William Arba Ellis.

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

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endowments antl buildings. It is the example for all time of the Norwich
student, who, without influence or assistance, by his steadfastness, pluck and
genius, became the hero of the American Navy and the conqueror of a new
world for his country.' '

Senator Depew then gave a full account of the achievements
of the " Hero of Manila Bay' '. He said :

"There is no parallel in history of this triumphal march. Not
j'et its culmination and its lesson; not yet. That is reserved for his
Alma Mater. I saw Grant, from Appomattox, and Sherman, from the
March to the Sea, at West Point. There was an affectionate significance
in the welcome and approval of the old Academy which no pageant could give.
The splendors of the decorations, the brave array of saluting soldiers and
sailors have passed; the echoes of the guns and strains of martial music have
died away. With associations and surroundings of this seat of learning
the faculty and students receive their fellow student and honored alumnus.
The Ijuilding which will rise upon the corner stone now laid by Admiral Dewey
will remain for unnumbered generations as a monument to the advantages
of a liberal education and the possibilities of American Citizenship.' '

President Brown then introduced Admiral Dewey.

When the Admiral stepped forward to the stone, he was
cheered and applauded until it became almost embarrassing for
him. When the wave of enthusiasm had subsided and the stone
had been lowered under his direction by four mas(,ins, he stepped
forward and said in a voice audible to all:

"I pronounce the stone carefully and truly laid."


214 xomvH'H iTMVEHsri'V.

As he said this, he struck the stone with a mason's small
hammer and the ceremony, brief, but im])rcssive, was (jver.
The next moment the band was playing "America," and the
Admiral, standing with his right hand at salute, remained in this
attitude until the music ceased.

All the guests and the spectators were uncovered and it was
the most striking picture of the day and the climax of the cele-
bi'ation. The parade was then formed and marched back to
the depot by way of Main street. The many guests then boarded
their trains and were soon borne away, the Admiral and party
going to Boston.

The construction of Dewey Hall was in charge of the following
building committee: President A. D. Brown, Hon. Frank Plumley,
Prof. Charles Dole and Dr. W. B. Mayo, and the building, while
not as oi'nate as the one first planned, is fully as practical and more
in keeping with the other buildings on the Hill. It was completed
just in time for the Baccalaureate sermon, Sunday, June 22, 1902.
The first social event held in the hall was the hop given l^y the
senior class, November 7, 1902.

The Hall is 46x84 feet with projections from the south end,
12x20 feet; and is Iniilt of brick, two stories high, with a l^asement
and attic. It is beautifully finished in native woods. Until 1908,
the first floor was used for the offices of the president, commandant,
assistant treasurer and stenographer, and for reading room,
librar}^ and museum. The library and museum were each about
23x48 feet. The second floor contained the faculty or trustee's
I'oom, the U. S. Weather Bureau, and the assembly room ov
Chapel. The assembly room is one of the finest in the state
and has a seating capacity of aliout four hundred ( n the main
floor and one hundred in the gallery. In the front of the attic
is a large drafting room.

In 1908, the librarv and a part of the museum were moved
to the Carnegie Library building. The old library room and read-
ing room was then occupied by the Military department, as an
adjutant's office and recitation room. The old museum room
was used as a faculty room and the physical director's office.
In June, 1910, the U. S. Weather Bureau was moved into the
new Weather Bm-eau building and the two rooms vacated were
then ()ccuj)ied as the president's office and the faculty room.



The cadets took an important part in the reception given
Admiral Dewey in JMontjielier, October 13, 1899.

Ill planning the reception for Admiral Dewey at Montpelier,
it was decided by the state executive committee to have the Nor-
wich cadets act as escort. The invitation was extended and ac-
cepted and the work of preparation begun. Every one in the
corps seemed to appreciate the honor and every one, from the
commandant of cadets to the newest freshman, did his best in the
preliminary work which was necessary in order to make the corps
into a well drilled l)ody of men. The work was harder than it
might otherwise have been on account of so large a part of the
corps being new men who knew nothing of military matters
previous to entering the University. How well these men tried
to bscome good soldiers is known by the fact that only six extra
drills were necessary before they were in readiness for the parade.

On the morning of the 13th of October, the corps took a
special train for Montpelier and were landed at the " Dewey
terminal," about half a mile from the state house. Here they
formed as one company and were marched to the state arsenal
where dinner was served by Co. F., V. N. G. After dinner the
company was marched back to the west end of State street
where the Admiral was waiting at the Jewett residence for the
parade to start.

Soon the carriage came for the Admiral and as he descended
the steps Captain John P. Closely brought the company to a
"Present," and saluted while "Tiie General" was sounded by the
trumpeters. The Atlmii-al returned the salute and took his place
in the carriage. The company was then divided into two platoons ;
the first took its place in front, and the second in the rear of the

The various organizations, wliich constituted the })ai'ade
were in line along State street and fell in rear as the carriage and
escort passed. The parade was made up in the following order:
Platoon of Police, Chief Marshal and Staff, Norwich Univer-
sity Corps of Cadets, Admiral Dew^ey accompanied by Governor
Smith and Mayor Senter, the first regiment V. N. G., Veterans
of the Civil and Spanish Wars, Uniformed Secret orders, University
of Vermont Battalion, \'ermont Academy Corps of Cadets, ]\Iont-
pelier High School Battalion, Public School Children,


The line of march extended for about two miles through the
principal streets, on both sides of which were thousands of yards
of gay bunting and crowds of cheering, applauding people,
anxious to get a look at or from the Admiral.

A large reviewing stand had been built over the state house
steps and in front of this, a great multitude had assembled. As
the head of the columns approached the reviewing stand the space
in front was partially cleared by the mounted aides and after a
severe straggle a space was cleared wide enough to allow the cadets
to nuirch in front of the stand when the order " Fours Right" was
given and the line dressed back against the crowd which by this
time filled the entire space between the state house and the street.
The company was dressed backward against the throng until
there was a space sufficiently wide to permit the passage of the
rest of the parade. Soon Admiral Dewey appeared on the stand
and the company was again brought to a " Present' ' and the
salute was retiu-ned l)y the Admiral. Then came an opportunity
for the cadets to show the stuff of which they were made. The
throng in the rear pressed forward against the rear ranks and
crowded them against the front rank, but not an inch of ground
was yielded. The pressure from the rear was terrific, and it
seemed that a break in the line could not be avoided, but the
line was maintained.

At last the parade passed the reviewing stand and the com-
pany was marched to the east end of the state house and escorted
the Admiral to his private car. After stepping from his carriage
he turned to the cadets and taking off his hat said with a pleasant
.smile " Good-bye, boys," and disappeared through the car door.

After leaving the Admiral, the company withdrew to a grassy
.square near by for a short rest. When this was over the company
was marched back to the "Dewey terminal," where the arms
were stacked and a guard })osted over them. The cadets were then
dismissed to be re-assembled at nine o'clock to take the train
for Northfield, where they arrived at a little after ten o'clock.

On May 13, 1899, the old Governor Paine block burned.
The Ain Fraternity had its rooms in the building and suffered
the loss of most of its furniture and its valuable librar}-. In 1899,.
the University again opened the mess hall, which was conducted
by Professor Dole at his house at the Center until 1903, when it
was discontinued and the cadets allowed to board at their Fra-
ternity houses. In this year, Capt. E. A. Shuttleworth began


the custom of giving a sword to the junior who hehl the highest
rank in the military work for three years.

Mr. Chauncey Denny, a trustee and a warm friend of the
University, died on January 16, 1899, wiUing the money to es-
tablish a scholarship. His was the first permanent scholarship
given the University. For several years various fi-iends of the
Institution had from time to time given money to pay the tuition
of the needy students. In 1899, the class of that year established
a scholarship and the good work was continued by the classes of
1900, 1901, 1902 and 1903. In 1902, Miss Susan G. Perkins
of Concord, N. H., gave a fund of three thousand dollars to establish
scholarships in the memory of her father. Judge Hamilton E.
Perkins, of the class of 1824. In 1903, the Col. Jesse Augustus
Gove scholarship was founded by Mrs. Gove and her daughter,
Mrs. James M. Killeen, of Concord, N. II. In 1904, General Dodge
founded the "Dodge Loan Fund" for giving assistance to needy
students. Through this fund a number cf cadets have been
enabled to complete their courses. In 1910, the Capt. James
Edward Ainswoi'th schtylarsliip was founded l^y ^Irs. Ainsworth
for students from Williamstown, \t.

In 1899, the erection of the Drill Hall was l^egun; but owing
to various delays was not completed luitil Februai'y, 1901. It
was formally opened on February 15, by a Ijall given by the class
of 1902. ]\Iusic was furnished by Wilder's Orchestral club of

On November 13, 1900, the state further recognized the
University ])y making it the State Military college and authori-
zing the commissioning of the faculty. On November 16, 1900,
the legislature passed an act enabling the trustees to hold their
meetings on any date desired diu'ing commencement week.

On May 1, 1901, the custom of celebrating the anniversary
of the Battle of Manila Bay was begun by President Brown.
The following general order was published April 30th :

"Tomorrow, A\'ediicsday, May Ist, l)eing the anniversary of the glorious
action in Manila bay, wherein Connnodore George Dewey, U. S. N., a former
cadet of Norwich University of the class of 1855, won undying fame for him-
self and his country's arms and shed an added lustre upon the proud record
of "Old N. U.," the usual admiral's salute of seventeen guns will be fired
at noon and academic exercises will be suspended after chapel.' '

That the compliment was appreciated is shown by the follow-
ing letter from Admiral Dewey to President Brown :


Office of the Admiral,

1747 Rhode Island Ave.,

Washington, D. ('., May 1, 1901.
My dear Brown:

I have your letter of the twenty ninth ultimo, and am much pleased
to hear of your order for tlie keeping of the anniversary of the Battle of Manila,
at Norwich University. Please accept my best thanks for tlio mark of

With sincere regards, I am.

Very truly yours,

Commander A. D. Brown, U. S. N.,

President Norwich University, Northfield, Vt.

In September, 1901 the department of Field Engineering
was established.

In July, 1902, Mr. W. A. Ellis, of the class of 1897, was secm-ed
as librarian and field agent. The attendance had become reduced,
and in order to retain the U. S. Army detail it was necessary
to increase the corps of cadets. The attendance was gradually
increased from 73 in 1901-02 to 183 in 1908-09.

Owing to failing health, Presitlent Brown resigned June 25,
1903; but on the urgent request of the trustees, he consented to
act as president imtil 1904, or until the trustees could procure the
services of a new president. During the year 1903-04, several
improvements were made on the University buildings. The most
important was the installing of modern heating plants in Dodge
and Jackman Halls.

In January, 1904, President lirown was relieved of his
duties as president and Prof. C. C. Brill, dean of the faculty,
was appointed executive officer and held the position until Presi-
dent Spooner assumed office in 1905. President Brown's health
rapidly failed and he died in Waynesville, N. C, April 3, 1904.
President Brown proved an able head of the Institution and
did much to advance the interests of the University.


Owing to the rapidly increasing attendance it became neces-
sary to have a new barracks. In the winter of 1903-'04, the matter
was discussed l)y the trustees and a committee appointed to take
charge of the matter. Professor Brill was appointed chairman
of the committee and took the immediate charge of the work,
assisted by the libi-arian. Mr. William Petit, a prominent
architect and engineer for Cross Brothers Co., of Northfield,

AIA'MM 11 ALL. 219

assisted 1)V J'Ui'oy A. Chase, '0.3, made a set uf elegant plans and
specifications for the committee. Tlie matter was presented
to General Dodge, '51, who called a special meeting of the rep-
resentative alumni of New York at liis office at 2 i>. m., April
14. At this meeting the necessity of the building was presented
])}' Professor l^rill and the lil)rai'ian. After some discussion
Mr. Edward I). Adams, '64, offered SIO.OOO toward the i)roject
and (Jeneral Dodge offei-ed the same amount. Through the
generosity of these ahnnni the success of the undertaking was
assured. The matter was presented at the annual meeting of
the New Yoi'k Association that evening at the Everett H(juse.
It received hearty support from the meml^ers of the Association,
several liheially sul;scribing. The following committee was
appointed to carry out the work: W. P. Clement, 72, Prof. C. C.
Brill, (ieorge D. Thomas. '76, Edward D. Adams. '64, E. W.
Clark. '02, and H. C. Cady, '91. General Dodge was appointed
treasui'er of the fund, and \\'. N. .Jones, secretary of the committee.

('n April 25, a circular letter signed by Gen. G. M. Dotlge, '51,
president of the New York Alumni Association; Dr. .J. Q. A.
iAIcC( llister, '53, president of the Postin Association; and George
D. Thomas, '76. president (f the General Alumni Association,
was sent to the alumni appealing for aid. The building was
to be known as Alumni Hall, erected in memoiy of ('apt. Alden
Partridge. V. S. A. .Sul)scriptions were called foi'; either in a
I'Miip sum, or a stated amoinit for the j^eriod of five years.

Tiie librarian of the college solicited funds from the alumni
in New Yoi'k and vicinity until his time was demanded for woi'k
in the field, sccui'ing students. He was relieved by Mr. M. D.
►Smitii, '81, who made a thorough canvass of the alunuii and past
cadets in the various sections of the country. Tlie alumni
loyally responded with assistance. After some discussion the
Petit plans were tliscarded and President >Spooner had a new set
of plans and specifications made by Mr. Frank A. Walker of
Montpelier, which were adopted.

The ground was broken for the building in May, 1905, with
api)ropriate ceremonies. Prayer was offered by Rev. William
S. Hazen. and brief addresses were made by Prof. C. C. lirill
and Maj. H. W. Hovey. The first sod was turned by Dr. Hazen,
followed by the faculty, alunnii committee, and members of the
corps, each turning a shovel full of earth.

The ceremony of la3ung tlie corner stone followed the gradua-
ting exercises on June 22, 1905. Prayer was offered by Rev.


Walter Dole, '70, the University chaplain. President Spooner
then placed a tin box containing the records of the day, an ac-
count of the building, and several historical papers into a recess
to be covered by the stone. The corner stone was then swung
into place. Capt. H. V. Partridge, son of Capt. Alden Partridge,
in whose honor the building was to be erected, gave a brief ad-
dress on his father's work and the history of the University.
Governor C. J. Bell then followed with a brief address on the work
of the University. The exercises were concluded by a benedic-
tion by Chaplain Dole.

At the graduating exercises of June 20, 1906, Professor Brill,
as chairman of the building committee, presented the building
to the alumni. Mr. Robert H. Ford, '92, president of the General
Alumni Association, responded with a brief speech of acceptance.
He then presented Alumni Hall to the University trustees.
Col. H. O. Kent, '54, the senior member of the board, accepted
the building in an eloquent address.

The work was completed in the summer of 1908, and the
building occupied that fall. The building is 163 feet, 9 inches
long, by 58 feet, 10 inches wide; is three stories high in front
and four stories in the rear. It is constructed of brick with
cappings and window and door sills of reinforced concrete. The
basement walls are of massive granite construction. Each
floor contains 21 rooms, accommodating two men each, and three
rooms for officers and an office.

On May 20, 1904, the Vermont Alumni Association w\as
organized in Montpelier. Owing to the increased attendance
some provision had to be made for the accommodation of the
cadets; and on August 1, 1904, the University purchased of
Professor Brill the old hotel property at the Center. The building
was remodeled into a barracks and designated as Barracks No. 2,
and was used until the opening of Alumni Hall.

On June 22, 1904, Prof. Charles Horace Spooner, A. M., of
the class of 1878, was elected president. Professor Spooner had
seen much service as an instructor of Mathematics at the Manual
Training school, connected with the Washington University of
St. Louis, Mo. He assumed the duties of his office in August.

On December 9, 1904, the state legislature again recognized
the service of the University by giving a further appropriation
of $5,000 a year. This amount is expended as follows: S1,000 for
engineering equipment and $4,000 toward the salary of the
professors of the Engineering department. On the same date



the Charter was amended, allowing the University to hold more
land and to have a greater endowment than $100,000. The
University now receives a total amount of S11,000 from the state
each year, exclusive of the militia pay wliich averages a little
over $5,000 a year.

In Camp at Barre, 1Q07

Camp at Williamstown, Vt., June 1907.

Mr. Andrew Carnegie.



At the annual meeting of the New York Alumni Association,
March 30, 1905, the Alumni and friends of the University were
treated to a genuine surprise, when General Dodge, president of
the association, announced tiie gift of $50,000 from Mr. Andrew
Carnegie, $25,000 for the libraiy and $25,000 for the founding
of an Electrical Engineering department. The letter to General
Dodge confirming the gift was as follows :

Nkw York, Marcli iStli, 1905.
M V DEAR General:

Confirniing our conversation of yesterday, I take pleasure in stating tliat
I will give fifty thousand dollars for the needed library building, including
I'^lectrical department, for Norwich University.

I w-as happy thinking I coidd require the Institution to call this the
"Dodge Building." Too bad that you have anticipated me, and I suppose
it nnist bear my name. However, I am glad to follow where you lead.

Alwaj's very truly yours,


General Grenville M. Dodge,

No. 1 Broadway, New York.

Three rousing cheers were given Mr. Carnegie, and the college
yell in its full force was added. On motion of General 0. O.
Howard the following resolutions were adopted by a standing-

"Resolved: That the Norwich University ,\lumni Association of New
York tender their heartfelt tiianks to Mr. Andrew Carnegie for his generous
donation of Fifty Thousand Dollars for a Library Building, including the
e<iuipment of an Electrical department, to Norwich University of Vermont.
This donation comes at an important crisis in the affairs of the University,
and enables it to carry out long contemplated plans for its future success
and growth.

■■ Resolved: That a copj- of the Resolutions be forwarded to Mr. Carnegie
by the .Secretary of this Association, and to the Board of Trustees of Norwich
T University.' '

A Iniilding conunittee consisting of President Spooner,
Hon. Frank Phimley, Di-. William 11 Mayo, W. A. Shaw, '88,
and Librarian Ellis, was appointed by the trustees to have charge
of the construction of the building. The plans of the building
were made l)y Kerby, Petit & Green, the well known architects
of New York and, under direction of President Spooner, were
I'evised b}- F. A. Walker of Montpelier. The contract was given
to Mr. W. I']. Jackson of Montpelici', ])y President Spooner. Owing



to various delays the construction work was not begun until 1907.
The building, though not fully completed, was occupied in the
fall of 1908. The building is 60x65 feet, is two stories in height
in front and four stories in the rear. It is constructed of reinforced
concrete, the two upper floors being veneered by brick. The
two lower floors are used by the Electrical Engineering depart-
ment and the two upper floors by the library. The library is
e'specially well designed and contains ample reading rooms,
work rooms, and a large stack room, which will shelve fully 100,-
000 volumes.

Carnegie Library.

In the summer of 1905, a modern heating and power plant was
installed. This was a most important improvement. The several
buildings are now heated by the plant, which is equipped with
two 150 horse-power boilers. The plant was planned with the
idea of furnishing power for the Engineering department and
for lighting the buildings.

On November 15, 1906, the charter was amended allowing the
trustees to make an important change in the election of the mem-
bers of the board. By this provision the trustees are divided into
five groups of five each, and elected for a period of five years.

At the annual meeting of the Boston Alumni Association,
February 21, 1907, it was voted to request the trustees to name the
Old Barracks, Jackman Hall, in memory of Gen. Alonzo Jackman
'36. This request was granted by the trustees.


The work of grading the top of the Hill was commenced in
October, 1907, and was completed in the summer of 1909. This
work has greatly added to the appearance of the Hill, making a
plaza between the buildings 1,000 feet long and 185 feet wide.

In the fall of 1907, the Electrical Engineering course was
begun with Prof. Frank E. Austin, C. E., a graduate of the
Thayer School of Engineering, as professor in charge. In the fall
of 1907, through the assistance of General Dodge,'51, and Edward
D. Adams, '64, the water supply system was enlai-ged, a new
reservoir being constructed and larger pipes laid from the reservoir
to the University grounds. This was one of the most important

' '^




- . isv:_c ' ! i

m. r^m^ ' •


U. S. Weather Bureau Building.

improvements made during the year, as it assured a continuous
supply of water and gave more protection in case of fire.

For several years the matter of having a Weather Bureau
building was agitated by the University trustees. On March 30,
1907, the land, where the Weather Bureau building now stands,
was bought of Dr. W. B. Mayo, Hon. Frank Plumley and George
Richmond, in anticipation of the erection of the building. During
1907-08 land adjoining this property was bought of Mrs. M. E.
Baine and the AIFI Fraternity. In the spring of 1908 the
Government further recognized the University by appropriating
the money for the Weather Bureau building. In September, 1908,
the site was selected by the department, and in December, the
University deeded the land to the Government. The construction


Online LibraryWilliam Arba EllisNorwich University, 1819-1911; her history, her graduates, her roll of honor (Volume 1) → online text (page 22 of 61)