our trunk packed we boarded the train at LaFontaine for Greencastle
on a hot September day in 1884. Father went with us. We changed
cars in the bewildering city of Indianapolis and reached Greencastle
in mid-afternoon. When we landed from the Vandalia train the job
was to find our way to the college. A horse-drawn street car was
leaving and it was a reasonable conclusion that we should follow
in its track. That was somewhat roundabout and we were sweaty and
dusty when at last we reached the public square. The sidewalks were
well occupied with farmers, it being a Saturday afternoon ... Few
if any students had yet arrived. In a book store we were given directions
to the Campus. We found the office that was open for matriculation.
Father explained that he wanted his sons to have a good room and
good boarding place. A local student who was present volunteered
to conduct us. He took us to the home of widow McGee who boarded
students and had a room to rent. We did not know it but it was the
most select and expensive boarding place among students. The other
boarders turned out to be Seniors and Juniors. One was Albert J.
Beveridge and another James Watson. This was the year of the Cleveland-Blaine
campaign and both these youngsters were making campaign speeches
for Blaine. They did not return to college till after the election...
By the end of the year two dormitories built by DePauw were furnished
and we took a room in the men's and boarded at the women's which
furnished meals for both boys and girls. During our years we had
rooms in various private homes but always boarded at this dormitory.
Since we had no high school education we were enrolled in junior
preparatory .... A strong class spirit soon developed and there
was much healthy social intercourse. The boys outnumbered the girls
almost two to one. With the middle preps, drill by the Cadet Corps
was compulsory. I was especially interested and continued active
up to and through my Junior college year and ending up as Captain
of one of the four companies and Commander of an artillery squad
Greek letter fraternities and sororities
had a big play in student life. Prep students were not eligible
but the fraternity men kept a close eye on preps with a view of
capturing the better students or more prominent ones by pledging
them. So we preps were much interested in these fraternities.
In our middle prep year four of us were pledged to the Phi Delta
Theta fraternity. While in prep we looked upon the graduating seniors
as mounted atop of Mt. Olympus and to reach it seemed a long hard
steep climb ....
The Pettibone Uniform Manufacturing Company of Cincinnati furnished
most of the cadet uniforms and had a student agent at the college.
At the beginning of my junior year this agency became vacant. I
went after it and got it. Commissions as such agent were remunerative.
I bought a bicycle - a high front wheel and a small rear wheel.
It took some skill to mount and ride it. On my first attempt I took
a header and fractured a bone in my right wrist. This wheel gave
me much prominence. There were only two others on the campus. My
income provided indulgences very few other students possess ....
I was a livery stable's best customer. One stable had a handsome
fourpassenger open runabout. I would have shafts attached and hitch
the horses tandem, drive up on the campus, load up with girls and
sweep about the campus and city streets and sometimes long runs
in the country. This was a great treat for the girls. The tables
at the dormitory had seats for twelve. Several of them were organized.
Ours was. We adopted a Greek name Epsilon Beta Chi and when a member
dropped out and a successor elected we had an initiation. Tennis
was popular those days and several pairs of boys would take campus
space and build courts. A Mr. Herman Ritter and I had one. A small
sapling interfered with our space. At one or two o'clock at night
that obstruction disappeared. All the men had girl partners and
there were tournaments ....
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