1889 HISTORY OF LINCOLN, NEBRASKA
LINCOLN'S EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS -- HER PUBLIC SCHOOLS -- EARLY TIMES -- THE WONDERFUL GROWTH NOTICED -- THE NUMBER OF SCHOOL BUILDINGS AND TEACHERS, AND THE ANNUAL COST OF CONDUCTING THE WORK -- THE HIGHER INSTITUTIONS OF LEARNING OTHER SCHOOLS
(226) The schools of Nebraska have closely followed the earliest settlement of the State. This was true of Lancaster, which became Lincoln. In fact, Elder Young's Lancaster Seminary Association came to this region for the very purpose of founding a school, and a female seminary at that.
The "Lancaster Colony" laid out "District No. 1" in the latter part of 1864, the same year that Lancaster was platted. This district was six miles square. The first board of directors were Jacob Dawson, John M. Young, and Milton Langdon. The following year, 1865, District No. 2 was organized at Yankee Hill, with John Cadman, W. R. Field, and W. T. Donovan, as directors. In this district, in the dugout home of John Cadman, not far from where the Insane Asylum now is, one of the first schools in this vicinity, and probably in the county, was taught, in the winter of 1865-6, by Robert F. Thurston, with about fifteen scholars in attendance. Judge A. W. Field and his sister, Mrs. J. E. Philpott, four of Cadman's children, three of Donovan's, and other, were pupils in this school. It is probable that a school was in progress at the same time at Saltillo. Probably late in 1866 the Stone Seminary was so far completed in Lancaster that it was decided to open a school in one room in this building, which occupied the ground on the northeast corner of Ninth and P streets, where the State Journal block now stands. The interior of the building was not finished by any means. In fact, but one room was in condition to use, and carpets and other cloths had to be hung up to keep the wind out and make the place tenable. There was no floor except the ground, and the partitions were merely lathed up. Here, however, Mr. H. W. Merrill conducted the first school in (227) Lancaster, in the latter part of 1866. The term concluded with an "exhibition." About thirty pupils attended this school of twenty-three years ago. Early in 1867 Mrs. H. W. Merrill taught a term of school in the stone seminary. She was a lady of a good deal of culture, being possessed of a good academic education and could sing well besides. The directors were anxious to find a teacher, and urged Mr. Merrill to take the school. She said it would be impossible, as she had a baby only about a year old. The directors told her to take it to school with her, and to this arrangement she finally consented. So Mrs. Merrill labored with the youth of Lancaster with a baby in her arms part of the time. She lived in one end of the building, and John Montieth had a shoe shop in another part. Rooms were scarce in those days. During her term, just after an old-fashioned spelling school, the stone seminary caught fire from a misconstructed flue, and the woodwork of the building burned to the ground. That was the last of the stone seminary as an educational institution. The walls stood there until the fall of 1867, when John Cadman rebuilt the woodwork and opened the "Cadman House."
In the fall of 1867, soon after the first sale of lots, the directors of the district caused a small stone school house to be erected near the northeast corner of Q, and Eleventh streets. In this, during the fall of 1867, Mr. George W. Peck taught the first school in the town after it became Lincoln. Mr. Peck still resides in the city. His average attendance was about thirty-five pupils. In the winter of 1868-9 school was continued in the stone school house, with Prof. -------- James as teacher. The attendance had grown to about sixty-five, and the directors then bought the Methodist church, at the southwest corner of Q, and Tenth streets, and divided the school, and instruction was begun on May 5, 1869, in both places, with T. L. Catlin teacher in the church. Both schools were well attended. The stone school house became a town jail about 1873, and the old Methodist church continued a school house until the present summer of 1889, being known first as the South School House, and for years past as the "J Street School." It stood near the northeast corner of Eighth and J streets, and was removed during the present summer.
During the spring of 1869, Miss Griswold, afterward Mrs. S. B. Galey, taught a select school. In 1870 the schools had grown to three, and the following spring the question of bonding the district (228) for $50,000 of ten per cent bonds, to build a "high-school building," began to be discussed. Finally, on the 17th day of June, 1871, an election was held at the "White School House" to vote on the bond question. At this election Messrs. C. M. Parker, W. A. Colman, and B. W. Ballard, were ,judges, and 211 voters were out, of which 151 were for bonding the district and sixty against. We find on the polling list of this election such familiar names as R. E. Moore, C. M. Parker, R. P. Beecher, Geo. B. Skinner, T. H. Hyde, W. J. Hyatt, J. E. Philpott, L. E. Cropsey, H. J. Walsh, John McConnell, P. Way, T. P. Quick, Amasa Cobb, D. B. Cropsey, D. L. Peckham, A. Humphrey, P. H. Cooper, C. M. Leighton, A. M. Davis, G. Ensign, John McManigal, J. H. Ames, and J. P. Hebard.
On August 19th an election was held to determine the location of the proposed $50,000 high-school building. There were three sites before the election from which to choose. One was block sixty-three, where the high school now is, between streets Fifteenth and Sixteenth, and M and N; another was block 155, bounded by F and G and Fifteenth and Sixteenth; and the third was block 120, bounded by J and K and Eleventh and Twelfth. There were 235 votes cast, of which 185 votes were cast for block sixty-three, thirty-two votes were cast for block 155, and eighteen votes for block 120. So block sixty-three won the location. The board this year was composed of Philetus Peck, Moderator; S. J. Tuttle, A. L. Palmer, John Lamb, A. L. Pound, and W. T. Donovan. Palmer or Tuttle acted as secretary of the meetings for several years after this.
On September 9th the board held a meeting, and "Elder Lamb was authorized to answer the Citizens' Bank at Sidney, Ohio, that they could have twenty thousand dollars in bonds at 90 cents on the dollar." The same meeting records that Mr. Lamb was appointed "to procure a strip of breaking for shade trees and to save the building from fire." Some of those shade trees can now be seen around the high school block, and it would be difficult for a prairie fire to get at the building at the present time. Mr. Palmer also records that the board ordered a "Webster's Unabridged Dictionary and Lippincott's Gazette," probably meaning Gazetteer.
On December 23, 1871, the board adopted the plans and specifications for the new school house offered by Roberts & Boulanger, at a cost. of $1,300, the architects to superintend the work. On February (229) 15, 1872, the board decided to advertise for bids on the construction of the high-school building, to be completed by September 1, 1872. On March 11th the bid of Moore & Krone for doing all the brick, stone, iron, and masonry work on the house, was accepted. Also Mr. Parcell's bid to do the carpenter work for $12,300 was approved. Parcell was of the firm of Parcell & Dehart. The stone, brick work, etc., were to cost $30,760, or the building, finished, $43,060. The contractors were to give bond on or before March 18th. On the 1st of April, 1872, S. J. Tuttle was reelected to the board and J. M. Jamison in place of A. L. Pound, after a hot fight to prevent Jamison & Stout from getting the school-house contract.
On June 11, 1872, J. W. Cassell was employed as Superintendent of the city schools for the ensuing year, at a salary of $1,400 per year. Probably a corps of seven teachers served with hint, at "the Stone School House," the stone church, at the northwest corner of Twelfth and J streets, the "South School House," and the new high-school building, during 1872-3.
On September 26 the board authorized the erection of "a suitable number of lightning rods" on the new building. But the carpenters working on the structure dragged along, and it was not completed until the first of January, 1873. Then, on January 9th, arrangements were made by the board to occupy the new school house, and abandon the old stone school house near Eleventh and Q.
From this time the real prosperity of the city schools dates. New maps and charts were ordered. The German language was ordered taught in the new building, on January 9, 1873. The school had a bell, a janitor, and Prof. Leland was employed to teach music at a salary of $10 per month.
On February 6, 1873, we find the board allowing the following bills to teachers for one month past:
|Miss E. P. Rockwood||$65.00||Miss Priscilla Nicholson||$50.00|
|Miss Jennie Roberts||60.00||Miss Mary Sessions||50.00|
|Miss S. G. Lamb||60.00||Alice Roberts||37.50|
|Mrs. A. S. Newcomer||60.00||M. A. Whyman||26.25|
|Mrs. E. Mollie Powers||55.00||Supt. J. W. Cassell||140.00|
|Miss Hortense D. Street||55.00||Geo. B. Holmes||41.25|
|Miss Emma Williams||41.25||J. Holdegroff||33.15|
|Miss May Bostater||55.00|
In September, 1874, Prof. W. W. W. Jones took charge of the (230) schools as superintendent, and occupied that position until about the close of the year of 1880, when Prof. S. R. Thompson became superintendent, with a corps of over twenty teachers. He was followed by Prof. J. M. Scott, who held the place until June, 1883. District No. 1, Lancaster county, had, some time before this, become the School District of Lincoln.
Of late years the schools have made rapid strides in every respect, as the subjoined exhibit of facts and figures showing the status of the schools of to-day will demonstrate. In brief; the schools of Lincoln exhibit. superior development for a city so young. A most wonderful growth has taken place in the last ten years, and the methods of work have kept even pace with the growth in numbers. To Supt. E. T. Hartley, who has had charge of the schools for the past seven years, is due very much of the splendid condition in which they are to-day. Prof. Hartley is a man of wonderful energy, great tact, thorough business methods, and liberal education, and these qualifications, to which must be added his great love for the work, make him a man peculiarly qualified for the place he holds.
The number of school buildings has grown to sixteen, with rooms for ninety schools, and possessing a seating capacity for 5,000 pupils. The total enrollment for the past year was 4,748, of whom 2,375 were boys, and 2,373 were girls. It required over eighty teachers to instruct these five regiments of pupils. The total amount of money paid out for the support of the city public schools for the year ending July 8, 1889, was $98,451, of which sum $43,175 was disbursed for teachers' salaries.
The elementary schools cover eight years of work, and have been arranged in sixteen grades. All the common-school branches are completed in the eight years, including United States history, an eight years' course in music and drawing, temperance hygiene, and four years oral instruction in English language preparatory to the systematic study of grammar.
The high school curriculum comprises four parallel courses of three years each, the English, the Latin, the German, and the Classical. These courses include instruction in algebra, book-keeping, geometry, botany, human physiology, physical geography, chemistry, physics, geology, English composition, word analysis, technical grammar, orthoepy, elocution, history and development of English literature, (231) rhetoric, political economy, civil government, elements of commercial law, general history, three years each in Latin, Greek, and German. It will be seen that the public schools furnish a good practical education, well rounded out, even if the pupils do not go to college, and if they expect to enter a higher institution, they are prepared to do so.
The work of the High School is arranged in departments, and employs nine instructors. Special reference libraries are supplied for the departments of history and English literature, and a working laboratory in chemistry and physics is provided, enabling pupils to perform their own experiments. The department of physiology is well equipped with fine skeletons and a series of plaster and papier-maché models. In addition to the general reference library, each department has a special library. A feature of the Lincoln schools is a circulating library, from which the pupils made 35,510 loans last year, a remarkable record considering the other public and private libraries of the city.
The corps of teachers of the city schools for 1888-89 is as follows:
|E. T. Hartley, M. A. Superintendent.|
|H. S. Bowers Assistant Superintendent.|
|J. C. Miller Special Instructor in Music.|
CENTRAL BUILDING-HIGH SCHOOL
|S. P. Barrett, M. A., Principal, Mathematics.|
|Lawrence Fossler, B.S., German and Biology.|
|Geo. B. Frankforter, M. A., Chemistry and Physics.|
|Marian Kingsley, B. A., Rhetoric and English Literature.|
|Mary M. Pitcher, M. A., Latin and Greek.|
|Mina F. Metcalf, M. A., General History|
|Mate Treeman, B. S., History and Civil Government.|
|Mrs. Marie Fielding|
|Flora A. Beecher|
|Ina Fay Risely|
|Mrs. S. N. Franklin|
T STREET SCHOOL
|G. W. McKinnon, Principal.|
|Dora M. Neihardt|
|Mrs. Mary McKinnon|
|Helen W. Chapin|
|Mrs. Lulu Wilson|
Q STREET SCHOOL
|Anna Shuckman, Principal|
|Mrs. Hattie Musselman|
|Lizzie C. Jones|
|(232) Etta Erb|
|Mrs. Lizzie Gleason|
|Mrs. A. P. Tiffany, Principal|
|Mrs. Jeannie Hard|
|Mrs. Emma R. Cropsey|
|Kate Folsom, (Mrs. Ralston.)|
|Mrs. L. H. Davis|
|Mara L. Byam|
|Mrs. Emmeline Tucker|
C STREET SCHOOL
|Mrs. Elizabeth Bowen, Principal|
|Mrs. Abbie Chamberlain|
|Mrs. T. E. Hardenburg. (Died July 24, 1889.)|
|S. Alice Lease|
|Cora Hardy, Principal|
|Mrs. Anna R. King|
|Mrs. Emma W. Edwards, Principal|
|J. C. Pentzer|
The board of education is composed as follows:
|J. A. Wallingford, President|
|W. W. W. Jones, Vice President|
|A. G. Greenlee, Secretary|
|Miss Phoebe Elliott|
|W. J. Marshall|
|Sam D. Cox|
|W. A. Lindley|
|O. E. Goodell|
|The instruction for 1889-90 will be under the direction of the following officials:|
|E. T. Hartley Superintendent|
|Burr Lewis Principal of High School|
|PRINCIPALS OF WARD SCHOOLS|
|Mrs. A. P. Tiffany, Capitol|
|Miss Anna Shuckman, Q Street|
|Mrs. Elizabeth Bowen, C Street|
|Mrs. Emma W. Edwards, Elliott.|
|Miss Cora Hardy, Park|
|Miss Alice Russell, T Street|
|Mrs. Jeanie Hard, Cherry Street|
|Miss Jennie Marine, Special Instructor in Vocal Music|
| Miss Lydia Welsh,
Special Instructor in Penmanship and Drawing.
A notable feature of the high school is a series of lectures on subjects directly or indirectly connected with the course of study, given by persons prominent in educational circles, and occurring once or twice per week throughout the year. Among the lecturers have been the Governor of Nebraska, and other State officers, the Chancellor and other members of the faculty of the State University, lawyers, ministers and physicians of Lincoln, and the instructors of the high school.
THE STATE UNIVERSITY
The high standard of general intelligence which has made Nebraska able to boast of having a less percentage of illiteracy among her citizens than any other State in the Union, is as old as the settlement of the Territory. The founding of the present State University came through a process of evolution. To found a university seems to have been the highest ambition of many of Nebraska's earliest politicians, and to become the home of a great educational institution, the goal for which nearly all of her earliest towns strove earnestly and well.
In the first session of the Legislature charters were granted to Nebraska University, located at Fontanelle; Simpson University, located at Omaha city, and the Nebraska City Collegiate and Preparatory Institute, located at Nebraska City. In the next session Simpson University asked for a renewal of its charter, and charters were granted to the Nemaha University, at Archer; Washington College, at Cuming City; the Plattsmouth Preparatory and Collegiate Institute, and the Western University, at Cassville. In the third session the Legislature added to the list the Brownville College and Lyceum, the Salem Collegiate Institute, the Rock Bluff Academy, the Dakota Collegiate Institute, the Nebraska University at Wyoming, the Omaha Collegiate Institute, St. Mary's Female Academy, the University of St. John, the Omaha Medical University, and amended the charter of the Western University. In the fall session of the same year charters were granted. to the University of Nebraska, Wyoming College, (234) DeWitt Collegiate Institute, Falls City College, the Literary Association of the Elkhorn, the Dodge County Lyceum and Literary Association, and the State Historical Society. In 1858 Dempster Biblical Institute and the Lewis and Clark College were chartered.
There was a general impression that the chartering of universities, was a good thing, and the Legislatures of those early days had a blank form of charter which became a bill for the creation of a university, ready for introduction as soon as the name of the prospective institution was inserted.
In a very complete paper on the university, read by Professor H. W. Caldwell before the State Historical Society at its 1889 meeting, and from which the foregoing facts have been taken, it is recorded that the bill organizing the University of Nebraska was introduced into the Senate February 11, 1869, by Mr. Cunningham, of Richardson county. It was referred to the Committee on Education, of which Hon. C. H. Gere was chairman, and was reported back the next day, with amendments, and passed. It was passed by the House and signed on the 15th, having become a law within four days from its (235) introduction. A bill was passed about the same time in the session, providing for the sale of unsold lots and blocks in the town site of Lincoln, and for the erection and location of a State Lunatic Asylum and a State University and Agricultural College; and as an illustration of the jealous care with which the State's educational interests have always been guarded, it may be mentioned that on February 12th the bill was amended, on motion of Mr. Tullis, of Lancaster, by striking out the words, "lunatic asylum" before the words, "university" etc., and inserting them after those words. The original charter of the university provided for a board of twelve regents. Nine of these were to be chosen by the Legislature in joint session, three from each judicial district, and the Chancellor, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Governor, were made ex-officio members of the board. In 1875 an amendment was passed providing that the Chancellor should not thereafter be a member of the Board of Regents, and at the same time provision was made against an increase of the number of regents by an increase in the number of judicial districts. The constitution of 1875 creates a board of six regents, to be elected by a direct vote of the people.
The charter of the university provides for five colleges, viz: A college of literature, the sciences and arts; a college of law; a college of medicine; a college of agriculture and the practical sciences; and a college of fine arts. The contract for the erection of the building was let August 18, 1869, the corner-stone was laid September 23d, the building was accepted January 6, 1871, and the university was opened with an enrollment of about ninety students January 6, 1871. The corner-stone was laid with Masonic ceremonies. "Major D. H. Wheeler," says Mr. Caldwell's paper, was master of ceremonies. A brass band from Omaha headed the procession. In the evening a grand banquet was given, Governor Butler made a few remarks, Mr. Wheeler a short speech, then Attorney General Seth Robinson gave an address on "Popular Education." There was a banquet attended by a thousand people, and dancing was indulged in from ten till four o'clock.
The record of the doubts and fears of the Board of Regents and citizens of Lincoln as to the safety of the university building, forms an interesting chapter in the history of the institution. Before the doors were even opened to students the rumor gained currency that (236)
(237) the building was unsafe, and in June, 1871, three professional architects were secured to examine it. They reported that it was safe for the time being, and that a few inexpensive repairs would render it safe beyond a doubt for years to come. The repairs were made and the university opened. In March, 1883, at a special meeting of the regents, a report was received from another set of architects, and a new foundation was ordered put under the chapel, and this was done. June 26, 1877, the Chancellor in his report called the attention of the board to the condition of the building. This time four architects were employed -- one from Omaha, one from Nebraska City, and two from Lincoln, and on the strength of their report the regents resolved, July 6, 1877, to tear down the building and erect a new one at a cost of $60,000, $40,000 to be raised by the citizens of Lincoln, and work was to commence immediately on securing the above amount. The citizens of Lincoln were not satisfied, and sent to Chicago and Dubuque for architects, who examined the building and pronounced it easily repaired. August 15th a committee of Lincoln citizens met the regents, and upon the new light presented by them, the resolution to tear down was reconsidered, and a new foundation and other repairs were ordered, to be paid for by the citizens of Lincoln. The repairs were made at a cost of $6,012. Various attempts have been made to secure an appropriation to reimburse the citizens of Lincoln for this expense, but all have failed.
Mr. Caldwell's paper states that on June 3, 1869, a committee consisting of Regents C. S. Chase, Supt. Beals, and Rev. D. R. Dungan, was appointed to secure names of suitable persons for Chancellor. January 6, 1870, the salary of the Chancellor was fixed at $5,000, and A. R. Benton was selected on the second ballot. H. S. Tappin, J. D. Butler, E. B. Fairfield, and A. Barns, each received one vote on the first ballot. The next year the Chancellor's salary was reduced to $4,000 and the salaries of professors fixed at $2,000. The first faculty was elected April 4, 1871, as follows: Ancient Languages, A. H. Manley; Mathematics, H. E. Hitchcock; English Literature, O. C. Dake; Sciences, H. W. Kuhn, who declined and recommended Rev. Samuel Aughey, who was unanimously elected at the June meeting. June 13, 1871, a tutor was authorized, and G. E. Church was chosen as the first tutor at a salary of $1,000. Finally the first faculty was completed, by the election, September 6, 1871, of S. K. Thompson to the (238) chair of agriculture, with the condition that he was not to enter upon the discharge of his duties for at least one year. From this modest beginning of four professors and one tutor the facility has developed into a body of twelve professors, two associates, two adjunct professors, two instructors, two tutors, two lecturer, and the principal of the Latin school, besides assistants in the laboratories and the teachers in art and music.
The character of the development of the university course of instruction can not be better summarized than by quoting the words of Prof. Caldwell: "Two sharply-marked principles have governed in the formation of the courses of study. The first period was characterized by an almost inflexible course of study; there were practically no elective. The classics and mathematics formed the backbone of the work. A term or two of history and of English literature, a couple of years of some modern language, and a text-book study of two or three sciences, were switched in, with no expectation of securing more than a mere outline knowledge of these subjects. They were not supposed to be able to give mental culture; the scientific course even, was not made to secure a mental development; its object was to give practical knowledge. In short, whether for better or worse, the ordinary college course of the renaissance type, only slightly impregnated with the modern scientific and historic spirit, was the only one recognized.
"The second period begins in 1880 and marks an entire revolution in ideas. An elective course was introduced and the principle recognized that all studies may be made about equally valuable for purposes of mental culture, and therefore the courses were planned with reference to continuity of work in each line. The pamphlet announcing the change says: 'The elective system is the one that insures the greatest interest and profit in every study, and it is the only system that allows a student to become a special scholar in any one department, while still leaving to him the option of a general education."
The progress of the university, under the system introduced in 1880, has been steady and rapid, and the institution has become widely known for its original work in several departments of investigation. The department of history is especially strong, and with the possible exception of the Michigan and California universities, no institution west of the Alleghanies has developed its equal. The work which has just (239) been published by Prof. George E. Howard, the head of this department on "Local Constitutional Government in the United States" has been most favorably received by the great historians of the world, and"gives him high rank among specialists in historical investigation.
The income of the university is derived from the interest on the proceeds of the sale of the Agricultural College and University lands, donated to the State by Congress, from the rental of unsold lands and from a university tax, levied by the State. The total grant of lands amounted to 135,576.31 acres. The income from this source in 1888 was about $38,923.64. It is estimated that under the present policy of disposing of these lands, the total permanent investment will be about $1,000,000.
The unity of the educational system of the State is recognized both by the university authorities and those who have the direction of the common schools. The high schools of the State are gradually and systematically being brought into close relations with the university by being accredited as preparatory schools whose graduates are admitted to the university without examination.
The university has passed the dangers of the formative period. It has a well-defined policy and course of study established upon the broadest and most modern basis. It has passed safely through the period of sectarian intermeddling, and the dangerous reaction which followed, and the spirit which controls its management now is one which, while recognizing the Christian element which pervades all our institutions, is broad and tolerant. There is no reason why, with the development of the State, the institution shall not become the equal of any in the United States.
THE CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY
This institution, which, from its prosperous beginning, promises to be one of the leading schools of higher education in the West, had its origin in the following manner:
In July, 1887, a proposition was made to the Nebraska Christian Missionary Board to donate certain lands, in or near the city of Lincoln, on condition that a university of the Christian church be established thereon. After investigation and consultation, a committee especially appointed, decided to locate the proposed university on what was known as the Hawley farm, adjoining the city on the northeast. (240) The donations of land received consisted of three hundred and twenty-one acres of land and city lots valued at four thousand dollars. At a meeting of the committee, held February 14th, articles of incorporation were adopted and a subcommittee appointed, of which J. Z. Briscoe was chairman, to consider plans and specifications of a main building to be begun on or before May 1, 1888.
The corner-stone of the first building was laid with appropriate ceremonies, April 30, 1888. The building consists of Milwaukee brick, trimmed with Michigan red sandstone. It is four stories high, exclusive of basement; one hundred and eight feet front by seventy-eight in depth.
The action of the committee in inaugurating the enterprise was (241) confirmed by the State Convention held at Lincoln, August 28th to 30th, 1888. A board of trustees was elected, to be known as the Nebraska Christian Educational Board. It consisted of J. Z. Briscoe, President; Ex-Governor Alvin Saunders, Vice President; C. R. Van Duyn, Treasurer; Porter Hedge, Secretary; and W. P. Aylsworth, W. T. Newcomb, lra Titus, C. J. Hale, Thos. Wiles, J. T. Smith, C. C. Munson, E. T. Gadd. Subsequently the contracts were let for the first building, aggregating a cost of $65,000, to be completed about the first of January, 1890. The work thus far has progressed very satisfactorily, and is nearing completion. All expenses have been promptly met by the sale of lots.
At a meeting of the Board in April, 1889, it was decided to open the school October 1, 1889. The following-named persons will constitute the first faculty:
|W. P. Aylsworth, A. M., Acting President, Dean of the Biblical Department, and Professor of Hebrew, and Biblical Literature.|
|A. M. Chamberlain, A. M., Professor of Ancient Language and Literature.|
|J. A. Beattie, A. M., Professor of Pure and Applied Mathematics.|
|E. D. Harris, A. B., Instructor in Preparatory School.|
|A. T. Noe., M. D., Instructor in Physiology, Anatomy, and Hygiene.|
|Mrs. W. P. Stearns, Instructor in Vocal and Instrumental Music.|
The present prospects of the enterprise are very bright. Already several buildings have been erected and others are under way. A boarding hall for the accommodation of the students has been ordered built to be ready for the spring of the school year October 1st. A street-car line has been projected and material ordered, connecting the city directly with the university campus, known as "the Bethany Heights street-car line." The prospective endowment is thought to be not less than one hundred and sixty-five thousand dollars. Twenty-five thousand of this amount is a donation by J. J. Briscoe, which is designed to be used as a basis of support for the Chair of Biblical Literature.
THE NEBRASKA WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY
By an agreement entered into by the three Nebraska Annual Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church a commission, was appointed, consisting of members of each Conference and representatives of the Boards of Trustees of the then existing colleges, for the purpose of considering the matter of locating a central university, under (242) the control and patronage of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Nebraska.
The commission met in Lincoln, in December, 1886, and selected Lincoln as the location of the future university. Trustees were chosen, and they entered upon the work of preparation at once.
The corner-stone of the first university structure was laid in September, 1887, and the institution was opened for students in September, 1888.
The property of the university consists of an endowment fund of one hundred thousand dollars, and five hundred lots in University Place, and a campus of forty-four acres.
The cost of the building was about seventy-five thousand dollars. The building is fully completed, and is being thoroughly furnished for the best class of work.
There are three regular courses of study-classical, scientific, and philosophical -- besides complete courses in music, art, and elocution. There are eight regular professors, besides tutors.
The total number of students enrolled since September, 1888, is about 150.
The village of "University Place" was incorporated in 1888, and is rapidly developing as a first class educational center. The elements that cluster about it are such as to insure its future character as a village of exceptional morality and intelligence.
(243) The Nebraska Wesleyan University, by the terms of the "Plans of Agreement" adopted by the "commission," became the head of all the colleges, academies, and other schools, existing or to be hereafter organized under the control of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Nebraska.
THE LINCOLN BUSINESS COLLEGE
The Lincoln Business College was founded in 1884 by Prof. F. F. Roose. The following year Prof. D. R. Lillibridge was admitted, and since that date the college has been conducted under the firm name of Lillibridge & Roose. It has been uniformly successful, its patronage growing constantly and the scope and efficiency of its instruction improving all the time. It is now recognized as one of the best schools of its class in the West, possessing a complete and thorough business course, including full short hand, normal, penmanship, type-writing, and telegraphic departments. That it is a superior school is shown by the fact that its attendance was six hundred students during the past year. The entire third floor of the Academy of Music block, at the southwest corner of Eleventh and O streets, is now required for the accommodation of the various departments. Students attend this excellent school of practical instruction froth Nebraska, Colorado, Dakota, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota, those States being its regular field of patronage. Occasional students come from all parts of the Union. Seven teachers are employed regularly in the college.
The graduates of its various departments readily find employment in the lines of work for which the school has given them special training. In securing situations the managers of the institution offer constant and cheerful assistance. The Lincoln Business College is one of the most excellent institutions of this city. Messrs. Lillibridge and Roose are among our most popular business men and citizens. Mr. Lillibridge is now Commander of Appomattox Post of the Grand army of the Republic, and holds other prominent social positions. Mr. Roose is Deputy Head Consul of the Head Camp of Modern Woodmen of America, the highest official, save one, in that order. He is also a prominent member in other orders.
THE CATHOLIC SCHOOLS (244)
One of the successful schools of the city is the Catholic Seminary, located east of Fourteenth street, between U and V. The building was originally built by a stock company as a dormitory for the State University, but it did not pay, and was sold at sheriff's sale in 1882, and was bid in by Mr. John Fitzgerald. He sold it to the Sisters of
the Holy Child Jesus, who opened a general school there, and have conducted it ever since. For some time it did not fully pay expenses, and Mr. Fitzgerald generously supplied the shortage from his own pocket. It now is self-sustaining. Mrs. John Fitzgerald has labored constantly to encourage the school, and establish it; and owing largely to her kind offices, and the good work done by the sisters, the school (245) has become one of the permanent and growing institutions of Lincoln. It will continue partly a general and partly a select school until September, 1890, when the parochial school building, now being erected near the pro-cathedral, at the northeast corner of M and Thirteenth streets, under the direction of Rt. Rev. Bishop Bonacum, will be completed.
This building will cost about $35,000, and a school with preparatory and academic courses will open there in the fall of 1890, for young men. It will be conducted by the Brothers of the Christian Schools, and will open with a corps of five teachers. The curriculum will include a full commercial course of study and other practical instruction. When this school is opened the grade of instruction in the young ladies' academy will be raised, the advancement having now been made in part, with a high standard of excellence in every particular. Young ladies from all parts of Nebraska, without regard to religious belief; will be received and taught on equal terms.
An important educational institution is now being founded by Prof. O. B. Howell, of this city. This is the Nebraska Conservatory of Music. A three-story building of cut stone and brick, 50 x 132 feet, with massive towers, is being erected at the southeast corner of L and Thirteenth streets, in which is to be opened, this fall, a college of music and fine arts. The conservatory will be incorporated under the laws of the State, with a Board of Trustees, and graduates will receive diplomas. Students who are given special training as teachers will receive certificates.
A full corps of the best teachers will be engaged. Each department will be in charge of a principal, who will be assisted by competent instructors. Private instruction will also be given. A home will be furnished in the building for young ladies attending from a distance. This home will be under the supervision of the director, preceptress, and matron. At the beginning of each school year one free scholarship will be given some person in the State who has natural ability but not the means to acquire a musical education.
It is needless to state that this institution will be an important addition to the educational advantages of Lincoln, and, indeed, of the entire State. Professor Howell is a man of energy and ability, and will doubtless make the conservatory successful.
(246) In this connection it is proper to state that in 1887 the first of a series of annual musical festivals was attempted, and it was so successful that it was repeated and improved in 1888, and again in the spring of 1889. The last festival was received with every mark of popular approval, and drew crowded houses for three successive nights. Such music as the "Hallelujah Chorus," and some of the famous oratorios, were rendered by able singers from abroad, assisted by the best home talent. The credit for the success of these musical events was largely due to Mrs. P. V. M. Raymond, a most estimable lady of Lincoln.
Elder Johnson established a denominational school for the Seventh day Adventist Church, at the corner of Fifteenth and E streets, in 1887, which still continues, with a moderate attendance.
A number of private schools of more than ordinary excellence are also conducted.
It will be seen from the foregoing that Lincoln's claim of being the educational center of the West is well founded, and that the pride of her people in their institutions of learning is fully justified by the facts as they exist to-day. And the future holds much in store.
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