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1873, to give two sums of five thousand ($5,000) dollars each to the College, provided ten thousand ($10,000) dollars were raised without the state, and ten thousand ($10,000) dollars within it, in cash or indorsed notes, within six months. Rev. J. B. Chase undertook the task at home, and Professor Perry in New England.
The Nebraska pledges were usually notes of small amount, at ten per cent, due in five years, but were “from churches all over the state, and from almost all the churches.” They represented, in many instances, the severe self-denial of people to whom the college was dear, but who were very poor.
The salaries of pastors were small, and paid mostly in fuel, provisions and work, “not one-fourth in money.” The college was "what they talked about when they met, and wrote about when they wrote to each other,” but money Very little was seen from year to year.
It was hard to pledge and harder to pay. Before one brother--perhaps one among many-was able to cancel his note for seventy-five dollars, he had paid seventy-five dollars in interest upon it. Some failed altogether.
But slowly the pledges were secured. On July 12th notes to the amount of $1,120 were acknowledged to Mr. Chase by the treasurer; on July 14th $170 more; and on August 12th $870. By September 18th the sum reported had reached $5,140, not counting the Crete subscriptions of May 5th, 1872, which, with the exception of two thousand ($2,000) dollars pledged and already paid by Mr. Doane, were to be included in the total. Although the time limit (September 5th) named by Mr. Doane in his offer, had passed, the collection was encouraged to proceed, and it finally reached by Christmas day one hundred and fifty-two (152) notes for six thousand and forty-six ($6,046) dollars, all at ten per cent.
Meanwhile Prof. Perry was in the East endeavoring to raise the ten thousand ($10,000) dollars proposed from outside the state, and was meeting with varied success. He had secured seven and onehalf thousand ($7,500)—one thousand of it being his personal pledge —when it became necessary to return for the opening of the next Rather than fail to complete the amount he
his own note in addition for the balance ($2,500), thinking that others would soon be found to assume part of it. But they were not found, and he was compelled to pay all, with interest. "My pledge,” he says, "stood for more than I was worth, down to boots and old
clothes." The picture of this honored brother, then unmarried and measurably alone, writing in red ink in his accounts the slow payments of that hard pledge, is one of many in those early days.
But by such sacrifices was the endowment of thirty thousand ($30,000) dollars raised upon which, in part, was conditioned the offer (May 25, 1872) of six hundred (600) acres of land by the B. & M. R. R. Co., and (June 1,1872) of fifty average town lats in Crete, by the Eastern Land Association; so that they were secured to the college before changes in the officers and methods of the companies made such negotiations impossible. A little later very different results might have been experienced. As it was, the ten thousand ($10,000) dollars from outside the state were declared raised, and Mr. Doane-unable to pay his pledge in cash because of the tightness of the money market-gave his first note for five thousand ($5,000) dollars on September 25, following it on January 1, 1874, by a second note for the same amount, in "consideration of there having been donated by persons resident in the State of Nebraska, the sum of ten thousand ($10,000) dollars to the use and benefit of Doane college at Crete, Nebraska, satisfactory proof of which has been given me.” On December 16th, the college received the recognition of the society for the promotion of Collegiate and Theological Education (now the American College and Education Society), and an appropriation of five hundred ($500) dollars for current expenses.
The way was now prepared for requesting from the B. & M. R. R. Co. the transfer of the land promised, the conditions as proposed to them on April 4, 1872, and accepted on May 25—that the college be located at Crete, by the General Association of Congregational Churches, for a term of not less than ten years; that the sum of thirty thousand ($30,000) be secured within that time; and that the official recognition of the Collegiate and Theological Society be obtained--being now met, an application, was accordingly made, and the deed issued, bearing date December 30, 1873, and was delivered to Mr. Doane on January 23d following. Negotiations for the fifty lots were continued until November 7, 1874, when they also were transferred. On March 16, 1874, the treasurer certified that the total assets, reckoning nothing which might be regarded as doubtful, and putting a low estimate upon the land, were $49, 719.05. On June 25, the college was "out of debt with a balance in the treasury.”. This, briefly, but as accurately as the material at hand will permit, is the story of the earlier events connected with the founding of this institution. Of necessity it is limited, at this time, to the first years. It scarcely enters upon the actual collegiate history. It does not consider the erection of any of the permanent buildings-Merrill Hall, Boswell Observatory and Ladies' Hall. It does not reach even to the graduation of its first alumnus; there are now thirtyeight alumni. The story, from the one frame building under the hill, and far wout of town,” as it seemed then, nearer town to-day than the academy was in 1873, is a long one. Into this development many costly efforts have
have won honored names for their services. Of these some one else must speak. Our task is with the beginning, that we may know what of heroism and sacrifice these things have cost, and what we, the inheritors of such labors, ought now to do.
gone, and many
CONGREGATIONAL COLLEGE HISTORY IN NEBRASKA.
1.— FONTENELLE COLLEGE, 1857-72.
A brief history of the Congregational College, established at Fontenelle, Nebraska, in 1857-58. Compiled chiefly from historical facts furnished by Mrs. E. R. Kline and Rev. C. G. Bisbee, of Fontenelle. Also some notes from an address by Rev. R. Gaylord.
This paper, by Mrs. REUBEN GAYLORD, of Omaha, was read at the fif. teenth anniversary exercises of Doane College, Crete, Neb., June 22, 1887.
Soon after congress had organized the Territory of Nebraska, and had appointed officers for its government, a few citizens of Quincy, Illinois, conceived the idea of planting a colony in the newly organized territory. In accordance with this plan they formed a company with printed laws and regulations, to be known as the Nebraska Colonization Company. The payment of one hundred dollars was the price of admission to membership and company privileges. In July of that year (1854) a prospecting committee was sent out to locate territory for settlement of the colony, and select a site for a municipal town. Hon. J. W. Richardson, one of the party, was secretary and field reporter to take notes of the journey. They traveled with wagons, camping on the prairies at night, and after crossing the Missouri followed the divides, going by way of what is now Fort Calhoun, until they came to the high bluffs of the Elkhorn river. Here they looked down upon the Platte and Elkhorn valleys united, making a broad and fertile valley ten miles wide. The Elkhorn, pursuing its winding way, skirted with timber, could be traced for a long distance, and, looking across the valley ten miles away,
the eye rested upon the high bluffs of the Platte river, adding a very pleasing variety to the fine scenery. This prospecting party represented the professor, merchant, banker, lawyer, clergyman and farmer. But as they stood there together on that summer day in 1854, all were so captivated by the scene of wondrous beauty and fertility that they selected it as the site of their embryo city, and the surrounding country for future homes for the families of the colony. They purchased the right of possession of Logan Fontenelle, a chief of the Omaha tribe of Indians, giving him one hundred dollars to keep their claim until they should return. port of these explorers was favorably received by the Colonization Society at Quincy, and Mr. Richardson was appointed as their agent to return and take possession of their land for them, cause cabins to be built for the settlers the ensuing spring, and to use his influence in the coming territorial legislature to procure a college charter for the Baptist colony, many of them being members of Baptist churches in Quincy and vicinity. In October he returned to the new Eldorado, accompanied by his wife (now Mrs. E. R. Kline). The town was named Fontenelle in honor of the Omaha chief.
Logan Fontenelle was a half breed, his father being French. He was educated at St. Louis, and spoke English fluently. Mr. and Mrs. Richardson, Col. Kline, Mr. Seely, and some others spent the winter of 1854-55 at Fontenelle. This winter the territorial legislature was organized and held its first session in Omaha. The company at Quincy instructed their agent, Judge Richardson, to use every effort to secure the location of the territorial capital at Fontenelle. They also sent two of their number to Omaha to work for that interest during the session of the Legislature. In November, Dr. M. H. Clark was elected councilman to the legislature, and Judge Richardson and Col. Doyle representatives from Fontenelle. But their efforts to secure the capital of the new territory were unsuccessful, as the prize was given to Omaha. They succeeded, however, in obtaining a charter for a Baptist college to be located there, under the Name and Style of Nebraska University.” The Colonization Company at Quincy, when they first designed planting a colony in this new land, conceived the idea of an institution of learning in which their own and other children and youth might have the opportunity of obtaining a thorough education. When this charter was granted they felt