Saturday, June 11, 2011

Western Liberal Institute Is Remembered

Sunday Morning Observer, February 2, 1918

The Boys And Girls Played Pranks As They Do In The Present Days.

In a recent letter from E. B. Clark, an old Marietta boy, now of Athens, that gentleman writes at some length of the old Western Liberal Institute here at Marietta and which many of the old time folks will remember.

Mr. Clarke says that the students of that seat of learning were very much the same as those at Marietta College in playing pranks.

One evening there was a party at the residence of Warren Wilcox, in the Southeast part of town.  Some of the students told one of their number about the party and proposed attending although none were invited.  They told him to ring the door bell, which he did, and the others made a hasty retreat.  The ringer of the bell was invited in and gave the names of the others.

Upon another occasion an unsophisticated student was sent into a book store to inquire for eggs.

On Friday afternoons we had rhetorical exercises.  There were two papers "published" and read on these occasions, some read "essays," others declaimed a speech.  The papers took opposite sides on all questions like political newspapers of that day.  Some would have Latin or Greek orations, translated to English, reading like this:  "The farmer plows the land, cultivates the growing crops and harvests the corn and wheat, etc."  Brother Lewis fixed up a bravesty on these which was delivered by Ridgeway, of Rainbow.  I remember two words of the closing:  "Et broadaxe."  It created considerable merriment.  I think Lewis was an adept at things humorous.

We of the smaller boys were afraid of Friday afternoons and would desert and kick football out in Butler street.  But finally Nathan Kendall issued an order that all must attend.

After the Kendalls left, the Institute was placed under the management of a Baptist but was still nonsectarian.  Mrs. Booth would have none other than Universalist teachers and proceeded to wreck the school and Theodore Scott used the building for his private school.  The site is now occupied by a wholesale grocery.

The old Universalist church is still standing.  An addition has been built to its front and the church is now a part of a carriage factory.

The years are much shorter than in the Institute times, and each succeeding year shorter than its immediate predecessor.

Remember the length of a three months' term in the district school?  A Winter term then equaled an entire year at the present time.

This school was established for boys and girls in the Fall of 1849 on Second street, below Butler, and Prof. Paul Kendall was the first principal.  The trustees of the school were Joseph Holden, Owen Franks, William Devol and L. J. P. Putnam.

Among the teachers were Paul R. Kendall, principal; Nathan Kendall, chemistry.  A Universalist preacher was also a teacher and O. L. Clarke taught English grammar.

Among the students were:  W. S. Ridgeway, Rainbow; A. L. Thornton, Shrewsbury, N.Y.; Bernard Peters, J. P. Devol, G. W. Mesenger, Universalist minister's son; Gates, (S. H. and Eben?), F. H. Loring, Austin B. Reginier, Austin L. Curtis, member Ohio Legislature; Charles E. Gard, Ralph g. Graham, West of Columbus; Julius Pollock, Timothy S. Matthews, merchant and banker; Wolcott, Watertown; James L. Gage, J. C. Clarke, O. L. Clarke, E. B. Clarke, Aaron T. Marshall, Achsah Weaver, Helen Weaver, Fanny Chappell, widow of T. S. Matthews lives at Jackson, Ohio; Maria L. Franks, Ferguson, Rowena Putnam, Huldah Putnam, Steadman, Stedman; Camella W. Pollock, Phebe E. Dalano, Miss Vincent, Eastern girl; Nan Mixer, Samuel Hammontree, Woodlands, W. Va.; Frank Seeley, Beverly, Ohio.

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