Oscar Schultz Kriebel, Part Four

Photo of Oscar and Corinne Kriebel published with permission of great-grandson Jefferson Glover

Quick Recap of the Life of Oscar Schultz Kriebel

For five years now, I’ve been exploring the life of a forgotten Civil War hero, Wells Waite Miller—which includes a look at people who were close to him in his lifetime. Wells and his wife Mary had two children: a son named Amos Calvin and a daughter named Corinne who married a prominent educator and theologian of the day. His name was Oscar Schultz Kriebel. In part one of my series about Oscar, I shared insights into his Schwenkfelder faith, his ancestors, and when he met Corinne.

Women of the Schwenkfelder sect, possibly in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania, ca. 1900. [Between and Ca. 1910] Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2012649615/.
In part two, I went back in time to Oscar’s childhood, his formative years, and his educational experiences. Part three covered his wedding with Corinne, their travels to Europe, becoming parents to a daughter named Frieda, and so forth. When I left off the story, he’d become the Schwenkfelder church’s first paid minister as well as the church’s secondary school’s principal at a brand new school.

Continued Accomplishments

Oscar wasn’t done yet, accomplishing plenty more in his lifetime. He also attended courses at the University of Pennsylvania, ultimately earning a Ph.D. A few years before that, Franklin and Marshall College—in June 1907—had conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity upon him.

Oscar and Corrine had a second daughter—Mary—on October 9, 1893 and another one a year later on October 9, 1894: Louisa. The couple apparently also had a son who was listed as deceased in 1893 without a name being listed. Perhaps he was a twin of Mary’s who didn’t survive.

Oscar continued to serve as the principal of the school (which changed to boys only in 1916) and the pastor of the Palm Schwenkfelder Church for forty years.

833 Gravel Pike, Palm, Pennsylvania

According to the spring 2015 issue The Schwenkfeldian, “although attempts had been made in the past to create a school for the Schwenkfelders, this time the school “rose like the proverbial Phoenix from the ashes of previous failed attempts. First and foremost it succeeded because of the exceptional and dynamic leadership of Dr. Oscar Kriebel . . . It became his life’s work.”

For example, Oscar was determined to get financial support from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie for a library. He’d met him in person in the 1890s and, in 1903, wrote to him for financial support. At first, Carnegie ignored the requests, but Oscar did not give up. In 1907, Carnegie’s secretary wrote back sharing how (as she had apparently tried to tell Oscar many times before) that Carnegie did not give funding to seminaries. “However,” the secretary wrote, “you are very persevering, if not to say persistent, in pressing your claim on Mr. Carnegie’s attention, and it seems particularly deserving.” So, if the seminary could pay off its debt of $30,000 and raise $20,000 for a library, Carnegie would donate another $20,000. Oscar turned his attention to fundraising and, in November 1913, the community’s Carnegie Library was dedicated.

Urgent Need for Surgery

He then needed to have surgery as he suffered from a bowel obstruction, and the operation took place that very night. After the surgery, though, according to The Morning Call on February 17, 1932, he had “failed to rally and the end came quickly.” I have the deepest sympathies for his struggles because I had this surgery on an emergency basis in 2013. Although my surgery was successful, Oscar died on February 16, 1932 at the age of sixty eight.

Corrine outlived him by about twelve years, dying of heart disease on May 31, 1944 at the age of seventy-nine.

If you know more about Oscar or Corinne Kriebel, please share at kbsagert@aol.com.

Wells Waite Miller: Exploration of His Life and Times

I’d like to share my research about Wells Waite Miller from Castalia, Ohio with you. Although I’ve written the material in the order in which I’ve found research material, I now roughly have the posts in the order in which the events occurred.

Blog posts I’ve written on the subject so far include:

I invite you to become part of this journey, sharing my posts with people who enjoy reading historical biographies.

If you read this material and have additional information that’s directly tied to Miller or sets context about his life—or you’ve spotted errors—please email me at kbsagert@aol.com.



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