us all get acquainted.
SHUSTER: Did you belong to one of the societies?
CASE: Yes, I belonged to the Aeolian Society. And the programming there was especially helpful to me because in later years as I worked with the young people in the mission I was able to almost reproduce the type of meetings that we had with our girl’s club. And that was very helpful for....
SHUSTER: What kind of meetings did you have in the Aeolian...?
CASE: Well, there were...there were programs that people took part. There was a...a theme to the program and different members were...whoever was in charge of that program for that month or that week, whatever week, I guess it was, we met. We’d get different people to take part on the programs. We had business meetings. We had parliamentary order. And all of these things our young people in St. Louis...in the east...east part...eastern part of St. Louis, had never heard of such things before. So that...you know, that was quite educational for them and as well as for me too. And....
SHUSTER: What were the kind of themes that a meeting might be built around?
CASE: Oh, they might have been seasonal themes. They might have been on a Bible theme. But they...they were more or less on something somebody would think up. They were not strictly religious themes at all. And in fact, some of the antics that went on was [laughs]...was not only in our society but in...in the other three that were here at that time. No, I guess there were only two at that time in the.... But anyway, they were a source of great fun really too. But, they...they were helpful.
SHUSTER: You say antics. Were there a lot of pranks or...?
CASE: Oh well, pranks...well, there were pranks that went on, of course, but they weren’t necessarily through the societies. The pranks went on through the classes. And...oh, we...you didn’t...I don’t suppose you ever heard of our classic prank.
CASE: We lived in what is now known as Red Castle.
SHUSTER: Williston [Hall, a dormitory on campus for women].
CASE: Yeah. Miriam, who was here today is...was one of our group over there in that dormitory. And, of course, we liked to eat and the fare in the dining room was not too great. And so some of the boyfriends of the girls who were with us Ruth, Bill Gale...Ruth, Bill and...and...I mean, the...the girls who were...had specific friends like that, they said, ‘Well, you put down a basket from your room tonight and we’ll put some food in there for you and you can pull it up and nobody will know the difference,” you know. Well, they sort of double-crossed us because instead of food in the basket they put a dog [Shuster laughs]. And with all the furor that went on with that, it came to Mrs. [Martha T.] Garlough’s attention.
SHUSTER: She was in charge of the building?
CASE: She was the dean at that time...associate...housemother. So, of course. we were all campused [confined to campus as disciplinary measure]. But anyway those...those were some of the antics that went on. However, I wouldn’t lay that to the literary societies. It’s only that they helped us all get acquainted. I think one of the most outstanding things in my mind of Wheaton, especially that first year, were the Tuesday night prayer...student prayer meetings, and....
SHUSTER: What were they like?
CASE: Well, they were well attended.
SHUSTER: Where were they held? In Blanchard?
CASE: Some of them were held in the...I’m thinking of the...the College Chapel. But before that they...yes, they were held in Blanchard. And...however, from my time on mostly it was the College Chapel.
SHUSTER: And that’s Pierce Chapel?
CASE: Pierce Chapel, yes. There you really got to know the other side of people. There were testimonies and...of...that they wanted to share. People who had had real experiences with the Lord. People who had had wonderful answers to prayer. People who had a vision of going into missionary work. You’d here all this from students. And I think probably at that time I came to the realization like I had never had even thought of it before that Christianity has to be a really personal thing. It has to affect you personally. It can’t be just an outward something that you’re wearing. And...and then the time...season of prayer that we had following those testimonies. I think that they were the backbone of the college at that time.
SHUSTER: Did the faculty attend too?
SHUSTER: Just students
CASE: Just students. And some of the old professors that you don’t...almost are forgotten know: Dr. [Elsie] Dow. Evan Welsh never fails to remind me when she...he comes to St. Louis. We were in the same class. [Shuster laughs] And....
SHUSTER: What was he like as a student?
CASE: Oh well, he...he was one of the pranksters. [Shuster laughs] And very friendly, of course, an outgoing person and...and.... But he tells me he used to have to get the assignments from me and just all the different things that went on in class. Sometimes people would get sleepy and go off to sleep and Miss Dow would be very indignant. And Dr. [Darian] Straw, the same thing. But anyway, they were marvelous professors. And they had a way of drawing you out and...and presenting things in...in their teaching that was most helpful.
SHUSTER: Did any of your professors make a particular impression on you?
CASE: Well, I...I suppose those two largely. [clears throat] Their personal characteristics were so interesting. Dr. Dow, we always called the “ship of state.” She sailed around with such stately mien and kind of...you know, you felt...you felt like she was looking down on you and I don’t think she really was, but [clears throat]...but...
SHUSTER: Very dignified?
CASE: Very dignified. Oh yes. And reserved. And she really expected...both Dr. Straw and Dr. Dow expected things of you, you know. You don’t come and give a flimsy excuse why you don’t have a lesson prepared or a paper written or something. You were expected to have it and you didn’t want to be singled out because you didn’t have it. [Clears throat] Excuse me. Doc [sound of passing train in background]...Miss Torrey was also...I had Bible classes under her and she was...she was another person that expected from you. Well, I guess maybe college profs do. What’s...you’re not supposed to be in college if you don’t plan to work.
SHUSTER: What was Dr. Straw like?
CASE: Well, very humorous. [Clears throat] I would say that he had a way of getting his point across with some kind of a humorous reference or in...in his way of speaking, also in his way of maybe showing you up if you had been....
SHUSTER: He was a little sarcastic?
CASE: Yeah, a little sarcastic, yeah, in a humorous way however. He was...he was never cutting or anything like that. But...and of course, you didn’t want to be put in that light anyway in front of your classmates. But [pauses]...but I learned a lot, I really did.
SHUSTER: Did any of your professors have a personal relationship with you after class as...as a friend or somebody you would go to for advice or you would [unclear] with their family?
CASE: Well, I don’t...well, of course, let me say first Mrs. Buswell [wife of the College president, J. Oliver Buswell] was very much in contact with students and I suppose largely my contact was with her was through the YWCA [Young Women’s Christian Association] which I was president one year. But each class had a faculty member who was, what, sponsor of your class or something of that kind. And I can’t...I couldn’t even really tell right now you who was of ours. I don’t remember.
SHUSTER: But did you personally have someone who was a particular friend?
CASE: No, I don’t...I don’t recall I did, except Mrs. Buswell.
SHUSTER: Did you have much contact with Charles Blanchard before he left?
CASE: No, I didn’t. I came in September and he died in December during the Christmas holidays. I remember my father coming into the bedroom that morning and said Edna, “Bad news from Wheaton.” And so then he told me. It was in the paper. He had read it. But he...I would say Dr. Blanchard to us was pretty much on a pedestal. His elderly appearance, and his great wisdom, and [pauses] we never really had much opportunity to get close to him or to know him as a person too well.
SHUSTER: He was followed, of course, by Dr. James Buswell. Did you notice any kind of change of atmosphere or activity from one administration to the other?
CASE: [clears throat] Well, he came...it was still my freshman year when he came. And I don’t really think I felt at that time...it...it was too far ahead...too far above me to have filtered down really. I probably had a little more contact with him in later years. He came to Memorial, my church in St. Louis. And I knew him a little bit better that way although I never had any real reason to...to know him real well except through Mrs. Buswell.
SHUSTER: What was Mrs. Buswell like?
CASE: Oh, she was a darling! She was sort of sponsor of the YWCA that was on campus, and as a group of officers we met in her...her home frequently. And she was always ready to help in anything and she was a person that you could go to and...and talk with. And, of course, Miss Spalding was here and...and she was her sister. And she was a delightful person, too, but we just didn’t have that contact like we did with Mrs. Buswell.
SHUSTER: What was Ms. Buswell’s first name?
CASE: You have me there. Was it Jane?
SHUSTER: I don’t know.
CASE: I think Jane maybe was named for her. Seemed to me it might be.
CASE: I’d have to get my computer going on that.
SHUSTER: I don’t know myself. What was the general spiritual atmosphere on campus like?
CASE: Well, I would say that it...it was very spiritual, I really would. We had a few students who were rebellious. Maybe I was among them for...on certain things. The fact that we had so many campus rules, you know. We had the Pledge [standard of behaviors promoting Christian character and lifestyle, including refraining from certain activities] to sign and campus rules, and....
SHUSTER: What...what campus rules?
CASE: Well, you couldn’t go into Chicago without permission. You had to sign up for everything you did. And you...we had dormitory rules. And I just wasn’t used to living quite that stringently [laughs].
SHUSTER: Was that just for the girls or was that for all the students?
CASE: Well, I guess the boys had a certain number of them too, but they seemed to be able to get around them more. They were off campus, you see. There was Y House and they had their own housemother, and Missionary Home. As a matter of fact, I guess, I was in the dorm my first year. The other three years I lived off campus. I was in Missionary Home one year, two years in private homes. And there...you felt a little more free there, although I loved my year on campus. In the dormitory, I felt that was interesting. There was a group of us that sort of did things together and...that were in the dormitory. And it was fun, it was interesting. I’ve kept up a lot of those contacts. I...I still...when I come to Wheaton there’s still a lot of people I know. They don’t...they don’t all live here but they come back.
SHUSTER: Did...you mentioned the Tuesday night prayer meeting. What other kind of devotional or religious activities were there?
CASE: Well, let’s see. We went to...of course, on Sundays we went to Sunday school and we went to the College Church. Once in a while we would go to one of the other churches, but most of the time it was at the College Church. Seems to me that there was a morning prayer time, but I...I don’t think that I attended it except intermittently. I don’t recall that we had dormitory prayer meetings or any Bible study or anything of that kind. [pauses] So I don’t know.
SHUSTER: Nowadays, of course...
CASE: Chapel, of course.
SHUSTER: ...there’s a Christian Service Council which organizes activities such as visiting convalescent homes, or going down to Skid Row in Chicago, or teaching Sunday school. Were there similar activities?
CASE: I’m sure there was an organi...organization on campus at that time. I don’t recall what it was called. But I know there were some students that did that. I think it was a rather limited...at that time. When Carol was in school it was a very active....
SHUSTER: Carol’s your daughter?
CASE: Yeah, my daughter. It was a very active organization. I know that she went into Chicago a number of times and they went to Palatine [northwestern suburb of Chicago] for Bible cla...Bible study classes up there. And [pauses]...and...but I know that there was that activity when I was on campus. But I...I was not part of it.
SHUSTER: What was the dating situation...the social situation like on campus?
CASE: Well, I guess, about...well, our...it wouldn’t be as free as it is now because we certainly didn’t have the dorm...co-educational dorm. But you...you had to sign out when you went. In fact, I guess we had to...I don’t know if we had to sign out when we went downtown for chocolate sundays or not. But we had to really keep pretty much in bounds. And...but then there were dates to the...ac...phy...the football and ba...baseball, the games and so forth. And we even went...you know, borrowed a car down to...where did we go to a game? So that...that was permitted. And a lot of times in the evenings, why, we gathered in the parlor of the dorm, when I was in the dorm, gathered in the parlor and did some singing and enjoyed a group session like that. But there was a lot of couples paired off. Ruth Dill and Bill [Willis Gale] got married. Bill Gale. And some of the others. We didn’t go to movies.
SHUSTER: And that was against the pledge?
CASE: Oh yes, that was against the pledge. In fact, we weren’t even supposed to go when we were home on vacation.
SHUSTER: Was there...of course, in later years there’s been some...a lot...some rebelling against the pledge. Was there any of that in your time?
CASE: Not...I...I don’t know, as far as rebelling was concerned. I...I’m sure it was broken sometimes. But I don’t remember that there was much of a hassle among the students as resentment or that kind of thing. Moody [Bible Institute] had it, you know, and it was just sort of the Christian college thing.
SHUSTER: If you had to summarize your experience at Wheaton, what...what would you say would be the main advantages or disadvantages to your time here?
CASE: During those times?
CASE: Well, I’d say one of the main advantages: it was small. I...I really liked that. There was a personal touch also. Even though you didn’t know your prof’s real well, I mean, on a social basis or anything like that. They were interested in what happened to you. And, you know, to all the students. There was kind of a homey atmosphere. And the thrust, the emphasis on Christ and His Kingdom was always there in every thing that we did. Disadvantages? I don’t know that there were any particular disadvantages. I think maybe at the time we would like to have gone into Chicago and maybe gone.... We didn’t go to movies in our family, so that didn’t really affect me. In fact, it might have even enhanced the idea that I’d like to go in and go to a movie. But there were those restrictions. But then, of course, as you...you get older you see that those are necessary. Transportation. Of course, we walked everywhere we went. And...but then we didn’t think of any...anything more than that. You weren’t to get into a car with anybody. That was against the rules. [sound of passing train in background]
SHUSTER: That was against the pledge...the...?
CASE: Well, not the...I don’t know that...whether that was in the pledge or not or whether that was just...just rules, campus rules. If you had any visiting person come with a car, they had to know that...that this was...you know, you had to get permission that you could go places with them and so forth. Oh, you really think all those things were good for us actually. The food wasn’t so great [laughs].
SHUSTER: Do you...did everyone eat together. Was the whole the student body together at one sitting?
CASE: Yes, yes.
SHUSTER: Where was the dining hall?
CASE: Over in Williston.
SHUSTER: What...you mentioned you were president of the YWCA on campus.
SHUSTER: What did...?
CASE: It was a small organization. Actually, I’m...I’d have to really...maybe look at a book to find out just exactly what we all did. I was president just one year although I was a member. And we tried to get people in...into it and get a membership, you know. We apparently had meetings at specified times. I...I don’t know what our outreach might have been, or maybe we...maybe we did something in trying to help families or something of this kind. I...I’m very vague on it right now.
SHUSTER: Well, that, I think, is all my questions.
CASE: I gave you my history in Wheaton?
SHUSTER: Yeah, yeah. Unless there’s something you wanted to add?
CASE: Well, I don’t...I don’t recall. We had a lot of fun, we really did. Of course, the inter-class activities were always fun and a challenge and a...try to one out do the other. But it....
SHUSTER: What...? I’m sorry go ahead.
CASE: No, that’s alright. I’m....
SHUSTER: How did the class...what were some of the things the classes competed in?
CASE: Well, getting the flag up the flagpole. You know, getting the....
SHUSTER: What...what was that? I don’t know.
CASE: You don’t know about the flagpole rush? Well, let me see. Which class was it that wanted to get their flag up? I guess it was the freshman class, and the sophomores had to keep you from doing it. And....
SHUSTER: This was just one particular day a year or was it...?
CASE: Yeah. They greased (I guess it was the first time probably)...they greased the flagpole so that...the sophs...sophs [sophomores] would grease the flagpole so that the freshman couldn’t get up and...and, you know, all kinds of things. Everybody turned out to watch it. And they were...if they could possibly steal the flag ahead of time so that it was...it wasn’t...couldn’t be found. And then this...this type of thing was true with senior sneak. The seniors would try to sneak away without the juniors knowing that they were going. And that...there was that. Then there were the sports. All...all the teams that were on the different classes would...would play each other. We...we went to Lawson Field at that time. So it was fun.
SHUSTER: Did any of your classmates make a particular impression on you?
CASE: Well, let me think. Of course, I...we kept in touch with...Miriam and I kept in...she was in the same class I was. We kept in touch with Ruth Dill a lot. I...I always thought Ruth was a particularly...she was such a good athlete. She was good in everything that she did. And when we had our reunion on the fiftieth, we really thought we all looked pretty good. And I was just trying to think over that group. Many of them were missionaries, ministers, executives, and [pauses] we...we thought that was a real good reunion. We really did. There’s still a pretty good percentage that were able to come. And thinking back though to the...to those four years I was in school, I don’t know about making a particular impression. Everyone, I think, endears themselves to you because of their own personal characteristics. Maybe they’re extra patient and kind, and maybe others are impatient and so forth. But there were the leaders of the class, of course, those who knew how to go ahead with the plans and execute them. And, I think, a lot of us learned that way.
SHUSTER: Well, I want to thank you very much for being willing to come in for this interview and for the various material you’ve given us from your aunt. This is a...I think a very worthwhile addition to our collections.
CASE: Well, thank you. I...I appreciate the opportunity to do it. I...I was a little floored when you mentioned the tape because I...I felt I really...it would take more time to dig back into some of the things that I probably would have liked to said than...than I had. But, I wasn’t thinking so much of the...my time in school as...as all this other material that we’d been discussing.
SHUSTER: Well, I think both your interview and this material is very...very worthwhile addition to our holdings. And so again, thank you.
END OF TAPE