|Chapter 30 George Edward Reed 1889-1911. |
THE VACANCY on McCauley's resignation raised difficult questions. Himes became Acting President, and not a few hoped that he might continue in the presidency. Some thought that Himes himself was willing, and there was much in his favor. He had served the College long and well, and had shown initiative and driving force. He dreamed of a Scientific Building when it seemed foolish, but had led others to dream with him, and their foolish dreams had been realized. Fresh from his German student life he had become the head of the Department of Natural Sciences when it was little more than a name, and had so reorganized and modernized it that it was possibly the equal of the best in any small college. He was a stimulating teacher, and many of his old students had for him not only kindly feelings but warm affection; and he was probably better acquainted with the general college community than any other living man. As President ad interim for nine months, his conduct of the College was satisfactory to the student body. The college paper of January, 1889, in which announcement was made of the election of another as President, said of the last term's work under Himes, "We have had a term's work unsurpassed for years for general excellence and good feeling ... the term ... (has been) most happy.... Mutual confidence breeds love; and where love reigns, trouble and strife flee away." With all these things in his favor, it is not strange that many hoped that he might become President.
Many of those who had opposed McCauley were friendly to Himes and wished him for President. This was probably unfortunate for his candidacy. It naturally arrayed the old friends of McCauley on the other side, and the friends of McCauley were generally opposed to Himes. He had
seemed to them unfriendly to McCauley during his long years of trial, and fraternity brothers of Himes on the Board had steadily opposed McCauley. It became clear, therefore, that the choice of Himes would result in a continuance of the old divisions, and the committee of the Board looking for a new President decided that there must be no good ground for continued division. They looked for unity, and went far afield from all old college associations.
It is interesting to surmise what might have resulted from Himes' election. His ad interim administration is suggestive. He acted as President for nine months, and these nine months were successful. He administered well, and no man could have been more considerate or even-handed in the general management of college affairs. He also secured for September, 1888, a large entering class of students, though some of them were indifferently prepared and soon dropped out. Nevertheless, despite the troubles of the time, he had more students in attendance than had been in the College since the Civil War, two years only excepted, and had the largest enrolment in the Preparatory School for thirty years.
Despite the many good reasons for Himes' election, the committee on the presidency chose a stranger, and one from a distance. At a special meeting of the Board in Philadelphia on January 3, 1889, the committee nominated and the Board elected as President, George Edward Reed, S.T.D., of the New York East Conference, a pastor, at the time, in New Haven. He was born in Maine in 1846, graduated from Wesleyan University in 1869, receiving its honorary S.T.D. in 1886. He served some of the strongest churches in his Conference. He was a brilliant pulpiteer and a lovable man. When he came to the College in his 43d year, he was in the zenith of his power, a splendid specimen of physical manhood. He gave the College twenty-two years of a busy, active life, the longest presidency in the history of the College.
Reed delayed his acceptance for a month, wishing, as he said in his letter of acceptance, to learn the attitude of the
Faculty, alumni, and other friends of the College toward even the unanimous action of the Board in his election. The change from eminently successful pastoral work was not easy to make, for he loved the pulpit and platform. However, all questions seemed satisfactorily answered, and he accepted the position in a letter dated February 2, 1889. Two days later he paid his first visit to Carlisle, and though there was but brief notice of his visit, the students arranged for him such a gorgeous reception, from their standpoint, as no previous President had ever received. He came by an evening train and the college body met him with a band and carriages for him and his party. They paraded from the station to Hanover Street, to Louther, to the college chapel, where there was an address of welcome. Reed made graceful response, and was then introduced to each student by Dr. Himes. The following month he visited the five conferences which support the College, and, on the adjournment of his own, took up his residence and work in Carlisle in April, 1889.
Between Reed's election and his coming to Carlisle there had been an important religious movement in the College. On the Day of Prayer for Colleges, at that time regularly observed in all the church colleges, Bishop Foss preached a remarkable sermon on the religious certainties, one that took fast hold on the student body. Several influential students promptly announced a change in their purposes in life. The influence deepened and broadened till nearly all the students in the College had espoused the Christian life. The fires of zeal kindled in the College spread into the town, and services were held under student auspices in the local Methodist Church, resulting in many accessions to its membership. So the college community to which Reed came in April was much more decidedly Christian than that to which he had been elected in January. His local field was a promising one.
Reed had many things to learn. This was shown by his first official report to the Board, two months after his arrival. He recommended more than could reasonably be
expected to be done during a long administration, and much of it was quietly dropped and never again mentioned. Conditioned on securing funds, he recommended raising of college standards, graduate work leading to the degree of doctor of philosophy, authorization of a school of civil, mechanical and electrical engineering, with the erection of suitable buildings therefor, six new departments of study, and the introduction of steam heat and electric light into the college buildings. All his recommendations were approved by the Board, and he had a clear field for their realization. He had yet to learn, however, the conservatism of his constituency and the difficulty of raising money for colleges. Wisdom came to him through many disappointing experiences. The graduate course which he actually installed soon died a natural death. Two or three took the course and received the doctor's degree, but it was soon clear to him, as it had been to his experienced associates before, that the College was not fitted for such work. His engineering course was never heard of again, and of the many new departments he suggested, he was able to organize only a few. Being mortal, he made mistakes, possibly many, but he made a deep impress on the College, and left it a vastly improved institution. He found a quiet retreat for a few students, and left a College of multiplied activities and interests.
Reed was a lovable man, would do anything for anybody, and his students were always loyal to him. Some of his older associates in the Faculty, however, wished another head and possibly showed too little charity for the early mistakes of a really strong man who was trying to do something. He sensed this, and had an apparent example of it shortly after his coming. There was difficulty with one of the college classes and Reed told them what must be done. This they did not do, and gave as their reason that several members of the Faculty told them that their position was right. Thereupon Reed went before the Faculty, stated the facts in the case, and said that he felt he was absolutely right; that he was going to poll the individual members of the Faculty on
the subject, and if they did not agree that he was right, he would bring the matter before the Board of Trustees, and if they as the final authority did not support him, he would resign and leave. Every member of the Faculty under those circumstances, some possibly under duress, endorsed his action, and so the individual matter was closed. However, Reed felt that there was lack of hearty support on the part of some, and changed a very old custom of the College to meet this condition. From time immemorial the senior Professor had been in charge of the College in the absence of the President. Reed was planning to be absent a great deal, and did not like this old arrangement, as it might leave the College in charge of those not certainly loyal to him. He, therefore, organized in 1892 the system of Deans for the College, practically the same as exists today four class Deans with a Chairman. In the absence of the President this Chairman would be in charge of the College. Fletcher Durell, Professor of Mathematics, was the first Chairman of Deans, and so became Reed's representative in his absence.
This may have been necessary to secure a loyal administration in his absence, but even his warmest friends in the Faculty were at times unable to support his proposals in discipline. He was naturally a man of tender heart and had been a real preacher of the gospel of mercy, and his tendency to mercy made necessary discipline hard for him. He, therefore, stood alone sometimes in disciplinary matters, and he once threatened to ask the trustees to give him sole authority in discipline. He soon saw, however, that some of those objected to his methods in discipline were his warmest friends, and were at the same time experienced educators; that he had their sympathetic support and the advantage of their large experience; and he never carried the matter any further. He was never resentful at this kindly opposition, for no man was ever more generous in his attitude toward honest opposition. He never bore a grudge. Faculty discussions might be sharp and differences decided, but after-
ward he seemed to forget that there had been any such thing. From the first the students believed in Reed. He took decided steps on his coming to the College to improve their living conditions. He thought well-kept surroundings had great influence on students, and he reported, two months after his arrival, that he had removed over two hundred loads of brush and refuse from the campus and buildings. The campus had been a hayfield; the grass was cut just before commencement by a neighboring dairyman. Reed took steps to make it the beautiful lawn now so greatly admired. He soon displaced the wretched little dormitory stoves by a modern steam-heat plant; some sort of lighting system was introduced for the first time in the dormitories; and he secured the first athletic field for student use. Nor were creature comforts the only appeal to the student body. Reed was a winning personality and great orator, and his representation of the College introduced it to a wide public and gave it a standing it had not had for years. Students appreciated the distinction that had come to them through their College.
Though proud of their President, it must be owned that they were quite ready to find fault on occasion for mistakes made, if such there were, but if not, for other things. Students are seldom as generous in their attitude toward the mistakes of their instructors as they expect the latter to be toward their own blunders. No student body can be robbed of its heaven-born right to complain. "The Dickinsonian" of 1895 charged that the Faculty little considered their point of view. Their complaint at that time was that "eight meek victims" had gone home for a hazing case; and also that despite their protests the continuance of Saturday chapel was without good reason! Trifling things, perhaps, but showing that even generally contented and well-disposed students would take their fling at the common enemy. If there were no great issues they would find small ones.
Reed knew, of course, when he came to the College that it was rent with dissension from the troubles of the previous
administration. A weaker man might have hesitated to act through fear of this or that faction. He, however, acted as though he knew nought of factions, and did what seemed right in his own eyes. A striking illustration of this was his reëstablishment, in 1890, of the old Law School, then dead for a dozen years, and with Trickett as its Dean. Trickett had led in the fight against McCauley, but Reed felt that the Law School would help the College, and did not hesitate to use Trickett for the purpose, giving the use of Emory Chapel and the name of the College. The results justified his action. Students at once began to throng its halls 17 the first year, 35 another year, and 50 a third. And so it grew until it became one of the large law schools of the East. He made Adjunct Professor Morgan, that same year, Professor of Greek and Political Economy. This, of course, was a smaller matter, as Morgan had played an inconspicuous part at the College, and for only a short time, but as the warm friend of McCauley in his administration, he had antagonized Trickett and McCauley's other foes. Reed's action in this matter also may possibly have been justified by the future. The newly made Professor shortly after became one of the class Deans, later Chairman of the Deans, Dean of the College, and finally its President. These two actions of Reed, however, favoring both Trickett and Morgan, showed that Reed was an independent man, sturdy and upstanding in his own judgment as to what should be done, and with courage to act on his judgment, even though trouble might follow.
The enrolment of the College for many years before Reed came showed that it had been practically forgotten by its constituency. Eighty to ninety students was a good average in the College. Subtract from these the local students who came because the College was near, and it is clear that there were very few from the broad territory of the old Baltimore and Philadelphia Conferences. Reed was a captivating speaker, however, an eloquent preacher and acceptable everywhere, and he proceeded through his eloquence to re-
introduce the College to its old constituency. He reported to the trustees at the first annual meeting that he had been out representing the College every Sunday but two since he had reached Carlisle, and this policy he continued for years. The results of it began to show in enrolment. There were less than 100 students in College when he came, but this had doubled in five years, beyond anything the College had ever hoped for; and before he left the College his entering classes were generally about 130, with 350 in College. There were altogether in attendance in College, Law School., and Preparatory School, nearly 600 students. The average college enrolment became four times the usual number before he had come. The College had been revolutionized.
Increased numbers called for increased accommodations. The students began to complain that they were crowded; and the college administration knew that every room was filled, and that the recitation rooms in the old buildings were needed for dormitories. Reed began to look around for a site for an administration building, which was deemed the pressing need. He was reluctant to use any part of the spacious campus, and finally made approach to members of the old Denny family, once of Carlisle, then of Pittsburgh, to secure their property on the northeast corner of High and West Streets. When approached, they said that the property was not for sale to anybody, nor at any price. They held it as a memorial. Reed answered that he had not come to purchase, but to suggest that if they would release the property to the College, it would erect thereon a Denny memorial. The family agreed, and not only gave the site for the building, but another bit of property they owned in the town as a contribution toward it. Thus the way was cleared in 1893 for a site, but more was needed than a site; there must be money to build. Reed had agreed that a building to cost at least $25,000 should be dedicated free of debt within three years. It was not until 1895 that he felt safe in proceeding with his building program. In May of that year, the semi-annual meeting of the Bishops of the
Methodist Episcopal Church was held in Carlisle, and the occasion was improved to break ground for the new building. At the following commencement the corner-stone was laid, and the following year, 1896, the building was ready for occupancy, having cost about $40,000. To meet the conditions that it should be free of debt, $10,000 had been borrowed, secured by lien on other property of the College.
The site Reed secured for Denny Hall was part of the old Denny holdings, and this corner had been left by the family in much the same condition as it had been in the early days. Fortunately, a good picture of the property was taken before the site was cleared for the new building. The picture shows also at the extreme left the little stone house in which was reared the large Murray family, one of whom was the father of the wife of Professor Himes. The old building of the corner had been put together largely with wooden pegs. The great locust tree was the traditional post of Washington's review of troops for the Whisky Rebellion.
The Preparatory School occupied South College, but it had outgrown the building, so that an addition was made to South College at a cost of $4,000. It soon needed yet larger quarters, and the present Conway Hall was built. While the latter was going up, however, in March, 1904, the new Denny Hall was burned; it was a complete loss, and not very well insured. This meant the erection of two buildings, Denny and Conway, without sufficient funds for either. In the emergency, Moncure D. Conway secured Reed an interview with Andrew Carnegie, and in view of the disaster which had befallen the College, Mr. Carnegie made a contribution of $50,000. Reed suggested that the building be given his name, but Mr. Carnegie declined on the ground that he was not the sole donor. Reed diplomatically suggested that he might be, if he wished, and Carnegie added $13,300 to his original $50,000, thus covering the entire cost of the Conway building. He then suggested that instead of naming the building for him, it be named for Moncure D.
Conway, whom he called "the College's foremost graduate as a man of letters." Reed offered a compromise proposal, that it be named for Moncure D. Conway, the gift of his friend Andrew Carnegie, and this prevailed. The first Denny Hall cost $40,000; the second larger one cost $70,000.
Other additions of Reed's time to the material equipment of the College were a home for the President in 1890; Lloyd Hall for young women, the spacious home of a deceased lawyer, in 1895; an Athletic Field in 1890, replaced by the Herman Bosler Biddle Memorial Athletic Field, the gift of Judge and Mrs. Edward W. Biddle, of Carlisle; and the site of an old mill property, south of South College. So almost by force of the conditions he himself had brought about, Reed became one of the extensive builders of the college history.
This large building program was necessitated by the coming of students in numbers never before dreamed of an embarrassment of riches. Reed's ability to attract students seemed almost uncanny, and had there been equal capacity for getting money to finance the larger equipment needed, his administration would have been absolutely admirable and unique. He did secure a great deal of money, but by no means enough to meet his needs. Students had to be cared for and instructed; they became a liability, and forced upon the College annual deficits in current accounts, in addition to the borrowings for buildings and equipment. During his first ten years Reed had spent for a steam-heating plant, $24,000; for toilets in the college buildings, $1,500; for an addition to South College to accommodate the Preparatory School, $4,000; for land west of South College, $4,300; for Lloyd Hall, a woman's dormitory, $8,000; for Denny Hall, $40,000; and the President's house., $14,000 a total of $95,800. The college debt had grown from $14,000 when he came, to $46,000. The endowment had grown a little because of the bequest of Susan Powers Hoffman of $36,000. The debt had grown out of proportion to endowment. This was the danger-spot of the administration.
The annual deficits, which had been comparatively small at first, grew with the years, becoming as much as $13,500 in 1902, and estimated at $10,000 for 1903. Securities the College had held on his coming, of $30,000, through no fault of his, decreased in value and finally yielded only $13,500. Even this sum, however, instead of being invested, was turned into the building program, thus lessening the fixed endowment by $30,000. Borrowing had by this time become almost chronic. In 1900, the deficit was covered by borrowing $3,600. At the June meeting, in 1903, a loan of $5,000 was authorized, and the following February another like sum. There followed authorization to borrow additional sums necessary to complete the new Denny Hall, with the proviso that the borrowing should not exceed the unpaid subscriptions for the building. Such subscriptions, however, proved not a very reliable basis for loans. In February, 1905, another loan of $5,000 was authorized, and so it continued through years, till at the close of his administration there was a floating debt of over $120,000, with productive endowment of only $32,000 only a trifle more than it was on his coming to the College, a poorly balanced showing.
During all these years, however, it was manifest to the Board that Reed was doing great work along the lines of his special aptitude, was enlarging the College and introducing it more and more favorably to its public. They passed resolutions occasionally on his "superb work," his "magnificent success," his "industry, zeal and efficiency," and these were all deserved. It is perhaps fair to say that if mistakes were made, they were not his so much as those of the business men of his Board, who ought to have stayed his hands, just as in the case of Collins nearly fifty years before, when he made the unfortunate western loans. As was fairly said by one of his successors, to whom fell the task of liquidating the debts incurred, Reed found the College forgotten by its constituency; he introduced it to them anew in a magnificent way, and it cost him more money than he was able to raise. All in all, his record was a great one.
During his long term of over twenty-two years, Reed saw his original Faculty disappear, with only two exceptions Rittenhouse returned to the pastorate in 1890, one year after Reed's coming; and Durell, in 1895, left the College after twelve years of service to give the remainder of his active life to secondary school work at Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Reed himself said of Durell that he was "a man of remarkable ability as a teacher and greatly admired for his character as a man." The student attitude toward him was given in "The Dickinsonian," which characterized him on his going as "one of our most popular teachers." Himes and Harman left together in 1896, Whiting in 1899, and Lindsay in 1910. This left only Super and Morgan of his original Faculty to continue with him to the end.
Reed was called on not only to fill the places thus vacated, but to add a number of others made necessary by the growing student body. Bradford O. McIntire, Ph.D., succeeded Rittenhouse in the English Department in 1890; he was a graduate of Wesleyan University and a teacher of experience and skill. He gave more years of service to the College than any other man but one. This record was held by Himes till 1921. He has the further distinction, however, that while he was a good teacher from the first, he grew in favor till the end, and his work was never more acceptable than when he retired in 1929, after thirty-nine years in the College, full of years and honors. He suggested the Library Guild in 1903, and has fostered it through all these years. It has collected in small sums from many alumni; and that "many littles make a mickle" has been demonstrated by these gatherings. The Guild fund is now over $20,000, the income from which is used for the purchase of books only. The young women of the College have recognized McIntire's services by giving his name to one of their literary societies.
Robert W. Rogers, Ph.D., first came to a new chair in Reed's Faculty in 1890, that of English Bible. He was then a young man, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, with training at Oxford and other universities. He was one
of the great teachers of the College, but for only three years. He left in 1893 to go to Drew Theological Seminary, where he lived the life of a brilliant scholar and inspiring teacher. He died in 1930, shortly after seeking rest in retirement.
Harry M. Stephens, Sc.D., of the Class of 1892, was Instructor in Physiology, Hygiene, and Physical Culture, 1892-1895; and Adjunct Professor from 1895-1899. In 1897 his work was confined to Biology, and in 1899 he became Professor of Biology. This position he held till his death in 1921.
In 1893, William K. Dare, valedictorian of the Class of 1883, and Principal of the Preparatory School since 1887, became a member of the Faculty for a service all too short. He had a mind of wonderful analytic power, and was a born teacher. Poor health compelled his retirement in 1897, on leave of absence, which continued for two years. He then resigned in 1899. He lived many years in comparative relief from his asthmatic trouble in his far-off California home, but his going was a great loss to the College. Two men supplied his place in 1897-1898: M. J. Cramer, till January, when he died suddenly, and George A. Wilson, Ph.D., for the remainder of the year. Wilson has since been Professor in Syracuse University.
The second year of Dare's leave of absence, 1898-1899, his work was conducted by William Lambert Gooding, Ph.D., of the Class of 1874. Gooding was chosen as Dare's successor in 1899, and served the College till 1916, when he died, greatly honored and loved.
Harry F. Whiting, A.M., of the Class of 1889, was Instructor in Latin, 1893-1895; Adjunct Professor, 1895-1907; and Professor of Latin and Greek, 1907-1913. He then withdrew from the College to engage in secondary school work.
Montgomery P. Sellers, Litt.D., of the Class of 1893, began his college service at once on graduation and has served as Instructor, Adjunct Professor, Professor, Class Dean, and since 1928, Dean of the College. He has steadily advanced in rank and in the favorable regard of his associates.
In 1895, William W. Landis, Sc.D., of the Class of 1891, succeeded Durell in the Department of Mathematics, and yet continues, making himself felt primarily in his own chosen field, but also in all the cultural life of the College.
One year later, in 1896, Morris W. Prince, S.T.D., came to the College as Professor of History and Political Science, adding later work in English Bible. He rendered distinguished service for fifteen years, retiring in 1911. He lived in Carlisle until his death in December, 1932.
This same year, 1896, John F. Mohler, valedictorian of the college Class of 1887, after taking his doctorate at Johns Hopkins, succeeded Professor Himes in the Department of Physics. Thus began a career of thirty-four years of a great scholar and teacher, and an equally great man. No man during these years taught better or exercised a finer personal influence upon the young people with whom he came in contact. He died in 1930, while yet in active service.
On Prof. Henry C. Whiting's retirement in 1899, he was succeeded by Mervin Grant Filler, Litt.D., valedictorian of the Class of 1893, then teaching in the Preparatory School. He remained with the College thirty-two years, and died as its President, March 28, 1931.
The same year, 1899, C. William Prettyman, Class of 1891, having taken his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania, became head of the Department of German, when German was separated from the old Modern Language Department, so long conducted by Professor Super. Through all the succeeding trying years, in spite of wars and rumors of wars, he had had a large and flourishing department.
In 1900, Leon C. Prince, Litt.D., of the Class of 1898, became Instructor in Oratory, and Librarian in 1901, in 1902 Adjunct Professor of History and Economics, and in 1907 Professor. In addition to his work as teacher and writer, Prince has given much time and study to public questions, and his interest in these has led him to participation in public political life. He was chosen State Senator from his home district in 1928, and reëlected in 1932.
Several men served in turn as Instructors in Physiology, Hygiene, and Physical Culture, work introduced shortly after the erection of the first gymnasium in 1884. Lyman J. Muchmore served 1887-1890; Willard G. Lake, 1890-1892; Henry M. Stephens, 1892-1897; Nathan P. Stauffer, 1897-1900 and Forrest E. Craver, 1900-1905; Ralph F. Hutchins assisting as football coach, 1901-1904. After 1904 the man in charge of this work became Director of Physical Training. Forrest E. Craver was Director of Physical Training, 1904. John W. Williams, 1905-1907; and Joseph A. Pipal, 1907-1909. In 1909, Forrest E. Craver returned to the College as Adjunct Professor of Mathematics and Director of Physical Training. He continues in the College as Professor of Physical Education. His services will be more fully treated under the head of Athletics.
Some other faculty appointments of Reed's time were James Evelyn Pilcher, L.H.D., Professor of Economics and Sociology, 1899-1903; LeRoy McMaster, of the Class of 1901, Instructor in Chemistry and Physics, 1901-1904; Fritz Sage Darrow, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor of Greek, 1906-1907; Lucretia Jones McAnney, Dean of Women, and Instructor in Oratory, 1906-1913; Perry B. Rowe, of the Class of 1907, Instructor in Mathematics, 1908-1909; Edwin J. Decevee, Instructor in Music, 1908-1910; George W. Crider, A.M., Professor of Social Problems and Business Administration, 1910-1912, and Benjamin F. Chapelle, Instructor in German, 1910-1911.
Dr. Reed retired in June, 1911, and took up his residence in Harrisburg. The following September, however, he was asked to supply Grace Church in Wilmington, Delaware, for a brief time only, but his old pastoral charm was such that he was asked to become the permanent pastor, and served them for nearly four years. He returned to Harrisburg in 1915, where he spent the remaining fifteen years of his life, and died February 7, 1930, honored and loved by all who knew him. His body lies in the "Old Graveyard."