Centennnial History of the University of Nebraska, by Robert Manley

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It is fortunate that an institution such as the University of Nebraska celebrates a centennial. For a brief moment the pace of campus activity slackens as members of the University community attempt to discern the forces which over the years have shaped the institution. The historian's task, however, is a difficult one. For most of its existence the University has struggled to meet immediate needs; there has been neither money nor time for the building of an archives. The fact that the University is a vast institution further complicates the historian's task. Moreover, the University is seen differently by different people. Members of the faculty tend to view it in terms of distinguished colleagues, interesting research projects, personal feuds, or a specific department. To members of the administration the University often seems to be akin to an iceberg. Only a small portion of the structure--the administrative machinery- extends above the waterline in full public view. To many alumni the story of the University unfolds in the accounts of undergraduate pranks and victorious football teams. The University, of course, is much more than the sum of these viewpoints, and it becomes the task of the historian to identify the major themes of the University's life and to cast light upon them. This volume recounting the University's first fifty years can provide an outline of events; it can help create a sense of the University's past among faculty, students, and alumni; it can provide a blueprint for future study. But it can make no claim to completeness. While it is earnestly hoped that no major movement has been overlooked and no important person ignored, omissions have undoubtedly occurred. I apologize for these oversights. I am sorry, for example, that devoted members of the nonacademic staff who keep the school functioning from day to day have not received due acknowledgement-- persons such as Kate Field, the granddaughter of Chancellor Fairfield, who served her entire professional life in the registrar's office; or Maude M. Melick, who was for thirty years secretary to the dean of the College of Engineering; or John Chowins, the remarkable deaf-mute who for nearly half a century held the post of master mechanic for the engineering and scientific departments. Clerks, secretaries, janitors, professors, deans, legislators, newspaper editors, citizens-- all have played a role in building and shaping the University. Many persons and groups contributed directly and indirectly to this history. While the University Centennial Committee initiated the project, members of he administration and the faculty have exhibited a continuing interest in the project and offered encouragement. Mrs. Martha McKeive generously provided ix

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funds to underwrite the research and writing of the history. Mr. E.N. Thompson, class of 1933, and Dr. James C. Olson, former Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies and Research and Dean of the Graduate COllege, now Chancellor of the University of Missouri at Kansas City, read the manuscript and offered many helpful suggestions. During the research phase several graduate students in the Department of History provided assistance. I acknowledge the work of Jerry Berbert, James Vivian, Edwin Wach, and Douglas Bakken. University librarians and the staff of the Nebraska State Historical Society gave tireless and helpful assistance. Dr. C. Edward Cavert suggested the title for this volume. I am also indebted to Fred and Adelloyd Williams, class of 1900, who assembled materials for a history of the University and whose files were most helpful. And I wish to thank the scores of persons who responded to my inquiries either in personal interviews or by letter. Finally, it should be noted that while I am indebted to many persons for their help in gathering material for this volume, the interpretations and opinions are entirely my own. Robert H. Manley Scottsbluff, Nebraska x

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Foreword by Chancellor Clifford M. Hardin vii Preface ix

I. THE BEGINNING (1854-1884)

1 Education in Pioneer Nebraska 3 2 Locating and Chartering the University 12 3 The First Chancellor and the First Years 21 4 The Responsibilities of the University 33 5 Religion and the University 47 6 The Fairfield Administration 54 7 The Removal of Chancellor Fairfield 69


8 A Crucial Decade 79 9 The University's Expanding Responsibilities 89 10 The Industrial College 100 11 The 1890's: A Time of Decision 111 12 Public Education and Academic Developments 126 13 Agricultural Education in the 1890's 138


14 The Golden Years 147 15 The Academic Scene, 1900-1909 160 16 A New Day for Industrial Education 174 17 An End and a Beginning 186 18 Academic Trends, 1909-1917 198 19 The Wartime University 212 20 After Fifty Years 229


21 Days of High Intellectual Adventure 237 22 Riots and Other Forms of Diversion 257 23 Campus Organizations and Activities 273 24 Yay, Team! 290


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Publisher's Afterword 307 Appendix I: The Charter 309 Appendix II: Regents and Chancellors, 1869-1919 313 Appendix III: University Buildings, 1871-1920 315 Sources 317 Publisher's Acknowledgment 325 Index 327

Illustrations follow pages 84, 148, 180, and 276

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