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RG 30/96 - John Frederic Schreiner
Biography/Administrative History

John Frederic Shreiner was born on July 11, 1893 in Canton, Ohio, the son of Edward and Barbara Leininger Shreiner. He graduated from Oberlin College with an A.B. degree (economics) in 1916.

Mr. Shreiner served as secretary of the Division Street Department of the Y.M.C.A. in Chicago, Illinois, 1917-1918. The following year, 1918-1919, as a Chief Yeoman in the United States Navy, he worked in a unit administering psychological tests to new recruits at the Great Lakes Naval Station in Chicago. At the end of World War I, he became Director of Foreign Personnel for the American Red Cross in New York City, 1919-1920, and then an employee interviewer for the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio, 1920-1921.

In 1921, Mr. Shreiner returned to academia. After earning an A.M. degree in economics from Williams College (Williamstown, Massachusetts) in 1922, he taught economics at Hillsdale College (Hillsdale, Michigan), from 1922 to 1926. After pursuing graduate studies in economics and political science at the University of Wisconsin (Madison), he taught political science at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio from 1928 to 1932. In 1933, Mr. Shreiner became an investment analyst for William J. Mericka and Company in Cleveland, Ohio before accepting the position of Secretary to the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce (1937-1940).

During World War II, he served as Director of Personnel in the United States Automatic Corporation (later a division of the Nordson Corporation) in Amherst, Ohio. These same years (1940-1949), he also taught at Fenn College (now Cleveland State University) in Cleveland, Ohio. From 1949 until his retirement in 1964, Mr. Shreiner taught economics at the Ferris Institute (now Ferris State College) in Big Rapids, Michigan.

Throughout his life, John Frederic Shreiner was active in professional and civic organizations and his church. He was a member of the American Political Science Association, the American Academy of Political and Social Science, the American Statistical Association, and the Foreign Policy Association. He was also a member of the Board of Appeals for Zoning in Oxford, Ohio, and the Lorain County (Ohio) Industrial Council and the Lorain County Safety Council. He served terms as chairman for both organizations. He was a director of the Rotary International in Big Rapids, Michigan.

In Oberlin, Shreiner was a member of the Board of Control and the City Club, serving several terms as President, Historian, and Area Resource Person (City Club). At Oberlin’s Christ Episcopal Church, he sang in the choir, was a member of the vestry, and was a senior warden. In 1976, he received a Certificate of Appreciation for his work in the Oberlin Chapter of the American Field Service. Beginning in 1966, he served for several years as President and class agent for the Class of 1916 of Oberlin College.

On June 17, 1920, John Frederic Shreiner married Alice Estella Ralston (A.B. 1919; d. 1970). The couple had two children, Mary Alice Shreiner Dennison (b. December 14, 1922; A.B. 1944) and Robert Edward Shreiner (b. November 22, 1925). A nephew, Richard R. Hill (A.B. 1950) and a grandson, Bryant W. Dennison, Jr. (A.B. 1968) also attended Oberlin College.

In 1966, John Frederic Shreiner returned to Oberlin, Ohio where he made his home until 1976 when he moved to live with his daughter in Williamstown, Massachusetts. He died there on April 24, 1980.

A photograph and biographical information about John Frederic Shreiner are included in the digital collection “Oberlin College and Military Service in World War I,” presented by the Oberlin College Archives.

Sources Consulted

John Frederic Shreiner. Obituary. Oberlin News-Tribune, Oberlin, Ohio, May 1, 1980.

John Frederic Shreiner. Oberlin College Necrology Records. 1980.

Student file of John Frederic Shreiner, Alumni Records, Oberlin College Archives, RG 28/2.

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