Biographical / Historical
Several essays on the beginnings of Martin Luther Preparatory School have been produced since the mid-1980s. Mark Henrich’s Senior Church History paper, “How MLA in New Ulm, Minnesota Became MLPS in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin,” comes from a member of the final graduating class of Martin Luther Academy. It offers some interesting insights and detailed research done on the process of creating MLPS. Much of the history is, of course, devoted to the transition from Martin Luther Academy in New Ulm to Martin Luther Preparatory School in Prairie du Chien. However, Henrich does offer some insights into the one synodical school that was closed to form MLPS – Northwestern Lutheran Academy, located in Mobridge, South Dakota. Further details on the history and closure of Northwestern Lutheran Academy can be found in the following Senior Church History papers: “A History of Northwestern Lutheran Academy” by John Schroeder and “The Closing of Northwestern Lutheran Academy” by Mark Wilde. In 1993, Ted Olson produced the Church History paper, “Martin Luther Preparatory School: Genesis” also on the topic of the creation of MLPS. The last half of his essay details changes that the school underwent during its brief history up until 1993. One essay has been written on the closing of the school. In 1995, Paul Baur wrote, “The Closing of Martin Luther Preparatory School.” His Senior Church History essay examines the details of the synodical school structure issue, as well as what led to the decision to close MLPS and amalgamate it with Northwestern Preparatory School to form Luther Preparatory School located on the former Northwestern campus in Watertown, Wisconsin in the fall of 1995. All essays mentioned here can be checked out at the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Library, Mequon, Wisconsin. Due to the brevity of Martin Luther Preparatory School’s history, little else has been written about the school. The 1990 synodical history, Our Church: Its Life and Mission, offers some interesting insights into the formation of the school, as well as the history of the school up until 1990. By the time of the writing of that book, the enrollment at MLPS had dwindled to nearly 180 students after opening with 362 students. That same year, Pastor Kenneth Brokmeier was assigned to serve as recruitment director for MLPS and in its closing years, MLPS had an enrollment near 220. During Martin Luther Preparatory School’s brief history, only one structural addition was made to the MLPS campus proper – a music facility, which was dedicated in 1988. On 18 May 1995, the final graduate of Martin Luther Preparatory School walked away with diploma in hand. With that, the brief history of Martin Luther Preparatory School drew to a close after 16 years of God’s grace. The school had instructed 4116 students, while matriculating 927. Of those 927, approximately half continued their education at DMLC, NWC or MLC.