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2011 Inductees - Helen Bryant & G. M. Ludwig

G. M. Ludwig familyHelen Bryant

Helen (Meade) Bryant is one of a handful of teachers living in this area who has contributed greatly to generations of families living in our communities. After graduating from Cosgrove High School, Helen attended Ottumwa Heights College for a year and passed county examinations to teach with a pre-professional certificate. She taught her entire career in western Johnson County, first in one-room schools and later elementary grades for the Clear Creek Community Schools. Helen attended college classes every summer and graduated with a B. A. in education from The University of Iowa in 1975. In 1935, Helen started her teaching career in a one-room school - Sand Hill, Clear Creek No. 4. Following Sand Hill, Helen taught at Crossroads School, in Madison Township. In 1942, Helen took a teaching position at No. 3, Oak Hill School, a mile west of Tiffin. A year later, Helen married Oscar Bryant, who was in the U. S. Navy. The couple lived in California until the end of World War II. She took a hiatus from teaching to raise a family of seven children.

In 1959, Helen returned to teaching, this time at No. 4, Oak Hill School. By then, teacher’s salaries had improved from $40 a month to $350 a month. She continued her teaching career at Clear Creek until her retirement.

Teaching and education runs in Helen’s family. Her sister, Marguerite Stockman also started her teaching career in a one-room school, Clear Creek, Sand Hill, No. 4. After Tiffin, Oxford, Cosgrove, and Madison Township schools consolidated, Helen and Marguerite worked together at Clear Creek Elementary School. Both retired in the 1980’s. Another sister, Alice Kuebrich, taught in Oxford Township country schools, and a brother, Joe Meade, taught in Western Iowa and Cosgrove.

Helen’s children include Barbara (Clarence) Stennes, Cosgrove 1962; Bill (Sharon), both Clear Creek 1964; Bob (Barb), Clear Creek 1966; Gary; Liz (Mike) Walker, both Clear Creek 1975; Mary Lou (Bill) Young; and Eddie. Helen’s grandchildren that have graduated or attended Clear Creek include: Janese - CCA 1998 and Jeanna - CCA 2003; Troy - CCA 1992, Jeremy - CCA 1994 and Tyler - CCA 2004; Kate - Junior at CCA and Nick - Sophomore at CCA, Bailey CCA 2010. Helen’s great-grandchildren that attend CCA include Jake Ruth - CCA 2009 and Delaney a kindergartener at Oxford Elementary. Four generations of Bryants have graced the halls and community.

Through a lifetime of teaching, Helen has touched numerous area families and their children. For all the extra hours Helen has spent encouraging and mentoring area students, Helen deserves special credit and induction into Clear Creek Amana’s Hall of Fame. Congratulations Helen and thank you for your service to our community!


G. M. Ludwig familyG. M. Ludwig

The late G. M. Ludwig was born in 1896 near Reamstown, Pennsylvania immensely proud of his Pennsylvania-German heritage. Two of the Ludwig children completed high school. G. M. was one; he went on to college earning the money entirely on his own. He earned a grade school teacher’s certificate within a few months after completing high school. In the summer he worked as a farm hand and studied for his minister’s license in the United Evangelical Church and was assigned to minister to three small churches as an early 20th century circuit minister.

He also enrolled in Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio, and transferred to Western Union College in LeMars, Iowa. At the college he met and married Alice G. Heim. Mr. Ludwig earned a B.A. degree in 1921 and Alice earned a B.A. in 1923. They were married the following year. While serving as a minister in Cleveland, Ohio, he continued his graduate studies at Western Reserve University, earning a master’s degree in philosophy. He continued studies for a doctorate.

G. M. left his mark throughout Johnson County and everywhere he taught. In 1924, while serving the Sharon Center School, he served as an elementary interim teacher and when an expected pastorate didn’t materialize, he became school superintendent and teacher, and he organized a high school curriculum for the school.

In 1929, while superintendent of Oxford Schools, he organized a band, which unfortunately was abandoned after he moved to Tiffin to become superintendent. And while at Tiffin, not only did he undertake a building program adding a gymnasium to the high school and supervising high school students who helped finish the project, G. M. Ludwig was an “ardent” worker in the Johnson County Schoolmasters’ Club. He served as Tiffin superintendent longer than any other superintendent in Johnson County. G. M. Ludwig taught many of the Tiffin area residents, who as adults became passionate school supporters and helped lay the foundation for the school as it exists today.

The achievements of the Tiffin boys and girls basketball teams during the late 1930s, 1940s and 1950s were legendary with many wins at the county and regional tournaments. Not only did Mr. Ludwig coach all the teams, he drove the teams to out-of-town games until he resigned for health reasons in 1946.

Mr. Ludwig was elected in 1950 and 1952 to serve two terms in the Iowa House of Representatives and staunchly supported education on a statewide level. He tutored patients at the Oakdale Tuberculosis Sanitarium, wrote a weekly column for the “Iowa City Press-Citizen” and hosted a radio show, called “Fried Mush for Breakfast,” from his home on KXIC-AM 800.

G. M. Ludwig also launched the legendary Niffit school fund-raisers, one or more days of activities and athletic contests involving students, residents and area businesses. The well-known Niffit activities were the for-runners of the booster clubs we all know today.

G. M. Ludwig and his wife had six children - Phyllis, George, Genevieve, Robert, Dean, and Nona. All of them graduated from the Tiffin High School. Education was very important and most of the children graduated from college. Nona (Walker) was the only one that stayed in the Johnson County area. Nona and Ivan had three children - Debra Bryant, Michael Walker, and Linda Osborn who all graduated from the Clear Creek schools. Debra and Mike also stayed in the Clear Creek area. Debra married Richard Bryant and they had four children that graduated from CCA - Dessie, Dena, Rex, and Bart. Mike married Liz Bryant and they had 3 children attend CCA - Kate, Nick, and Bailey. Debra has 4 grandchildren - Cora, Ian, Jocelyn and Audry that attend CCA schools. Five generations have gone to the Clear Creek district schools.

Congratulations to the late G. M. Ludwig family for your many years of service to our community!