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


Free-hand drawing became a branch of instruction at the Kansas State Agricultural College in 1870. The first teacher was Miss Lizzie Williams, an enthusiastic lover of art, and a talented student of the human form, who has since, as Mrs. Williams-Champney, won considerable fame as a skilled illustrator of juvenile literature. Art instruction in those early days was unsystematic, however, and the work in the department being optional with the students, the number of pupils was very small. Mechanical drawing was not taught nor studied.

The reorganization of the institution, in 1874, made free-hand drawing a regular study. Prof. J. H. Lee, and afterwards, Prof. J. S. Whitman, were the teachers. In 1876, a graduate of the College, Miss Ella Gale, a lover of art, at present the Professor of Art in Olivet College, Michigan, was given the position. Her marriage with Prof. Wm. K. Kedzie caused her to resign in 1877. Her successor as instructor of Industrial Drawing was the present professor of the department of Industrial Art and Designing.


Under the care of Prof. J. D. Walters, who has now had charge of this branch of instruction for over fourteen years, the department has grown into a fully equipped school of mechanical drawing and industrial art, occupying two large class rooms, a private studio, a tool room and a store room for models. The inventory for the past school year shows equipments valued at $1,406.41. A creditable beginning has also been made in starting an Art Museum. Besides a large number of art studies and art plates for illustration and imitation, the department possesses full size plaster paris casts of the Venus of Milo, and the Hadrian Diana with the Stag, also reduced casts of Angelo's Moses and his Lorenzo Medici, Thorwaldson's Hebe, Teed's Psyche, and several classic busts and tablets.

The obligatory instruction comprises a term of work in geometrical drawing and surface designing, a term of free-hand drawing, half a term of projection drawing, and a term of advanced work, machine and architectural draughting and study, linear perspective. Students who show special aptitude are encouraged to take drawing as a fourth study during any part of the course, and are given opportunity to fit themselves for the draughting office, or for special art schools.

During the past year the department has taught 665 pupils, i. e., 234 in the fall, 267 in the winter, and 164 in the spring. An increase of the work in drawing by the third-year class, agreed upon by the faculty and sanctioned by the Board at the April meeting, will probably make necessary the employment of an assistant.


With the reorganization of the College, in 1874, under the policy formulated by President Anderson, telegraphy was given a prominent place as an art, especially for the young ladies, although it was open to both sexes, and a short telegraph line and the necessary instruments were provided.

Mr. Frank C. Jackson, then the U. P. telegraph operator at Manhattan, was placed in charge as superintendent, where he remained one year. His other duties demanding his time, he was succeeded, in 1874, by W. C. Stewart, who remained in charge until the Bell telephone, then lately invented, proved more attractive, and be severed his connection with the College to unite with the telephone company.

In 1879, I. D. Graham was elected superintendent, and held the position until 1890. The records concerning the early history of the department are difficult of access, and little can be said of them. During the eleven years between 1879 and 1890, there were enrolled a total of 719 students in the department. Of these, 163 were ladies, and 556 gentlemen. The inventory of property belonging to the department has ranged between $257.25 and $974.85, and the yearly expenditures have been about $250. In 1878, by action of the Board of Regents, a fee of three dollars per term was collected from each male student, and the returns from this source have since nearly equaled the expenditures.

In 1890, E. R. Nichols was elected Instructor in Physics and Superintendent of Telegraphy.

Assistants in this department have been, in order: F. L. Parker, student; J. G. Harbord, '86; Agnes M. Fairchild-Kirshner; Bertha H. Bacheller, '88.

By action already taken, this department will be discontinued after the present school year, as less perfectly meeting the requirements of the times and of the State, in an education to the useful, than other arts which it is proposed to substitute for it in the course of study.


The English department was made a separate division of the College in 1882. Previous to that time the instruction in English was given in connection with other departments, especially those of Latin and mathematics. In 1863, when only the classical department had been established, English grammar and composition were taught by the Professor of Mathematics and Literature, N. O. Preston. In 1864, an agricultural course was outlined and grammar was made a part of it, with the addition of one term of rhetoric in the third year.

In 1866, besides the English of the preparatory department, one term of the sophomore year was given to rhetoric and criticism, and two terms of the senior year to philology and English literature, under J. H. Lee, Professor of Latin Language and Literature.

The course continued substantially the same until 1874, with the addition in 1871, of weekly drill in composition, declamation, or other literary exercises throughout the course. In 1874, the College course was entirely changed, and English and history were placed together under J. H. Lee, as Professor of English and History. The next year it was again united with the department of Mathematics under Professors Ward and Platt, and so continued until 1882.

In 1882, English and history were again associated, and Prof. Wm. H. Cowles was called to this department. In 1885, Professor Cowles retiring to pursue special studies in the east, Oscar E. Olin was appointed head of the department. In 1888, English and history were separated and the department of English Language and Literature established, Professor Olin being retained in the chair.

The course now provides systematic training in exact expression from the beginning to the end of the four years, with special reference to the etymology of scientific terms, and actual study of standard literature, with an outline of its history.


The history of the department of Household Economy began when the college "handbook" was printed, in 1874. In this President Anderson said: "A girl has a right to an education as precisely adapted to a woman's work as is a boy's preparatory to a man's work." To educate the girls in such lines the sewing department was started during this year, and two years later, upon moving into the buildings on the present college site, the work was enlarged so as to really begin the study of household economy. Mrs. M. E. Cripps was in charge of the "Domestic Department", which meant the sewing, and a beginning of work for girls in other lines. She gave a short course of lectures upon special hygiene to the more advanced classes of young ladies, and these same classes listened to lectures by Prof. W. K. Kedzie upon the chemical composition of many articles of food, and some of the changes wrought by various combinations or by cooking. Prof. E. M. Shelton gave a few lectures upon the care of milk and the making of butter and cheese. These three short courses of lectures comprised the department of household economy. The sewing classes flourished, and in 1875 a class of girls was taught scroll sawing; but no actual work in cooking came into the College until 1877, when the southwest room in the chemical laboratory was fitted up for the senior class of girls to verify their lectures by actual experiment. A "baking day" came once a week, and during this year three meals were served by the class, one on the occasion of a board meeting, one on "Washington's birthday," and one as a farewell "lark " by the senior class. The first was for the regents, the second for a few invited guests, and the third, with the help of Mrs. Cripps, was prepared by the girls of the class for their class brothers and themselves. In 1880 the course of lectures was extended, and in 1881 the lectures on household chemistry were put into the hands of Mrs. Cripps, and she organized a cooking class, which worked three weeks, and disposed of the food cooked by selling ten cent lunches to the students. About this time the kitchen laboratory was moved into the room in Mechanics Hall now occupied by the Industrialist, while the sewing department lived next door, in three rooms at the south end. In the fall of 1882, this work passed into the charge of Mrs. N. S. Kedzie, and the course in household economy was enlarged so as to cover twelve weeks, two hours per day. One hour was devoted to lectures, and one hour to cooking in the kitchen laboratory. Conveniences for good work were few, the bread and pies were often turned upside down in the oven in order to bake the bottom crust, and the water tank which supplied the building had a pleasant habit of running over and dripping through the pantry upon dishes, groceries, and any food that might be on hand.

Prof. Shelton conducted the department of dairying until the spring of 1884, when it was added to the already crowded department of household economy.

The following fall term the department was divided, Mrs. E. E. Winchip being employed to carry the classes in sewing. All this work was moved into the new south wing and given the comfortable suites of rooms now occupied by the two departments. New dishes were added, arrangements made for a regular "faculty dinner" on every Monday, and a students' lunch on every Friday of the cooking term, the charges made for each being barely sufficient to pay for the materials used in preparing them.

The "second-year party," which had in the old rooms only included the young ladies of the class, with a few invited guests, grew to include the whole second-year class; and the "regents' tea," held heretofore, grew to be a supper where regents, faculty and faculty wives met to test the cooking of ambitious second-year girls.

In 1887, the dairy was built; and since then the buttermaking has become a pleasure, while the cooking has crept over into the dairying term, in order to keep the large class busy. The cooking class, in the winter of 1883, numbered twelve. That of 1891 numbered thirty-six, with nine special students in the work, making forty-five cooks in the kitchen laboratory every day.

The pretty office belonging to the department, as well as the kitchen laboratory, the dining room, and the dairy, have been gradually fitted up with furniture until work is comfortably managed, even with large classes, and the history of the department of Household Economy in this College is really begun. Its influence is reaching into other State institutions, as the good work done in the Dakota College by Mrs. Dalinda Mason-Cotey, of the class of 1881, and that of Miss Abbie Marlatt, of the class of 1888, in the Agricultural College of Utah, testify. Other post-graduate students are preparing themselves to add still other pages to this history, while making history in the same line for other institutions.

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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