Sections

Weather Forecast

Close

A Perham team that left its mark

Sandy Schauer pinned a button on her cousin, Duane Siebel, which showed her parents, William "Bud" and Pauline Morganroth. The couple was married in 1944 while her father was serving in the U.S. Navy. Brian Hansel/FOCUS1 / 4
Tony Stoll, gray sweatshirt, and his sister, Rebecca, right, listened as Hall of Fame Director Mike Peterson began a tour of the Perham Senior High. Tony and Rebecca's father, Phil, was a starting member of Perham's 1934 team. Brian Hansel/FOCUS2 / 4
Tom Morganroth wore a button with a picture of his father William "Bud" Morganroth, as he looked during his years of service in the U.S. Navy during World War 2. Brian Hansel/FOCUS3 / 4
Thirteen of the relatives of Perham's 1934 Hall of Fame football team turned out Friday for a tour of the new Perham Senior High. The team was inducted into the Perham Sports Hall of Fame Friday evening. Brian Hansel/FOCUS4 / 4

Several Perham High School teams have won state championships over the years but only one - the football team of 1934 - has the distinction of being referred to as a “Team for the Ages.”

If there ever proof wanting that athletics play a tremendous role in building character, the boys who played on the 1934 Perham football team were it.

The 11 starters of the 1934 football team were: Earl Lehmkuhl, Lloyd Schumacher, Vern Caughey, Bill Durrenberger, Jim Doll, Paul Feyereisen, Bob Durrenberger, Bud Morgenroth, Phil Stoll, George Rasmussen and Ed Webber. The entire 1934 team and their coach, Arthur Molander, were inducted into the Perham Sports Hall of Fame Friday evening.

All 11 starting players saw action during World War 2. Rasmussen was lost in combat when his ship, the battleship Arizona, was sunk. Two won Distinguished Flying Crosses. Two would become general officers in the U.S. Army. Three earned Ph.D. honors.

The Great Depression was in full swing in the fall of 1934. Poverty, unemployment, despair and suffering were all mainstays of everyday life. Out of this misery came a generation of Americans who would help save civilization and change the world.

Sandy Schauer of Buffalo, Minn. was in Perham Friday along with other members of her family to honor her father, William "Bud" Morganroth. The “e” in Morgenroth was later changed to “a.” Morganroth was a 17-year-old junior on the 1934 team that won six of their eight games.

Two years after the 1934 football team hung up their uniforms for the year, Morganroth, one of eight children in his family, lost his father. "Bud" was a bright fellow interested in becoming a doctor but when his father, Gust, died he quit college and took a job at the Perham Locker Plant to help his mother. He would continue helping his mother financially until she died.

Three years after Morganroth left college, the Japanese staged what turned out to be a sneak attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor. Morganroth made another sacrifice -- this time for his country. He enlisted in the Navy and from 1941 to 1945 served as a pharmacist mate. For most of that time, he stationed on Trinidad, an island in the Carribean Sea. One of the hospital's most distinguished patients was Admiral William Leahy, Chief of Staff to President Franklin Roosevelt and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Leahy would autograph a book belonging to Morganroth.

After Morganroth was discharged he did not return to college to pursue a medical degree. His contribution to the medical profession from then on was financial. He fathered five children in the 10 years following the end of World War 2.

Morganroth moved his family to Frazee where he managed a locker plant and a turkey farm. He died in 2008, a year after his wife, at the age of 91.

“He was my hero,” Schauer said. “He was very Christian, very devoted to his family and whatever employment he had. He was a really friendly, happy guy. My kids adored him.”

Schauer’s cousin, Duane Siebels of Horace, N.D., remembers his uncle as “a very nice guy.”

“We always had fun when we went to visit him and his family,” Siebels said.

Tony Stoll and his sister, Rebecca, remembered their father, Phil, as being “honest as the day was long.”

During the war, Phil Stoll piloted a Naval version of the Consolidated B-24 heavy bomber. He was a Distinguished Flying Cross in the Pacific Theater. After the war, he went to dental school and spent the rest of his working life in that field.

Perham City Councilman Fred Lehmkuhl’s father, Earl, also earned a DFC. His dad flew B-25 Mitchell medium bombers during the war. When he returned from the China-Burma-India Theater after four years of service he took over Perham Farm Supply.

None of these three 1934 starters did much talking about their experiences in the war after it was all over. They wanted to put the horrors of war behind them.

They had served.

Several Perham High School teams have won state championships over the years but only one - the football team of 1934 - has the distinction of being referred to as a “Team for the Ages.”

If there ever proof wanting that athletics play a tremendous role in building character, the boys who played on the 1934 Perham football team were it.

The 11 starters of the 1934 football team were: Earl Lehmkuhl, Lloyd Schumacher, Vern Caughey, Bill Durrenberger, Jim Doll, Paul Feyereisen, Bob Durrenberger, Bud Morgenroth, Phil Stoll, George Rasmussen and Ed Webber. The entire 1934 team and their coach, Arthur Molander, were inducted into the Perham Sports Hall of Fame Friday evening.

All 11 starting players saw action during World War 2. Rasmussen was lost in combat when his ship, the battleship Arizona, was sunk. Two won Distinguished Flying Crosses. Two would become general officers in the U.S. Army. Three earned Ph.D. honors. They were an extraordinary bunch.

The Great Depression was in full swing in the fall of 1934. Poverty, unemployment, despair and suffering were all mainstays of everyday life. Out of this misery came a generation of Americans who would help save civilization and change the world.

Sandy Schauer of Buffalo, Minn. was in Perham Friday along with other members of her family to honor her father, William "Bud" Morganroth. The “e” in Morgenroth was later changed to “a.” Morganroth was a 17-year-old junior on the 1934 team that won six of their eight games.

Two years after the 1934 football team hung up their uniforms for the year, Morganroth, one of eight children in his family, lost his father. "Bud" was a bright fellow interested in becoming a doctor but when his father, Gust, died he quit college and took a job at the Perham Locker Plant to help his mother. He would continue helping his mother financially until she died.

Three years after Morganroth left college, the Japanese staged what turned out to be a sneak attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor. Morganroth made another sacrifice -- this time for his country. He enlisted in the Navy and from 1941 to 1945 served as a pharmacist mate. For most of that time, he stationed on Trinidad, an island in the Carribean Sea. One of the hospital's most distinguished patients was Admiral William Leahy, Chief of Staff to President Franklin Roosevelt and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Leahy would autograph a book belonging to Morganroth.

After Morganroth was discharged he did not return to college to pursue a medical degree. His contribution to the medical profession from then on was financial. He fathered five children in the 10 years following the end of World War 2.

The rest of his life was spent in Frazee where he managed a locker plant and a turkey farm. He died in 2008, a year after his wife, at the age of 91.

“He was my hero,” Schauer said. “He was very Christian, very devoted to his family and whatever employment he had. He was a really friendly, happy guy. My kids adored him.”

Schauer’s cousin, Duane Siebels of Horace, N.D., remembers his uncle as “a very nice guy.”

“We always had fun when we went to visit him and his family,” Siebels said.

Tony Stoll and his sister, Rebecca, remembered their father, Phil, as being “honest as the day was long.”

During the war, Phil Stoll piloted a Naval version of the Consolidated B-24 heavy bomber. He was a Distinguished Flying Cross in the Pacific Theater. After the war, he went to dental school and spent the rest of his working life in that field.

Perham City Councilman Fred Lehmkuhl’s father, Earl, also earned a DFC. His dad flew B-25 Mitchell medium bombers during the war. When he returned from the China-Burma-India Theater after four years of service he took over Perham Farm Supply.

None of these three 1934 starters did much talking about their experiences in the war after it was all over. They wanted to put the horrors of war behind them.

They had served.

After the 1934 Season

Earl Lehmkuhl: Survived aircraft mechanical failure over Asia in WWII, he and crew bailed out and were rescued by Chinese partisans. He served as a Staff Sergeant in the China-Burma-India Theater as a radio operator/gunner on the B-24 Liberator. Earl earned the Distinguished Flying Cross Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters. The wedding dress of Earl's bride, Evelyn, was made from the parachute that saved his life. Died on June 9, 2004.

Lloyd Schumacher: 1st Lt., US Army. Injured (broken leg) in a domestic military plane crash that killed 5 and injured 13 others. Both engines on a C-47 transport failed simultaneously shortly after take-off. Buried at Ft. Snelling Cemetery.

William Durrenberger: Major General in the U.S. Army. Thirty years of distinguished service. Served during WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Linked to the development of M14 and M60 weapons. Distinguished Service Medal Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star, Army Commendation Oak Leaf Cluster. MBA Syracuse University. Coordinated Guided Missile and Rocket Design and Development.

James P. Doll: PHS Class of ’37. A career of research at University of California and LOBUND Lab. (Laboratory of Bacteriology University of Notre Dame). He graduated from Notre Dame in 1942 and was ordained as a Holy Cross priest in 1946. Named Notre Dame’s Southern California “Man of the Year”. Father Doll earned a Ph.D. in Microbiology and is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery, University of Notre Dame. While in high school he won a $1,000 grand prize in a national essay contest and was captain of the football team his senior year. Died on March 13, 1972.

Paul Feyereisen: Major General (2 Star), US Army, WWII. Burma campaign.  Oversaw construction of the first telephone and telegram communications between Burma and China. Awarded Legion of Merit medal for service in the China-Burma Campaign. BS in Electrical Engineering from Sophia University, Tokyo and MBA from Harvard. Later oversaw communication systems development between allied nations, involved in the development of night vision goggles. Buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Died on July 25, 2010.

Robert Durrenberger: Major Army Air Corp, WWII. A meteorologist who served in the Pacific SW. Received Ph.D. from UCLA in Climatology, published numerous articles on solar energy and climatology; became the first Climatologist for the State of Arizona. Named Distinguished Alumnus at Moorhead State where he received his BS degree. Brother and teammate of Bill Durrenberger. Died on Oct. 20, 2012.

William “Bud” Morganroth: Served as a Chief Pharmacist Mate in the US Navy during WWII as did two of his brothers. While stationed in Trinidad Bud said he “was honored to have President Roosevelt’s chief of staff, Admiral Leahy, as my patient for several days.” He was the seventh of eight children. Credited as being one of the boys who bought the black and yellow jackets prior to a basketball game; from that time on (1934/35 basketball season), PHS athletic teams were known as the “Yellow Jackets.". Died on Nov. 25, 2008. Buried in St. Henry’s Church Cemetery, Perham.

Phil Stoll: Navy pilot, flew PB4Y-2 bomber (Navy designation, same aircraft as the B-24 Liberator) in WWII with bombing missions over Japan. He was a dentist with most of his career spent in Henderson, Minn. and Los Angeles, Cal.  On July 3, 1945, his bomber, the “Pirate Princess”, was badly damaged on a bombing mission over Japan, he skimmed the water back to his base; in doing so he was a recipient of the Navy Distinguished Flying Cross. His aircraft was credited with sinking three enemy ships and damaging another on that mission. Coincidently his first son, Philip Anthony Stoll Jr. was born on the same day as his harrowing flight. When asked by Cousin Gene Stoll, “Why didn’t you fly carrier-based fighters?” he wryly responded, “Because Okinawa didn’t move”. Phil also was awarded the Navy Air Medal. Died on June 7, 2005.

George Rasmussen: Entombed in the USS Arizona. He was aboard at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. He was a Fireman 3rd Class (and welder) and was scheduled to go on leave Dec. 7 and meet his parents and wife in California. One of two Perham boys still in the Arizona, Joseph Schdowski being the other. The Perham VFW is named after these two men.

Vern Caughey: Died on Feb. 18, 1991 in Minneapolis. Funeral held at Mora Elementary School.

randomness