among the many student hijinks of the time was the disappearance
of the university flag pole, the gift of the class of 1908, just
before it was to be ceremoniously dedicated. After President Edwin
H. Hughes issued a statement that he had the names of the five presumed
perpetrators and that stern action would be taken if the pole were
not returned, the pole reappeared the next morning just as silently
as it had disappeared.
The DePauw Daily faithfully recorded the incident, including an
account of the great difficulties students participating in the
escapade encountered in retrieving the 1,200-pound flag pole from
the water-filled quarry west of town where they had disposed of
Once again a ceremony of dedication was planned, with musical offerings
by a band from neighboring Brazil and suitable speakers to solemnize
the occasion. But alas, just as the ritual of hoisting the pole
into place near Middle College began, it bent under the strain,
threatening the safety of the entire throng in attendance. A few
weeks later a sturdier pole was installed and the flag finally hoisted
to its top with less ceremony and probably far less sense of triumph
than originally envisioned.
A year later the DePauw Daily noted that the ill-starred pole had
suffered further indignity. Its gilded ball on top had fallen during
the summer and the upper section, which had been part of the original
pole stolen and deposited in the quarry, had become rusted and unsightly.
Not long afterwards it was discovered that the pole was leaning
severely, as much as 22 inches out of plumb. The student paper's
last notice of the matter was to quote the superintendent of grounds
as saying he would attempt to draw the pole back to its vertical
position by use of steel cables.
Back to Top