William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas


[TOC] [part 11] [part 9] [Cutler's History]


The first school taught in Lawrence, as before mentioned, was commenced January 16, 1855, by Edward P. Fitch, who came from Hopkinton, Mass. The schoolroom was Dr. Robinson's back office in the Emigrant Aid Building, which stood on the lot north of the National Bank building. The school term was three and one-half months; there were about twenty scholars in attendance, and the teacher was paid by private subscription.

The second teacher was Miss Kate Kellogg, also from Massachusetts, who opened a school in the same place about the 16th of the following June. She was employed and paid by Dr. Robinson and taught three months. At the close of her term she returned East and married a physician, who was afterward killed in the war for the Union.

On account of the election troubles in the spring of 1855, and the Wakarusa war, there was no more school until the spring of 1856, when the third term was opened also in the Emigrant Aid Building, by Miss Lucy. M. Wilder. Her school was in session on the memorable 21st. of May, when 'Sheriff' Jones and United States Marshall Donaldson entered Lawrence with the hordes of 'border ruffians'. The disturbance caused by them scattered the school, but it reassembled when quiet was restored. Miss Wilder had come from Massachusetts with her father, Abram Wilder, in the spring of 1855.

During the spring or summer of 1856, Miss Henrietta Ross, also from Massachusetts, taught a short time over Faxon's meat market

On March 30, 12857, the 'Quincy high school' was opened in the Emigrant Aid Building, but on the 2nd of April, removed to the basement of the Unitarian Church, which was then approaching completion. C. L. Edwards, from Massachusetts, was employed as Principal, and Miss Lucy Wilder as assistant. During a portion of the summer, a school for young pupils was taught in the vestry of the church by Miss Davenport.

In the winter of 1857-58, a public school was taught by C. L. Edwards, principal, assisted by Misses Lucy M. Wilder, Sarah A. Brown, Mary Boughton and Isabella G. Oakly. The money was raised by subscription.

In the spring of 1858, the schools were organized with Dr. A. Newman and John M. Coe, Esq., as trustees. The teachers were C. L. Edwards and Miss Lucy M. Wilder in the higher department; Misses Sarah A, Brown and Lizzie Haskell, intermediate; and Miss Isabelle G. Oakley in the primary department. The spring term opened April 15, and continued thirteen weeks. The fall term opened September 6, and continued twelve weeks. The winter term opened December 13, with Miss Haskell and Miss H. M. Felt in the high school. On February 7, 1859, C. L. Edwards, who had been elected County Superintendent of Schools the preceding November, resigned his position as principal of the high school and was succeeded by C. W. Adams. During the year 1858, the question of the establishment of a University was agitated and through the active exertions of Dr. Miner and Rev. William Bishop, a Board of Trustees was organized and operations commenced. The majority of the Trustees were Presbyterians. In 1859, work was commenced upon a building on Mount Oread, and the foundation laid of what is now North College, and during the summer a primary department of Lawrence University was opened in connection with Mr. Edward's private school. Presbyterian friends in the East were to have contributed $10,000 but failed to do so, and in consequence work upon the building ceased, and a new organization was effected under the auspices of the Protestant Episcopal Church. In 1860 Simeon M. Thorp became Principal of the schools, succeeding C. W. Adams, who entered the army and ultimately became Colonel of the Tenth Kansas.

In 1861, the organization of the school system was improved, and a new, unsalaried Board of Trustees elected, consisting of L. Bullene, John Wilder, and T. D. Thacher. The latter gentleman resigned and the City Council appointed B. W. Woodward to fill the vacancy, October 10, 1861. Notwithstanding the poverty of the city, the schools were kept in operation through the years of the war up to the time of the Quantrell raid, which was in many ways such a terrible experience to the city. The city then owned no school buildings, but used the basement of the Unitarian Church, the Methodist Church on Vermont Street, Turner's Hall on New York street an any other rooms needed that could be obtained. The city now owns ten substantial buildings conveniently located. Through all her discouragements, difficulties and dangers, Lawrence has maintained a high rank in her educational advantages, and in this as in many other respects, may justly be proud of her record.


Soon after the settlement of Lawrence, Amos A, Lawrence instructed Dr. Robinson, agent of the Emigrant Aid Company, located at Lawrence, to commence the erection of a building to be used for a school, preparatory to a college or university. Excavation was made and stone procured for the foundation of such building, on the north end of Mt. Oread, where now stands the old college building, but the question of title being raised, work was discontinued.

Before anything further was done, Dr. Lawrence gave Dr. Robinson and S. C. Pomeroy, as trustees two promissory notes of $5,000 each, against the Lawrence University of Appleton, Wis., to be used as an endowment for a college or university at Lawrence, Kan.

He instructed the trustees to expend the interest of these notes, one half for the benefit of the Sunday School Union at Philadelphia, which had an agent in Kansas and the other half for the support of a model school in Lawrence. The interest so long as paid was thus expended that portion for the model school being paid to C. L. Edwards of the Quincy School at Lawrence. Upon the location of the State University at Lawrence, the trustees, with the approval of Mr. Lawrence, turned the notes over to the State for the benefit of the university.

An institution of learning was opened April 11, 1859, under the auspices of the Presbyterian Church. This institution was called 'The University of Lawrence.' Rev. William Bishop, A. M. was President; C. L. Edwards, Principal of Academic and Normal departments; and Rev. Charles Reynolds, Associate Instructor. The Presbyterian Board of Education contributed $2,000 toward the erection of a college building. Contributions from citizens enabled the trustees to lay the foundation for the building known as the North College, on Mt. Oread. At this point work on the building was suspended, owing to the lack of funds, and a new organization was effected, under the control of the Protestant Episcopal Church. On the 9th of January, 1861, a new charter was granted by the Legislature to the university, and the name changed to the 'Lawrence University of Kansas.' Fresh contributions were received from various sources, and the new trustees were enabled to proceed with and complete the construction of the building. The edifice was fifty feet square, three stories high and contained eleven rooms.

On the 29th of January, 1861, the Act of Congress was approved which set part and reserved for the use and support of a State University in Kansas, seventy-two Sections, or 46,080 acres of land. This liberal gift was accepted by the State.

During the session of 1863, the question of the location of the university came up and occupied the attention of the Legislature ad also the question of the location of the charitable institutions of the State. Emporia and Lawrence were competitors for the university. The fact that Lawrence had to offer the university the $10,000 with accrued interest, donated by Hon. Amos A. Lawrence, in connection with the fact that the city would also donate a building site of forty acres, had great weight with the legislature when the question came up for final action. The matter was pending in the Legislature until near the close of the session, when, upon a test vote in Committee of the Whole, Lawrence won over Emporia by a majority of one, in a vote of 101. In this contest, ex-Gov. Eskridge led in the debate for Emporia and Hon. James S. Emery for his own home, Lawrence.

Immediately on the settlement of this question, the charitable institutions were distributed around to different towns-the Normal School to Emporia; the Asylum for the Insane to Osawatomie; the Asylum for the Blind to Wyandotte, and the Asylum for the Deaf-Mutes to Olathe.

The question of the co-education of the sexes was discussed with great interest and earnestness during the session of 1864 and upon the final vote carried by a small majority. Thus the University of Kansas was the first State institution in the United States to adopt this reform in education, although private institutions further east had been the pioneers in this direction.

According to the charter of the university, the object in establishing it was:

To provide the inhabitants of this State with the means of acquiring a through knowledge of the various branches of literature, science, and the arts.'

Six departments of instruction were specified, viz., science, literature and the arts; law; medicine; theory and practice of elementary instruction; agriculture, and the normal department. By an act of the Legislature, passed March 1, 1864, the general management of the university was vested in a Board of Regents and twelve members and the State Superintendent of Instruction and the Secretary of State were ex officio members of the board. Subsequently, by an act which took effect March 13, 1873, the numbers of members of the Board of Regents was changed to seven, six of them to be appointed by the Governor, by and with the consent of the senate, and the seventh to be elected by the six appointed, and the latter to be Chancellor or President of the Board.

The Board of Regents has power to appoint a requisite number of professors and tutors and such other officers as may be deemed expedient, and to determine the amount of their respective salaries; to regulate the course of instruction, and to prescribe, under the advice of the professors, the books and authorities to be used in the several departments and also to confer such degrees and to grant such diplomas as are usually conferred and granted by other universities.

The following gentlemen constituted the first Board of Regents: Solon O. Thacher, Charles Robinson, James S. Emery, George W. Paddock, Daniel P. Mitchell, Isaac T. Goodnow, R. A. Barker, J. D. Liggett; C. B. Lines, C. K. Holliday, E. M. Bartholow, T. C. Sears, W. A. Starrett and Joseph L. Wever.

The first meeting of the Board was held in the City Council rooms March 21, 1865. At this meeting, Rev. R. W. Oliver was elected Chancellor of the University and arrangements were made for opening a preparatory school as soon as the citizens of Lawrence could provide suitable rooms for the same, free of charge to the state. As showing the non-sectarian character of the institution, the following quotation is made from the law of March 1, 1864, above referred to: not more than three of the regents shall be members of the same religious denomination, no sectarian tenets or opinions shall be required to entitle any person to be admitted as a student of the University and no such tenets or opinions shall be required as a qualification for any person as a tutor or professor of said University.

The first Faculty of the University was elected July 19, 1866, as follows: Elial J. Rice, A. M., to the chair of Mental and Moral Science and Belles Lettres; David H. Robinson, A. B., to the chair of Languages; Frank H. Snow, A. M., to the chair of Mathematics and Natural Science. The salaries of these Professors were fixed at $1,600 per annum. Albert Newman, M. D., was appointed lecturer on Hygiene and Medical Science. Chancellor Oliver formally presided in opening the school September 12, and on December 5, 1855, Prof. Rice was elected President of the Faculty.

Mrs. Cynthia A. Smith was elected a member of the Faculty August 8, 1867.

Rev. Mr. Oliver resigned the Chancellorship and was succeeded by Gen. John Frazier, A. M., in December 4, 1867. It was decided at this time that the Chancellor is ex officio President of the Faculty, and the chair of Philosophy and Belles Lettres was placed in his hands. The Chancellor met with the Board of Regents August 5, 1868, at which time the Faculty was reorganized, so as to conform to the above decisions.

The total number of students in the catalog for the school year 1866-67 was 55; males, 25; females, 29 - all in the Preparatory Department. Thirty-nine students paid $331 tuition; the rest were admitted free under the law providing for the admission free of orphans of deceased soldiers, and those made orphans by the Quantrell raid.

It was not long before more room was needed than was furnished by the 'North College.' The question of a new building was agitated by the Board of Regents, and various plans proposed for procuring the necessary means. The Chancellor's report, December 7, 1870, brought the subject very prominently before the public. A meeting of the citizens of Lawrence was held February 3, 1871, which was addressed, among others, by Gen Frazier, Chancellor of the University, with great force and eloquence, and as a result of the meeting the citizens voted with great unanimity bonds to the amount of $100,000 to be applied to the construction of a new university building. The report of the Board of Regents for 1872 credits the city of Lawrence as follows:

Estimated value of first building and site................ $30,000
Estimated value of site for second building...............  40,000
Amos Lawrence fund transferred............................  10,000
Amount voted by city for new building..................... 100,000

The above statement is not specifically correct. The first item of $330,000, although in strictness it may be said to have been contributed by the city of Lawrence, yet it its but just to record the fact that about $13,000 with which the building was completed, was transferred to the city, possibly to the university direct, by the contributors to the fund, raised mainly in St. Louis, Chicago and Boston, for the relief of the sufferers by the Quantrell raid.

The site for the second building was mainly a donation from Governor and Mrs. Robinson; he giving nineteen acres, she twenty-one. The Governor received in exchange for his nineteen acres a block of land 600 X 250 feet, immediately south of the east half of the site of North College. Mrs. Robinson receiving in exchange for her twenty-one acres, ten acres of land lying one-half mile west of the site of the new building. The aggregate value of the forty acres donated by them about three times that of the block and ten acres received in exchange.

The Amos Lawrence fund was not transferred by the city of Lawrence but by the trustees of the fund, Gov. Robinson and S. C. Pomroy, with the consent of Mr. Lawrence. The $100,000 is properly credited to the city of Lawrence.

The Legislature of 1872 appropriated $50,000 toward the completion of the building. This sum was sufficient to plaster all the rooms, and to finish those in the north wing on the first and second floors. Apparatus for heating the whole building by steam was put in and in the fall of 1872, the new apartments were occupied. Fourteen additional rooms were finished in the fall of 1876, at an outlay of $5,000 and in 1877, $10,000 was expended, in finishing the audience room and principal corridors. University Hall was formally opened on the 22nd of November, 1877.

The University buildings are constructed of native limestone. The dimensions of North College have been given. The new building is 246 feet long, 98 feet wide in the center, wings 62 feet each, main audience room 94 feet long and 56 wide, observatories 95 feet high. There are fifty-four rooms in the building. In the north dome, under the vane and anemometer, there is a complete outfit of apparatus for taking weather observations. In the natural history rooms of the south wing, are the cabinets of mineralogy and geology, and more than seventy-five thousand specimens of plants, insects, birds and beasts.

The main endowment of the University is the 46,080 acres of land granted by Congress. Of this, 29,597 acres had been sold prior to April 1, 1880. At the session of the Legislature of 1879, the prices preciously fixed upon these lands, ranging from $3 to #9 per acres, were reduced by 25 per cent, the rate of interest on deferred payments reduced from 10 to 7 per cent, and the time extended from ten to twenty years, one- tenth to be paid down and the balance in nineteen equal annual installments with interest. Seven thousand two hundred acres were sold within six weeks after the new conditions of sale were announced and at the present writing (June, 1882) only 700 acres remain unsold. The principal arising from the sale of these lands is invested by the State Board of Education, the interest only being available for the payment of the current expenses of the institution.

Since the opening of the University as a State institution, 2,381 students have been enrolled. They have been of both sexes, in about equal numbers, no difference in the course of study having been made on account of sex. Since 1873, eighty-eight have graduated in the department of science, literature and art; and since 1877, thirty-six in the Normal Department. The great majority of the students have spent but a few months at the University.

The names of the Regents since 1865, have been as follows: Ex-Gov. Charles Robinson, Rev. J. D. Liggett, E. M. Bartholow, Hon. Theodore C. Sears, Hon. James S. Emery, Hon. Cyrus K. Holliday, Hon. C. B. Lines, Hon. Solon O. Thacher, Rev. George W. Paddock, Rev. William A. Starrett, Hon. R. G. Elliott, Hon. F. W. Giles, Hon. George A. Crawford, Hon. John A. Halderman, Rev. J. G. Reaser, Hon. H. D. McCarty, Hon. W. H. Smallwood, Hon. J. J. Woods, Rev. Daniel P. Mitchell, Dr. Joseph L. Wever, Hon. Isaac Goodnow, Hon. R. A. Barker, Rev. H. D. Fisher, Rev. Peter McVicar, Rev. William C. Tenney, Right rev. Thomas H. Vail, Hon. William Fairchild, Rev. Archibald Beatty, D. D., Rev. John A. Anderson, Hon. V. P. Wilson, Rev. Francis T. Ingalls, Hon. N. C. McFarland, Rev. T. F. Houts, Hon. Milton W. Reynolds, B. W. Woodward, R. N. Hershfield, Dr. J. W. Scott, Hon. T. D. Thacher, Rev. E. Nisbet, Hon. S. S. Benedict, Hon. George R. Peck and Mrs. Cora M Downs.

The following named gentlemen have been Chancellors of the University: Rev. Robert W. Oliver, D. D. 1865-67; Gen. John Frazier, L. L. D., 1867-75; and Rev. James Marvin, D. D., 1875.

The following have been professors in the University: Rev. Elial J. Rice, A. M., 1866-67; David H. Robinson, A. M., 1866; Frank H. Snow, A. M., 1866; Cynthia A. Smith, 1867-69; John Horner, A. M., 1867-68; Fred W. Bardwell, B. S., 1869-78; Elizabeth P. Leonard, 11869-74; Rev. D. Otis Kellogg, D. D., 1870-74; Fred E. Stimpson, B. S., 1871-74; A. J. S. Molinard, 1871-72; S. W. Y. Schimonsky, 1872-74; Byron C. Smith, A. M., 1872-75; George E. Patrick, M. S., 1874; Ephraim Miller, A. M., 1874; William T. Gage, A. M., 1874-75; James H. Canfield, A. M. 1877; Frances Schlegel, 1874; Kate Stephens, A. M., 1878; H. S. S. Smith, C. E., 1879; P. J. Williams, D. D., 1881; Rev. L. W. Spring, A. B., 1881; William H. Carruth, A. B. 1882.

The instructors placed in charge of established chairs, or employed to fill vacancies have been as follows: Daniel P. English, Ph. D, 1875-76; Frank O. Marvin, A. M., 1875-76-78; P. J. Williams, D. D., 1876-77; J. S. Shearer, A. M., 1876-77; J. A. Wickersham, B. S., 1876-78; A. Gertrude Boughton, A. B., 1876; Alcinda L. Morrow, 1877-80; J. W. Gleed, A. B., 1879; William H. Garruth, A. B., 1879-82; G. W. F. Smith, A. B., 1880-81.

The following named gentlemen have been employed as special instructors: Albert Newman, M. D., Lecturer on Physiology and Hygiene, 1866-75; William H. Saunders, M. D., Lecturer on Chemistry, 1870-72; T. J. Cook, Vocal Music, 1870-73; S. M. Newhall, Vocal Music, 1869-70; J. E. Batlett, Vocal Music, 1970-73, and 1876-77; Clara L. Morris, Piano Music, 1877-82; Louis Ehrgott, Piano and Vocal Music, 1877-79; Mary W. Grew, 1881-82; R. A. Lehman, 1882.

The University library contains 5,500 volumes, and 1,780 unbound pamphlets. $1,000 per year is expended in the purchase of books. Great care has been exercised in selecting the books for this library and it embraces some of the best works on Language and Literature, Philosophy, History, Biography, Mathematics, Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics, Natural History, Art, Poetry, Metaphysics, Political Economy, Sociology, etc.

The post-graduate degrees are conferred upon the completion of a regular course of study preparatory thereto. Each candidate for a second degree is required to devote two hours daily, five days in each week of the university year., for three years, to a certain course of study. There are two courses of study, a general and a special one, either of which may be pursued by the candidate for a post-graduate degree. The special course comprises three years' study in any one of seventeen different branches of knowledge, and the general course may comprise any two or three of these special courses so combined as t make the aggregate amount of time the same as that required to be devoted to a special course. No scholastic degree is conferred except upon a satisfactory examination of the candidate.

The present Board of Regents is as follows: Hon. J. W. Scott, Iola, term expires 1883; Hon. T. D. Thacher, Lawrence, term expires 1883; Hon. V. P. Wilson, Abilene, term expires 1884; Mrs. Cora M. Downs, Wyandotte, term expires 1884; Hon. George R. Peck, Topeka, term expires 1885; Hon. S. S. Benedict, Guilford, term expires 1885; Rev. James Marvin, D. D., Chancellor.

The present professors and instructors are those in the list given above, whose terms of service are not marked expired.

[TOC] [part 11] [part 9] [Cutler's History]