New Mexico Military Institute - Bronco Yearbook (Roswell, NM)

 - Class of 1943

Page 112 of 230


New Mexico Military Institute - Bronco Yearbook (Roswell, NM) online yearbook collection, 1943 Edition, Page 112 of 230
Page 112 of 230

New Mexico Military Institute - Bronco Yearbook (Roswell, NM) online yearbook collection, 1943 Edition, Page 111
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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 the present. 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,

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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 Fifth Streets. 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 utilitarian subjects. 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 Grant. 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 offered. Eighty-two cadets and day students were enrolled the first day-the co-educational feature still persisting. 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

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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 rank. 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. Eks REGISTER. 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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