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Volume 6 Relation of U.B/EUB Virginia Conferences to Shenandoah University Dec. 26, 2013

financial transactions of the School, and Prof. Fries was responsible for the teaching staff and instruction
in the School. In 1881 Rev. Funkhouser was appointed Presiding Elder of the Shenandoah District of
the Virginia Annual Conference of the United Brethren in Christ but resigned his post in August to
finish his college training at Otterbein University, from which school he was graduated with the
Bachelor of Arts Degree in the summer of 1882. Rev. Funkhouser was the man most influential in
promoting the cause of higher education in the Virginia Conference of his Church.14 Because he had not
graduated, he felt that he was not fully equipped to give his best efforts to the cause of education, and his
decision to return to college and graduate was prompted by an earnest desire to better serve the Church.
When he returned in 1883, he urged the Conference to purchase the Seminary, but because of personal
antagonism by members of the Board of Directors of the Stockholders, he was unable to complete plans
to rent the School that year. A year later, the Conference was finally able to get control, but Mr.
Funkhouser was then interested in politics and in editing a newspaper, The People.15 Although he never
returned as professor or manager, he continued his interest in the School he founded. He served on the
Conference Board of Trustees from 1891 to 1917.16 He died July 6, 1917.

After the close of the school year of 1881, Rev. Funkhouser made known his wish to relinquish
his financial interest in Shenandoah Seminary. He appealed to the influential men of the U.B. Church
who wished the School to remain under the control of Christian men and, more specifically, men of the
U.B. Church, to purchase shares of the property and equipment. These men, the greater majority being
clergymen of the Church, formed a Stock Company and purchased the Seminary building and grounds
for $3,300. The terms of payment was one-third in cash, one-third in 1 year, and the additional one-third
in 2 years. The Stockholders elected a Board of Directors to operate the School.

Solomon Burtner was the first President of the Board, and Rev. Funkhouser served as secretary
for a few months. Ephraim Ruebush served for many years as the Treasurer of the Board. The other
two original members of the Board were Rev. W. J. Miller and Rev. J. W. Howe. Note that all the
members of the Board, except Solomon Burtner, were ministers of the U.B. Church. When Rev.
Funkhouser resigned in July 1881, Rev. G. M. Hott was elected to the Board.

The Board agreed to rent the Seminary Building for the purposed of operating the Boarding
House for the lady students and other persons connected with the School provided “that no young man
be permitted to board or room in the building” and that the lessee agree to pay $1.25 in cash to the Board
for each boarder.

The Board also decided to charge only half tuition to children of superannuated and regular
ministers and to allow liberal reductions of tuition in cases where two or more members of the same
family were students. Four recitation rooms were rented in an adjoining building for $1.25 per month
for 10 months. Two rooms in the Seminary Building were painted, and new window blinds and a new
carpet were installed.

In 1880, after serving 4 years as Principal of Shenandoah Seminary, Prof. Fries, who now held
his Master’s Degree, accepted a position as Principal of the Normal School at Bridgewater, Va. One of
the first jobs that fell on the Board was to find a suitable replacement for Prof. Fries. They were able to

14 The pronouncements on Education during this period at the Virginia Conference are provided in full in Chapter III of
this volume. Many others besides Rev. Funkhouser were prominent in this conversation.

15 A 1883 editorial review of The People was given in the Religious Telescope, provided in Chapter III.B. (below).

16 Chapter III, below, identifies the members of the Board of Trustees for each year. An alphabetical list of trustees prior to
1969 is provided in Section II.B (below).

Miller, et al., on History of S.C., 1875-1950 6
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