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ADVANCE IN VALUES OF UNIVERSITY PROPERTY PURCHASE OF THE TREMONT

HOUSE PRESIDENT EDMUND J. JAMES DR. A. W. HARRIS ELECTED IN 1906 FINAN-
CIAL ASPECTS OF THE INSTITUTION LIBRARIES OF EVANSTON ORRINGTON LUNT

LIBRARY THE EVANSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY MUSIC DEPARTMENT OF THE PUBLIC

LIBRARY INCORPORATION OF EVANSTON IN 1892 THE EVANSTON POSTOFFICE

LITERARY LIFE SOCIAL LIFE FRANCES WILLARD HER LIFE WORK REMARKABLE

SUCCESS OF THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT MISS WILLARD's STATUE IN WASHING-
TON HER ORATORICAL TRIUMPHS HER LITERARY WORK HER HOME IN EVAN-
STON HER DEATH IN 1898- WORLD WIDE TRIBUTES OF AFFECTION HER TOMB

AT ROSEHILL THE BURNING OF THE "SEA BIRD."

THE UNIVERSITY AND ITS PRESIDENTS

HE first president of the Northwestern University was Dr. Clark T. Hin-
man, who, as we have seen, was elected by the Board of Trustees on
June 22, 1858. Thus Dr. Hinman's incumbency began before the Uni-
versity had yet decided upon its location, a decision which was made in
the following August by the purchase of land in the present city of
Evanston. Dr. Hinman died October 21, 1854, more than a year before the Uni-
versity had begun the work of instruction, and only a year and four months after
he had become president.

The most pressing need of the hour after Dr. Hinman was elected was the
raising of funds, and to this duty he applied himself with extraordinary energy
and zeal. He was astonishingly successful in his canvass for funds. He secured
an average of one thousand dollars a day for every day that he could devote to
the work. Most of the subscriptions were obtained in Chicago, where there was
at all times an active and wide-awake public spirit, ready to aid any enterprise
or institution whose success would contribute to the public welfare. Outside of
the city Dr. Hinman had great success also. He made tours throughout the
state and the Middle West. "Perceiving the magnitude of the enterprise com-
mitted to him," says Professor Wilde, in the "History of the Northwestern Uni-
versity," "he gave himself too liberally to the task. The physical energy that

344





ORRINOTON LUNT

Early resident of Chicago and Evanston,

and liberal benefactor of Northwestern

University




JOSEPH CUMMINGS
CLARK T. HINMAN

['resident of Northwestern University from
First president of Northwestern University 1881 until his death in 1880



CHICAGO: ITS HISTORY AND ITS BUILDERS 345

ought to have carried him to twice his years was consumed with such prodigality,
than in less than a year and a half from his election he had paid the debt of
nature." The name of Hinman is perpetuated in Evanston in the name of one
of its principal avenues.

THE PRESIDENCY OF DR. FOSTER

The vacancy in the president's office caused by the death of Dr. Hinman
was filled by the election of Dr. Randolph S. Foster, on the 5th of June, 1856.
Dr. Foster was given a leave of absence for a year at the same time, and donated
his salary for that year to the incipient library of the institution. Dr. Foster
began active work in the University in June, 1857, when he was formally installed
in his office. "President Foster applied himself with complete devotion to his
duties," says Professor Wilde, "and the response of students and townspeople
to his efforts was so generous that his term of office in Evanton was said by
him in later years to have been the happiest years of his life." The hard times
of 1857 caused serious embarrassment to the finances of the institution owing
to the inability of its patrons to make needed contributions. Ways and means
were found, however, to continue the work, and new plans were entered upon
with enthusiasm. Renewed efforts were made to attract students though without
sacrificing the rigid requirements for entrance which had been insisted upon from
the first. But while Dr. Foster performed all the duties of his office with con-
scientious faithfulness, he had little taste for its details, and eventually he took
the opportunity to return to the pulpit which he had left for the presidency. He
resigned in 1859 and went back to New York where he had formerly preached,
and afterwards became the president of Drew Theological Seminary, and, in 1872,
was elected a bishop of the Methodist church. Foster street in Evanston was so
named in honor of Randolph S. Foster, second president of Northwestern Uni-
versity.

PROCESSOR NOYES AS ACTING PRESIDENT

For nine years after the resignation of Dr. Foster, Professor Henry S. Noyes,
while nominally vice-president, performed the duties of president, and proved
himself a wise and efficient administrator and educator. During this period Pro-
fessor Noyes fulfilled the duties of business agent to the University, besides at-
tending to the ceaseless hospitalities and social functions required by his posi-
tion, and maintaining necessary discipline. His health gave way at length under
the strain, and he sought change and rest in a long absence. He resigned in
1867, and wandered far in the search for health, visiting many eastern points
and Europe. He returned to Evanston and resumed the work he loved so well,
but he was again compelled to surrender it. He died May 24, 1872.

To many it has seemed unjust that Professor Noyes should not have been
accorded the full honors of the presidential office, but he believed himself that
his relations to the institution would be more useful and satisfactory in the posi-
tion he already occupied as acting president and business agent; and, again,
there was a feeling then prevalent that it was necessary for a clergyman to hold
the position of president. His memory is honored in the name of the chair of
mathematics, and a street in Evanston also bears his name.



346 CHICAGO: ITS HISTORY AND ITS BUILDERS

In the year 1865 Orrington Lunt gave the University a large tract of land
as a permanent endowment to the library of the University. The building since
erected for its use is appropriately named the "Orrington Lunt Library."

DR. WHEELER AS ACTING PRESIDENT

In 1866 David Hilton Wheeler came to the University as professor of Eng-
lish Literature. He was a man gifted with unusual literary talents. He had
been the European correspondent of the New York Tribune, and for a time was
United States consul at Genoa, Italy. He relinquished a career that required his
absence in a foreign country. He "wanted his boys to be Americans," he wrote,
and soon after accepted a place on the faculty of the University.

In 1868 Dr. Wheeler was chosen Chairman of the Faculty, and so became
virtually acting president. During his connection with the University it gained
in breadth and marked a distinct advance in scholarship. The most signal event
in the history of the institution, in the single year of Dr. W T heeler's administra-
tion, was the completion of University Hall, which was opened September 8,
1869, "an enduring monument," says \Vilde, "of the faith and financial skill of
Professor Noyes," his distinguished predecessor.

The election of a president in 1869 gave Dr. Wheeler release from the ad-
ministrative functions of the University, but he continued as a member of the
faculty until 1875, when he resigned. He afterwards became president of Alle-
gheny College at Meadville, Pennsylvania.

THE PRESIDENCY OF DR. HAVEN

Since the resignation of Dr. Foster, the University had been without a presi-
dent. "Professors Noyes and Wheeler had served efficiently as executive officers,
but the demand became more and more insistent for the appointment of a head
with full title and prerogative," says Mr. Horace M. Derby, in the "History of
the Northwestern University." The Board of Trustees, at length, on the 23d
of June, 1869, elected as president Dr. Erastus O. Haven, formerly president
of the University of Michigan. Dr. Haven's organizing power was immediately
felt, and soon after his inauguration the Chicago Medical College was united with
the University, and a department of Civil Engineering was organized, with Pro-
fessor Julius F. Kellogg in charge. A large addition was made to the library of
some ten thousand volumes purchased and presented by Mr. Luther L. Greenleaf.

Under the administration of Dr. Haven the affairs of the University were
"hopeful and pleasant," and though the Chicago Fire of 1871 occurred during
his connection, there was little or no interruption of the work of the institution.
In the first year of his administration, a young woman was for the first time ad-
mitted to the classes of the University, and it was during his term that the Evan-
ston College for Ladies joined its courses of instruction with those of the Uni-
versity.

In the summer of 1871, the old college building was removed from its original
location on Davis street to the College campus.

Dr. Haven was appointed Secretary of the Board of Education of the Meth-
odist Church in 1872, and, on September 12th of that year, he resigned from the



CHICAGO: ITS HISTORY AND ITS BUILDERS 347

presidency, and the University was once more without an official head. In accept-
ing his resignation the Trustees said "that the administration of Dr. Haven has
been marked by wise prudence and an enlightened progress." In 1880, he was
elected a bishop of the Methodist Church. He died in the following year.

DR. FOWLER AS PRESIDENT

On the 23d of October, 1872, Dr. Charles H. Fowler was elected president of
the University. Dr. Fowler had held important appointments in the Rock River
Conference as minister of some of the leading churches of Chicago. He was a
man of remarkable intellectual powers, and it was more on account of these and
of his rhetorical abilities, than because of his scholarship or experience in educa-
tional administration, that he was chosen to lead the institution which was now
rapidly advancing to the position of a university of the first class. Dr. Fowler be-
lieved in advertising the University, and, in 1873, a catalogue, greatly increased in
size from that of former years, was issued, and while he was president "there
was always activity." Dr. Herbert F. Fisk was appointed principal of the
Preparatory department, now known as the Academy, and this department became
one of the best schools of its kind in the West. Dr. Fowler also was largely in-
strumental in establishing the system of "accredited schools," whose students could
be admitted to the undergraduate courses. In 1873, the Union College of Law
of Chicago became a department of the University, and likewise the Evanston Col-
lege for Ladies under the name of the "Woman's College." There was a large
increase in the attendance of students, but the expenses far outran the income, and
the trustees were obliged to exercise severe economy for some years after. In
May, 1876, President Fowler resigned and soon after became editor of the "New
York Christian Advocate." He afterwards was elected bishop of the Methodist
Church, thus being the third president of Northwestern to be honored with that
office.

DR. MARCY AS ACTING PRESIDENT

Professor Oliver Marcy became a member of the faculty in 1862, as professor
of Natural History, a department in which "he attained considerable eminence. Al-
ready holding the position of vice-president, he thus automatically became acting
president after the resignation of Dr. Fowler. He will be remembered more dis-
tinctly and more generally as an instructor than as an administrator. He inspired
his students with enthusiasm for their work, and is remembered with great affection
by all who knew him. "An acting president holds by the very title of his office
a tentative position. He is only serving, presumably, until some one else can be
secured." Some of the best and most useful services for the Northwestern Uni-
versity, however, have been performed by acting presidents. Dr. Marcy kept the
financial welfare of the institution clearly in view while attending to its scholarly
requirements. In his reports he often pleaded with the trustees "for better ap-
paratus, for enlarged appropriations, and for a more secure endowment for pro-
fessorships, but always with due regard for their wisdom, and the unimpaired
preservation of the property holdings of the University." He was a man of great
modesty, but it has been truthfully said that "in largeness and strength of mind
Dr. Marcy was the equal of any man who ever occupied the chair of president."



348 CHICAGO: ITS HISTORY AND ITS BUILDERS

When at length a president was elected, Dr. Marcy resumed the duties of his
professorship. He had served as acting president from 1876 to 1881.

THE ADMINISTRATION OF DR. CUMMINGS

Before Dr. Joseph Cummings was chosen as president on June 21, 1881, the
University had passed through five years of severe financial retrenchment and
painful anxieties. "During the larger part of the previous administration," says
Professor H. F. Fisk, "the resources of the University had been threatened with
confiscation by the State, and taxation charges had accumulated to the amount
of over forty thousand dollars. In the courts of Illinois successive decisions had
been rendered against the University, but on April 7, 1879, the Supreme Court
of the United States declared the provision in the University charter enacted by
the Legislature of Illinois, February 14th, 1855, to be a valid contract. This
amendment exempted perpetually from taxation 'for any and all purposes all
property belonging to the University of whatever kind or description.' "

The financial aspect of the affairs of the University began greatly to improve
about this period, and the new administration of Dr. Cummings was marked as
a "transition from a period of solicitude to one of confidence." Several advances
in expenditure were made possible by the new conditions of prosperity, salaries
were increased, and new professorships provided. Science Hall was built at a
cost of forty-five thousand dollars, through the liberality of Mr. Daniel B. Fayer-
weather, and Dearborn Observatory through that of Mr. James B. Hobbs.

Dr. Cummings was a large man physically, tall and broad shouldered, and was
called, like another great man of the time, "the Grand Old Man." Dr. Fisk says
of him, "Dr. Cummings was a great man, and he greatly fulfilled the functions of
every office he assumed." He seemed indeed to inspire a kind of hero worship
among those around him, and it thus becomes difficult to get an estimate of his
administration, as every one who has written upon the subject seems completely
preoccupied and spellbound by his attractive and impressive personality.

Dr. Cummings died on May 7, 1890, at the age of seventy-three years. He
was held in high esteem by every one .who knew him in the community, and, as
we have seen, was venerated to an extraordinary degree by his students and asso-
ciates. The temporary management of the institution passed into the hands of
Professor Marcy, who once more after nine years, was placed at the head of af-
fairs. He remained in charge until the following February.

PRESIDENT ROGERS

From 1890 to 1900 was one of the most important decades in the history of
the University. It was a period of transition and change, and the full measure
of President Rogers' service will be better appreciated with the lapse of time.
"The far-seeing policy of the Board of Trustees had naturally been a conserva-
tive one;" writes Professor William A. Locy, in the "History of the Northwestern
University," "the property of the University had been increased and all her finan-
cial affairs had been managed with a wise discretion. The time had arrived for
a new step, and a man of exceptional qualifications was needed for it."

At the time of his election to the presidency of Northwestern University, in



CHICAGO: ITS HISTORY AND ITS BUILDERS 349

September, 1890, Henry Wade Rogers was the Dean of the law school at the
University of Michigan. At the time of his inauguration, he made a good im-
pression, and his address was an able paper on university ideals, in respect to
courses of study and the qualifications of professors. "It is to be said," says Pro-
fessor Locy, "that the standard of his selection of professors, and the expressed re-
quirements as to their activities, did more than any other factor in bringing the
University into general recognition." His ideas were generally diffused through-
out the atmosphere of the University, and greatly influenced the teaching faculties.

Towards the close of President Roger's administration, in 1900, he called at-
tention in his annual report to the fact that during the ten years under review
the property of the University had advanced from about two millions of dollars
in value to more than five millions, and that tuition receipts had advanced from
$66,977 in 1889, to $171,429 in 1899. During the same period there had been
made permanent improvements to the amount of $457,000. The gifts made to
the University during the period under consideration aggregated the sum of $659,580.

In June, 1900, President Rogers resigned, having held the office of president
for a longer period than any previous incumbent. "The good results of his ad-
ministration will long be felt," says Professor Locy. "He left the University in
good condition for his successor. He carried it through a critical period of re-
construction, and brought it to the threshold of a new advance." Mr. Rogers,
soon after his resignation, became a member of the faculty of Yale University,
and. in 1903. became Dean of the department of law in that institution.

ACTING PRESIDENT BONBRIGHT

Dr. Daniel Bonbright was placed in charge of the University in July, 1900,
soon after the resignation of Dr. Rogers. His long time connection with the
faculty, having become a member in 1856, his familiarity with the history and
development of the institution, his high character and the maturity of his judg-
ment, combined to give him a high place in the confidence of the trustees. "The
two years of his service as acting president," says Professor Wilde, "were a
period of energetic and well directed activity. The problems of administration
that came to him were attacked with penetration, and solved with rare discretion."
Dr. Bonbright gave his particular attention to the Evanston departments of the
University. The "professional schools" of the institution, located in Chicago,
were effectively administered by their deans in close relation with the business
office of the University.

During this period the University purchased the Old Tremont House in Chi-
cago, and after extensive alterations installed the general offices there and pro-
vided space for the professional schools. The election of President James, early
in 1902, permitted Dr. Bonbright to retire to the more congenial duties of the
class room. He now accupies the honored post of Dean Emeritus of the Faculty.

PRESIDENCY OF DR. JAMES

When the Board of Trustees elected Edmund Janes James as president of the
University, on January 21, 1902, an old and familiar friend, known by the peo-
ple of Evanston from the earlv time, returned to the scenes of his former activities.



350 CHICAGO: ITS HISTORY AND ITS BUILDERS

Dr. James had been a student in the University in 1873, but had completed his
college studies in Germany. From 1877 to 1879 he was principal of the Evanston
High School, and later a professor in the University of Pennsylvania. In 1896,
he became a member of the faculty of the University of Chicago. "The brilliant
achievements of his earlier history," writes Mr. William A. Dyche, in the "His-
tory of the Northwestern University," "justified the friends of Northwestern in
believing that great results would follow his administration. Each day of his
service strengthened their faith."

"President James at once displayed evidence of leadership in his work with
the various faculties of the University," says the same writer, "and it soon became
clear that he understood the needs of the institution and its possibilities better
than many who had been studying them for years. He gained the confidence and
loyal support of every faculty; he completed the work which his predecessor,
Henry Wade Rogers, began, of making each of the colleges feel that it was a
real part of the University ; he developed the true University spirit."

A new and in some respects a larger field, however, was opening in the career
of this remarkable man. The University of Illinois was at that time without a
head, and the Regents of that institution invited him to become its president. He
accepted the new post, greatly to the regret of the authorities of Northwestern,
and his resignation was written on the 27th of August, 1904. Henceforth his
history belongs to that of the State of Illinois.

ACTING PRESIDENT HOLGATE

On the 27th of September, 1904, the Trustees appointed Professor Thomas I''.
Holgate acting president of the University. Professor Holgate was already a
member of the faculty, of which he was the Dean, when, he assumed the duties
of the position, and, during the period intervening between the resignation of Dr.
James and the election of Dr. Harris, he acquitted himself with credit and marked
ability. After his term of service was over, the faculty of the University, at one
of its meetings, made a record in these words: "They take occasion to give ex-
pression to their grateful sense of the devotion and resourceful ability with which
the difficult office of Acting President has been administered by their colleague,
the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Thomas Franklin Holgate, LL.D."

It is easy to understand that such a position, indeed, requires tact and prudence
of a kind altogether different from, and in some respects superior to, that of
one who exercises the independent functions of a chief.

PRESIDENCY OF DR. HARRIS

The next president of the University was Abram Winegardner Harris, who
was elected on February 1st, 1906. Dr. Harris had already served as a college
president, and was well equipped for the responsibilities assumed on this occasion.
His scholarship and ability had been recognized by various institutions of learn-
ing, by whom the degree of LL.D. had been conferred upon him. Dr. Harris is
now in the full tide of his activities, and is proving himself one of the ablest of
the long line of presidents of the Northwestern University.




ABRAM WINEGARDNER HAKHIS

President of Northwestern University from 100(i
until the present time




FISK HALL. THE ACADEMY OF NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY

At the right is the United States Life Saving Station



CHICAGO: ITS HISTORY AND ITS BUILDERS 351

DIFFICULTY IN APPLYING CORRECT TITLES

There is no use in trying to disguise the difficulty experienced by a writer, in
applying proper titles in the case of names mentioned in any accounts of an edu-
cational institution. Most of the professors and instructors in any first rate in-
stitution have received the degree of "Ph. D.," and besides these there are in other
departments of the institution "D. D.'s" and "M. D.'s," Doctors of Divinity, and
Doctors of Medicine. It is difficult, therefore, to choose between the titles of
"Professor" and "Doctor." If the account refers to a period some years in the
past perhaps the title of "Doctor," which we should now apply to a member of
a faculty, had not yet been conferred and therefore should not be given. As to
whether this is so or not the information is difficult to obtain, and scarcely pays
for the trouble of a time-consuming investigation merely for the purpose of choos-
ing between the title of "Professor" or "Doctor."

TITLES OF FACULTY MEMBERS

In the numerous scientific groups found in the neighborhood of the German
Universities, it is customary among those associated in such groups to omit the
use of titles belonging to men in the ordinary course of conversation by reason
of their positions on the faculties. Indeed to address each other on such occasions
as "Doctor" or "Professor" is distinctly tabooed, and merely the usual "Herr"
is employed between man and man.

We observe that in the recent catalogue of the University of Wisconsin the ref-
erences to the members of the faculty is by the term "Mr.", instead of the here-
tofore usual title of "Professor," throughout its pages.

FINANCIAL ASPECTS OF THE INSTITUTION

In the report of the Business Manager of the Northwestern University, Mr.
William A. Dyche, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1910, is given a brief sum-
mary of the beginnings of the institution. "The founders of Northwestern Uni-
versity purchased 379 acres of land in what is now the very heart of Evanston
for $25,00'0, $1,000 in cash, the balance in notes bearing ten per cent interest.



Online LibraryJ. Seymour (Josiah Seymour) CurreyChicago: its history and its builders, a century of marvelous growth (Volume v.2) → online text (page 47 of 55)