The Missouri Humanities Council, Visit Hermann, the Deutschheim State Historic Site, the Showboat Community Theater and Cross-Cultural Strategies Inc. will sponsor the first Arnold Krekel and James Milton Turner Essay Competition. This donation will provide cash prizes to the first and second place winners of the contest and a cash prize for the teacher who encourages the most students to enter the contest. 

These organizations have come together to engage youth in an exploration of history that is little known in Mo. German immigrants to America before and during the Civil War took the lead in Mo. to end slavery.

Judge Arnold Krekel, a businessman, legislator and lawyer from St. Charles was one of those immigrants who eventually signed the Emancipation Decree Abolishing Slavery in Mo., but also worked closely with James Milton Turner a freed African American and education advocate to help the Colored Infantry Division of the Union Army start Lincoln University.

Students attending schools in Mo. are invited to submit their 600-1200 word essays for this competition. It is a requirement that those interested in the competition register and attend the free “Symposium: A Shared History of Germans and African-Americans in Missouri,” taking place in Hermann on February 29, at the Festhalle.

For additional eligibility and submission details related to the competition and the Symposium, visit the Missouri Humanities Council website at or email Prizes range from $300 to $150.

Cecilia Nadal, Coordinator of the competition said, “Our partners are especially grateful to the Rotary Club of Arnold and the Deutschheim Verein for supporting our strenuous efforts to reach young people encouraging their examination of important Missouri history.” “It’s also an honor to have people like Muriel Brison, Ray Ham and Dr. Dena McCaffrey, president-elect of Jefferson College, volunteer as judges for this competition.”

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