by Nicole Lenart '06
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Provenance: Gift of Philip R. Biklé, class of 1905
Philip Melanchton Biklé was
born in Smithsburg, Maryland,
on December 1, 1844. He attended Pennsylvania
from 1862-1866 where he was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity and the
Phrenakosmian Literary Society. While he was a student, he attended the
dedication of the National Cemetery
and heard Abraham Lincoln deliver the Gettysburg Address.
Biklé graduated second in his class in
1866, he was a professor of Latin and Mathematics at the York County Academy in Pennsylvania
for one year. Biklé then returned to Gettysburg
to study at the Lutheran Theological Seminary from 1867-1869. He took a
position as a professor of Latin and Greek from 1869-1870 at North Carolina
and was the vice-principal and a Latin professor at the Lutherville Female
Seminary from 1870-1873. He studied at Dartmouth College from 1873-1874, and upon
finishing his studies, he returned to teach at Gettysburg College.
He was the Ockershausen Professor of Physics and Astronomy from 1874-1881 and
the Pearson Professor of Latin and Literature from 1881-1925. In 1889, Biklé
also assumed the role of the Dean of the College, a position that he held until
1924. Biklé continued to teach while he was Dean, retiring in 1925 after
fifty-one years of service. He died in 1934 at the age of ninety.
Biklé first married Annie M. Wattles in 1868 who
died in 1872. He remarried in 1877 to Emma J. Wolf, who later died in 1918. He
had four children, all of whom graduated from Gettysburg College.
Horace, his only child with Annie Wattles was born in 1877 and graduated from
the college in 1889. His children with Emma Wolf were Henry Wolf, class of
1897, Paul Harold, class of 1900, and Philip Raymond, class of 1905. Biklé lived with his family on campus in Cottage
Hall until December of 1913 when he was ordered to vacate the house because it
was going to be converted into a dormitory.
at Gettysburg College,
Biklé edited the Pennsylvania College Monthly, a magazine about
the college, its history, and academics from its first issue in 1877 until its
last issue in December of 1893. Additionally, Biklé edited the Lutheran
Quarterly from 1880-1907. He was instrumental in implementing changes to
the college's admission requirements in 1907 and also introduced new courses
into the curriculum. Biklé helped to bring a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa to campus
in 1922 and encouraged the formation of the first alumni clubs. Publications by
Biklé include "Educating Young Men for the Ministry," "Faraday,
the Scientist and Christian, "Female Education in the Church," and
"Our Present Knowledge of the Sun."
held various positions in the Lutheran Church:
he was the Secretary of the Maryland Synod in 1874 and again from 1876-1879;
the secretary of the Lutheran Minister's Insurance League from 1874-1876; and
served as the first president of the Lutheran Educational Conference.
and Content Note:
The papers of Philip Biklé consist of mostly personal correspondence between
Biklé and Emma, and the correspondence of Emma and their children. Also
included are class notes from Biklé's years as a student, and account
books from the Lutheran Quarterly and Pennsylvania College Monthly.
This collection does not include any information on Biklé's publications, the
classes he taught, or his work as a professor and dean. The collection consists
of seven boxes and nine series.
I: Biklé as a Student
series contains class notes taken by Biklé at Pennsylvania College, the Lutheran
Seminary, and Dartmouth
II: Biklé as professor and dean
series contains various papers relating to Biklé's years working on the faculty
Included are the plans for his home at Cottage Hall, undated sermons, and a
collection of letters from the 50th anniversary celebration for
Biklé and Edward Breidenbaugh in 1924. All college alumni were asked to donate
$1 to be split among the two professors. The response was enthusiastic, and
this series includes letters sent by alumni with their donations. The letters
were sent to the college and are arranged chronologically.
III: Lutheran Quarterly
series contains account books and miscellaneous correspondence relating to the Quarterly.
here are account books and miscellaneous correspondence.
correspondence series contains nine sub-series. Sub-series A includes the
correspondence between Emma and Philip Biklé. Sub-series B contains letters to
Philip M. Biklé from various family members and acquaintances. Sub-series C
contains letters to Emma Biklé from her father, H.G. Wolf. Letters to Emma from
her brother, Harold Wolf are located in sub-series D. Sub-series E contains
letters to Emma from her sister, Edith Wolf. Sub-series F holds letters to Emma
from her friend Ludie, and sub-series G contains letters addressed to
"Pythias" [Emma] from "Damion," who is presumably Ludie.
Sub-series H contains letters to Emma from miscellaneous family and friends.
The letters in sub-series I were written by Emma to her children.
VI: Henry Wolf Biklé (born October 20, 1877)
folders in this series include the correspondence of Henry W. Biklé arranged
VII: Paul Harold Biklé (born June 6, 1879)
series contains the correspondence of Paul H. Biklé arranged chronologically.
VIII: Philip Raymond Biklé (born June 5, 1885)
one folder in this series contains the correspondence of Philip R. Biklé
arranged chronologically and two newspaper articles relating to Philip's life
as an adult.
series contains an autograph book of Annie Wattles and miscellaneous receipts,
calling cards, and letter fragments.
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