Rev. August Ernst
1841 - 1924
Derived from: The History of Jefferson County, Wisconsin by C. W. Butterfield, 1879
Rev. August F. Ernst, President of Northwestern University; born in Hanover June 25, 1841; educated in the colleges of Celle and at the University of Gottingen; taught one year in Germany; then in 1863, came to America and located in New York City, where he was engaged in the holy ministry.
In 1864, he was ordained at Pottstown, Penn.; preached in New York City until 1868; for ten months thereafter, he had pastoral charge of a congregation at Albany, N.Y., then came to Watertown.
Prof. Ernst married Agnes Hartwig Jan. 7, 1868; she was born in the city of New York; they have six children – George R. A., Charles P.A., Adolfine W. B., Elizabeth D. G., Mary A.G. and Frederick H. W.
Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography
Rev. August F. Ernst: Lutheran clergyman, college president, b. Hanover, Germany. He graduated from the Gymnasium at Celle (1859) and the Univ. of Gottingen (1862). In 1863 he migrated to the U.S., and in 1864 was ordained a Lutheran clergyman at Pottstown, Pa. He served various pastorates in New York (1864- 1869), and in 1869 came to Wisconsin to teach Latin at Northwestern College in Watertown. In 1870 he was elected president of the college, serving in this capacity until 1919. During his tenure, Ernst was instrumental in providing that instruction be given in the English language in all college classes except religion. He was president of the Lutheran joint synod of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan (1892, 1895, 1897, 1899). In 1890 Ernst was active in the campaign against the state Bennett Law (an act passed in 1889 which, many Lutheran and Catholic clergymen felt, discriminated against parochial schools and schools utilizing a language other than English for purposes of instruction). In this role he helped secure the state Democratic victory in that year. After retiring as president of Northwestern College (1919), Ernst lived in Milwaukee. Who's Who in Amer., 5 (1908); E. B. Usher, Wis. (8 vols., Chicago, 1914); Watertown Daily Times, Aug. 9, 1924; Northwestern College, Black and Red (1919, 1924).