12 August 2012

George B. Addicks

1854 — 1910

Biographical Material

George B. Addicks, A.B., A.M.   The educational institutions of the commonwealth of Missouri are the greatest experiments in the advancement of culture, intellectuality and social standing, and have received due prominence in the history of the state.  The Central Wesleyan College, located in the beautiful town of Warrenton, Mo., sixty-one miles west of St. Louis, on the Wabash Railroad, is an institution which receives due support from students of the different states contingent to Missouri.

Our subject is the President of the Central Wesleyan College at Warrenton.  His is a native of Hampton Township, Rock Island County, Ill., the date of his birth being September 9, 1854.  His father and mother, Brandt Gerhardt and Mary L. D. (Franke) Addicks, were natives of Germany, the former having been born in Oldenburg, and the latter in Hanover.  The parents, who were the only children in their respective families, emigrated to America as early as 1837, and settled in Illinois.

President Addicks' education was commenced in the public schools of his native place, where he also studied German in the parochial schools, and before entering upon a college life was instructed for some time by private tutors.  His ability as a bright and progressive student was early manifested, and he graduated with due honors from the Central Wesleyan College when only twenty years of age.  During his senior year in college he taught in the preparatory department, and also for one year after graduating.  He later attended the theological seminary of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Evanston, Ill., for one year, and finished the course under allowed absence.

In his seventeenth year our subject was ordained a local preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and joined the Southwest German Conference of that denomination when in his twenty-second year.  When twenty-three years of age he was ordained a Deacon, and became an Elder at the age of twenty-six.  His first ministerial appointment was at Geneseo, Ill., the old home of his parents, and shortly afterward he was elected Professor of German in the Iowa Wesleyan University, and later in the German College, where he remained one year.  After serving these institutions in that capacity for seven years, he accepted a call from the First German Methodist Episcopal Church at Pekin, Ill.  Here he remained for five years. the longest time allowed a Methodist minister to remain in one place.

Professor Addicks was elected Professor of Practical and Historical Theology in the Central Wesleyan College at Warrenton, Mo., in 1889, and was promoted to the Presidency of this institution in 1894, which position he now holds.  He has been an indefatigable worker and student all of his life, and though he has set his mark high, he has every prospect of gaining the desired goal.  As a minister and educator, he is surpassed by none, and being comparatively a young man, his prospects for the future are bright.

The subject of this sketch has been twice married, having chosen for his first companion Miss Lovisa [sic] K. Busch, of Davenport, Iowa.  The date of their wedding was June 23, 1881, and after a short married life of three months, the young wife was called to her home beyond.  Three years later President Addicks and Miss Mary W. Mellemyer [sic], of Garner, Iowa, were united in marriage, the ceremony taking place June 26, 1884.  Mrs. Addicks is a lady of many accomplishments, and possessed of more than ordinary intelligence.  She was educated in the college at Ames, Iowa, and also at the Iowa Wesleyan University at Mt. Pleasant, and previous to her marriage she was a teacher in the public schools of Iowa.  Her parents are of German birth, and reside in Garner.  To the union of President and Mrs. Addicks two children have been born, Marie L. B. and Raymond C.

Politically President Addicks is what may be termed a Prohibition-Republican.  He stumped the state of Iowa when the prohibitory amendment was laid before the people of that state.  A gentleman of culture, and refinement, genial and cordial with all, he is very popular among the students of the college, as he is also with the citizens of Warrenton and vicinity.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of St. Charles, Lincoln, and Warren Counties, Missouri: Containing Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens of the Counties, Together with Biographies and Portraits of All the Presidents of the United States (Chicago, Illinois: Chapman Publishing Company, 1895); pages 362-363.

This biographical sketch might well have been improved with a tiny bit of judicious copy editing. It is quite clear that the name of George B. Addicks' second wife was not Mary W. Mellemyer, but Wellemeyer.

The name of George's first wife was not Lovisa K. Busch, but Louisa. They were married on 23 June 1881 at Davenport, Scott County, Iowa. Louisa died on 29 September 1881, at the age of 22 years. She was buried in the City Cemetery at Davenport.

Take note of the name of the first child born to George and his second wife, Mary W. Wellemeyer, listed in the Brief Genealogy, lower down on this page.


ADDICKS, George B., educator, was born at Hampton, Rock Island county, Ill., Sept. 9, 1854, son of Gerhard and Mary (Franke) Addicks.  Both his parents were natives of Germany, his father emigrating from Oldenburg and his mother from Hanover.  The boy was educated in the public and parochial schools, and pursued his classical studies at central Wesleyan college, Warrenton, Mo., where he was graduated in 1874, and his theological course at the Biblical institute Evanston, Ill.  He was licensed to preach in 1871.  In 1875 he was tutor in the central Wesleyan college, and in 1876 professor of the German language in the German college and Iowa Wesleyan university, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, holding the position for seven years.  He then served the First German M.E. church at Pekin, Ill., five years, and in 1889 accepted the chair of theology in Central Wesleyan college, Warrenton, Mo., and was made its president in 1894.

Source: The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans; Brief Biographies of Authors, Administrators; Clergymen, Commanders, Editors, Engineers, Jurists, Merchants, Officials, Philanthropists, Scientists, Statesmen, and Others Who are Making American History, 10 volumes, editor-in-chief, Rossiter Johnson; managing editor, John Howard Brown (Boston, Massachusetts: Biographical Society, 1904); volume 1 [pages were not numbered].


portrait of George B. Addicks

With the cursor on the image, click the "Maximize" icon maximize icon if visible in the lower-right corner to view full size.

Geo. B. Addicks

Der gegenwärtige Präsident der Anstalt [Central Wesleyan-Kollegium und Theologisches Seminar], George B. Addicks, D.D., wurde am 9. September 1854 nahe bei Hampton, Rock Island Co., Ill. geboren, als Sohn christlicher Eltern, die sich als deutsche Leute in dieser Gegend auf einer Farm niedergelassen hatten.  Nachdem er die gewöhnlichen Schulen in der Heimat durchgemacht, trat er in das Central Wesleyan-Kollegium in Warrenton, Mo., ein, absolvierte den klassischen Kurfus, lehrte ein Jahr im Vorbereitungs - Department und setzte dann seine Studien im Theologischen Seminar zu Evanston, Ill., weiter fort.  Seine erste Bestellung als Prediger war in Geneseo, Ill., seiner Heimatstadt.  Von hier folgte er einem Rufe als Lehrer der deutschen Sprache und Litteratur im Deutschen Kollegium in Mt. Pleasant, Ia. woselbst er auch in der Iowa Wesleyan University thätig war.  Nach einer siebenjährigen Thätigkeit in diesen Anstalten trat er in das Pastorat zurück und erhielt Pekin, Ill., als Arbeitsfeld zugewiesen, wo er fünf Jahre in großem Segen wirkte.  Im Jahre 1890 wurde er zum Professor der praktischen und historischen Theologie im Central Wesleyan-Collegium zu Warrenton, Mo., und im Jahre 1895 als Präsident dieser Anstalt erwählt, in der er seither thätig gewesen ist.  Der Herr krönte seine Arbeit unter der Jugen mit reichem Erfolge und die Zahl der Studenten, sowie die Hilfsquellen der Anstalt haben sich unter seiner weisen und energischen Leitung beständig vermehrt.

The current president of the institution [Central Wesleyan College and Theological Seminary], George B. Addicks, D.D., was born on 9 September 1854 near Hampton, Rock Island County, Illinois, son of christian parents of German background who had settled on a farm in the area.  After completing his education in the local common schools, he entered Central Wesleyan College in Warrenton, Missouri, completed the classical curriculum, taught for one year in the Preparatory Department and then continued his studies at the Theological Seminary at Evanston, Illinois.  His first placement as a preacher was in Geneseo, Illinois, his home town.  From there, he answered a call to be a teacher of German language and literature at the German College in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, where he was also active at Iowa Wesleyan University.  After a seven year career at these institutions, he returned to the ministry and was assigned to Pekin, Illinois, where he worked with great blessing.  In 1890 he was appointed professor of practical and historical theology at Central Wesleyan College at Warrenton, Missouri, and since 1895, president of the same institution.  The Lord crowned his work among the young people with much success and the number of students as well as the resources of the college have constantly increased under his wise and energetic leadership.

Source: Jubiläumsbuch der St. Louis Deutschen Konferenz, herausgegeben nach ihrer Anordnung zur Feier ihres fünfundzwanzigjährigen Bestandes von E. C. Magaret, Friedrich Munz, Geo. B. Addicks (Cincinnati, Ohio: Printed by Jennings und Graham for the Conference, [1905?]); pages 71-73. Translation by J. Mark Fiegenbaum.

Earlier in the book, George B. Addicks, A.M, D.D, was identified as the President of Central Wesleyan College and Niedringhaus Professor of Practical Theology and Philosophy. The photo that accompanies this biographical sketch may well date from some time before about 1905, when the Jubilee book celebrating the 25th year of the St. Louis German Conference was published. In another, much smaller portrait of him among all the faculty of the college (page 62), his hair style is the same, but he appears more mature.


George B. Addicks was born at Hampton, Ill., on September 9, 1854.  His early years were spent on the farm, consequently he had an opportunity to develop a strong body, which now, in his arduous duties stands him in good stead.  His early education was acquired in the country school.  Later he attended C. W. C., where, in 1875, he received the A. B. degree, and that of A. M. in 1880.  He was a student at Garrett Biblical Institute in 1876-77, and in 1899 was dubbed D. D. by the German Wallace College of Berea, Ohio.

He was married on June 26, 1884, to Miss Mary W. Wellemeyer of Garner, Iowa.  This union is blessed with four children, one of whom is a graduate in music of C. W. C.

Dr. Addicks taught in the Preparatory Department of C. W. C. in 1875-76, was ordained a minister in the St. Louis German Conference in 1878, taught German Language and Literature at the German College and the Iowa Wesleyan University at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa from 1878-1885, served as minister at Pekin, Ill., and in 1890 was elected Professor of Practical Theology at C. W. C., becoming President in 1895.

Besides guiding the affairs of his alma mater with a clear, cool head, and a firm, yet kind hand, Dr. Addicks is known as a pulpit orator all over the land.  He is prominent in the work of the Epsworth League, has served as delegate to the General Conference twice, as a member of the University Senate, and is now serving on the Commission considering the unification of the Methodist Book Concerns.

Source: The Pulse, 1906, Arthur F. Schoenig, editor in chief, (Warrenton, Missouri: the Senior Class of Central Wesleyan College; printed by Banner Publishing Company, 1906), page [unnumbered; 8?].

Access to The Pulse courtesy of Central Wesleyan College Archives Digital Collection, Special Collections Department, Pickler Memorial Library, Truman State University (Kirksville, Missouri).

The 1906 graduating class of Central Wesleyan College at Warrenton, Missouri (the C. W. C. referred to in this sketch) dedicated The Pulse, the college yearbook, to the president of the institution, Rev. George B. Addicks.

Marie Louise Wellemeyer was George's second wife. They were the parents of five children; the second died before the age of one at Pekin, Illinois. Their first child, Marie Louise Busch Addicks, graduated from Central Wesleyan College in 1904.


ADDICKS, GEORGE B.:   Methodist Episcopalian; b. at Hampton, Ill., Sept. 9, 1854.  He was educated at the Central Wesleyan College, Warrenton, Mo., and at the Garrett Bible Institute, Evanston, Ill, (1876-77).  He taught in the prepartory department of the Central Wesleyan College in 1875-76, and in 1877-78 preached at Geneseo, Ill., being ordained to the Methodist Episcopal ministry in the latter year.  From 1878 to 1885 he taught the German language and literature in Iowa Wesleyan University and German College, Mount Pleasant, Ia., and from 1885 to 1890 held a pastorate at Pekin, Ill.  In 1890 he returned to the Central Wesleyan College as professor of practical theology and philosophy, and since 1895 has been president and professor of philosophy of the same institution.  In 1900 he was a delegate to the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church and was a member of the University Senate of the same denomination from 1896 to 1904.

Source: The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Embracing Biblical, Historical, Doctrinal, and Practical Theology and Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Biography from the Earliest Times to the Present Day, 12 volumes, (New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1908-1914); volume 1 (1908); page 40.


The Rev. George B. Addicks, president of Central Wesleyan College, died at Warrenton, Mo., January 31.  One year ago he suffered a nervous breakdown, brought on by overwork, and last June was given a year's vacation.  Doctor Addicks was born at Rock Island, Ill., September 9, 1854.  His education began in the public schools of his native place, where he also made a specialty of German in parochial schools under private tutors.  At the age of twenty he graduated from Central Wesleyan College.  He later attended the Theological Seminary of the Methodist Church at Evanston, Ill.  In his seventeenth year he was ordained a local preacher in the Methodist Church.  When twenty-three years old he was ordained, and at the age of twenty-six was made an elder.  His first appointment was at his old home at Rock Island, Ill.  Later he was elected professor of German in the Iowa Wesleyan University, where he taught several years.  In 1889 he was professor of practical and historical theology in his alma mater, and in 1894 was promoted to the presidency of that institution.

Source: American Educational Review, volume 31, no. 6 (March 1910); page 372.

According to his death certificate, George Addicks suffered from myelitis for three years, which was listed as the cause of his death. Dr. Albert William Ebeling, a science professor on the faculty of Central Wesleyan College, attended George from 14 January 1910 until the day of his death on 31 January and signed the death certificate on 1 March 1910.

George B. Addicks was buried in Warrenton City Cemetery on 2 February 1910. His wife, Mary was buried there as well after her death on 31 May 1936.


Dr. Addicks was a farmer's son whose childhood was spent in Rock Island County, Illinois.  After receiving his A.B. degree from Central Wesleyan College and teaching one year in the Preparatory Department of his Alma Mater, he completed his theological studies in Garrett Biblical Institute, Evanston, Illinois.  Then he spent a few years in the German ministry after which we find him the teacher of the German Language and Literature in German College, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.  He returned to the ministry and in 1890 was called to C. W. C. as Professor of Practical and Historical Theology.  In 1895 he succeeded Dr. H. A. Koch as president in which office he continued until his death, January 31, 1910.

Dr. Addicks was the young man's friend.  Approachable, genial, sympathetic — he won the hearty good will of the young people who were entrusted to his charge.  A president must enforce the discipline of a school, and hence is often more respected and feared than loved.  Not so Dr. Addicks.  He had a rare gift of winning the confidence and high regard of the student notwithstanding his position.  Often students whom "he had on the carpet" were ever after his warmest friends.  They felt that he loved them and that his heart pleaded for them in their peccadillos.  Dr. Addicks was strong in revival services.  His appeals to the young men especially reached their wills and induced them to say: "I will arise and go to my Father."  He was an orator of exceptional power; and his sermons on great occasions, his baccalaureate addresses, his oration on the death of President McKinley have a lasting place in the memory of old C .W. C. boys and girls.  Students admired and loved him.

Source: "Commemorative Volume, Fiftieth Anniversary, Central Wesleyan College, Warrenton, Missouri, May-June, 1914." Edited by the following Committee of the Faculty: O. E. Kriege, H. Vosholl, J. H. Frick, F. Munz, Alb. Ebling. Central Wesleyan Bulletin, volume 13, number 5 (September, 1914); page [unnumbered; 31?].

Brief Genealogy

George B. Addick's family

Louisa K. Busch's family

Addicks - Busch family

George B. Addick's 1st marriage

Mary Wilhelmine Wellemyer's family

Addicks - Fiegenbaum family

George B. Addick's 2nd marriage

More Resources