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Brownell Hall



SECOND PERIOD. 1868-69-1875-76.

In 1865 Bishop Talbot was transferred to the Diocese of Indiana and Rev. Robert H. Clarkson of St. James Church, Chicago, was consecrated Missionary Bishop of Nebraska and the Dakotas. He, too, went to Nebraska City to reside. but in 1866 moved to Omaha, which since then has been the See City.

Bishop Talbot's home in Nebraska City was two or three miles west from the town. This residence Bishop Clarkson bought, and established therein, when he left in 1866, a boys' school, naming it Talbot Hall, Rev. J. G. Gasmann, Rector and Principal. Later the "Hall" became Nebraska College. Under Rev. John MeNamara it was moved into town and was for many years a most successful and useful institution.

At this time, on account of the demand for a Day School in Omaha, Bishop Clarkson thought best to move Brownell Hall into town, so he called together, some of his friends and advisers and laid the matter fully before them, saying that he "desired that some of the prominent gentlemen of Omaha would share with him the responsibility of its removal and management." To this the gentlemen present agreed, and, accordingly, in March., 1868, Brownell Hall was incorporated and Articles signed by


Bishop Clarkson,
Rev. Samuel Herman,
Rev. Geo. C. Betts,
R. C. Jordan,
Geo. W. Doane,
G. C. Monell,
C. S. Chase,
J. M. Woolworth,
John L. Redick,
Benj. Alvord,
Henry W. Yates,

and these gentlemen, with

J. A. Ware, Nebraska City,
G. F. Blanchard, Fremont,
E. S. Dundy, Falls City,
Chas. R. Dakin, Decatur,

served as the first Board of Trustees. Of this first Board the Bishop was Ex-Officio the President, Mr. R C. Jordan was Secretary and Mr. H. W. Yates, Treasurer.

There were at once formed committees on "sale of old property,""new situation," "new building" and "raising funds." These committees worked rapidly, and on Monday, October 5, 1868, the new school opened in the new home at the corner of 16th and Jones, at that time a high hill. The new building was built of wood, supplied with water from a well in the yard, was heated by coal stoves, and lighted with coal-oil lamps.

In the middle of this year, February, 1869, the Rector resigned, and the school was closed for ten days, but the Bishop and Mrs. Clarkson left their own home, "Overlook," and took up their residence in the school, reopened it, the Bishop himself teaching some of the classes and Mrs. Clarkson acting as matron and housekeeper. The teachers were the two Misses




Whipple and Miss Sargeant. Confidence was soon restored and by the end of the year, July 12, there were more pupils than ever.

In September, 1869, the services of Miss Elizabeth Butterfield, an experienced teacher from Racine, Wisconsin, were secured as Principal, the Bishop retaining the Rectorship and financial management, though not living in the school.

Miss Butterfield was a strong Churchwoman, a lady of beautiful character and influence, and her legacy to the school was a spirit of kindness and unselfishness. Could there be a lovlier heritage? For two years the school grew and thrived under her management and all was going merrily and well, when Cupid came along and shot away all the Bishop's fine plans.

In August, 1871, Miss Butterfield was married to Hon. James M. Woolworth and so was lost to the school. Her good works, however, multiplied. To the poor she was an ever ready friend, generous and sympathetic; to the sick and unfortunate she was prompt and helpful in giving relief, and to her Church faithful in attendance and service. She was one of the Bishop's able lieutenants in the work of Clarkson Hospital, and under Bishop Worthington was the first Diocesan President of the Nebraska Branch of the Woman's Auxiliary to the Board of Missions.

In the school up to this time there had been



two prizes, the Trinity prize for Scholarship, $30 in cash, and a gold medal for Deportment, the former given at first by Trinity College, afterward by the school, the latter by Bishop Clarkson, "himself the exemplar of right living." Instead of the cash prize Mrs. Woolworth now presented a gold medal for Scholarship, and so fierce was the competition for this honor that whoever received it had to be almost perfect in her recitations. However, perfect conduct was perhaps harder to maintain, and certainly the Bishop's gold medal for "Attendance and Deportment" was always considered the highest prize in the school. Several other medals and prizes were introduced later, but all were abandoned in 1900 when Miss Macrae took charge.

In the fall of 1871 school opened with Mrs. P. C. Hall, Principal, Rev. George Paterson, Secretary, and Mrs. Paterson, Matron, the Bishop himself being Chaplain and Visitor. His residence now was in the same yard with the school, and when he was in the city he was in and out every day, coming in for family prayers quite regularly.

About this time his work out in the Diocese was heaviest. One year he says he spent only 37 days at home during the entire year, and most of his traveling in the Diocese was done with horses or even with oxen, there being no railroads in the state save the Union Pacific, which went from east to west, while most of


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