The Life of Calvin Luther Gruber

Calvin L. Gruber, 79, noted scientist, mathematician, author and former Kutztonian, died yesterday afternoon at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Reuel Merkel, Fleetwood. A teacher for fifteen years, he was a graduate of KSTC in the days when it was “The Normal,” and spent forty five years on its faculty, achieving a longer continues record than any other teacher. And it was to his Alma Mater that he presented his collection of 461 specimens of woods, in addition to plants, bird’s eggs and Indian relics. He was also the one who named the trees at the Kutztown Park.

Authority on Ferns—A member of the American Fern Society since 1907, he made a collection of fern and fern allies of the Kutztown-Fleetwood area, during his retirement, and wrote a number of brochures on ferns. He is also the author of “Recreation Queries in U. S. History” and “Civil Government of the U. S. and Pennsylvania, in addition articles for educational and scientific magazines. From 1901 t0 1916 he assisted U. S. Forester, W. W. Ashe, North Carolina; Dr. C. S. Sargent, of the Arnold Arboretum; W.W. Eggleston, of the New York Botanical Garden and Benjamin Smith, of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, in studying the genus Crataegus (hawthorne.) One new species, Crataegus Gruberi, Ashe, was named in his honor.

A Teacher, 51 Years; A teacher for 51 years, he earned three degrees: A B. E. from the Normal in 1886, and an M. E. in 1888, in addition to the honorary degree of A. M. from Muhlenburg in 1910 for achievements in botany and other natural sciences and for authorship. For three years he taught in Marion Township; for two years in West Leesport; and for one year in a rural school in North Heidelburg Township, in addition to the 45 years at the local institution, where he was dean of instruction from 1925 to his retirement in 1934. He began his service at the Normal as teacher of Mathematics, teaching Arithmetic, Algebra and Civil Government, also occasional Geometry, Trigonometry, not to mention Educational Sociology. On his retirement he was tendered a testimonial dinner by the faculty.

Early Education; His early education was instruction by his father and his brother, John, both teachers, and he began to study Latin and algebra at the age of ten. He attended Bernville High school, where he received the equivalent in advanced classes, of nearly two years of college work.

A son of the late Richard Michael and Mary Ann (Schaeffer) Gruber, he was born and reared on a farm in Heidelberg Township, and worked on his fathers farm between school terms, until 25 years of age.
Strong Convictions; A man of strong convictions, a strict Disciplinarian, and a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, he was always interested in Kutztown. On July 24, 1890, he married Sallie Belleman, West Leesport, and three years ago celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary at a banquet at Moselem Springs Hotel. His funeral will be held Sunday at 1:30 p.m., at the home of his daughter, Fleetwood, fallowed by 2:15 p. m. services at Trinity Lutheran Church, here, the C. L. Heckman, Trinity; and the Rev. Robert J. Smethers, Jr. Emmanuel Evangelical, Fleetwood, officiating. Interment will be made in the Kutztown Mausoleum, in charge of the Christ Funeral Home, Fleetwood.
In addition to his wife and daughter, he is survived by a grandson, Attorney R. Joseph Merkel; and two brothers, Michael, Washington, D. C. and Horace, Reading.
Patriot, 7/22/1943

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