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The Rev. Thomas Goodwin, a member of the first graduating class and first out-of-town student, recalled 50 years later his arrival in Greencastle from Brookville, Ind, in 1837:
At last November came. The fall term was to open on the first Monday. There was but one way to get to Greencastle, and that was by stage to Putnamville, and from that place to Greencastle as best I could....

It was nearly night when we reached Putnamville, about twenty hours from Indianapolis. My first inquiry of Mr. Townsend, the tavern keeper, was for a conveyance to Greencastle. He informed me that there was none, but if I would wait till Sunday morning he would take me in his two-horse wood wagon for two dollars. I could have walked, and would, but I was no elephant,-I could not carry my trunk. From supper to bedtime I was entertained by Mr. Townsend with dolorous lamentations because the proposed university had been located at Greencastle instead of Putnamville. Greencastle was an out-of-the-way town anyhow, away off the National road; no stage ran through it or to it; how could it ever amount to anything, not being on the National road? Here, he said, we have a stage each way every day, and he continued in this strain, with short intervals for sleeping, until about ten o'clock Sunday, when he landed me at Lynch's tavern, on the east side of the square, and I was at Greencastle, lacking about two hours of four days from Brookville, one hundred and ten miles away....



Gladly dismissing Mr. Townsend, with his two dollars, I turned for comfort to Mr. Lynch, my new landlord.... In answer to my question where the University was, he said, "I don't know for certain. It was last summer, at the deestrict school house, but I have hearn that they have moved it to the county siminary. Be you come to go to it? You will not find it much of a university, I reckon"...

But I went to my room and dressed for church. My prudent mother had told me not to travel in my best, but to save them for Sunday. It was now Sunday and I donned my new suit of blue mixed jeans, as handsome a piece of homemade as ever came from a weaver's loom; doubly precious to me because my mother had spun the yarn from choice fleeces from our own sheep. The coat was of the box pattern with a long tail, coming to below the knees, with immense outside pockets, and made roomy, for the boy would grow much before that Sunday suit would be worn out; and the pants were even more roomy, for the days of tights had not yet cursed society. The new pastor, Rev. James L. Thompson, preached his first sermon that morning in the little hipped-roofed church about thirty-five by forty-five feet in size.

After sermon ...I went to the preacher and introduced myself. I told him who I was, where I came from, and what I had come for. "Hold, stop, brothers! Here, Brother Dangerfield, Brother Thornburg, Brother Cooper, Brother Hardesty, Brother Nutt, here is Brother Tommy Goodwin; he has come all the way from Brookville to attend the institution," said the ardent preacher at the top of his voice, and then followed handshakings such as I never had been the victim of before, and no student has ever had since. It was the first realization of their hopes. They had never seen a sure enough student before, except their own children and neighbors....

After finding his way to his first class on Monday morning, Goodwin returned to his room in the tavern on the square somewhat homesick and desperately hoping for a letter from home. The next evening his "case" came before the official meeting:

The preacher had undertaken to find a boarding house for me, and he inquired of the brethern. No one had thought of keeping boarders. There had been no demand, hence there was no supply. ...`Here, brethern, what about boarding this student? Something must be done. Here they come flocking in and no place to board; we are expected to look after this: At last William K. Cooper said that if the young man would sleep with Professor Nutt he would take him until a better place could be found. Some one suggested that the professor might have something to say about sleeping with the young man. The result of the negotiations was that the young man and professor slept together for several months, and several families began to adjust their domestic affairs so as to board students, but less than a dozen "flocked" that winter.

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People, Events & Traditions

Cyrus Nutt

The Edifice

Tommy Goodwin

Matthew Simpson

John W. Ray

William C. Larrabee

Rebellion of 1856- 57

Literary Societies

Thomas Bowman

The Civil War

Joseph Tingley

Alexander Martin

The Edifice Fire

Bettie Locke (Hamilton)

East College

Japanese Students