Highland News Leader

Minnie Tontz devoted her life to Africa and the health of its people

In 1913, Minnie Tontz was a member of the German Evangelical Church of Grantfork, today called the Evangelical United Church of Christ of Grantfork.

Minnie was the 16th child of Jones Tontz. She was sent to Rhodesia, in southern Africa, by the American Board of Missions to work with the natives people of Chi Kor, Rhodesia. Minnie was a nurse and helped to start a new brick building for the orphanage in 1934, then in 1936, the Pierce Memorial Hospital at Mount Siliwba, and also a leper colony nearby.

Minnie, in 1942, married Dr. Lawrence, a doctor who also worked among the Rhodesians. They dedicated their entire lives to helping the native people of Africa.

Minnie is a great-great aunt of Highland’s Muriel Schrumpf Brockmeier. Murial donated the Tontz spinning wheel, which will be in the North Farm Room of the new Highland Home Museum. It will be on display, plus family information, when we have our grand opening Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23. If you have farm pictures for the museum, please call to set up an appointment. You can reach me at 654-5005 or 618-303-0082. Thanks.