Faculty Guest Contribution: Why Schauffler Hall?

-Barb Sedlock

Pilgrim Library Metadata and Archives Librarian

Why is the building on the northwest corner of the main campus called Schauffler Hall?  The answer goes clear back to 1837!

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Henry Albert Schauffler was born in Constantinople in what was then Ottoman Turkey in 1837, son of American missionaries.  He became a minister and could preach in 6 languages and understand 26.  He saw the need for a mission to Slavic immigrants from Eastern Europe, who were flocking to Cleveland to work in the steel industry.  In 1886 Schauffler founded the Bible Reader’s School to train immigrant women, so that they could be of assistance to other immigrants trying to adjust to American life.

After Schauffler’s death in 1905, the school was renamed the Schauffler Missionary Training School, the focus later changing to Schauffler College of Religious and Social Work.  In the early 1950’s, as the neighborhood became more industrial and fewer students were recruited, Schauffler trustees decided to sell the buildings on Fowler Avenue and move to the School of Theology at Oberlin College.  But in 1966, Oberlin closed the Theology School.  Schauffler’s assets were transferred to Defiance College, since Defiance met the three criteria necessary: roots in the Congregational Church (one of the denominations that merged to form the United Church of Christ, which DC is still affiliated with), and religious education and social work programs.  The endowment helped build Schauffler Hall on the DC campus, and partly fund DC’s religious education and social work areas of study.

The above was condensed from a document about Schauffler’s history by Theodore Bastel that can be found on DC Memory:


Also, you can view this entry on Schauffler in the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History:



How about primary source material that could be used in history, education, social work, religion, or art classes?  Are you writing a paper on how immigrants are educated today, versus in the past?  Schauffler College printed a bunch of tracts and newsletters in the early 20th century about its work with Cleveland immigrants, which you could compare to today’s theories of education.

Are you a design or photography student who needs historical images, maybe for examples of historical fashions?  Or, do you need a portrait from the 1800’s to Photoshop for a class project?  Schauffler’s archives has a collection of student portraits from the 1890’s through the 1940’s.

Does your history or social work class require you to use some primary source material for a research paper?  Schauffler published newsletters from 1892-1954 that discuss immigration, missionary work, education, religion, child welfare, and related topics.  Browsing through them might generate an idea for a paper or your capstone project.

The Library staff are still working on processing the Schauffler materials.  Some of Schauffler’s photographs can be viewed on DC Memory: but the older portraits, tracts, and newsletters mentioned below are not digitized yet.


You can view the paper originals in the DC archives by making an appointment.  Contact Barb Sedlock or one of the other librarians on the Library’s staff info page:

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