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GEORGE  EISENHARD   1865 - 1940

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Click on any picture to enlarge

George Brinton Eisenhard was born in 1865 at a farm outside Green Springs, Seneca County, Ohio. The year of his birth was the year of Appomatox and Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. He died at South Bend, Indiana in 1940, the first year of World War II. His life spanned many significant events.

George Eisenhard Cynthia Viall Eisenhard Cynthia Viall Eisenhard

Above, from left: 1) A sketch of 2) Cynthia Viall Eisenhard, wife of George B. Eisenhard, a 1919 picture (both she and her husband had ancestors at the Boston Tea Party). Photo at 117 Madison Street. 3) Cynthia Viawll Eisenhard the day of her husband George's funeral in 1940, a photo taken by Edward Payson at the Forest Place home.

He was named after Civil War General George Brinton McClellan, 1826-1885, who was the Democratic candidate for president in 1864. This would indicate that his father was an Ohio Democrat of the period, opposed to the continuation of the Civil War. 

Major Eisenhard graduated from Green Springs Academy. He then attended Adelbert College of Western Reserve University (now Case-Western Reserve University), where he earned Bachelor of Philosophy and Master of Arts degrees.

He first taught science at Culver Military Academy in the 1898-1899 academic year. During the years 1899-1910, he taught physics and chemistry at Lincoln High School, Cleveland, Ohio. In the fall of 1910 he was brought back to Culver Military Academy to establish the Science Department.

Maj. Eisenhard built he first radio at Culver Military Academy in 1910. He had a 75 foot antenna tower and a 60 foot telescoping tower on a truck which was used by the Black Horse troop on hikes to send messages back to the Troop on hikes back to the campus. There is some evidence that Major Eisenhard, with a group of cadets, made the first ground to air radio transmission in a radio demonstration at College Park, Maryland about 1910.

George Eisenhard George Eisenhard (facing left) Gen. Gignilliat with back to camera, ca. 1928

Left to right: George Eisenhard in CMA uniform ca. 1928-29; George Eisenhard (facing left), Gen. Gignilliat with back to camera, ca. 1928;

WCMA: Culver Academy's Own Radio Station

He helped establish the Academy's radio station, WCMA, during his career at Culver. According to Mark Roeder's "A History of Culver and Lake Maxinkuckee," WCMA began broadcasting in mid-March of 1925, amazingly in several states outside of Indiana (25 different states sent notes commenting on the station!).

150 foot transmitters were affixed to the roof of the Rec building, while the second floor balcony served as a studio. In the early 30s, the towers were disassembled and WCMA was moved to the Johnson apartments on Lake Shore Drive.

Mark Roeder's article on WCMA

Culver, On the Air

From the Dec. 12, 1926 South Bend News-Times:

WCMA is the new Culver Military Academy broadcasting station, which was formally opened and gave its first program on the evening of Nov. 29. So many artists have been engaged, and the public seemed so clamorous for encores, through telephone and telegraph messages received, that the program extended from 8:30 o'clock that evening until 2 o'clock the next morning. Thousands of fans listened to the program that evening, and hundreds of congratulatory messages received at the station on the following day. It is the best broadcasting station in northern Indiana, and sends on a wavelength of 258.5 meters. (All photos by H.C. Elmore, of the News-Times staff).




Above, from left: 1. Wilbur D. Nesbit, poet and humorist, was one of the entertainers; 2. Maj. G.B. Eisenhard, head of the Science Department of Culver Military Academy, made negotiations for the building of the first broadcasting station there. 3. Brig. Gen. L.R. Gignilliat, superintendent at Culver. 4. Mrs. C.V. Easum, Mrs. W.G. Johnston and Mrs. Margaret Elliott, the three pianists who entertained on the program, are shown with Capt. W.J. O'Callaghan and Major Eisenhard. 5. L.E. Dutton and Don Baker are the technicians at WCMA. 6. Col. Noble, announcer for CMA. 7. Hon. Fred Landis, humorist, was also on the program. 8. Capt. Norman Imrie, humorist and lecturer, and a member of the English Department at Culver. 9. Will Rogers, internationally famous humorist, entertained over the station for about twenty minutes.

A Sampling of Past Articles from the Culver Citizen on WCMA:

Aug. 13, 1930: Radio Station WCMA On Air Every Afternoon

Radio Station WCMA, of Culver operated by the General Broadcasting Co., went on the air rather unexpectedly last Thursday afternoon. It was expected that it would take longer to make the preliminary preparations but when the staff found all in readiness they went on the air without any preliminary announcement. The station is now broadcasting every afternoon from 1:15 to 5:00 o¹clock. At present Carl B. Watson, manager of the station, is not making advance announcements of the programs, which are mainly musical until he can become acquainted with the talent in northern Indiana. The only features he has announced for this week are for Friday and Monday afternoons at 3:30 o'clock. On Friday Mrs. Edna Robinson will address the radio listeners on "Current Fashions." Last Monday she spoke on "Foods for Hot Weather." On Friday the Society Editor will select items for the local page of The Citizen, around the lake and country correspondence and broadcast these.

Sept. 24, 1930: News, Local Items and Home Economics Broadcast Over WCMA

   Every Friday at 3:30 p.m., the Society Editor of The Culver Citizen broadcasts the society news, local items and items from the country correspondents over WCMA, Culver station operated by the General Broadcasting Company. Listen in and hear your name read. You can get the station at about 5 on the dial.    Over every Monday at 3:30 p.m. the Society Editor gives a talk on fashions, home economics or household hints over the same station.    "The Newspaper of The Air" will be published over WCMA every Saturday afternoon at 2:00 o¹clock by the Editor of The Culver Citizen. Interesting bits of news from towns in Marshall, Fulton, Pulaski, Starke, St. Joseph, Cass and Kosciusko counties will be broadcast. Be sure to tune in each week and learn what is happening in your neighboring towns.

Wireless Radio DrillLeft: This 1913 postcard depicts a wireless radio drill on campus (the original riding hall can be seen in the background). George Eisenhard would have been involved in such a drill, and was instrumental in much of the "technology" of the day at Culver.

The Eisenhard family had the first radio in the town of Culver, and during the 1920s, the townspeople regularly gathered at the Eisenhard house at 117 W. Madison Street (and later on Slate Street) to hear broadcasts from KDKA in Pittsburgh, the first radio station in the Midwest. 

Cynthia Eisenhard, George's wife, was an early suffragette and was active in women's clubs in the early `teens, and was involved in getting women in the area to champion voting rights. She was also interested in combating child abuse in the community and in the schools, and helped form the precursor to the first PTO in the Culver area, organizing mothers to sit in on classes in the school after reports surfaced of children being abused in class by teachers. Cynthia Eisenhard died in 1946.

The Eisenhard's children included Dorothy Glenn (1901-1975), Wilma Louise, born 1905, and Nellie Sue (1908-1984). A son, George Brinton Eisenhard II, was born to the Eisenhards in Culver in 1910. George Brinton II was a graduate of Culver Military Academy, class of 1930. He died in New York City in 1970. Dorothy Glenn married Edward T. Payson (see right column, this page)

George Eisenhard also brought elaborate agricultural demonstrations to Culver Summer Schools each year. He was a strong believer in the practical application of science, and would show students around the campus and demonstrate science at work in the Mess Hall, the power plant, and elsewhere, impressing educational inspectors from Chicago (Culver prided itself in the modern equipment it had in the science department, and worked to keep such inspectors impressed with the facilities).

George Eisenhard was fascinated by the Academy's recently-acquired X-Ray machine, which was added to the infirmary, and used to give campus tours for prospective students' parents by putting a safety pin in his clothing and standing behind the machine, amusing the onlookers.

An ardent camper and rusticator, Major Eisenhard became well acquainted with Dan Beard and Ernest Thompson Seton during their summers at Culver Military Academy, and entertained them at the Eisenhard home at 117 West Madison Street in Culver. He also became acquainted with Atlee Burpee of seed fame and his family.

The second mask from the east on the Eppley Hall of Scence at the Academy is Maj. Eisenhard.

1915 Halloween Party

A 1915 Halloween party at Culver Academy at the Gignilliat home is shown here, filled with luminaries from CMA's past (including the Gignilliats themselves, of course). Dorothy Eisenhard, a teenager at the time, can be seen in the lower, right corner with an "x" penciled over her picture.

He returned retired from CMA in 1930 and died in 1939 at Plymouth.

Eleanor Eisenhard

Eleanor Sue ("Aunt Sue") Eisenhard, Nov. 1940 at Forest Place.

By Don and Martha Ryman.

Edward Payson

Edward Tilden Payson was born at Gloucester, Mass. on November 27, 1902, to George Edward Payson and Grace Saunders Payson. He had one sister, Evelyn Saunders Payson, born in 1905. 

Left: A September, 2004 baby photo of Edward Payson flanked by his parents.

He was educated in music at home by his father who was a music teacher. He was an accomplished trumpet player by the age of ten and was considered a musical prodigy. By the time he graduated from high school he was proficient on all hand instruments. He began playing the violoncello when he was about sixteen after he heard recordings made by the Flanzalee String Ouartet.

He attended public school in Alexandria, Indiana and graduated from Alexandria High School in the Class of 1920. 

Below: A youthful Edward Payson, fourth from left, leading the bugle corps in Alexandria, Indiana.

Bugle Corps

When he was about ten years old he taught all his friends to play brass instruments and organized the Alexandria Boy's Band. He also directed minstrel shows and band concerts in Alexandria with children as performers. 

From Alexandria he was sent to Culver Summer Naval School, Culver, Indiana, where he played in the Band (under the direction of W. J. 0'Callaghan) and was the school bugler. He graduated from the Naval School in 1921. He then attended Culver Military Academy Winter School, as a member of the Band. He graduated in 1922 with the rank of Sergeant.

Edward Payson - Midshipman Edward Payson - Cadet Edward Payson - Cello Edward Payson - Uniform

Above, from left: Edward Payson (front row, 6th from left) as a midshipman in the Summer Naval School at Culver; in 1921-22 as a cadet at CMA; with `cello in the early 1920s; in uniform in the early 1920s.

He entered Harvard College in the fall of 1922, as a member of the Class of 1926, concentrating In Modern Languages. He completed three years at Harvard. 

In June of 1926 he was hired by Culver Summer Schools as instructor in music. In September, 1926, he was hired by Culver Military Academy as Associate Instructor of Music and Assistant Tactical Officer of the Band.

He married Dorothy Eisenhard Payson at Culver, Ind. on June 11, 1927. 

Dorothy Eisenhard 01Dorothy Eisenhard 02Dorothy Eisenhard 03

Above, from left: Dorothy Eisenhard's high school portrait, 1919; Dorothy Eisenhard at Oberlin, Ohio; Dorothy Eisenhard in the 1940s.

They had one child, Martha Evelyn Payson born July 11, 1928, at Memorial Hospital (formerly Epworth Hospital) in South Bend, Indiana.

01 02 03 04

05 06

Above, from left: 1) Edward Payson, Martha Ryman (age 2), Wilma Eisenhard Hunt, Dorothy Eisenhard Payson, Elenor Sue Eisenhard, and her brother George B. Eisenhard Jr., circa 1931 at North Terrace, Culver. 2) Martha Payson (today Ryman) on the Academy campus in the 1940s; 3) Martha Payson with her father at their Forest Place home in the 1940s; 4) a windy day at the lake: Martha Payson, summer 1939; 5) A Popular Photography photo by Col. Payson, taken in 1939 at the Forest Place home...Lenora Louise Hunt is the pictured child; 6) Another 1939 photo by Col. Payson depicting Martha Payson and published in a Nov., 1946 publication.

He stayed in this position at Culver Summer School and Culver Military Academy until Fall of 1936 when he took a job teaching music and directing the Band at the College of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio.

In September, 1936, with a leave of absence from Culver Military Academy, he moved his family to Wooster, Ohio, where he became the first full-time band director and a full-time student at The College of Wooster. While at Wooster he studied 'cello with Rulolph Goerner at nearby Oberlin College. Wooster gave him full credit for his three years at Harvard and in 1938 awarded him a Bachelor of Music degree. He was the only member of the College of Wooster Class of 1938 who was awarded a degree in music.  

While at Wooster during the school years of 1936 -1937 and 1937 - 1938 his job was to direct the marching and concert bands. At the same time he was a full-time student in the Music Department at The College of Wooster and taking classes in 'cello at Oberlin College. Wooster did not have a 'cello teacher on its 8-member music faculty.

Publicity Shot Tribune Article Campus Map

 Directing Band Publicity Photo

Above, from left: A CMA publicity shot of Col. Edward Payson from the early 1930s; a March 10, 1935 South Bend Tribune article on Edward Payson; A humorous, hand-drawn map of the Academy campus created by Edward Payson in 1938; a summer, 1939 photo of Col. Payson directing the Summer School Band; Edward Payson publicity photo for his solo period with the South Bend Symphony ca. 1935.

In June of 1938 he returned to Culver Summer School and Culver Winter School as Tactical Officer and Instructor the Band where he spent the remainder of his career. He became Chairman of the Music Department In 1941.

Edward Payson - 1942 Moonlight Serenade Payson Family

Above, from left: Edward Payson in 1942 at the Payson's North Terrace home; an early photo of the Moonlight Serenade, taken by Col. Payson, creator of the Serenade; "Evening by Our Fire," a published photo taken by Edward Payson of the family at their Forest Place home, summer, 1939.

In 1942 he originated "The Moonlight Serenade" on Lake Maxinkuckee, which instantly became an annual event.

Col. Edward Payson in Forest Place darkroom

Col. Edward Payson, a consummate photographer, is shown here in his darkroom at the family's Forest Place home in the 1940s.

Commermoration LetterLeft: September, 1943 letter from Culver's Chamber of Commerce commemorating Col. Payson for a band concert.

In 1946, Edward Payson was named Senior Instructor and Chairman of the Music and Art Departrnent. In 1959 he was named Master Instructor and Chairman of the Music and Art Department.

The First Community Festival Concert 01The First Community Festival Concert 02 The First Community Festival Concert 03

Above, from left: Two shots of the The First Community Festival Concert, May 16, 1947. The concert, partially organized by Col. Payson, featured the Culver High School Band, the CMA Cadet Band, the Culver High School Chapel Choir, Culver's Methodist Church Choir, the Evangelical Church Choir, the Grace Reformed Church Choir, and several others. It took place at the CMA Rec Building; Edward Payson giving a bath to family dog, "Porgy," 1949.

1956 String Quartet Program South Bend Symphony - 19561960s CMA Vedette Article 01 1960s CMA Vedette Article 02A Summer School Band Concert at Eppley Auditorium

Above, from left: A 1956 String Quartet Program from St. Mary's College featuring Edward Payson; A 1959-60 photo of the South Bend Symphony featuring Col. Payson; Two sides (left and right) of a 1960s CMA Vedette article on Col. Payson and the Arts at CMA; A Summer School Band Concert at Eppley Auditorium, Edward Payson.

RehearsalEdward Payson Edward Payson

Above, from left: Rehearsal for the Gaska String Quartet (Gaska was charter member) in South Bend, ca. mid-1960s; Edward Payson in July, 1976, at the Eppley Apartments on Forest Place, less than a year before his death (he passed away May 22, 1977).

He retired from Culver Military Academy in June of l968 as Master Instructor Chairman of the Music and Art Department and Chair holder Hough Family Chair of Fine Arts.

Edward Payson had three grand-daughters: Emily Payson Ryman, Ann Elizabeth Ryman, and Mary Martha Ryman. 

He died at Memorial Hospital, South Rend, Indiana, on May 22, 1977 of pancreatic cancer. 

There is a memorial bench for Edward and Dorothy Payson in the Masonic Cemetery Culver, Indiana.


The Photos of Edward Payson. A connsumate photographer, Col. Payson shot hundreds of beautiful photographs around the Culver area and beyond.

The 1947 Culver Weekly Calendar:

A years' worth of photographs of the Culver Academy campus and surrounding area, all photos shot by Col. Edward Payson.

*Photos of Christmas Past in Culver - A variety of yuletide and wintertime photographs shot around Culver and the Payson family's homes, by Col. Payson.

*Letters, Articles, and Assorted Memorabilia Related to Col. Payson and his legacy in the Culver and Culver Academy communities.

*A Lesson by Martha Ryman


1808 Pierian Sodality Music Society at Harvard

 Pi Kappa Lamda, National Music Honorary Society

 Chairholder, Hough Family Chair of Fine Arts

Charter Member of the South Bend Symphony which was form­ed in 1933 under the direction of Edwin Hames.

Charter Member of the Gaska String Quartet, which was later re-named the Michiana String Quartet, and the Fischoff String Quartet.

He was well known as a judge of high school band contests and instrumental competitions in the State of Indiana.

He was very generous with his talent in the community of Culver, where he lived for 49 years, playing his 'cello for church programs, Christmas programs and community concerts. In the 1930s and early 1940s he was usually accompanied on the piano by his wife, Dorothy.

Edward Payson Bas Relief

Above: An Edward Payson bas relief by Warner Williams, 1960s. His students commissioned it (it was the first time a teacher had been so honored at CMA). A scholarship was also set up after his death (the Edward T. Payson Scholarship) far as we know, that was the first time such a scholarship was set up in honor of a faculty member.




March 10, 1935, he was the soloist with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra playing Mozart's Concerto in D Major.

1939, "Maxinkuckee Sketches" (he conducted) performed by the South Bend Symphony Orchestra for the first time.

In 1956 he conducted the Elkhart Symphony in a performance of  "River Jordan Suite." The same piece was played on April 26, 1970, by the South Rend Symphony Orchestra as well as on several other occasions.


Signed articles in "Musical Courier," Nov., 1931, "Phila-Gossip Magazine," Nov. 1932., Culver "Alumni Magazine," Culver Calendar and Culver "Poll Call, 1947," Map of Culver Military Academy Campus of 1933 or 1934. Map was used as endpapers in the CMA publication "Those Towers Lofty" by permission of Martha Payson Ryman.

His photographs and articles appeared in "The Indiana Calendar," 1948, "Etude" magazine" (cover) May, 1945 "Etude" magazine article June, 1945 "The Indiana Cal-endar," 1949, "Model Railroader," August, 1971, as well as newspapers and magazines.

Text by Martha Payson Ryman