LIFE AND WORK
DR. A. A. MURPHREE
DR. ALBERT ALEXANDER MURPHREE
PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA,
DR. ALBERTALBERT ALEXANDER MURPHREE
PBESIENT OF TU UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA,
ORAND KAY ARMSTRONG, B. J., M. A.,
DEPAnTMENT OF JOURNALISM
UNIVERSITY OF FoWRIDA
1D BT THE AUTHOR
ORLAND KAY ARMSTRONG
uRna -- mrk
TEFU.L acknowledgment is made for the as-
sistance extended the author in the compil-
ation of this book to the sons and daugh-
ters of the late Dr. A. A. Murphree, and to
surviving members of his family in various parts, who
gave every co-operation in supplying the material for the
manuscript and the illustrations; to Acting President
James M. Farr of the University of Florida, who was
such a close associate of Dr. Murphree, and who is so
splendidly carrying on the work of leadership in this
great institution; to Klein H. Graham, business man-
ager of the University, for assistance in the publishing; to
the deans of the colleges and heads of the departments;
the various members of the faculty; students in the Uni-
versity and alumni over the state; to members of the
faculty of the Florida State College for Women and
friends of Dr. Murphree in Tallahassee; and to his
former friends and associates over the whole wide range
of his life, who have shown such keen interest
duction of this volume.
"The Life and Work of Dr. A. A. Murphro
a labor of love on the part of the author and
in the pro-
e" has been
have assisted him. If it helps to perpetuatethe memory
of a truly great man, the reason for its publication will
The book is sincerely inscribed to that great multi-
tude of young me and young women whose lives this
great educator touched and helped to mold.
-ORLAND KAY AaMSTONGc.
is page is set aside to express the appreciation
which everyone connected with the University of
Florida-faculty, students, alumni-and that
vast group of friends of the institution who con-
stitute the bulk of the citizenship of this state, feel toward the
honorable gentlemen, the Board of Control, who gave such
splendid support and cooperation to the late Dr. A. A. Mur-
phree in his leadership of the University during its years of
MR. P. K. YONGE of Pensacola, Chairman;
MR. E. L. WARTMANN of Citra,
Ma. EDw. W. LANE of Jacksonville,
GEN. A. H. BLANDwmG of Bartow,
JUDGE W. B. DAVIS of Perry.
Especially in the above group should
two veteran members, ,Mr. Yonge and Mr.
Yonge served continuously as a member I
the founding of the University of Florida
of a few years, and was a close ac
the late educational leader. Mr.
be mentioned the
of the board since
in 1905, with the
Iviser and intimate
continuously since 1907, and was a staunch sup-
the president, a friend upon whom Dr. Murphree
two had the advantage in point of service over the
three other members, but Mr. Lane,
Judge Davis, as well as Mr. J. T. Di
secretary of the board, would not let
them in the esteem they held for the
Dr. Murphree and in support of every
General Blanding and
amond of Tallahassee,
their associates outdo
I life and character of
effort he made, within
their power, to advance the cause of higher education in
Florida by means of this great University.
An Appreciation .................. ..............
Table of Contents ................... ............
... .. ..
. .... S. *
List of Illustrations .................. .... ..............
"Crossing the Bar"
"Success--and the Sudden Call"
"The Murphree Ancestry"
3: "The Young Educator at Tallahassee".......... 25
4: "Attainment in Organizing and Leading"........ 33
5: "Dr. Murphree Comes to Gainesville".......... 39
6: "The Foundation for a Great University"........ 47
"Building on That Foundation"
"The Structure Is Enlarged"................
"Professional Colleges Added"................
"In the Task of Building Men"................
"Adjuncts of a Great University"........ ....
"Dr. Murphree's Greatest Monument"...........
"Bryan Names Murphree for the Presidency".....
"Civic Life and Fraternal Interests"
"Religious Faith and Practice"....
"The Home Life of Dr. Murphree".
"An Estimate of the Man"
'Tributes from Associates and Friends"
"Tributes from the Press"
. . .. .. .. .. .. ... ... 9
Dr. Albert Alexander Murphree ..
Mrs. Jennie Henderson Murphree.
As a Young College President....
Dr. James M. Farr, Acting President ..............
Five Who Antedated Dr. Murphree at University
Faculty Group, University of Florida, 1910-11..
.................. .... 23
. .. .. ... 45
. . ... 49
Dr. A. A. Murphree--1916
Thomas Hall ............
. ... ..
. ... ....
The Championship Football Team of 1910.
President A. A. Murphree-1920..........
.... .. ... .... 61
.. .. ... 69
S . .. .. .. 81
. .. . .. .. 85
Officers of the Florida Alumni Association-1927
Miss Cora Miltimore and Miss Mary Parrott...
The University Auditorium.
Inset, the Organ.
Language Hall, University of Florida..
Mrs. Murphree and the Four Children.
Klein H. Graham, Business Manager of the University.
.. .. . 91
. .. . 93
Cross ling the |ar
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me,
And may there be no moanigh of the bar,
When I put out to sea.
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho' from out our bourn of time and place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.
-ALRED LORD TwENNSON.
MRS. JENNIE HENDERSON MURPHREE
WIFE OF THE LATE GREAT EDUCATOR
SUCCESS AND THE SUDDEN CALL
"Heaven is not gained at a single bound;
But we build.the ladder by which we rise
From the lowly earth to the vaulted skies,
And we mount to its summit round by round.
I count this thing to be grandly true,
That a noble deed is a step toward God-
Lifting the soul from the common sod
To a purer air and a broader view.
We rise by things that are neathh our feet;
By what we have mastered of good and pin;
By thpride deposed and the passion slain,
And the vanquished ills that we hourly meet."
-JoMua GuCnR Hou.AND.
T s a crowning moment in the life of any man when
.he receives nationwide recognition in his business
or profession-when he finds that the ideals he
has striven for and the policies he has followed
have crystallized into worth-while accomplishments that have
called the attention of the whole country.
Such recognition came to President Albert Alexander
Murphree of the University of Florida on that November day
in 1927 when he was elected president of the National Asso-
ciation of State Universities. He was rounding out forty
years as a teacher and an educational administrator. He was
president of the University that had grown under his leader-
ship as no other American university has grown in the last
generation of rapidly expandingveducational institutions.
He had attracted the attention of national leaders of edu-
cation by sheer merit as an efficient, broadminded, progres-
sive, energetic leader. The honor tendered him by the
National Association of State Universities was the highest
recognition, the utmost professional honor, that its member-
ship could bestow. Friends and associates of Dr. Murphree
in the big task of education in Florida and elsewhere rejoiced
that he had been so honored. The citizens of Gainesville,
12 LIFE AND WORn OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
where the classic halls of the University he had served since
1909 grace a truly Florida setting, were particularly jubilant
when the news of his election came. It was a surprise, for
there had been no seeking of any honor-much less this signal
one-in the life of service that was President Murphree's.
The press of the state took up the word and many were the
heartfelt tributes from editors who had watched the University
of Florida mould itself into a great institution under his direc-
tion. They pointed out quite unanimously that the honor had
come because the outstanding accomplishment in higher edu-
cation in the state was Dr. Murphree's administration of the
University during the last decade; for during that time, with
a limited faculty, with less money invested in equipment and
buildings than many such institutions have, with needs grow-
ing so rapidly that facilities could never quite keep pace,
academic standards had been maintained, new colleges had
been formed in the University group, new departments had
been established, research work had gone forward, and the
many avenues of educational activity had been entered by the
University under his leadership.
From one hundred and eighty-six students in 1909 to an
enrollment of more than two thousand in 1927-that has been
his record. But that is the barest outline of the tremendous
story lying between those years; the story of small beginnings,
far-sightedness, great faith, patience, and energy; the story of
the use of such tools as a man has, to perform lasting accom-
Such is the story of the entire life of Albert Alexander
Murphree. Typical of the great men our country has pro-
duced in this glorious age-south, north, east and west; clear-
eyed men who do not let obscure beginnings nor poverty nor
obstacles stand in the way of success; who count, when all is
done, that service has been their outstanding gain.
Born in obscurity in a rural community in northern Ala-
bama, finding his education in the country schools, starting
out to teach when yet a boy; seeking more and more education,
and attaining higher positions in which to continue teaching;
finding his keenest happiness in administering to the develop-
ment of the minds and lives of growing young men and young
SuccES -AND THE SUDDEN CALL
women; and with it all a devoted husband and father, a lover
of the arts and the beautiful, an outstanding citizen, a man of
deep religious faith, profession and practice Dr. Murphree
was filling a place that surrounded him with the recognition
ing citizen of any state deserves.
than four years before, another great honor had come
his friend, the great commoner, William Jennings
Christian statesman and leader, had publicly pro-
Dr. Murphree as the one most fit to occupy the highest
honor the country can give a man, that of President of the
United States. It was no empty compliment Mr. Bryan
sought to bestow upon the educational leader. He stood by
his nomination of Dr. 'Murphree to the extent that the whole
nation took it up at least in an inquiring way. With quietude
and dignity, Dr. Murphree allowed both inquiry and praise
to flow about him, making no comment except appreciation of
the interest his friends were taking in him.
But the honor marked him as greater than any-one locality
or indeed any one state. And the fact that he had achieved
recognition not as a political leader but in the educational
field made Mr. Bryan's nomination of him more significant.
Barely one month had gone by after Dr. Murphree's elec-
tion to the presidency of the National Association of State
Universities when the activities of the University of Florida
suspended for the Christmas holidays. Students left in joy-
ous groups for their homes in every community in the state
and to numerous other states. Many members of the faculty
took vacation trips, resting, refreshing their bodies and spirits
in the holiday atmosphere of Christmas time.
With Dr. Murphree at his home were his two sons,
John A. H. Murphree and Albert Alexander, Jr.; and his
daughter Alberta with her husband David G. Worth. The
other daughter, Martha, a bride of a few weeks, who had gone
to live in Chicago, was preparing to leave for the holidays at
the parental home.
It was Tuesday morning, December 20, 1927. The morn-
ing sun was bathing the University city and the Murphree
home in a balmy light of a Florida winter, but Dr. Murphree
14 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
had not risen. The Final Summons had called him beyond.
There was sorrow in the home that the morning light could not
dispel. There was the pall of a stunned grief over the city of
Gainesville. There was sorrow in Tallahassee, the capital
city where so many years of his life had been spent and where
his beloved wife had been laid to final rest some four years
before. A great wave of sympathy welled up and came in a
tide from alumni, friends, citizens. Florida's outstanding
citizen and leader had gone.
The funeral service was conducted the next day at the
First Baptist Church where during his entire time in Gaines-
ville he had worshiped and served. In the sorrowing group
of survivors were his daughter Alberta, who is Mrs. David G.
Worth, and his two sons, John A. H. and A. A., Jr. Martha,
the other daughter, who is Mrs. R. G. Wallace in Chicago, was
hastening to Tallahassee to be presenttat the interment. The
host of friends crowded into the auditorium of the church,
members of the faculty of the University, students, alumni,
citizens of Gainesville-friends and associates in all walks of
life-they came to pay tribute to the departed leader.
Dr. Thomas V. McCaul, minister of the First Baptist
Church, paid the great educator this tribute in the funeral
"As the minister of this great and good man there are
many things I would like to say, but I shall not speak them
now. It is difficult to refrain from expressing my love for
and my appreciation of my cherished friend. But we are
here to pause for a few minutes in God's house which he loved
so devotedly, and to which he loved to come in humble and
"The presence of this great throng of sympathetic friends
is a fitting testimony of the large place he occupied in the love
and esteem of the people of this community.
"At some other time we hope to pay a worthy tribute to
his memory, for a 'Prince in Israel is fallen today!'
"He was a true friend, a wise leader, a loving father, a
devoted husband, and an humble and faithful Christian.
"The cause of education, the state, society, the church,
and Christianity has suffered an irreparable loss, and we shall
SUCCESS- AND THE SUDDEN CALL 15
not find in the wide world a finer spirit, a purer heart, a nobler
soul, than was Dr. Albert A. Murphree."
Among the many editorials expressing regret on the suds
den passing of President Murphree and eulogizing his life of
service, appeared an article in the St. Augustine Record by
the editor of that paper, Herbert Felkel, an alumnus of the
University of Florida and a former student at the Florida
State College when Dr. Murphree was president there. The
"Dr. Murphree was spoken of repeatedly for Governor of
Florida and was the announced choice of William Jennings
Bryan in the Democratic convention of 1924, but the educator
consistently declined to permit his name to be placed in nom-
ination for any political post. His was as important work as
that of the Governor. His influence was probably wider, with
tremendous opportunities for character building in young men
at the formative age.
"This writer is one of a thousand men now treading along
Florida's business and professional paths whose lives were
touched by Dr. Murphree's and influenced for good by that
contact. For he had personality and magnetism in a degree
possessed by few men. He inspired college boys to higher
motives. He believed that building ideals, courage, integrity
into the makeup of young men was as important as the knowl-
edge gained from their books. His vitality and strength car-
ried his faculty along with him to better things and finer prin-
ciples. For 'Doc' Murphree, as the boys called him, was an
organizer of no mean ability. He sustained morale in all
those who worked with him and for him. He had those rare
qualities that constitute a successful college president, and he
had built up a University for Florida that he lived to see take
the highest rank among similar institutions of learning
"The Gainesville campus is sad today, but probably no
more so than spots throughout the whole of the state. Over
many a law office and newspaper plant, over many a shop and
store, over many a draftsman's board, and in scores of farms
and groves today there is a shadow. Men leave college and
go out into the diverging walks of the world where new friends
LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
are made and pleasant contacts formed. But there is a tie
between professor and student that occupies a different classi-
fication in the golden book of friendship. There is in this tie
much of honor and respect, but more of love and admiration
and gratitude than of the other elements. And these ties grow
stronger with the years. Separated from most friends, we
drift away from them and they from us. Sometimes we even
forget them entirely. But not so with our teachers-the
longer we live, the more we appreciate their efforts, and it
seems we are never done thanking them. Did we say we were
one of a thousand? Yea, there are many thousands of Flor-
idians who in Dr. Murphree's sudden death have lost a friend-
ship born of college days and stoutly enduring since. There
are women among the number, as prior to his appointment as
head of the University, A. A. Murphree presided over the des-
tinies of the Florida State College for Women at Tallahassee.
Before that he was head of the old Florida State College, a
co-educational institution consodidated with others by the
Buckman bill of 1905.
"The grief of this state and her people is sincere. We
know of no one's passing in all Florida that could have caused
so many people to lose an intimate personal friend. A Chris-
tian, a scholar, a gentleman, a leader, a thinker, a character
of unusual strength, fine sensibilities and high attainments has
been swept away from Florida, and we shall sorely miss him.
This loss to the University and to the people is irreparable."
What manner of man was this educational leader, whom
friends loved so devotedly and citizens honored so heartily?
From whence drew he his life and strength? What influence
has shaped his ideals? Through what avenues did Almighty
Providence and his indomitable will draw his pathway?
THE MURPHREE ANCESTRY
"True worth is in being, not seeming,
In doing, each day that goes by,
Some little good-not in dreaming
Of great things to do by and by.
For whatever men say in their blindness,
And spite of the fancies of youth,
There's nothing so kingly as kindness,
And nothing so royal as truth."
HE 'Murphree family springs from that noble stock
which has played such a part in the founding of
our nation and her development since colonial
days, the Irish. The name of Murphree was an
adaptation of the old Irish name, Murphy, by which so many
Irish-Americans are identified today. The reason for the
change in the spelling of the last syllable cannot be determined
definitely. It seems to have come about, however, before the
Revolutionary War days.
At any rate the Murphree family is first found in this
country in South Carolina. They were of the rugged and
pioneering nature--the same type of fearless, hard-working
settlers as those from which Andrew Jackson sprang.
Albert Alexander Murphree's grandfather, Ellis Mur-
phree, was born June 15, 1802, in Pickens County, South
Carolina. The records show that on June 2, 1825, he was
married in his home county where he remained until Novem-
ber 27, 1834. His bride was Jenny Allgood, likewise a prod-
uct of those early pioneering days. She was born in Spar-
tanburg, South Carolina, May 22, 1805. When they were
married she was twenty and her husband twenty-three. Jen-
ny's father, the records show, was born May 2, 1779, and
died July 17, 1861. His wife, Frances, Jenny Allgood's
mother, was born March 23, 1783. This couple, great-grand-
parents of Albert Alexander Murphree, were married in 1801.
They reared the typically large family of the day, bringing
into the world twelve children.
18 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
A number of these settled in Georgia. The famous Trion
cotton mills were founded by a descendant of this family.
Here factory thread is made, the warp for home-made woolen
clothing. Housewives used to buy it and weave it into cloth.
Alabama had been admitted to the union a few years pre-
vious. The lands which comprised that rolling, red clay,
southern state, had been surveyed and were being put on sale
by the government. Only a small portion in the northeast
section of the state was being reserved for Cherokee Indians.
The rest was being homesteaded, and sold to settlers, many
of whom pushed down from the Carolinas, from Virginia,
and from Tennessee and Kentucky to the north.
For the most part, the northern section of Alabama is
quite hilly. Old Lookout Mountain pushes down from Chat-
tanooga in a southwesterly direction to a point near Gads-
den, and forms the backbone of a whole series of small moun-
tains. Many of the hill people from the mountainous regions
in the north and east of Alabama, found this country to their
liking and homesteaded its sloping fields and forest country.
Like the pioneer settlers who blazed the trails in states all
over our nation as the settlements pushed westward, they
felled trees, built log houses and set up homes in this new
The land on which Ellis Murphree settled was located in
a small valley through which a small creek wound its way,
about twenty miles from Gadsden in Blount County, just two
miles from a village by the name of Chepultepec, which is
*bout forty miles north and a little east of Birmingham, a
city which did not exist then. He built a home and cabins
for his slaves. Through determination and acute business,
Ellis Murphree prospered.
On November 8, 1838, a son was born whom Ellis Mur-
phree named Jesse Ellis. In all there were three boys and
seven daughters in the family, all raised to maturity.
When Ellis Murphree settled near Chepultepec, the In-
dians were still a menace and had to be guarded against con-
tinually. The country was full of wild game, which furnished
a great deal of the food for the settlers.
THE MURPHREE ANCESTRY 19
Colonel Walter Murphree of Gadsden relates that his
grandfather built up quite a reputation as a deer hunter,
which sport he followed to his later years. At the age of
eighty-seven he went on a deer hunt and killed his quota. He
was regarded as a leading citizen and was consulted by neigh-
bors in the settlement of differences. In those days, when
courts were not so readily accessible, Ellis Murphree was
recognized as an arbitrator of the community, as a peace-
maker and factor for community stability.
He was a deeply religious man, and attended old Shiloh
Methodist Church near his home. He died April 3, 1892,
in his ninetieth year.
Of course, the war between the states played havoc both
with his family and his worldly possessions. His son, Jesse
Ellis Murphree (President Murphree's father) was severely
wounded in the battle at Shiloh. Another son, Daniel Alex-
ander Murphree, was killed in action on April 6, 1861. The
third son, Stephen, also shouldered arms for the Confederacy,
and after living through the bitter struggle, died in Septem-
When Jesse Ellis Murphree came back from the war, he
found his father's slaves freed, their lands laid waste, and
much of their property destroyed. He set about the diffi-
cult task of building his own home. He settled forty acres
of land joining the home place. He lived there until 1870
and then moved to about fifteen miles north of the settlement
of Chepultepec where he bought a tannery and engaged in the
making of leather and leather products such as shoes, sad-
dles and harnesses. He remained there until about 1880
when he moved with his family to the western part of Etowah
county to the village of Walnut Grove, where his children
spent most of their growing years.
Jesse Ellis Murphree had married at the beginning of the
war in 1860. His bride was the daughter of another well-
known family of pioneers from South Carolina, Emily Helen
Cornelius. Her father was Harvey Cornelius and her mother
was a member of a pioneer Fite family. Her grandfather
was Tabby Cornelius of revolutionary war days in South
Carolina. The Cornelius family was English in its ancestry.
20 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
The splendid home of Harvey Cornelius was looted and
burned by a gang of marauders during the war. Many of the
"bush-whackers" of those stirring days came from the hill
countries of the southern states, and the Cornelius homestead
suffered severely at their hands.
Two of the children of the Murphree family were born
during those trying times. On September 5, 1862, Walter
Theodore was born. Two years later, October 22, 1864,
the second son was born, Ethridge Winchester. The oldest
son is today a well-known lawyer of Gadsden, Alabama, a
leader of civic affairs, a pillar of his community, a fine Chris-
tian gentleman. The second is a well-known dentist of Tar-
The third child was a daughter, Ida Ethel, born Novem-
ber 22, 1866. She died in early childhood, December 5,
1868. The third son was born on June 21, 1868, Bert Lamar.
He died August 23, 1901. \
Albert Alexander was the fifth child. He was born April
29, 1870, when spring had enlivened the hills and valleys of
northern Alabama and covered them with wild flowers in a
rich verdant setting.
There were five other children. When Albert was passed
two years old, on May 25, 1872, the fourth son was born,
Claude Leoidas. He is now outstanding in the medical pro-
fession in Alabama and holds a position with the Public
Health Department of the State Government with an office in
Gadsden and in Birmingham.
Mai Ola Murphree, the second sister, was born March 29,
1874; she died August 30, 1907. Then followed Grace Inez,
born December 10, 1875, who died February 22, 1901.
The sixth son, Conrad Murphree, is a versatile musician
and a teacher of music, with a studio in Tampa, Florida. The
tenth child was a daughter, Elsie. Her present name and
address is Mrs. Luther Fowler, Columbiana, Alabama.
It will be seen, therefore, that there survive President
Murphree, four brothers and one sister.
The only surviving member of his father's family is Mrs.
Frank Findley, Oneonta, Alabama.
THE MURPHREE ANCESTRY 21
During the first ten years of Albert's life, the family lived
near the tannery, where hides were transformed into the
leather with which were made shoes and harness. His boy-
hood from the age of ten until the age of eighteen when he went
away to teach school, was spent at the old home near Walnut
His oldest brother, Col. W. T. Murphree, tells some inter-
esting incidents relative to their early school days:
"Our schools were the typical one-room log cabins of that
day. The first school house Albert attended was such a struc-
ture, to which we walked three miles and from which we
walked three miles back home again at night.
"The seats in that school were made by splitting logs and
fitting legs into them. At first we did not have any desks.
Our books were few. Our writing and ciphering was done on
slates. Father and some other men got together and built a
long desk with the hand-planed surface, and we were tre-
mendously proud of that. For ink, we had pokeberry juice
or 'nutgall.' This latter ink was made from the ball that
grows on the oak tree. We would take the balls and boil them
in water. A dark brown juice was the result, which made a
very acceptable ink. Our drinking water came from a spring
and was carried into the school room in a cedar bucket, from
which we all drank out of a common gourd."
Albert Murphree started to school at the age of six. When
the family moved to Walnut Grove, he continued school there
and through the grades and what was then a junior college
known as "Walnut Grove College." This institution was regu-
larly chartered by the Alabama legislature, but was subse-
quently merged into what is now high schooL
Colonel Walter Murphree, oldest brother of Albert, taught
at the Walnut Grove College while Albert and his brothers
were students there. "We were all interested in music,"
Colonel Murphree recalls. "I organized a brass band at the
college. We got a bunch of cheap horns, and the din we must
have created in the practicing was terrific. However, we
played some very acceptable music after a while. I played a
comet. By brother Bert and my brother Claude played other
instruments. Albert, I remember, played the E flat bass. We
LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
traveled around over the country and gave some
quite effective 'concerts'."
In his boyhood at Walnut Grove, Albert and
and sisters enjoyed those red letter days known
grandfathers." It was a trip of fifteen miles an
made in a great old carriage. Part of the equi
on these trips was a gourd with a handle four feet
the brood of children became thirsty, the carria
as "going to
d used to be
.ge would be
stopped near a spring and the father or mother would
out with that long-handled gourd to scoop up a drink of
Gadsden was the market town or the "trading place.
those days before good roads and automobiles, going to town
to shop was quite an event for the farmer folk. Many of them
came from distances too great to drive round trip in one day,
which necessitated staying all night in the "city." The mer-
chants of Gadsden provided a large warehouse where bunks
could be made down and the night spent in rest before the re-
turn trip next day.
Farmers would drive in with their loads of cotton, arriv-
ing shortly before night. The next morning they would sell
their cotton, do what other trading was needed and start the
return home. It is interesting to note that today those rolling
hills and fertile valleys of northern Alabama are now trav-
ersed by splendid roads and those two-day journey distances
are now covered in automobiles in a couple of hours or so.
Judge O. A. Steele, of the Circuit Court of Etowah County,
of Alabama, a resident of Gadsden and a friend of Dr. Mur-
phree's from boyhood days, recalls pleasant days in youthful
"We were playmates and comrades. I cherish many happy
memories of those carefree days. Albert was a delightful
partner in play and so full of boyish life always. He had a
vivid imagination. I recall that he used to tell fantastic stories
about ghosts and the like, which he assured me, in great boy-
ish eagerness, lived in the mountains within sight of our
"In spite of his natural love for play, he had great regard
for those manly qualities of truth and loyalty. He was a good
pupil in school and was always industrious.
AS A YOUNG COLLEGE PRESIDENT
Dr. A. A. Murphree as president of the Florida State College,
THE MURPHREE ANCESTRY 23
"Our comradeship continued until we were big boys, and
Albert went away to teach school. Of course, I kept in touch
with him all along. And in mature life he used to come back
and we would live over the old days. It seems only yesterday
that his last visit was made to the old home place."
After completing his studies in Walnut Grove College in
1887, Albert A. Murphree, not yet 18 years old, secured a
country school in Tennessee and began his career as an edu-
cational leader. It was a mighty humble beginning and he
had all of the trials and difficulties both of teaching and dis-
cipline that the one-room log-house school teacher of the '80's
experienced. It was splendid training for the young peda-
gogue. The next year he went to Cullum, Alabama, where
the official title of this young educator was superintendent of
city schools. In this capacity he got his first taste of admin-
istrative work. Then followed the principalship of the Sum-
mit (Alabama) Institute.
In the fall of 1890 Albert selected the University of Nash-
ville in which to continue his academic training. He com-
pleted his work for the A.B. degree at this institution in 1894.
This school was later merged into and became a part of Pea-
In 1902, while he was president of the West Florida Semi-
nary at Tallahassee, this institution conferred upon him the
degree of Master of Arts. Rollins College, at Winter Park,
Florida, honored him with the degree of Doctor of Laws. At
the completion of his services as president of the Woman's
College at Tallahassee in 1909, the University of Alabama, in
May, 1909, likewise conferred upon him the degree of Doctor
His studies at Peabody included Latin, English, elemen-
tary physics, chemistry, and his major subject, mathematics.
In the latter, he went through plane and spherical geometry,
higher algebra, calculus and kindred subjects. Public speak-
ing was also included in the curriculum, and Albert Murphree
enjoyed this course tremendously. His voice was well placed,
clear and resonant. He was gifted in platform ability, and
this ability made itself felt while he was still a student. After
four years in Peabody, Mr. Murphree was ready for a bigger
24 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
school than those he had taught back in the country. An oppor-
tunity came to teach in a high school at Cleburn, Texas. Mur-
phree had never been so far away from home. The idea of
going to Texas, a great, expanding state of the southwest, ap-
pealed to him strongly. He accepted the position and Septenm
her found him ready in that small western city.
Tragedy in the shape of a breakdown in health, met him
before the term was over. The dread typhoid fever laid hold
of him and brought him low in what proved seriously close
to becoming a fatal illness. He wired his brother Walter and
his brother Ethridge as to his condition. The latter brother
was then in Paducah, Kentucky. He went at once to Cleburn
and found a deplorable condition. Two doctors in the town,
bitter rivals, were both attempting to treat Albert and neither
was proving effective, perhaps through disagreement as to
what should be done. Ethridge promptly called them together
e to an agreement with them in regard to how his
should be treated.
many weeks of suffering, Albert rallied and re-
Before the sickness he was a robust, well propor-
earty young man. The disease left him emaciated
He decided, if possible, to secure a school back in
e state, or nearby. Word came that a mathematics
vas needed at the West Florida Seminary in Talla-
The job was offered Murphree, and he accepted.
rl ( I 4*
THE YOUNG EDUCATOR AT TALLAHASSEE
"Do your work-not just your work and no more, but a little
more for the lavishing's sake; that little more which is worth all
the rest. And if you suffer as you must, and if you doubt as you
must, do your work. Put your heart into it and the sky will clear.
Then out of your very doubt and suffering will be born the su-
preme joy of life."
o Albert Alexander Murphree came over from Texas
to Tallahassee to teach mathematics in the Semi-
nary West of the Suwannee River.
fate was leading him to what was
work, and to the state in which that work was
In Tallahassee he was to find an avenue for sc
way, and was to resound to the challenge in
made him president of the College, later presid
versity of Florida, and a leading educator of h
It was a tall, thin, convalescent young ma
Tallahassee at the beginning of the term of
fever had left its imprint on him. He had a tr
tie to fight, that of regaining his health, as he
The hand of
to be his life
to be wrought.
service in a big
a manner that
ent of the Uni-
n who reached
made a place
for himself as a leader on the faculty of the college.
"He was a real mathematician, and he knew how 1
his subject," recounted one of his former students,
successful business man in Florida. "I remember
would come to the board and review my world
'H'm, so that's the problem!' he would
part of it is wrong. and that part of it.
time he was through I would find most of it
times. But Prof. Murphree would show the
he got through."
Colonel John A. Henderson, outstanding
k with a grim and
say. 'Well, that
and by the
was wrong, some-
right way before
; lawyer, railroad
counsel, prominent citizen, a natural leader of men, was a
trustee of the College back in those days. Colonel Hender-
26 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
son was vice-president and chief attorney for the old Florida
Central and Peninsular Railway, and a power in the state
politically. Many stories are told of his influence in public
life and in business. His alert mind had a powerful grasp
of any situation confronting him, and his knowledge of men
and their motives was almost uncanny.
Colonel Henderson liked the firm-faced, pleasant-natured,
black-haired mathematics teacher. He liked him so well he
invited the young man frequently to his home, that great old
southern domicile with the white columns and spacious rooms,
standing just across the corner from the capitol and just north
of the Supreme Court building. These visits led to the ro-
mance that resulted in the beautiful life companionship of Dr.
Murphree and Jennie Henderson Murphree.
It was not exactly a whirlwind courtship, neither was there
undue delay in the ripening of their friendship.
Mrs. John W. Henderson, who, at that time, was a young
lady about Jennie's age, tells the story of how Albert and Jen-
nie became engaged.
It was Thanksgiving Day, 1896. Among the guests in-
vited to partake of the big thanksgiving dinner at the Hender-
son home were Prof. Murphree and Miss Sadie Lewis, now
Mrs. John W. Henderson.
"We knew they were up to something when Albert took
Jennie to ride in the old phaeton, behind a big horse named
Ball. They drove gaily away and returned shortly before
dinner, even more gay. Jennie did not need to 'tell me that
her beau had proposed and that she had accepted him. Need-
less to say, dinner was a lively affair. Jennie told me later
that they had driven out about three miles east of town to a
cross-roads and there he had proposed."--
The wedding took place in August of the next year, 1897.
It was a brilliant wedding in fine old Southern style at the
home of the bride.
"It was a summer wedding and flowers were used pro-
fusely to decorate the big living room where the ceremony
was said, and for that matter, every nook and corner of the
big home," Mrs. Henderson relates. "Jennie selected me as
one of the bridesmaids. Miss Ella Nash was maid of honor.
YOUNG EDUCATOR AT TALLAHASSEE
Miss Nash lives in Jacksonville now at the home of John Nash
Whitfield. Another of the bridesmaids was Miss Annie Malone.
"Dr. William Carter, rector of the Episcopal Church, per-
formed the ceremony. I remember that the improvised altar
was the old nursery fender, set up near the big fireplace. Smi-
lax, moss and water lilies were in profusion."
Professor Murphree and his bride left at once on a honey-
moon trip in a private railroad car, furnished by Professor
Murphree's newly acquired father-in-law. Mr. Wm. V. Knott,
present state auditor and a lifelong friend of Dr. Murphree,
remembers being in Baldwin when the train carrying the pri-
vate car with the bridal party, passed through on the way to
Jacksonville and thence north.
"I waved my hand at the party anyhow," Mr. Knott says
with a twinkle.
The honeymoon was spent in Tate Springs, Tennessee.
They were gone about three weeks. Then they came back
and took up their abode in the Henderson home.
Another school year was begun in September and it
brought a big promotion to Professor Murphree.
A vacancy had occurred in the office of the President of the
College. Professor Murphree seemed to be the logical man to
fill it. Accordingly, at the age of 27, young, robust, and full
of health, Albert A. Murphree was appointed President of the
Florida State College. He had begun his administrative ca-
reer in the educational field that was to lead him to nation-
The Florida State College at that time was co-educationaL
Florida's college system in that day consisted of a number of
co-educational institutions, the two oldest of which were the
College at Tallahassee, established in 1856, and the East Flor-
ida Seminary, founded four years earlier in 1852 at Gaines-
ville. There was also the Florida Agricultural College at
Lake City which had been established in 1884; the State Nor-
mal School at DeFuniak Springs; the South Florida Military
College at Bartow; and the Florida Agricultural Institution in
The college at that time consisted of three buildings. The
old administration building, which was torn down a few years
28 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
later, occupied the site of the present administration building.
The two other buildings consisted of two wooden dormitories,
one for the men and one for the women, both of which have
since burned, one in 1906 and the other around 1919 or 1920.
The classes were all held in the administration building, with
an average of fifteen or twenty students in each class. Dr.
Murphree, as president and mathematics instructor, was re-
ceiving a very meagre salary compared to salary schedules of
A number of older students attended the college in those
days, owing to the poor educational facilities in the state at
that time. Dr. Murphree was especially interested in these
students and gave them all the help he could, especially if
they were acquiring an education for the purpose of teaching.
He would make loans to some of the students and others he
would assist in getting part-time work, since there was no
employment bureau connected with the college. He was a
very good judge of the worth of a student, and has often been
justified by the results of the help he has given. Negroes were
used in the dining room at the time, and so that means of self-
support was not open to the students. Some teachers who had
had experience were employed in the preparatory department,
one or two students were employed in the office, and one or two
were usually employed at the house, to take care of the yard,
the horse, etc. Dr. Murphree also used his influence in secur-
ing part-time employment for the boys among the town people.
The college had one academic department. The only pro-
fessional part of the college was the teacher training depart-
ment and Dr. Murphree seemed more interested in this than in
any other part, owing to the state's educational status. At that
time, there were only five or six high schools in the state, and
fully that many minor colleges. Consequently, there was
great rivalry among the colleges and most of them had pre-
paratory schools so that the students could make up for the
scarcity of high schools. There was a three-year preparatory
school in connection with the college. Because of the need,
it was Dr. Murphree's great ambition to produce efficient edu-
cational leaders and teachers for the public schools. A three-
months spring term for teachers was held every year, after
THE YOUNG EDUCATOR AT TALLAHASSEE 29
the majority of the public schools had closed, so that the
teachers could receive an additional education. At least one-
half of the students who attended this spring course were
twenty-five years old or over.
Chapel was held every morning at the college. Before
athletic contests, pep meetings, with yells and songs, would be
held in the auditorium and there was always the usual excite-
ment on the campus when a victory had been won. Dr. Mur-
phree himself, with one or two other members of the faculty,
made frequent personal donations and bought the uniforms
for the football boys the first year of the team. At the end
of each year, he would give the teams an annual banquet at
his home. The college's great rivals at this time were the
Bainbridge town team, the University of Florida at Lake City,
the East Florida Seminary at Gainesville, Georgia Tech and
Stetson. There were no girls' teams, their only form of
athletics being tennis.
Social life on the campus was never given the same impor-
tance as study and athletics. There were no fraternity dances.
On the average of once a week Dr. Murphree would come out
to the college for dinner, and in the dining room, which was
the largest room on the campus, he would give a short talk on
astronomy, education or some worth-while subject. These
talks, the annual athletic banquet, and attendance at the yearly
Junior-Senior "ball", constituted the part Dr. Murphree took
in the social life of the campus.
In 1905, the Buckman Act, passed by the State Legisla-
ture, merged the six institutions into two, the State Woman's
College at Tallahassee and the State University at Gainesville.
From 1897 to 1905 there were many evidences of the
splendid manner in which the young president was conduct-
ing the affairs of the College. Students of the College in
that day are unanimous in praising Dr. Murphree as a leader
who was both kindly and firm, capable and broadminded. The
versatility of President Murphree found an outlet in his close
personal direction of most of the college student activities.
He was particularly adept in coaching dramatics. This tal-
ent did not find an opportunity to express itself in his later
years, so taken up was his time with larger duties, butstudents
30 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
of the old college recall his amazing ability to select charac-
ters and to produce plays.
"President Murphree gave at least one big play each year
at the College," one of the students relates. "He would.place
us in our parts and rehearsals would begin. Dr. Murphree's
big, though boyish, figure commanded the stage like a field
marshal. He would interpret each of the parts for us and
drill us in speech, gestures, and action. Many an amusing
incident occurred during those rehearsals, for Dr. 'Murphree
got lots of fun out of dramatics. When he saw that the play
was progressing satisfactorily, he would announce to the wait-
ing community that the play would be given on a specified
date and the whole town would turn out."
Dr. Murphree had participated in athletics in his own col-
lege days at the University of Nashville and continued his in-
terest in athletics through his administration of the College,
and in fact throughout his years of leadership of the growing
University of Florida. At the College, he got out and per-
sonally assisted in the coaching of the football and basketball
teams. He sent out the first Florida inter-collegiate football
and baseball teams to go out of the state.
President Murphree brought the first national fraternity to
Florida with the organization of the Alpha Psi Chapter of
Kappa Alpha, in 1903, and became himself a member. Ben
Meginness, lawyer of Tallahassee, was a charter member.
President Murphree was at that time, as throughout his
entire life, an outstanding layman in his church. He was a
Baptist and served as superintendent of the Sunday school of
that church in Tallahassee almost the entire time he was at the
College. He was not merely a nominal Sunday school offi-
cer, but went at his duties in the same administrative spirit
that he displayed as an educational leader. He never forced
his creedal views upon others, but was a staunch example of
On one stormy Sunday morning, the regular organist for
the Sunday school failed to appear. Superintendent Mur-
phree drafted his niece, Mary, to play. She protested that she
could not play well enough, but he responded:
"Come on and hit in the high places and I'll sing!"
THE YOUNG EDUCATOR AT TALLAHASSEE 31
Dr. Murphree possessed a splendid voice, of tenor quality.
During his Tallahassee days, he was much in demand as a
Shortly after Dr. Murphree became established as presi-
dent of the Florida State College he sent for his niece, Miss
Mary Murphree, daughter of Colonel Walter Murphree of
Gadsden, to come and live with them and take her college
course in Tallahassee. It was just one more example of his
fine, generous nature. Miss Mary, now Mrs. B. A. Meginness
of Tallahassee, came down from Gadsden and in recounting
the story of her days in the Murphree home said:
'"Those years are a very sweet memory to me. I lived in
that splendid home as a guest-or rather, as a daughter. Uncle
Albert would have it no other way while I was attending col-
lege. Those days were made happy by the happiness which
simply radiated from the lives of both Uncle Albert and my
charming Aunt Jennie.
"His devotion to her and her love of him in return were
like guiding lights in the household. There are some treas-
ured memories of that love they held for each other.
"My love for Uncle Albert was a real and vital matter in
my early childhood. There were three of us girls when my
mother died. The Christmas following, Uncle Albert sent
three large, lovely French dolls-one for each of us! They
were magnificent creations, beautifully dressed. We were al-
lowed to play with them only on Sunday and then only if our
hands were clean. Those dolls lasted several years."
Dr. Murphree and Mrs. Murphree loved to play pinochle
together, and spent many an evening at this game. They both
loved to read. On Saturday nights, Dr. Murphree regularly
studied his Sunday school lesson.
32 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay;
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced, but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee;
A poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company.
I gazed, and gazed, but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought.
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
ATTAINMENT IN ORGANIZING AND LEADING
"The power of a man increases steadily by continuance in
one direction. He becomes acquainted with the retancea and with
his own tools; increases his skill and strength and learns the fav-
orable moments and favorable accidents. He is his own apprentice,
and more time gives a great addition of power, just as a falling
body acquires momentum with every foot of the fall."
N 1901, Prof. L. W. Buchholz came up from Tampa
where he had been a proficient County Superin-
tendent of Schools to join the faculty of the West
Florida Seminary, and with him Dr. Murphree
struck up an abiding friendship. It was a friendship marked
by many intimate associations between these two educators.
It was in the spring of that year that Dr. Murphree estab-
lished a "spring review term," a course especially for teachers
who desired additional courses or higher credits.
'The genius of Dr. Murphree as an organizer and an edu-
cational leader was demonstrated in the expansion of the West
Florida Seminary about that time," Prof. Buchholz recalls.
"He felt that the Seminary could never expand as it should
unless additional dormitories and other buildings were pro-
vided. Accordingly, with characteristic energy and foresight,
he made plans for two dormitories, and applied to the legisla-
ture for money with which to build them. I recall that even
Col. John A. Henderson, father-in-law of President Murphree,
and President of the Board of Trustees of the Seminary, gave
the energetic young president no assurance that the money
would be forthcoming.
"But so effectively did Dr. Murphree place his needs be-
fore the proper legislative committee and before the individ-
ual members of the legislature that the appropriation was
granted. The first dormitory was completed the following
fall, in 1901. In February of the following year the other
one was finished.
34 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
"The result was just as Dr. Murphree had anticipated. He
hoped to make the seminary a school for the entire state in-
stead of a local institution, and he was accomplishing just
that. Incidentally, that session of the legislature, at his in-
stance, changed the name of the institution to the Florida State
College. I recall that there were only 120 students enrolled
when I went there in 1901, and that all of these students came
from Leon county, with the exception of students from two
other counties. With the additional dormitories, one for girls
and one for boys, the enrollment quickly grew. And yet Dr.
Murphreewas not satisfied with the scanty registration we were
getting from the counties west of the Chattahoochee river
where the students seemed inclined to go to colleges in nearby
states. So in 1903 he asked me to travel over the western end
of the state in behalf of the college. I went out and did my
best at the job."
Whether or not Dr. Murphree's lieutenant did the job
can be learned from students of the college in that day,
who recall that in the fall of 1904, over 400 students enrolled.
There were so many of them that they could not all get into
the chapel for the opening services, so Dr. Murphree con-
ducted two chapels, in order that all could be accommodated.
The records show that seventy-five students came from Hills-
boro county alone, due in a large measure, no doubt, to the in-
fluence of their old educational leader.
Then occurred the reorganization of the entire educational
system of Florida, outlined in detail elsewhere in this bi-
ography. The reorganization literally abolished the Florida
State College and established in its stead the Florida State
College for Women. Naturally, the first effect of this step
was to bring a feeling of great disappointment to President
Murphree and his faculty at the college. It seemed that the
splendid work of building up a substantial school was to go
for nothing. In fact, Dr. Murphree and others of the faculty
fought the Buckman bill quite strenuously. However, Dr.
Murphree soon saw that it was for the best interests of educa-
tion in Florida that the reorganization was taking place and
fell right in line with the will of the people and the legislature.
The realization that the money spent for education under the
ATTAINMENT IN ORGANIZING AND LEADING 35
old system with seven institutions was not always wisely ad-
ministered, and that there was too much legislative "trading"
in the system, must have reconciled him to the change.
Many interesting commentaries as to why the new system
provided for a separation of the young men and the young
women students can be found from that day. The debate in
the legislature on the matter attracted wide attention, but in
the voting on the question, the provision to separate the schools
carried heavily. It is known that Dr. Murphree favored this
At this time, Albert Alexander Murphree, a young man of
thirty-five, found himself at one of those "forks in the road"
that frequently occur in active lives, which determine their
destiny. He had been urged by his father-in-law repeatedly
to abandon teaching for the profession of law. The trustees
of the new college for women had almost as a matter of course
offered him the position of president, with no thoughts of any-
one else. Dr. Murphree realized that if he was to make a
change in his life plans it would have to be made then. He
pondered the matter carefully for some time and then to one
of his closest friends he confided:
"I have reached my decision never to turn my back on
the profession I have chosen. I might make a success at the
law, but I love teaching and educational administration. I
believe I will be happiest at it. I shall accept the position as
president of the Women's College."
At the meeting of the Board of Control at which Dr. Mur-
phree accepted the position, he insisted that his friend Profes-
sor Buchholz, who had decided to accept the position as head
of the Teachers' College at the new university, and was prepar-
ing to depart for Lake City, be retained at Tallahassee. Pro-
fessor Buchholz agreed to do so, and remained at the college
until 1908, when he went back to Hillsboro county to reorgan-
ize the public school system there. Five years later found
him back with his old friend in Gainesville at the University
"Dr. Murphree showed great adaptability in reorganizing
his educational scheme to fit the educational needs of the col-
lege of young women," Dr. Buchholz relates. "The same fine
LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
spirit that had prevailed in the co-educational I
tinued among the girls. The school grew rapidly.
"Among my other duties, I had charge of
Problems in discipline dropped perceptibly when v
the girl students.
ye had only
"Dr. Murphree was outstanding as an organizer and a
leader. He was equal to almost any emergency. When the
fire came and burned up one of the dormitories during Christ-
mas vacation, it cast a decided cloud over the college. What
to do? Dr. Murphree set about in finding a place for every
girl who had roomed in that dormitory. He even rented and
remodeled some small cottages. When the girls cai
every one of them had a place to stay and the schoc
right along as if nothing had ever happened."
Mrs. J. W. McCollum of Gainesville, Presideni
Florida State College for Women Alumnae Associat
one of the students of the college in those days.
given this tribute to Dr. Murphree's educational leade
"As an educator, Dr. Murphree's life has been
warp and woof of the whole educational system of
He was always loyal to the highest standards of the
profession. He proved his interest in education by
ing both himself and his personal salary that better
might be given to the world. His help to those whi
. of The
to find a way to a college education cannot be estimated, either
at the State College for Women or at the University of Florida.
"As an executive, Dr. Murphree had an enviable record.
His constructive policies were inaugurated and furthered
without friction. He had the happy faculty and rare execu-
tive gift of winning from every subordinate his most effective
"It is said of Dr. Murphree that never was he heard to
make an unwise or unnecessary utterance in the pursuance of
his duties. Upon one occasion his humility was remarked.
An associate complimented him upon a talk made to a group
of students, saying that was the best speech he had ever heard;
"Dr. Murphree replied, 'No, I am not satisfied with that
ATTAINMENT IN ORGANIZING AND LEADING 37
"His associate said, 'I am going to quote from it the rest
of my life.'
"His was a valiant spirit, bearing calmly both the joys and
griefs of a very rich personal life."
"I have many remembrances of Dr. Murphree from my
college years at Tallahassee, when I was a student in the
State College from 1901 to 1904, and Dr. Murphree was
president of the institution," related Prof. F. W. Buchholz,
(son of the close associate of President Murphree), prin-
cipal of the Gainesville schools. "I remember quite vividly
how Dr. Murphree would come driving up the hill every morn-
ing behind his big roan horse. Occasionally he would walk
the mile from his home to the college, but most of the time he
would drive the roan hitched to his one-seated top buggy.
That horse always looked as though he received the best of
"Altogether I had four classes under Dr. Murphree: plane
trigonometry, spherical trigonometry, analytics and astron-
omy. Dr. Murphree's classes were no cinch. He expected
hard work and plenty of it. His classes were always well
planned, with the result that he knew exactly what he should
do each morning. He would bustle into the door directly on
the moment, and would begin assigning board work before he
had reached his desk. He never took time to call the roll and
yet the roll was always taken. He would do this by glancing
over the class room at a time when the students were all
employed. His usual schedule was board work first and then
the assignment and explanation of the succeeding lesson.
"Dr. Murphree was a natural-born teacher. He seemed
not to follow any particular pedagogical rules, but knew in-
stinctively how to react to certain individuals and problems.
He could handle anything that came up. He was very clear
in explaining the problems, but would not drill them over and
over, expecting co-operation, work, and attention from the
"He never had any difficulty in discipline. Because of
his forceful personality, his well-planned work, and the clear-
ness of his explanations, he had the interest and attention of
the class and his work was carried out according to schedule.
LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
Once in a while, when he did become angry, there was a real
explosion. He woald tolerate no impertinence or shiftless-
ness on the part of his pupils. At one time, the class in ana-
lytics had not been keeping up with their work and one morn-
ing they walked into the classroom to discover an exceedingly
stiff and difficult examination on the board. No one passed,
and the monthly grades suffered accordingly. The next month
there was a great increase in diligence in his class-rooms.
"Dr. Murphree never had any difficulty in finding the cul-
prits after a student escapade. The day after Hallowe'en, for
instance, when a number of missing gates had been reported
to his office, he would .call all the boys together and ask the
guilty ones to stand up. They usually responded, especially
if they had known him from previous experiences, and the
matter was speedily readjusted. In case the guilty student
did not respond when first called upon to do so, Dr. Murphree
would take each student separately and begin a process of
elimination by a series of questions worthy of the most bril-
liant lawyer. He was always successful in his contacts with
his students because he thoroughly understood boys.
"Dr. Murphree was a very popular teacher. After a
storm, which had completely destroyed any power of resist-
ance from a student or students, everything would become
calm and peaceful again, the guilty ones would receive a rea-
sonable talk, and the matter was closed. He did not harbor
a grudge against a student and was always fair. The students
appreciated this and would love him the more after the storm
had calmed down."
DR. MURPHREE COMES TO GAINESVILLE
"My philosophy makes life-the system of feelings and de-
airee-upreme; and leaves knowledge merely the post of oberrver.
This system of feeling s a fact in our minds about which there
can be no dispute, a fact of which we have intuitive knowledge, a
knowledge not inferred arguments, nor generated by reason
ings which can be received or neglected as we choose. Only such
face-to-face knowledge has reality. It alone can get life in motion,
since it springs from life."
REVIEw of the steps involved in the creation of the
University of Florida at Gainesville is in order at
this point in the biography of Albert Alexander
We have noted already that there were several institu-
tions of higher learning in the state previous to 1905. In
1870, the legislature of Florida by an act entitled "An Act to
Establish the Florida Agricultural College," entered into a
contract with the United States Government under the terms
of a federal grant to erect and keep in repair all buildings
necessary for a state agricultural college. Funds for this in-
stitution were to be obtained by the sale of land.
In 1872, an act supplementary to the act of 1870 was
passed, and the state thereby received 90,000 acres of land.
The proceeds from the sale of this land were invested in "The
Agricultural College Fund" bonds. In 1873 a site for the
college was selected in Alachua county, but nothing further
came of this step. In 1875, the college was located at Ean
Gallie and a temporary college building was erected. No
educational progress having been accomplished there, the
trustees, in 1878, determined to remove the college and a com-
mittee from the Board was appointed to decide upon a suitable
In 1883, Lake City was selected on account of its special
fitness, and the citizens having given to the institution 100
acres of land and $15,000, the college was established there.
LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
Upon the completion of the main building in the fall of 1884,
the doors of the institution were thrown open to the students.
In the spring of 1885, the legislature passed "An Act
Recognizing the University of Florida," which reads as fol-
"The people of the State of Florida, represented in Senate
and Assembly, do enact as follows:
"Section 1. That the Florida University as organized at
the city of Tallahassee be recognized as the University of the
state, and be known as the University of Florida; provided,
there shall be no, expense incurred by the state by reason of
"Section 2. That the university continue under its pres-
ent organization and officers until such further action be taken
by the state legislature as the case may require."
At the annual meeting of the Board of Tr
Florida Agricultural College at Lake City, Ju
the following resolution was adopted:
"Resolved, that the Board of Trustees of the
cultural College believe that the educational in
state would be advanced and furthered by the
ustees of The
me 17, 1886,
terests of this
of the Agricultural College and the University of Florida, and
that we recommend the same."
As regards the name of the institution, matters continued
in this condition until 1903. In that year the legislature
passed "An Act Changing the Name of the Florida Agricul-
tural College." The title of the University had never been
assumed by the institution at Tallahassee under the provisions
of the act of 1885; and in 1903 that act was repealed, and the
title was transferred to the Agricultural College. The act of
1903 reads as follows:
"Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
"Section 1. That the Florida Agricultural College as at
present defined by law be, and is hereby changed to and shall
be known as, the University of Florida.
"Section 2. Any law inconsistent herewith be and the
same is hereby repealed.
"Section 3. This act to take effect upon its passage and
approval by the Governor."
(Approved April 30, 1903).
DR. MURPHREE COMES TO GAINESVILLE 41
In accordance with this act, the then Agricultural College
at once assumed the title of the University of Florida.
The University of Florida existed for two years. By an
act of the legislature of 1905 (known as the Buckman bill),
this institution, together with the Florida State College at
Tallahassee, the Normal School at DeFuniak Springs, the
East Florida Seminary at Gainesville, the South Florida
Military College at Bartow, and the Agricultural Institute in
Osceola County, were abolished. In their stead, this act or-
"Section 12. That there shall be established, and there
is hereby created the following institutions of higher educa-
tion in this state, to-wit: One University to be known as the
'University of the State of Florida,' and one Female Seminary
to be known as the 'Florida Female College'." (The next
legislature changed the name of this institution to Florida
State College for Women.)
For their management it provided:
"Section 13. That there is hereby created a 'Board of
Control' which shall consist of five citizens of this state who
shall be appointed by the governor and their terms of office
shall be for four years, except that of the first board appointed
under this act, two members thereof shall be appointed for the
term of two years and three members thereof shall be ap-
pointed for the term of four years."
The fight to abolish the old system of institutions of higher
learning and to establish a new one was marked by an unusual
amount of oratory and political fireworks in the legislature.
Such a step involved permanent changes and far-reaching re-
sults. The legislators realized it was not a matter to take up
There was, of course, a sharp division among the law-
makers as to the whole plan, and equally distinct divisions
among those who favored the proposed change as to what steps
were wisest to take in setting up the new system.
Hon. E. L. Wartmann, a member of the legislature from
Marion County, later to become a member of the Board of
Control of the educational institutions and a close friend of
42 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
Dr. Murphree, championed the Buckman bill and used his
considerable influence to bring about its passage.
"It was the biggest question before that session of the
legislature and one of the outstanding measures that had con-
fronted the body for many sessions," Mr. Wartmann has
"The speechmaking rose to eloquent heights in the debate
on the Buckman bill. The people of the state literally hung
on the words in the speeches awaiting the outcome of the con-
test. Among the questions for sharp and at times almost bit-
ter discussion, punctuated with a lot of saving humor, was that
of separating the young women from the young men into two
schools. The power to do this was left with the Board of
Control, but it was decided that separation was the wisest plan.
Whether or not this plan will be followed indefinitely so far
as the University of Florida is concerned is a question, for
many changes have come about in our educational outlook
since 1905, and with the many young women entering the
broader avenues of training there are strong arguments for a
modification of the present plan.
"I was confident during the debate on the bill that it would
pass. In fact, I had made a thorough canvass of the mem-
bers, checking them carefully, and I saw that victory for
our measure was assured. The vote was taken, and the his-
toric bill became a law."'
Mr. Wartmann went back to the legislature in the 1907
session, and while there was appointed by Governor Gilchrist
a member of the Board of Control. He had had close con-
tacts with President Murphree in his legislative experiences,
but membership on the board gave Mr. Wartmann oppor-
tunity to cultivate that intimate friendship with the educator,
treasured not only by him but by all who served with him as
official directors of the work of the college and university
The University of the State of Florida, thus established,
began its scholastic work in September, 1905.
The State Board of Education and the Board of Control
in joint session, on the sixth day of July, 1905, selected the
city of Gainesville for the new institution.
DR. JAMES M. FARR,
President of the
Vice-President of the
its reorganization in 1905.
DR. MURPHREE COMES TO GAINESVILLE 43
During the scholastic year of 1905-06, the work of the
University was carried on in Lake City, while buildings were
in process for its accommodation at Gainesville. The Uni-
versity moved into these buildings during the summer of 1906.
In the meantime, Dr. Murphree was in leadership in the Talla-
hassee institution as president through the years from 1897 to
1905 when the Buckman act established the Florida Female
College, later the Florida State College for Women.
When the University of Florida was established in 1905
with the temporary location at Lake City, Dr. Andrew SIedd
was president. Dr. Sledd is now professor of New Testament
Greek and librarian of the theological department of Emory
University, Atlanta, Georgia. He is a scholarly man and has
so been recognized throughout his long educational career.
Dr. James M. Farr was vice-president and professor of
English of the institution. He came to Lake City. and began
his work in 1901, and has never severed his connection from
the state University. Dr. Farr came to Gainesville as vice-
president of the University and served in that capacity until
he was made acting president.
In the spring of 1909, it became necessary to select a
successor to Dr. Sledd at Gainesville. Members of the Board
of Trustees turned unanimously to the still youthful presi-
dent of the Florida State College for Women at Tall hassee.
As greatly they regretted losing Dr. Murphree's services from
the College, the members of the Board felt his services could
even be greater at the reorganized University for young men.
"Dr. Murphree's leaving the College at Tallahassee to
assume his duties at the University of Florida at Gainesville
was a splendid example of a man leaving one field of success-
ful endeavor to go to another where he might render even
greater service, at a great sacrifice," Mr. Wartmann continued.
"His work at the College was highly acceptable. We did not
want him to leave there, if any one could be found to take the
place at Gainesville who could measure up to his experience,
ability and personality. But we could find no other one.
When the board met with the state education board to pass on
the matter we were unanimous in feeling that if Dr. Murphree
LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
would take the presidency of the University of Florida the
growth and success of that institution would be assured.
"We called Dr. Murphree in and tendered him the place.
He turned to Governor Gilchrist and to the other members of
the board and expressed deep appreciation for the trust thus
displayed in him, but declared he did not see how he could
accept the position. He pointed out that his wife was born
and reared in Tallahassee, and that his home life, which he
loved so deeply, centered there.
"'But Dr. Murphree, you will consider the matter, won't
you?' he was asked.
"'Yes,' he responded, 'I will consider it. Let me go and
talk it over with my wife.'
"He did so,_and later reported to us. 'If you gentlemen
now on the board will stay by me in the task, I will go,' he
announced. I do not know of any one thing that could have
been done of greater importance to the University and of
greater good to the young manhood of the state."
It was the appeal of leading young men that won Dr. Mur-
phree to Gainesville. It meant a tremendous sacrifice in many
ways. It meant severing ties of close association with mem-
bears of the faculty of the
hassee citizens who were
preciative of his work, an
of his family was there 1
loved ones and home ties
College, with students, with Talla-
outstandingly loyal to him and ap-
i greatest of all from the standpoint
the sacrifice of moving away from
in the capital city.
Dr. Murphree appreciated deeply the loyalty and spirit
of his beloved wife, to whom the sacrifice of leaving Tal-
lahassee was greatest. They were living in the very home
where she was born, reared and married. The roots of the
Henderson family went far back in the early history of the
city and that section of the state, but loyal to what she felt to
be the outstanding consideration in the matter, that of living
where her honored husband could best accomplish his work,
she agreed that he should accept the position with the Uni-
Those who knew Dr. Murphree best, realize that he was
happiest in the leadership of young men. The success of the
University was assured with his acceptance of the successor-
4 '---. /-
FIVE MEMBERS OF THE UNIVERSITY FACULTY WHO ANTEDATED DR. MURPHREE IN SERVICE
From left to right: Dean John R. Benton, Vice-President James M. Farr, Dean J. N. Anderson, Major W. L. Floyd and Dr. C. L. Crow.
DR. MURPHREE COMES TO GAINESVILLE
ship to Dr. Sledd. The catalogue of 1909 announced that
the new president would take charge at the opening of school
that year. Dr. IMurphree moved with his family to Gainesville
in the summer and established his home on University avenue,
between the business part of the city and the campus. A list
of the faculty of the University of Florida for that year is
worth noting: Dr. Murphree found as his associates in the task
of educating the young men of Florida, James M. Farr, Ph.D.,
vice-president and professor of English; John A. Thacks-
ton, Ph. D., professor of philosophy and education; Chas. H.
Kicklighter, B. S., professor of mechanical engineering and
drawing; W. F. Yocum, M. D., professor of chemistry; M. T.
Hochstrasser, B. S. M. E., professor of mechanical engineer-
ing and drawing; J. R. Benton, A. B., Ph. D., professor of
physics and electrical engineering; C. L. Crow, M. A., Ph. D.,
professor of modern languages; James N. Anderson, M. S.,
Ph. D., professor of Latin and Greek; E. N. Banks, A. M.,
Ph. D., professor of history and economics; H. S. Davis, Ph.
D., professor of zoology and geology; Geo. M. Lynch, A. B.,
professor of secondary education; J. J. Vernon, B. Agr., M.
S. A., professor of agriculture and horticulture; H. G. Kep-
pel, A. B., Ph. D., professor of mathematics and astronomy;
Major E. S. Walker, U. S. A., Retired, Commandant of cadets,
professor of military science; N. H. Cox, B. S., professor of
civil engineering; and W. L. Floyd, M. S., professor of bi-
Other officers included: K. H. Graham, auditor and
bookkeeper; G. E. Pyle, physical director; M. B. Hadley, A.
B., librarian; Mrs. S. J. Swanson, matron; and H. L. Thomp-
Of this number, the following are still rendering dis-
ing; Dr. J
I services for the institution: Dr. Farr, as acting
Dr. Benton, now dean of the College of Engineer-
. N. Anderson, now dean of the College of Arts and
Dr. C. L. Crow, professor of modern languages;
L. Floyd, assistant dean of the College of Agricul-
E. S. Walker, retired, is instructor in mechanical
drawing; and Mr. K. H. Graham is still serving with distinc-
tion as business manager of the University.
LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
To be honest, to be kind, to earn a little, and to spend a little
less, to make upon the whole a family happier for his presence, to
renounce when that shall be necessary and not to be embittered, to
keep a few friends, but these without capitulation; above all, on the
same condition, to keep friends with himself; here is a task for all
a man has of fortitude and delicacy.
-RoBEurr Loms SrEVENSON.
THE FOUNDATION FOR A GREAT UNIVERSITY
All are architects of Fate,
Working in these walls of Time;
Some with massive deeds and great,
Some with ornaments of rhyme.
Nothing useless is, or low;
Each thing in its place is bet;
And what seeas but idle show
Strengthen. and supports the rt.
For te structure that we raise,
,Time is with materials filled;
Our today and yesterdays
Are the blocks with which we build.
-LON LU LOW.
CELY had President Murphree begun his work
with the University of Florida than he began to
lay plans for the great expansion and growth which
he felt sure lay ahead of the institution. There
were only one hundred eighty-six students during that term of
1909-10. But during that term Dr. Murphree gathered his
faculty together and said to them in substance:
"Gentlemen, it will look a little pretentious for our
University to be organized into separate administrative groups
known as colleges, but I am looking to the future. I pro-
pose that we establish four colleges in the university group
from the four outstanding departments of instruction. You
will have to start with small enrollments, but all great things
have small beginnings. Gentlemen, you will see the day
when more colleges will be added. It is imperative that we
lay a foundation for big things in the future."
Dean J. N. Anderson of the College of Arts and Sciences
was one of the group who listened to those words. As he
discussed that memorable meeting of the University of Flor-
ida faculty, he said:
LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
"It is the best illustration of his foresightedness that I
know of. Dr. Murphree was a cautious man, but in mat-
ters affecting the growth of the institution he had chosen to
head, he was fearless and aggressive.
"After placing the matter squarely before his associates
of the University, Dr. Murphree took a vote on the organi-
zation of four colleges. The vote carried. The University
of Florida became a university in fact. The organization
provided for these four colleges: Arts and Sciences, with
Jas. N. Anderson as dean; Agriculture, with J. J. Vernon
as dean; Engineering, with J. R. Benton as dean; and Law,
with A. J.
Farrah as dean."
ition to these colleges, there was a
position as di-
rector of the Experiment Station and Superintendent of
Farmers' Institutes and Extension Division filled by Prof. P.
H. Rolfs. Dr. C. L. Crow was secretary of the general faculty,
and Dr. E. R. Flint of the department of chemistry was resi-
dent physician to the University.
Including the deans and excluding the Experiment Sta-
tion, there were nineteen members on the faculty of the Uni-
versity during the term 1909-10. In the Experiment Station
there were thirteen including the assistants. Of these instruc-
tors in the University proper, fifteen were heads of depart-
ments and of the remaining four, one was an instructor in
mathematics, one an instructor in agronomy and two were
"We who were selected deans found ourselves thrust into
positions which seemed to be more or less honorary with no
additional salary for the time being, but we quickly dis-
covered that with the growth of the University our jobs would
take on administrative proportions," said Dean Anderson.
The enrollment climbed steadily from that year.
The College of Arts and Sciences included the educational
courses, with, of course, the languages, and science subjects.
The next college to be formed in the University group was the
Teachers' College, with a grouping of all the subjects in educa-
tion. This was in 1913. The College of Pharmacy was also
an outgrowth from the Arts and Sciences group and was organ-
ized in 1923. The youngest college of the University group
FACULTY GROUP, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, 1910-11
Top Row: H. G. Keppel, H.
S. Davis, E.
W. L. Floyd, W.
S. Perry, M. B. Hadley and C. L.
Bottom Row: James M. Farr, President
A. A. Murphree, J. N. Anderson, E. R. Flint and John R. Benton.
THE FOUNDATION FOR A GREAT UNIVERSITY 49
was formed in 1927, with the organization of sociology, busi-
ness administration and journalism subjects, into the College
of Commerce and Journalism.
At the close of the academic year 1909-10, when Dr. Mur-
phree was finishing the first year of his administration as presi-
dent of the University of Florida, there were enrolled in the
regular classes of the University 112 students. Of this num-
ber, eighty-one were enrolled in the academic courses and
thirty-one in law studies. In addition, there were enrolled
four students in the graduate school, and fourteen were en-
rolled as "specials," making a total of 130. In addition to
this there were twenty-nine "sub-freshmen," eighteen enrolled
as special students in mechanics, arts, agriculture and peda-
gogy during the year, and nine taking the short term normal
course in the spring. This total swelled the number of students
to 186. This enrollment represented a growth of nearly a
hundred over the year previous.
The results of Dr. Murphree's plan to broaden the scope
of university instruction and work through the various col-
leges were apparent in the enrollment figures during the first
year the plan was in operation, 1910-11. The enrollment
jumped from 186 to 241.
In the newly formed colleges the following were listed:
Arts and Sciences, eighty-two; Agriculture, thirty; Engineer-
ing, forty-eight; and Law, forty-one, making a total of 201 in
the academic departments of the University. There were
seven in the graduate courses and thirty-three in the sub-
freshman classes. The faculty grew to twenty-six, with two
additional student assistants in the University; the staff of
the Experiment Station numbered twelve. The first assistant
professors, two in number, were added that year, and there
were five teachers with the rank of instructor.
The military organization of the University had at its head
that year Major E. S. Walker, U. S. A., Retired, whose name
appears as commandant from 1908 to 1919. A. G. Davis
was major, the ranking student officer. For "field music"
there were three students, while the entire corps was placed in
two rather small companies.
50 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
Dr. Murphree was firm in his oversight of the discipline
and moral conduct of the students. In the catalogue of the
University for 1910-11, he drew up the following rules:
Oficers.-The immediate supervision of the general life
of the student body is in the hands of an Officer in Charge,
who occupies quarters in the dormitory.
In each section of the dormitory a monitor maintains a
general oversight and makes reports to the Officer in Charge.
Monitors are appointed from among those students who are
more than twenty-one years old.
Offenses Against Good Conduct.-Any offense against
good conduct, in the ordinary meaning of the word, renders
a student liable to discipline, whether or not a formal rule
against the offense has been published.
The following offenses will be treated with especial sever-
ity: Disrespect to an officer of the University; wanton destruc-
tion of property; gambling; debauchery or drunkenness, or
having intoxicating liquors in possession on the University
Hazing.-No form of hazing will be tolerated in the Uni-
versity and all former students and candidates for admission
are hereby notified that they will be required on matriculat-
ing to sign the following pledge:
"I hereby promise upon my word of honor, without any
mental reservation whatsoever, to refrain from all forms of
hazing while I am connected with the University of Florida."
No student will be admitted to his room in the dormitories
until he has matriculated and signed the above pledge.
The Honor System.-Every student of the University is
assumed to be a man of honor, and his word is accepted on all
matters. In such rare cases as a student may prove not to be
a man of honor, he is expelled, either by action of the faculty,
or by action of the Board of Governors of the student body,
consisting of the presidents of the four academic classes.
Absence from the University.-No undergraduate student
is permitted to be absent from the University over night with-
out written permission from the Officer in Charge. As a rule,
such permission is granted only upon written request from the
parent or guardian of the student.
THE FOUNDATION FOR A GREAT UNIVERSITY 51
Attendance Upon Duties.--A student who without good
cause persistently absents himself from his University duties,
is, after due warning, dishonorably dismissed for the remain-
der of the academic year. A student who, by reason of ill
health or outside demands upon his time, finds it impossible
to give regular attention to University duties, is requested to
withdraw; but such request does not in any way reflect upon
his good standing.
All delinquencies in University duties are reported to the
Officer in Charge, who promptly brings them to the attention
of the students, and requires a prompt explanation to be made.
Careful records of all delinquencies are kept
As the University grew during the years following its
organization into colleges, the College of Arts and Sciences,
the fundamental collegiate institution of the group, lead this
growth. It expanded into additional departments almost
yearly. And from this college, under Dean Anderson's leader-
ship, there have sprung out branches that have developed into
full colleges. The Teachers' College, the College of Pharmacy,
and the College of Commerce and Journalism are all out-
growths of departments in the College of Arts and Sciences.
When the year 1927 began, the College of Arts and
Sciences embraced the following departments: Ancient lan-
guages (Latin and Greek languages and literature; Greek and
Roman History; Roman Law), Bible (English; Biblical
Greek is also given), biology and geology, chemistry, econom-
ics, English, French, history and political science, mathe-
matics, philosophy and psychology, physics, sociology,
Spanish and German, and speech. Military training and
physical education are also included in the curriculum of this
college, as well as that of other colleges.
The Work of the Graduate School
The establishment of a well-equipped graduate school was
a project dear to the heart of President Murphree. Upon
taking office he appointed Dean Anderson as head of the de-
partment of graduate studies, and watched with co-operative
interest the development of this phase of the University work.
52 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
The first graduate degree to be given by the University was
in the second year of his administration, when one Master of
Arts degree was awarded. There were seven graduate stu-
dents at that time. Two graduate degrees were presented
each year until the term 1917-18, and from that year on three
degrees were granted until 1922-23, when the number rose to
seven. In 1924-25 ten graduate degrees were given; five the
next year, and twelve the following year, including those given
in the summer term. During the 1927-28 term there have
been enrolled sixty-nine graduate students, and fifteen are
candidates for degrees.
A Graduate Club was organized in 1925 with Louis E.
Dupont as president. Harald E. Hammar served as president
of this club the following year. Many interesting programs
have been held by members of the Graduate Club, with the
co-operation of members of the University faculty.
Dr. Murphree frequently expressed his satisfaction that
the research work being carried on by graduate students at the
University of Florida was adding materially to the scientific
knowledge of Florida animals, plants, soils, and resources,
and that the Graduate School was reflecting unmeasured credit
on the University and its students.
BUILDING ON THAT FOUNDATION
The College of Agriculture
My share of the work of the world may be limited, but the fact
that it is work makes it precious. Darwin could work only half an
hour at a time; yet in many diligent half-hourm he laid anew the
foundations of philosophy. Green, the historian, tells us that the
world is moved not only by the mighty shoves of the heroes, but also
by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.
rH the division of the university courses into four
college groups, the College of Agriculturk came
into being. Dr. J. J. Vernon was dean and pro-
fessor of agronomy; Prof. W. L. Floyd was pro-
fessor of botany and horticulture; Prof. P. H. Rolfs was di-
rector of the Experiment Station and the Agricultural Exten-
sion Division; Prof. H. S. Davis was professor of zoology and
Twenty-one students were enrolled in the agricultural
courses during Dr. Murphree's first year as president of the
University. The agricultural course began expanding almost
at once. In 1910, Prof. R. D. Malby was added to the faculty
as assistant professor of animal husbandry and dairying. Prof.
Malby was a close friend of Dr. Murphree and is now dire&
tor of the agricultural training provided under the Smith-
Hughes Act in the Federal Educational Board. Prof. C. H.
Willoughby succeeded Prof. Malby in 1912.
In June of 1915, the College of Agriculture, the Experi-
ment Station and the Extension Division were combined under
the name of "College of Agriculture" with Prof. Rolfs as
dean and director. He was a man of training and experience,
greatly familiar with Florida agricultural conditions, and
under his leadership the affairs of the enlarged college were
Dean Rolfs remained until January, 1921, when Dean
Wilmon Newell succeeded him. Under Dean Newell's
54 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
energetic direction, the College of Agriculture has made great
strides, and in close co-operation with every step of this growth
has been the interest which President Murphree took in the
Agricultural College. The organization of the three divisions
of the college-the teaching division, the agricultural exten-
sion and the research division or experiment station-has been
maintained. The enrollment of the college for the last year
of Dr. Murphree's administration was 231, with twenty-six
additional graduate students.
Prof. W. L. Floyd, so familiarly known to Gainesville and
University people as Major Floyd, has served as assistant
dean of the College of Agriculture since 1915, and has been
closely associated with Dr. Murphree in the administration of
"Dr. Murphree was interested in the College of Agricul-
ture because he realized that Florida was an agricultural state
and because he understood the practical value of teaching it,"
Major Floyd said. "Especially did the president champion
each course in the matter of appropriations, but of course he
never showed any special favoritism to this particular college.
He always impressed me, as I am sure he did all of his uni-
versity associates, with his desire to be fair with all the col-
leges and departments, realizing their separate and collective
value. Dr. Murphree always attended the annual Associa-
tion of Land Grant Colleges which met in conjunction with
the Association of State Universities. These meetings were
held every other year at Washington and on the alternate years
they met at Chicago or some other western city. I had the
nrivilepe of attending these meetings with him and other dele-
gates from the University for the last four or five years.
"I shall never forget my first meeting with President Mur-
phree. Shortly after his appointment and before he assumed
his position officially, he came down to Gainesville from Talla-
hassee and looked over the buildings on the campus. Dr.
Sledd, who was then president, introduced him to all of the
members of the faculty. I was having a class at the time, but
he came to the door and spoke for a few minutes with me. He
said he was making the trip solely to get acquainted with the
members of the faculty, that he wanted to know us all per-
sonally, and expected to give and receive co-operation. His
BUILDING ON THAT FOUNDATION 55
geniality and friendliness impressed me from the very first
"In fact my most vivid impressions of Dr. Murphree are
of his geniality. He was never perturbed and he had a smile
for every occasion. He was always willing to listen to the
troubles of the boys. At the first of each term his office was
constantly filled with boys, frequently with their mothers. He
would listen attentively to everything they said to him. I
have heard Him assure many mothers that he would keep his
eyes on their sons and have seen him pat the boy on the
shoulder and turn to the next comer with a smile.
"During the five years that I was chairman of the self-
help committee I had frequent contact with Dr. Murphree. It
was his pride that the University of Florida furnished per-
haps the highest percentage of students working their way
through school, wholly or partially, of all the universities of
the country. He took an individual interest in recommending
boys whom he knew to be worthy for various kinds of work."
"Dr. Murphree was at all times very sympathetic with the
entire program of the College of Agriculture and its various
departments of work," said Dean Newell, in discussing his
relations with the president. "He realized the importance of
agricultural development in this state, and was untiring in
securing support for the work the University is playing in that
"The growth of the College of Agriculture was a source of
pride to Dr. Murphree, and he frequently called the attention
of the state to it.
"The development of the Agricultural Experiment Station
has advanced as rapidly as resources would permit. In 1921
we had only seven on the staff of the Station, with only one
plant, here in Gainesville. We now have fifty-six on the staff
of investigators, this number being independent of clerks,
stenographers, and the like. There are now three experiment
stations besides the home Station here on the campus: the
tobacco experiment station at Quincy, the citrus experiment
station at Lake Alfred, and the Everglades experiment station
at Belle Glade. Besides these stations, there are now seven
field laboratories. The facilities we have now permit the
departments to do a large amount of research work. The
volume of publications is increasing rapidly.
56 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
"In the Agricultural Extension Division, President Mur-
phree took an especial interest, for he saw the work of the
county agents and the county home demonstration agents pene-
trating to all corners of the state and literally taking the agri-
cultural work of the University to the people.
"The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 brought this work into
being, for it provided co-operation with the state and counties
from the federal government. There are now one hundred
and ten on the staff of the Agricultural Extension Division.
This brings the total on the staff of the College of Agriculture
in its three departments to 243.
"Dr. Murphree gave his heartiest support to the work of the
county agents and home demonstration agents. He invariably
made a speech to them in their annual meeting here, and
always he would address them as 'members of the Faculty of
the University of Florida.'"
The Agricultural Experiment Station
President Murphree was an ardent and enthusiastic sup-
porter of every movement looking toward the development of
Florida in her agricultural resources. In this connection he
threw his support toward building up the Agricultural Experi-
ment Station of the College of Agriculture of the University
with the faculty of this university group, and took every op-
portunity to further its interests.
The Experiment Station developed steadily as possible
with the limited resources available, each year seeing its work
more effectively done and more highly appreciated. The Sta-
tion is devoted almost exclusively to research work connected
with Florida agricultural problems. This research work,
under the direction of Dean Wilmon Newell, is being carried
on along the following lines: The study of soils and fertilizers
on citrus, pecans, farm and truck crops, in relation to plant
growth and development; the study of citrus diseases; the
study of vegetable diseases; the study of the control of root-
knot and vegetable insects; the study of pecan diseases, in-
sects, varieties and cultural methods; control of aphids and
other citrus insects; comparison of rations for economical
milk and pork production; the study of tobacco diseases and
BUILDING ON THAT FOUNDATION 57
insects; co-operative experiments with farmers in various sec-
tions of the state to ascertain the value of new forage crops
and grasses; testing native and newly introduced grasses to de-
termine their value as permanent pasture; citrus breeding
work; adaptation test plots of fruits, vegetables, cereals, grass
and forage crops on muck soils; the study of livestock and
poultry diseases; the study of the control of cotton diseases
and insect pests and cotton breeding work.
The College of Engineering
"Modern civilization rests upon physical science, for it is
physical science that makes intelligence and moral energy stronger
than brute force. The whole of modern thought is steeped in
science. It has made its way into the works of our best poets, and
even the mere man of letters is unconsciously impregnated with her
spirit and indebted for his best products to her methods. She is
teaching the world that the ultimate court of appeal is observation
and experience, not authority. She is creating a firm and living
faith in the existence of immutable moral and physical laws, perfect
obedience to which is the highest aim of an intelligent being."
The College of Engineering was the third of the group of
four colleges that were formed at Dr. Murphree's direction in
1910. In charge of the course was Dr. J. R. Benton who had
been with the University since 1905.
"As a matter of fact," Dean Benton relates, "I arrived
in Lake City on the same train with Dr. Crow and came down
with him, Dr. Farr, Dr. Anderson and ,Major Floyd when
the University came to Gainesville.
"With the organization of the new College of Engineering,
it seemed almost an act of pure 'nerve' on our part to enter
upon a curriculum that we were not equipt to give. However,
we had confidence with Dr. Murphree that as our students ad-
vanced to the upper years, money would be found to provide
the teaching staff and equipment; and our faith has been jus-
tified. Previous to this we had granted five degrees in en-
gineering, the class of 1909 being the first to receive such de-
grees from the University of Florida. Our enrollment dur-
ing the first year under the new organization amounted to only
forty-eight and the number of graduates in engineering at the
preceding commencement was only two.
58 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
"The first class to graduate from the Engineering College
as a distinct college was that of 1911, with five receiving de-
grees; three in civil engineering and two in electrical engineer-
ing. The first bachelor degrees in mechanical engineering
were awarded in 1913.
"In 1913 the University of Florida raised its entrance re-
quirements, and although this did not greatly affect the con-
tent of the engineering curricula, it did at first affect the en-
rollment in engineering. The first class to graduate under the
new entrance requirements-that of 1917--contained only
"Since then the enrollment and the size of graduating
classes have gradually increased, until the present enrollment
of the college is nearly 300, and the number of graduates last
June was twenty-five.
"The total number of graduates from the College of En-
gineering has reached 181, of whom the great majority are
engaged in engineering or related occupations in Florida, al-
though some have strayed to all parts of the United States and
the outside world. The number of former students in this
college who have not graduated has reached nearly a thou-
sand, and many of them are doing successful work in the in-
dustries of Florida and the nation, and have retained their
contact with the University, which we are very glad to have
"A curriculum in chemical engineering was first organ-
ized in 1917, while Dr. Flint was head of the chemistry de-
"The School of Architecture, which, for administrative
convenience, is associated with the College of Engineering,
was organized in 1925 with Prof. Rudolph Weaver as direc-
tor. This school has not yet contributed any graduates, but
will soon contribute some, of a type in which the University
will have reason to take great pride.
"In my association with Dr. Murphree, I found him always
ready to give his associates a free hand in the administration
of their work, but he tried always to give us his hearty co-op-
eration. Dr. Murphree was not an engineer, but was always
sympathetic and helpful with our problems. He was always
seeking to harmonize. He could be patient, and was called
BUILDING ON THAT FOUNDATION 59
upon to be frequently. I believe this had a lot to do with his
success. President Murphree was often silent for the sake of
harmony, and some may have gained the impression that he
was not standing firmly for the right. But a little time would
always show that he was waiting patiently to put into effect
what he knew to be right."
The College of Law
"The sheet-anchor of the Ship of State is the common schooL
Teach, first and last, Americanism. Let no youth leave the school
without first being grounded in the history, the principles, and the
incalculable blessings of American liberty. Let the boys be the
trained soldiers of constitutional freedom, the girls the intelligent
lovers of freemen." --CHaNCEY M. DgPzw.
From the beginning of Dr. Murphree's administration as
president of the University, he took an interest in the growth
of the Law College. In fact, before he came down from Talla-
hassee to assume his duties, he carried on quite a correspond-
ence looking toward the securing of a strong faculty to teach
the law courses.
Harry R. Trusler, Dean of the Law College at the present
time, was one of the faculty members secured to start the
academic year of 1909-10. Albert J. Farrah, at that time
dean of the law school at Stetson University, where Dean Trus-
ler was also teaching, was the other member of the law faculty,
and placed in charge of the law course. Upon the division of
the University into colleges, Prof. Farrah was made dean.
Colonel N. P. Bryan, a member of the state senate in those
days, was active in securing appropriations for the new Law
College. In fact, he was so largely responsible in making it
possible that he has frequently been referred to as "The Father
of the Florida Law College." Col. Bryan gave Dr. Murphree
and the two new faculty members in law his closest co-opera-
"President Murphree was more interested in the subject
of law than many of his closest associates realized," remarked
Dean Trusler in discussing the growth of the Law College. "It
is not generally known, but Dr. Murphree had studied law and
was keenly appreciative of both its academic and practical
LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
"From the time the University was divided into colleges
until the period of the world war, the Law College had a
steady and satisfactory growth. Prof. Farrah remained with
us for three years until the close of the 1911-12 term. Prof.
Thomas W. Hughes then became dean, and remained three
years, and I succeeded him. The enrollment during our first
year was thirty-one. The next year it jumped to forty-two
and in the fall of 1911 to fifty-three, remaining at this figure
during the next year. During this time only two years of high
school work was required for admission. With the beginning
of the 1913-14 term, three years of high school work was re-
quired and the following year four years became the require-
"Our law studies comprised a two year course until the
beginning of the 1917-18 term when the present three year
course was inaugurated. In 1913 the enrollment jumped to
seventy-seven. With the introduction of the four year require-
ment, little gain was made in enrollment until 1916, when
there were eighty-two students. The enrollment dropped to
forty-six during the 1917-18 term, and sixty-two during the
next year, due to the world war. Many law colleges closed
their doors entirely during
our faculty felt that it wol
the enrollment jumped to
115, the following term to
was 198. Since that time
the present enrollment of
"As to the number of
first year, but the number
this time, but Doctor Murphree and
uld be wise to continue. In 1919,
ninety-eight, the following year to
154, and in 1922-23 the enrollment
there has been a steady increase to
1927-28 of 274.
graduates, we had only three the
increased steadily to twenty-seven
in 1914-15, and varied until 1923-24, when twenty-eight were
graduated. Last year, fifty-four were graduated and this year
there are 50 candidates for law degrees.
"I shall remember Dr. Murphree not only for the close co-
operation the Law College received from him, but also for his
democratic and friendly spirit," said Dean Trusler. "I re-
member that when I came to the University President Mur-
phree was living modestly in the Taylor Flats on University
Avenue. None of the faculty members had automobiles in
that day, and Dr. Murphree's method of locomotion was via
bicycle. Of course, later on he used some splendid makes of
DR. A. A. MURPHREE
From a photograph made in 1916.
THE STRUCTURE IS ENLARGED
The Teachers' College
"This earth with its infinitude of life and beauty and mystery,
and the universe in which we are placed, with its overwhelming
immensities of suns and nebula, of light and motion, are as they
are, firstly, for the development of life culminating in man; sec-
ondly, as a vast school house for the higher education of the
human race in preparation for the enduring spiritual life to which
it is destined." -ALFRED RUSsEL WALLACE.
-N LINE with his policy of expanding the University
as rapidly as the growth permitted into college
units, Dr. Murphree foresaw early in his' adminis-
tration a college for teachers. In 1912 the time
had arrived when steps could be taken definitely toward start-
ing such a college. The Peabody Education Board gave
$40,000 to the University for the purpose of erecting a build-
ing to house the education courses. Peabody Hall was built,
and the college launched under the leadership of Dean John
A. Thackston. Twenty-eight students were enrolled that first
During this term also, correspondence courses were started
for the instruction of non-resident teachers.
The college grew steadily until the world war, when the
enrollment was about a hundred. In 1916, Dr. Harvey W.
Cox of the the Teachers' College faculty became dean. It was
at the beginning of that year that Dr. J. W. Norman, present
dean of the college, joined the faculty.
"I shall never forget my first meeting with Dr. Murphree
and my first impressions of him," Dean Norman related.
"Dr. Cox took me over to introduce me to the president. I
felt a great desire to inquire of the president if his outstand-
ing appearance or his intelligence had won him his position!
But of course I contented myself with an amiable conversa-
tion with him.
62 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
"At this meeting, while discussing the future of the Univer-
sity, President Murphree remarked that 'In fifteen or twenty
years, if there are no accidents, this University may grow to
a thousand students.' On the way back to Peabody Hall, Dr.
Cox remarked that Dr. Murphree was always optimistic. Had
we known that in one-half the twenty years the enrollment
would be twice a thousand, we would have been astounded!"
Of course, the period of the war was felt in the enrollment
of the Teachers' College as elsewhere. Following the war,
the registration resumed its normal climb and at the begin-
ning of the 1923-24 term reached 119. In the term of 1926-27
it reached 225, and the last year of Dr. Murphree's adminis-
In 1917 an act of the legislature designated the Univers-
ity as the institution, under the federal Smith-Hughes act, for
training teachers of agriculture and of various trades and in-
dustries. Teaching fellowships were established during this
In 1920 Dr. Norman succeeded Dr. Cox as dean of the
Teachers' College. At the 1923 session of the legislature a
scholarship law was passed providing for two scholarships
from each county in the state, one to the Teachers' College of
the University and one to the School of Education of the Flor-
ida State College for Women. Each of these scholarships
may be held for four years by the successful applicant and
carries a stipend of $200 per year. The scholarships are
awarded upon competitive examinations to persons satisfy-
ing the entrance requirements.
Students in the Teachers' College may work toward degrees
of Bachelor of Arts in Education, Bachelor of Science in
Education, and Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Educa-
tion. Students in the College are eligible to membership in
the Peabody Club, which meets each week to discuss educa-
tional problems, especially those that confront the young
One of the last official acts of President Murphree in co-
operation with the Teachers' College was to make arrange-
ments with the Gainesville High School for supervised train-
ing for teachers with the high school pupils.
THE STRUCTURE IS ENLARGED 63
"Dr. Murphree was always grieved when the appropria-
tions needed for the University were cut down," Dean Nor-
man said. "My last official contact with him was on the mat-
ter of appropriations. He said the one thing he was looking
forward to was the establishment of an adequate salary sched-
ule. He won a partial victory in this regard at the last ses-
sion of the legislature, but he had hopes of going much further.
The establishment of a greater graduate school and the com-
pletion of the administration building were also projects he
was working toward accomplishing.
"During my years of association with the late president, I
have been impressed with his forgiving spirit. At one time
I had a difference of opinion with him in the matter of appro-
priations, and wrote him a very sharp letter. Dr. Murphree
realized that it was written in a moment of vexation and was
willing to ignore it completely until I felt better about the mat-
ter. Dr. Murphree was always fair and never harbored a
grudge. He was always willing and eager to forgive and for-
get unpleasant situations.
"I was Dr. Murphree's golf partner on many occasions.
I was playing with him on the occasion when he made his first
round in par. He was greatly elated and invited me to his
home for supper."
The Summer School
The enactment of a uniform examination and certifica-
tion law in 1923 forced teachers and aspirants to prepare
themselves for higher standards of work. At first many prin-
cipals in the larger schools held private schools with the pur-
pose of preparing teachers for examinations. Necessarily the
fees were low, the terms short, the method that of intensive
cramming and the venture precarious.
At the same time the number of public schools was in-
creasing rapidly in Florida as everywhere. The standards
were being raised and more able teachers were in demand.
Summer schools at centers most suitable, with terms of from
four to six weeks, were established.
To meet this need President Murphree took active part in
the founding of a regular summer school in the University of
64 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
Florida. The first session was held in 1913 with an attendance
of 140. Dr. John A. Thackston, Dean of the new Teachers'
College, was made head of the summer school. There were
seven members of the faculty during that term, with eight
groups of courses offered, with two or three classes in each
The summer school was a success from the start. It grew
in enrollment and effective work steadily until the war period
cut down the attendance about twenty-five per cent, but quickly
recovered in the session of 1919.
When Dr. Cox became dean of the Teachers' College, he
became director of the summer school, and Dean Norman
succeeded him in turn.
President Murphree took keen interest in the summer
work. Especially was he instrumental in starting a teachers'
employment agency in connection with the summer school,
for the purpose of assisting students and graduates of the
University to secure positions in teaching.
In 1921 a small demonstration school, with beginners and
first grade pupils in one class and fourth and fifth grade pupils
in a second class, was established to provide practical training
in methods of teaching. In 1927, courses in law were opened
to the summer school students for the first time and proved so
successful that they have been added to the permanent sum-
mer school curricula.
From an enrollment of 140 at the beginning, Dr. Murphree
and his associates in the summer school saw this department
of the University work grow to 1,269 in the summer of 1927,
with plans for a faculty of eighty-nine this summer following,
and for thirty-five general groups of study.
The General Extension Division
"Success lies, not in achieving what you aim at, but in aiming
at what you ought to achieve, and pressing forward, sure of achieve-
ment" -R. F. HORTON.
As the work of the University expanded on the campus,
it was felt that this expansion should be reflected in taking
the University to the farthest corners of the state by means
of a General Extension Division. Accordingly, in 1919,
THE STRUCTURE IS ENLARGED 65
plans for such a Division were laid before the legislature,
and adequate funds requested to make the work profitable
Consequently a special bill was passed by which the Gen-
eral Extension Division was created, with an appropriation of
$50,000 for the biennium. The terms of this special bill are
significant in that they set forth the purpose of the General
Extension Division, "To gather information on all subjects
helpful to the people of Florida, and to carry it to them; to
spread knowledge among them; to stimulate thought and
knowledge among the people for their mutual improvement."
Thus the General Extension Division became the sixth
main division of the University; and Dr. Murphree realized
his desire to enable the University to serve all the people of
the state, regardless of previous opportunity or training.
Dr. Murphree selected Mr. B. C. Riley as director of the
General Extension Division and he took charge October 1,
1919. The appropriation permitted him to secure a splendid
staff and under his energetic direction work was begun at once.
In the first annual report of the director to President Mur-
phree, Director Riley points out that a new record was set by
the Division through its correspondence study bureau, in that
with a small white population scattered over 58,666 square
miles in the state and without the aid of a field organizer,
1,305 registrations had been recorded during the first ten
months. The registrations had come from each of the fifty-
four counties in Florida and from persons interested in Flor-
ida living in thirteen other states and two foreign countries.
The General Extension Division serves both the University
of Florida and the Florida State College for Women, repre-
senting the Colleges of Arts and Science and Education of
both institutions; the Colleges of Engineering and Architecture,
Law and Pharmacy at the University; and the School of Music
at the State College. The work of the Division has been
divided into six departments: Extension Teaching, Auditory
Instruction, Citizenship Training, Visual Instruction, General
Information and Service and Extension Research. The Ex-
tension Teaching Department has been designed to give all
who cannot attend the University or College an opportunity
LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
to secure instruction which may be a help and pleasure to
them. The work is carried on through correspondence, class
and club study.
The Department of Auditory Instruction is yet in the mak-
ing. It is to consist of a broadcasting station situated on the
University campus, for which the last legislature appropriated
the necessary funds. This station will be ready to serve the
people of Florida beginning in the fall of 1928. Through
the Department of Auditory Instruction it is planned to offer
to schools and individuals, by radio, cultural programs and
instruction by lectures and discussion.
The Department of Citizenship Training embraces two
sections, the Citizens' Military Training Camps Bureau and the
Americanization Bureau. The Training Camps Bureau assists
the Military Training Camps Association and the War Depart-
ment in enrolling young men for military instruction. The
Americanization Bureau offers training for naturalization,
citizenship schools and cooperation with patriotic societies.
The Department of Visual Instruction includes a large
library of visual aids, owned by the state, and lent to clubs,
schools, and communities for purposes of cultural entertain-
ment and instruction. This library is supplemented with
materials secured by co-operating with large corporations
and the departments and bureaus of the United States govern-
ment. Motion picture films, slides, collections of reproduc-
tions of masterpieces, prints, charts, and graphs, accompanied
by lecture notes, are available.
The Department of General Information and Service in-
cludes public information and library service which acts as a
clearing house for all kinds of information upon request for
help on any problem confronting the individual or community.
This department also includes a Public School and Community
Center Bureau, which supervises high school interscholastic,
academic and forensic contests, culminating in the state con-
test held annually at the University; a Student Activities Bu-
reau, through which students at the University assist schools
and communities by giving commencement addresses, illus-
trated lectures, open forum debates and by acting as judges
and coaches in various contests; a Publications Bureau which
THE STRUCTURE IS ENLARGED 67
issues articles and bulletins concerning extension work; a
University News Bureau which sends out news articles con-
cerning the work and activities of students and faculty to the
press of the state.
The Department of Extension Research was recently organ-
ized to conduct investigations relative to economic, educational
and public welfare problems of general interest.
"In every department of the expanding work of the Divi-
vision, Dr. Murphree took the keenest interest and offered his
closest co-operation," said Mr. Riley. "His interest in the
effort to serve all was untiring and it was a source of keen
satisfaction to him that through the Division, the University
was able to 'help the underprivileged youth of the state.'
"Extension students are now found in every county and
every town in the state. Men and women who are now doing
the work of the world or preparing to do that work, are de-
manding that the University help them more and more by fur-
nishing the knowledge at the command of the University pro-
fessors and specialists, and to assist them with their problems
in numerous other ways.
"It was a source of pride to Dr. Murphree that a national
reputation for the University, and with it for the General
Extension Division, had been acquired because of the tremen-
dous amount of work done in proportion to the available
THE VOICE OF AMERICA.
The great voice of America does not come from the seats of
learning. It comes in a murmur from the hills and woods ad
farms and factories and the mills, rolling and gaining volume until
it comes to us from the homes of common men. Do the.e murmurs
echo in the corridors of the universities? I have not heard them.
The univeities would make men forget their common origins, for-
get their universal sympathies, and join a class-nd no class can
ever serve Ameica. I have dedicated every power there is in to
bring the colleges that I have anything to do with to an absoltely
democratic regenmation in spirit, and I shall not be atisfed until
Amrica shall know that the men in the colleges are saturated with
the same thought, the same sympathy, that pubes through the whole
great body politic. -Woomow Wnson.
68 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
OTHERS CALL IT GOD.
A fire-mist and a planet,-
A crystal and a cell,-
A jellyfish and saurian,
And caves where the cave-men dwell;
Then a aense of law and beauty,
And a face turned from the lod,-
Some call it Evolution,
And others call it God.
A haze on the far bhorion,
The infinite, tender sky,
The ripe, rich tint of the cornfields,
And the wild geese sailin high-
And all over upland and lowland
The charm of the goldenrod,-
Some of us call it Autumn,
And other. call it God.
Like tide on a crescent se-beach,
When the moon is new and thin,
Into our hearts high earnings
Come welling and surging in,-
Come from the mystic ocean,
Whoe rim no foot has trod,-
Some of us call it Longing,
And others call it God.
A picket frmn on duty-
A mother starved for her brood,-
Socrates drinking the hmnlock,
And Jeaus on the rood;
Ad millions who, humble and nameless,
The traihlt, hard pathway plod,-
Some call it Consecration,
And others call it God.
-WILJuAM HnmmT CAtaa.
7. '. s.C
One of the Dormitories.
PROFESSIONAL COLLEGES ADDED
The College of Pharmacy
"There is quite as much education and true learning in an
analysis of an ear of corn as in the analysis of a complex sentence;
ability to analyze clover and alfalfa roots savors of quite as much
culture as does the study of Latin and Greek roots."
-0. H. BENSON.
EVERAL years before the establishment of the School
of Pharmacy, which later became the College of
Pharmacy, in the University of Florida, different
druggists of the state had pointed out its desira-
bility and several urged that the Florida State Pharmaceutical
Association and the Florida State Board of Pharmacy sponsor
its cause. In 1922 a definite, concerted and official action
was taken. In his presidential address of that year, Mr. W.
G. Perry, speaking for the Florida State Pharmaceutical Asso-
"The day of the private institution for teaching pharmacy,
valuable as it once was, has gone by. Laboratory equipment,
and the modern accessories of teaching now needed, mean the
establishment of a plant which only the state or a richly en-
dowed institution can finance.
"So we should work for our University School of
Pharmacy. Reconstruction of educational methods since the
cessation of the world war has given a new impetus to the
study of pharmacy, and the ablest thinkers in the calling are
unanimous in the belief that higher entrance requirements and
more scientific training are necessary to meet the demand for
Dr. Townes R. Leigh, head of the Department of Chemis-
try, had previously been invited to that convention and re-
quested to give an address on the desirability of a College of
Pharmacy at the University of Florida. This address was
prepared with the approval of President Murphree, an outline
of which was furnished to him in advance of its delivery be-
LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
fore the convention.
ment to the plan and
paragraphs of which
cate his general views
"There is no pro
training of the hand,
practice of pharmacy
pounding of prescrip
technique. The head
knowledge of pharma
President Murphree gave his endorse-
policy as set forth by the paper, a few
are here quoted because they will indi-
on the subject:
must be a
must be governed by integrity
at requires a more thorough
and the heart than does the
weighing of drugs and com-
hand must possess skill and
veritable storehouse of exact
rt and science, and the heart
and honor; so we see that
pharmacy is pre-eminently a profession demanding accurate
manipulation, technical education and an ethical conscience.
"The practice of the profession of pharmacy is daily be-
coming more complicated, requiring a hand better trained, a
mind more versatile and a spirit exemplifying the affrma-
tive answer to the. interrogative, 'Am I my brother's keeper?'"
Dr. Leigh then pointed out that other states had passed the
laws prerequisite to the establishment of schools of pharmacy,
and that Florida should not lag behind in the matter. He
showed how that practically all courses required for a pharma-
ceutical education, except pharmacy and material medical,
were then being offered at the University of Florida, which
meant that the college of pharmacy could be opened with a
very small addition to the teaching staff.
"Listen while I play your prophet: I see a majestic build-
ing rising on the campus of the University of Florida, dedi-
cated to the enlightenment of pharmacy, with portals swung
wide in generous invitation to the aspirant youths, who con-
verging, surge towards it from every part of the state."
This address was followed by several talks from the
floor among which were resolutions introduced by Mr. W. M.
Johnson of Gainesville, who knew President Murphree's atti-
tude toward the proposed college,
of a committee to carry out the d
the establishment of a college of
"This committee, consisting o
Groover, W. D. Jones, and others,
calling for the appointment
esires of the Association by
pharmacy in the University
if Messrs. J. J. Gerig, F. C.
obtained a conference at an
PROFESSIONAL COLLEGES ADDED 71
early date with President Murphree," Dean Leigh recalls.
"I was present when the conference was held in the President's
office. President Murphree received the committee with
graciousness and encouragement. He suggested practical
plans and said it was his desire to have the college of pharmacy
one of high standing, if it were possible to obtain funds for
its establishment. He further called the attention of the com-
mittee to the present needs of the colleges already established
in the University. He thought it would be a better policy to
organize the instruction of pharmacy as a school first and later
develop it into the dignity of a college. The committee was
greatly impressed with President Murphree's insight and ideas
and heartily agreed to all of his proposals; one of which was
that it would be desirable for the pharmacists of the state to
supplement the legislative appropriation in order that ade-
quate facilities and an able faculty might be obtained."
After the conference the excellent service of this com-
mittee resulted in the pharmacists of the state pledging $5,000
to augment the legislative appropriation.
After definitely deciding to organize the School of Pharm-
acy at the University, with the approval of the Board of Con-
trol, President Murphree gave the enterprise his whole-hearted
support. He assisted the new director in the selection of the
faculty, helped in the procuring of quarters for the new school
and made many visits to the laboratories while they were being
brought into order.
The pharmacists of the state, feeling that they were under
great obligation to President Murphree for the excellent work
that he had done in their behalf and desiring to hear him per-
sonally, invited him to address the Florida State Pharmaceu-
tical Association when it met in Daytona in 1924.
On that occasion he delivered an address which showed
clearly his interest and sympathy in pharmaceutical educa-
tion. Portions of his address follow:
"I am glad to have the privilege of meeting you and hav-
ing the opportunity of thanking you in person in behalf of
the University and the boys in the School of Pharmacy for the
splendid.service you have rendered them and the state through
your activities in establishing the School of Pharmacy.
72 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
'"The School of Pharmacy this first year is a promise of
what it is to be in the future. You are to have in your own
state, of your founding, a college of pharmacy that is unex-
celled in the South. Doctor Leigh doubtless gave you the more
important statistics regarding the school, having forty-three
students, which is the largest class of any state at the present
time. About the character of the men-I suppose these gentle-
men who have been addressing you from our pharmaceutical
faculty have been able to speak well for themselves, but I
want to tell you that the calibre of the men engaged take sec-
ond rank to none in any other college of the University of
Florida. One great thing concerned the Board of Control and
the management of the University at the outset, as it doubtless
concerned Dr. Jones and others on that Board, and that was to
secure a department that would rank with other colleges of the
University, and you succeeded admirably. The department
has excelled our most sanguine expectations this first year. It
is now our desire to develop that institution into a college of
"We first adopted the modest title of school with the head
of the department having the modest title of director. Our
desire and our need is next a building to house this School of
Pharmacy. When we get our building and equipment we will
then have a college of pharmacy with the present director as
dean of the college.
"We want to develop this into a college, and we want it to
be a standard, as I say. A boy can go from the college of
arts into the next highest class in Princeton University, and we
want this college to be of the same general calibre and char-
acter, to give the same broad training, and we are approach-
ing that end.
"The College of Pharmacy has already been invited to
make application for membership in the National Association
of Faculties of Pharmacy. I want to thank those who have
been so very generous in awarding medals to encourage the
students of pharmacy in the school, and of course, I must take
advantage of the opportunity to thank you for the splendid
scholarship of one thousand dollars to carry a man through
PROFESSIONAL COLLEGES ADDED
three years of this School of Pharmacy, and for other evi-
dences of your splendid co-operation.
"Just now we are in a stage of transition from a small col-
lege into a large university. We have made wonderful prog-
ress in these eighteen years. I think I may modestly say that
I do not know of any institution that has made the same prog-
ress as the University in the same time. The state, as you
know, is just now shaking off her swaddling clothes, and has
not been able to give all that the university needs for its more
rapid and larger development. We must have adequate facil-
ities if we are to go unhampered and unimpeded and the thing
we need right now is an adequate chemistry and pharmacy
building. I am asking you to continue your assistance until
the state is able to give us what we need."
The total enrollment of the College of Pharmacy during
the last year of Dr. Murphree's administration was 62, with
10 applicants for degrees, eight of which will be for the de-
gree of Pharmaceutical Chemist, one for Graduate in Pharm-
acy and one for the B. S. in Pharmacy degree. There were
enrolled in the department of chemistry 691.
"Since the Florida State Board is now requiring a di-
ploma from an accredited school or college of pharmacy to be
presented by each applicant for the state examination, it is
quite likely that the attendance in this college will increase to
a considerable extent for the next few years," Dean Leigh
A medicinal plant garden is being operated in connection
with the College of Pharmacy, comprising a ten-acre tract in
which is being grown both native and imported medicinal
plants, primarily for the purpose of serving as a teaching
74 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
The College of Commerce and Journalism
"I am the printing press, born of the mother earth. My heart
is of steel, my limbs are of iron, and my fingers are of brass.
"I sing the songs of the world, the oratorios of history, the
symphonies of all time.
"I am the voice of today, the herald of tomorrow. I weave into
the warp of the past the woof of the future. I tell the stories of
peace and war alike. I make the human heart beat with passion or
tenderness. I stir the pulse of nations, and make brave men do
braver deeds, and soldier die.
"I inspire the midnight toiler, weary at his loom, to lift his
head again and gaze, with fearlessness, into the vast beyond, seek-
ing the consolation of a hope eternal."
-ROBERs H. DAVIs.
The first courses of a distinctly business nature were of-
fered during the summer school session of 1922, through the
co-operation of the General Extension Division of the Univer-
sity. Two courses in accounting and one in transportation
were given by Dr. Eldridge Hart, later head of the department
of commerce at Rollins College. In the fall of 1922 a new
curriculum was offered, leading to the degree of Bachelor of
Arts in the Social Sciences.
This change was in harmony with the idea expressed by
Dr. Murphree on different occasions that the social sciences
should be at the very heart not only of the high school cur-
riculum but also that of the college and the university. This
new work was connected with the department of economics
and sociology in charge of Dr. L. M. Bristol, who had joined
the faculty in 1920 and whose wide experience in various
lines of welfare activity had made him appreciate the value
of such practical training.
At this time there was a wide demand for typewriting and
for business English. An advanced student in the English
department, F. H. Langworthy, who had made an exceptional
record in that department and was a skilled typist, was placed
in charge of this work. Funds for the purchase of typewrit-
ers were secured by establishing a mimeographing service and
by a small fee for instruction and rent of typewriters.
During the year 1922-1923 some of the classes in the
department of economics and sociology were so large that
numbers of the students had to sit on soap boxes. The en-
rollment had run completely away with the equipment pro-
PROFESSIONAL COLLEGES ADDED 75
vided. This condition enlisted the sympathy and co-operation
of B. F. Williamson, a business man of Gainesville, and
through him the interest of the State Bankers' Association,
which through its members contributed some $300 to assist
in the work.
This manifest demand for business training, together with
the enthusiastic support of President Murphree, made it pos-
sible to secure sufficient appropriation from the legislature of
1923 to add a professor of accounting and finance, an in-
structor in economics and funds for additional equipment.
In the summer of 1924, again through the cooperation of
the General Extension Division, Miss. Lucy Chamberlain of
the New York School of Social Work, was secured to give
courses in family care work, thus inaugurating the training
for social work which is now being featured in the department
of sociology and social administration of the College of Com-
merce and Journalism. This development also had the most
cordial endorsement of Dr. Murphree who encouraged Dr.
Bristol to get out into the state and endeavor to make the
University a vital force in various lines of welfare activity.
Dr. Bristol has remarked that on more than one occasion Dr.
Murphree said, "I wish you did not have to do any teaching
and could spend all your time in the various communities of
the state helping them to study their needs and organize their
The ever-increasing demand for business trying made
it possible to get into the budget of the department of eco-
nomics and sociology for the biennium of 1925-26 provision
for the addition of two men, but after the budget had been
accepted Dr. Murphree expressed the desire to add journalism
to the curriculum, and establish a regular school of Business
Administration and Journalism, and this was done with the
approval of the Board of Control
There is no doubt that the impression on the part of the
University president that it was time to add journalism to the
studies was strengthened by the visit of Dean Walter Williams
of the School of Journalism of the University of Missouri to
the Florida campus. The occasion of this visit of the veteran
teacher of journalism and president of the World Press Con-
76 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
gress was to address the meeting of the Florida Press Asso-
ciation, to which Gainesville and the University were hosts in
the early spring of 1925. Dean Williams gave President
Murphree a number of suggestions in regard to the importance
and place of journalism in a modem University curriculum.
The new school was an integral part of the College of Arts
and Sciences. During that first year of school the enrollment
was 350, so large that the need for a director of the school who
would become dean upon its being expanded into a separate
college was imperative. No funds were available for such a
director. In this emergency the Board of Control authorized
a special tuition fee of $10 a year and this fee made it possible
to secure the services of Walter J. Matherly of the department
of commerce of the University of North Carolina, who began
his duties during the summer of 1926 as professor of econom-
ics and director of the school of Business Administration and
Journalism. By action of the Board of Control this school
was changed into a college in 1927 and the name changed to
the College of Commerce and Journalism, with Professor
Matherly as dean.
The college now has three divisions or departments: Busi-
ness administration, social administration and journalism.
The act of the legislature of 1927 in opening the University to
women who are at least twenty-one years of age and of junior
rank in college and for studies and courses not offered in any
other institution in the state under the State Board of Control,
has made it possible for women to register in the College of
Commerce and Journalism. Several have registered during
the term 1927, with the encouragement of Dr. Murphree.
Instruction in Business Administration is designed to
provide scientific analysis of the basic principles of business.
Its general purpose is to prepare students to become business
executives. Expressed more specifically, its aims are to pro-
vide familiarity with the fundamental elements of business
management; to develop facility in the use of quantitative in-
struments in the determination of business policies; and to
assure recognition of the larger relationships between business
leadership and social well-being or community interests.
PROFESSIONAL COLLEGES ADDED 77
Instruction in Journalism proceeds upon the theory that
the press is a public utility and that the increasing apprecia-
tion of its functions as an educational agency creates a
demand for thorough preparation, ethically as well as educa-
tionally, for journalistic endeavor. The makers of modem
newspapers and periodicals require knowledge of comprehen-
sive and far-reaching character. They are compelled to deal
with almost every phase of modem life and civilization. Those
who would participate in journalistic activities as purveyors
of news, as creators of public opinion, or as owners or man-
agers of newspaper properties, must be trained-in English,
history, economics, business management, sociology, govern-
ment, and so on, as well as in the technique of journalistic
procedure. The purpose of university instruction in journal-
ism is to accomplish, if possible, these difficult objectives.
Instruction in Social Administration is intended to prepare
students for social service. Social work is a vital part of
present-day community organization. Organized philanthropy
is a characteristic of the age. Charity dictated by the heart
rather than the head is passing into the discard. Social
administration is becoming a profession. The supervision of
community welfare requires executives thoroughly trained in
social technology, family relationships, public health, eugen-
ics, psychology, institutional management; in fact the very
foundations of modem society itself.
In the organization of our new college, Dr. Murphree ren-
dered every co-operation. He was tremendously interested in
training young men for professional courses. The immediate
growth of the college brought him great satisfaction. He
assisted in enlisting the interest of leading business and profes-
sional men of state-wide and of nation-wide prominence, such
as Roger W. Babson. His aim was to bring to the campus of
Florida as many such successful men as possible, so that the
students might add to their training the inspiration to be
gained from first-hand contact with examples of business and
Dr. Murphree realized the importance of the Department
of Journalism in keeping the state informed as to the activities
and growth of the University, and with this in mind, he organ-
78 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
ized a News Bureau under the Journalism Department in
the fall of 1925. News and feature stories were sent out at
frequent intervals from this bureau, reflecting the varied
activities of the campus, to most of the daily papers of Flor-
ida, and to many of the smaller community journals.
At the beginning of the 1927-28 term, the Publicity Bureau
was placed under the General Extension Division and its work
and scope materially increased.
From the Social Administration Department of the Col-
lege of Commerce and Journalism, under the leadership of
Dr. L. M. Bristol, many vital contacts have been made with
social welfare work throughout the state. During this 1927-
28 term there were twenty-eight candidates for degrees from
the College of Commerce and Journalism, twenty-four of
which were in Business Administration, three in Journalism,
and one in Social Administration.
The character and qualifications of the leader are reflected in
the men he selects, develops and gathers around him. Show me the
leader and I will know his men. Show me the men and I will know
their leader. Therefore, to have loyal, efficient employees -be a
loyal and efficient employer. --ArTra W. NECOMB.
IN THE TASK OF BUILDING MEN
Athletics at the University of Florida
We are not here to dream, to drift;
We have hard work to do, and loads to lift;
Shun not the struggle-face it; 'tis God's gift.
It matters not how deep intrenched the wrong,
How hard the battle goes, the day how long;
Faint not-fight on! Tomorrow comes the song.
S THE University of Florida grew, athletics in all
its collegiate forms grew with it. And Dr. Mur-
phree kept in close touch with the expanding needs
of good, clean sport in the institution. He con-
sidered the faculty committee on athletics one of the most
important groups it became his duty each year to appoint.
During the last few years of his administration he placed
Prof. P. L. Reed of the College of Engineering as chairman
of the athletic committee. Prof. Reed recalls that it was with
members of this committee that the late president met as the
last official group he saw on a very important matter of athletic
policy during the Christmas vacation before his death.
"He was fond of athletics, but he wanted all sports con-
nected with the University to be unmistakably clean," Prof.
Reed comments. "Frequently the athletic committee, or my-
self as chairman, would make a ruling that would be criticized
by the athletes involved, by students, or by others. On such
occasions, Dr. Murphree would call me in and we would go
over the whole matter. If there was a written rule on the
subject almost invariably Dr. Murphree would get it down
and read it carefully. Then he would sy:
"'This course is right, and we shall not vary from it to suit
the whim or criticism of anyone.' He would back me to the
limit when he felt we were on the right path.
LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
"I well recall the year it became necessary to disqualify
six of our best football men, if we were to conform to a ruling
in regard to standards of scholarships. There was a storm
of protest, and much bitter feeling. Dr. Murphree announced
quite simply but positively that the rule was there and would
be enforced, whatever the cost in games or scores.
"This was his attitude toward all of our coaches. Now,
the coach frequently makes mistakes. No one ever heard of
a perfect athletic coach. But Dr. Murphree's attitude toward
them was that they must be given loyalty and support as long
as they were on the staff and doing what they felt to be right.
He held many conferences with coaches during each year, and
his word to them was 'We're back of you.'"
During Dr. Murphree's first year at the University, Mr.
G. E. Pyle was secured as athletic director. He was a good
football coach, as the season during the year of 1911 demon-
strated. Florida's football team of that year proudly called
itself "champions of Florida and South Carolina," and pos-
sessed an undefeated team. The claim of championship of
South Carolina came about by their defeat of three strong
teams of that state.
From the Seminole of that year, we read the following:
"Florida-the undefeated-has this year made an envi-
able record. She has passed through her days of infancy,
and has made the 'Big Boys' sit up and take notice. Stetson,
who has been Florida's closest rival and who has always
claimed the championship of the state, was shown up by a
score of 27-0. Many of the Gainesville citizens journeyed
with the boys over to DeLand where Florida thrice crossed
Stetson's west goal and once paraded across her 'sacred' east
During that year, the team also tied the University of
South Carolina and defeated Clemson, Columbia College, the
College of Charleston and won over Citadel 15-3.
Baseball also took a stride forward that year, and under
Dr. Murphree's encouragement, a good team was built up and
a good schedule worked out.
Another banner year in athletics in the old days was
1913-14. In the first game of the season the "Gators" piled
,i* ,F: '
F*"* L p
THE CHAMPIONSHIP FOOTBALL TEAM OF 1910
Dr. Murphree is standing in the rear at the left.
IN THE TASK OF BUILDING MEN
up the astounding
Other games were g
Charles J. Mc(
In reviewing the suc
writer declared: "N
in one word, he wo
ers.'" This word sl
were to be known a;
Dr. Murphree c
In 1916, tennis was
score of 144-0 against Southern College.
loriously successful, but none thus prolific.
"oy was made coach in the fall of 1914.
:cessful season of that year, an enthusiastic
Vere one to describe the squad of 'Gators'
mid be compelled to use the word 'Fight-
tuck and the "Gators" from thence forward
s Florida's "Fighting Gators."
:o-operated with the athletic committee in
)all into the University during that year.
added to University athletics, as was also
track. The latter sport was mentioned in the "Seminole" for
1916 with the following comment: "We trust the time is not
far distant when this phase of our athletics will receive its due
In 1917, the coaching staff consisted of three men: Charles
J. McCoy, football coach; Hugh Wicker, baseball coach; and
Z. J. Stanley, coach of basketball and track, and assistant
Progress in athletics since that time has moved steadily
forward with the growth of all departments of the University.
While Dr. Murphree was genuinely interested in athletic sports
of all kinds, his keenest enthusiasm was for football. Many
a member of the faculty of the University and many an alum-
nus or Gainesville townsman can recall incidents connected
with football games that indicated his love for the game.
Especially do so many of them recall the trips he took with
"From these trips he derived the keenest enjoyment," re-
marked Mr. Klein H. Graham, business manager of the Uni-
versity during all the time Dr. Murphree was president, and
who was a frequent companion with him on such occasions.
"He enjoyed taking Mrs. Murphree with him whenever
possible for her to go, to Jacksonville and elsewhere. Back
in the days when the 'Fighting Gators' teams were more or less
in the embryo, the roads of this state were also in the process
of painful development, where they were being worked at all.
Going to Jacksonville was quite an event, even for a football
enthusiast. We have often driven around by Palatka and St.
Augustine and then up to Jacksonville, and returned the same
82 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
way after the game, arriving home about three in the morn-
ing, if we did not do the wiser thing and stay all night in the
city. But both Dr. and ,Mrs. Murphree met such a football
trip with genuine enjoyment.
"Back in the early days we played Georgia, Suwanee,
Auburn and Clemson quite regularly every year. And each
of these teams used to defeat us almost as regularly. But
winning or losing, it was the same with Dr. Murphree. He
loved the game and never lost interest in it. He was always
telling the boys, 'Take heart, we will win some day.' And
the last half dozen years have seen the 'Gators' hold their own
with the best of them.
"I recall Dr. Murphree's feelings to which he gave vent
just before the Alabama game in Montgomery this year. He
urged the men of the team to pull together and to forget any
differences that might be affecting the morale of the squad.
After the men had scampered out on the field at the conclusion
of his speech, he turned to me and said, 'Klein, I am afraid I
used too strong language, but I forgot myself.' I assured him
that what he said would do the team good. At any rate, this
game was won for Florida to the astonishment of the whole
South, and the unbounded joy of Dr. Murphree."
"It seemed to be traditional that if Dr. Murphree accom-
panied the football team to Alabama the 'Fighting Gators'
would come back with the winning score," said Captain Ever-
ett Yon, director of athletics for the last two years and an old
Florida football star himself. "At any rate, on the three
occasions when Dr. Murphree accompanied the squad up to
play the Crimson Tide of Old 'Bama, we won. The first time
the score was 9-2; the second score was 16-6; and this last
game we beat them 13-6.
"Whenever Dr. Murphree accompanied a team from the
University, he inspired them to do their best," Captain Yon
continued. "That spirit of co-operation I personally felt dur-
ing the time I was athletic director under his administration.
I did not hesitate to go to him with any problems, and I knew
that he would shoot square and to the point. Lucky is any
University that has as its head a man who understands ath-
letics and is as co-operative in the solution of its problems as
was President Murphree."
IN THE TASK OF BUILDING MEN
Similar expressions relative to the "Alabama jinx" were
made by Carl (Tootie) Perry, who was captain of the football
team in 1921.
"I remember telling Dr. Murphree that if he would only
accompany the team we would be sure to win," Mr. Perry
said. "It was Alabama's homecoming game. Our team was
one of the best the University had ever produced, I believe.
The Alabama team was expected to win by at least two touch-
downs. Dr. Murphree had to make a very important trip
before the game, but he hurried through with it and came over
to Tuscaloosa to meet his boys. As soon as he arrived, things
began to cheer up.
"Dr. Murphree did not become disheartened about the out-
come of the game even when members of the Alabama faculty
told him that it was their homecoming game and they simply
had to win. As many football fans in Florida remember, the
Gators won that game by a score of 9-2. Among the mem-
bers of that team was Ark Newton, who was playing his first
year and who scored all of Florida's points."
Prof. Frazier Rogers, who has served for a number of
years on the faculty committee on athletics, has declared:
"No man in any capacity could have served the interests of
clean athletics more ardently than did President Murphree.
His efforts were untiring and his loyal support unfailing.
Every branch of athletics grew under the guidance of his hand.
He would go to any extent to uphold honest, straightforward
athletic teams. Whether they won or lost, he never lost heart.
His spirit of absolute fairness pervaded all of his dealings
with the coaches and members of the teams. One of the last
remarks I heard him make was 'we cannot permit friendship
for individuals to retard the future progress of athletics at the
University of Florida.'"
Lamar Sarra, former captain of the "Fighting Gators'"
football team, an outstanding athlete of the University of Flor-
ida during all four of his years at the institution in three major
sports and now coach of. athletics at the Gainesville high
school, had this word to say about Dr. Murphree's support of
athletics in the University:
"When Dr. Murphree came in contact with athletics he
became one of the boys. He liked all University sports but
84 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
he especially liked football. We could count on him to back
us at all times. When he went with the Gator team on a trip
he ate and slept with us all the way through.
"The most impressive moment I have experienced was
on Grant Field in Atlanta, just before the Florida-Georgia
Tech game in 1924. The players had already been inspired
by talks from the coaches and different members of the team,
followed by a prayer. Then Dr. Murphree gave them his
speech. He got up with tears in his eyes and pleaded with
them to do their best to win for Florida.
"He told them that as a football team they represented
Florida just as the undaunted southerners represented the
South in the Civil War, and just as the doughboys represented
America in the World War. He said this was not simply a
game between two colleges, but was a contest for supremacy
which was being watched by the entire country. Needless to
say, the Fighting Gators fought that day."
The final crowning event of the football season at the Uni-
versity of Florida has been the banquet which Dr. Murphree
made an annual affair for the football squad. These annual
dinners were looked forward to by the "Fighting Gators" as
eagerly as the winning of a victory on the gridiron. Besides
the members of the squad and the coaches, Dr. Murphree reg-
ularly invited the members of the faculty athletic committee,
a few of the leading business men and sports enthusiasts of
Gainesville and a few distinguished guests.
The 1927 banquet was given at the White House hotel on
the evening of Monday, December 5. The proceedings at
this dinner were typical of what was enjoyed by athletes,
coaches and guests every year at this affair. Dr. Murphree
made a speech commending the members of the team on their
victorious season. Every football season was victorious at
the Murphree banquet! For no matter how many defeats
there have been, a joyous spirit has been maintained at the
banquets. During this last season, however, the victory side
far outweighed the defeat side in games won and points
scored. Dr. Murphree told the Fighting Gators that he was
proud of them-proud of their spirit, proud of the Florida
tradition of giving the best that they had to the game, which
they had so nobly exemplified in the 1927 season.
A. A. MURPHREE
From a photograph taken in 1920.
IN THE TASK OF BUILDING MEN 85
Military Training on the Florida Campus
"Who is the happy Warrior? Who is he
That every man in arms should wish to be?
It is the generous Spirit, who, when brought
Among the tasks of real life, hath wrought
U pon the plan that pleased his boyish thought:
Whos high endeavors are an inward light
That makes the path before him always bright:
Who, with a natural instinct to discern
What knowledge can perform, is diligent to learn;
Abides by this resolve, and stops not there,
But makes his moral being his prime care."
When land-grant colleges- were first established, the gov-
ernment stipulated that military training must be provided
to the students enrolled. Consequently, when the University
of Florida was first founded, military training was introduced
as a part of its activity.
Col. E. S. Walker, who came to the University to take
charge of military training in 1908, was one of Dr. Murphree's
closest friends. Col. Walker was the president's golfing com-
panion on many an afternoon's playing around the greens of
the Country Club. It is safe to say that each man found the
companionship of the other delightful.
Dr. Murphree was greatly interested in military training.
He kept in close touch with CoL Walker and with the military
department of the University at all times, and did all that he
could to raise the standard of military training to the high
level it reached previous to his death.
CoL Walker came to the University of Florida in the fall
of 1908. He found only one military company with about
fifty students. For eight years the department had a slow but
steady growth in enrollment. The installation of the Reserve
Officers Training Corps in 1916 gave a great impetus to the
department, for it meant that government inspection would
be made and that uniforms would be issued by the govern-
The year 1917 brought the entrance of the United States
into the world war, and raised the military training being done
at colleges and universities to the highest importance. Dr.
Murphree was quick to sense this importance, and gave Col.
Walker and the military staff at the University of Florida
every encouragement in co-operating with the government in
86 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
the training of students. In 1918 the Student Army Train-
ing Corps was established at the University, with about 400
men in the battalion. During the summer of that year a voca-
tional training school was also established on the Florida cam-
pus. The purpose of this school was to train young men in
trades and vocations needed in warfare, such as motor me-
chanics, cooks, and the like.
The summer of 1918 furnished no vacation for Dr. Mur-
phree, nor for scarcely any of the members of the University
faculty. The spirit of winning the war had seized every loyal
American. The University campus was turned into a camp.
A large searchlight placed on top of Peabody Hall flashed
here and there around the campus, throwing the dark places
suddenly into the light. Sentries were placed at all the gates
and before the dormitories, and no one could enter the grounds
after a certain hour without being challenged.
It was during the following fall that the flu epidemic
broke out on the campus. The auditorium, which was then
on the upper floor of the Agricultural College, was turned
into a hospital and a number of the men were requisitioned
into hospital service.
During this critical period in the life of the University,
and in fact, in the life of the very nation itself, the firm,
calm but energetic nature of Dr. Murphree asserted itself.
One who worked shoulder to shoulder with him in those try-
ing times has paid him this tribute:
"I have seen the University president work until ex-
hausted during those days of the flu epidemic, and then come
back early the next morning to plunge into the exacting duties
again. He carried with him during such times of stress an
optimistic spirit, and his presence among men and women who
were trying to alleviate suffering or minister to the unfortu-
nate was an assurance that all his heart, mind and physical
power were at their disposal."
During the period of the Student Army Training Corps
the personnel of the staff of officers under Col. Walker was
augmented to a score or more, and this number remained on
the campus during the vocational training days. Dr. Mur-
phree showed to the military staff a spirit of cooperation at
all times, and won from them frequent expressions of esteem.
IN THE TASK OF BUILDING MEN 87
The signing of the armistice on November 11, 1918,
brought to an end the immediate necessity for training stu-
dents for warfare, and necessitated a vast amount of work in
getting military training back to a peace time condition. But
the spirit of military training had been quickened on the cam-
pus of the University of Florida, and Dr. Murphree held be-
fore CoL Walker and the military staff the aim of building up
an honor Reserve Officers Training Corps at Florida.
The University was placed on the honor list for the first
time in 1919. At this time there were 400 students in the bat-
talion. It was a signal honor for Florida, for the inspectors
from the War Department in Washington declared the Florida
battalion to be among the best six in the country.
In 1919 CoL Walker was retired by the government as
head of the R. O. T. C. at the University, and the appointment
was given to Major Ward. CoL Walker has maintained his
connection with the University, however, and in discussing his
relationship with Dr. Murphree, said:
"I knew him both officially and socially and he was one
of the best friends I ever had. He believed in the value of
military training, for he felt that it was splendid discipline,
and everyone who came in contact with him knew how definite
were his ideas of discipline.
"Dr. Murphree was good natured always, but was espe-
cially genial, friendly and full of humor when we would be
taking trips together. Before Gainesville had a golf course,
we used to go to nearby cities to play. It was as a golf player
that the human traits in Dr. Murphree's character became most
apparent. He kicked about bad shots and was elated over good
ones. He always made it a point to get the best clubs on the
Col. Walker recalls that on a return trip from St. Augus-
tine, where he and Doctor Murphree had gone to arrange the
details in connection with the gift of the University organ, they
were accosted by a man in ragged clothing who asked them
for a ride as far as Palatka, saying he was an ex-service man
who had been wounded during the war. Dr. Murphree picked
him up and talked to him as cordially and with the same
friendly interest he showed to all persons, and had made a
friend of him when he left him at Palatka.
88 LIFE AND WORK OF DR. A. A. MURPHREE
In 1920 the R. O. T. C. of the University of Florida again
made the distinguished college rating for the Fourth Corps
area. To attain this rating it was necessary to be among the
six highest out of the sixteen college and university corps of
the southeastern section of the United States. The rating was
done by United States army inspectors who made minute
examination of the personnel, equipment, discipline and gen-
eral efficiency of the student troops.
The distinguished college rating was made again for three
successive years, in 1923, 1924 and 1925. This was a great
source of pride to Dr. Murphree who frequently referred to
the honors accorded to the University of Florida corps.
In 1924, Major A. C. Tipton assumed command of the
University of Florida R. O. T. C. His efficient leadership has
been felt in military training in the University during his term
of service. A rifle team is selected each year to represent the
corps in competition with other teams from the Fourth Corps
area. The Orange and Blue marksmen of Florida won the
cup representing first place in 1922 and again in 1924. Last
year the team had the distinction of furnishing four out of the
ten to represent the Fourth Corps area in the national shooting
competition held at Camp Perry, Ohio.
The maximum enrollment allowed by the government was
attained by the R. O. T. C. in the fall of 1927 with 1000 basic
students and 130 advanced students listed. There are fifty
candidates for commissions for 1928. The corps is divided
into six companies and a band of about sixty pieces.
Major General Richmond P. Davis, Commander of the
United States Army, Fourth Corps Area, visited the University
and inspected the battalion early in December of 1927.
"The Florida corps is the best looking body of troops I
have seen in a number of years," declared General Davis.
"The marching of the men was fine and the student officers
showed marked qualifications as leaders." General Davis
gave high praise to Major Tipton and his associates for their
splendid work in military training with the Florida corps.
The last outdoor picture made of Dr. Murphree was that
taken of him standing by the side of General Davis on Flem-
ming Field. The General postponed his trip through south
Florida in order to play a round of golf with Dr. Murphree.
OFFICERS OF THE FLORIDA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION, 1927
From left to right, beginning top: Dr. T. Z. Cason, '08; Raymer F. Maguire,
'15; Ralph Stoutamire, '19; Herbert Felkel, '08; Geo. R. McKean, '96;
Watt Lawler, '13; Phil S. May, '11 and '15; Paul D. Barnes, '20; Romero
M. Sealey, '11 (deceased); S. L. Holland, '16, is not in the picture.