Charles Louis Loos
by Wayne Kilpatrick
Louis Loos was born at Woerth-sur-Sauer, Department of the Lower Rhine,
(Alsace) France, on December 22, 1923.
His father was Jacques G. Loos and was French by birth.
His mother, Katherine Kull, was born in Bavaria and was of German
Even though Charles Louis was born during the reign of Louis XVIII, he
was named, not after royalty, but rather after his grandfather Charles Louis,
a French magistrate. The Loos
family were great French Republicans and Napoleonists.
A prized family document was Jacques Loos’ commission into the French
army under Napoleon.
being a great French Republican, Jacques migrated to the United States in 1832
and settled in New Franklin, a small village in Starke County, Ohio, near
Canton. His wife and five
children followed in November of the next year only to find Jacques deathly
ill. He died three weeks later.
The mother and children were fortunate in finding German and French
speaking neighbors on the Ohio frontier, who helped make them feel at home.
Charles Louis Loos had become an American at heart before leaving France.
When the Marquis de Lafayette died, in a dirge sung for him, he was
called the strongest friend of Washington.
Young Charles Louis asked, “Who is Washington?”
Then his family bought a fine silver silhouette of Washington and the
boy gazing at it for hours became enamored with America and Washington.
He became a devout patriot of America; years later, when visiting
abroad, he presented himself as a true American.
Charles Louis had had superior school advantages in France; with true
patriotic instinct, he formed a fervent affection for America and entered,
energetically, upon the study of English.
His training in the French and German languages, in the old country,
gave him much help in learning the new language.
At sixteen he began teaching in the public schools.
This was the beginning of his life’s vocation.
He was destined to be one of the great teachers in the Master’s
concern for God’s kingdom grew out of his religious background.
His people were Lutherans. His
grandmother was a very pious Lutheran and her example was etched deep into
young Charles Louis’ memory. In
1837 he was confirmed in the Lutheran communion in Starke County, Ohio.
W. T. Moore states: “He has never ceased to recognize the blessed
influence of his early religious training, and thinks he is largely indebted
to it for becoming a preacher of the Gospel.”
A few months after being confirmed in the Lutheran Church, his Lutheran
conviction began to fade. He had
been introduced to the principles of the “Restoration Movement.”
He began discussing religious matters with some disciples in the church
at Minerva, just five miles from his home.
He began investigating their teachings and found them to harmonize with
the Bible, more closely than his Lutheran teachings.
On October 14, 1838,
he attended a meeting conducted by J. Wesley Lanpheare.
He was immersed that evening by Whittacre.
This caused strife with his Lutheran family and friends; but he never
once wavered in his new found faith. By
his seventeenth year he was preaching the gospel in his vicinity.
Many felt that he had great promise in the ministry.
September 1842 he was enrolled in Bethany College where he began classes under
Alexander Campbell. Campbell put
young Loos in classes in grammar and saying nothing about having taught it for
a number of years, he modestly started in the class, but was soon promoted.
Upon graduation in 1846 Campbell was so impressed by Loos’ high rank
as a scholar and thinker that he immediately appointed him professor in the
primary department, a position he held for three years.
Campbell was proud to day, and often did, that “no better mind, no
apter scholar, had ever come under observation and tuition.”
Just one year after graduation he would be privileged to meet a new
student who would become a lifelong friend – John W. McGarvey.
While teaching at Bethany, he was married to Rosetta Erina Kerr, a
beautiful and witty Irish girl, the daughter of John Kerr, who was a
Presbyterian minister of Newry, Ireland.”
The wedding took place at Bethany on July 6, 1848, and Alexander
Campbell officiated. While
working with Bethany college, Campbell made Loos his private secretary.
This also explains why Loos’ name appears on Campbell’s will.
Loos learned much from his chief and gained some valuable insights into
what made a school such as Bethany work.
employed at Bethany he was ordained to the ministry by Alexander Campbell and
Robert Richardson in 1849.
He began serving the church in Wellsburg, Virginia (now West Virginia),
the same year. In 1850 he moved
to Somerset, Pennsylvania, and labored until 1856.
From 1853 to 1856 he was headmaster for a Collegiate Institute, which
he had organized at Somerset. During
his stay in Pennsylvania he also founded and edited The Disciple
After Somerset, Pennsylvania, he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, and became
assistant editor of The Christian Age.
He now was having to choose between church and school labors, he
preferred the latter, and from 1857 his occupation was devoted almost entirely
to school work. He became
president of Eureka College, Illinois, that same year.
The next year, 1858, he accepted a call back to Bethany College to the
professorship of ancient languages. He
remained there for twenty-two years. In
1880 he was called to Lexington, Kentucky, to be president of Kentucky
University, a position he held for seventeen years.
He retired from the presidency in 1897, but retained professorship of
best known as an educator and minister, he was eminently useful in other
avenues of human endeavor. He for
some years was a prolific writer although he wrote no books.
His pen was wielded as a mighty sword in brotherhood journals including
The Millennial Harbinger and even secular journals like The
Lexington Leader and the Wheeling Intelligencer.
He did write the history, in booklet form, of the first national
convention of the Missionary Society in Cincinnati in 1849.
held an interest in the Missionary Society as a tool for evangelism.
He attended the 1849 Cincinnati convention.
He was a close associate and friend of Isaac Errett in forwarding the
work of the Foreign Christian Missionary Society.
Loos served as its president from 1889 until 1900.
He did, however, oppose a general representative organization to have
charge of all benevolent, educational, and missionary interest.
He fully believed that the society could effectively do the work of
evangelization and that no Bible principle would be compromised and that the
churches would better be served in their efforts to carry the gospel into all
labor in the churches was not one to be held lightly.
He was a minister in the pulpit for many years.
He served as an elder in the Central Christian Church in Lexington for
many years. He also would fill
the vacant pulpit when the local minister was away.
Kirshner says that it was hard for Loos to preach “without putting a
flavor of Greek into the surroundings.”
was a master Greek teacher at Kentucky University.
One of his students felt sure that Loos thought Greek would be spoken
in heaven, and he taught is as though it was.
His students remembered him for the enthusiasm for the Greek language
and his boundless confidence in hopeful youth duly instructed and directed in
the right ways. He always
manifested this confidence in his students.
This earned him the love and respect of the student body and the
affectionate title “Daddy Loos.”
prominent in the school in Lexington during the days of bitter controversy, he
pursued a career free from the disputes and antagonisms.
He did, however, voice his opinion upon matters he felt were important.
Having watched the rise of foreign rationalism and its spread to our
own country, he became a staunch and competent critic of the critics.
He wanted to fight for truth.
love for truth and his firm conviction in defending it cause him to become a
fighter for truth, liberty, and justice–and ideal derived from his French
Republicanism. He championed the
rights of the Black people in church and in politics.
He attended the formation meeting of the Abolition Party–the first
anti-slavery party in the state of Virginia–in the summer of 1844.
His love for liberty was a love that caused him to fight for the rights
of all of God’s children. He
also encouraged the Southern Christian Institute, a Black school founded in
1874 on a plantation near Edwards, Mississippi.
His life was always a blending of the promotion of Christian education
and liberty and justice for all.
the rest of us, brother Loos did not live a perfect life, but he made valuable
contributions to God’s kingdom in helping train so many young men for the
ministry. His valiant life came
to an end in a peaceful death at 5 o’clock Tuesday morning on February 27,
1912, at his house at 457 West Fourth Street in Lexington, Kentucky.
we may not agree with all of his positions on brotherhood issues, all three
branches of the Restoration Movement owe brother Loos a debt of gratitude.
“Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord . . . and their works do
follow them.” (Rev. 14:13).
T. Moore, The Living Pulpit of the Christian Church (Cincinnati,
Ohio: R. W. Carroll, Pub. 1867), 445.
T. Moore, “Charles Louis Loos Heeds Last Call of His Life’s Master,” Lexington
Leader (Feb. 27, 1912): 1-2.
T. Moore, “A Noble Ministry,” Christian Standard XLV (July 17,
T. Moore, “The Loos Group of Preachers,” Christian Standard LII
(May 27, 1916) 22:1241.
H. Crossfield, “Charles Louis Loos as a College Man,” Christian
Standard XLVIII (March 16,
Stevenson, ed., The Autobiography of J. W. McGarvey. A Transcript of
McGarvey’s Notes for Memoirs (Lexington, Kentucky: College of the Bible,
D. Kirshner, “Comets and Constellations–Charles Louis Loos,” Christian
Standard LXXVII (Feb. 21, 1942) 8:177.
T. Moore, “A Noble Ministry,” Christian Standard XLV (July 17,
Published Article Signed G. C. K., updated, in Charles Louis Loos’
biographical file in the library of Lexington Theological Seminary,
D. Kirshner, “Foreign Christian Missionary Society,” Christian
Standard XXXIX (June 27, 1903) 26:915.
Louis Loos, “Editorial” Christian Standard XXI (Oct. 8, 1887)
Louis Loos, Unpublished, handwritten letter written by Loos upon reading an
article in the Intelligencer, November 27, 1879, concerning the
formation meeting of the Abolition Party.
Letter is in the Charles Louis Loos Scrapbook in the library of
Lexington Theological Seminary, Lexington, Kentucky.
Published Article Signed G. C. K., updated, in Charles Louis Loos’
biographical file in the library of Lexington Theological Seminary, Lexington,
R. H. “Charles Louis Loos As A College Man,” Christian Standard.
XLVIII, March 16, 1912.
Frederick D. “Comets and Constellations-Charles Louis Loos,” Christian
Standard. LXXVII, Feb. 21,
. “Foreign Missionary Society,” Christian Standard.
XXXIX, June 27, 1903.
Charles Louis. “Editorial,” Christian
Standard. XXI, October 8,
W. T. The Living Pulpit of the Christian Church. Cincinnati, OH: R. W.
Carroll, Pub., 1867.
. “Charles Louis Loos Heeds Last Call of His Life’s Master,” Lexington
Leader. February 27, 1912.
. “A Noble Ministry,” Christian Standard
XLV, July 17, 1909.
. “The Loos Group of Preachers,” Christian Standard.
XLVIII, March 16, 1012.
DeLois, ed. The Autobiography of J. W. McGarvey. A Transcript of
McGarvey’s Notes For Memoirs. Lexington, KY: College of the Bible, 1960.
Charles Louis. Unpublished,
handwritten letter written by Loos upon reading an article in the Intelligencer,
November 27, 1879, concerning the formation meeting of the Abolition Party.
Letter is in the Charles Louis Loos Scrapbook in the Lexington
Theological Seminary, Lexington, Kentucky.
Biographical Sketch Of Charles Louis Loos
by W.T. Moore
LOUIS LOOS was born, December 22, 1823, at Woerthsurl-Sauer, Department of the
Lower Rhine, France. His father's name was JACQUES G. LOOS,
and he was also a native of France; his mother was a native of Bavaria,
early life of CHARLES, in France, was spent, after his
fourth year, in attending the academy in his native place, until his departure
for the United States, in 1834. His father, who was an enthusiastic Republican,
left France for America, in 1832, to find a home for the family. The family
followed in the fall of 1834, and, when they reached the United States, found
the father sick at New Franklin, Starke County, Ohio, where, in a short time, he
he was in France, CHARLES had been educated in both the
French and German languages, and his knowledge of these enabled him soon to
become acquainted with the English. His family belonged to the Lutheran Church,
and he was trained religiously by a pious grandmother, in whose family he was
reared. He has never ceased to recognize the blessed influence of his early
religious training, and thinks he is largely indebted to it for becoming a
preacher of the Gospel.
fall of 1837, he was confirmed in the Lutheran Church; in a few months afterward
he became acquainted with the Disciples, of whom there was a Church at Minerva,
five miles from his home. He at once began to examine their religious position,
and, having become satisfied that it was in accordance with the teaching of the
Word of God, in 1838, at a meeting held by J. WESLEY LANPHEARE,
he was immersed by JOHN WHITACRE.
This caused great bitterness and opposition among his Lutheran relatives; but he
had taken the step under an earnest conviction of duty, and did not stop to
consult with flesh and blood.
taught school at sixteen years of age, and, at seventeen, began to preach in the
vicinity of his home, and gave great promise of future usefulness.
September, 1842, he entered Bethany College, where he graduated in
1846, and remained in the college three years, as a teacher in the primary
department. He was married at Bethany, July 6, 1848, to ROSETTA
E. KERR, daughter of Rev. JOHN KERR,
a Presbyterian minister, of Newry, Ireland. She had been in America four years.
1849, he was ordained to the work of the ministry, and removed to Wellsburg,
Virginia, and preached for the Church at that place one year. In October, 1850,
he removed to Somerset, Pennsylvania, where he remained five years, and, while
there, in addition to his pastoral labors, edited a monthly periodical, called
"The Disciple," for two years, and was principal of an academy for the
same length of time. In January, 1856, he took charge of the Church corner of
Eighth and Walnut streets, Cincinnati, also assisting in editing the
"Christian Age." Having been elected President of Eureka College,
Illinois, he moved there in January, 1857, and remained till September, 1858,
when he returned to Bethany College, having been elected to the Chair of Ancient
Languages and Literature in that institution. He still occupies that position.
Professor Loos is just five feet ten inches high, has dark hair, light hazel
eyes, and weighs about one hundred and forty pounds. His personal appearance and
manners indicate his French origin, while his speech is decidedly German. The
influence of these two races is still more clearly marked in his mental
characteristics. The studious thoughtfulness, the philosophical acumen, the
plodding industry, and the generous hospitality of the German are happily
blended with the volatile spirit, fire, and enthusiasm of the French. He is a
deep, earnest thinker, and generally takes a broad, comprehensive view of
things. As a public speaker, his style is very original. His gesticulation is
rapid, and, when warmed up, his thoughts flow like a torrent. His whole soul
seems to be absorbed in his theme, and sometimes, in his happiest moods, he
speaks as if he were inspired."
-From The Living Pulpit of the
Christian Church, (1868) W. T. Moore, ed. pages 445
Location Of The Grave Of
Charles Louis Loos
The grave of Charles Louis
located at Lexington Cemetery, Lexington, Ky.
Heading west from downtown on West Main Street enter the cemetery to the right.
Continue through the iron gates on the main little road (Main Avenue). Go
between the little lakes to the new part of the cemetery and turn left as you
are passing section by "16."("16" is on the right.)
Once you've made the left turn Section "F-1" will be on your right.
Grave is located a few markers in. Section F-1, Lot 60, Part W1/2
Note: While parked there don't
miss John Samuel Shouse across the street in section "F-1," and
Caroline Pierre is close by in little wedge north of "F-1."
Where Loos Is Buried At Lexington Cemetery, Lexington Kentucky
Information By C.L. Loos