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Four men dominated the DePauw history department from the post World War I years through the first decades after World War II. Two Europeanists and two Americanists, diverse in temperament and interests and rivals in popularity, they worked together harmoniously enough to create a strong history program.

The first to join the DePauw faculty was William Wallace Carson, a North Carolinian with a B.A. from Wofford and M.A. from Trinity in his home state and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. He was appointed instructor in history and political science in 1916. The longtime head of both departments, Carson combined his teaching with various administrative responsibilities, including membership in the university senate in the Oxnam years and the post of university marshal, stage-managing commencements and other public occasions.

In his popular course on the American west he elaborated on the frontier thesis of Frederick J. Turner; his lectures on steamboating on the western waters were long remembered by students. The tall, courtly southern gentleman and his wife, Louella, were frequent chaperones at fraternity and sorority dances. His deafness made him appear prematurely old, but he remained a vigorous teacher until his retirement in 1953. He was a familiar figure on his walks about Greencastle until his death in 1967.

George Born Manhart came to DePauw in 1919 straight from civilian war service in army camps in Texas and Arkansas. A graduate of Susquehanna College with an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, Manhart was a Wilsonian idealist with fervent faith in the League of Nations. He taught modern European history in the conviction that rational men might find a way to prevent world conflict by studying the causes of the two great wars of the 20th century. The most scholarly and demanding of the quartet, he encouraged many students to take up graduate studies and enter the teaching profession. He was active in the honors program and the major proponent of general education in the university, introducing and leading the teaching of the popular History of Civilization course.

A socialist and pacifist in the 1930s, he enlisted in the Air Force in 1943 at the age of 53, leaving the service as a captain in 1945. After official retirement in 1956, he kept busy with part-time teaching and the research and writing of the two-volume DePauw Through the Years to mark the university's 125th anniversary. He died in Greencastle in 1970, not long after the death of his wife, Florence Heritage Manhart, who had been an instructor in physical education at DePauw.



Andrew Wallace Crandall was a "son of the middle border," who came to DePauw in 1921 with a B.A. from Central College and M.A. from the University of Chicago. An officer in Europe during World War I, he remained in the Army Reserve for the rest of his life and served overseas as a member of the office of military history in World War II, retiring with the rank of major. He earned a Ph.D. at Pennsylvania with a dissertation published under the title Early History of the Republican Party, reprinted in 1960.

A folksy lecturer - "Don't monkey with the tariff or you'll cause hard times" - A.W., as he was generally known, captivated his students with his stories and anecdotes. His annual lecture on the battle of Gettysburg became a DePauw legend. He retired in 1960 but continued to teach as the Pulliam Professor of American History until his death three years later. He is survived by his wife, Marion Bradford Crandall, who had been DePauw's first full-time registrar and later an instructor in secretarial science.

Coen Gallatin Pierson, one of the first Rector scholars at DePauw, returned to his alma mater as an instructor in history in 1926. Holder of the M.A. from the University of Illinois and the Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, he specialized in British history; pre-law students flocked to his course in English Constitutional History. An ardent Anglophile, Pierson was an exchange professor at Exeter University in 1954 and frequently visited Britain with his wife, Viva Bolin Pierson, who earned two degrees from DePauw. A British publisher issued his Canada and the Privy Council in 1960. Pierson was active in promoting honors work and the general studies program and helped to institute the program in African Studies. After retirement in 1966 he taught briefly at Illinois State University and died in 1972. His tombstone in Greencastle is in the appropriate form of a Celtic Cross.

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The History Quartet

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