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



The history of the Sewing department in the State Agricultural College began in December, 1873, when Mrs. Cheseldine, and three sewing machines, were given one corner of the chapel, and young ladies were regularly assigned to sewing. The next year the sewing classes were moved to the library, and were carried on very successfully, practical dressmaking and plain sewing of all kinds being taught.

In the fall of 1875, upon moving into the new buildings, pleasant rooms were given to the Sewing department, in the place now occupied by the printing press.

In the year 1877-78, a small kitchen laboratory was started under the supervision of Mrs. Cripps, Superintendent of Sewing, until 1882, and Mrs. Kedzie, who succeeded her. The classes increased in size and much interest was taken in both lines of work, until the year 1884, when the Sewing Department was organized under the charge of Mrs. E. E. Winchip. It occupied the reception room for the fall term, until the large and commodious rooms that we now have were completed. These are nicely fitted up with cupboards and drawers for keeping the work, most of the young ladies furnishing their own material and working for themselves. In this way nearly a thousand garments have been made in a single year, fully two hundred of them dresses fitted by the students themselves.

Since 1874, the number of students in sewing classes has increased from forty-five to over one hundred each day. Last year the department was too large for one pair of hands, and Miss Abbie Marlatt, a graduate of 1888, was employed as assistant. This year she fills the chair of Household Economy in the Utah Agricultural College, and Miss Ada Little, 186, takes the same duties.

The department is recognized as one of the distinctive features of the College, and highly prized by the students.



In 1871 a rude shed furnished room for a carpenter shop which received students into classes organized as those in any study, and blacksmithing was soon added. From this beginning the department has kept pace in growth with the general growth of the College.

In 1875 the second building on the present site was put up for a mechanics' hall. Some old students remember the shop in that year as a floorless, unplastered room full of industry, and with some special attractions not now in the course. Until about 1880 a few young ladies occupied one end of the shop at times in scroll sawing and wood carving.

In 1877 the shop was floored, in 1884 plastered and wainscoted, in 1885 heated by steam, and at the same time an engine and line shaft were added.

The various Heads of department have been Ambrose Todd, 1871 to 1878; T. T. Hawkes, 1878 to 1886 (except that M. A. Reeves was acting superintendent from 1882 to 1883) ; and O. P. Hood since 1886. The assistants in the wood shop have been, in succession, M. A. Reeves, S. N. Peck, G. N. Thompson, and W. L. House, and in blacksmith work S. A. Hayes, J. Linder, J. Lund, and C. A. Gundaker.

The early practice of the shop was in learning so much of a trade as was possible in limited time. In the fall of 1886, the nature of the work was somewhat changed by the introduction of a systematic course in the elementary operations of wood work, and as soon as students came into the department, the use of carefully made drawings was insisted upon.

The Legislature of 1887 made provision for wood working machinery in the shop to the amount of $1,000. In addition to the ten-horse power engine, and thirty-horse power boiler already in the building, a fine double-column circular saw of the best make was provided; also a twenty-four-inch planer, a single spindle friezer, a thirty-four-inch band saw, four lathes, and numerous attachments, making altogether, a very complete wood working plant as far as power machinery goes. The gradual growth of classes had required the addition of a room in the second story. Also in this year a very desirable combination was made by placing the general instruction in mechanics, as well as that in engineering, in charge of the superintendent of shops. It thus became possible to present the theoretical and practical parts of mechanics in harmony, greatly to the advantage of both.

During the past year, the department tools have been increased to 200 complete sets, placed in separate locked drawers under the benches, so that each student has a good kit of tools entirely in his charge. Special tools of great variety are found in an extensive kit, placed in order in a tool room, to be drawn out as needed by students, under a check system. The wood working part of the mechanical department is now thoroughly equipped and fit to handle the very large classes now in attendance. Its methods are such as to make its training felt beyond the use of wood working tools by fostering ingenuity, and awakening interest in all useful material. Much wood work of the department is represented about the College in buildings, cases and furniture.

In the past, iron work has of necessity been neglected on account of lack of equipment and funds. A small class in blacksmith work has been conducted since 1871, with two forges only, and a few tools. A $4,000 building is soon to be erected for the iron work alone. The training in foundry, blacksmith shop and machine shop will be carried along the same lines as those followed in the wood work, making it neither technical training nor simply gymnastics, but discipline for future usefulness to the student in whatever industrial work he may be engaged.

The effects of the shop training have been noticeable from the beginning in cultivating efficiency of action and accuracy of judgment in matters of common concern, and multitudes of students all over the State testify to its merits in the training course for farmers. A few notable architects, builders and machinists have had the start in their life work here.


The Musical department was organized in 1863. Instructors have been appointed as follows:

1863 Mrs. Ella C. Beckwith, Instrumental Music, 1864
1864 Prof. Charles C. Heubschman, Instrumental Music, 1866
1866 Mrs. Laura C. Lee, Instrumental Music, 1868
1866 Prof. J. E. Platt, Vocal Music, 1883
1868 Miss Emily M. Campbell, Instrumental Music, 1869
1869 Mrs. Hattie V. Werden, Instrumental Music, 1877
1877 Miss Carrie Steele, Instrumental Music, 1878
1878 Prof. Wm. L. Hofer, Instrumental Music, 1886

In 1886 the present incumbent, Alexander B. Brown, was appointed Professor of Vocal and Instrumental Music. In 1889 Miss Susan W. Nichols was his assistant, followed by Miss E. Ada Little in 1890.

At first the department was little more than a singing school, with a single piano as its equipment; but, keeping pace with the continuous and general development of the College, it is now almost a conservatory in its opportunities for study, though still limited in those for practice. At first music was considered only a special study; now it may be taken at any time by ladies, as an industrial, and by special arrangement may be taken as a study, not as an accomplishment merely, but disciplinary as well; in its acquirement not only exciting the emotions, but quickening the intellectual powers.

Its methods combine with the first lessons instructions in harmony and rythm, which constitute a foundation for whatever super-structure the taste, talents or necessities of the student may require; and this without increasing the time for the rudimental studies, because of the improved text books and charts.

The prismatic charts, nine oil paintings twelve feet four inches square, are an original presentation of the doctrine of expression, and have received the endorsement of several of the best musicians, teachers and artists of the country, most notable of these, Remenyii, the world renowned virtuoso. They are the mutual work of Rev. Robert Brown, of Kansas Conservatory, Leavenworth, and Prof. A. B. Brown, assisted by Miss M. J. Douglass, and painted by Wm. J. McNutt, under their direction.

The present equipment for practice and effect, in addition to the prismatic charts - a duplicate set of the original - and a small library, are: five pianos, one a Chickering concert grand, four organs, one a pedal organ, and a double bass, with other necessary furniture. Other orchestra] and band instruments, with text books, are furnished by the bead of the department for a small rental.

The daily opening exercise at chapel is at present led by an orchestra of twenty members and a choir of eighty voices, the other four hundred students, furnished with books, constituting the grand chorus. By means of this daily drill of the year and the weekly rehearsals of the singing classes and orchestra, the commencement exercises furnish a musical program more interesting than any number of hired professionals could present.

The department furnishes the musical numbers for all college exercises, assists the literary societies, and has for the promotion of higher culture: the Glee Club for gentlemen, the Cecilia Society for ladies, the orchestra for ladies and gentlemen, and the Cadet Band, which furnishes music for the battalion drills of the military department and other occasions.

Under the direction of the department, the oratorio of "The Creation;" the cantata, "Jephthah and his Daughter;" the operas, "The Chimes of Normandy" and "The Bohemian Girl" have been successfully rendered by students and citizens in the opera house at Manhattan.


The Printing department was established in December, 1873, as part of President Anderson's general scheme to give industrial training greater prominence than it had hitherto enjoyed. Twenty-five pairs of cases, 200 pounds of long primer type and a proofpress were provided. This material was used wholly for practice in type-setting and drill in punctuation, capitalization and syllabication, no paper being printed at that time. Classes were taught by President Anderson and M. Schillerstrom.

A. A. Stewart was made Superintendent of Printing in April, 1874, having a class of fourteen persons, which was increased to thirty-one during the following term.

The first number of the Industrialist bears the date Saturday, April 24, 1875. President Anderson was managing editor, and J. H. Folks, business manager. The paper was a three-column folio, and the type used was brevier and nonpareil. The salutatory stated that the paper was issued "in part, to afford the members of the printing classes regular drill in the work of printing and publishing a weekly newspaper; in part, to epitomize current events for the benefit of its student readers; in part, to photograph the work of the several departments of the Agricultural College for the information of its patrons and the people; in part, to discuss the educational system and methods of Kansas from the standpoint of the rights and necessities of the industrial classes; in part, to contribute, so far as it can, such practical facts of science as may increase the profit or pleasure of the farmers, mechanics, or business men or women of Kansas."

Mr. Stewart resigned in 1881, and Geo. F. Thompson, a third-year student, was elected to fill the vacancy. The rapid increase in the subscription list of the Industrialist made necessary improved facilities, and the half-medium Gordon job press on which the paper had been printed for seven years gave place, in 1882, to a Babcock country cylinder, which is yet in use. A small (eighth medium) Gordon job press was added about the same time. The paper, meanwhile, had been enlarged to a four-column folio.

J. S. C. Thompson, the present incumbent, was elected superintendent in January, 1887. In 1889, the Industrialist underwent a typographical change, the size of the sheet being slightly increased, the columns reduced in number to three to the page and increased in width, and ten-point type employed as a "dress." The display type in the office being well nigh worn out by this time, it was thrown out, and new faces, on the uniform standard system of bodies shortly before agreed upon by the type-founders, put in. A year later about twenty fonts of wood type, - the first to find a place in the office, - a rule cutter, a rule curving and a rule mitering machine were added. The present equipment consists of cases and stands sufficient for the accommodation of a hundred students, and the attendance has at different times nearly reached that figure. Besides the Babcock cylinder press with steam power, for newspaper and book work, there is a quarter-medium new Liberty (just purchased), and an eighth-medium Gordon for smaller work. The inventory of the department is about $4,000, against $1,107 in 1876.


Before the reorganization of the College in 1873, modern history, Grecian history, general history and United States history were taught at various times and in different parts of the course of instruction. For several years after that event United States history was taught in the first year of the "Woman's Course" and general history in the later years of other courses. Since the year 1879, United States history has been a winter term study of the first year, and general history a fall term study of the third year, and constitutional law a winter term study of the fourth year, except that in 1881; the last named was pushed forward into the spring term. The new course of study which will go into effect during the year 1891-2, provides that United States history shall be required on entrance; general history shall be as now in the fall term of the third year, and that a course in constitutional history and civil government shall be given during the winter term of the third year. Constitutional law is dropped from the curriculum. Political economy, now taught in another department, will be transferred to this, and the chair name will probably be changed. All training for citizenship will, hereafter, be under one instructor. Though others have been teachers of history in the College, only the following have been designated as such by the catalogue: President Denison, '70-3, history, political economy, and mental and moral philosophy; Prof. J. H. Lee, '74-5, English and history; Prof. W. H. Cowles, '82-5, English and history; Prof. O. E. Olin, '85-8, English and history; Prof. F. H. White, '88-&nsp;-, history and constitutional law.

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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