Monday, August 26, 2013

Armed Self-Defense in Iowa

This except from A Zeal for Christian Education: The Memoirs of BJ Hann relates a story of armed self-defense at a Christian school in Sully, Iowa during Woodrow Wilson's war socialism:
During World War I, a strong anti-German, anti-Dutch feeling prevailed.  Church services were only allowed in the American language, and the Christian school was threatened because it was a so-called "Dutch school".  The supporters of the school were accused of being anti-American, unpatriotic, and even subversive.

One night the Christian school in Peoria, only each night with guns.  One night the guards decided to go home early.  The enemies of the school, who were constantly waiting for the right opportunity, quickly a few miles from Sully, was destroyed by fire.  For a long time after the incident, members of the school society, by turns, guarded the Sully Christian School moved in and set the building on fire.  Fortunately the minister, Rev J Haverman, had arisen early to study for a funeral sermon since it was difficult for him to preach in English.  He could see the school from his study.  Looking out, he saw the fire in the basement of the school.  At once he and his wife aroused my parents.  Together, with the help of my oldest brother, Enno, they formed a relay team, pumping water and passing the buckets along.  The school was saved.
Notably, it was average citizens who guarded the school, not police or professional guards.

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