Williams College - Gulielmensian Yearbook (Williamstown, MA)

 - Class of 1909

Page 13 of 186

 

Williams College - Gulielmensian Yearbook (Williamstown, MA) online yearbook collection, 1909 Edition, Page 13 of 186
Page 13 of 186



Williams College - Gulielmensian Yearbook (Williamstown, MA) online yearbook collection, 1909 Edition, Page 12
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Williams College - Gulielmensian Yearbook (Williamstown, MA) online yearbook collection, 1909 Edition, Page 14
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Page 13 text:

12 WILLIAMS COLLEGE CLASS BOOK A history of the college of one hundred years ago can scarcely close without at least mention of the individualities that in those days as undergraduates gave evidence of their future fame. The class of eighteen nine possessed the leaders of the great Haystack movement. 'The names of james Richards, Harvey Loomis and Samuel J. Mills as the founders of a world move- ment have found places in the history of the religions of the world. Ezra Fisk, a member of the same class, was later a trustee of the college for ten years after 1823, and was then offered the presidency of the College of Vermont. Three members of the faculty were men of marked ability. Professor Olds, a graduate of the class of eighteen one, men- tioned above in this article, was a tutor at VV illiams from 1803 to 1805 and was then made professor, which office he held until the time of the rebellion in 1808. Chester Dewey, an instructor for two years after 1808, graduated with high standing from VVilliams in 1806. In 1810, at the time of the installation of a new faculty, he was made full professor. He filled this office until 1827. I Ebenezer Fitch, the first president of Williams college, devoted himself with "much fidelity and with no ordinary success, as may be seen by the fact that the number of graduates at Williaiiis during its first half century considerably surpassed the number of graduates at Yale during its first fifty years." As most of the early administrators and teachers at the college, he was a graduate of Yale. After twenty years of office President Fitch gave way to Zephaniah Swift Moore, a man of less years, the second president of the institution. In 1834 he died, and thirty years later his remains were deposited by the side of the elegant monument erected to his memory in tl1e college cemetery. Pro- fessor Dewey once said of President Fitch, "He was a man of fine personal appearance, of rather courtly manners and digni- fied carriage, of the purest morals, of the most benevolent feel- ings and the most exemplary religious character. As an instruc- tor he had a high reputation. I-Ie was eminently a good man." In these few pages the editors have endeavored to recall the history of Williams college one hundred years ago. The charm of the early events is, to members of the institution, decidedly personal. The scantiest knowledge, however, of the history of

Page 12 text:

WILLIAMS COLLEGE CLASS BOOK I1 only for recitations, meals and prayers, for fear of being kid- napped and thus causing a holiday. East, built in 1796, burned down in 1841 and replaced by the present building of one less floor, was not very much occupied at this time, containing but two recitation rooms in use. Christmas lake still existed on the old campus and close by this was the college spring, the source of all the water supply. The students from West, with their buckets in their hands, went through the meadows to fetch their daily water. The path they followed is now called Spring street. VVilliamstown was called NVest Hoosuch and in the histories of these times we often read of Graylock and the Taghonic moun- tains. No stage coach ever entered the town and the only quasi- public means of communication with the outside world were the three solitary messengers who rode into town about once a week on horseback, over the mountains from Troy, Pittsfield and Springfield. During the senior year of the class of eighteen nine three interesting actions were taken by the trustees. The faculty were authorized to give the students leave of absence from their rooms between 9 and IO P. M.: the faculty members were paid H3180 for supplying the pulpit thirty-six Sabbathsf and a committee was appointed "to prevent the students' rooms from smoking." It is probable that the class of eighteen nine inaugurated Chip Day. The pL'll'pOSC of this holiday was to clean up the campus, but the holiday was later abolished when the students introduced hired labor for that purpose and used the holiday to leave town. In the spring and summer of 1808 the second student rebellion in the history of the college was promulgated. The sophomores, in an endeavor to prevent the reappointment of several of the instructors, petitioned the trustees for that purpose. Not more than a half a dozen upperclassmen were closely connected with this action. Upon the refusal of the trustees to take action, Professor Olds, of the department of Natural Philosophy and Mathematics. demanded a written apology from the students. President Fitch refused to sustain the professor, and in conse- quence found himself one morning to be the only member of the Williams faculty. A recess of four weeks was then found necessary to replenish the instructing force.



Page 14 text:

'WILLIAMS COLLEGE CLASS BOOK I3 the years when the class of eighteen nine was in college shows that 1909 is merely another point on the same stream and not :L point on another stream. The current has been sharp, defined. It has cut a marked path through the hills of history. With the same inherited effort to have the current deep, but in a narrow channel, the college continues into the future. - Q .7 Dis -W WM' X 135. 3' . F iii? , -5 H- V07 "" 'E' v fi iiaviggaffltllllliiizi fir f r

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