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To make arrangements for the celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the founding of Marietta College, the following committees were appointed in 1884:
By the Trustees: Mr. Beman Gates, Mr. M. P. Wells, and Gen. R. R. Dawes.
By the Alumni Association: Dr. J. D. Cotton, Mr. John Mills, and Mr. Charles G. Dawes.
By the Faculty: Professors T. D. Biscoe, O. H. Mitchell, and M. R. Andrews.
These three committees having been organized as a general committee, with Mr. Beman Gates, Chairman, and Professor O. H. Mitchell, Secretary, arrangements were made for the celebration of the anniversary. A circular was prepared extending a cordial invitation to all the Alumni and other former students, to the honorary Alumni, to donors and other friends of the institution. In response to the suggestion of the committee the citizens of Marietta and Harmar generously proffered the hospitality of their homes to all who might be present at the celebration.
The Committee requested the Rev. Dr. Israel W. Andrews, President of the College, to prepare the Historical Discourse for the occasion, to be delivered on the forenoon of Commencement day, Wednesday, July 1.
The following gentlemen were also requested to deliver addresses: Hon. William P. Cutler, Marietta, a Trustee since 1849, an address memorial of the Founders of the College; Rev. Dr. Joseph F. Tuttle, President of Wabash College, of the class of 1841, an address memorial of the Original
Faculty; Colonel Douglas Putnam, Jr., Ashland, Ky., class of 1859, an address memorial of the Deceased Professors; Aaron A. Ferris, Esq., Cincinnati, class of 1871, and Harry W. Nickerson, Esq., Portland, Oregon, class of 1882, historical addresses the Literary Societies.
Besides these semi-centennial exercises, invitations to deliver the usual anniversary addresses had been extended to the following gentlemen: Oration and Poem before the Alumni, Hon. John F. Follett, LL. D., Cincinnati, class of 1855, Rev. Charles E. Lindsley, D. D., New Rochelle, N. Y., class of 1840; Address before the Society of Inquiry and Y. M. C. Association, Rev. William G. Ballantine, D. D., Professor in Oberlin Theological Seminary, class of 1868; Oration before the Literary Societies, Rev. William G. Andrews, D. D., Guilford, Conn., class of 1855.
Arrangements were also made for a dinner on Wednesday at one o'clock, P. M., to be followed by a meeting at the City Hall for brief addresses, by Hon. George Hoadly, Governor of the State, Hon. Manning F. Force, and others.
BY PRESIDENT ANDREWS.
The first half-century of Marietta College is completed this year. This period of fifty years, from 1835 to 1885, embraces only the college history of the institution. Most colleges date from a point prior to the beginning of their college work. They count in a pre-existent period of greater or less duration. But Marietta was a college, in reality as well as in name, fifty years ago. In the autumn of 1835 there were two college classes-the Sophomore and the Freshman-and three years later the members of that Sophomore class, having finished their course, received their first degree in the arts. Though our first half-century is strictly a half-century of college work, in an historical sketch reference may well be made to the antecedent circumstances.
In the year 1830 there was established at Marietta by Rev. Luther G. Bingham the "Institute of Education." It embraced four departments; the two higher being known as the High School and the Ladies Seminary. At first the lowest department occupied a brick building on Front street, originally the law office of Governor Return Jonathan Meigs. Very soon a building at the South corner of Putnam and Second streets, used of late years for law offices until it was recently destroyed by fire, was purchased, and all the departments were gathered there. In February, 1832, the High School was removed to the
old Muskingum Academy, then standing on the lot next north of the Congregational Church, where it remained a few weeks till the room known as the Library Hall, on Front street, was fitted up for it. Here it continued till the close of the school year in the summer of 1833.
Mr. Bingham was the proprietor of this group of schools and had the general superintendence, but he employed others in the work of instruction. In an advertisement of September 11, 1830, it is announced that "the recitatations in the High School will be conducted by a graduate of the Ohio University, of competent qualification," probably Mr. Samuel P. Robbins, son of a former minister of Marietta. The next term Nelson Brown, M. D., a graduate of Williams College, became instructor in the High School. In April, 1831, Mr. Mansfield French is associated with Mr. Bingham as proprietor, and he and Dr. Brown give the instruction. In June, Mr. Henry Adams, a graduate of Amherst College, takes the place of Dr. Brown, and continues until August, 1832. The fall session of that year opens with Mr. Henry Smith as teacher in the High School. In the next spring he returned to Andover Theological Seminary, and Mr. D. Howe Allen, from the same seminary, took his place for the rest of the school year.
In the spring of 1832, after the High School had been in operation about a year and a half, Messrs. Bingham and French invite a meeting of the friends of education to consider certain plans which they wish to present. Of this meeting, held March 15th, Dr. S. P. Hildreth was Chairman and Mr. Douglas Putnam, Secretary. The propositions were read by Mr. French, and remarks were made by Messrs. Bingham, Caleb Emerson, Arius Nye and John Cotton; after which a Committee of seven, Mr. Emerson, Chairman, was appointed to report a week later. At the adjourned meeting, March 23, an elaborate report was made suggesting the appointment of an advisory
Board of Trust. This was done; and Caleb Emerson, James Whitney, Dr. S. P. Hildreth, Dr. John Cotton, Arius Nye, Weston Thomas and Douglas Putnam were appointed. These gentlemen were not a corporation in any sense, nor had they any control of the property, which was private; but this was the first step in the direction of establishing a permanent institution of learning.
With the next fall session (that of 1832) began the instruction of Mr. Henry Smith, who continued to teach in Marietta till 1855. The name of the institution, which had heretofore been "The Institute of Education," now appears as "The Marietta Collegiate Institute." In the American Friend of Sept. 8, which has a full advertisement of the institution, there appears an editorial notice, containing this among other things: "It is the intention of all concerned to take early measures to make the Marietta Collegiate Institute an entirely public institution so as to perpetuate its advantages on a permanent basis."
The proposed measures were taken a few weeks later. The first entry in the college records bears date Nov. 22, 1832, when a meeting was held at the house of Rev. L. G. Bingham (on the north corner of Front and Scammel streets, for many years the residence of the late Weston Thomas) of which John Mills was Chairman and Douglas Putnam, Secretary. A draft of a bill for the incorporation of an institution under the name of the "Marietta Collegiate Institute and Western Teachers' Seminary," was presented and approved, and a committee appointed to confer with Mr. Smith with reference to a permanent professorship in the proposed institution. The charter was obtained, bearing date Dec. 17, the Hon. Joseph Barker, Jr., being the Representative from this county in the General Assembly. The Board of Trustees consisted of nine men John Cotton, Douglas Putnam, John Mills, Luther G. Bingham, Caleb Emerson, Arius Nye, Jonas Moore, Anselm T. Nye, and John Crawford.
On the 16th of January the organization took place by