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History of Calhoun county, Michigan : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principle interests (Volume 1) online

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B. Jocelyn, D. D. ; Rev. J. L. G. McKeown, D. D. ; Rev. William B.
Silber, Ph. D. ; Rev. Lewis Ransom Fiske, D. D., LL. D., and Samuel
Dickie, LL. D., the present president.

The present era in the history of Albion College may properly be
said to begin with the incoming presidency of Dr. L. R. Fiske, who came
to Albion in 1877. He knew the institution well, having filled the chair
of natural science for three years after his graduation at Ann Arbor.
Since that time he had ripened in culture, scholai-ship and experience
by having filled a similar position for three years in the state normal
school, the chair of chemistry in the Agricultural College, and by his
work in the best pulpits in Michigan, including full terms in Jackson,
Ann Arbor and Detroit. For three years Dr. Fiske was editor of the
Michigan Christian Advocate, twelve years a trustee of the board of
education of the M. E. church, six times member of the general confer-
ence, a member of the ecumenical conference held in Washington in
1891. He held an honored place among the educational forces of the
state and the church, having been president of the Michigan state teach-
ers' association in 1889, and president of the college association of the
^Methodist church.

Dr. Fiske therefore seemed to be the logical choice of Michigan



^Methodism I'or tliu responsible task oT atlvaiiciiiy; and strengthening the
work and the intluenee of tlie college. He found a small faeulty, all of
whom were more or less tinged with tliseoiiragement regai'ding the future
of the school. A courageous exception to tiiis statement should be
made in the case of Rev. Rollin C. Welch. A. M., professor of Greek.
There was also a painfully palpable lack of support on the part of the
great church which had already spread over the commonwealth, and
which in other directions was showing remarkable strength and vigor.

The important question which faced President Fiske at the beginning
of his administration was to find the real source and reason for this lack

Rf:v. Lewis Ransom Fiske

of support, and in a very heroic and altogetiier philosophic manner the
suggestion was made that the school itself, in its course of study, its
faculty and its equipment, was not worthy of the patronage of the
church. The remedy for this lay in the hands of the faculty, and at
this point the president manifested great wisdom in grailually surround-
ing himself with a faculty of young men selected from the graduates of
the best universities and colleges of the country, men having training and
enthusiasm for their special lines of work and a determination to make
of the college a school which should connnand the approval and patron-
age of all who might seek a thorough and well rounded education. The


selection of this faculty was the distinctive feature of the first third
of President Fiske's administration.

During the year 1892-3 the faculty was constituted as follows : Lewis
R. Fiske, president; Carl B. Scheffler, director of conservatory; Mrs.
W. H. Skillman, preceptress; Washington Gardner, public lecturer;
Robert S. Avann, secretary; Rev. L. R. Fiske, D. D., LL. D., John
Owen professor of intellectual and moral philosophy ; Delos Fall, jM. S.,
David Preston professor of chemistry and biologj' ; Carl B. Scheffler,
piano, harmony, and counterpoint; Samuel D. Barr, A. "SI., W. H. Brock-
way professor of mathematics; Robert S. Avann, A. il.. Ph. D., Latin
language and literature; Frederick Lutz, A. M., modern languages; E.
Josephine Clark, A. M., teacher of Latin ; Charles E. Barr, A. M., Ezra
Bostwick professor of astronomy and acting professor of biology ; Rev.
Washington Gardner, A. M., biblical history and literature; Dwight B.
Waldo, A. M., Henry M. Loud, professor of history; Rev. Frederick S.
Goodrich, A. M., John Morrison Reid, professor of Greek language and
literature ; Jennie A. Worthington, piano and harmony ; Francis C.
Courter, drawing, perspective, and painting ; Mrs. H. W. JMosher, decora-
tive painting; Jennie M. Whitcomb, piano and history; Robert E.
McNeill, voice culture; Cora Travis, piano and voice; Charles L. McClel-
lan, principal of commercial department; John M. Pearson, piano and
organ; Jennie E. Lovejoy, A. B., teacher of German; Rose A. Ward,
violin ; Mrs. Eva Steele, shorthand and typewriting ; Smith Burnham,
Ph. B., teacher of history ; Julia A. Herriek, A. B., teacher of English ;
Carrie M. Bolster, piano; Rev. B. S. Taylor, M. D., librarian; Charles
E. Barr, A. M., registrar.

The names of these young eollegiates should be mentioned ver.y
modestly for the reason that some of them are still with the institution,
having given the greater part of their lives in the service of the college
and the church. Professor Samuel Dickie came to Albion the same
year as Dr. Fiske from the superintendency of the schools at Hastings.
He was then, as he is now, a most worthy and forceful son of the college,
having graduated from AUiion in 1872. That he is now the highly suc-
cessful president is the natural sequence of having entered so vigorously
into the life of his Alma ilater through all these years. The writer
of these lines was the next recruit, coming in 1878 from the principalship
of the Flint high school, a graduate of Michigan university, and at pres-
ent professor of chemistry.

Who of all the long generations of students from 1871 to 1906 will
ever forget Miss E. Josephine Clark, A. M., the strong, sturdy, noble
woman who labored so long and devotedly for the institution? Always
on the right side of every question, her work as a teacher and the
influence of her life as a Christian woman will endure forever. Other
women who have labored with great efficiency but for shorter periods
of time have been Mrs. Ella Hoag Brockway, Ph. j\I., ^Miss Rena A.
Michaels, Ph. D., Miss Hernietta Ash Bancroft, Ph. D., and our present
beloved dean of women, Mrs. Helen Knappen Scripps, M. A.

In the third year of President Fiske 's administration, Fred M. Tay-
lor, Ph. D., came to the institution fresh from graduation at North-
western univei-sity and post graduate work at Ann Arbor, and all who


have watched his career will ;ii,'i't'i' that in I'orcefulness ami vi'i-satility of
suggestion, together with his untiring euergj-, his work in Imililing
coui-ses of study and reforming and developing the methods of tlie
school, he has never heen excelled. He was strong in all the activities
of the college, the church and the town as well. As a magnetic and
inspiring teacher of history and economics, a resourceful and successful
Sunday-school superintendent and a wise legislator in the citj' council,
his work will always fill a large and important place in the annals of the

Next cam.' th.' elder Barr. SamuH 1).. a uradnatr ,)f Williams Col-
lege, a former deputy superintcntlent of puljlic instruction of New
York and a principal of the high school in Cleveland. Genial and
warm-hearted, with a beautiful type of religion and a great love for
young people and their symmeti'ical development, an accurate knowledge
of all branches of mathematics and great enthusiasm in teaching, he
quickly became a great favorite among the students and a powerful and
influential member of the faculty. He had been elected to the chair of
mathematics in his own Williams College, but chose to come to Albion.
He died in 190-4, sincerely mourned by every lover of the institution.

The name of Robej-t S. Avann, Ph. D., first appeared in the year-book
in 1883, as professor of the Latin language and literature. He was a
graduate of Boston university^ and brought to the college the strength
of a mind stored with the learning of the ancients. He was deeply and
profoundly religious, and performed his work well in the building of a
new and more enduring foundation for the school he loved so well. He
died a sadly tragic death by the wasting away and gradual loss of his
bodily powers; his mind, however, remaining strong and his faith un-
swerving to the very end.

Some historian of the future will properly portray the important
and lasting work of those who have been with the college for a long
series of years, and who are still active and efficient niendjers of the
faculty — the scholarly Frederick Lutz, A. ^l., Lift. D., a graduate and
former instructor in Harvard university, professor of the modern lan-
guages; the painstaking and accurate scientist, Charles E. Barr, A. M.,
a graduate of Williams College, and now professor of biology ; the
devoted scholar and preacher, Preilerick Samuel Goodrich, A. 'SL, D. 1).,
professor of Greek and the English Bible, a graduate of the Weslcyan
Tni versify of jMiddletown, Conn.

Early in 1897, at the close of a rounded out twenty years of si ivici'
as President of the College, full of honors and having the resi)c

Online LibraryWashington GardnerHistory of Calhoun county, Michigan : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principle interests (Volume 1) → online text (page 19 of 74)