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


[TOC] [part 23] [part 21] [Cutler's History]


The Congressional Enactment, making Kansas a State January 29, 1861, provided for the establishment of a university in words as follows:

SECTION 3 (subdivision second). That seventy-two sections of land shall be set apart for the use and support of a State university, to be selected by the Governor of said State, subject to the approval of the Commissioner of the General Land Office, and to be appropriated and applied in such manner as the Legislature of said State may prescribe for the purpose aforesaid, but for no other purpose.

Section 7, Article VI of the Wyandotte Constitution, reads:

Provision shall be made by law for the establishment, at some eligible and central point, of a State university, for the promotion of literature and the arts and sciences, including a normal and agricultural department. All funds arising from the sale or rents of land granted by the United States to the State for the support of a State university, and all other donations or bequests, either by the State or by individuals, for such purpose, shall remain a perpetual fund, to be called the "University Fund," the interest of which shall be appropriated to the support of the State University.

Legislation on Locality. - The substance of an act passed by the Legislature of 1863, was the naming of Lawrence as the spot for a State University, provided that the city should give to the State forty acres of land and $15,000 to the State, to be deposited with the State Treasurer as an endowment fund; should Lawrence fail to comply with said provisions, and should Emporia donate eighty acres of land adjacent to said town, to the State, then the State University should be located there; but by the act of 1864, the location was made at Lawrence on a prescribed mode of government, described as follows:

INSERT Picture of State University Building, Lawrence, Kansas.

DIMENSIONS. - Length, 246 ft.; width in center, 98 ft.; width of wings, 62 ft.; height of observatories, 95 ft. Total number of rooms, 54, including a hall which is 94 ft. Long, 56 ft. Wide, and 35 ft. High. All the rooms are devoted to the work of instruction. The departments of Chemistry and Natural History have each a suite of rooms, viz., a lecture room 23x45 ft.; a laboratory room for beginners, 19x52 ft.; a laboratory room for advance students, 21x45 ft.; and a room for apparatus and consulting library, 11x35.

SECTION 9. There shall be two branches of the university, viz., a male and female branch. The female branch may be taught exclusively by women, and buildings for that branch shall be entirely separate from the buildings of the male branch. And to establish and maintain the said female branch, the Regents shall annually appropriate a sufficient amount of the funds of the university.

The act of the Legislature that organized the University of the State of Kansas took effect March 1, 1866.

Object of the University. - The act states the object to be to provide the inhabitants of this State with the means of acquiring a thorough knowledge of the various branches of literature, science and the arts.

Its Government. - Its Board of Regents, in which its Government was vested, was to consist of a President and twelve members to be appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Regents shall appoint a Secretary, a Treasurer and a Librarian, who shall hold their respective offices during the pleasure of the board. It was provided that the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and Secretary of State should be ex officio members of the board. The Regents held their first meeting March 21, 1865, and elected R. W. Oliver, Chancellor; G. W. Paddock, Secretary; G. W. Deitzler, Treasurer; James S. Emery, Librarian. These officers with Charles Robinson and Solon O. Thacher were made an Executive Committee.

The first session of the University opened September 12, 1866, with forty students and three professors. E. J. Rice was President of the University Faculty.

Board of Regents. - The first board was made up as follows: E. M. Bartholow, James S. Emery, Cyrus K. Holliday, Rev. James D. Liggett, Charles B. Lines, Rev. David P. Mitchell, G. W. Paddock, Charles Robinson, Theodore C. Sears, William A. Starrett, Solon O. Thacher, Joseph S. Wever. Since then there have been on the board, Rev. John Ekin, Right Rev. Bishop Thomas H. Vail, George A. Crawford, F. W. Giles, John A. Halderman, J. G. Reaser, Archibald Beatty, William Fairchild, Rev. F. T. Ingalls, N. C. McFarland, W. P. Wilson (John A. Anderson, James C. Horton, Rev. F. H. Houts, E. Misbet and Samuel A. Kingman, appointed, resigned), Milton W. Reynolds, R. N. Hershfield, B. W. Woodward, John W. Scott, T. Dwight Thacher, Mrs. Cora M. Downs, George R. Peck, Samuel S. Benedict, James Fitzpatrick, James Humphrey, Alfred G. Otis, W. S. White.

Rev. Dr. James Marvin, of Meadville, Penn., was elected the Chancellor of the University, November 19, 1874.

The Departments. - Section 10 of Chapter 115, Laws 1866, reads:

The University shall consist of six departments: First, the department of science, literature and the arts. Second, the department of law. Third, the department of medicine. Fourth, the department of theory and practice of elementary instruction. Fifth, the department of agriculture. Sixth, the normal department. The immediate government of the several departments shall be intrusted to their respective faculties, but the Regents shall have the power to regulate the course of instruction, and prescribe, under the advice of the professorships, the books and authorities to be used in the several departments, and also to confer such degrees and grant such diplomas as are usually conferred and granted by other universities.

Frequency of Meetings of the Board of Regents. - In the last report of the Regents submitted by James Marvin, President, and T. D. Thacher, Secretary, appears the following:

To His Excellency, the Governor of Kansas: The Board of Regents of the University of Kansas would respectfully report, that during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1881, the Board met in full session as follows: September 12, 1880; November 22, 1880; April 6, 1881; June 6, 1881. During the fiscal year ending June 30, 1882, the Board met: September 12, 1881; November 21, 1881; February 7, 1882; April 4, 1882, and June 5, 1882.

Normal Department. - In the act making appropriations for the State University for the fiscal year ending November 30, 1876, is this proviso:

Provided, That the Regents of the University shall immediately organize a Normal department in said University, and open the same for the reception of normal students, and detail one or more instructors to conduct the same.

P. J. Williams, Dean of this department, reported September 11, 1882, fifty-three pupils in attendance; thirty-eight of the first year, eight of the second, seven of the third. Referring to his work, he said:

I gave instruction to the middle class in the "science of teaching" during the entire year, discussing: School organization; educational instrumentalities; school government; curricula programs; principles of teaching; the educational power of truth applied to the different faculties of the mind; connection between the world of thought and the world of things; conditions and methods of study and recitations; professional relations of teachers, with a general survey of the branches of study and their peculiar difficulties; also, the most approved methods of teaching these studies, with many sentient illustrations to impress them upon the mind and made them thoroughly emphatic.

The class of the third year recited entirely to the other members of the Faculty. Their conduct and recitations have been uniformly proper, and such as to reflect credit upon the members of this department.

A normal school means a school where the principles of teaching are clearly and systematically laid down, where opportunity is given to observe the practical application of these principles, and to practice under the scrutiny of skilled teachers. Where we consider the nature of the material which the teacher works upon - the undying mind - and the amazing susceptibilities of that mind for good and evil influences, and when we know the different results of training and the multitude and variety of influences that may be brought to bear upon it from the most elevating to the most debasing - from those blessed tendencies which will carry it upward along the ascending scale of virtue and purity, and to all those downward proclivities through which, one after another, it passes on its road to ruin - do we not discover urgent reasons why this guide and counselor of this mind, and why the trainer and educator of these powers and susceptibilities, should be "a workman that needeth not to be ashamed," and for this purpose that he should possess all the information relative to his art possible to be attained?

During the summer vacation of 1882, Dean Williams visited nineteen Normal Institutes, addressed over 2,000 teachers, presented the advantages of the State University in its various departments, and especially for our teachers. His report closes as follows:

Our graduates and students are everywhere working for "Alma Mater," and this is one of the elements of our responsibility and reward as instructors, that all through this vast commonwealth, as large as an empire, young men and women are remembering gratefully their instructors, and reproducing the words and actions of their teachers - becoming strong factors in every department of usefulness in our young State.

Value of the University Property. - The Regents report on this as follows:

North College campus, ten acres.....................$ 10,000.00
North College building..............................  30,000.00
University Park, forty acres........................  40,000.00
University Hall (new building)...................... 185,000.00
Library, 6,000 volumes..............................  10,000.00
Apparatus - physics, chemistry and astronomy........   2,500.00
Cabinets of natural history, etc....................   8,000.00
Endowment, Amos Lawrence fund.......................  10,300.00
Endowment invested by State from land sales
                                 to June 30, 1882...  38,127.77
Unsold land, 1,120 acres (estimated)................   2,700.00
Land contracts, to run twenty years from date....... 104,154.09

Salaries, etc., for the Year Ending June 30, 1882. - These appear as follows: Chancellor, James Marvin, $2,500; Professor Natural History, F. H. Snow, $2,000; Professor Latin Language and Literature, D. H. Robinson, $1,800; Professor Mathematics, E. Miller, $1,800; Professor History and Political Science, James H. Canfield, $1,700; Professor Chemistry, Metallurgy and Mineralogy. George E. Patrick, $1,700; Professor Astronomy, Civil Engineering, Free Hand Drawing and Physics, H. S. S. Smith, $1,250; Professor Greek Language and Literature, Kate Stephens, $1,250; Professor German and French, Frances Schlegel, $1,200; Professor English Literature, Rhetoric and Belles-Letters, L. W. Spring, $1,500; Dean Normal Department, P. J. Williams, $1,500; Dean Law Department, Joseph W. Green and assistant, $1,000. Assistant Professors, F. O. Marvin, $1,200; J. W. Gleed, $800; W. H. Carruth, $800. Total, $2,800. Clerk, W. C. Spangler, $500; Treasurer, B. A. Ambler, $100; Superintendent, T. A. Brennan, $800. Janitors, Sterling & Co., $323; Brown and others, $133.67. Total, $456.67. Assistant Librarian, Carrie M. Watson, $100.

The Regents submit the following estimates for 1883-84, and duplicated for 1884-85: For salary of Chancellor, $2,500; salary of Professor of Natural History, $2,000; salaries of ten professors, $13,650; salary of Dean of Normal Department, $1,650; salary of Dean of Law Department, $1,000; salary of three assistants, $3,000; salary of clerk and book-keeper, $600; salary of Assistant Librarian, $300; salary for superintendent of buildings, and for janitors, $1,500; labor in laboratories, $250; work in improving grounds, $200; fuel, lights and firemen, $1,500; additions to library, $1,000; additions to cabinets, $300; philosophical apparatus, $500; chemicals, $250; museum cases, $500; advertising, $250. Total, $30,950.

The Department of Theory and Practice of Elementary Instruction was opened in College Hall, September 12, 1866, with four instructors. In the catalogue of that year were fifty-five students. In the Department of Science, Literature and the Arts, the first class graduated in 1873. From this department eight-six have graduated since the existence of the University; thirty-six from the Normal Department, opened in 1876; seventeen from the Law Department, opened in 1879. Since the opening of the University, 2,381 students have been enrolled, and less than 6 per cent of the pupils have graduated.

The following table shows the number of students in the different departments during the college years 1880-81; 1881-82:

DEPARTMENTS.                    No.       1st    No.       2nd 
                                Classes.  Term   Classes.  Term.
Metaphysics....................   3        51      1         22
Natural history................   5       111      3        110
Latin .........................   8       167      6        130
Mathematics....................   4       174      3        131
Chemistry......................   3        66      3         16
German and French..............   6       108      8        102
History and political science..   4       154      3         61
Greek..........................   5        42      4         35
Astronomy, physics, etc........   6       108      7        124
Normal.........................   .       ...      .        ...
English literature.............   3       252      3        260

=============================================================== 1881-82 DEPARTMENTS. No. 1st No. 2nd Classes. Term. Classes. Term. Metaphysics.................... 3 61 1 19 Natural history................ 5 85 3 124 Latin ......................... 8 193 6 165 Mathematics.................... 4 200 4 181 Chemistry...................... 3 62 3 12 German and French.............. 6 117 7 124 History and political science.. 4 167 3 65 Greek.......................... 4 45 4 52 Astronomy, physics, etc........ 5 105 7 159 Normal......................... 3 53 3 66 English literature............. 5 339 4 281 ---------------------------------------------------------------

The classification was as follows:

                              1880-81                   1881-82
                       =======================   ======================
DEPARTMENTS            Males. Females. Total.    Males. Females. Total.

Collegiate............    98       58    156       100       51     151
Normal................    16       22     38        20       33      53
Preparatory...........   166      111    277       141       96     237
Law...................    15      ...     15         7       ..       7
Musical...............     2       30     32         2       21      23
    Aggregate of all..   297      221    518       270      201     471
 Names counted twice..    21       31     52         8       20      28
    Total enrollment..   276      190    466       262      181     443
Number of counties in Kansas represented, 53 in 1881, 55 in 1882; number of other States, 15 by 48 students in 1881; 15 by 39 students in 1882.

Dean Green, in his report to the Regents, made September 11, 1882, in referring to the examinations on jurisprudence, says:

We are convinced that it would be of great benefit to the department if the diploma of the University would entitle the holder thereof to admission to the bar of the State without further examination. We see no reason why this should not be granted by the Legislature, as our examinations are more severe and impartial, and take a wider range, than the usual bar examinations. The bar examinations are usually held in an hour or two, while the final examination in this department takes from three to four days. We would therefore request that in your next report to the Governor of the State, you make such recommendation in regard to this matter as may seem best.


Section 1 of an act to provide for State Normal Schools, which took effect March 10, 1870, reads as follows:

SECTION 1. That there shall be established in Northern Kansas one Normal School; Provided, That in any town or city of said district there shall be established and in successful operation a thoroughly graded system of schools: And provided further, That such town or city shall give to the State the use of suitable rooms and apparatus for the successful working of said Normal School free of charge. The exclusive purpose of said school shall be the instruction of persons in the art of teaching and in all the various branches of education that pertain to the qualification of teachers in the public schools of the State.

Proposals having been received in conformity to the usages of the State, the location was made at Leavenworth, May 4, 1870. This institution was in existence form 1870 to 1876, opening September 7, 1870, closing in March, 1876.

Its Government. - The Governor, by the statue, appointed a Board of Directors, consisting of six members, which were confirmed by the Senate, and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Secretary of State and Auditor were ex officio members.

P. J. Williams, M. A., was the first Superintendent of the school; Prof. John Wherrell was its last President. The Legislature of 1876, failing to make for its appropriations, it was abandoned as a State institution.


This school was located March 10, 1874. Prof. E. F. Robinson, Principal, commenced work September 16. H. E. Smith was President of its Board of Directors; W. E. Reid, Secretary; ex-State Superintendent H. D. McCarty, LL. D., was its President in 1875. The State made an appropriation for it for 1875, amounting to $5,297.11. In 1874, sixty-six students were in attendance; in 1875 171 students. Its course of study extended through two years, each year having three terms.

Depending upon State aid, its career closed March 18, 1878, a little before that of the Leavenworth Normal School.

Below is a table showing the appropriations the State has annually made for its Normal Schools, its Agricultural College, the State University, and the State Penitentiary, from 1861 to 1882, inclusive.

                              STATE APPROPRIATIONS.
        Agricult-   Emporia    Leaven-     Concordia State      State
YEAR.   Ural Col-   Normal     worth Nor-  Normal    Uni-       Peni-
          lege.     School.    mal School. School.   versity.   tentiary.*
1864.. $ 3,728.88  $ 1,013.00    ....        ....       ....   $ 31,693.06
1865..   3,316.00    2,000.00    ....        ....       ....     21,506.22
1866..   5,673.00   13,000.00    ....        ....   $ 2,885.98   68,926.66
1867..  12,138.90   13,997.97    ....        ....     9,380.26  155,946.49
1868..   8,275.00    5,186.00    ....        ....     6,966.00  116,906.72
1869..   9,394.22    9,930.62    ....        ....    11,993.60  106,644.83
1870..   4,350.71   10,398.67    ....        ....    14,570.33   35,999.32
1871..   2,700.00    8,4?4.85    ....        ....    16,915.00   35,072.00
1872..  15,032.28   61,522.66 $6,377.80      ....    68,290.00  104,040.09
1873..  23,225.96   16,976.03  7,567.53      ....    24,531.53   71,200.00
1874..  28,?83.23   13,292.96  5,988.65      ....    29,244.81   74,453.26
1875..  13,675.24   12,630.76  5,990.40      ....    18,301.33   84,543.78
1876..  15,300.00      ....    6,600.00   $5,297.11  22,510.04   51,537.88
1877..     ....        ....      ....        ....    11,337.94   42,357.95
1878..   7,774.46      240.60    ....        ....    29,747.86  100,673.09
1879..     ....        885.26    ....        ....       165.00   99,341.70
1880..     ....     24,779.61    ....        ....    28,016.67  147,406.00
1881..  20,729.09      ....      ....        ....    33,100.00  138,593.97
1882..  16,000.00      ....      ....        ....    30,726.79  120,045.99
*The following appropriations for the penitentiary were made prior to 1864; 1861, $1,537.80; 1862, $1,075.75; 1863, $7,279.74.

[TOC] [part 23] [part 21] [Cutler's History]