Transcribed from College Symposium of the Kansas State Agricultural College Topeka, Kansas: The Hall & O'Donald Litho Co. 1891.


"Among these we may place first a permanent endowment sufficient to ensure the steady progress of the College through several generations. It should not be subject to, the fluctuations of whims from parties or people, but should be an investment for posterity. 'Art is long,' and the work of education for the art of agriculture must be permanent, in order to be reached by all.

"Ample equipment of buildings, furniture, and apparatus, farm and tools is of course necessary. It must even be more ample than in most colleges. Science, to be made practical, must be learned with laboratory practice; technical instruction is worthless without abundant illustration and exercise and working habits can be formed only by handling the tools.

"A competent faculty must handle this machinery. The drill of such a college calls for greater ingenuity, if not for more general culture, on the part of the faculty, than most college courses. This is not mere teaching, but teaching adjusted to a specific want in life. It calls for a practical energy in addition to sound doctrine, for it deals less with authorities than with facts. New applications must keep them fresh in the life of toil which they are to elevate. The best in the land are none too good to hold the professorships in such a college; and should be found and kept if possible.

"Over all should preside an efficient and uniform control. The construction of this board should be such as to secure greatest stability with activity. Love for the work must inspire the members, and provident foresight direct them. The whiffling of popular sentiment for pork or mutton, for Shorthorns or Jerseys, must only make their course more steady and true to that line of education for farmers' sons which may give taste and ability for an enlightened and progressive agriculture."


The arrival of President George T. Fairchild gave a new impetus to the teaching force. The wish of the faculty and the board, that no radical changes be made in the policy, met with his fullest concordance. Yet his rich experience, the result of similar work at the oldest agricultural school of the land, soon bore fruit in the adoption of improved methods of instruction and a better adjustment of work and existing means. The collegiate year was divided into three nearly equal terms, of fourteen, twelve, and eleven weeks respectively, instead of two unequal terms as before. The course was strengthened by rearrangement of studies to logical connection; by systematic plans for connecting practice with theory; by introduction of stronger courses in place of elementary ones; by more definite classification of students, and by adding a term of psychology to the work of the fourth, and English literature and engineering to the work of the third year, - while the system of industrial training was broadened by distinct arrangement in shops, farm and garden, kitchen laboratory, dairy and sewing rooms. The preparatory, or "B " first-year class, was maintained only for the benefit of students from the country over eighteen years old who could not pass the entering examination. A scheme of Friday afternoon lectures and declamations was inaugurated, and weekly rhetorical exercises were added to the work of all classes. Monday afternoon faculty meetings for the discussion of ways, means and discipline were organized. Standing Committees on Grounds and Buildings, Public Exercises, Social and Literary Entertainments, Class Grades, Post Graduate Work, Farmers' Institutes, Museum, Library, etc., were appointed, and a more comprehensive system of accounting adopted, the Secretary of the Faculty, Mr. I. D. Graham, being given direct responsibility for accounts with all funds and all departments.

It is not possible within the limited space of this sketch to speak at length of the development of the College during the last twelve years. Many important phases, events, or reforms must be overlooked entirely, while many others of a recent date have not had time to produce their intended effects, and can hardly be considered history.

The number of students has increased every year except three, as may be seen from the following schedule:

Year. Attendance. Year. Attendance. Year. Attendance.
1878-79 207 1883-84 395 1888-89 445
1879-80 276 1884-85 401 1889-90 514
1880-81 267 1885-86 428 1890-91 590
1881-82 312 1886-87 481    
1882-83 347 1887-88 472    

The senior classes show a similar increase. In 1880, the class numbered seven; in 1888, twenty-two; in 1889, twenty-five; in 1890, twenty-seven; and in 1891, fifty-two. In other words, the number of students has increased in eleven years nearly 200 per cent, and that of the graduating class has grown nearly 750 per cent. It is safe to state that there is no educational institution in the United States, no matter how richly endowed, that can show more favorable rate figures with regard to attendance for a period of more than ten successive years.

This phenomenal growth made necessary an increase in the teaching force, and this again made possible the assigning of the work of instruction to specialists. Among the teachers of special sciences who were added to the faculty during this period, and who have identified themselves with the peculiar work of the College, are: Professors E. A. Popenoe, A. M., who entered upon his work as teacher of horticulture and superintendent of orchards and gardens, in the fall of 1879; W. A. Kellerman, Ph. D., who was elected to the chair of botany in the fall of 1883; Nellie S. Kedzie, M. Sc., who took charge of the department of household economy and hygiene in the fall of 1882; D. E. Lantz, M. Sc., who became teacher of mathematics in the fall of 1883; Oscar E. Olin, who was called to the chair of English language and literature in 1886; and O. P. Hood, B. Sc., who entered upon his work as superintendent of the work shops and teacher of mechanics and engineering in 1886. Much of the success and growth of the College is due to the untiring efforts of these men, many of a reputation reaching far beyond the limits of the State or even the country. The annual reports of the several State and National societies for the advancement of pure and applied science give witness to the extended work carried on in the studies and laboratories of the College. Prof. W. A. Kellerman is the author of several publications on his special branches, as "Elements of Botany," a text book for schools, treating histology, vegetable and economic botany, and organography. At the time of its publication, in 1884, a critic in Science said: "It comes nearer to filling a serious gap in botanical literature than any other thus far published." Also, "Plant Analysis, or Key to the Dichotomal Plan for Identifying Plants East of the Mississippi." Also, "Analytical Flora of Kansas," and a "Kansas School Botany." The general use of these works attests their value. The Professor has also prepared numerous papers in various State Reports, the two of special importance to Kansas being "The Kansas Forest Trees Identified by Leaves and Fruit" - the first work of the kind ever published in the United States - and the "Native Grasses of Kansas." Prof. Geo. H. Failyer has published a handbook for students of analytical chemistry, and Prof. Edwin A. Popenoe is the author of several students' handbooks on entomology.



The most important improvement made under President Fairchild's administration is the finishing of the main College building, i. e., of its central part, in 1882, of its south wing in 1884, and of its chapel addition in 1887. The building was planned by President Anderson in 1877, and owes its peculiar form of three separate wings, or parts, connected by lower corridors to the expected difficulty of obtaining a sufficient appropriation by the Legislature for the entire completion in one fiscal period. The plans and superintendence were furnished for the principal structure by Architect E. T. Carr, of Leavenworth, and for the chapel addition by Prof. J. D. Walters. President Fairchild changed the original designs in several particulars, notably by adding an attic to the central part and a basement to the south wing - additions which, without materially increasing the cost, improved both the appearance and the capacity. The building as it now stands has cost about $70,000.


Of other permanent improvements, may be named the erection, in 1885, of the President's residence, ultimately to become the residence of the Professor of Horticulture; the construction of the north wing of the barn in 1885, and the addition to this of the piggery in 1886; the rebuilding of Armory Hall in the same year; the placing in Mechanics' Hall of a steam engine and a number of fine wood-working machines in 1885-87; the building of the greenhouse in 1883; of the horticultural laboratory in 1888, and of the horticultural barn in 1889. The plans and superintendence for these buildings were furnished by Prof. J. D. Walters. In 1883 and 1884, the wain roads of the farm were gravelled, and in the spring of 1885 the grounds were platted for planting jig and future improvement in road building by a professional landscape gardener, Max. Kern, of St. Louis. In the same year a tract of forty-four acres of land was added to the farm by purchase, sixteen acres having been added some years previous. In the spring of 1891 another small tract of about four acres was bought. The College now possesses in two farms a total of 319 acres.


In 1888, the city of Manhattan built a very complete system of waterworks, with a pumping station near Blue River, and a capacious double reservoir on top of Bluemont, a neighboring hill several feet higher than the tower of the main building of the College. In the following winter the Legislature appropriated $3,000 for an extension of the pipe line upon the College campus, and about the 4th of July, 1889, the buildings, greenhouses and lawns were supplied with an abundance of pure water - a considerable factor in the economy of the scientific and agricultural departments, and a safeguard, in case of fire, for the buildings and other property, much of which could not be easily replaced. Another appropriation of $3,000, made last winter for a further extension of the water service and for a system of sewers, will provide the College with a most complete water and drainage system.


Carefully-made purchases of scientific apparatus, and untiring efforts in gathering natural history specimens have gradually provided the different departments with equipments valued altogether at more than $100,000. Much credit for this is due to individual effort of the professors. The rapidly growing collections from the fields of zoölogy, botany, entomology, mineralogy and geology have cost the College almost nothing. Not even the Board of Regents, perhaps, are aware of the esprit du corps existing among the faculty with regard to this and other matters. The greatest need of a school of pure and applied science is, however, a large and well selected library, and the establishment of this requires time and funds.

The library of the Kansas State Agricultural College is almost wholly the growth of the last twelve years. It was moved to its present quarters in the northeast wing of the main building from the northwest room of the old Bluemont College building, in 1878, by acting President M. L. Ward, who was the librarian from 1875 until 1883. It consisted, at that time, of less than 1,250 valuable and well preserved books; the remainder, some 800 volumes, were either entirely worn out or they were works of almost no use or value - Greek and Latin dictionaries and commentaries, religious monographs, sermons, old and poorly printed fiction, government reports, etc. - a state of things not to be wondered at, when it is remembered that the greater part of the growth consisted of donations, solicited in the eastern states by President Joseph Denison and Agent I. T. Goodnow, and that during Anderson's presidency neither funds nor space were available for this purpose. Since then, however, there was rapid growth. Acting librarian, Prof. W. H. Cowles, reported the number of books on the shelves, June 30, 1884, at 5,740 bound volumes, 1,300 pamphlets, and several hundred duplicates. A card catalogue of topics was commenced by Prof. Cowles, and completed to date, in 1885, by acting librarian Prof. B. F. Nihart.

Prof. D. G. Lantz, the present librarian, took charge of the library in September, 1886. His first report catalogues 6,572 bound volumes, 2,350 pamphlets, and 360 duplicates, valued in the aggregate at $10,358.51; and his report for 1887-88 shows 7,453 bound volumes, 2,490 pamphlets, and 352 duplicate volumes, with a total valuation of $12,172.04. One of the main endeavors of the faculty and librarian, has been to complete the sets of Government and State reports pertaining to agriculture, horticulture, finance and education, and hundreds of letters were written to Government officers in all parts of the country, soliciting such volumes. Sets of leading scientific and literary magazines were also completed by picking up missing numbers or volumes wherever there was a chance. The total of all State appropriations received for the library, up to date, is $6,000.

At the close of the last fiscal year the library numbered 9,749 bound volumes, 349 duplicate volumes and 3,126 pamphlets - a total of 13,224. Purchases and donations during the present year have increased the total number to about 15,000. For these the inventory gives an estimated value of about $20,000, but as a large number of books of great value to special students are out of print, the value to the College, is much above these figures, and can really not be expressed in dollars and cents.

The library is in constant use by the students and the members of the faculty. The report of the librarian for the school year 1888-89 gives the total number of books drawn for home reading by students at 6,777, and the total number for the school year 1889-90 at 7,898 - an average of over fifteen books per student. This does not include the books and magazines read in the library or reading room, nor does it include the current numbers of periodicals of any kind, since these cannot be taken from the reading room. It is greatly deplored by the friends of the College that the State Legislature of 1891 has not been able to find means to appropriate more than $250 annually for the next two fiscal periods for this purpose. A student of science without books is like a mill without water, or a stove without fuel. The great need of this College it this stage of growth is undoubtedly in the enlargement of its library facilities - it is more books and maps, and a new library building.

College Symposium - Index
Introduction, History, 1863 to 1873, 1873 through 1878, 1878 and 1879, through 1879, Experiments and Experiment Station, Philosophy, Chemistry, Horticultural, Botanical, Mathematics, Industrial Art, Telegraph, English, Home Economics, Sewing, Mechanical, Music, Printing, Law, Farm, Military, Physics, Veterinary, Faculty and Assistants, Faculty Biographies, Alumni, Classes, College Organizations, Ionian #1, Ionian #2, Ionian #3, Hamilton #1, Hamilton #2, Hamilton #3, Alpha Beta #1, Alpha Beta #2, Alpha Beta #3, Webster #1, Webster #2, Webster #3, Webster #4, Editors and Church Directory, Advertisements#1, Advertisements#2, Advertisements#3

Tom & Carolyn Ward
Columbus, KS

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