which was duly incorporated July 11, 1872, and was named Doane College "in recognition of the services of Thomas Doane, Esq., of Charlestown, Mass., who was then among its most devoted friends, and has since proved its most generous benefactor. "4
In addition to the 600 acres donated to the college by the Burlington railroad, the South Platte Land company gave fifty town lots in Crete.
The college began its work in the academy building, which for the time being served well for that purpose.
The land grants above mentioned were conditional on the college raising $30,000 and securing official recognition of the Society for the Promotion of Collegiate and Theological Education. The indorsement (sic) was readily secured; raising the money meant a struggle.5
Mr. Doane came to the rescue. He pledged $10,000 of the $30,000; Professor Perry raised $10,000 in New England, and the remaining $10,000 was pledged in Nebraska The conditions were met and the land secured.
At the Lincoln meeting of the association in October, 1874, Professor Perry made a committee report in behalf of the board of trustees. From this report the following is taken:
"The committee desire to put on record that the past year the good hand of our God has helped us. The college year opened the 9th of September with a debt of $6,593.97. Of this $2,250 were in the banks. The financial crisis came, and the banks refused to renew. For a time the college treasurer was in darkness like that of Egypt. A generous
friend east who promised $1,000, payable in five years, upon being informed of our embarrassment, undertook to meet the pledge at once. He borrowed money at 18 per cent interest and sent on the full amount promptly, to our great relief. Others exerted themselves in a similar way. By such sacrifices the college was lifted out of debt."6
"At commencement, 1874, the trustees reported the young institution out of debt, with $500 in the treasury, and with $30,000 in notes and pledges."7
When we remember the financial straits to which men were reduced by the devastation from grasshoppers and by the prevailing hard times, it seems wonderful that Doane College emerged as well as it did out of its financial difficulties. Surely the good hand of our God helped it and the people made sacrifices for it.
In these and other trying times Mr. Thomas Doane proved the loyal friend and generous supporter of the college. Through the kindness of Pres. D. B. Perry we are permitted to use the following sketch of his life, which will be of interest to all lovers of Doane College.
"Thomas Doane, son of John and Polly Eldridge Doane, was born at Orleans, Massachusetts, September 20, 1821. The Doane family has been closely identified with the development of New England, and the Pilgrim ancestry of the subject of this sketch was shown in his life work. Deacon John Doane was a member of the Plymouth settlement as early as 1630, and from that date until the present the annals of that section of New England are filled with the mention of members of the Doane family. A descendant of the
6 Minutes, 1874, p. 9.
7 Education in Nebraska, p. 192.