Douglas County Museum was conceived by and the original building a gift of William and Etta Schluenz in order to house some 4,500 rocks and minerals that William had collected over decades.

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2023 Douglas County Museum Director

Dr. E.F. Cater, Director


Growing up in an Iowa gas station placed Dr. Cater in the center of customer service and auto mechanics. With a scholarship to study art, he went from getting down and dirty with grease and oil to coloring his hands with chalk, clay, and paint. For seven years, he used his technical degree in commercial art and photography to work as a graphic artist in the textile and vending machine industries.

While attending Central College, Pella, IA, he married Erma De Penning a lovely lady with whom he shared all of his classes, save one. She went to Home Economics while he went to Art. Their family includes five children and 16 grandchildren.

At the ripe age of twenty-two, he changed directions and turned his art degree into a degree in Bible, and later attended Mennonite Biblical Seminary. He worked as a change management pastor across the Midwest, and West.

He started combining his art degree and experience as a commercial artist with public speaking. The result is painting large chalk-talk pictures while teaching. To better understand the impact of visualization on his audience, he pursued a Master of Arts in Education. His Master’s degree grew into a Doctor of Education degree while continuing to research the history, methodology, and structure of oral storytelling.

He has worked for the School of Advanced Studies at the University of Phoenix, the University of Dubuque, and the ATS Technical Institute. His instructional vita includes rhetoric, legal-historical research methodology, academic writing, and English.

Sort of retired, he is a published author who works as a freelance writer, teaching pastor, and the Douglas County Museum Director.