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Page 112 text:
lVIartini-lVIancini, the kindness of old Gus Lee,
the special train to Eddy for the all-important
baseball game, the pitching of Otero, and lVI.
Livingston's record pole vault of almost nine feet.
In mid-March, 1901, Colonel Meadors re-
signed as Superintendent, whereupon the Regents
elected Ma-ioi' J. W. Willson, Commandant of
Cadets since 1898, as his successor.
The next twenty-one years of growth and
solid achievement bear witness to the masterful
guiding hand of Colonel Willson. Likewise
fortunate for the school in its formative and
middle years was the almost continuous presence
on the Board of Regents of E. A. Cahoon, a man
of sound character, vision, and business judgment.
The first Bronco, cadet yearbook, made its
appearance in 1902. The first graduates, three
in number, received their diplomas in May. And
the ensuing fall brought Captain John Fletcher,
bandmaster, who speedily organized the first
Institute band. Baseball remained king of sports,
although the Institute ventured into inter-col-
legiate football in the fall of 1907, dropping a
hard-fought game 28 to 0, to New Mexico
Aggies, Territorial champions.
Gradually, football got under way and with
the arrival of Mr. R. R. Brown and professional,
precision coaching in l9l0, interest in the sport
boomed and regional success followed. Par-
ticularly note-worthy in earlier years were the
Brown-coached teams of l9lU, 1916, and 1917,
and the Rabenhorst team of l924.
The plant, like Topsy, grew in a more or
less haphazard fashion until 1908, when with the
construction of two sections of Hagerman Bar-
racks the present style of Scottish castle or modi-
fied Gothic architecture was adopted. The
main building, Lea Hall I, burned to the ground
Aug. 3 l, l909, the day before school reconvened.
Thereupon a new Lea Hall was designed and built
in the style of Hagerman Barracks.
Nineteen hundred nine was a momentous
year for the Institute in that it first brought
nation-wide military distinction. N. M. IVI. I.
was named as one of the ten honor or distinguished
military schools of the nation. It was the young-
est and smallest school so named. Here was an
earned recognition of the soldierly spirit and the
esprit de corps of cadets, faculty and regents.
On Labor Day, Sept. 6, 1915, the Institute
added a Junior College department by a one-
year's extension of the curriculum. Major' D. C.
Pearson Cnow superintendentb engineered this
change, which placed the Institute among the
pioneer Junior Colleges of the nation. The col-
lege, at first a minor appendage, has developed in
a quarter century until well over half the cadets
are members of the First and Second classes.
The Institute was formally designated a
member of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps
on Dec. l3, l9l6-six months after Congress
had authorized such a system of training. It
has remained a Senior Unit of that Corps until
Cadets of the immediate pre-World War I
era have many memories of Institute days: the
Albuquerque Irrigation Congress, the mutinies
of 1906 and 1911, Capt. Hester's capable pitch-
ing, Sergeant Leonard's motorcycle machine gun
squad, and Dempster lVIaclVIurphy's too realistic
impersonation of the Senator's daughter.
Entrance of the United States into World
War I brought changes to Institute life and de-
manded sacrifice from cadets and alumni. The
Student Army Training Corps unit was organized
on the Hill to streamline preparation for war.
The 1919 Bronco displays a service flag carrying
710 stars. Every graduate of the Class of 1914,
save one who was rejected for physical disability,
Page 111 text:
plastered main building, a tiny natatorium or
"swimming bath," one of the only two in the
United States, a Superintendent's quarters, serv-
ing also as reception room and infirmary, and
finally a home-style dining room, completed the
picture. The original grounds stretched along
the present Main Street between Fourth and
G.lVI.I. opened on Thursday morning, Sept.
3, 1891, with an enrollment of 38 boys and girls,
ranging in age from seven years upward. It was
the first enterprise in New Mexico to adopt the
military feature. The school combined the disci-
pline of a military school with curricular offer-
ings that suggest the program of Eastern finish-
ing schools of the day.
NEVV MEXICO NIILITARY INSTITUTE
Near the close of G.M.I.'s second year, the
New Mexico legislature, on Feb. 23, l893,
adopted the school as a territorial institution,
changing its name to New Mexico lVIilitary
Institute. However, no funds were appropriated
for its maintenance. Lucius Dills, Roswell pub-
lisher, and E. A. Cahoon, Roswell banker, pre-
pared the bill at the request of Captain I. C.
Lea. F. Hinkle introduced the bill in the
House, and A. B. Fall in the Council. It was
A. B. Fall who named the New lVIeXico Military
Institute when he struck out the word "Goss"
from the bill and substituted "New Mexico" to
further the bill's chances.
Colonel J. E. Edgington succeeded Col.
Goss as Superintendent of N.lVI.lVI.I. prior to the
academic session of l893-94. School was held
in the old G.lVl.I. buildings. The curriculum
carried both boys and girls from the primary
through the collegiate level, with more emphasis
upon Latin and Greek than upon strictly
Early in August, 1894, the New lVIeXico
lVIilitary Institute buildings were moved to a new
site at the corner of Main and Seventh streets.
And in the midst of harbingers of nation-wide
depression, the school opened for a second com-
plete term under Territorial auspices.
Late in the session, Feb. l3, l895, the Leg-
islature authorized a 515,000 bond issue for sup-
port of the Institute and a tax income for its
maintenance. The Regents, for their part, ob-
tained early in l895 from Mr. J. J. Hagerman
title to a 40-acre tract situated on North Hill to
accommodate the contemplated new school plant.
The Institute suspended operations in late
March, l895, to reopen when the bond issue ob-
tained Congressional approval and was converted
to cash. Upon completion of the bond sale, early
in 1897, the Board of Regents let the contract for
the new plant to be located on the Hagerman
Mr. James C. Meadors of lVIclVIinville,
Tennessee, was named as Superintendent for the
reopening, Sept. 6, 1898. Both the Superin-
tendent and the Board of Regents believed that
the success of the school depended on its being a
practical training school adapting its work to
the needs of the Territory-stressing citizenship
rather than scholarship. VVork on four prep-
aratory levels and four so-called collegiate levels
Csenior high school plus junior collegeb was
Eighty-two cadets and day students were
enrolled the first day-the co-educational feature
Roswell was linked to Amarillo by rail on
Feb. l l, l899, gaining thereby direct connection
with Denver, Kansas City, and Chicago. The
practice of admitting day students was discon-
tinued, beginning in Sept., l899, Thus the In-
stitute had, in nearly a decade, evolved into a
strictly male institution.
Cadets of that early day will remember the
weary tramp to Sutherland Lake for the encamp-
ment, the snipe-hunting expedition of Capt.
Whitten, the old world demeanor of Count
Page 113 text:
entered the service as a commissioned officer.
Battle and influenza took their toll of lives from
cadets and faculty, and many were distinguished
and decorated for gallantry and meritorious ser-
vice. The Institute justified her purpose in the
critical months of war.
From the opening of the Institute to the
fall of 1920, the Institute was organized as a
battalion of infantry. In October, 1920, at the
suggestion of the War Department, the school
authorities approved a change to a squadron of
cavalry. Horses arrived during the Christmas
holidays, 1920. The bayonet gave way to the
saber, the squad to the four, the company to the
troop. Mounted work began in January, 1921,
with the horse proving himself no respector of
The "I" Club was founded at the close of
the 1919 football season with the dual purpose
of developing athletic material and promoting
clean athletics. It was based upon other similar
agencies existing throughout the life of the school.
The first annual Homecoming day was
celebrated on Thanksgiving Day, 1924, with
many Alumni returning to witness the Institute
Broncos clench a Southwestern championship by
victory over their traditional foes, the New
Mexico Aggies. Many were the stories that
were swapped: recalled was the time when J.
Taliaferro and Buck Ballard shot off the corner
of the Main Building with a loaded cannon,
when diplomas were pasted on telephone poles
like circus posters, when Col. Barlow's horse,
Bessie, appeared in a bright new coat of paint,
when "At East" Letcher was busy engineering,
trenches, when the cow was put in Henning's
room. Recalled too was the C Barracks fire
department, which held daily after-taps fire
drills, also, the C Barracks bank failure, involv-
ing President Exline, also, Bessie Barlow's
Bouncing Baby Boys, and "Jelly" West's trunk-
ful of canned soups. And many a laugh was
stimulated by the very recent memory of Lieut.
D. H. H. Starr's timely cannon salute to Governor
J. F. Hinkle.
Colonel Willson's sudden death on August 1,
1922, brought Col. J. C. Troutman to the helm
of school affairs. During his four year tenure,
the school strengthened its academic standing and
doubled its enrollment.
Colonel D. C. Pearson was called to the
Superintendency in 1926 to succeed Col. Trout-
man, resigned. The past seventeen years have
fittingly climaxed the earlier years of steady
growth. A magnificent, harmonious plant has
been erected. Complete academic recognition
has been achieved. The high standard of mili-
tary proficiency has been maintained. Athletic
prowess has been intelligently fostered.
Growing recognition has forced a limitation
of enrollment to plant accommodations. And
again the Institute is proving the value of her
training in discipline, leadership and citizenship,
in a world at war. Two thousand of her sons
have already volunteered their trained services.
Many have already won distinction and some
have given their lives. The Institute is gearing
her entire facilities to the emergency of the world
crisis. She is schooling men in self forgetfulness,
in contempt for fear, is fostering the love of God,
of liberty and country. She is doing her job
well, many a man in uniform bears her stamp of
character on his face and in his soul.
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