The Making of a University: The personal memoirs of one intimately associated with its growth, James M. Farr


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The Making of a University: The personal memoirs of one intimately associated with its growth, James M. Farr
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Farr, James Marion, 1874-
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Box: 2
Folder: University Archives Small Collections - James Marion Farr Manuscripts - The Making of a University


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North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Alachua -- Gainesville

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University of Florida
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sobekcm - AA00003151_00001
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Full Text

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The personal memoirs of one intimately

associated with its growth


James M. Farr



my wife

Who for mau years was mother, nurse and

confidant of generations of students ena

whose aid in preparing those pages has

been invaluabloo


The onus of guilt for the perpetration of this monograph must

rest upon the distinguished Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences of

the University of Florida* He cannot plead ignorance, for he and t have

been close friends and aseooiates through many year) and he knew beforehand

that I might ca mit grave indiscretions in raking up the men and affairs

of bygone days.

I feel that some word of explanation as to the conditions under

whioh these pages were written is due me. They have been composed at

intervals between periods of illness when all work or thought was iam

possible. I have been completely isolated from all aide to memory, human

or documentary* No mans meory is so retentive and accurate that it can

recall a period nearly forty years removed with oorreotness of detail.

Unfortunately, not even a small dictionary is aooessible. This has some-

times proved embarrassing For example, I wanted to use the abstract

noun derived from the verb "to demote" and I wouldn't decide whether it

was "demotion" or "demotement", so I had to change the phraseology.

This is not history, but distinctly personal memoirs reminiso

oonoes of persons and incidents as seen and recalled by me, As I read

over these pages, I get a distinct impression of a tone that is a blending

of Pepyst Diary and Walter Winohell's syndicated column mixed with a

strong dash of Farr's class room mannerisas. But I do believe that a

candid reading will throw some light on this period of struggle where

the very existence of the school seemed in doubt and some idea of the

blood-sweating agonies that were endured in its upbuilding. If it will

help the younger men, secure and at ease in an established institution, to

appreciate the exertions of those who rendered this possible, this has been

worth while*



The following pages are an attempt to carry out the suggestion

of Dean Leigh of the University of Florida that I commit to writing my

recollections of events leading to the establishment of the institution

and of its earlier period. This in not to be a formal history (a task

undertaken by my friend and oolleaguo,Dr. C. L* Crow), but a more per&

sonal and intimate oaooulnt of the incidents and personalities which were

ooncerned with this formative period. Reminisoonoes of this kind ars

of necessity, somewhat vague, fragentbary and disjointed, but written

always with the hope that they may help to throw light on the subject to

the future student of the educational history of the state, In some

respects, I am, I suppose, the logical person to undertake this reoordj

for my connection with the venture began a few weeks after I had received

my Doctor's degree from Johns Bopkins University in 1901 and has been

continued unbroken till the present.

As my memory travels back through the past to this first year

of the twentieth century, I feel as though I had crossed some rough,

tumultuous, storm-ewept sea of time and landed in a foreign country.

1938 to 19011 In the history of the rae a brief period, the twinkling

of an eye, but one fraught with changes material, ideological and

spiritual which made life today quite different from life in the

nineteenth century*

My great.grandmother, who was born in the first and died in

the last decade of the century, frequently entertained my boyhood with

acoou*ts of her youth and early womanhood in the days before railroad,

telegraph, telephone, electric light had transformed the conditions of

living. I found it difficult to imlafg living without these commonplace


contrivances into which I was born and aeoopted as a matter of course.

I know existence in an age devoid of automobiles, airplanes, notion

pictures and radio; but my children, who were born among these things

take them too as a matter of course. If lifo be measured in tera* of

Time and Spaoe, those meohanioal inventions have made a marked difforenoe

in the methods of life not only of individuals but of nations and the

human rose

Even more drastic are the Ideologioal changes, diffoormoes

in modes of thought, eoonomio, political, sooiologieal whloh divide

that older world from the present* The World War and its aftermath of

bitterness and disillusion fix these ohanges. It Is a situation

analogous to other periods when the thought prooeoss of Europe have

undergone violent change the Renatissamo of the fifttenth, the

Humanitarianism of the eighteenth and the Darwiniam of the ninetenth


The "sitdown" strike as a legitimate method in labor conflict

destroys the idea of the sacredness of private property and the duty of

government to defend it* The Rooseveltian policy of taxation, its aim

the destruction of great private wealth, haa received an overwhelming

endorsement by the Amerioan people, The militant demooraoies whioh won

the World War are on the defensive while Soviet Russla on the one side

and Fasoist Italy and Nazi Germany, with their dictators, are the

aggressive forces in world politico, An English king abdicates ihis

throne to marry a twice divorced American .osmoner. Was rages on two

continents and the nations arm as never before* A parlous time and the

end not yet*

Mest far-reaching of all are the vielad mr hfts in the aesthetic,


ethical and religious conoopts whteh had prevailed. Attendance upon

church *srvioes, strict observanoe of the Sabbath as a day of rest and

worship, serious discussion of religious dogoa as ideals of conduct

onoumbent upon all reputable eitisens are fading* Sach subjects as

divorce, birthwoontrol, even woant s virtau are no longer viewed as they

weroe A I sit here, I soe a group of young vwomn on the beaoh. When

I contreat their fig*tlea attlr with the bathingwouits in which the

women of the older generation were bundled, I can realise the change

which has ocoured in the whole sexoeonoept. It is hard to thiar o6 iV'Ltor

Herbert and Gersarin, Longfellow and 8Sndberg bnarthorns ,t Heomingway

or Faulkner as belonging to the ame nation and era.

MAuoational theory and systems, ultraoonsevative in their

whole history, seem to have amg to the other extreme bxperimentations,

the overthrow of accepted view, the change in method and subject.

matter of instruction have rendered this usually most stable of hunan

affairs a matter of conjecture and unoertaints.

When these diffoernoee between the Vietorian and the younger

generations are stated thus sharply, they convey only a partial truth.

On the other side lie the faot tt th the human race is a continuum and

division into "generations' is only roughly true* With each decade, eaoh

year, each month, each day, each oment, a certain number of the race

are removed by death and a certain number of the race are added by birth;

but at any given moment or day or month or year or decade the vaet

majority of the race are the same as they were in the proceeding period.

Roughly the adult population at any given time can be divided into three

generations the young$ the middle aged, the elderly. (A young ane say,

of twenty-ofive a middle aged one of fortyfive, and an elderly one of

seityvflv,,) There is, of course, no olear line of demarkation between

the generation! they insensibly merge one into the other. Consequently

a break with the past is never eaoplotoe As the old order changes into

the new, both sides, the conservative and the radical, are reciprocally

influence. Let me use myself as an exaple. I gSwr up in the later

Vietorian period in a typical MidAViotorian household. I accepted its

ideals of Oonduct, its major premises, its concepts with unquestioning

adherene,* A woman who exposed her person in the near nudity of a

modern bathing-auit or indulged in smoking in public places oould belong

to only one olass in society. Today I find myself watching the young

women disporting thmselve on the beaoh with considerable pleasure and

approval. I confess to some onjoymeat in making an aftertdinner cigarette

with my wife and daughters

The inception of the idea of a state university for Florida

was coinoident with the end of Viotorianism and its birth and early

struggles were in the first stages of the swr era of change.

That the reader my understand my point of view, it is

necessary that I begin this story with some aooount of myself and my

background. The progenitor of my family in Amerioa eram from England

in 1670 with the first group which founded the Carolina colony in

Charleston* His desorndtam moved later to the northern part of the

colony, in what afterwards became Union County, where they lived on their

plantations as slaveholders and planters until the War between the Stateso

The only historically known member of the family was Col, Wa Farrt

Chief-of*Staff to Gen. Franoes Marion, There was extensive marriage with

the other families of our own and adjoining counties producing a network


of relationship which Ive never had time or inclination to unravel. In

my youth, I made it a praotioe to olain as cousins all the pretty girls
of upper South Carolina and it worked admirably.

My early life was profoundly influenced by my fathers* y

mother had died when I was two and a half years old and my early rearing

was shared by him and my maternal grandmother, He was graduated with

honors from the South Carolina Military Academy in 1863 and served during

the remaining period of the War between the Biate as Captain of Co. H,

15th Reg* 8.C.U. He was wounded twie, at Gettysburg and at the Wilderw

noes. At the lose of the war, after a year of sohoolw-eaohing and one

of farming, he settled down to a business life in the little village of

Union, For many years he was president of the Morchants and Planters

National Bank of that town. He retired from active life in his eightieth

year and survived four years longer* He was a shrewd and sueoessful

business man and banker a pious and devoted elder of the Presbyterian

church a progressive and disinterested civie leader in the upbuilding

of his oamunity. In the history of parenthool, I doubt whether any

boy had a better father than mine.

I was born in Union, 8, C. FebeUary o 4 187,# Two very early

memory pictures remain as vivid today as though Sbey had eooured

yesterday the death-bed of my mother and the 'redoahirtb parade which

passed our home with my father in owmeand. I grow up in the usual

surroundings of a mall southern village after the war, My first school*

ing was in the bale Acadepy an institution maintained by private sub.

seription, Later my father was instrumental in establishing the first

graded public school and I was sent there over my bitter protest because

all my friends and associates remained at the Aoadqay I was plunged


into an alien atmosphere the only pupil from a welloto-do family. I

averaged at least one fight per day for the first school year, but finally,

by getting likede' often enough, I won the respeot of the student body *

an invaluable training,

In September, 1890, I entered the freshman class of Davidson

College* I received my A. Be degree nd M A in 9 d y NEnglish in

*9g5 I look back on that period as one of uanixed joy. The standard "

olassioal course, Latin and Greek required the first two years and a wide

range of electives in the second .two, has left an imprint which has never

been entirely erased. Congenial studies that brought underservedly high

grades the fierce joy of athletic competition in tennis, boxing and

footballs the high grade of intellectual and cultural interest in the

student body; the friendships that have not weakened with the years -

Rev* Geo* BH Corneleon, pastor till his death of the Palmer Memorial

Church of New Orleansl Prof. Ja. B. Wharey of the University of Texas

Press. Lingle and Prof. Jae, Douglas of Davidsona that gifted and ver-

satile genius, the artist Norwood MoGilaryw these and many more. I

do not believe any student eould go through those five years without

having its stamp indelibly improee*d*

The next five years present a different story. five years of

unceasing, nerve-wraoking work at Johns Hopkins University, I was an

only ohild and my father, whose income was more than ample for his vMa ,

was willing for me to remain there as long as I liked. I majored in the

English Department under Prof, d i. H. Bright. He was a product of the

German University, his philologioa) studies being mainly under Prof.

Xduard Sievers who, at that time was the foremost scholar in Anglo.

eaaon and Teutonio philology* I respooted Bright' scholarship but did


not like him personally. Beside my English work, I took subjects in the

Romance and Germanic departments far beytmd the requirements for minors

In addition, I took work in Sanskrit and comparative Aryan philology. I

have never regretted these years of rigorous training, but I frankly

would not repeat thne for a dosen Ibotor's degrees* Much of these ao-

quisitions of scholarship has been of little use to me in my subsequent

teachings but three things were invaluable fearlessness in undertaking

work no matter what its amount or diffioultyl a knowledge of methodology

in hatuling any scholarly problems and the ideal of thoroughness and in.

telleotual integrity for student and teaoher.

This is the Ja*. PM Farr who on an early June day of 1901, a

few days before he was to rooeive his I ator's degree, was called into '-

his office by Dr* Bright. That interview marks the beginning of my oon.

notion with education in Florida. Before going any further with this

narrative, there is a confession whioh in fairness to the reader I should

intorpolato here My becoming a "oollege professor" was not voluntary,

but the result of a compromise between my father and me, The chief

desire of his heart was to have me boocmo a Presbyterian preacher and,

failing that, a professional or business man in my home town My sole

ambition and desire, held to with absolute and unswerving fidelity sinoe

my twelfth year, was to become a "freeolanose writer and war correspondent.

Since boyhood I had given myself Spartan training to fit oe for such a

career* With the beginning of the Spanish.Amerioan War, I had made

arrangements with the Baltimore Bun, for whioh I had been writing dramatic

oriticismn to go to Cuba as their correspondent. My father absolutely

refused to give his consent. To him such a career was utterly abhorentl

a man, to be a good citizen, must have a looal habitation and a maume

He was so profoundly grieved that I believed his health would be wrecked*

So I gaem up my life ambition and we oompromiaed on teaching. As I look

back$ I think I was wrong* No man should sacrifice his calling at

another behest* With this confession that I was not a teacher by

shoioe off my oonsoienoe, we can return to the story.

Dr. Bright wanted to discuss with me a teaching position for

the coming year* The situation in the department was unusual. Of the

twenty-two men who had entered with me, only three of us had survived

and the other two, Brown and Miles, wre returning to positions preo

viously held. Thus I was the only graduate from the English Department

in quest of a position*, My friend West (now professor of Education in

the University of Miami) wanted me to aooept the position of instructor

in English in the Boy's High Sohool of Baltimore from which he was being

promoted* This was attractive in two waIt it would keep as in olos

touch with Hopkins sholarshipj and Baltimore was the home of my future

wife* But I was not keen on a High School job*

Bright pulled from his desk a bundle of letters and said,

"Look over thaes"* There were ten of them each asking him to reooma

mend a suitable man to fill a vacanoy. They ranged from the University

of Vermont and several small colleges of the Ad4ddl4 Wkt to various

high aehools throughout the country* Only one letter was from the

wiuth, After pondering over them for a while I asked him where he

wanted me to go. He replied that the Vermont position both from the

standpoint of prestige and also tf salary was the most attractive but

with his usual brutal disregard for the student's feelings, he added,

"I don't think you are suited for that place* Your age, your limited


teaching experience, your narrow Southern provinelalims and eombatirve:

disposition are all against your making a success of it*. Then he picked

up the letter from the South and said, "Here is something that should

exactly suit you. It is among your own people of the Southe Its newly

elected resident is a Hopkins lootor and, I believe, a Varginia aris-

tocratt The school is ob.eure and a good place for a young teacher to

make his initial mistakes So if I were you, Itd apply for this position*

Then with his wintry mile, he added$ 8Plorida is one of the few states

without a state university. It needs one and if you go there with that

task in mind you will be more oontent in the teaching profession," The

shrewd old devil had known that I dreaded the placidity of a cut and

dried academic career* With this last dig, he dismissed me to think the

matter over*

I wrote my father immediately, especially calling his attention

to the meager salary of nine hundred dollars. He wired at once to apply

for the position and not to let the question of salary interfere* I

fear this latter statement oest his many thousands of dollars later on, I

also consulted the young lady and she too was delighted with the prospect

of a romantic existence under the sunny skies of the land of flowers. So,

aooampanied by the usual letters of reooemendation and indorsement, I

wrote to President Thoee H, Taliaferro of the Agrioultural and Meohanical

College of Florida# Lake City, Florida, applying for the position of

professor of Slglish in the institution. In due oohIe, I was informed

that I had been nominated by him for the position and elected by the

Board of Trustees, that the session would open on September 16th and I

should report for duty a few days earlier

Thus in blind ignorance of the whole situation, knowing nothing


of Florida, nothing of it eduoatioonal system, nothing of the institution

to which I was going, with one idea fixed in my mind, that Florida should

have a state university, and I was going there to help in its establish

nmnt, I committed myself with the superb oonfidonoe of inexperienced

youth to the venture* Never once have I regretted that decision and as

I look baok over the years I fol that I have ha, to uee the word of

"Toddy" Roosevelt, a "bully" time a strenuous life full of the joy

of oonfliot and never a day of stagnant academic ofa*l My only regret

is that I oould not die with my boots on in the midst of the struggle.



I was married in the earlier part of August. My wife was a eon.

vent bred girl, with one year of Washington society under the chaperonage

of her aunt, the wife of Capt Ainswoorh, U. 8. No ne spent a few wvewq at

Berkeley Springsj West VirginiaL and then joined my father, Capt. Farr, and

my step-mother for a while in Saluda, North Carolina From there we pro"

*eodod to aUion to prepare for our journey southarrdo

We arrived shortly before our midday dinner, Mother began apol-

ogising for the mal when my father interrupted her to raark, "Why, Julia.

it is very mooh bettor than I used to get when I was in jail t My wife'

eyes glr as big as seuors and I oan still see the look of horrified

uasemont with which she gased at him. I oould reod the thought flashing

through her mia-e. Wfy God, have I married into the family of a jail-bird

The fast was, that ny father, together with most of the prominent white eitio

anes of the ooanunity, had nominally speat six months in jail during the

period 14l4ately after the war, called the "Beoonstruotion Period% when

the state was oomupied by Federal troupe They wre arrested under iadict-

eont as members of the Ku Klux Klan. My father ws never tried and died

some fifty years afterwards with, I msppose, this iniotment still hang.

ing over hima She was somewhat reassured, however, when a feo evening*

later a huge reception was given in our honor attended by representative

Osoeiety" of our om, and neighboring towmen Even nowr though, when I

occasionally outrage her dense of social propriety, I am told that nothing

better could be expected from the on of a "jail-birdl t

Then oame the journey to Florida* I naturally think of this

first trip in comparison with my last one. The contrast both in traveling

conditions and in ry physical condition is marked* Four years ago I was

driven in my oar by my daughter from Union to Riverside Hospital, Jackson*

ville, in a condition of utter collapse, following a severe attack of

Angina Peotoris from which I la still incapacitated from any active ex-

ertion. In a high-powered ear over hardowurfaeed roads we made the

journey in a few hours,

I know nothing of railroad routes into Florida and simply

asked the Southern Railway ticket agent for two tickets to Lake City,

As I afterwards learned, the shorter and easier route would have been

from Uhion to Jacksonville over the Southern and from there over the

Seaboard to Lake City* Owing to rivalry, I preoume, I was routed to

Wayoroess Georgia ,ovr the Southern and then over the Plant systea .

Leaving Wayoross, we were shifted four or five ties from one small dirty,

slow local combination freight and passenger train which stopped at every

pSgsty to another till all sense of progress and direction was lost,

Mile after interminable mile through vast stretehes of desolate, barren,

wateroovered Ood*foreaken country anperfeot nightmare of a trip.

Night closed in and still our little antiquated engines puffed and pull.

ed and backed and jerked. My wife was reduced to a state of tearful tero

ror, and I was beginning to wonder whether there was really sueh a place

as Lake City. In later yeareu I have poured over maps of Florida trying

to trace the course of that journey. The agent who concocted that route

must have been a grin practical joker determined to give us a complete

tour of the State.

Finally after an hour or two on our last shift, the train oame

to a grinding halt and the conductor, old Capt. Hampton, who afterwards

became a great friend, informed us that we had actually arrived at our


destination, From the coach steps we looked out on a dimly lighted stretch

broken by a few 41iapidated, unpainted buildings and stepped down into

ankle-deep sand. Mrs. Farr, on the verge of hysterics, was taploring to

turn around and start immediately for home* Capt. Hampton, in his gruff,

jovial voioe, said, "Lady, you've got the sand of Florida in your shoes

and can never' get it out" a true saying for the sand of Florida in

our shoes and the love of Florida in our hearts remain till this day,

Several times in the course of the years, I've been tempted by offers of

more lucrative positions in older and better esablished institutions,

but when it came to a showdown I remained*

After some search, we found an old negro with a ZUIapidated

coach and gaunt, bone*protruding old horse who agreed to take us to the

hotel. It was nearing midnight and as we slowly orept down the main

street of the village our nostrils were assailed by an odor which seemed

the distillate of all the putrefactions in the world our introduction

to the luscious fruit of the tropics, the guavaw

We stopped in front of a ramshaokled old structure and after

some trouble a sleepy negro hight porter was hauled out. "Yas, Sire,

he said, rwe got plenty of roms such as they is if you oares to stay

in 'm"t Escorted by the light of a tallow candle, we inspected the

room. As the door was opened a lizard scuttled across the floor to a

rack in the wall and a dosen hugh roaches scurried to cover, Flies

were settled on the grimy window panes and the hum of mosquitoes was

audible, "We had some skeeteronete, Boss, but dey all done rotted out,"

our conductor cheerfully informed use Wl were too worn out and dis*

pirited to protest. Long after Mrs. Farr was asleep# I lay there won-

dering what kind of a "mess" I'd gotten into*


However, with morning and a good breakfast at a near-by reel

taurant, we began to feel more cheerful and to look with interest at the

magnificent oaks with their festoons of gray moss which lined the street,

I was preparing to engage conveyance out to the campus which, I had learn.

ed*,vrwas located in the western outskirts of the town, when a buggy, drawn

by two beautiful young bay horses dashed up. Down stopped a tall, broad-

shouldered man apparently in his early thirties reddish brown hair, a

pointed beard of a lighter shade, ruddy complexion, and very pale blue

eyeoo Large teoth showed in a friendly mile as he introduced himself

as President Taliaferro, We were presented to the lady with him as his

wife and, as she was also from Baltimore, Mrs FParr was immediately in

better spirits. After explaining that they had expected us to spend the

night in Jacksonville, they conveyed us across the street to a substantial

twoistoried dwelling in a large yard, with a tennis sourt, at which I had

been casting envious eyes. Here we met the owners Mrs. Taylor, and

learned that room and board had been engaged for us, subject to our ap.

proval. Our room, on the first floor, facing east with windows giving

on the front piassa and to the south on the flower garden, was very at.

traotive. This was my wife' first experience of sleepingg "down-mtairs"

and for the whole period of our stay, it was my nightly duty to

barricade windows and doors against the burglar whom she nightly ex.

peoted. The Taliaferroe left us with the promise to return to take us

over the campus in the afternoon*

At the midday meal we met the other boarders, all of whom

were oonneoted with the college. Never was a bewildered young couple

in a range land more warmly received and made to feel more welcomed.

Our trip of inspection over the oampus was disappointing, I


was fresh from the Hopkins Halls and had in mind a much more adequate

plant. The strstohoe of level, grausooovered Umwn, backed by the surw

roundtng woods with the waters of 4. lake in the distance were pleasing

Bat the academic buildings were the reverse unsightly and small they

conveyed a ptiture of poverty and neglect that was disheartening. There

were three dormitori*es two for the boys and one for the girls a two -

story structure with administrative offiooe and olasseroaom on the lower

floor and a small auditorium on the s*oonds a building in which the

eoiences with the laboratories wore housed a greenhouse for the Agri-

oultural Experiment Stationl and a few amall nonoedesript buildings, all

badly in need of repair and paint, The laboratories were eagerly

equipped, apparently inadoquato for more than elementary work* When I

asked to see the library where, of oourse, my main interest in equipment

lay, I was shown a few wooden shelves in the outer office of the pres-.

dent, where the registering and bookkeeping were done, on which were lose

than two hundred volumes a few. out-ofodate works of ref ernce and a

nonmdesor~Pt oollootion of novels donated by frienO( O

The next afternoon, a preliminary mooting of the faculty was

held and I had am first view of my colleagues as a whole. My experience

with faoulties had been limited to two# those of Davidson and Hopkinsl

the former, a notable collootion of cultured soholarsl the latter, easily

the most brilliant assembly of intolloot in Ameri*a. It is needless to

say the contrast weas xtreme. There was something nmaturely arrogant

and patronizing in the attitude of Taliaferro and an undertone of sullen

resentment and hostility in that of the faculty which left an unpleasant

impression on me* The fr eident' introduction of ma a*s with himself,

a ootor of philosophy from Johns Hopkins University, was a studiedly


iuaolent reminder to them of the inadequacy of their own training*

With be pasge of the years, memory retains only a vague drab

composite picture of this group. Tw figures stand out from this baook

ground, Dre Yooum and Prof* Humr The former, A Methodist preacher*

sehoolteaoher, originally from the Northwest, had been engaged in educae

tional work in Florida for many years As I heard the story afterwards,

he had been president of the CollOg while "Unole Jimile" DoPeIII another

Methodist preacher, was Director of the Experiment Station. They

quarrelled over a strip of land on which Flaglor Gymnatium was after

wards located, lying between the campus and the Expertmtnt Station

grounds. Each sent a gang of 'miggers" to take possession* The rival

gangs started fighting, the two principals came down to quell the riot,

and themselves got into a tussle a base slander, no doubt, but a cur.

rent tale* Dr. Yooum was the old type general scholar who knew a little

of every uabject, but had speoialised in none. He had a somewhat cold,

but kind and agreeable personality. I envied his placid, waooth, un.

hurried bearing in the olassrocas He could teaoh all day and come out

unruffled and untired. He often told me, with prophetic foresight, what

my fate would bee He said no heart could stand the strain I was putting

on mine in my method of teaching and working. After a lifetime devoted

to education in Florida, he was turned loo*e, dependent upon his children

for support a blot upon the good name of the state. He was buried in

Ooala from the residence of his sonainolarw State Senator Gary, of

Marion County* It was a peculiarly sad oooasion for me In JulyI had

buried my father in his 84th year* I returned to Gainesville to assist

in the burial of my old Pfiend, Major &hn Tenoh, in his 84th year, and

now Dr. Yooum in his 84th year*


The other members of that faculty are no longer remembered

vividly good oconsoientious, pUdding, badly-prepared poorly.paid

teachers all of whom undoubtedly gave in service more than their
miserly salaries deserved, Berger in t = orset in Physios Miller

in Chemistry Gossard in ntoaologys Cox and Wharton in Ingineeringl

Stookbridge and Conner in Agrioulture Hadley and Miss D*She in the

n"usiness Colleges! Miss Figuaroa in Spanish; Marion in the sub-fresh-

man clas s*me teaching elsewhere, some in other callings, some dea*d

This was the third faulty meeting I had ever attended and#

I believe, the most embarrassing, though, Goodness knows, the other two

were bad enough. My first faculty attendance was at Davidson College,

where, with other culprits among whom I like to remember was by dis.

tinguished friend, the Rev, Geo. R. Cornelson, we were summoned to show

oause why we should not be expelled for the heinous orime of stealing

Pres. Shearer's prise duoks and making a pileau out of them. y second

attendance was before the Hopkins faulty on the ooosion of my oral

examination for my degree. I don't believe I shall be more frightened

when I appear before the bar of eternal justice than I was by this

ordeal. I still think of those Hopkins professors as a mob of mnlig.

nant fiends torturing a dmnned soul. This faulty meeting at Lake City

was the worst.

When routine business was over, Talitferro called upon me,

as an addition to the faculty, to speak. The memory of that sensation,

(it was "stagewfright* pure and simple), seem queer now to one who has

spent thirt-seeven years in daily and constant public speaking in one

form or another. The oall was wholly unanticipated and n~ mind was a

blank* The only spark of an idea that occurred to me was Dr. Bright's


words about the need of a state university in Florida the most inauso

pioious theme at the most inopportune t ie imaginable. So I launched out

in a harangue that must have sounded both silly and presumptuous to these

men so much more experienced in the educational affairs of Florida than I*

Since that occasion, I've been a oonsoientious objector to faculty mei-t

ings where the umbers are allowed to expose their paucity of ideas in a

flow of words.

The next day around two hundred and fifty students wre regis.

terd about 60% aen and 40% womea one third in the subofremhnan olassese

A large percent was from Columbia Oaunty and those adjoining it. The

registration was haphazard and doeultory, Most of the freshmen were pro.

noted fromr..he subefreshman class of the proceeding year while most of

the now students went into the sub-freshman class. The patronage of the

school was largely restricted to the looality in which there were no

adequate high schools, in fact only three or four of recognized standards

existed in the aate Jaoksonville, Tempa, Pensaola and practically

all the college material from those places went out of the tate, in

many instances to their father's Alm Matere

On September 16th, I met my first elase* My teaching experience

was exes6dingly limited. During my Senior year at Davidson, I had taught

the subftreshBan slass in Latin for my friend Whary who was ill, for a

whole week. In my last year at Hopkins, I had conducted a class in

Shakespeare in the RandolphoHarrison Finishing School for Young Ladies.

Mrs. Randolph-Harrison, as you were informed on first meeting her and on

all subsequent meetings, had the blood of seven presidents of the United

States flowing in her veinse Notwithatanding this handicap, she main~

tainted an excellent sohobl and the best families of Baltimore were its

patrons. My class was composed of sixteen young ladies, among wham was a

Miss Poe, a sister of the famous Prineeton football player*

My classes were six in ua~bert a rbb-freshman and four college

classes in English and one in German, which I volunteered to add to the

ourrioulum. I was the whole instructional staff of the English Depart*

ment and so remained for a number of years I had been warned by Dr.

Yoeum that my predeoesaor was a young lady whose chief forte was elooutiong

and that the English hour was the one for psuaxtion and uaumsentn The

student's main duty was to appear appreciative to her recital of the gone

of literaftre* Thisi of course, to one of Bright's Hopkins students, was

a red rag to a bull, I had made up my mind that from now on the English

courses should be among the most eating and difficult in the college.

Two further departures from the usual practice I had resolved* First,

every paper of whatever nature submitted to the instructor should be

carefully read, criticized, graded and returned. I knew from experience

that a student, when he found the instructor reading only part of the

papers submitted would gamble on the ohanoe of his paports being among those

Wnreado My second innovation was that in composition work, I should only

indicate errors and require the student to oorreot them before submitting

the paper a second time* I was amused some years later to receive a

phaphlet labelled the "Harvard Method" which described my exact procedure.

A third ideal for which I strove was unattainable, that is, that eaoh

classroom hour should count for something in the life of every student,

I think I covered my inexperience fairly well, but occasionally

I was embarrassed. My Junior olass, composed equally of boys and girls,

was beginning to read King Lear* One of the dear girls, reading the

dramatic personae, shrilled outtShe question, "Oh, Dr. Far, what is a


bastard?" The boys snickered, some of the girls turned red, and I gulped

once or twice before I could find my voioe* Remember, this was in Victorian

days before "bastard" had become a term of endearment among friends. With

what dignity I could command I instructed her to consult her dictionary.

My first serious conflict with a classes was on the oooasion of the

first monthly test* I had been brought up at Davideon under a time-honored

"honor system" in which the various classes had complete jurisdiction over

any question of unfair or dishonest methods in standing examinations. I

had had the painful duty of presiding over my olass in a trial, oonviotion

and expulsion of a member for heating. My determination to teach under

such a system was, and still is, unalterable* I found the other members of

the faulty unsympathetio and inclined to sooff* President Taliaferro, how-

ever, approved and gave me permission to try the experiment* Before putting

my questions on the board, I explained as forcefully as I could the "honor

system", Then I posted the test and left the room. At the end of the

period I returned, collected the papers in a tense silenoe, and dismissed

the olassa That night, on examining the papers, I found that, with no ex-

oeption, the answers had been copied verbatim from the text-book. The next

day the olass assembled, I put the papers on my desk, called the roll, and

then, for one hour, I told that group of boys and girls what I thought of them.

Since that day I've made many hundreds of speeches and have had oooasion to

do some plain talking, but I still regard this effort as ma masterpiece of

vituperation* At its close I threw the text on the desk and left the room

with the declaration that I refused to teach or even associate with human

beings so devoid of a sense of honor. It was melodramatic, of course, and

a gamble, but it won. That evening a delegation from the olass (three girls


and two boys) called on met They acknowledged their guilt, apologized,

asked to be given another test, and promised that they would stand by me

in this move* From that day till the present, while there have been

sporadic oases of cheating, I am sure that an overwhelming majority of my

students have lived up to the letter and spirit of that agreement. Let

me say, in passing, that I have observed that the failure to conform to

the system has occurred mainly in the classes of those instructors who

do not believe in it and have failed in cooperation on their parts

My career as a public speaker began with an invitation from Profeseor

Corr, principal of the Dade City Sohool, to deliver an address in his com-

munity. The school-house was filled with children from the primary grade

up, with a sprinkling of parents. I delivered a very solemn and highly

technical address on the "Development of the English Drama" that would have

been suitable for a trained audience of specialists. The children squirmed,

the young couples munched peanuts, the elders yawned and a baby oriedl but

their tolerant pat6bnoo was a tribute to Southern eourte r Vy second trip

was to Stetson University to convoy a debating team which I had coached to

meet the "Hatters". On our arrival, I was greatly insulted by an elderly

professor' taking me for one of the debaterse Three members of the

Supreme-Court aoted as judges. Mush to zu surprise and chagrin we lost*

Next day, on the train, I asked the judges 'hy they had given the decision

to our opponents* The Chief Jutiooe told me that they thought it was the

proper thing to decide in favor of the home team* We accepted no more

challenges for debates with Steteon. As we had no department of public

speaking, I had entire charge of such aotivitiesl the various declamation,

oratorical and debating contests*


Another activity was athetios. Baeidoa keeping up with my tennms,

I aided President Taliaferro in ooaohing the first football toea put out by

the oolleges Our rivals were 8oetson and the East Florida Seminary at

Gainesvilleo This was before the days of our membership in the 8,I.A.A.,

and it was a rough and tumble, ateh-asaoateh-een, proceeding* We main-

tained, in the spring, a baseball team of hired player who made no pretense

of being students9 There was, at least, no sham or hypocrisy about it*

The enthusiasm of the studpatobi dy and its hatred of the enemy were vooifor-

ously rampant t every contest, and on several oooasions a general fight was

narrowly averted* The present-day contests, withX all their pomp and parade

and interchange of sourtesies, oemn somewhat tame in oomparisono

This participation in the Curricular and oxtra-ourrioular activities of

the college, together with the nooessary sooial and oivie duties of the posi-

tion, made this first year a strenuous life. I had, like all Hopkins students,

left the University filled with high resolutions and ambitions to continue ad-

vanoed research work and to win a place of respect in the academic world.

Soon, however, I had to faoo the real situation and to realize the hard faot that

what time and strength and energy I had must be wholly devoted to my position*

It was a deliberate choice, made after mature consideration, and I have never

regretted it* But it led me, in later years, to try to arrange for the younger

men in my department the time and encouragement to pursue their advanced-work.

As these reminisoenoes are, after a fashion, a kind of "Apologia pro vita mea",

I feel that I must explain and vindioate my lack of productive scholarship*

The scholarly questions I should have investigated, the articles I should have

written, the books I should have published (aooording to Hopkins ideals) had,

of necessity, to remain dream-ohildren in face of the practical demands of the

immediate situation*

When, some years ago, President Bolt wrote me a gracious letter in-

forming me that Rollins College desired to confer upon me the honorary

degree of Doctor of Literature, I replied that I should be most pleased

and honored but that I wondered how he would astify it to the public. In

oonferring the degree, he answered this by stating that the degree was in

recopition of my whole-hearted devotion to the teaching of students and

the welfare of mg institution* As conditions have changed and our younger

men are no longer oppressed by the dire needs of the situation, it seems to

me right that they should learn of the times that went before*

The year oloaed with the usual and appropriate Oommenoement exercises -

the pisoe de resistance being a performance of Goldsmith's "She Stoops to

Conquer", by my department Iunediately afterards, Mrs* Farr and I took

boat from Jacksonville fbr Charleston where we spent several weeks at my

grandmothers sumer cottage on Sulliven's Island* The rest of the usnemr

was spent with my father in upper Carolina.

My second year began more auspiciously* I returned, no longer a

stranger in a strange land, and with my teaching load materially lightened

by the fact that I had worked out with some degree of definiteness the

courses in English. I had discarded entirely the curriculum of my pre-

deoessor as out of line with my training and views as to its methods and

content, and had put in courses sanmehat along the line offered at Davidson

by my teacher of collegiate English, Dr. W. 8. Currell. Mile not a great

sohola; he still stands, in my opinion, as the most attractive and inspiring

teacher of Ihglish in the South His influence was, however, muoh modified

by that of Bright.


The value of any academic course is determined by three condition-

ing factors the nature of the subject matterI the training and ability

of the instructor the preparation and capacity of the student. I had

attempted to set up more or less standardized college courses but had

learned that the wind had to be tempered to the shorn lamb* The sub-

freshman course had boee spelling, grammar and elementary compositions

the freshman, a more or less (mainly less) standard course in composition

and rhetoric the sophomore, the usual "survey" course in English litera-

ture) the junior, a half-year in Shakespeare and the Drama) the senior,

a somewhat ambitious course in the novele In addition, I gave a beginners'

course in German. In this second year two cour es were added my German

class demanded a second year, and I felt the need of a course in public

speaking and debate* This gave me seven courses and a total of 84 teach-

ing hours per week with no aid in handling the written work of which I re-

quired a more then usual amount*

There was little change in the faculty. Berger, of the mathematics

department, had left, offended by Taliaferro's continual interference with

his work* An athletic coach had been added* And Miss Figuaroa, the

Spanish teacher, had been replaced by a young man from the Univrsity of

North Carolina, Zebulon Vanoe Judd, now head of the Department of Education

at Alabama Polytechnic. Judd and I contracted a warm friendship which

persists to the present. We spent anuh time together playing tennis in

the afternoons and reading quantities of Spanish, French and German litera-

tures in the eveningse

The 1902-08 session was much like the preceding one. The rift between

a majority of the faculty and the President was widening and it was not

difficult to **e trouble ahead. In the spring of 1908 a first step in the


direction of a State University was taken when the Legislature enacted a

law declaring the A. & M. College at Lake City the University of Florida.

It was a somewhat foolish and futile gesture but, at leat, in the right

direction. The mere change of name did not affect the educational status

of the institution, nor that of the State as a whole. Several of my col-

leagues, knowing my advocacy of a State University, asked me, rather ear-

oastically, if my desire had been fulfilled. I told them emphatically,

No{ Much more radical and sweeping changes in the whole educational ma-

ohinery of the State were necessary.

A great sorrow had come into the life of Mrs. Farr and me in the

death, in May, of our infant son. We carried him to Union where he was bur-

ied among his people in the old Presbyterian graveyards My wife'a health

broke and we did not return to Florida until fell,

During the suaer I had nm first offer of another position. The

little Presbyterian college at Clinton, S. C., offered me the chair of

English at a salary of $400 if they could raise it. I am sure they had

their eyes rather on my fathers purse-strings then on the acquisition of

my professorial ability. My salary this year had been increased to $1,000

and as my living expenses were nearly three times that nuah I was, at least,

a good financial investment for the State.

This year had brought me confidence in myself as a teacher, the begin-

nings of a wide acquaintanceship mang the oitisens of the State, and same

experience in public speaking* Due to the facts that my father was a sealous

official in the Confederate Veterans' organisation and as step-mother very

active in the U. D. C., and that a relative, General"States Rights"Gist, had

had many soldiers from this part of Florida in his brigade I was given numr-

ous opportunities to address the so bodies


If I had dreaded the life of academic calm, my illusion was dispelled

in the third and last year of the Taliaferro regime. The oo-eduoational

system was abandoned, a measure which met with my approval. Not that I

dislike teaching girls, (their work in English is, on the whole, superior

to that of the boys)j but with the climatic conditions of Florida and the

mental immaturity of the students, co-eduoation on our campus was a mistake.

Much against my own desire the position of "officer in charge" was

forced upon me. Its duties were somewhat similar to those of a "Dean of Man%,

only much more so. The studenbr lived in the barracks and were supposed to

be under strict military discipline The boys were a scmewht wild and rough

lot, good-natured and easily controlled but given to oooasional outbursts of -

animal spirits. We had our quarters in rooms of the east portion of Barrack A.

Soon after we had settled down and apparently had everything running smoothly,

a wild demonstration was staged late one night its purport being to test me.

When I had pulled on my trousers and arrived on the soeno, they had dragged out

one of the small cannon whioh adorned the campus aAn were preparing to fire it.

I took charge of the artillery, in faot, eat on the cannon with my legs dangling

over its mouth. I laughed at them as a set of silly school-boys, attempting

a prank wholly unbecoming to University men I soon got them into an acquiescent

mood and they retired to their quarters, all of us taking it as a joke. After

that incident, I had no further trouble* I did not officially report the matter

and suooessfully opposed the President when he wmted to mete out punishment

From that time on, the officers of the battalion, who had feared being demoted

for their pirt in the escapade, were my staunchest friends and supporters.

One of the freshman, Marous Moorman, of the little settlement of Switserland,

up the St, Johns River, developed double pneumonia, Owing to the neglect of a


drunken physician. I found him in a desperate condition, and moved him into

our quarters. Mrs. Farr had her first experience, followed in later years

by many others, of nursing a student back to health I sent for my family

physician, Dr. Cronin Ives, and wired his parents, an elderly couple, who oamo

immediately and who proved almost as great a oars as the patient himself.

For days we waged an apparently hopeless battle with death* Owing to Ives'

skill, Mrs. Farr' devoted nursing, and his vigorous constitution, Moorman

recovered and developed into one of three or four really brilliant minds that

I have had the pleasure of teaching. He has, however, owing, I presume, to

some unfortunate quirk of oharafter, failed to make the mark I had expected*

During the year, we prVchased a beautiful row-boat which we plaood on

the lake behind the oourt-house square. We passed many delightful afternoons

and moon-lit nights floating over its anooth susxoe and making friends with a

huge alligator who frequently aooompanied us. He was a friendly old fellow

and aooepted our advances in good part. I should like to revisit the spot

some day and renew my acquaintance with my saurian friend who, no doubt, is

still alive and lording it over his watery home.

As the year advanced, the political pot began to siasle as it approached

the boiling point* Governor Jennings' term was drawing to a close, and oppos-

ing factions were girding themselves for the approaching spring primaries*

State politics had been dominated by "Big business" and the railroad interests

Senator Taliaferro was the oomanding personality in the State. His wife, a

Hardoe, was the aunt of Presidet Taliaforro of the so-called University* Two

candidates for the governorship were before the eleotoratee Colonel"Bob" Davis,

ex-oongresaman, represented the "ring" and the bested interested Mr# Broward,

who had been sheriff of Duval County and,earlier, had been a picturesque figure

as a gun-runner in his boat, the "Three Friends", during the Cuban insurrection,


was his opponent. The latter' s campaign was being managed by two astute

and brilliant young men, brothers, Will and Nat Bryan. The reverberations

of this approaching conflict sohoed upon the oanpues A State-supported in-

stitution is, of necessity, concerned with State politiosa and has every

right to seek the favor of the oitisens and their elected representatives.

If it did not it could osaroely survive. But nothing doons an institution

more surely thsn participation in partisan and factional politics Tenure

of office in an educational institution, based upon political "pull", inevi-

tably brings disaster,

Ihile I've always avoided partisan polities, I did become involved in

a local political fight. Lake City, when I oae there, had open barroomeS

and it was nothing unusual for the town to be "shot up" on Saturdays by

drunken cowboys from the surrounding country. In this respect it was still

a frontier village* In this year, the looal ministers, a number of leading

oitisons and especially the good women of the town determined to vote them

out of existence* Taliaferrp, for some reason, was set upon keeping the

faculty out of this struggle. The liquor interests ware strong in the State

and dangerous to antaeni4 s

Let me confess frankly I am not a prohibitionist, end was utterly opposed

to the foolish and fAtile amendment to the federal constitution* I deserve no

credit for being a total abstainer because my practice is based, not on moral,

but on physical dislike the amell, taste and effect of alcohol is extremely

repulsive* My active participation in the campaign to abolish the saloons

was caused by my knowledge that the University's growth was being retarded by

the faot that it was located in a oonmnity where whiskey was openly sold.

Anyway, it was quite a nice "sorap". My cup of enjoyment was filled to over-

flow when I received an anonymous letter threatening m with bodily injury if


I did not desist. The night of its reception I was scheduled to speak in

the courthouse square. I took the epistle with me and read it to the crowd*

It was, of course a cowardly confession of defeat and was just the maami-

tion we needed to swing the election. The "drys" carried the election by

a handsome majority*

As the year rolled on, the friction between the Presidenb and the faculty

grew more and more acute As such affairs do, it moved in a vicious oirele*

The opposition, disapproval and hostility of the faculty intensified the ar-

roganoe and domineering interference of the President! the President's arro-

gance and despotism intensified the enmity of the faculty. Fortunately the

practice which prevailed formerly of weekly meetings of the faculty had been

discontinued* So little or no opportunity was given for the public airing of

grievances which would have led to open rupture before the lose of the year.

The primaries were held in April, and Broward was nominated,the nomination

being equivalent, of course, to election. This event, in turn, greatly en-

couraged those opposed to the Presidant, and it was generally believed that he

would not survive the advent of the approaching administration* The opposi-

tion, in consequence, more open and violent in its oritioisn, increased

Taliaferro's resentment. The situation was fast becoming intolerable, and

it was evident that an explosion was inevitable*

One Sunday morning toward the end of the month, as I was dressing for

breakfast, the maid announced that Captain Oox wanted to see me on an urgent

matter* I found him paying up and down my study, a paper in his hand and

evidently excited. He asked me to read the documents It was addressed to

the Board of Trustees and was a categorical demand that Taliaterro be removed

from office. This was followed by several pages enumerating and itemising

a large number of charges against the President. They ranged all the way from

an indictment on general inefficiency and maladministration to the repeating of

scurrilous and slanderous rumors against his moral oanduot The signatures of

most of the pre-Taliaferro head professors Were appended. It was altogether

an injudicious, undignified and puerile document*

Cox then said that he and his associates desired me to know the nature of

their action, and would be glad if I should sign it with them* Of course I em-

phatioally refused to be a party to such a silly performance, I tried to show

him that their position was utterly untenable No Boly of teachers, taking the

attitude that their own tenure of office was inviolable, could attempt to dictate

to thegoverning Board, in whom all authority was vested by law, the action in any

matter* The only answer to such a demand, no matter how true the grievances

upon whioh it was based, aust, of necessity, be their own dismissal for insolent

and impudent insubordination* I further pointed out that they had weakened their

list of charges by mingling grave aoousations of inoompetnoy which were capable

of proof with wild and silly rumors and gossip that oould not be substantiated.

I suggested that their only proper and dignified procedure was to resipg The

resignation of such a body of men, who had spent years in faithful service to the

institution, would force the Board to a thorough investigation of its cause, If

the Board found that their action had been justified it would undoubtedly remove

the cause and refuse to aooept their resignations.

We were in the midst of this discussion when Mrs. Farr called me into the

hall to inform me that President Taliaferro was ascending our front steps. For

obvious reasons I didn't oare to have my study the soon of combat. They were

both husky men, and some of my furniture was fragile I told her to take him

Lnto the dining room and give him a waffle. Our cook was one of our old family



negroes brought down from South Carolina, ad her waffles were fit food for

the gods Tom Taliaferro was the only man I had ever met who oould eat more

waffles than I1 so I knew he was safely occupied for some times I finished

my interview with Cox, ushered him out, and returned through the kitchen

Lulu, the cook, with a beaming face and a half-dollar in her hand, exclaimed,

"My God, Mr. Jimnie", [y nam among the servants when I was a boy and by her

brought to the campus where the "Mr." was eliminated, "dat man is the eateniat

man I ever seen when hit oanes to waffles, He done gobbled every one and is

calling for more. What I grine ter do make some more batter?" Whatevwr

his shortoomings, I still maintain that President Taliaferro's Gargantual

capacity as an eater of waffles is unsurpaased.

Notwithstanding the soothing effects of this treatment, he waste till muoh

perturbed. In the study, the rank odor of Cox'a oigar was yet mingling with

and polluting the fragrance of my aorn-oob pipe and "Bull Durham", Taliaferro

sniffed suspiciously, but asked no questions. Instead, he pulled from his

pocket a paper whioh proved to be a verbatim copy, signatures included, of the

one I had read* One of his "stooges" (that, I believe, is the correct present

day term) had brought it to him early that morning* His first impulse, he told

me, was to inflict bodily and bloody punishment upon the villianas but Mrse

Taliaferro had persuaded him to talk with me before he took any action* "So",

he said, "if you were me, what would you do?" I answered honestly and truth-

fully, "Nothingi This surreptitiously obtained paper is no ovett deed to justi-

fy any action on your part it beoomes so only when it is submitted to the

Board or given to the public through the pressed 8o far it serves only as a

warning of what to expect when the Board meets." The only effect, however,

of my advice was to persuade him that physical violence would only play into

their hands and strengthen their position, I could gain no further oonoeesion.


for he wa too angry to listen to reason.

These two interviews convinced am that a oriss had arrived and that

the morrow would see some act which would drag the whole affair into public

knowledge. Frankly, I was not deeply concerned about the fate-of the in-

dividual both sides, when the matter onme to the Board, wer doomed, it

seemed to me, to lose. What I was concerned about was that the year's

work should proceed to its fait-approaching lose without disturbanoo and

that the good name of the school should not be tarnished I went over to

see Dootor Tooum vho, it seems, had boen totally oblivious *6 the disturb-

anoe* I laid the whole matter before hin and he fully endorsed my position.

We agreed that the only thing to be done was to try to postpone the fight un-

til the annual meeting of the Board which would ooour the day after Commenoe-

ment. He consented to lay this proposition before the opposition and I under-

took to try to influence Taliaferro. Our efforts were a ghastly failures

both sides were adamant and no compromise could be effeoted.

On Monday morning Taliaferro issued an ediot dismissing the offending

professors from their positions, forbidding them the campus, and oomnanding

the students to ignore them. They retorted by denying his competence for an

aot over which they claimed only the Board had jurisdiction. So they opened

their class-rooms and held their classes* The poor students were between

the devil and the deep blue sea, and didn't know whioh way to turn* Things

passed during the day in a welter of confusion As I sat at supper, the

captains of the two companies reported to me that efforts were being made

by each side to arouse the student body to espouse its cause* I had them

assemble the battalion and pursued a policy whioh Ilave found, through many

years of dealing with student bodies, has never failed of suooess* I told

them the plain unvarnished fath as I saw it, fully and frankly and appealed


to their good sense to join me in maintaining a strict neutrality A few

of the leading students followed me in endorsing this, and the battalion

unanimously resolved to tuke no part in the quarrel a resolution which they

strictly observed* The next day Taliaferro had the windows nailed down and

the door padlocked, thus forcibly debarring the professors from their class-

rooms. Laboratories and our little library were kept open by assistants,

and the rest of us continued our work. In this welter of confusion, the

three weeks until Commeneoment passed. The student officers, much to their

credit, maintained military discipline. The Commeeoment exercises were ob-

served with due decorum, the seniors were graduated, and the session had came

to its lose*

Mrs. Farr and I had already closed our quarters in the Barracks, stored

our few sticks of furniture, packed our luggage for departure, and were spend-

ing the night at the new Hotel Blanche* At supper, we sat near the table filled

by the five members of the Board, We were impressed by the seriousness of their

expressions and the earned undertone of their murmured conversation. I knew

only one of the members well, its chairman, Mr* Carson of Kissimee a success-

ful banker, a jealous worker for civio betterment in community and state, a

devout adherent Eb the Baptist Church, and in every way a splendid man and eiti-

sena After supper the Board proceeded to the campus for their first session.

We sat in the lobby chatting with friends till about ten o'clock. As we were

preparing to retire a bell-boy brought ms a note. It was, as I feared, a sum-

mona signed by the chairman, oiting me to appear before the Board tomorrow

morning at ten o'clock as a witness in their examination of the charges pre-

ferred against President Talisferro.

Usually with me a course of action is clearly right or wrong, and in suoh


oases my oonduot is quickly and easily determined. S8metiaes the deotison

was for the wrong, but it was done with open eyes and with willingness to

stand by the oonsequenoese Occasionally, however, there comes into life

a situation where our ohoioe of conduct involves a decision between con-

flioting loyalties, either of which is a powerful motive, but whose olash

tends to blur one s judpent and reduce one's thoughts to confusion.

This was, unfortunately, my position.

Taliaferro had given me my positions through the three years my

official elations with him had been beyond oritioiman his courtesy, con-

sideration, and deference to my views almost embarrassing privately and

sooially he and his good wife had showered us with a kindness and hospitali-

ty which oould not be oxoosdede I justly regarded him as my beat friend

in Florida. There was an allegiance and loyalty to benefits received and

friendship reciprocated which was binding.

That Taliaferro was a failure as the executive head of an institution

of learning could be denied only by a fool blinded by partisanship. This

failure was due partly to inherent traits of character and early environment,

partly to the situation in which he was placed. The character weakaesses

were an inborn arrogant and domineering disposition, and a frivolous and

flippant disregard for rigid standards of social decorum where his pleasures

were involved these fostered by his early life in the youthful oiroles of

Virginia aristocracy. His precipitate elevation from an obosure instruotor-

ship in mathematics to the head of a college had upset his equilibrium and

given him an undue estimate of his own abilities and authority* This was

intensified by the fact that the position had coae through political influence

and was backed by the prestige of the family name. It is true that the


group of men over whoa he had been placed was both intellectually and

aoademically, and also socially, of a lower stratum. It is true that they

resented his elevation, a resentment whioh could have been removd only by

exquisite ta~t and judgpent. Under other and happier conditions he would

have developed .AffMerently for he was a singularly likeable chap when not

antagonisied and thoroughly sound at heart* His subsequent oareor as

Dean of the Engineering College of the University of Maryland fully proves


Here was my eoond loyalty the allegiance I owed the school for

whioh I worked and that paid my salary and the obedience due to the legally

constituted authority of the Board* If I appeared before them I should have

to answer truthfully and candidly their questions as to Taliaferro's fitness

for the position. If I should lie, I betrayed the school) if I told the

truth, I betrayed my friend* I sa but one esoape from the diloma and

took it, I wrote out my resignation and left it with the hotel olerk to

be delivered the following morning* At seven o'clock that morning Mrs.

Farr and I boarded the train for Jaoksonville and that evening sailed for

Sullivan a Osland.

Thus ended the first act of. the drama a blending of comi and tragic

ooenes suoh as only Shakeapeara eiNature would devise.




Two days after, my father forwarded me a telegram from Mr. Careen tell-

ing me that both Taliaferro ad the professors had been dismissed and that

the Board desired me to withdraw my resignation. I replied, asking to

leave the matter in abeyance until a new President was chosen. About three

wee*,- later Mr. Carson wrote that Dr. Andrew Sledd had been elected President.

I had never heard of Dr. Andrew 81edd, but nm father reealled,vaguely,

that he had been connected with some disturbance in Georgia oonoerning an

article he had written on lynching in the South. I soon learned his history.

Andrew Sledd, the son of a distinguished Methodist minister of Virginia, was

a graduate of Randolph-Maoon College and a Doctor of Philosophy in the olas-

sioe, fran Harvard* He had that chair in mBory College and had married the

daughter of Bishop Oandler. Later I learned, from Doctor Sledd himself,

about the disturbance He had written an article condemning the practice

of lynching negroes in the South, pointing out that a large number of oases

were for comparatively minor crime* and not, as usually alleged, for rape

or attempted rape on a white woman Today his views would receive the ap-

proval of all respectable oitisens of the South. The article was, unfor-

tunately, published in the Independent, a magazine known for its Anti-

Southern sentiments. It passed unnoticed on the whole until a Mrs. Felton,

a writer for the Atlanta Constitution, afterwards a holder of a brief ad -

interim appointment to the United States Senate, wrote a sensational account

of it for a Sunday edition of her paper, Sledd was denounced as a slander-

ous traitor to his native land. It produced an uproar in the State*, ledd

told me that for two weeks he slept with a Winohester rifle at his bedside,

expecting any night that a mob might attempt to tar and feather, or even


lynch him, He finally resigned from Bnory and was teaching in another

mall Methodist school hehn elected to the presidency of the Florida insti-

tution* He was probably brought to the favorable notice of the Board by

Mr Cgarson, whose lose relative, the two Bryane, had been students at

Emory when Bishop Candler was its President, and were friends and admirers

of him*

This was about all I could learn of Sleddo The Methodist minister in

Union had heard him presoh once, and regarded him as one of the ablest and

most eloquent members of the Southern Methodist Church. My father was, of

course, delighted at the idea of my being associated with a minister of the

gospels I, frankly, wasn't so enthusiastic, However, the man undoubtedly

had two charaoteristios that appealed me high ideals and the courage of

his oonvietions So I wrote Mr Carson that I was pleaded with their se-

lection and would be glad to serve under President 8ledd I received a

oordial letter from Sledd, asking me to report for duty a week or ten days

before the opening in September*

We arrived in Lake City early in the month and I hurried out to the

oeapus, eager to see my new bosss" I found him sitting in his office

behind the presidential deak piled high with documents He rose as I

entered and gave me a friendly welome, Andrew Sledd an impressive

figures a tall man with long ar m and legs, somewhat gaunt but strong

and vigorous; a high, intellectual forehead, and large head covered with

scanty light brown hair the ohin of a born fighter; blue eyes which, I

later learned, could twinkle with amusement but could also blase with

indignation. His voioe was beautifully modulated, and very pleasing*


My first impression was most agreeable, and I liked the man inSediately*

Somehow, I had been anticipating a cold, austere personality, wrapped in

the dignity of his profession* Here was a warm, vibrant human being -

something almost boyish in his warm friendliness# From that first hour

of meeting, through the years of the association, and now after many years

of separation, I still feel the charm ahioh, Here began one

of the enduring friendships of my life.

For several hours we discussed our woec* He went over with me the

men selected to fill the vacancies, he asked many questions about those

who had survived the storm* I found him very sympathetic with my views

in regard to the future dovelopmanbt I went home (we had rented the

Hagen oottage for the year) more satisfied and hopeful than I had ever

been a president fit to lead and to inspire, a group of now men whose

soholastio and pedagogic equipment was fine.

In a few days the newly elected professors arrived, two of whom were

long associated with the institution Dootors Flint and Benton, Flint

was professor of chemistry and resident physician. Be was, I believe,

a Bostonian by birth and had been connected with the Massaohusetts Agri-

cultural College. A good-natured, rather easy-going, lovable man, a sound

Ohemist, ani a most excellent teacher for students who were earnestly in-

terested in the subject, but somewhat careless in handling records. Onoe

a student who was in first-year hesnistry for the first month was called

home during the second and did not return* At the end of the second month

I was in the Registrar's office lhen Flint's grades were turned in. The

Registrar, much amused, showed ms that the departed student had been given

a grade. I suggested that nothing e said, in order to see how long it

would take Flint to find out that the student was no longer in his olasse

He never discovered it, for the grades continued to aoms in the whole sames-

ter. But for advanced students speoialising in chemistry he was a splendid

instructor. Later he loft the University for a position with the Department

of Agriculture in Washington. He bas been dead for some years*

Doctor Benton was professor of physios and electrical engineering.

His degree was from Goettingen, and he had been engaged in research work

with some Foundation before he same to us. He was an awkward, ungainly,

shy young man. His knoo-action, as he strode across the eampus, was a curi-

ous and wonderful performances The students soon nicknamed hia "Iohabod",

but both they and the faculty had the greatest admiration and affection for

the nervous, retiring and sametimes irritable teacher* You oan meet now

graduates of thirty years ago who will speak of "Iohabod" and his slide-

rule with warm and kindly remembranoee Personally, I think Benton the

ablest man so far to be connected with the Univerasty. Certainly he ranks

high among that band of devoted men whose work made possible the present


The enrollment of the year was normal, the attendance being apparently

unaffected by the change of administration. The routine of teaching went

on as usual The completion of the new Science Hall and the Flagler

Gymnasium added to the appearance of the campus and relieved greatly the

crowded oonditionsl

Sledd soon saw that the creation of a real state university required

far-reaching and vital changes in the educational structure of the State.

The first step was clear the five existing institutions, eaoh doing a

low grade of work, competing both for students and for appropriations,


preventing the growth of hiig schools by their low standards, must be wiped

out,, Through the Bryane we ware in lose touoh with the on-eaming Broward

administration and knew it would be sympathetic with suoh a movement The

Legislature would meet in April (1905) and muoh wo* mast be done in prepa-

ratione Naturally, the strongest argument to the legislators would be the

financial one, the cost of maintaining th fe iv schools We decided to make

our budget as large as possible ad to let it be known, with the hops that

the other oshools, not wanting us to get ahead of them, would do likewiase

This they did, and the combined requests of the schools totaled nearly a

million dollar a stupendous sum for that period Z had written a number

of articles which appeared (anonymously, of course) in the state press

The school teachers of the state wer* in favor of the measure, both for

patriotio and personal reasons a genuine desire to ses educational stand-

ards raised and a hope that in the move their om beggarly salaries would be


The Legislature of 1905 maot Rwas, like all legislative assemblies

with which I have had experience, omnposed of a variety of politioianas

a few able, patriotic men with broad, statesman-like visions a large number

of medioorities, wanting to retain office and, as far as was compatible with

that major motive, desiring to legislate for the best interests of the oamon-

walthl a few who were venial and cheap politicians* A majority the

members were not college-bred men and had only vague conceptions of educational


r* Frank Adams, senator for our district, had charge of the bill* He

was a man of great business acumen, and an astute and experience politician.


Mr. Buckman, representative from Duval County, introduced the bill whioh had

been very carefully draw up. It was felt that it would be unwise for

President Sledd to go to Tallahassee as his presence would necessarily be

conspicuous and give opponents of the measure an opportunity to aoouse us of

trying to influence legislation. So he decided to send me, as the authors

of the bill were isetent that we go over the measure with thae before it was

introduced* I spent three days in the capitol, went over the bill with

Mr. Buckant, made suggestions, oame of vhioh were incorporated, and, at his

request, discussed the measure with some of the doubtful legislators Be-

sides Sledd and a few of the members, no one knew of my visit*

There were several peculiar features of the bill that need explanation.

One naturally asks, 'Wy two institutions'? The answer is two-folds certain

educational funds depended upon the State' s maintaining two oshools, one east

and one west of the 8uwannee River, the opposition to co-eduoatione The

other peculiar feature was that while the Woman's College was definitely

located in Tallahassee, the location for the new University was not specified,

its selection to be made later by a joint vote of the State Board of Education

and the Board of Control of the institution to be appointed by the Governor.

The reason for this was political expedienoy* Those responsible for the in-

troduotion and passage of the bill undoubtedly had the plant at Lake City in

mind as the site for the University* But it was found that a specific choice

of Lake City would alienate votes from other places desirous of obtaining it.

Finally, after much dickering, the bill was passed toward the end of April and

was promptly signed by Governor Broward. Shortly afterward, the appointment

of the five members of the Board of Control was announced. Mr. Nat Bryan was

made its chairman.


An incident which was given newspaper notoriety occurred about this time*

With the abandonment of the sub-freshman work the position held by "Professor"

Marion no longer existed. He was very desirous of retaining a job with the

University, and applied for the newly created professorship of history* It

was an absurd ambition. He was a man of comparatively meager training, little

culture or refinement, and a poor teachers I never understood how he obtained

even the position which he had held. 81*dd naturally did not nominate him for

the coveted positions At the time, President 81edd was suffering from an in-

facted foot and could walk only with great difficulty.

When it became known thab he was not nominated, Marion oame into the

President's office and beoame very abusive 8ledd ordered him out and hobbled

to the door As Marion stepped out upon the aall piaBso from which steps led

to the ground, he charged Sledd with having lied. 81edd struck him, they

grappled, and, in the struggle, rolled down the stepse They were separated

before any serious damage was inflicted. Marion remained around Lake City

breathing slaughter against both the President and the faculty, but finally


The night of the incident a scurrilous asoount of it was telegraphed to

one of the Jacksonville papers, vhich attempted to make it a sensation. I

learned through an underground channel that the author of this article was a

member of our faculty, a certain Doctor Dawson, professor of veterinary medicine.

I told him that I had proof of this, and advised him to resign. He did.

Comenoement ome, as usual* Contrary to my custom I remained, at

President Sledd's request, in Floridat for if we were continued with the new

University it would be my duty to prepare a new catalog in collaboration with

a representative of the Woman's College* Interest centered, throughout the


State, upon the approaching meeting of the Board of Control* It was generally

assumed that Sledd would be chosen as President of the now Uniersity, while

Murphreo would continue at Tallahassee as head of the institution there* The

main question was the action of the joint Boards in selecting the plaoe for the

location of the University.

My own judgment was (ad still is) that the most advantageous site for

the Univrsity would be in a suburb of Jacksonville on the banks of the St.

Johns, I was a young man, now and unknown to the State, and with but few

aoquaintanoes among the leading oitioene of the oity* I made same endeavor

to interest those that I could reach, but they showed no interest in nor ap.

prooiation of the opportunity* They thought only in teams of the abolished

institutions mall, poorly equipped, with only looal patronage, and with low

standards and regarded the enterprise as too insignificant to interest the big

oity. Even Mr. Buokman, himself, did not think the school which his bill had

created was a prise that any oity should be proud to win. I tried to arouse

their imaginations to visualize the future development, but utterly failed i

In fact, a number of years had to pass before the UniTverslo made any impres-

sion upon the metropolis*

Several towns baoam aspirants for the location of the school, especially

those where the abolished ones had been It soon became evident that the

choice lay between two Lake City and Gainesville* As I have said above,

those most active in the passage of the bill thought that the selection of the

former was a foregone oonolusion* Several weeks after the decision had gone

against Lake City, Senator Frank Adams addressed an indignant meeting of Lake

City end Columbia County oitisens. He stated openly that he had received

solemn assurawu from a majority of the two Boards that they would vote for

Lake City, and that two men (whom he named) had perjured themselves*


At first the citizens of Lake City were fairly quiescent in the assamp-

tion that the decision in their favor was a foregone conclusion. But

Gaine ville, where the East Florida Seminary had been the center of life and

the pride of the coaunimty, was aroused Under the leadership of two of its

leading oitisense Mr4 Wilson, the founder of the mercantile establish-

ment still existing, and Major W. R. Thomas, nor proprietor of the Thomas

Hotel, Lake City awoke to the danger, and the rivalry became intense

Of course the President and the faculty could take no part in such a

controversy* It was our busine s to conduct the school wherever the author*

ties ordered us. Between the two towns I personally had little ohoiooe both

had advantages and disadvantages. The Lake City oampus was established and

two of its buildings, Soienoe Hall and Flagler Gymnasiiu, were new and ade-

quate, The Bxperiaenb Station grounds were under cultivation and eeeral

important experiments, requiring years for their completion, were under way.

Gainesville was a larger and more progressive oimunity and had a more united

oitisonship, who had shown, through years, the loyalty to and support of the

Seminary. Also, Gainesville had better railroad faoilitiee and was aooessible

to the State at large# So the matter stood when the joinb Boards convened at


Both town chartered trains and sent huge delegations to the meeting,

I have been told by eye-witnesaee that the soene surpassed anything the staid

old town, whioh had beheld many legislative battles, had ever seen

The Board of Control met and proceeded to its first business, the eleoo

tion of the presidents of the institutions. Sledd, by request of the Board,

was in Tallahassee* Sledd was unanimously elected President of the university,

and Murphree of the Woman's College (at that time legally entitled, the Female


College of norid).* They reported their action to the Board of Fduoation.

Now comes a bit of seeoret history which has never been made public and was

known only to a few beyond the ctual partioipantes The Board of Eduestion

went into sort session, a resolution was passed annulling the election of

Sledd, and appointing Murphre to the University presidenaoy This action was

wholly unexpeoted. The Board of Control, under the leadership of Mr. Bryan,

refused to submit, denying the jurisdotion of the State Board in such matters.

Be declared he would oarry the controversy to the Supreme Court* The Governor

sided with Bryan, and the Board of Eduoation was foroed to yield. Mr. Bryan

maintained this view of the indepedenoe of his Board during his membership on

it. Afterwards (as will develop later) the Board of Control, under the less

courageous leadership of others, yielded this right to the other Board in

many ways a very unfortunate ooourrenoe* I received a telegram from Doctor

Sledd informing me of hie election as President and of me as VioeoPresident

of the University* This latter oame as a total surprise, as no mention or sug-

gestion of it had ever arisen

The joint Boards met in evening session to choose the location of the

University* In Lake City intense excitement prevalled. At that time a

Mime Mary Kate Davidson, a maiden lady of ability and character, was in charge

of the Western Union offices This offioo was on the second floor of a drug

store owned by a Dootor Price, located on the northeast corner of Marion Street

in the block facing the Courthouse square and saross the street from the Hotel

Blanche* This lady was a friend of my wife and she had invited us to sit in

the office as she awaited the new from Tallahassee

Below us a vast orowd, the whole population of the town and most of the

county, was assembled, blooming Marion Street, filling the square, and extending


several blocks in all direotionas They were milling around in nervous ex-

peotanoy, a buss of conversation filling the airw On the surface they were

confident of victory, but underneath they was a ggawing dread, Ooeasionally

the deep bass voice of some men could be heard as he proclaimed the justice

of their oauae and the impossibility of the Board's daring to steal her school

from Lake City. Now and again the shrill, hysterical tones of a woman arose

as she appealed to listeners to tell her what would become of the town if they

lost the school.

We three sat in the office in tense silenoe. Time after time the in,

strument began to latter and Miss Davidson's strained attention would quicken.

Then she would lean back with a sign nd wearily uznur, "No news yetl" Bour

after hour dragged its slow march along* The crowd below was as dens, as ever,

but it had grown aainously still, I was feeling the strain, and my wife s

face gleamed pale in the dia light. Suddenly the instrument broke the silence

with its demoniao stasoato, and Miss Davidson, jumping to her feet, hung over it*

Knowing nothing of telegraphy, I watched her faoe as smasement, incredulity and

then blank horror wept aorose it* For a amoent the rattled the key and lis-

toned to the reply. Then she sank to her seat, buried her face in her hands,

and said to me, "Tell thaal I oan't$" Of course it was obvious Lake City

had lostjl ainesville had won the prices

I went to the window flying the square and called to the orowd below.

Amidst complete silence, I told them that the University would go to Gainesville.

I have seen a mob fired to frenzy by the brutality of the crime, lynch a negro

for raping and killing a white woman. Onoe in New Tork I was caught accidentally

between the rioting and -ighting forces in a great streetwear strike in whioh


m eny mW were wounded and killed But never have I sen as engry a orowd as that

body of homan beings massed below me. If the members of the B6ard had been pros-

ent I am sure they would not have eoaped with their lives. Inoongruously,

there flashed aeros may mind the thought "So you dreaded the salm and quiet of

the aoademio life." The next day we learned that the vote had been Lako City,

four Gainesville, six*

It was decided that the school should main for the 1906-1906 session in

Lalk City as its buildings wre being erected on the site donated by GaizMnvillle

I settled down to the task of rewriting the catalog, and had only two weeks of

vacation for my annual visit to my father

Our policy in beginning the Uniwreity was olear* No drastic or revolu-

tionary hangs were desirable There was not only the duty of setting up an

institution hiioh would be sooepted as of like rank with similar ones throughout

the nation, but also the more difficult task of educating the State to understand

and appreciate what we were doing* We must raise our entrance requirements,

but this must be aooomplished gradually and with notion in advance. There. oould

be no break with the e*oondary school system but we mast both advance together.

This meant the utmost cooperation, based upon the fundamentally true conoeption of

the educational system, from its highest to its lowest school, as a unit* We

must stiffen the individual courses and increase our requirement for graduation.

We must broaden the scope of oourase offered* The faculty must be strengthened

and increased, more adequate laboratory and library equiprmnt obtained. All this

would require largely knoreasd appropriations. These depended upon the support

of the oitisens and the growth of the student body. Rmne was not built in a days

now is a university, dependent upon State support, established in a decade.

For some reason I cannot explain, the Board added to the University a

"Business College" attachment, over our protest. Maybe it was intended

primarily to increase the enrollment. At the end of the year it was die-

oontinued. Several important additions to the faculty were made* Professor

J,. N. Anderson, professor of Latin and Greek, was dram from the school at

Tallahassee* He is a South Carolinian and a graduate of Wofford College.

When the Arts and Soienoes College was established he was made its dean and,

later, on the creation of the Graduate Sohool, became its head* For thirty

years we were associated, almost in daily oontaeta in our work* Such asso-

oiation breeds great respoot and esteem or equally great dislike* While he

and I had differences of opinion, he being tremendously opposed to my activity

in Extension work and I being opposed to his severity and rigidity in often

enforcing the letter of the law and missing its spirit, my respect and esteem

and affection for him have never wavered. His high ideals of scholarship,

his stern maintenance of standards, have given tone to the whole institution.

He is one of the men to be placed high in Florida's Hall of Fane for his oon-

tribution to the upbuilding of the University in its early days of difficulty

and struggle* His influence was exerted wholly upon the oampus, for he was

not a public, speaker and had little of the art of popular appeals During the

period covered by this paper he was rather inoonspiouous, his classes being

very small and he rather retiring end silent.

A second addition was Major Floyd* He had served as inetruotor in

botany and Commandant of Cadets in the East Florida Seminary. For many years

he has been assistant and acting dean of the College of Agriculture. He is

a quiet, unobtrusive man, a good teacher, and popular with his mens I have


always been impressed by his fairness, good judgment and invariable Qourtesy.

He, too, belongs to that body of faithful ones who bore the brunt of the early

fight for existence.

The third one of this group was Dr. Crow* Judd, the instructor in

Spanish and Frenh, had resigned to pursue advanced work* My own work was

making it impossible to carry on the classes in Germane So a chair of Modern

Languages was established and set set about finding a men to fill it* Crow,

a Virginian, a graduate of Washington & Le, a Dootor of Philosophy from

Goettingen, seemed the most suitable among the applicants* He was head of

the Modern Language Departmnt of Washington ani Lee, but desired to leave on

aooount of some disagreement with President Denny* I wired my friend, Dr.

Currell, and found that his scholarship and teaching ability were satisfactory.

So he was engaged. He, too, has remained with the University. Bor many

years he served as the secretary of the faulty. He was also the founder of

the Athenaeum Club, which, in the early years, was an important social and in-

telleotual adjua*t of the faculty.

A fourth man, who remained only two years, was Dr. Carl Sohnidt, professor

of Mathematics a German who had only recently come to America. My first ex-

perience with him was amusing. We had rented a house for him and hired an old

negro woman as servant. I met his train and conducted him and his wife to

their house, In a moment he can racing back to ay home, burst in, and in great

excitement said, "Won't you please, Doctor 9arr, come over and interpret for met

I cannot understand the language of the colored lady*" Sohmidt spoke beautiful

"book" English much rore elegant and correct than ours (he had acquired it

in classes at Berlin), but the old darky's dialeet was too much for him. He

was a splendid mathematician and a sound teacher, but sadly lacking in mommn -

senase He left us because the Board would not grant him a six months leave-


of-absenoe with full pay to nurse his wife.

The enrollment was slightly increased by that in the "Business College"

and the transfer of a few upper-olassmen from Tallahassee, The routine of

my work was very pleasantly broken by the giving of a graduate course in

English to two young ministers of the town, Mr. C. H. Ferran of the Presby.

terian, and Mr Isaao Jenkins of the Methodist Church. The course was in

Viotorian poetry, and was sonawhat extensive* These young men were, natural-

ly, earnest and enthusiastic students and did excellent work* This was the

first advanced course for the Master's degree offered by the University. The

requirements for the degree had not been worked out as they were in later

years no modern language prerequisites nor minors. We met two evening

each week in my study, usually from eight to eleven or later, for a detailed

study, in the first sem ster, of Tennyson's "In Memoriam", and in the second,

of Browning' s dramas* There were extensive readings in the major poets of

the period with written reportal an essay each months a final paper which

was not (as later required) a piece of original researahj and an examination.

As compared with the work demanded now, this is not a severe courses but when

compared with the Bachelor's degree of the time, it is. Mr. Ferran is, I think,

pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Orlandos I do not know the whereabouts

of Mr. Jenkins. Many years later he was in charge of the church in Gainesville,

and he and I were associated in bringing the name of Dr. Harvey N. Cox to the

attention of Bishop Candler as a splendid man for the presidency of Enory.

The only other event of the year that I remember distinctly was a trip

made by a group of the faculty to Gainesville on an inspection tour under the

guidance of Captain George Lynoh* This was my first visit to the town, and I

was anxious to see the place of my future abode. At some junction in a swamp

we transferred from the Seaboard to the "T. & J,* RoR., and after a rough ride


arrived at the latter's station. We were carried to the hotel whioh, I

learned, had been the boys' barracks of the East Florida Seminary a do-

lapidated building in need of repairs and paint, much different in appearance

from the present "White House", into which it has been transformed

There we met a number of the oitisens, men and women, many of iwha are

now dead* We seemed to sense a certain stiffness and undertone of hostility

we were still associated with their enemy, Lake City. I overheard Captain

Lynoh explaining to Colonel Dutton and Mr* Niohols, the bankers, that we were

lsebers of the faculty and not Lake-Cityites at all. I remember the snort

of contempt with which Mr. Nichols retorted, "Well, they're living there,

ain't they?" It was an unoomfotable ordeal, and I was glad when it was over*

After a luncheon served by ladies of the oommunnty, one of whom, Miss Ida

Burkhim, survive, we were driven over the toawn In the spring of 1906,

Gainesville was a much smaller place than now, but its general features remain

the same the Courthouse Square and the main mercantile establishments facing

its four sides the principal street (Alaohua Avenue, later changed to University

Avenue) running east and west on its northern side and on the east and west
two parallel streets.known as East Main and West Main/running through the latter,

(as at present) the A. C. L. R.R. tracks. The main residential section was the

eastward extension of Alaehua Avenue, and the two Main Streets. I was favorably

impressed with the appearance of the town, its tree-lined streets, its well-kept

lawns, its attractive homes, its general air of activity.

Later in the afternoon we were conducted to the side of the University.

I was told that our Board had been offered the grounds of the city school or

the present location* They very wisely chose the latter. We were driven

westward on Alaohua Avenue, and crossed the traaka of the T. & J. RR*. Here

the tom practically ended, Beyond stretched a rough country road, an

each side weeds oovered fields with here and there a negro hut# About

halfway out was a handsome new two-story residence, the home of Congress-

man Frank Clark, later converted into a fraternity house, Finally we

ae to t he intereection of another road, leading south to Ooala, we were

told. Before us, bounded by the two roads, stretched a woep of pine

woods, the part nearest us low and water-covered, a desolate and forbidding

aoene. Beyond, we oould see signs of building activity. We drove up and

found the foundations and part of the walls of the two dermitoriee, Thomas

and Buolkanu, growing under the hands of masons. My heart sank and I won-

dered, could we ever attract students to this spot| oould we ever obtain

from the State the large sums necessary to convert this bare spot into a

plant commensurate with our ambition for the future great university. I

went back to Lake City feeling chilled and discouraged.

After Commenoement I went to South Carolina for the vacation and was

not present when our equipment was transferred to the now completed dormi-

toriesj but I have heard the story from those in charge As the time of

departure drew near, the temper of Lake City grew more and more violent.

Threats of forcible prevention of the removal were heard on the streets

Wagons were to be used to convey the equipment, laboratory apparatus and

supplies, libraries, records, to*e The livery stables, of which there

were several, of Lake City indignantly refused to aooept the oontraot.

So teams from Gainesville had to be procured, Mr. Carthon, at that time

an instructor at the Unvvorsity, later for many years the State Superintend-

ont of Education, was chosen by President 1Sedd to convoy the expedition.

Be was a man of powerful physique, determination and courage, as well as

being a orak shot on ideal man for the job. It was really feared that



some of the mere impetuous young hot-heads of the town might attempt to

interfere. Fortunately the way led west and south and not through the

town* The transfer was made without untoward incident, and the end of

the summer found the Univursity established in its narrow quarters on the

extreme western boundary of Gainesville, in fact outside its corporate

limits at that time.

This is no criticism of the Boards they had done well with the

funds at their ocomand* The Legialature had made no appropriation for

buildings and the only money they had oana from the sale of the plants

at Gaineeville, Bartow and DeFuniak Springse The Lake City plant had,

as a sop to the prevailing indignation, been turned over to the town.

The town, in turn, had entered into an agreement with the Baptists of the

State to allow its use for a oshool* The denomination desired, as I under-

stood, to establish a college in pique for Stetson's refusal to allow their

domination, I have also understood that the school, known as Columbia

College, was maintained through its few years of life largely from the purse

of Mrs Carson of Kissaimaee The plant at Tal3a see was, of course, used by

the "Female" College, Gainerville had donated the tract of land an aore-

age largely increased by purchase later, and had agreed to furnish the water

free from the city Mpply. et me set down here a statement that might,

unoor certain conditions, be important. I have handled and read the oon-

tract, duly signed by the municipal authorities, which binds the town to

this agreement. I am not certain that this paper has been preserved, but

I can wear to its existenoea So the Board, with foresight and judgment,

devoted the aall amount at their disposal, to thsao two buildings, which

would be ultimately used as dormitories.


With the exception of a mall structure for the shops, all the aotivi-

ties of the University were crowded into these two buildings. Buokman Ball

was used for dormitories, gymnasium, infirmary and quarters for the Officer

in Charge* The northern section of Thomas Hall contained, on its first floor

the administrative office* the southern end, the Agricultural Experiment

Station, Between lay the kitchen and "meas-hall", and the auditorium. The

other parts were used as olass rooms, laboratories and library* The oonges-

tion and consequent confusion were terrific My experience with a class room

is illustrative of the whole situation. I was first assigned a roan in See-

tion B of Thomas Ball. The walls had been lathed and plastered, but a base-

board had been omitted, There was an opening all around into the room beneath#

This room, much to my discomfort, was the kitchen* At eleven o'clock each day

my olass studying Paradise Lost assembled elotohdent with the oliaaotic point

in the preparation of the midday meal of the students. Up through the oraoks

came the vociferous shouts of "Old Stewe, the head cook, as he urged on his

minions with a 1Japhemous stream of profanity whose range and intensity I've

never heard surpassed* Mixed and mingling with this was the infernal clatter

of pots and pans, the hiss of steam and the erackling of fires. Through it all

the over-powering stenoh of boiling cabbage and frisaling onions polluted the

air. Milton's feeble attempts to depict the horrors of Hell paled into insig-

nifioance said this real Inferno) his stately lines lost their force, swallowed

by the mighty rhythms of teve's iambio pentameterse I gave ups the contest

was too unequal*

1. invited Sledd to my olasse He, too, came, sa (heard and smelled) and

was conquered* I was transferred to the third floor of Section C* Here,

through exhaustion of funds, the ceiling had not been plastered* The heating

plant, which was wholly inadequate, entirely failed to reach this room* When

winter oame, it was so cold that I had to don all my heavy underwear, most

of my clothing and two overooats to keep ns toeth from chattering* The next

year, after the erection of Science Hall, I was transferred to the northeast

corner of its basement The Chemistry Laboratory was immediately above me

and an Armenian student was experimeAting there (or so it was rumored) in

preparing bombs to use on the Turks. The room next to mine was utilized by

Doctor Flint to house his snakes among them several rattlers* One of them

escaped and hid in my room to malk a dramatic appearance as were were reading

Milton' s aooount of Eve and the serpent. After that I never entered the

room without a careful search* Through some defeat in the masonry this

basement was not water-proof Whenever it rained the floor boom ankle-

deep in water* I taught many a class with my feet and those of the students

elevated upon the desks. I often wished that Milton had included Noah's

flood in his poem to make the parallelism oaoplete. After the building of

Language Hall I was transferred to its second floor, where the fagliah Depart-

ment yet remains,

Mrs. Farr and I had acme difficulty in aeouring a residence, but finally

rented the upper floor of the Duke house on the corner of Alaohua Avenue and

Oak Street* We took our meals with Mrs. Riohard&s who lived farther up Oak

Street, The meals were excellent, divided into numerous ooursese and there

was much ceremony and delays I was very busy and found this irksome I

frequently left the table before the end of a meal, muoh to the embarrassment

of my wife for my bad manner.

With the deletion of the 'Business Colleges"ide-show, the enrollment

dropped alarmingly, being, I believe, below a hundred, Only two exciting

incidents ooourred during this year. The first was a commercial matters

The mrohants were charging us exhorbitant prices for the mess-hall supplies.

We began buying through the wholesale dealer. The marrhants 0#a apted to

look this, and Slodd wrote a public letter in his best vitriolic vein, re-

buking them for this attempt at exploitation. This did not add to his

popularity in the oommunity but it was offootive.

The second inoident was connected with the Military Department. A

certain Lieutenant Ball (not a West Pointer but from civilian lifo) had boen

assign d to us as Cmmnandant. Socially he was a pleasant, agreeable and

likeable follows officially he was a jaokaset He was young, inexperience,

had served (I was told) with a negro regiment, Swollen with authority, he

was sent down (or so he thought) to "straighten us out"* Ianediately he

fell foul of the students, especially of those whom we knew best end in whom

we had the most confidence. He was exaoting, ofnsorious, over-bearing and

dictatorial in his treataent of the oadets. They naturally retaliated by

disliking him and annoying him on every ocooasion For several months

soaroely a week passed in which there were not complaints and demands that

students be severely disciplined* Doctor Sledd.listened courteously and

patiently pointed out the impossibility of yielding to his demands. When,

in 8ledd' a absences, these matters oame before me, I fear I was neither as

courteous nor as patient as my superiors but told him bluntly the main

trouble was with himself. The matter culminated one moving, Sledd being

off for a long absence, when he rushed into my office and preemptorily de-

manded the expulsion of six of our best students. hen I told him it was

impossible, he stormed out with threats of what he would do to the institution,

That afternoon Ball showed a friend a letter which he was preparing to send to

the War Department, charging the University authorities had failed to support

hiin aiding and abetting the cadets in their insubordination This friend


happened to be also a friend to me and the University, and immediately re-

ported the affair to me. This letter might have done us great harm at

Washington, even imperilled our Federal grants. I was determined it

should not be sent. Ball was aoeustomed, as I knew, to use profanity

on the drill grounds and to course the oadets. I called in a few of the

most discreet oadet officers and several leading oitisens who had been

present at drills, and had them sign affidavits to this effeote I wrote

a letter to the War Department, asking the immediate withdrawal of Ball on

the ground that he had failed to handle our students through laok of tact

and judgment, and that his profane and abusive language to the oadets was

unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman* I sent for Ball, told him I

knew of his letter, and showed him the one I had prepared to aoompany it.

He wilted, promised to destroy the letter, and said he would do better.

We had little further trouble with him. I am not particularly proud of

this, and I know Doctor Sledd would not have resorted to such tactics -

fighting the Devil with fire but it saved the University a trying experience.

I may note in passing a matter which Professor Grow may fail to record*

He brought with him to Gains ville the bride whom he had married in the summer

She was a Miss Nina Seabury of Norfolk, Virginia, -e lineal descendant of that

Bishop Seabury who was the first Bishop of the Episcopal Church in America,

an accomplished pianist and a very pleasing addition to the social life of

the faculty*

The 1907-08 session opened with a depressingly low enrollment* This

was our third year, and our attendance was not increasing* Internally the

University was progressing. The standards for entrance had been noticeably

raised, and the quality of our students was perceptibly higher. The faculty

had been enlarged and strengthened, Our work had undoubtedly improved,

Yet we were not growing, and there was apathy throughout the State, a lack

of interest that was disheartening. In the old days the state institutions

had been distinguished as the school at Tallahassee, the school at Lake City,

the school at Gainesville, the school at Bartow This year I was invited to

speak in Orlando, and was introduced as a teacher from the "School at Gaines-

ville" I lost my temper and told the audience I should introduce myself

properly as representing the university of Florida, a state-wide institution

that happened to be located at Gainesville. Afterwards I apologized to my

introduced, a benign old clergyman, and explained why I had done this*

This was the most difficult educational problem that we had to face*

As every teacher knows, the hardest of all tasks to to "unteah" some idea

that has been adopted and firmly fixed in mind. Its eradication is always

a tedious and difficult undertaking* This is well illustrated by language*

I have had many students enter my freshman class, coming from illiterate en-

vironments and bringing with them such locutions as "I done it", "I taken it",

etos These expressions have been stamped deep through fifteen or more years

of ounotless iterations and reiterationse It requires infinite patience and

persistence to eliminate them. This was the nature of the psychological prob-

lem we had to meet in educating the State to an understanding and appreciation

of a State University* For several generations ths State had thought in terms

of the nall schools with local patronage and with low standards within its bor-

ders, and had looked abroad, to the Carolinas, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, and

sometimes to the North and West, for higher education. It was a kind of vicious

circle. As long as we were still thought of as offering only the previous edu-

oational opportunity, the potential college students continued journeying north-

ward. As long as we failed to draw the students the State continued to place


us in the old category.

During the spring of the preceding year, Mrs Gilchrist had reoeiwd

the gubernatorial nomination, and Mr. Holloway had defeated Mrs Sheats for

the State Superintendenoy of Education. They were duly elected and took

office at the beginning of the new year, 1909. Already rumors were current

that President 81edd would be removed from office It was oustomary for

the Board to eleot the faoulties and administrative affioers of the institu-

tions at their April meeting* Usually this procedure is mere routine, and

no one has reason to entertain any anxiety for his position. Mrs Bryan, his

main friend on the Board, was not to be reappointed by Governor Gilohrist who,

politically, was opposed to the Bryan-Broward group that controlled the State

the preceding four years. As the early months of the year passed, the oon-

viotion grew that Slodd's retention of the presidency was doubtful.

In April, Sledd and his whole faculty were again unanimously reeleoted

by the Board of Control and their nation was reported to the Board of Education,

dominated (in educational matters) by Governor Gilohrist, its chairman, and

Superintendent Holloway, its secretary. This Board, in turn, with equal unanim-

ity, annulled 8ledd' election and suggested the niwe of President Murphree,

of the Woman's College, as his suooesaoro For the second time the two Boards

lashed, and over the sane issue and personalities* But the factors in the

equation were quite different,

Political control of the machinery of the State was in the hands of a

faction hostile to that responsible for 8ledd' appointment* His chief sup-

porter, Mrs Bryan, was being eliminated from the Board of Control at the ex-

piration of his term.

A bitter personal quarrel had arisen during the year between Sledd and

Hollowayo The General Board of Education (a national organisation) had given


Florida a sum to pay the salary of a school inspector the appointment of

whom was to be made by the President of the University "in conjunction with"

the State Superintendent of Eduoation. I went over with Sledd a list of

possible appointees, and we agreed that Captain George MU Lynoh was the aant

best suited to the positions Holloway learned that Lynoh was to be appointed,

and, seising time by the forelock, wrote immediately to the General Board, him-

self appointing that gentleman. I happened to be in his office when the

President's secretary gave him a letter from the General Board informing him

of Holloway's action* I had seen Sledd indignant and angry on former oooasions,

but never like this*

He dictated a reply to the Board, explaining the situation, and then began

a letter tb Mr. Holloway. I can still see him as he strode up and down his

office, his eyes basing, his face pale, his lips quivering, his voice cracking

like the lash of a whip* that letter was a masterpiece of vituperative de-

nunciation which should go down in history as a classic of its kind* When he

had finished, I tried to persuade him to destroy it, or at least postpone mailing

it until he had cooled down* But in vainj the letter was immediately mailed.

Tears later, I was told by one of Holloway's assistants, present when the

letter was received, that the Superintendent was beside himself with ranges He

stormed around, tears of wrath in his eyes, wishing that the days of the duello

had not passed It was a very pretty quarrel, as it stood* But to make matters

worse Sledd began an investigation of Holloway's record as County Superintendent

of Alaohua County some years before There had been some financial irregulari-

ties in the administration of the office which, however, had been cleared up.

Holloway's friends in Gainesville learned of this investigation and reported it

to the Superintendent.

Os day, many years after, when we were both much older and wiser men,


Mr. Holloway and I sat on the piassa of the Windsor Hotel in Jacksonville,

chatting of the bygone days. He said, very earnestly, "Dootor Farr, I didn't

want a quarrel with Dootor Sledd* But he forced it on me, and I saw that one

of us would have to leave the State,"

A third factor was this# The 1909 Legislature had appropriated a oon-

siderable amount for much needed buildings on our campus. There was, and

still is, I presume, a building oomaittee of the Governor's Cabinet empowered

to veto suoh appropriation should it be, in their judgment# unwise to use it

at that time. The oaomittee and the Board of Education were similar in per-

sonnel. The story goes (I cannot speak positively of its aoouracy) that the

Board of Control was threatened with the withholding of these funds unless it

yieldedin the matter of the presidency,

The fourth factor was the change in the status of Sledd, himself* There

are two standards by which the public (and,I fear, legislators also) measure the

suooess of a school# the number of victories on the football field, and the

sise of the student body. 'hen the former fails, the coach, no matter how

innocent he be, bears the onus and is sacrificed. Our own campus furnishes

examples of this. Likewise, when the growth of the student body fails to meet

expectations the President, again no matter how innocent he be, must bear the

brunt of blame and oan retail his position only if he has a firm hold on the

affections of the students, the alumni, add the oitisens of the State. The

big, undeniable fact that stared the public in the faoe was that during the

four years of Sledd' administration the University had not increased its student

body. Ergo, reasoned the public, Sledd had failed and should be replaced.


I have stated above my view that the main cause of our almost impercepti-

ble growth in the beginning was the state of mind of the public Still, I do

think that Sledd's personality was a retarding rather then an accelerating force

in ending this condition. Sledd did a work that required a man of his tempera-

ment to aocomplisho He was a orusader,a leader of forlorn hopes, a champion of

unpopular or lost eauses, a man that longed tor the crown of martyrdom. As

an early Christian, he would have grinned at the lions and thumbed his nose at

Nero. We needed a man of that type, a man that would fearlessly enforce stand-

ards in the face of opposition, a man who could refuse to appoint the friend or

relative of a powerful politician without hesitation, Nobody alive today besides

Sledd and me knows the tremendous pressure that was brought to bear* I know no

man of our time in Southern educational fields so fitted to do this works Un-

fortunately the general public knew nothing of this. This is not a brief in

defense of Sledd. As I look back over the years, I feel that an overruling

providence guided our destinies. This man was indispensable in doing the work

that he did| but it was done, and his usefulness was over* Another type of

man was nwneeded one to take this solid foundation and to build the super-

structure by popularizing the institutions Again there was just one man to do

this Albert A. Murphree.

In May President-elect Murphree paid us a brief visit. Whether aooidental

or by design, President Sledd was out of the oity, and it was my lot to do the

honors of the occasion* Personally I had known urphree for several years, but

he and most of our faculty were unacquainted. I conducted him over the osmpus

and presented our men as we encountered them. He was very affable and gracious,

exerting the full charm of his charming personality* He was emphatic in assert-

ing there would be no changes, but that the work would continue as heretofore,

This visit had a pleasing and quieting effect, and was an advance example of

the tact and attractiveness which radiated from this remarkable man.

The soone that oloses this second aot of the drama was somewhat embarrass-

ing to me, On the Monday morning of OCannenoament week I was summoned by the

Board of Control, and hurried to the President's office in which they were meet-

ing. The chairman informed *e that they desired, as a final expression of their

appreciation of his work, to confer upon President Sledd the honorary degree of

Doctor of Divinity. The regular procedure in conferring degrees was for the

faculty to nominate the candidate to the Board, the Board to vote the degree,

and the president to confer it at the graduating exercises. As they wished

this to came as a surprise to Sledd, they instructed me to assemble the faculty

and have them vote the nomination.

I hurried around and personally instructed each member to attend an import-

ant faulty meeting at my house that evening at eighb o'olook. I intentionally

did not inform anyone of its purpose. I knew what the Board did not, that there

was a risk that the faulty might refuse to vote this reconnandation, especially

if time were given for certain groups to oauous. One influential groups was,

on principle, bitterly opposed to giving any honorary degree for any reason

whatsoever. Another group was antagnonistio to Sledd and, espeCially now that

his authority had passed, would probably oppose the measure. A union of the

two could defeat the motion. Frankly, I was determined that the wishes of the

Board should be reapeoted and that I should take no chances of a miscarriage of

the plan.

Shortly before the meeting I arranged with two of Sledd's friends to make

and second the nomination* My sitting-room and hall were crowded with a full

attendance of the faculty, all bursting with curiosity as to the meaning of this


unusual prooeedingo I called the meeting to order, dispensed with the reading

of the minutes, and briefly stated the business the request of the Board that

President Sledd be nominated for the honorary degree. My two fellow-consplrators

immediately made and seconded the motion* With utmost rapidity I slid over the

oall for discussion, and put the motion to vote. The ayes and noes were about

equal* I declared the motion carried and, before anybody oould oath his breath,

adjourned the meting, It was, of oourse, a high-handed and strong-armed pro-

oeeding. I instructed Cro to transmit our action to the Board, and set about

preparing the proper diploma.

On Wednesday morning the Commenooment exeroisea were conducted as usual.

The Baocalaureate Address was duly delivered and President Sledd, with his usual

grace and dignity, conferred the degrees upon the graduating class. As the

last diploma was given and the President was about to aek the audience to rise

for the final benediotion, I stepped to the front of the rostrum and announced

to Sledd and the audience that, by order of the Board, I should now take charge

of the meeting* 81edd had had no intimation of what was to oome, and I am sure

that for a moment he thought I had lost nr mind BHe weakly subsided into his

seat, and I conferred the degree. He was much moved and his little impromptu

speech was beautiful.

The Sledd regime was at an end. Exit Sledd) anter Murphree.

"Le Roi eat morti viva le Roil"




section I, Growth and Orgnisation 1909-191S

With the heange from Dootor Taliaferr to Docator 81edd as president

of the institution there had been violent changes in the personnel of the

faculty, for both the preediat and the reIolting teachers had been dis-

missed an act which left only Doctor Yoea and me as the survivors of

the faulty. Also Taliaterro had remained on the campus and had made

hisself obJectionable to Doctor 81edd by atbempt~ng to tell him her to

run the school a presumption of whioh only a man of very little appreo

edition of character would have been guilty, This stands in marked eon-

treat with the tradition from le.dd to Murphre* The latter, after his

election to the presidency in April, 1909, had some to the Wtiversity and

(1Sedd being absent at the time) I carried hia around and introduced the

member of the faculty* He was very graieous and assured each of thea

that there would be no change ihatsoevero Dootor 81edd had, I fear,

antagonixed many was*beS of his froulty and they, at least aOn of iena,

weleojmd the new president Aith relief.

As usual, I left Imediately after Com oamenenat lw m annual visit

to my father in South Oaolina, end returnd to the University a fIw days
bwfre the opening in the Falls, he only noteworthy change was the es*

tablishment of th College of Lawr The so-oalled Stetson University at

DeLand had for aome years maintained a law school. Though the entrance

requirements were very low, the school was a good one and had trained a

number of the leading lawyer of the *tate* Its standing was due largely

to the ability of ita head, Dean Farrar, who was held in high esteem by

e legal fraternity of the state. It was a brilliant piece of strategy,

devised, I was told, by Mr. Nat Byan, the Chairnan of our Board, to life

this Stetson law faculty bodily and transplant it to the Univereity.

I admired Farrar's ability as a teacher and his oharaoter as a an

but never e as into intimate oontact with himn I offended him very

griewusly during his first year with us. We had two hand"me steel

ngravings hanging on the vall back of the chapel rostrum likenesses

of George Washington and Roberb E Lee* Sone one had sent Dean Farrax

a similar engr.ving of Abraham Linooln. One morning I ocae to the chapel

aerviee a few minute early, aoomapanied, I think, by Dootor Crow# As

we entered the hall Dean F rrar was in the set of hanging the Linoln en-

graving on the wall between the other twr Somewhat startled, I thought.

lessly exolaimed, "Bh, Old Abe has gotten into decent society at laett

Of course it was a taotless an unoalled-fbr remark and I regretted it as

soon as I saw it eoftoot upon him. He awe very indignant and said he

would remove the engraving if that was the way we felt about it. I

smoothed it over the best I oould and finally persuaded him to let it re-

main* Still I silently thought that Old Abe vas indeed in pretty decent

company. I am sure that Dean Farrar never completely forgave me and looked

upon me as one of those unmreonatrueted rebels ho couldn't realize that the

war between the states mas over* Neertheless, to Dean Farrar pes the

credit of establishing he College of Law both internally in its rigidly

high standards and externally in its prestige throughout the state* In

turn he vas "lifted" from us by President Denny of the University of


Ihile I am on the law College, let me carry the atory a step further.

On Farrar's resignation President Murphree and the Board of Control decided

on a certain rather elderly gentleman named Hughes to succeed him. He, it



seems, had been at one time a somewhat distinguished teacher of law and

the author of several standard text-books. I expressed very euiphatically

to Murphree my disagreemasntz, frr got the impression that he was decidedly

a "has-been" and would not fit nt a new venture of this kind. The poor

man, hot at all adapted to the job in hand, was further handicapped by

doeamstio trouble his wife developed softening of the brain and for ma~y

aonth~ was a fearful oare. She died just before the end of the school

year* He oarried the body amy far burial. Ten, aooording to the story

current in Gaineville 'hen I returned in the Fall, he had reappeared there

about two months after his wife's death aeoompanied by a young woman whom

he registered at the hotel as a friend. Then they moved to his newly-built

home (now owned and occupied by Dootor and Mrs. Crow), Several ladies

of the town, prompted, no doubt, by curiosity called and he infbrmed thel

that his "friend" was taking a bath* this continued for several weeks,

and the town was heuming with the scandal. It happened that no one in

authority was on the onmpuse Finally Major Thomas called upon him and

explained the situation the town was outranged. He then confessed that

he had married this girl but was ashamed br people to know that he had

married again so soon after his wife's death* It soon beceae elear thet

he was no longer fitted br the position and he was asked to resign, As

a Vice-President's job is to do the things the President dislikes doing,

I, of course, had the duty of telling him that he would have to resign*

He offered no opposition, and it was altogether a sad and pitiable affair*

Professor Trusler, who had oome from Stetson with Dean Farrar, and who

had been urged as his sucoessor by a number of the students and others


throughout the State, was elected as third Dean a position whieh he still

holds. A competent administrator and instructor, he is, nevertheless, a

queer compound. He writes "poetry and is incessantly with his eyes
tightly closed evoking the inward vision, the light that never was on
land or sea, or something of that kind# Mp friend, Maurice Stein, of

Tampa, vouches for the following story. He was standing on the steps of
the southbound A. C. L. truan, leaving for hoae, while Trusler, standing

on the ground, was bidding him farewell* The Dean, his eyes :-ghthlr

closed, began one of his interminable stories. The train began to ease
out of the station, and Stein swears, as the coach rounded the evrv at the

end of West Main Street, Trusler, with his eyes still closed, was talking

on unconscious of the fact that his victim had escaped.
Indirectly, I was connected with another very disagreeable incident

in the history of the Law College* Judge Cookrell had failed to pass a

certain student (whose name I've forgotten) and the young man, ill-balanoed
mentally and of a violent temper, burst into the Judge's office and began

to abuse him, The student alleged that Judge Cookrell dashed at him and

oursed him fbr a "God-damned son of a bitch"# 2he matter oame up for hear-
ing betbre a smmber of the Board, end Trusler testified that he had reported

the matter to the President and had quoted the alleged expression. Xurphree

testified that Trusler had mentioned the incident, but had not mentioned the
oursingt- ~lphree, feeling that he was personally involved, asked ma to

write the report 4t the Board. After going over the matter aost oarefully,

I could see no evidence beyond the assertion of this half-orated boy that
Judge Coekrell had used suoh language and so reported. Be was fully ex.

operated by the Board. The direct elash between the testimony of the Dean


and the President was never cleared up.

Growing out of his interest in the Law College and of his friendship

with President Murphree, Judge Thomas Shaklefbrd become a familer figure

on the opus, I grew to know, admire and like him very much. He was

not only a great jurist, but a scholar and philosopher of wide reputation -

an intimate friend of William James and other Harvard notables* He de-

livered a course of lectures at our chapel exercises (they were daily and

compulsory for all students) on Pragmatism. Professor Joynes, the famous

modern language teacher of the Univrsity of South Carolina, was spending

a vacation in Gainesville at the times Be attended all of Judge Shakle-

ford's leoturesa At lunch on the day of the last lecture, the tenth,

Doctor Joynes went over to Judge Siaklefbrd's table and said, "Judge, tell

me onfidenthlly what Pragatism is. I promise not to tell anybody."

The second change that met me at the beginning of the new administration

was the President's insistence that I onoe more take up the duties of

"Officer in charge." During his last year, President Sledd himself had

lived in the dormitory end acted somewhat as Offioer-in-aharge mainly,

I think as an economy for he, like all of us, was always "hard-up". I

wasn't particularly enthusiastic about it, for my experience in Lake City

had taught me that it was a pretty strnmuoui life We were still at that

time (a survival of the old A. & M. College days) on a partial military

footing. The Offloer-in-oharge was a mixture of that office in its narrow

military sense, a kind of Dean-of-mens, chairman of the discipline committee,

a sort of lay resident physician and nurse combined, and a mother-confessor

and comforter for all the homesick and ill-treated little freshmen. But it

meant board and lodging for Mrs. Farr and me, and, after all, I rather liked


being with the boys, So I accepted and we moved into the north section

of Thomas Hall, and began taking our meals in the dining hall.

On the whleo, the individual aeals were not bad, but there was a

deadly monotpy about it that was very trying The boys, while a little

noisy at times, werereemarkably well-behaved, and I ean still look back

with pleasure on the courtesy and consideration with which they treated

uS, My first disagreeable experience, and even that was amusing in a

way, was with a young Cuban Ashman from TYor City. He was very swarthy,

very dirty, and very ill-mannered* The students at the table to whih he

was assigned refused to eat with him. I put him at another table and had

a similar experience. 8So I decided the only thing to do was to seat him

at my own table and see what I ooud do with him. After a month of

earnest struggle I gave it up as a hopeless undertaking, and made arrange-

mente for him to take his meals at a dwn-torn restaurant. In passing,

let me say that o* early experiences with Cuban students convinced ma that

any idea of encouraging them to attend the university was a mistake* On

the other hand moat of the Mexican and Braillian students have been very


I had not been in charge very long vhen we had an outbreak of dengue

fer. At that time there was no infirmary, no nurse, and as physician

DrY Flint, the head of the Chemistry Departient, who did not take the duty

seriously. Several of the students were desperately ill, especially two

freshmen from Key West, brothers, named Curry.

The climax of the year oame with the still-remembered-by-many students-

of-that-day, eannon-shooting episode# A oirous came to town and the city

authorities, over our protest, allowed it to pitch its tents on the vacant

lots now ooeupied by the S. As E. and other fraternities, Of course many


of the students wre rooked of their money 7b the swindling gles.

Several fight~ with the thugs that accompany such performances occurred.

The boys were sore and angry and determined upon revenge* 8o they, late

at night, dragged the wmalloannon which was supposed to ornament the plot

in front of the dormitory down the lower side of the campus. they loaded

it with a heavy charge of powder and stones, aimed it at the main oirous

tent and fired* A hole, the siue of a house, was torn and the whole per-

sonnel of the circus was thrown into a panio.

As soon as I heard the explosion, I rushed down to find the campus

entirely deserted, the cannon still smoking, the oirous attendants arming

themselves to repel ihat they thought was an impending attack by the student.

body, and the town polio fobre cautiously creeping up the street. I went

over and assured the oirous authorities there would be no farther trouble,

advised the police to go home, advice they gladly and immediately accepted.

Then I summoned the officers of the battalion and had thOe inspeot the

dormitories They reported that all students were in their quarters,

Nest morning, in the midst of my first class, the President's secretary

can to my room and informed me that he desired my presented immediately.

In his office I found the owner of the oirous and the chief of poliooo

The former was presenting a bill of $1,600,00 damages which he demanded

the University pay at once* The latter carried a formal note from the

Mayor and Council of the town calling upon the President to bring the guilty

students to justice. Murphree,with that affable emile of his, assured the

oirous magnate that his bill would be duly presented to the Board at their

next regular meeting* And, turning to the policeman, he told him to report

to the Mayor that Doctor Farr would take steps to bring the culprits to

immediate punisbhiant With a sickly grin I played up to the President's


bluff and said steps had alrea* been takan to detect the culprits. hben

our unwanted guests had departed I gave Murphree a big slioe of my mind*

There we some two hundred and fifty students and I hadn't the remotest

idea which of them wre involved Besides, deep down in my heart, I felt

that the circus and the toow had got pretty well what they deserved. Still

the threat to bring the matter before the Governor and the Legislature was

serious and I knew that something would have to be done.

For two weeks I worked on the problem and in the course of my investi-

gation I examined, bull-dozed and brow-beat praetioally every student

Finally I gave the names of every one involved, about one-fifth of the student

body and some of our best men The discipline committee meeted out fairly

mild punishment to all except the ringleader and the one who had actually

fired the cannon John Moody of Taapa, a vwr attractive boy but always in

mischief* Him they voted to expel Seamhow I felt that this wasn't

exactly fair, and made a strong plea that the sentence be modified to three

months oonfirnsnt to the eaupuas After muoh eadin# I finally got the

ooamittee to agree and John promised ms that he would not try to violate his

confiPnent, a promise whlih he honorably earned out. This is another

instance of nr statement in a preceding chapter that the average student,

when put upon his honor and trusted, can be relied upon to carry out his

part of the again.

There is nothing very speoifio that I rooell of this first year except

the general smoothness and ease with whieh the transition from one president

to another had been made* I sound found that ay duties as understudy to

Murphree were just as satisfatory and pleasant as they had been with 81edd*

As a result of the increased attendance, due partially to the Law School

but only partially, there prevailed among the faulty a feeling ofqcpf;is


and hope fbr the future that had been somewhat dim the preceding year.

We all realized that our big job was to "sell" the University to the

oitisons of the State and to convince them that we ware getting in

position to offer their sons educational advantages equalling those

offered by the states north of us, Personally, though sometimes dis-

oouraged, I never really doubted that ultimately we should build an in-

stitution of which the State would be proud.

These were years of hard and strenuous work for all of us. I had

my hands more than full with my various duties. I was still the whole

English Department, teaching twenty-four hours a week and without even

a student assistant to help in grading papers I was, as Vice-President,

fbr at least a third of the time in active charge of the institution and

obliged to spend two to three hours each day in the President's office.

AA Officer in Charge I was subject to calls from students fbr all oon-

oeivable reasons for twenty-four hours a day. In addition, I was an

active member of tbveral important committees. I was chairman of the

Committee on Entranoe, We were conjfronted with the two-fold problem of

raising the admission standards of tie University and at the same time of

keeping in touch with the high schools of the State. This involved muoh

correspondence with the Office of the State Superintendent of Eduati on and

with the school authorities of the various counties, and trips to ooiummi-

ties where high schools were being established to aid them with advice and

encouragement. The standards in entrance requirements had not at that time

been made by the Carnegie Foundation, and I had to spend many weary hours

grubbing over catalogs to tabulate the requirements that the better colleges

were trying to maintain* We found high oshool principal* inclined to be

supicious and sensitive, fearing and resenting any attempt to dictate to


tha the courses they should offer One group in the faulty held that we

should set up standard requirements with no reference to the high school

situation, and by rigid adherence to them foroe the schools to oonfbrm in

preparing students. Another group felt that we should accept unquestioned

the students sent us and make no effort to improve the condition# A third

group, of which I was a firm adherent, believed that we should raise our

standards gradually and cooperate closely with the high schools to bring

it ac-oub To those of you accustomed to the present-day standardization

and the automatic transfer of the student from the high school to the fresh-

man olass of theUniversity, this ay sound strange. But it was, in those

days in Florida, a very real and a very delicate and difficult problema

I was also chairman of the Library Committee at this time I have, in a

previous chapter, spoken of the fact that, at Lake City, we had only a handful

of books ieh could seareely be called a library. With the consolidation of

the school, a few hundred additional volume were added amotly hoeap novels,

outworn text-books and a few antiquated reference books I managed to get

into our appropriation a thousand dollars for the Library. In those days

our appropriation was made in a lump un, and the President could shift money

from one item to another at his pleasure. This library fund was one that

oould most easily be shifted the purchase of books could be postponed until

another year. Thi happened two years in suooeseion. I protested, but the

money was spent elsewhere. The third year I lost my temper and had a con-

siderable raw with Murphree one of the very fWw we wer had in our almost

twenty years of olo0 association. My fight bore fruit, fbr the asxt year

the fund was not diverted and we aotmally spent our thousand dollars for books.

This was really the beginning of the hiiversity Library, fbr our collection of

books prior to tha would have disgraed a third-rate high school. Teaching


English and Hiatory in those early days with practically no library re-

sources was a ovry difficult undertaking. The only dictionary was an old

badly-worn copy of Webster's Unabridgedj there was a cheap, three-volume

edition of Shakespear's plays broken sets of Walter Scott's and Dickens'

novels a one-volume edition of Tennysla and a big, vilely printed col-

lection of selected poems from American poets, The rest of the books were

cheap current novels whioh had been given the schools. I felt it was a

deeparate situation and deliberately risked my position wi th he school to

remedy it,

The third oaanoittee in whose work I took an active part was the Com-

mittee on Athletics 4 main interest in athletics had been, from my own

undergraduate days at Davidson, football and ennis. The football situation

Was still deplorable. There were no regulations as to eligibility nor any

osholastio standard enforced, I fear we were harboring a number of "ringers".

A certain wmmber of the faulty onoe said that he saw no reason why we should

object if these players were willing to give their time to win games for use

We were still in the stage of battling for supremaoy inside the State* Our

most serious rival was the little school at DeLand, and the honors were about

evenly divided. Once or twice a general fight between the student bodies was

narrowly averted. There was much bitterness and hard feeling and many charges

of unfairness were eohanged. Rollins and Southern were also our antagonists,

and toward the end of this early pedod we were just beginning to venture out-

side tb States The South Carolina Military Aoademy (The Citadel) at Charleston

and the University of SoUwh Carolina were our fist foes*

We tried maerous coaches, none of vhom retained the position beyond two

years, The salary was, of course, small and we oould sooand only medioere

talent p Personally, I was eerting strennous efforts to persuade the student-

body to apply for admission to the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic

Association (the SIAA) which Was, at that time, the sole organization -

the conference oame many years later Our students were dubious about

the matter as they felt the restrictions imposed by the S. I* A. As

would place us at a disadvantage when playing with other teams in the State.

I began a practice at that time for which I was much censured by sone

members of the faculty largely those, of c ourse, who were opposed to inter-

collegiate athletics If a student were in ar classes who was on the tem

and devoting his time to its requirements, I knew, from my om experience,

as a football play, that he could not do full justice to his duties as a

member of the team and at the same time carry on his full load of studies

successfully. So I always called my boys together and proposed to them

that I would go light upon them in the written work of the course during

the football season ithey would promise na to make it up when the season

was over. In an experience extending over man years and involving a large

number of students I never had a single boy fail to redeem that premise

I have always felt it was eoo on-sen e to do all we eould to produce a win-

ning tean and at tb sae time uphold our standards of scholarship. While

the game undoubtedly had its abuses, only a very fbolish man. ould deny the

Idvertising value of a victorious team in building up the institution,

I have gone into some detail in recounting ly personal activities

during this period not only because this is a personal narrative but be-

cause xy experience was typical of the whole situation* Every member of

the faculty was enthusiastically and whole-heartedly engaged in the work of

building up the school first in his own department and then inthe general

activities. We were only a small group of instructors as compared with the

present faculty, but we were all young mean At that time we had a larger

percentage of Doctors of Philosophy thbn any other faculty in t he United States,


There were no instructors with limited training and experience, but the

student from his freshman year on, ease immediately under the teaching of

the heads of thevarious departments. I doubt whether the instruction at

the University has ever been so around and thorough as it was at that time,

After a life-time of teaching I still believe that the one vital factor is

the teacher and his influence uponhis students, All the newfangled notions

that have come into vogue as regards content of courses and method of in-

struction always strike me as somewhat amusing and certainly unimportant.

If the teacher oan inspire the student with a gemine love of learning, with

intellectual courage and honesty, and with some appreciation of the best in

human endeavor, he has aooomplished the one aportant objective of all in-

struotion. Methods may oome and methods may go, but these are the eternal

verities vhich can never change. Mark Hopkins at one end of the log and

the student at the other will always be the vital faot in education.

Many of my colleagues of that time are dead Flint, Keppel, Benton

and Murphree, himselfj- others, like self, lave passed fr-ni the soene on

aooount of age or infirmities Crow, Anderson, Floyd) but they were men and

teachers of first ranks Thousands of man in Florida oan say that their

lives have been conditioned by having studied under thee* Just a few days

ago a co rpulent middle-aged man came to see me, important and prosperous-

looking, He told me that he took my freshman English course in 1910 and

that after an interval of thirty year: he still remembered Q nung's Rhetorio

and the splendid discipline it had been.

It is the fashion nowadays, I believe, to look back upon this period

as a kind of educational Dark Age* errything was new and crude, of course,

tentative and experimental, pioneering work shat as often rough and disagree-

ablee But th foundations of thepresent institution were being laid, and laid


under almost insuperable difficulties.

The University sustained a very serious loss when Judge Nat Bryan

was not reappointed to the Board of Control. His courage and statesman-

ship. had played a large part in the development of the institution. He

vas suooeeded in the ohairmnship by Mr. P. K. Yonge of Pensaoola. This

gentleman had been placed on the Board at the instance of Senator Blount of

Esosnbia County who, as a member of the Legislature lhioh created it, could

not hold the position. Mr. Yonge served on the Board continuously, with the

exception of the administration of Governor Catts, until ha recent retirement.

There has been muoh said about Mr Yonge's great services to the

University, and it sounds ungracious to raise a dissenting voice* He was,

undoubtedly, very faithful in attending meetings of the Board and devoted

noh of his time to the institution* However, my candid opinion is that the

University succeeded not on account of Mr* Yonge but in spite of him. He was

a man of narrow visipU limited outlook, and singularly lacking in personality.

Very cautions, conservative and fearful, he wea usually opposed at all forward

move4 I Oe wva, fbrtualately, mnuh under the influence of President Murphree,

who knew how to manage him when necessary,


Section II. 1914-1918

I find as this sketeh draws nearer the present that my memories

are vaguer and less vivid. This is, I suppose, due to two causes,

As cne rvn older, the events of early life reour more easily than the

more remote past* Also the osene itself becomes quieter, more plaid,

less dramatic. During the period of the World War, the war itself and

its effeots upon the University dominate and almost exclude any other

memory* The only other aspect of this period that was noteworthy was

the election of Catte as governor of the State and its effoot, especially

upon the personnel of the Board of Control.

As I always did until his death, I had spent the summer of 1914

with my father in our old home in Union, South Carolina* His eyesight,

owing to the growth of cataracts, had been very seriously impaired, so

much so that he would no longer read his daily paper* So thr back as

I can remember, he had read his Charleston "Neaw and Courier', and if by

some misoh~noe it failed to reaoh himhe was miserable for the rest of

the day. This, with his Bible, his "Confederate Veteran", and his

weekly "Southern Presbyterian", was almost his entire reading, So

during the summer my main duty was to a pend a large part of each day

reading these to hims My own taste in sumnr reading lies in devour.

ing vast numbers of detective stories two to five per days and I fund

the WConfederate Veteran*, the 08duthern Presbyterian" and even some parts

of the Bible a little dull* A remarkable man my father# A keen,

shrewd business man and banker and in matters of religious belief the

most credulous h~gan being I have ever known Whenever I complained

about the dull, platitudinous meanderings whieh passed for sermons,

he always rebuked me by saying that all sermons were good, but that


some were better than others This is, of courses somerat of a di-

gression, but it gives you the atmosphere in which I was living during
the earlier part of that memorable smaer dull, quiet, uneventful,

altogether nonotonously placid*

In the midst of it oame the aomontous events of August, and before

we had fully grasped the situation, the German groups wre blasting their

wy acroes Belgium. It is needless to say that a family whose ancestry

was composed entirely of old colonial English, Sooteh-Irish and Eiguenot

stocks was enlisted on the side of the allies.

Eaoh day I read th .detailed accounts of the desperately battling

French and Shglish troupe as the Germans pressed forward* To sm all

of this conveyed only vague, dim pictures of din and oonfusion, of

bloodshed and death but to my father it wa as real and vivid as if

he were in the midst of it# The difference in our reactions was, of

course, due to the difference in our experience. I had never seen a

real battles ay father had been chased for four years olver the hills

and valleys of Virginia by the Yankees# He was tremendously moved,

and it was only his age and infirmities that restrained him from offer-

ing his services to England* Often he wuld say, "If only Jaokson and

Lee could be there, those Germans would be quickly halted" And then

he would describe for me General Lee's magnificent defense of Richmond

against overwhelming odds.

In September I returned to ihe Universia~ with ay scypathies wholly

given to the cause of the allies# Shortly aiter the opening, the

Athenaeum Club held its first regular meeting of the year and a paper

was read by Doctor Crow which was very decidedly pro-Germans Hehad

spent several years: in Germany and held his Doctor's degree from Goettingen.


President Murphree had spent the mmer in Canada and his sybpathies

were naturally with the British. At the conclusion of the paper the

members, as was oustomary, were called upon to oozment. Murphree, with

his usual sumisoourtesy, took issue with the paper and presented the

aeuse of the allies with great moderation* My turn aoe next and I

figuratively took vff my coat, rolled up Vs sleeves and waded in*

I fear I showed neither suavity, courtesy nor moderation, but flayed

Crow and his paper and the Germans.

Seated opposite me was Professor Bushhols a typical German of

the old school. As I proceeded his faoe was pale, his eyes glaring

and his board quivering with wrath. That, I am afraid, stimulated mn to

even greater bursts of denunciation# When I yielded the floor the old

gentleman got to h is feet, fairly shaking with rage and attempted to

reply, but he was so angry that he could only sputter. After twa or
three attempts he shook his head and muttering uhat to me sounded like

German "ouss-wrrde" stalked from the room. Afterwards I went to him

and told him that nothing personal was meant and' that I was sorry if I

had hurt his feelings

Most of our faoulty were on the side of the allies, but few of

them were disposed to aooept my view that the United States should

enter the war immediately. I held then, and still do, the opinion

that we would ultimately be involved and the sooner we went in the

sooner the conflict would be ended# I still believe today that the

welfare of the human race on this planet of ours depends upon the

solidarity of the English-speaking nations. I have no sympathy

with the pacifists and isolationists who are infesting our nation and

weakening the fibre of our manhood by their insidious teachings*


As with individuals, so with nations. The beet defense against the

agressions of a bully is to let him know that you are prepared to fight

and that you'd get considerable satiafttion in giving him the licking

he deserves* That was my attitude in 1914 and it is still C.r attitude

twenty-five years later. May the tim never cthe when the Uniersity

of Florida will breed a race of milksops and mollycoddles.

Another incident which had its origin in the Athenaeum Club oc-

curred about this time maybe a little earlier. Doctor Sledd had

brought oam as Professor of History one of his Emory students who had

taken his Doctor's degree at Harvard Professor Banks. Be was an

anemio little chap, probably tubercular, very nervous and sensitive*

Onoe when he was holding a class, his room was visited by a government

inspector, He became so confused and embarrassed that he had to dismiss

his olaess

He read a paper before the Atheasan, the thesis of which was that

Abrahoa Lincoln was a greater stesman than Jefferson Wavis. The

paper was, undoubtedly, well written and fbroefully presented the views

upheld* The Northern members were delighted and praised it highly

the Southerners were either silent or courteously disoedents. y only

oonment was, "Beautiful English, Doctor Banks, bqt rotten history"

A few days later, it ame to me through a mutual friend that some of

our Northern colleagues were about to persuade him to submit the paper

to one of the nationally read magazines one whose attitude had always

been hostile to theSouth* I immediately wast to him and explained that

he would be making a fearful mistake I was in close touch with the

Confedere organizations of the State (the "Veterans". the "Sons of

Veterans", and the "Daughters") and knew accurately what effect the


publication of this view by the Head of the History Department of their

State University would haves The proverbial red rag to the bull would be

a mil comparison.

He spoke of conscientious opinions, aeademio freedom and willingness

to be a martyr in a good cause# I told him I agreed with these things,

but I also believed in a certain amount of good hard oommon-sense and the

allegiance a man owed to the source from which he drew his living,

Finally I left him, thinking that he had promised me not to sutmit it for

publication. However,to y ooomplete surprise, about two months later,

the article appeared in print* The indignation end anger of the citizens

of the State was aroused and ll the Confederate organizations were prepar-

ing to aot. The Legislature, with the fate of the University in its

hands, was on the point of oonvening. I have no apology to offer for a

action and would unhesitatingly do it again under similar oiroumstanoes.

I told him that the only possible amends he 'oould make was to avert the

oatastrophe which was threatening the institution throuht his very fool-

ish action by immediately resignin Be did this and the matter was

closed, There was oanaiderable stir in some portions of the Northern

press$ The young man died shortly afterwards, and this experience may

have helped to hasten his end. To me the welfare of the institution we

were sweating blood to establish was more important than the career of an

individual, While I took the leading part in this affair on account of

r close affiliation with the Confederate sentiment, President Murphree

fully concurred in my action*

The next occurrence that ruffled the serenity of our aoademie life

was the election the Reve Sidney J* Catts as Governor of the State.

Up to that time State politics had been largely under the control of the

politicians at Tallahassee, Jacksonville and Tampa and was a struggle

between two cliques for dominance. With Catts a new force was projected

into the arena. Be was, I believe, a native of Alabama where he had

played some part in the political scrambles* He then moved to DeFuniak

Springs and soon launched his oea*Mign outside the regular political

groups. I was very familiar with the type, having in my boyhood gone

through the exciting times whenen Tillman .(Pitohfbrk Ben") revolu-

tionised the political status in South Carolina*

From the close of the War Between the States until his advent,

South Carolina had been an oligarchy ruled by a group of Confederate

officers# My earliest memory Is a 1*ill vivid picture of the "red-

shirt" parade which preceded the gubernatorial election in 18768

when the State was freed from negro and "oarpet-bag" rule by the eleo-

tion of General Wade Bampbon at Governoro A small group of Confederate

officers in each county controlled the elections and passed out the

offices at their pleasure# As my father was one of this group in our

county (union) I was, of Oourse, bitterly against the Tillmaxnite movement*

On numerous occasions I heard Tillman address the crowds and though op-

posed to him I oould not but admire the esterly debagogery with which

he appealed to the rank and file of voters the "on-.gallus" boys -

nmall farmers, mill-operatives and the laboring element in general*

It was frankly an appeal to their olaas-prejudicoe demagogio, aeloa

dramatic, at times ooareely and even obscenely witty, brutal, oooasionally

blasphemous but always powerful and effective, In hie wry, though

ruthless and unscrupulous he was a great man and in reality did change

the state government from a narrow aristoeraey to a demooracy. By the

irony of fate he was supported in hi latter days as United States


Senator by his former enemies then younger and lesser men tried to repeat

his taotios against him. Others of this type of politician have appeared

in the South Vard~ma, Buey Long, etco

Catts was a good example of the species a smaller Tillman, a

weaker Huey Long 1 but with the characteristics and attributes which

carried then to power in a wave of popular hysteria. I suppose the

ittler', Mussolinie and Stahlins of Europe are enlarged models of the

same tribe.

There was intense excitement throughout the State and on the campus

during the spring campaign leading to the Demooratie primary in April,

Catte, on the face of the returns, was nominated equivalent, of course,

to election. But the ballot was questioned and the issue carried to the

Supreme Court. The Court deoled against Catta and his rival (Knott)

was adjudged the nominee of the party, This decision was not approved

even by many who had originally Voted against him* e then ran in the

general eleatim in November and was overwhelmingly elected

Along in October Catts oame to Gainesville and one of his ardent

supporters, Major John Tench, a confederate veteran o s wife was a native

of asr county in Soubh Carolina, entertained him. I was asked to dinner

to meet him and spent the evening discussing the situation. He assured

me that he was a firm supporter of higher education, himself a college

graduate, and would always be a friend of the University. He said,

however, that the existing Board of Control uws composed of his political

enemies and th* he would replace then by his friends. I told him I

thought the Board should be outside of plitios and that its effectiveness

would be impaired if its personnel was changed with each administration.

"Yeas, he snarled, *they should keep out of politics themselves if they


want to be left alone. They all fought me, and they'll have to go.'

Then, turning to ms, he said, very seriously, "You tell Murphrae to watoh

his step or he'll go, too."

There was a story going the rounds of the State, the truth of which I

cannot vouch fbr, that would explain his antagoniSa to Dootor Mrphree beyond

the fact that Murphree as a lose friend of his opponent and in general af-

filiated with the opposing oanp. It goes that on a oertain day shortly be-

fore election, ,urphre-e on a trip to West Florida, walked into the smoking

oompartiet of his Pullman vhere a number of men, many of whom he knew, were

discussing the political situation* Murphree launched into a violent dia-

tribe, denouncing Catt and pointing out the evils which would result from

his eleotione A silenee fell as a young man, sitting y the o or, arose

and went out. hVrphr* e was informed that the departing youth was IWr OCatt'

son.* hen I asked the President whether the story were true, he grinned

sheepishly and said, "Well, nos not exactly," There probably wa some

basis fbr this story.

However that may be, th faot is that President Murphree and Governor

Catts never met during the four years of the. latter's administration. Catts,

in contrast with other governors, titeld the University frequently and was

always glad to address the students Murphree always was informed of his

intended visits by friends in Tallahassee and always had important engagements

away from Gainesville at the tiU It vas rather asmming and not at all bb-

jeotionable to me as I rather liked the Governor. In contrast to his

political harangue which were always in the most approved demagogio style,

he delivered several addresses to the faculty and students which were well

done a little too "oratorical" perhaps, but with distinct literary ability.


His appointment of Mro Joe Earman of West Palm Beach, at the time

one of his most ardent supporters, was very widely and vociferously criti-

oised throughout the State, Of course we were much worried at the whole

situation and did not know just what to expect* But the alam was need-

leoss, for Mre Earman was an excellent member of the Board and in fAll

sympathy with every wovemwb to improve the institution, The establish-

ment of the General Evtension Division wes directly due to his initiative

and energy in pushing through the necessary legislation.

Let me note, in digression, that the English Department had begun

Extension work on its own responsibility two years before the Division ws

established* A group of teachers fom Tampa had taken a course in

Modern Drama under Professor C. A. Robertson who, at that time, was my

assistant, in the Sumner School, At its close *hey requested him to con-

tinue the course in Tampa during the fall, and offered to pay his expenses

bfr week-end trips to their cily. He laid the matter before am and I

urged him to aaoept It seemed an excellent opportunity for us to become
acquainted with the teachers there and to tie them to the University.

At the end of the semester Robertson asked me to take over the work, whieh

I gladly did, and we continued it until it was taken over by the Extension

Division* Though our expenses were presumably paid, we both found at the

end of the year we had lost. I may saysin this connection, that I did a

great deal of extension work later- in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater,

Plant City, Orlando, Leesburg, and for many years in Jacksonville. I

found that the work rarely paid more than expenses, but I firmly believe

that this work an done by Professor Roeoer, Professor Enwall and others

played a considerable part in aiding in popularizing the University


throughout the Statea These course made the teachers feel they were a

part of the Uniersity and they, of course, had great influence with students

and parents in deciding what college should be attended*

Only on one eooasion did governor Catts attempt to interfere in the

internal management of the institutions As I recall the incident, I think

it was in the Spring of 1917. Murphree called me into his office one after-

noon and showed me a letter from the Governor, It was a demand, omuched in

somewhat dictatorial terms, that the fhoulty confer at the approaching com-

mencement exercises the degree of Doctor of Divinity upon a certain Baptist

minister who, it seems, was at the time a friend of his* vrphree was

worried, for it placed us in a very embarrassing dile=a. If we refused,

we should antagonize the Governors and his violent temper at any opposition

might lead him to visit his wrath upon the institution and especially upon

its head, If we yielded, there was no measuring how far he might go in

attempting to interfere in our internal affairs Murphree suggested that,

as Catts didn't like him, I had better nage the affair* I pent a large

part of the night thinking over the situation, It was clear that some line

of action that would escape both horns of the dilenxla should be devised,

It seemed the best policy to ease the situation along in hopes that it would

be forgotten.

At a meeting of the faculty I moved that no honorary degree should be

nominated for submission to the Board of Control until kt had been before

the faculty fir three months and reported on by a committee appointed to

investigate the proposed candidate. When this w r carried, I nominated

the overnor's friend and moved that the master be referred to the proper

committees Then, Mfrphree being technically absent, I, as acting President,

wrote the Governor a long explanation of the procedure necessary to carry

out his wish, and assured him that the machinery had been set in motion to

place his friend's name before the Board as early as possible. I re-

ceived a very courteous reply, thanking me for my interest in the matter

and assuring me he had no desire to interfere with our regular procedure.

That ended the matter* The Governor soon quarreled with his friend, and

wrote me to let the affair drop.

It is only just to Governor Catts to say that I do not think the

University suffered under his administration except in two respeot* He

did use the Board of Control as a political instrument to punish his

enemies and to reward his friends) but other governors, before and after,

have done the saae thing though not to suoh a degrees My own conception

is that the Board should be above political manipulations He did create

a feeling of uneasiness in the fa~ul-l and there was some unrest and uh-

oertainty whioh was not fbr the best, On the other hand, he often es-

pressed his friendship for the institution and was always favorably dias

posed towards our legislative appropriations. There was undoubtedly at

one time grave danger of the Governor's carrying out his threat of deposing

Murphree*. he latter's friends throughout the State were muoh alarmed,

and every effort to bring pressure to stave off such a catastrophe was made.

I took two trips, secretly, to the Capital and had long interviews with Catt.s

Finally he was persuaded that he could not afford to let his personal antagon-

isa plunge the institution into the chaos which would have resulted.

President awxrphree wav"sbbond question, the most respected and loved eitisen

of the State, and theappointment of a politician's ahoioe to supplant him

would have been deeply resented* Howver, the matter went no further and

the two simply ignored eaoh other* These years were very trying to the

President and wsre a strain on his health,

This condition of internal discord was complicated by the omnious

shadow of the war-olouds hanging over us. There was considerable di-

vergence of opinion and sympathy in regard to the European situation.

vM own view partly due to family tradition, partly to my professional

work (the teaching of English literature) and, I hope, partly to good,

hard oommon-sense was wholly with the allies. From the very begin-

ning of the conflict, I felt we should have entered the war, even if

for no higher motive than self-preservation. I still think that the

Kaiser was a half-mad ~sgalomaniao, his brain distorted with ambitions

to become another Alexander or Caesar or Napoleon, and that, with Europe

under his feet, he would have attempted to push his conquest to this

hemisphere* Personally, I believed it would be an easier job to help

the allies whip him than to be fbroed to attempt it alone later on.

On all oooasions, suitable and unsuitable, I urged these views

Several times Murphree asked me if I were not aLraid of getting into

trouble for violation of our neutrality. Certain other numbers of

the faculty were, at that time, in full sympathy with the German view*

The majority, however, were rather close-mouthed and apparently carry-

ing out our declaration of neutrality. The students, on the whole,

were rather apathetic and seemed to take no great interest in the

struggle* There was, however, no pacifist sentiment on the campus,

bub all were ready to fight should we enter the war, During the

1914-1916 sessions the war in Europe had little effect upon our life

an the campus.

There was a noticeable change in the face of 19186 It was be-

coming more and more apparent that we were being forced into the oon-

flioat The students, especially the upper olsmass and officers of


the battalion, were beginning to think in terms of military service*

I found members of my classes on any pretext trying to get me to dis-

oues the situation partly due, no doubt, to the ancient device of all

students to divert the instructor from the lesson, but due also to pre-

occupation hith theWar In my Shakespeare class, we were reading

Henry V, and the boys were tremendously enthusiastic over the delinea-

tion 6f the valiant king. Through the winter and early spring the in-

evitableness of our partioipation beams more and more apparent When

President Wilson's message and the declaration of war came on the heels

of the sinking of the Lusitania our faulty and students were whole-

heartedly in accord with the national sentiment.

President Murphree immediately wired to Washington playing the

University and all its resources unreservedly at the service of the

government. From that time on until the signing of the armistice,

life on the oampur seems in retrospect a ectic nightmare of turmoil

and confusion. Our seniors with military training were called into

the rapidly assemblying armies and were assigned duties on the recom-

mendation of our Comandant, Colonel Walker. In a way, I am responsi-

ble fbr the death of one of them. Arthur Hmnm, a young man from the

North, had made th acquaintance of Doctor Murphree and had been very

desirous of a college education. He had had a variegated rareer-

au policeman, private detective, and in other adventurous eallings.

bH had a fund of stories dealing with his experiences, and I had had

him come to my home often to tell me of his exploits. He had been

excused from military training, and Colonel Walker had taken a con-

siderable dislike to him. So the Colonel refused to sign his

reoomendation. Ranm came to me in great distress and asked me to

intervene, I finally persuaded Colonel Walker that he would make


an excellent officer. The young mn married shortly afterwards a lady

of wealth, He was killed in action in France and his widow endowed

with part of his war-insuranee a scholarship in the University,

As the draft went i:;to effort, the age of several professor* sudden.

ly increased. The faculty were issued blanks applying for exemption

from military duty. Though above the age limit for active military duty,

I signed the application with great reluctance, I don't think I was

especially patriotic or expeoially desirous of killing Germanol but I

did feel tt this war would be te greatest historical event of our

generation and I was intensely curious to see it.

Our 1917 Comenoement was distinguished by the smallness of the

graduating olass. At its close I wont to South Carolina fbr the summer

There were three training omps in a radius of a few miles at Greenville,

Spartkburg and Columbia* We had friends and relatives in each of these

and made frequent automobile trips to then. There was an air of ieverish

haste and excitement everywhere. One of the most pioturesque scenes that
I hav ever witnessed oeourred late one evening at the railroad station

in Union. It was the departure of a troup train of the negro draft

from the county. A dozen coaches were drawn up at the station and five

or six hundred young negro men, ranging in color from light mulattoes to

ooal-black men* Crowded around was apparently the whole negro population

of the county many of the women wringing their hands and sobbing, a group

of pious old souls chanting their spirituals, the children screaming in

fright, the young "buokof keeping up a rather hollow show of hilarity*

One of the old orones from my father 's plantation grasped my hand and

wailed, "Marse Jimmie, if them Germans ootoh my Tom will day sho nut

skin him alive?" I tried to assure her that no such thing would happen,


but couldn't shake her fear, It was weird and memorable sight.

We returned, as usual, in the early part of September# I drove doin

the coastal road Augusta, Savannah, Brunswick and Jacksonville. This

was years before the present highway was constructed, and the trip from

Savannah to Jacksonville was fearful. Most of the trip was over oorduroy

roads and through the swamps and marshes of Glyn with the road partly

under water. I was driving the ear with my older daughter, aged seven,

beside me and Mrs, Farr and the baby in the rear* It was a foolish and

hazardous undertaking, for the country was uninhabited and desolate, and

if my oar had gone bad we should have been in a deplorable aooident. We

arrived in Jacksonville at dusk and continued on towards Gainesville

through St. Augustine and Palatka, the onl r feasible route at that time.

I was not too familiar with the road especially at night, and after leav-

ing Palatka found myself in an interminable network of country lanes, all

of which were indistinguishable from each other, Soon I was completely

lost, It began raining and the children, now thoroughly terrified set

up a disaal wail.

Finally, after an hour or two trying to locate the road, I spied in

the distance a red light which I took to be a little place called Phifer.

A store was open and a number of negro. men were loitering around. I asked

the way to Gainesville, nd two of them jumped on the running bard to

show me the way. Mrs. Farr had heard tales of the wickedness of the

"turpentine niggers" and was certain that we should be murdered. To be

truthful, I wasn't feeling any too secure myself. However, my negro

guides were trustworthy and brought us into the main road a few miles from

our destination,

This is told fbr the benefit of any younger readers accustomed to the

present splendid highway which over the State. At this period there was

not a single hard-surfaced road out of Gainesville. My annual trip to Union,

Soubh Carolina, mas made via Lake City, Valdosta, Macon, Athens, Greenville

and Spartanburg. In recent years I have made the trip omfbrbably in less

than a dayr At that time, we consumed three days and, if the roads were

web, even more. I regarded it as a good days travel if I reached Live

Oak for supper the first day. Many miles of the Gaineeville-Lake City road

were through deep sand when one had to travel in low gear* The red olay

hills around Macon, in rainy weather, were slippery beyond belief. Skid-

ding into the drainways ad having to get teams from neighboring farms to

pull you back into the road were an expected part of the program. Tires

were muoh inferior to the present ones, and a few punctures and blow-outs

were always occurring. Traveling by automobile was in those days an ex-

citing adventure, and one was never tbowure that he should reach his


On our arrival in Gainesville, I fund everything upset and in con.

fAsion. During the suamer a detachment of about six hundred men had been

sent to the University for training in mechanics. They were a rather

rough lot of customers, largely from the slums of New York, and their

officers had to rule them with an iron hand, We had between six and

seven hundred students enrolled* The campus took on the air of a mili-

tary camp and everything and everybody was subordinated to the idea of

military training*

On the opening day we received telegraphic instructions, covering

several typewritten pages, laying out a curriculum and giving detailed

suggestions as to the conducting of classes. It was incoherent, involved

and very confusing. President Murphree had copies sent to the members of

the faculty and appointed a cooaittee to work out the procedure. After about

two weeks of labor, re got things to working as nearly as we could to what

seemed to be the desire of the authorities in Washington* Then cam a

second set of instructions, even longer and more detailed, rescinding the

former ones and setting up a new ourrioulum. A sooond time we went to work

to try to carry out the wishes of the Government. No sooner had this begun

to operate than a third change was ordered* At this distance the whole af-

fair seems silly and rather incredible but it was, no doubt, a necessary

part of th effort to organize the country upon a new basis.

In the midst of this coam the fttrible epidemic of influenza that swept

through the country. I left Gainesville on' a Friday afternoon to address

a meeting of theState YEA at Rollins College and so far as I know there was

not a single case either in the ton or on the campus Saturday afternoon

I was sitting on the rostrum of the Rollins auditorium whth only a few moments

until I should speak when a telegram was brought to me My first thought,

of course, was that something had happened to my wife or children It was

with relief that I saw it was a request from President Murphree that I return

immediately and take charge because a violent epidmaio of sweeping over the

campus and he, himself, was seriously ill with it* After my address, I

hurried out to make arrangements for my return. There was no train stopping

until the next day, but a through train would pass through at midnight*

After various long-distance talks with railroad and military authorities I

got an order through for this train to stop for me.

Onmy arrival Sunday morning I found that over a hundred oases had

developed on th campus, and the oitisens of the ton were in the sam situa-

tion I want at once to see the President. Mrs* Murphree met me and asked