Lorenz Publishing Company’s Female Editor

By Sarah Allison, archives student worker & Public History graduate student

The Tabernacle Series published by Lorenz (MS-301, Box 7)

The Tabernacle Series published by Lorenz (MS-301, Box 7)

The Lorenz Publishing Company has been a Dayton staple since its creation in 1890 by the founder, E.S. Lorenz. The idea for his own publishing company came in 1889 when he had compiled a hymnal for the United Brethren Publishing House located in downtown Dayton.

In the late 1890’s the company created a subscription magazine named The Organist that is still published 118 years later along with two other publications that came in the 1930’s and the 1960’s.

The Lorenz Publishing Company focuses on vocal and instrumental sacred music for church choirs, organists and hand bell choirs.

The story of a man who started the company in 1890 has now followed five generations. This article will focus on Ellen Jane Lorenz who is the third generation of the family’s name for the company.

Ellen Jane Lorenz had always been passionate for music and was a remarkable woman. The Ellen Jane Lorenz Porter Collection (MS-301) was donated by the Women’s Literary Club of Dayton, as she was an important member of their society.

This collection includes musical compositions, lectures and workshop materials on hymnology and hand bell choirs. Ellen Jane Lorenz Porter born in 1907 and attended Wellesley College, graduating with a degree in music, later teaching music and studying musical composition in Paris, France.

In 1932 she joined the family company as a cub editor and later became editor-in-chief of the company in 1940. Ellen Jane Lorenz held this position until 1963 and during her time as EIC she was an expert in hand bells music.

Earning a PhD at 71 in music she wrote her dissertation on camp spirituals. Later she taught at United Trinity Seminary in Dayton course on Sacred Music and summer courses at Seattle Pacific University on Hand bell Ringing and Hymnology.

She wrote under three pseudonyms during her career: Ellen Jane Lorenz, Allen James, and Rosemary Handler. Later involving herself with the Women’s Literacy Club of Dayton she was a creative writer and playwright. She wrote music until her death in 1996.

The Lorenz Publishing Company is still a leader in choral music publication and is located in downtown Dayton.

For more information, see MS-301: Ellen Jane Lorenz Porter Collection. All images used in this post are from MS-301, Box 7, Files 1-3.

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Dan Patterson to speak at Huffman Prairie Aviation History Society, Aug. 1

The next meeting of the Huffman Prairie Aviation History Society will take place on Monday, August 1, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. All are welcome!

At this month’s meeting, Dan Patterson will speak about Dayton, Aviation and the Center of the Compass (view PDF flyer).

Traveling from Dayton to Europe means traveling through the Dayton International Airport. That puts two of the latest projects Dan is working on together in experiences and as new histories, which will become a film, a new book and lots of good things to talk about.

The meeting and presentation will take place at the Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center at 2380 Memorial Road (intersection of State Route 444 and Kauffman Road), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. There is ample free parking, and light refreshments will be provided.

You can view the upcoming schedule of meetings and speakers anytime at :  http://www.libraries.wright.edu/community/outofthebox/events/huffman-prairie-aviation-history-society/.

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In Memoriam: Dr. Lewis K. Shupe

It is with very heavy hearts that we would like to acknowledge the passing of Dr. Lewis K. Shupe, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Communication at Wright State University. Lew was a great friend and mentor to many, and a very special friend of the University Libraries and Special Collections & Archives. Upon Lew’s retirement in 1993, Lew remained an extremely active participant of the Wright State community, serving many years on the Friends of the Library Board as well as a charter member and long time officer of the Wright State University Retirees Association (WSURA).

Lew always had a special place in his heart for WSU and its very distinctive history, and it was in this spirit that he helped found the historic preservation committee on WSURA to help preserve this very special history. One thing that Lew found so fascinating was that due to the young age of the university, and the continued relationships that WSURA helped foster, we could still talk to many of the founding faculty and staff. Why not utilize this resource for an interview project to capture the history of WSU through their stories? Partnering with Special Collections & Archives, the project started small with just a small tape recorder, but has continued for over 10 years, now numbering 30 interviews, all but a handful with Lew as interviewer.

The project is now all grown up, utilizing the latest technologies and now available online (http://corescholar.libraries.wright.edu/archives_retirees/). It was a joy working on this project over the years with Lew, and we hope to continue it for years to come in his honor. His spirit and enthusiasm shined throughout these interviews, and it was very special to go along on this ride with him.

We will all miss Lew so very much, as so many will. We had hoped to turn the camera on him one day, but in his customary modest style, he wouldn’t allow that. Good night and God bless, Lew. We’ll carry the torch for you.


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