stories of unusual student careers during this period illustrate
the opportunities DePauw could provide for needy youth who showed
ambition and a capacity for hard work.
A young hobo stopped at the back door of Women's Hall in 1891 to
ask for a handout. Learning that he was on a college campus, he
found that he could go to school by working at odd jobs. He entered
the preparatory department and stayed there three years until he
could qualify to enter the college. During summers the old wanderlust
would overcome him, and he would roam the land again, returning
each autumn to Greencastle. Finally he conquered his nomadism and
stayed on campus long enough to graduate in 1898. He was so successful
in finding jobs that he developed his own employment agency, finding
work for other needy students. He graduated with a bachelor of science
in 1898, served in the Spanish-American War, returned to Indiana
University where he earned an M.D. degree in 1903, married an Eminence,
Ind. girl and moved to China, Texas, where he became a respected
and well-to-do-physician, Dr. Nelson Elbert Laidacker.
In the other instance a young man came to town in 1909 and pitched
a tent south of Greencastle on the abandoned railroad right-of-way.
He was arrested by authorities when suspicious neighbors reported
him for a crime he did not commit. He spent some time before he
convinced authorities of his real status as a DePauw student. No
one knew where he had come from. Having only enough money for his
books and tuition, he carried his books and clothing and tent with
him when he came to town. Sympathetic citizens, learning of his
real identity, let him work for lodging and board in their homes.
Four years later John Egbert Frazeur '13 graduated with Phi Beta
Kappa honors from DePauw, where he was vice-president of the Preachers'