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



The studies of logic, mental and moral philosophy, and political economy were naturally included in the classical course with which the College opened in 1863, being taught by Pres. Denison until 1873, and by his successor, Pres. Anderson, until the reduction of the course in 1874, when the mental and moral science was dropped. In 1880 the present arrangement of studies in the course was adopted, making room for a term devoted to the study of human nature, a term in logic, a term in political economy, and a term in constitutional law. Pres. Fairchild had for many years taught political economy and moral science in the Michigan Agricultural College, and at once undertook the work in this department. The plan embraced text books in logic and mental philosophy, courses of lectures in practical ethics and in political economy, and Cooley's Principles of Constitutional Law. As the presidential duties increased, the constitutional law was first given temporarily to Prof. E. M. Shelton, and three years since associated with the chair of history. The political economy is now about to follow the same course.


In the summer of 1873, the chair of chemistry and physics was established, and Prof. Wm. K. Kedzie was called to the place. Previous to this time, provision was made for teaching these branches by those whose principal work lay in other fields. Prof. Kedzie brought both energy and skill to its organization and equipment, and it took prominent rank among the departments of the College from the start. The work in the department was about equally divided between the two sections, chemistry and physics. From the beginning, the value, in a course of study, of handling the things about which one studies, was fully realized. The Chemical Laboratory was, therefore, equipped with the simpler apparatus to be used by students in their chemical practice or experimental work, as well as with some more expensive kinds for advanced work.

With the removal, in 1875, of the College from the old quarters on the "hill" to the present location, and with the increase in the number of students, the need of a chemical building led to the erection of the present Chemical Laboratory in 1876. Its erection greatly increased the facilities for work. At first only a portion of the space in the building was utilized, but the increase in numbers and in the work in the department called continually for additional room, until now every room is fully occupied, and the crowded condition of the laboratory has, for the first time in its history, caused inconvenience. Of course this extension in working space continually called for additional outlays in apparatus, and in the more recent years, full equipment for advanced work has been added.

In 1878 Prof. Kedzie resigned, and Prof. G. H. Failyer, '77, was elected to fill the vacancy. In 1885, the department was divided, physics and meteorology being transferred to another department. Chemistry and mineralogy were left in the old quarters and this became the name of the chair, which was retained by Prof. Failyer. Previous to 1883, there had been several student assistants, but no assistant proper. In this year, J. T. Willard, '83, was elected as assistant in chemistry, and retained the position until 1887. He was succeeded by C. M. Breese, '87, who still holds the place.

With the establishment of the Experiment Station in connection with the College, in 1888, the Chemical Department of the College became also the Chemical Department of the Station, and J. T. Willard was chosen assistant chemist of the Station. He is still in this position.

The college catalogue of 1864-5 has this to say in enumeration of the apparatus owned by the College: "A large air pump, a first class electrical machine, one spirit lamp, two dozen test tubes and stand, two wide-mouthed, stoppered glass jars, two tall, plain, cylindrical jars, a gas-bag provided with stop cook and bubble-pipe, a set of small porcelain basins, glass tubing and small glass rods for stirrers, two small glass funnels, a mortar and pestle, platinum foil and wire, a set of cork borers, a steel spatula, a set of earthen crucibles, a pair of gasometers for oxygen and hydrogen." These were worth less than $150. In 1890, the inventory of the Chemical Department proper shows a total of $6,000, exclusive of mineral collections and cases, valued at $2,700. These items give some indication of the growth of the department and its importance in the general work of the College. It has always been directly connected with the instruction in agriculture through a course in agricultural chemistry, and direct experiments in the chemistry of soils, products and growth, and is now doing special work for broadening the opportunities for farming.



The department of Horticulture was first established in 1870, and placed in charge of Prof. E. Gale, a practical horticulturist, who had an extensive plantation of apples and small fruits, in connection with a fine nursery, on the northeast forty acres of what is now the college farm. During his administration, the work of the department was mostly in the line of the growing of nursery stock, although considerable attention was paid to a systematic and artistic arrangement of the grounds.

Prof. Gale resigned in 1878, on account of protracted sickness, and was succeeded by H. E. Van Deman, also a practical horticulturist. At the end of a year, Prof. Van Deman was obliged to give up the work to attend to his private orchards. He was afterwards made the Chief of the Pomological Division of the Department of Agriculture at Washington, which position he still holds.

In 1879, Edwin A. Popenoe, of Topeka, was elected to this chair, which he still fills. Under his able management, the work has been systematized, extensive plantations of both fruit and forest trees have been made, and elaborate plans for the improvement and ornamentation of the college grounds have been executed so far as practicable.

In the early days of the College this department included, at various times and in various combinations, the branches of botany, zoölogy and entomology, but at present it merely includes the latter, which is, from its nature, intimately, almost inseparably, connected with horticultural work.

The present horticultural building was constructed in 1876-7. A small greenhouse was attached in 1881, and in 1883 replaced by the present model greenhouse.

The following named persons have acted as foremen of the Horticultural Department, proper: A. Winder, G. E. Hopper, C. L. Marlatt and S. C. Mason, the latter being appointed in 1888, and at present holding the position, with credit to the department.

The greenhouse was, for a time, in the charge of Thomas Bassler, student, but the first foreman was Wm. Baxter, who was appointed in 1883, and is still in charge.


In 1883, the department of Botany and Zoölogy was established by separation from the Horticulture and Entomology, and temporarily included also two other branches, namely, physiology and geology. In 1888, when the Experiment Station was established, all the above branches except botany were transferred to the department of Physiology and Veterinary Science, and the department became in name and reality the botanical department. W. T. Swingle was then appointed Assistant Botanist. In April, 1891, he resigned, to take a similar position at Washington, D. C.

In 1883-4, the horticultural class room was occupied conjointly with the Professor of Horticulture and Entomology. The department took possession of the southwest rooms of the second floor, upon the completion, in the fall of 1884, of the south wing of the main college building. Two years later the armory building was remodeled, furnishing a recitation room, three laboratories, an office, and museum room, all on the second floor. The department then took up its permanent abode in these quarters. Museum cases were subsequently added to receive the various collections.

The equipment of the Botanical department includes, at present, about thirty microscopes, sets of tools, re-agents, charts, etc., for class use. For the work of the Experiment Station, various additional instruments and tools have been provided, including Zeiss microscopes, photographic and micro-photographic outfits, sprayers, culture room, work tables, etc., etc.

The botanical collections are included in a General Herbarium and a Kansas Herbarium. The department has the use, also, of Prof. Kellerman's very large private herbarium of fungi.


At the opening of the Agricultural College, in 1863, but one department of study, the literary course, was put in operation. In it, the usual college course in mathematics, including calculus and astronomy, was announced. Rev. N. O. Preston was the first professor of mathematics. In the following year, other courses of study, with less of the mathematics, were announced. In 1866, Prof. B. F. Mudge was put in charge of the higher mathematics, while Prof. J. E. Platt taught the elementary mathematics. In 1870, the calculus was dropped from the course of study, and Professor Platt became Professor of Mathematics.

In 1873, the course of study was entirely changed, the requirement in mathematics much reduced, and Prof. M. L. Ward elected to the chair of Mathematics and English. Professor Platt also remained in the chair of elementary Mathematics and English.

In 1883, the pure and applied mathematics were assigned to separate chairs, and Professor D. E. Lantz, received the former. The applied mathematics, except surveying, has since then been connected with the chairs of physics, and mechanics and engineering.

The equipment of the Mathematical Department consists of mathematical forms, five transits, four levels, plane table, farmer's drainage level, compasses, rods, chains, etc., all valued at $1,090.

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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