St. John’s College
I bought a 1941 Johnnie on e-bay. Digital copies of annuals from other years have been placed on Ancestry.com. The St. John’s College Alumni Association provided images for the logo and the football team.
St. John’s was founded by John Peter Baden, a Lutheran businessman from Winfield, KS. The primary purpose of the school was to train young men in the study of theology to prepare them to attend Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. But since it was also intended to prepare young men and women “for all the walks of life,” most students majored in secular studies, content to receive a college education in a Christian-influenced environment. St. John’s became a two-year college with a supporting four-year academy.
The 1941 Johnnie shows 45 Seniors, 54 Juniors and 10 “special” students in the college with 65 students in the academy. These were taught by a faculty of sixteen. Even with 43 Kansas students, St. Johns was by no means a local school. It had students from 14 states and one foreign country, with Texas sending 17. The strongest co-curricular activity at St. John’s was music. In addition to an orchestra and band, the school sponsored a glee club and chorus; in keeping with the religious orientation of the church, a large “polyhymnia” was created to provide religious music.
After educating more than 9,000 students, St. John’s closed in 1986
Bricks and Mortar
St. John’s was built on a 32-acre campus. The original St. John’s College building was Baden Hall, completed in 1894. As the only college building for twenty years, it housed classrooms and administration while serving as a dormitory and dining hall. Rehwinkel Hall, the men’s dormitory, was added in 1916; Meyer Hall (1925) became the main administrative and classroom building. The gymnasium was built in 1940, and one wing of Mundinger Hall, the women’s dormitory, was completed in 1950, the other in 1953. Both Rehwinkel and Mundinger are on the National Register. Baden was nominated in 2012.
After the college closed, the campus was purchased by the city of Winfield in 1988. The main buildings have largely been renovated and repurposed. MetroPlains Development has renovated Rehwinkel Hall as a low income/assisted living housing complex for seniors. The same company has renovated both Mundinger and Baden as apartment complexes. The city of Winfield renovated Meyer Hall and leased space for offices. The Winfield Community Theatre now uses the Meyer Hall auditorium.
Baden Hall in 1918 (Saint, <interactive.ancestry.com>)
Team name: In 1924, the team was called the Saints. The 1941 yearbook refers to the team as Johnnies. At some point, the team became the Eagles.
Colors: The 1924 yearbook calls the team the Orange and Black. The 1941 yearbook mentions the “flashy” orange and black stockings worn by the basketball team. St. John’s apparel currently on sale appears to be red.
By 1941 St. Johns had only basketball and baseball teams. However the Johnnies fielded varsity football teams from 1922 through 1927. The College football Data Warehouse shows only two victories—over Arkansas City (now Cowley County) JC and over Bethel College—in five seasons. Most opponents of the Johnnies were four-year schools such as cross-town rival Southwestern, Friends College, Northwestern Oklahoma, Hays State, and Fairmont College (now Wichita State) and the University of Tulsa.
Basketball and baseball opponents in 1941 tended to be two-year schools such as Arkansas City, Tonkawa College Preparatory School, El Dorado (Now Butler College) Chilocco Indian School, and Haskell Institute.
1922 football team (Courtesy of St, John's College Alumni Association)
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