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experiment station in 1890 but three today (1924) retain a connection with the University, J. S. Dales, Lawrence Bruner, and S. W. Perin. J. S. Dales, who was listed as treasurer of the station, is corporation secretary of the Board of Regents, having given approximately a half century to the service of the University. We have already heard of Mr. Bruner. S. W. Perin, superintendent of the farm, and W. W. Marshall, who became executive clerk in 1895, are two figures familiar to all students who have ever attended the Agricultural College.

   It would hardly be possible to enumerate the names of all those who have been connected with the station from time to time. Those who served as its directors in this period include the names of Hudson H. Nicholson, C. L. Ingersoll, Chancellor George E. MacLean, Chancellor E. Benjamin Andrews, and E. A. Burnett, the latter since 1901.

   A prominent figure in the work of the experiment station in this period was Samuel Avery, now chancellor of the University. When the question of bleaching flour was much discussed, he conducted experiments and announced that "the minute traces of yellow color present in flour can be bleached with such minute amounts of nitrogen peroxide that it is difficult to detect any effect on the flour other than the bleaching and the presence of nitrites." Doctor Avery also did a great deal of work in the study of the poisoning of cattle by sorghum and kafir corn, previously alluded to.

   All branches of agriculture had now begun to receive attention and the station found itself answering questions on all sorts of subjects. Corn and wheat, the two big crops, became more and more prominent. Regarding the development of winter wheat in Nebraska, a copy of Agriculture for April, 1906, stated:

   "The introduction of winter wheat into Nebraska has been very largely influenced by the experiments undertaken by the station to demonstrate what varieties were hardy and over what range of country hardy varieties could be grown with profit. In this experi-




ment more than 100 varieties of winter wheat were sown. Most of them were unprofitable, many of them entirely valueless; but a few varieties, notably the Turkish Red wheat, were proven to be hardy over a large area of the country which had previously grown nothing but spring wheat, and as a result of this experiment it is safe to say that the winter wheat production in the state has been increased more than 10,000,000 bushels per year, making wheat production profitable where spring wheat had been unprofitable, and substituting winter for spring varieties in many sections of the state."

   The report of the experiment station for 1907 stated:

   "The work which this Station has done in the extension of the winter wheat area of the state has resulted in very greatly increased areas of wheat, carrying this extension first to the southwest, then to the northeastern section of the state, where production has increased more than 9,000,000 bushels in the last seven years, and more recently extending winter wheat production into the northwest area of the state thru the work of the Substation at North Platte, where the yields of winter wheat upon summer tilled land have exceeded the average yields of wheat in the eastern counties of the state under the methods of production in common use."

   "The work of the Experiment Station in promoting the corn industry of the state has been large and efficient," the same report declared. "Within the last five years, under the stimulus and advice of the Experiment Station, more accurate and exact study of the improvement of corn has been made than in all the years which preceded."


   During these eighteen years the University and college greatly enlarged their sphere of state activity. It was not alone in experimental work that the institution was active, but in the sometimes more difficult task of getting the people of the state to adopt its progressive methods of farming and stock raising.

   Back in 1894 the University regents advocated the development of the county high school to bridge the gap that existed between the rural ungraded school and the University. A department of university extension was




organized in 1895 which had for its object the holding of lecture courses in the small towns of the state. Farmers' organizations began holding their meetings at the University. These meetings were finally grouped together in one big week and that became the "Organized Agriculture" of today, when practically all the agricultural societies of the state come together at the Agricultural College for a week of meetings and instruction. In the summers of 1899 and 1900 there were excursions from a number of points to Lincoln in order that farmers might visit the Agricultural College. "Professors of agriculture and related branches have by their publications and their conduct of classes exerted much valuable influence in launching agricultural and nature study teaching in the common schools," the regents' report for 1904 stated.

   The farmers' institute was, however, the big development in carrying the message of better farming to the people of the state. Where there had been heretofore one institute there were now a score of institutes. The foundation was being rapidly laid for the department of agricultural extension which during the succeeding years was to work out such a great program.

   The great drawback to the development of farmers' institutes in years past had been the lack of funds for taking care of the overhead expenses and lack of a centralized management of the entire program of institutes. In April, 1896, the University of Nebraska took the matter in hand and appointed Prof. F. W. Taylor, superintendent of farmers' institutes. In an article published in the report of the State Board of Agriculture for 1896, Professor Taylor told something of the organization and means of carrying out the institutes:

   "The state legislature makes no provision for Farmers' Institutes. There is, however, a volunteer state association originated for this work, composed of the Regents of the University of Nebraska, State Board of Agriculture, State Horticultural Society, State Dairymen's Association, State Poultry Association, Improved Live Stock




Breeders' Association and State Bee Keepers' Association. Small contributions from each of these organizations constitute a fund for incidental expenses. Each association furnishes four speakers for the season's work. The railroads in the state provide free transportation for speakers who are required to travel to fill appointments.

   "The program for each Institute will cover two days, of three sessions each, commencing at 9 a. m., 1:30 p. in., and 7:30 p. m., respectively. The four speakers sent by the central office will use about half a session, each, on an average, and the other two sessions, as well as the time unprovided for in the sessions in which the speakers from abroad come, are to be covered by home talent."

   The central organization arranged for speakers and paid their traveling expenses, while the local organization paid their hotel expenses, arranged for advertising the meeting, and provided a hall. It was usually suggested that before holding the institute, a local organization should be formed to sponsor it. Professor Taylor announced that as far as possible four institutes were to be held each week so that the speakers could travel on a circuit.

   The first legislative appropriation was made in 1897 when $3,000 was placed in the hands of the University to help defray institute expenses during the next two years. This was increased in 1901 to $8,000 for the biennium, in 1903 to $12,000, and in 1907 to $20,000.

   During the season of 1899-1900, fifty-one institutes were held in thirty-three counties. During the season of 1900-1901, sixty institutes were held, twenty-one of them being one-day meetings, and thirty-nine two-day meetings. The next season, with the increased appropriation, eighty-six institutes were held. In 1903-1904, forty-three one-day institutes were held and forty-nine two-day institutes. In 1904-1905, 150 institutes were held. The next season there were 160 institutes, and the season after that, 1906-1907, 136. In 1907-1908 there were 189 institutes with a total attendance of nearly 100,000. In 1908-1909 there were 177 institutes. The figures for the last two seasons included the boys' and girls' institutes, a number of which began to be held about this time. Most of the farmers' institutes




were held during the winter months. A few were held in the summer, but they were not a great success.

   There was quite a development of the educational side of the farmers' institute in its later years. "At the early Farmers' Institutes the speakers merely gave their lectures, while the institute speaker of today is expected to illustrate his lecture, then score exhibits of corn and other grains and conduct a livestock judging demonstration," says the fourth report of farmers' institutes, distributed by the University in 1909. "Ten years ago it is safe to say two-thirds of the institute audiences were present to be amused or entertained but now the halls are filled with men and women anxious to receive new ideas that will help in working out the problem of the farm and of the home."

   But the farmers' institute was more than simply a school. It was a one or two-day holiday, in which everybody joined. There was often a corn show, a crop exhibit, or a display of women's domestic products. There was sometimes a stock judging contest. Some features were put on the program for the pure entertainment.

   The first farmers' institute school or short course was held at Pawnee City February 10 to 15, 1908. The short course was a farmers' institute usually lasting for a week. There was a definite program of instruction outlined. At this particular short course there was one week's instruction in stock feeding and stock judging and soils and soil problems for the men, and a week's instruction in domestic science for the women. The work in stock feeding and stock judging was in charge of C. W. Pugsley, then of Woodbine, Iowa, the work in soils in charge of Prof. F. J. Alway and Prof. Alvin Keyser, and the work in domestic science in charge of Miss Myrtle Kauffman. Sixty men and an equal number of women and girls registered for the course. "The Farmers' Institute Schools are intended to aid those who are unable to attend the Short Course at the School of Agriculture, the plan being to take the school to the people," a circular stated. The next season a short




course was held at Broken Bow and a short course at Hebron.

   Another development was the boys' and girls' institutes. E. C. Bishop, state superintendent of public instruction, had taken an active part in introducing agriculture into the Nebraska schools and in promoting the work of boys' and girls' clubs. Miss Lulu S. Wolford was also one of the pioneers in this work. These boys' and girls' institutes aimed to do for the boys and girls what the regular institutes did for the grown-ups. There were usually contests in various lines of agriculture. Fourteen boys' and girls' institutes were held in 1907-1908. In 1908-1909 there were thirty-three such institutes. This marked the early beginning of boys' and girls' club work in Nebraska.

   "The state department of public instruction has assisted the movement by furnishing literature, suggesting plans for organization, also by the personal efforts of members of the department," says the report for 1909. "The University has contributed publications for the promotion of the work, and sent out speakers and judges at the time of the contest. . . . The movement has, by its natural growth, developed in four years' time from a little state contest with 700 boys and girls in attendance, to 33 county contests, with a total attendance of 9,266. The work is naturally developing into a more permanent form; it obtains the interest of every boy and girl because they realize that in the preparation of exhibits for the contest, the growing of the corn and potatoes, the cooking and sewing, they receive personal benefit."

   Speakers for a farmers' institute program were usually drawn from three sources, home talent, outside speakers, and speakers from the Agricultural College. Certainly there was always plenty of discussion on the part of the home talent. The department of farmers' institutes built up quite a list of special speakers who from time to time were sent out on the circuit. Among those whose names are to be found on programs of the later years of this period







were Andrew E. Elliott of Galt, Ontario; Prof. C. W. Pugsley, later to become assistant secretary of agriculture; Dr. Samuel Avery, soon to become chancellor of the University; Ex-Governor W. A. Poynter; S. R. McKelvie, later Governor McKelvie; Prof. H. R. Smith; Prof. Lawrence Bruner and M. H. Swenk; H. D. Lute of Paxton, Neb., later secretary of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation; Arnold Martin, who became famous as the twenty-acre farmer of Pawnee County; F. W. Chase of Pawnee County; Leonard S. Herron; W. W. Burr, then of the North Platte Substation; Prof. F. J. Alway; E. P. Brown of Davey; Prof. E. G. Montgomery; Prof. Alvin Keyser; Dr. G. E. Condra; Prof. L. W. Chase; Prof. A. E. Davisson; R. N. Conklin of Hooper; Dr. J. H. Gain; Prof. A. L. Haecker; Erwin Hopt; Obadiah Hull of Alma; E. W. Hunt of Syracuse; B. F. Kingsley of Hastings; C. G. Marshall; Dr. A. T. Peters; R. A. Miller of Ashland; W. P. Snyder of the North Platte Station; and many others. The women were not forgotten either for Miss Myrtle Kauffman, Miss Lulu S. Wolford of Pawnee County, Miss Gertrude Rowan of Lincoln, and Mrs. O. J. Wortman of Ashland found a place on the various programs.

   Dean E. A. Burnett, thruout these years of great development, held a prominent place in the institute work. After the resignation of Mr. Taylor in 1899, Professor Burnett became superintendent of farmers' institutes. W. P. Snyder was assistant superintendent from 1903 to 1906. Val Keyser became assistant superintendent September 1, 1906, and a few years later, superintendent.


   During this period the resources of the institution greatly improved. There were increased appropriations from both the state and the Federal Government. The outstanding feature probably was the action of the Legislature in 1899 in restoring the original one-mill tax for the support of the University. In the very earliest days of the University




there had been a one-mill levy, but it had shortly been cut, to a quarter of a mill, and a little later raised to three-eighths of a mill. The one-mill levy enabled the University to erect the much needed buildings and to take care of the rapidly increasing numbers of students.

   The five funds of the University were designated by the Legislature in 1899 as the permanent endowment fund, representing the money from the sale of lands; the temporary University fund, consisting of the proceeds of the investment of the permanent fund, rental of lands leased, and the one-mill tax; the University cash fund, made up of fees, income from the farm, etc.; the U. S. Morrill fund, consisting of moneys obtained under the Act of 1890; and the U. S. Experiment Station fund, consisting of moneys obtained under the Hatch Act. All money accruing to the temporary University fund was to be spent for the maintenance of the University, including buildings and permanent improvements.

   The Legislature allowed the University more freedom in the expenditure of its own funds. This is discussed in the report of the Board of Regents for the two years ending in 1908:

   "Statutory enactments and adjudications by the Supreme Court have wrought some important changes in the methods and policies of conducting university finance. The act of 1907 authorizing the regents to draw upon the proceeds of the one mill levy and the statute of 1899 authorizing the regents to disburse funds of the university, other than those arising from taxation, without detailed legislative appropriation have recently been subjects of judicial review. In state ex rel. Ledwith vs. Searle, 112 N. W. Rep. 380, the Supreme Court held, in substance, that the 'proceeds' of the one mill tax was not limited to such cash as might be received by the treasurer from said tax from time to time, but that it meant the fund, a total definite amount, to eventually accrue from the tax levy, and that this fund was subject to disbursement by the regents, in the manner provided by law, without further appropriation. In state ex rel. Spencer Lens Co. vs. Searle, 109 N. W. Rep. 770, the court also held, in effect, that the statute of 1899 sufficiently authorized the regents to disburse moneys for the university, not derived from taxation,




without detailed legislative appropriation. The board is fully aware of the increased responsibilities involved in these changes of policy."

   From time to time the general fund of the state was appropriated for specific purposes, such as the upkeep of the substation at North Platte and the farmers' institute work. The school lands of the state, including the endowment lands of the University, were withdrawn from sale in 1897, altho most of the University's lands had been disposed of by that time. A. E. Sheldon, then a member of the Legislature, was instrumental in putting a stop to the wanton sale of the school lands.

   The Federal Government came to the assistance of the University, and especially the agricultural side of the work, with three important appropriations.

   The Second Morrill Act of 1890 provided the institution with $25,000 of government money to be used in "instruction in agriculture, the mechanic arts, the English language, and the various branches of mathematical, physical, natural and economic science, with special reference to their applications in the industries of life and to the facilities for such instruction." The Second Morrill Act provided $15,000 for the year ending June 30, 1890, and an annual increase of $1,000 in the amount, until the total of $25,000 was reached.

   The Nelson Amendment of 1907 provided that the money paid the University under the Second Morrill Act should be increased to $50,000. For the year ending June 30, 1908, $5,000 was to be added to the original $25,000 and this was to be increased at the rate of $5,000 a year until the grand total of $50,000 was reached. The Nelson Amendment provided that "colleges may use a portion of this money for providing courses for the special preparation of instructors for teaching the elements of agriculture and the mechanic arts."

   The Adams Act of 1906, previously referred to, added $15,000 a year to the original appropriation under the Hatch Act of 1887 for the benefit of experiment stations.




   For the year ending June 30, 1906, $5,000 of the additional $15,000 was to be available, and this was increased by $2,000 a year until the total of $30,000, under the Hatch and Adams Acts, was available.


Agriculture. August, September, 1904; April, 1906; January, 1909; March, 1910; June, 1910 to January, 1911; May, 1911. School and College of Agriculture, Lincoln.

Annual Reports and Bulletins of the Agricultural Experiment Station of Nebraska. 1890-1909.

Annual Reports of the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture. 1989, 1890, 1894, 1895, 1896, 1898, 1899, 1909.

CALDWELL, HOWARD W. Education in Nebraska. Circular of Information No. 3, 1902, of the United States Bureau of Education.

Catalogs of the School of Agriculture. 1902-1909.

Catalogs of the University of Nebraska. 1890-1910.

Federal Legislation, Regulations, and Rulings Affecting Agricultural Colleges and Experiment Stations. States Relations Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C. 1917.

HILL, D. S. Introduction to Vocational Education. Macmillan Company, New York. 1920.

Laws of the State of Nebraska. 1891-1909.

Nebraska Farmers' Institutes. First, second, third, and fourth reports, 1906-1909. University of Nebraska.

PALMER, TRUMAN. Concerning Sugar. United States Sugar Manufacturers' Association, Chicago. Loose-leaf.

Reports of the Board of Regents, University of Nebraska. 1890-1910.

TRUE, A. C., and CLARK, V. A. Agricultural Experiment Stations in the United States. United States Department of Agriculture, 1900.

The University of Nebraska, 1869-1919. Semi-Centennial Anniversary Book. The University, 1919.


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