« ForrigeFortsett »
tional history. It was given to the infant city by the officers of our War of Independence just before the breaking out of the French Revolution that carried to the scaffold the unfortunate Marie Antoinette, and was intended to commemorate the sovereigns by whose aid our Independence was achieved. As the day approaches which will mark the centennial of the founding of Ohio, Marietta will become more and more a familiar word to the people of the State and the great Northwest. We are glad that no one has tempted our Trustees to transfer this college to some other locality..
As the college has remained in the same town where its existence began, so has it remained in the same part of the town. The private institution which was its precursor had two or three local habitations; but the college, as well as the collegiate institute, has always been on the city square between Fourth and Fifth streets, Putnam and Butler. In the early days the question of a change of location was discussed. At a meeting of the Trustees in September, 1835; Dr. Cotton was authorized to purchase the square known as the Foster Square (between Fifth and Sixth streets and South of Wooster). In the January following this entry appears: "The following resolution was submitted by C. Emerson and unanimously adopted Resolved, as the present opinion of this Board, that it is expedient to erect the college buildings of Marietta College on the hill land purchased by Doctor Moore of D. H. Buell, Esq., or on lands contiguous thereto; provided suitable accommodations and arrangements can be made for that purpose.' The magnificent views which a site on the hill furnishes were a strong inducement to make the change, but other considerations finally decided the question. Probably the present site is the best in the town for the purpose.
The south building of the present group was commenced in 1832, by Messrs. Bingham and French, and was completed by the Trustees in 1833. It was originally
intended to be three stories in height, and a catalogue issued in 1832 gives a plate of it as such a building; but the plan was doubtless changed before the edifice was finished. The land attached to the building and transferred with it to the Trustees in 1833 was a little more than half the square-the half on the Fifth street side, with one hundred and fifty feet front on Fourth street. The campus, or college yard proper, was a lot of one hundred and fifty feet in width running through from Fourth street to Fifth, and lying a little south of the middle of the square. There were three three dwelling houses on the square, all on the Fourth street front, and a brick building on Putnam street, erected in 1813 for a cotton factory. In the winter of 1834-35, the house of Mr. Billy Todd, at the corner of Putnam and Fourth, was purchased. It was used till 1870 as the President's house, and for students' rooms till 1874, when it was taken down. The lots south of the original college yard, with a brick dwelling house built by Benjamin Corp in 1817, were purchased of Wm. Slocomb in 1836. The house was afterward owned by Mr. Hinman, but came into the possession of the college. in 1854. Since 1870 it has been used for the Preparatory department, a large frame addition having been made to it. The brick building on Putnam street was fitted up. and used for some years for the English school, and for the academy, and was removed in 1869.
The building erected in 1832-33, now used as a dormitory, served for all purposes till 1850. It contained, besides rooms for students, the chapel, recitation rooms, with accommodations for the library, cabinet, and apparatus. Rooms in the basement were intended for recitation purposes, and were so used for about ten years.
The cornerstone of the middle building of the group was laid at Commencement, 1845, the Hon. Lewis Cass, of Michigan, making a brief address on the occasion. Remarks were also made by President Linsley and Nahum
Ward, Esq. The whole work of the college having been crowded into one building for so long a time, the greatly increased accommodations furnished by the new structure were fully appreciated both by faculty and students. It was used when first occupied in 1850 for the most part as now; save that then the chapel service was held on the second floor where now are the Latin and Rhetorical rooms, and the college library occupied a part of the room then as now known as "Slocomb Hall," while the libraries of the literary societies were in the alcoves in the society halls.
The completion of the north, or library, building in 1870, enabled us by the transfer of the chapel service to provide two additional recitation rooms, and to give to the college and society libraries their present elegant and commodious quarters.
A word more may be said about these buildings. They were built almost exclusively with home funds. The first money raised at Marietta was to purchase the Institute property. What was obtained abroad was used for the support of the professors and other kindred purposes.
The second edifice originated in an effort to provide a temporary building for the Philosophical and Chemical lectures. It was proposed to raise one thousand dollars in subscriptions of two dollars, each donor to have certain privileges of attendance upon lectures. The plan was subsequently enlarged and the present building was erected. For it the college is indebted to the citizens of Marietta and Harmar, with some aid from other parts of the county. The whole work was done under the direction of a building committee appointed by the donors, Hon. Rufus E. Harte being the architect and superintendent. The original subscription is interesting for the signatures, containing nearly two hundred names, most of them autographs.
The third building was also erected with home funds, though in a little different sense. For this the college is
indebted to the generosity of the Alumni. It is their gift to their mother, and was intended to be a Memorial Alumni Hall, and to furnish accommodation for the college and society libraries. The first contribution for this specific purpose is well remembered. The President was spending a sabbath in an eastern city. A graduate of the college who was taking him to church spoke of the desirableness and importance of the Alumni contributing to the funds of the institution, and intimated his own purpose to do something in that direction. The suggestion was made to him in reply that one of the most pressing wants of the college was better accommodations for the valuable and relatively large libraries of the college and of the literary societies, and that the hope had been entertained that the Alumni might undertake the erection of a building for such a purpose. The suggestion was favorably received, and the next morning brought a check for $500. With so generous a gift to inaugurate it the effort could not fail of success; and for fifteen years we have been enjoying the accommodations of this fine edifice. Thus this college has had her buildings erected by the citizens of the place and its vicinity, and by her children who sought to provide for her material wants. She has squandered no money in brick and mortar for the purposes of display, but from the first there has been the earnest desire to furnish both instructors and students such books as were needed for their work.
In the first catalogue, issued in the year 1837-38, these words are found: "The college library contains about 3,000 volumes, embracing an extensive and choice selection of philological works procured by the professor of languages on his recent visit to Europe. For this portion of the library a convenient room has been fitted up, which is open to the students a portion of each day for reference and study." How the college came by these philological books is told by Rev. John Todd, D. D., writing in 1847: "A few years since a plain farmer left
his hard-earned property to the care of a few friends to distribute. We gave $1,000 to each of several colleges, and directed that the money be laid out for a library. In consequence of these books the now able President of Marietta College (Rev. Dr. Henry Smith) has compiled a lexicon, which is an honor to him and to our country. He has dedicated it to the memory of the good man who gave the money. What a beautiful monument has God thus erected to the memory of Samuel Stone !"
That the Trustees of an institution just starting into life should have appropriated for the purchase of Greek and Latin classics, with lexicons, grammars and other helps, the first thousand dollars given for books is worthy of record. It may truly be said that the Trustees of Marietta College have from the first appreciated the importance of a good library. Books they have held in higher esteem than buildings. They have not compelled their professors to make brick without straw. At the celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary in 1860 the whole number of volumes in the college and society libraries was 17,000. There were then only fifteen colleges in the United States that reported a larger number. According to the last report of the U. S. Commissioner of Education, of 362 colleges reported, twelve have more books than Marietta, two have the same number, and 347 have less. Our total is now somewhat larger than at the date of the Commissioner's report, being 33,000 volumes. At the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Yale College, President Woolsey gave the number of volumes in their college library as 22,000. At our fiftieth anniversary, we report exclusive of the societies, 20,000.
Much is said of late of the use of books in a college library by the students for reference. It will be noted. from the extract just read from our first catalogue that arrangements of this kind were made here very early, so far as the classical department of study was concerned. The classical books were placed in a convenient room,