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Norwich University, 1819-1911; her history, her graduates, her roll of honor (Volume 1) online

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H. D, Stewart, 3d base; A. J. Ranney, shortstop; C. E. Austin,
'87, left field; W. E. Hassam, '87, center field; F. R. Belknap,
right field.

The publishing of the Reveille was resumed in January,
1882, and was continued during this period. In the winter of
1882-83, a Cadet Theatrical Club was formed and on February
21st and 22d, presented the play "The Spy of Atlanta," at
Concert Hall. The proceeds were for the benefit of the library.
The officers of the Association were : George R. Miner, '84, presi-
dent; H. D. Stewart, '86, secretary; C. K. ^lellen, '84, treasurer;
N. L. Sheldon, '84, agent. On March 14th and loth the Asso-
ciation presented the "Cool Collegians" and "Class Day" at
Concert Hall, the following cadets taking part: F. R. Belknap, '85;
C. K. Mellen, '84; F. S. Parker, '84; T. II. Xickerson, '84; E. H.
Prince, '86; N. L. Sheldon, '84; R. W. Stewart, '86. The cadets
were required to attend chapel exercises each morning, and on
Sunday one of the five churches in town.

The Baccalaureate sermons for this period were delivered as
follows: Rev. William S. Hazen, at the Congregational church,
June 11, 1882; Rev. I. P. Booth, at the Universalist church
Sunday afternoon June 17, 1883; Rev. Walter Dole, '70, at the
Universalist church, June 15, 1884.

On Wednesday, June 15, 1882, at 8 p. m., was held the junior
exhibition; Professor Dole presided. The following programme
was given: oration, "Tariff," by James M. Holland; declamation,
"Unjust National Acquisitions," by H. E. Thayer; oration,
"Monopolies," T. H. Nickerson; declamation "The Last
Hours of Socrates," C. K. Mellen; declamation, "Death-
bed of Benedict Arnold," H. B. Hersey; Mrs. Mina Gregory
Slayton, recited and music was furnished by the Northfield quar-

The junior exhibition of 1883, was held at Concert Hall,
Wednesday, June 20th at 8 p. m. The following programme was
given; declamation, "A True Hero," by C. K. Mellen; declama-
tion, "Pyramids, not all Egyptian," by M. L. Chandler; dec-
lamation, "The Curse of Regulus," by H. B. Hersey; oration,
"Tendencies — Political, Religious and Social," by F. S. Parker;
oration, "The Citizen Soldier, " bj^ N. L. Sheldon.

The junior exhibition of 1884, was held at Concert Hall at
8 p. M., Tuesday, June 17. The programme was as follows:
oration, "Evils of War," Fred T. Egerton; declamation, "Mutual
Relation and Dependence," by Charles H. Nichols; oration,


"Similarity in the Character of Great Men," Earl H. Prince;
declamation, " Parrhasius and the Captive, " by Roland W. Stewart
oration, "Benefactors of Mankind," by Fred R. Belknap. Music
was furnished by John W. Jones of Northfield and Mrs. Mina
Gregory Slay ton of Chicago.

In 1884, the custom of holding class day exercises was begun,
l)ut for some time were private.

In 1881, the commencement exercises began at the Univer-
salist church, Wednesday evening, June 22. The annual address
before the trustees was delivered by Colonel George N. Carpenter,
his subject being "The Essentials of Culture." Vice-president
C. L. Hathaway, '69, presided and gave a brief address. The
graduating exercises were given at the Concert Hall,
June 23. Vice-president Hathaway presided. The Salutatory
address and oration, " What we Owe the Sword," was delivered
by Lieut. Marshall D. Smith. The class oration was delivered
by Lieut. Henry M. Jones, his subject being " American Indus-
try." The Valedictory address and oration, " Inspiration, the
Benefactor of Womankind," was delivered by Capt. William H.
Wilmarth. Fred W. Webber of Montpelier read an original poem,
"Sampson's Riddle"; music was furnished by the Northfield
cornet band. An Alumni meeting was held in the afternoon,
at which resolutions were passed endorsing the action of the.
trustees in changing the name of the Institution to Lewis College.
The drills came at 3 p. m., as follows: l^ayonet drill, under com-
mand of Lieut. M. D. Smith; sabre drill, Lieut. H. M. Jones;
artillery drill, Capt. W. H. Wilmarth.

The graduating exercises of 1882 were held on Thursday at
10:30 A. M.,June 15 at Concert Hall. President Lewis presided.
Cadet Captain George W. Hobbs delivered the class oration and
Hon. Charles H. Reed, the annual address before the trustees,
his subject being "Individuality the Basis of True Citizenship,"
Capt. George W. Hobbs, '58, read an original poem.

In 1883, the graduating exercises were held at 10 a. m.,
June 21st, at Concert Hall. \'ice-president Hathaway presided.
The cadet orators were : Capt. Wilbur C. Howe and Lieut. George
R. Miner; Lieut. James M. Holland delivered the Valedictory
address and Rev. J. Edward Wright of Montpelier the annual
address before the trustees. The drills came at 3 p. m., as follows:
bayonet and sabre drills, Lieut. James M. Holland; broadsword
fencing, Lieut. George R. Miner; artillery drill, Capt. W. C.
Howe. A competitive artiller}- drill was given between the alumni



and cadets. Gun No. 1 was manned by the cadets, and gun No. 2
by the alumni.

The commencement exercises of 1884 were held at 10 a. m.,
June 9th, at Concert Hall. Vice-president Randall presided.
Capt. T. H. Nickerscm delivered the Salutatory address and
Capt.'"C. K. Mellen^ the Valedictory: ^the class orators were.

The University, from the East.

Lieut. N. L. .Slieldnn and V. S. Parker; Col. George N. Carpenter
delivered the annual atldress. The drills were given as follows:
infantry drill, Capt. T. H. Nickerson; sabre and bayonet drills
Lieut. C. K. Mellen; artillery drill, Lieut. N. L. Sheldon.

During 1882-84, the cadet hops were given in Armory Hall.
The music in 1882 and 188"^ was furnished l)y the Gilson & Cush-
raan Orchestra and in 18S4 l)y Carter's Orchesra of Boston.
Suppers were served at the Xorthfield House.


Norwich University, 1885-1911.

Restoration of the Old Name, Norwich University — Resignation
OF Professor Dole — Professor Wait, Executive Officer — Course of
Study Enlarged — Detail of an Army Officer — Professor Brill Ap-
pointed Superintendent — Boston Alumni Association — Mess Hall —
Endowment Fund — Belknap Litigation — Dodge Hall — President Lewis
Resigns^State Aid— ^New York Alumni Association — General O. O.
Howard Becomes a Trustee — Purchase of Land — Administration
OF President Brown — Battle of Manila Bay — Board of Visitors
Appointed — Dewey Hall — Dewey Celebration in Northfield — - ScHoit-
arships Founded — Dodge Fund — Drill Hall — Dewey Day — Alumni
Hall — Administration of President Spooner — Carnegie Hall —
Weather Bureau Building — Faculty — Attendance — Entrance Re-
quirements — Courses of Study — Text Books — Degrees — Prizes and
Medals — Library — Summer Schools — Military Organization — Uni-
forms — Encampments and Marches — Austin Trophy — Expenses — Ath-
letics — Fraternities and Clubs — Debates — Sheldon Contests — Musi-
cal Clubs — Cadet Band — Religious Work — Baccalaureate Sermons — •
Class Day Exercises — Junior Exhibitions — Graduating Exercises-
Corporation Dinners — Commencement Drills — Concerts — Hops.

This period opened with bright prospects. Upon the restora-
tion of the name, Norwich Universit}^, the alumni began to take
greater interest in its welfare. The active management of the
University continued in the hands of Professor Dole, until 1886.
The first necessity was a larger attendance; and on September 17,
1885, Rev. I. P. Booth was appointed agent to secure new students.
Rev. Mr. Booth worked with great zeal, materially increasing
the attendance.

On September 1, 1885, a Preparatory department was es-
tablished. For some time classes had been formed for cadets
not fully prepared to do the work, and on this date the trustees
voted to advertise the department, which was conducted until
1890. On September 1, 1885 it was also voted that the faculty
maintain an organization and that regular meetings be held and
records be kept.

In 1886, the University suffered a severe blow in the loss of
three of her professors: Prof. Charles Dole resigned to engage


in business; Prof. W. M. Rumbaugh resigned to enter the employ
of the Western Electric Company of New York, and Dr. Louis
Habel, the learned and able chemist, died September 8, 1886.
In September, Prof. John C. Wait was appointed professor of
Civil Engineering and commandant, and in the winter was made
superintendent, having full charge of the management under
Dr. George Nichols, acting president. Professor Wait resigned
in August, 1887, much to the regret of the University officials.
He proved a capable instructor, an able manager, and did much
to strengthen the academic work. The Civil Engineering course
was greatly enlarged and modernized. The course in arts, which
had been allowed to go down in the poverty of the Institution,
was reinstated to the satisfaction of the graduates. A course in
Architecture was also added, but not proving popular, was dropped
in 1891.

In the fall of 1886, the U. S. Government gave its first offi-
cial recognition to the University in establishing a Weather
Bureau office on the Hill. This was brought about through
the active work of the trustees and Professor Wait. In December
of this year, Sergt. H. J. Cox, came to the University as the ob-
server. The large room on the south side of the second floor
of Jackman Hall, east of the north and south hall, was fitted up
as a station, and on March 1, 1887, it was opened for the work
of the Bureau.

On August 21, 1886, Col. H. O. Kent and Hiram Atkins of
Montpelier were appointed to procure equipment from the War
Department. The second official recognition of the University
by the U. S. Government was the detail of an army officer as
commandant. This recognition was secured by Professor Wait
with the co-operation of Gen. G. M. Dodge, '51, Dr. W. B. Mayo,
Hon. Frank Plumley, Dr. George Nichols and others.

This detail meant much, as the Government recognition was
one of the factors that placed the University on a permanent
basis. On February 16, 1887, Adj. Gen. R. C. Drum, U. S. A.,
issued an order detailing Lieut. Edward H. Catlin of the 2d
Artillery as commandant. General Drum proved a warm friend
of the University. He had served with Col. Truman B. Ransom,
'25, in the Mexican War, and was a great admirer of that most
gallant officer. On several occasions he paid glowing tributes
to the worth of Colonel Ransom, stating that he was one of the
ablest officers of the army. In September, 1887, Lieutenant
Catlin assumed the duties of commandant and from this date

1 <)0


the Military department of the University has been under the
charge of an army officer, excepting for a brief period during
the Spanish-American War. On June 14, 1886, it was voted
by the trustees to have one of the professors room in the barracks
and have supervision of the discipline in the absence of the
commandant. This arrangement continued until the end of
the year 1895-96, when the adjutant was given charge of the
discipline, as a representative of the commandant.

On August 5, 1887, Prof. C. C. Brill, was appointed super-
intendent and executive officer, having in charge the administra-
tion of the affairs of the University, under Dr. George Nichols

Depot Square, Northfield.

and Prof. Charles Dole, acting presidents. This arrangement
continued until President Brown assumed his office in 1896.
In August, 1887, the trustees voted to elect members of the
board for a term of years, antl also to allow the General Alumni
Association representation on the board. This year the physical
and chemical apparatus owned by Professor Habel was secured,
greatly increasing the efficienc}- of the Chemical department.

In 1888, the trustees took further action toward securing the
co-operation of the alumni by requesting the General Association
to present the names of five graduates to be elected trustees.

On February 5, 1889, the first meeting of the Boston Alumni
Association was held at the Quincy House, and from this date
the association has had a continued existence. It has done much



to promote the interests of the University. In the spring of
this year a fiag pole was presented by Gen. E. M. Carr, 79. In
June, it was voted to establish a mess hall and require all the
cadets to board there. It was conducted in Professor Dole's
house at the Center during 1889-90, and at the old hotel at the
Center, 1890-99. In this last year Professor Dole was appointed
commissary and conducted it until 1903, when the cadets were
allowed to board at their Fraternity houses and in town.

On June 26, 1889, the trustees revived the office of marshall
and Col. Frank L. Howe, '80, was appointed to the position,which
he has held to date. On June 26, 1889, a committee, consisting

Central Street, looking North.

of Col. H. O. Kent, '54, Col. George W. Hooker and Dr. W. B.
Mayo, was appointed to secure the services of an active President;
but nothing definite was accomplished until 1896.

At the annual meeting of the General Alumni Association,
held at the University Chapel, June 26, 1889, the necessity of an
endowment fund was discussed. The alumni present generously
subscribed SI TOO. Thus was begun the first permanent endow-
ment fund of the University. Prof. J. B. Johnson, 79, was elected
treasurer of the fund and from that date has taken an active
interest in the work. It is interesting to follow the growth of the
fund from the small beginning of 1889, to the substantial sum of
1911. The Boston Alumni Association took hold of the matter
with vigor and interested several parties. At the meeting of that



association in Boston on February,?, 1890, the fund project was
discussed, and General Dodge, '51, who was present at the meeting,
made a substantial donation. From time to time small donations
have been added to the fund. On June 20, 1908, Capt. Curtis
S. Barrett, of the class of 1863, and a prosperous business man of
Cleveland, Ohio, died, willing the University $100,000, which was
turned over to the University treasurer July 7, 1909. This mag-
nificient gift has done much to awaken the interest of the alumni
and friends of the Institution and has paved the way for more
substantial gifts.

View from Jackman Hall, looking North.

On June 26, 1889, the Perley Belknap claim on the University
was presented to the board for their action. Hon. Frank Plumley,
John P. Davis and Dr. Edwin Porter, were appointed to investi-
gate the matter, and if possible pay the claim. On September 28,
1889, at 2 P.M., the property was sold at auction on the common
by Sheriff E. W. Howe. The property had been widely adver-
tised as a suitable site for a school, and on the day of the sale a gen-
tleman from out of the state came for the purpose of buying the
property. Dr. W. B. Mayo was detailed to show him the ground,
with orders to take all the time necessary. While the gentleman
was inspecting the grounds and viewing the scenery, the sale was
rushed through, much to the chagrin of the would-be purchaser,
who arrived a few minutes after the sale was closed.

boDGE Hall — belknap litigation. 193

Mr. Joseph K. Egerton bid off the property subject to a mort-
gage, which had been given a Mrs. Edson, of Randolph, by Mr.
Belknap. On .September 28, 1889, Dr. P. D. Bradford, adminis-
trator of the Belknap estate, deeded the property to Mr. J. K. Eger-
ton, Hon. Frank Plumley and Dr. George Nichols. Mr. Egerton
was appoionted by the trustees to raise the money to pay for the
property. The citizens of the town and several of the alumni
liberally responded and the debt was paid, all but the mortgage
due Mrs. Edson. On June 13, 1891, Mr. J. K. Egerton, Hon.
Frank Plumle}-, and Dr. Nichols, deeded the property to the Uni-
versit}'. After many delaj^s Mrs. Edson 's claim was paid in

Birds-eye View of Northfield.

At the meeting of the Boston Alumni Association on January
3, 1891, several important matters pertaining to the University
were discussed. Gen. G. M. Dodge, '51. attended this meeting
and offered to assist in starting an Electrical Engineering Course.
Prof. J. B. Johnson, 79, urged the erection of a recitation building
to accommodate the increased number of students. Gen. Dodge,
acting on this suggestion, offered to contribute the necessary
funds for the new building. On Feb. 14, 1891, :\lr. G. H. Guernsey
of Montpelier presented the plans for this building to the trustees;
and on this date a building conmiittee, consisting of Hon. Frank
Plumley, iMr. J. K. Egerton and Prof. J. B. Johnson, was ap-
pointed to have full charge of the construction work. On ^lay 6,



Dr. George Nichols and Dr. Edwin Porter were added to the
committee. In the spring the grading of the grounds arovmd
Jackman Hall, which had been carried on at irregular intervals
for several years, was completed. The knoll, once the tried friend
of the cadet, was removed. Most of the work of grading was con-
tributed by the farmers of the town. On commencement da}'
June 25, 1891, the corner stone was laid with appropriate cere-
monies, by Gov. C. S. Page. The building was completed in the
summer of 1892 and named Dodge Hall in honor of it's donor. The
basement has been used for the chemical laboratories to date, and
the large rooms on the first and second floors for recitation rooms.

Park at the Center Village.

From 1892 until 1902, thelai'ge room on the second floor was used
for a chapel and is now used as a lecture room. The large room
on the west side of the third floor was used for the library until
1902. At present the third floor is used for the drafting classes.

On June 30, 1892, Col. C. H. Lewis, '55, resigned as president.
He had only held the position in a nominal way since 1883, taking
no part in the executive work of the Institution.

In the fall of 1892, the legislature was again appealed to for
aid. The other colleges of the state were receiving $2400 a year
for scholarships, and Norwich only S1500. On November 21, the
legislature passed an act providing for thirty scholarships of eighty
dollars each. Also, at this session of the legislature, the University
Charter was amended so that the annual meeting; of the board



came on Wodiiesday, in Juno, next preceedinp; the annual coni-

The trustees secuicfl the passage of an act of the legislature on
Xoveniber 12. 1S94, increasing the board to thirty members and
pi-oviding for five alunnii trustees, to hold office for five years. In
1S92, the New Yi)ik Alumni Association (q. v.) was reorgan-

Dr. Ceorge Nichols lesigned as vice-president and acting
president in .July 1S95. He had been for many years an earnest
and ti'ied friend of the University and his resignation was reluc-
tantly accepted l)y the trustees. Prof. Charles Dole succeeded
Dr. Nicliols as vice-president and has held the office to date. %i#^

East Side of Cepot Square."

In May. lS9o, the first Alumni Catalogue, a valuable work of
thirty-nine pages, was puljlished under direction of Prof. .J. B.
Johnson, '79. assisted by Fre I B. Thomas. '95.

This year, the class of 1(S95, began the custom of presenting a
class step. This good work has been continued to date, so that the
cadet of years ago can now have the pleasure of walking up the
hill to Jackman Hall over solid granite .steps. In this 3'ear the
enterprising gi-aduating class began the publication of the War
Whoop, (q.y.)

In 1895, an Electrical Engineering Course was begun and Prof.
Edson M. Stevens, a graduate of the University of Vermont, was
placed in charge of the work; and in this year the electric light


system was installed. In 1897 the Electrical Engineering Course
was discontinued.

In the spring of 1895, Gen. 0. O. Howard, U. S. A. the dis-
tinguished soldier, at the solicitation of General Dodge visited the
University. He recognized that one of the pressing needs of the
University was more land, and through his assistance the follow-
ing property was bought.

On August 5, 1895, Mr. W. W. Holden deeded the University
the strip of land, from a north and south line at the foot of the hill
toward the railroad track, to a north and south line on top of the
hill, just in front of where Carnegie Hall now stands, extending
south from the south line of the original University property to the
road from the Center to the railroad, comprising about four and
one half acres of land. On the same date Mr. A. K. Johnson deeded
the land extending from the property just described, t<> the track
and from the McGraw property south to road before mentioned,
containing about eleven acres. On the same date Prof. Charles
Dole deeded the land east of the W. W. Holden property, extending
east to the road leading from Central Street to the Center, and from
the south line of the original University property to the land
owned by Fred Joslyn, containing about two and one-half acres.
On August 6, 1895, Mr. Fred Joslyn deeded the University about
three acres of land extending from the Professor Dole property
south to the land owned by Robert A. Silver, 74, and Mrs. F. J.
Davis, and east from the old Country road, west to the land deeded
by W.W. Holden, before described.

On May 25, 1896, Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Cushman deeded to
the University the strip of land west of Central Street opposite
the Parade, containing about two acres. Through the assistance
of General Howard the University had now acquired, with land
bought in 1895, twenty-five acres of land affording ample room
for the drills and sites for the erection of buildings. In 1895 it
was felt by several that this purchase was unnecessary as the
Institution had more land than it would ever use; but in the light
of subsequent events, it has been shown that General Howard's
advice was prophetic of what was to come.

In 1896, there was some discussion as to the legality of the
state's paying the University for the encampments. The matter
was finally left to the Supreme Court, who decided in favor of
the University. In November of this year a legislator, unfriendly
to the Institution, introduced a bill designed to sever the con-
nection of the corps of cadets from the state militia. The matter



was very adroitly handled, the l)ill Ijeing presented at the very
last of the session. The friends of the University were taken
by surprise; many of the influential trustees and friends were out
of the state and unable to appear before the committee to whom
the bill was presented. Professors Johnson and Brill and Dr.
W. B. Mayo took the matter up with vigor; a few friends were
drafted for service. For a time the fate of the University's
connection with the state militia was held in the balance. That
year an effort was being strenuously made to lower the state
expenses and the introducer of the bill advocated the cutting
of expenses by stopping the militia pay to the University; but

Northfield Graded and High School, igio.

unexpected friends were found among the legislators. That
year several of the representatives were G. A. R. men and,
unsolicited took up the fight for Norwich. One prominent
democrat who had from the first advocated the cutting of ex-
penses stated that it was poor policy to begin a reduction of
expenses by crippling a time honored, institution that had done
so much for the state, especially in the Civil War. He then gave
an account of the services of the "N. U." men in his regiment,
paying glowing tributes to their labors. Then the G. A. R. men
of the legislature spoke on the service of the Norwich men in their
companies and regiments. Then other members, sons and
relatives of men who had fought in the Civil War, added their



lestiniony to the heroic and efficient work of the Norwich <^i'a<luute.
In fact, it seemed to the anxious friends of the University, waiting
in the gallery of the house, that a good old fashioned Methodist
love feast was taking place. When the vote on the bill was
finally taken, only four votes were registered for its passage.

The account of this historic legislative fight is given at some
length as the defeat of the bill meant much to the- University.

Online LibraryWilliam Arba EllisNorwich University, 1819-1911; her history, her graduates, her roll of honor (Volume 1) → online text (page 20 of 61)