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ingly that nowhere in the west is the course as complete and as logically arranged as in Nebraska State University. The growth in this department has been as marked as it well could be. In the catalogues till 1877, no mention is made of a teacher of history. In that year G. E. Woodbury is designated as "Acting Professor of Rhetoric, English Literature and History." In 1881, Professor Howard was elected to the chair of history. Two terms of history were provided for in the first couse (sic) of study; in 1879 the number was increased to three terms. The first year after Professor Howard's election, eight courses were offered, or about four year's work averaging three hours per week. Now, 1889, there are eleven courses, with about 1,050 hours, or six full years of five hours per week, open to those who wish to specialize in history. Of this work two fall years of five hours per week are in American history, and about one-half of the remainder in English history.
   (4) The Sciences. In the first years of the University one man gave all the instruction there was given in the sciences, besides assisting in other departments in case of need. Now there are five full professors devoting their entire time to purely scientific work, each one a specialist in his line. Then chemistry and physics and the natural sciences could be and were all housed in two small rooms. Now the same subjects feel themselves cramped when they have one entire building and part of another to themselves. Science Hall will soon be ready for the natural sciences, and it undoubtedly will all be needed immediately.
   (5) Mathematics and the Classics. If there has not been as marked changes and as rapid a development in these departments, it may be accounted for by the fact that in the early days they occupied nearly the entire field, and were comparatively well developed then, hence there was not the same opportunity for growth as in the other lines of work. However, the civil engineering course is an entire creation of the last few years, and the higher work in pure mathematics has been largely extended. The spirit of progress is everywhere, and is making itself felt with increasing force. The prospects are now exceedingly bright that the too long neglected departments of philosophy and political economy may advance to their proper position and development.




   The development of the library has gone hand in hand with the progress elsewhere. Under the old course of study, the library seems to have been regarded as something to talk about and to look at rather than to use. Since the elective courses went into operation, it has been one of the most valuable and best used features of the University. In the catalogue of 1873, the announcement was made that the library will be open two hours per day, and that certain classes may take books to their rooms. About 1875 or 1876, it was opened only once or twice a week to the writer's certain knowledge. In 1877, its doors admitted students for three hours per day. From 1877 to 1880 the announcement was made that it would be opened at "stated" hours for consultation. Since 1881 it has been possible for all students to have access to the library for from six to eight hours per day. Great difficulty has existed in managing the library on account of the limited funds at command. Till recently some professor had to take charge of it in addition to his other duties, but since 1886 Miss Smith has been its custodian. March 22, 1877, Mr. C. C. Starbuck was elected librarian, but on the next day the vote was reconsidered, and the election then lost. The increase in the number of volumes in the library has been from 2,000 in 1877, to 4,000 in 1881, and to about 11,000 in 1889.


   Various attempts were made at an early day to establish schools of law and of medicine. A memorial was presented December 14, 1875, and a second one, March 26, 1876, asking for the establishment of a medical school. A committee appointed to consider these petitions reported as follows: "Your committee report that a medical college be established as soon as practicable; that the time is rapidly coming when such action should be taken; also action should be taken for the establishment of a law school." The regents postponed their decision to the next meeting, referring the subject in the mean time to the consideration of the medical, and of the law societies. The regents resolved on December 21, 1881, to ask the legislature for an appropriation of $3,000 for a law, and $7,000 for a medical school. This action was apparently the result of the favorable reports of the State Bar Association and the Medical Society. The




medical school existed for four years, but expired at the end of that time from lack of financial support. The University of the State of Nebraska is now about the only one that has not some professional school connected with it. In some of the states several such schools are sustained, generally made nearly self supporting by means of rather high tuition fees. The policy here thus far, and perhaps wisely too, has been to develop thoroughly the departments under way rather than to dissipate the already inadequate funds on new schools.



   The act of Congress of July 2, 1862, donating 90,000 acres of land to the Agricultural College requires that provision shall be made for teaching military tactics. This condition has been faithfully fulfilled. The department however was not put into operation without some friction; but in later years the relation between the military professor and the cadets has been peculiarly pleasant. The regents asked as early as 1872 for the detail of Colonel Jas. J. Brisbin as instructor in military tactics. This request was refused on the ground that an officer of that rank was never detailed for such a purpose. Finally a commandant was secured, and in the fall of 1876, Lieutenant E. S. Dudley entered upon this work. The first year no suits were required and service was voluntary. But December, 1876, the regents passed a resolution "requiring" suits, after the word "advising" had been stricken from the report. The following June drill was made compulsory on certain classes for one hour each day. In the fall of 1877 trouble began. The students felt that their rights and liberty had been invaded, and they proposed to have a redress of grievances, at least to have their say. The old Tichenor House, at the corner of Thirteenth and K streets was then rented by the University and used as a dormitory for the boys. Far up under the eaves on the third floor, two or three indignation meetings were held, and resistance was resolved upon. A petition however was first to be tried, at the suggestion of some of the more conservative. This was really supposed to be a sharp move, for the leaders expected of course that the request would be refused, then they conceived a just cause of rebellion, and of war would exist. This petition was duly signed by nineteen brave young men asking to be excused from drill on the ground that they had come with all the clothing necessary for



the year, and their pocket books would not stand the additional drain for the military suits that were required. The answer was awaited in trembling expectancy for the brave nineteen had resolved to go to some other school rather than submit to such tyranny. The answer came. It said (1) that for the coming year since no announcement of the requirement had been made, suits need not be purchased; (2) that two companies would be formed, one for those with military suits, and one for those who had none. The noble nineteen met, and consulted. They agreed that the faculty had out-generaled them; eighteen of them fell into line and drilled, known in the squibs of the time as the ragamuffin squad." The nineteenth got excused on the ground of manual labor, and set type on the Hesperian Student to prove it. He has not been unknown in Republican political circles since.


   Three distinct eras are clearly traceable in regard to the relation which it has been supposed religion should sustain to the University. In the first period the idea seems to have been that the University was to be so related to the churches that they might divide the professorships, among themselves in such a way that no one church should have the controlling influence. Merit was of course to be considered in selecting teachers, but merit must bend to accommodate itself to this condition of affairs. Certain religious bodies in the state did actually present the names of certain men as their candidates for professorships. Orthodoxy was taken for granted as an essential requisite. That merit alone should be the standard seems to have been foreign to the phase of thought then prevalent. In this period the rules required attendance upon chapel exercises; and that each student should attend regularly at some church once at least each Sunday. The latter requirement was changed March 28, 1877, to read "attendance on Sunday worship shall only be necessary when required by parent or guardian." The second era was a period of reaction, when an attempt was made to separate the University entirely from religion. No religious exercises were to be allowed, and chapel meetings were to be held for business purposes only. Of course the attempt was entirely unsuccessful. While in its immediate results this contest was disastrous to all concerned, it ushered in, through its outcome, the third or present era. This second era




assumed such a form that perhaps its best history is oblivion. For those who care to know more let them search the newspapers from about 1880 to 1882. In the third period perfect toleration is accorded to all, and is recognized as right. Moral and intellectual qualifications are the only ones known to the regents, the faculty and the students. Chapel exercises are not compulsory, yet they are cheerfully and generally attended. The students are free to meet in their Y. M. C. A. rooms for religious exercises unhindered; prayer meetings are common and attended by all who wish to attend. The fact is fully recognized that the age demands that no question. should be asked regarding religion, and that perfect freedom is the fundamental idea of our country and of our civilization.


   The charter itself recognizes the intimate connection existing between them. As early as 1872, a committee was appointed by the regents, consisting of Chancellor A. R. Benton, Superintendent J. M. McKenzie, and Regent Bruner, to discuss, with the State Teachers' Association, the relation existing or that ought to exist between the University and the high schools of the state. No definite arrangements were made. In the spring of 1881, a committee of the faculty was appointed to investigate the matter. After a long correspondence with the officers and principals of the high schools in the state, and after a careful investigation of the plans existing in other state's where the graduates of high schools are admitted to their universities without examination, the Committee reported that the time had not yet arrived when any satisfactory arrangements could be made in Nebraska. Thus the matter ended for a time. In 1882 State Superintendent Jones began agitating the matter again, but he was unable to accomplish anything definite until Chancellor Manatt's arrival in the early part of the year 1884. Chancellor Manatt joined heartily in this work, and soon the plans were perfected that are now in operation. In Kansas the terms are much more strict for accrediting schools than in Nebraska, and we might well learn something from them in this matter.


   A constantly increasing proportion of the students comes from other states, or from other portions of Nebraska than Lincoln. In



the first catalogue, of the 130 students named, 88 are credited to Lincoln. The catalogue of 1887-88 contains the addresses of 324 students belonging to the college proper; of these, 140 reside in Lincoln, and 184 elsewhere; or at the beginning of the University two-thirds of the students are credited to Lincoln, now only a little over one-third. The increase of the numbers in the college classes has been very marked during the last few years; and should the same ratio of increase continue for the next seven years that has prevailed during the last seven, - and the prospects are exceedingly bright for such a growth - the number in 1895 in the college classes alone would be 480. The total number of graduates, including the class of 1889, and excluding the medical classes, has been 156. Of this number 50 graduated from the classical course, 49 from the literary, 35 from the scientific, 8 each from the Latin scientific and from the engineering courses, and 6 from the agricultural. Approximately the total number of different students for the same time has been 1,869; young women about 650, young men 1,219. Of the young women who entered the University, about one in twenty remained to graduate; of the young men, one in twelve. The following table furnishes some interesting statistics in regard to student life in the University.






















of Gradu-

who after-





of Young

of Young




Art and

Art and








































1876 (a)








































1881-82 (b)






19 (c)
























































   (a) This Catalogue published in the fall. Really embraced a large part of the attendance for two years.

   (b) Returned to system of counting for academic year.

   (c) Two classes - 1881 had 12 members; 1882 had 7 members.





Agricultural college lands, located


Agricultural college lands, under lease


Agricultural college lands, under contract of sale


Agricultural college lands, deeded


Agricultural college lands, vacant


University lands, located


University lands, under lease


University lands, under contract of sale


University lands, deeded


University lands, vacant





Agricultural lands, lease value


Agricultural lands, sale value


Agricultural lands, permanent fund--{ invested


                                                               { uninvested


University lands, lease value


University lands, sale value


University lands, permanent fund--{ invested


                                                             { uninvested





Agricultural lands, from leases

$ 6,566.35

Agricultural lands, from interest on sales


Agricultural lands, interest on permanent investment


University lands, from lease


University lands, from interest


University lands, from permanent fund


Total annual income from lands


   Each year some lands revert to the state from the inability of the purchaser or lessee to pay the interest or lease rental, hence a deduction of from $2,000 to $3,000 per annum must be made for such losses. In the year 1888 the arrears amounted to a little over $2,300, the total income being *35,694.25 instead of $38,025.46. The maximum income has not yet been reached, and will not be for several years. The limit will probably be about $60,000 per annum. The following table shows approximately the total income, and the sources from which it has been derived:




(1) Sale of lots in Lincoln (approximately)


1868-70. State tax (one mill)


1870-72. State tax


1872-74 State tax (1/4 mill)


1872-74 Land


1872-74. Interest on loan to State




1874-76. State tax (1/4 mill)


1874-76. Land.


1874-76. Interest on loan




1876-78. State tax (1/4 mill)


1876-78. University lands


1876-78. Library fund (matriculations)




1878-80. State tax (3./8 mill)


1878-80. University lands


1878-80 Library fund




1880-82. State tax


1880-82. University lands


1880-82. Agricultural College lands


1880-82. Library fund




1882-84. State tax


1882-84 University lands


1882-84. Agricultural lands


1882-84 Library fund




1884-96. State tax


1884-86 University Lands


1884-86. Agricultural lands


1884-86 Interest on bonds


1884-86 Library fund




1886-88. State tax


1886-88. University lands


1886-88 Agricultural lands


1886-88. Interest on bonds


1886-88 Library fund




1887 .....Appropriation. from general fund for Grant Memorial Hall.



      Total income from all sources





    The first bill for hard coal was $24 per ton, and for soft coal $12.50; March 2, 1871, the expense bill for coal having reached $656.19, the fires in the furnaces were ordered put out.
    Regularly for the first three years a visiting committee composed of educators from the schools of the state, mainly principals of the small high schools, was appointed to inspect the workings of the University and report the results of their observations to the regents. At present the process is reversed, and those schools that wish to get on the University's accredited list must submit to an inspection by some member of its faculty. One of these reports is extant, and judging from its tone, one might conclude that perfection had been reached.
    An order was passed at one time, still in force as far as the records show, providing that diploma fees should be invested in books; and that the name of the graduate should be entered on the tag, together with the date of his graduation, when the fee was paid, and other interesting and valuable information of a like nature.
    The following, taken from an early catalogue, needs no comment: "Resolved that it shall be required of all students graduating in the agricultural course, that they shall have a practical acquaintance with agriculture." Again, labor on the farm is designed to be educational in its nature." But perhaps this announcement made in 1877 caps the climax: "At the farm the students can find a pleasant home, far enough from the city to be out of the way of its temptations to idleness and worse."
    At one time the students deficient in English had a hard time, as the following resolution shows: Resolved that students deficient in English shall be required by the faculty to write an essay every week till they have made up said deficiency."
    A few very modest announcements were made from time to time, as these few quotations prove: "The completeness and conveniences of the laboratory equaled any in the country." At the very moment one room housed it all. At a later time: the apparatus was equal to any in the country;" in quality, perhaps, was meant. The very next catalogue announced that "large additions" had been made in apparatus, an announcement that leads one to wonder how it compared with Harvard or Columbia, after large additions had been made to an equipment already equal to the best.



[Preached before the General Association at Beatrice, Oct. 28,1885.)

TEXT--PSALM XC; 16, 17.

   Congregationalism began in Nebraska in 1855. In the fall of that year the Rev. Reuben Gaylord, pastor of the Congregational church of Danville, Iowa, thirteen miles inland from Burlington, took his vacation westward as far as the Missouri valley. Business directed him to Council Bluffs; curiosity, and the desire to learn something of the death in Omaha of a nephew, led him over the river. The day was Saturday, when preparations for the Sabbath are completed, or, as in this instance, made, and he was asked to remain and preach, which he did. In the audience was "Governor" O. D. Richardson, a prominent Congregationalist, and subsequently one of the charter members of the Omaha church, who urged the claims of the field upon him and invited him to remove hither.
   That invitation, as he set out on his journey homeward, followed him. He had been accustomed to the frontier and loved it. He says; "Before entering the ministry, in the providence of God, I was made acquainted with the West to some extent." That was in Illinois, previous to 1838. In that year he crossed the Mississippi into Iowa, the second Congregationalist in that state, and there wrought for seventeen years before his visit to Omaha. That visit decided him to remove once more. Accordingly, having conferred with his family and his brethren in the ministry, he resigned his pastorate in Danville, and with the hearty endorsement of his associates, sent on his application to the secretaries in New York for



commission in his newly chosen field, and, without waiting for either an answer or instructions, set out. He says: "So clear was the call of God to go forward, we left the eastern part of Iowa for a journey across the state, not as now in the easy and comfortable car, but in a carriage with small children, encountering storms, crossing swollen streams, without bridges, with steep and icy banks, and finally meeting winter in its sternest aspects."

   The journey was for three weeks, and ended on Christmas day, 1855, when he and his crossed the Missouri river on the ice and housed themselves in an unfinished dwelling on Capitol avenue, A part of his Christmas welcome was a letter found awaiting him from the Rev. Milton Badger, D. D., senior secretary of the Home Missionary Society, granting his application, and adding, "Blow the Gospel Trumpet so loud that all the land can hear."
   Consider, for a moment, the significance of that pioneer history.
   He was made familiar with the West in his early manhood while tutor for two years in Illinois College, so that, when he was prepared to enter upon ministerial duties, he was inclined toward it. God had prepared him through secular circumstances for this choice of fields.
   Weariness in his work made a vacation necessary. Business directed it westward. Curiosity, and the death in Omaha of a relative, led him over a great river. It happened on a Saturday and be was asked to preach. A prominent Congregationalist heard him and was moved to invite him westward, His second call, like his first, was forerun by circumstances.
   When it came it was not equivocal. "So clear was the call of God to go forward, we left." He could say, almost as truly as Paul, "Immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood." He was a vidette in saddle, ready at a moment's notice.
   "What was the result" A wonderful history by an average man. Second into Iowa, he was first into Nebraska. His life divided itself, as Robert Collyer said of his own, "into two sections of striking on long lines," seventeen years Iowan and twenty-four years Nebraskan. He was one of three to organize the General Association of Iowa in 1840, and one of three to organize the General Association of Nebraska in 1857. He was one of the founders and for ten years a trustee of Iowa College, and one of the founders and for many years a trustee of Nebraska University at Fontenelle. He was moderator




of the General Association of Iowa in 1853, and moderator of the General Association of Nebraska in 1860, 1862 and 1864. We say that middle aged trees and men do not transplant easily. But he transplanted easily and firmly at forty-three. "I came in perfect health," he says, "full of enthusiasm to do the work of Him that sent me."
   This same vigor characterized him to the end. When he ceased, it was as he had often wished, with the "Harness on." His last sermon, on the Sunday before his departure, was from the scripture, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might," and the sermon in preparation, when he was suddenly called, was from this, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne." He died in the midst, and in the full spirit, of the week of prayer, January 10th, 1880. "Forwards! Forwards! Forwards!" was his motto,

"Still renewing, bravely hewing,
Through the world his way!"

   On arriving that December day he found four clergymen in the State; a Presbyterian at Nebraska City, another at Bellevue, and in Omaha a Methodist and a Baptist, preaching alternately in the council chamber of the old state house on Ninth street. They occupied the forenoon and evening. He took what was left, the afternoon. A Congregational society was formed during the winter, and on May 4th, a church of nine members, Mr. Gaylord, his wife, and daughter, being three of them. A church building was begun, and by October was so far completed that the basement could be used for services, when six were added to the membership, and a denominational Sunday school was organized. Work on the building was continued until the following August (1857), when on the 9th, "the carpenter work, the painting and graining of the seats was done, and the spire crowned with ball, vane, and rod, and all was in readiness," at a cost of $4,500. The dedicatory sermon was preached by Mr. Gaylord from Psalm xc; 16, 17:
   "Let Thy work appear unto Thy servants, and Thy glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us; and establish Thou the work of our bands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish Thou it."
   Such privation, toil, and self denial went into that building as have since gone into many another in this state, and, as in too many



instances, the chief burden fell upon the pastor. It was he who secured subscriptions, (making three canvasses), and what was far harder, collected them; who made the contracts for the work and afterward enforced them, and who gathered much of the material, even to the hauling of some of the timber. There was not much opportunity in this for mental dyspepsia, not much for polishing manners, as General Winfield Scott did for hours before a mirror. It was genuine pioneer work. But if sometimes he regretted it and longed for what would have been naturally more congenial, be consoled himself with Burn's reflection: 
For a' that, and a' that,
Our toil's obscure, and a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The man's the gowd for a' that!

   A second church followed at Fontenelle only seven days later than the first at Omaha, almost winning the fame of being first, and whereas Omaha organized with only nine members, Fontenelle organized with twenty-four, a part of that sturdy colony from Quincy, Ills., which had settled early in 1855, under the leadership of Logan Fontenelle, chief of the Omahas, upon the bluffs of the Elkhorn, and had established religious services among themselves, while they planned what they hoped would be a metropolis.
   The next attempts were less successful. Mr. Gaylord went south in 1856 to Bellevue, and north to Florence and Fort Calhoun, holding religious services, and at the latter places subsequently organized churches which did not live, owing to the removal of their adherents.
   In 1857 he went north sixty miles to Decatur, and organized with twelve members, and south seventy-five miles to Brownville, on the same errand. Neither did these churches survive as Congregational, being absorbed, for want of ministers, by the Presbyterians.
   Meanwhile, a third church, which was to live, was being prepared at Fremont. Mr. Gaylord not only wrought in the state, but wrote much concerning it, which was published in the East, arousing interest and immigration. Among the many who came were two helpers in his divine vocation, the Rev. I. E. Heaton, who recently celebrated among us his seventy-seventh birthday, and the Rev. E. B. Hurlbut. These came, like their predecessor, to stay. Says Mr. Gaylord, "We pulled up the bridges behind us." So they did, and




here they are still, one living, and two, fallen warriors of God, lying as to their flesh in

* * * * "the low green tent
Whose curtain never outward swings!"

   Mr. Hurlbut went to Fontenelle, and Mr. Heaton to Fremont, where he organized on August 2, 1857. Seven days later the church building in Omaha was dedicated, and in it, before the month closed, the three churches with their pastors met and organized the General Association of Nebraska, whose twenty-ninth annual session we inaugurate to-night.
   So the work in the state was begun and everything presaged a vigorous and eventful history. Immigration was rapid. Business throve. Christians appeared. Sinners were converted. Out stations were planted and maintained. In two years the Omaha church increased from nine members to fifty. They said, "Another year we shall support our minister."
   Then came a crash, a disheartening, a decline. From 1857 to 1859 the population of Omaha decreased. They who had been sails to speed the Gospel ship were compelled to become anchors to hold it front drifting.
   But anon the cry, " Ho ! for Pike's Peak!" was heard, and the westward trail was white with locomotive homes. Traffic aroused. Stores in Omaha were open day and night and on Sunday. It was indeed the Gate City. Hosts went through, but left prosperity behind them, as western streams bring the gold, and leave it in their path while they flow by.
   Later, the tents of the war were pitched, and troops marched eastward, with the toes of their boots pressed bravely into the heel-tracks of the west-bound gold-seekers.
   Still later, in 1863, ground was broken for the great Pacific highway. Grading began the next year, attended by increase of population and trade. Such fluctuations made church planting, and especially church maintaining, difficult. At the end of 12 years (1867) they could report only ten ministers and as many churches in the state. The ministers were Reuben Gaylord, Isaac E. Heaton, Everett B. Huribut, Charles G. Bisbee, Frederick Alley, James B. Finch, Henry E. Brown, William W. Rose, Lucius H. Jones, and E. C. Taylor. Two others, M. Fayette Platte, the fourth arrival in



the state, and William Uber, ought in fairness to be added to the list, although laboring, for the time being, in Iowa and Missouri respectively.
   The churches were; Omaha, Fontenelle, Fremont, Weeping Water, Nebraska City, Salt Creek (now Greenwood), Avoca, Lancaster (now Lincoln), Papillion, and Columbus. Nine of these reported only 210 members. Omaha had 52; Nebraska City, 49; Fontenelle, 36; Fremont, 21; the others fewer still. Twenty-six were absentees. Of average congregations, Omaha had 95; Fremont, 75; Nebraska City and Fontenelle, 60 each; the remainder forty and under. There were about 550 scholars in Sunday schools. Omaha had a church building ten years old, and Columbus one newly built. These were all. Fremont and Nebraska City were planning houses. The rest were homeless.
   Those were twelve hard, initial years; occasions for long patience and perennial confidence. Such graces these early toilers had. I have read the proceedings of the General Association of 1867, when they took this review, and there is not a complaint in any of their months. They are full of courage. The committee on the narrative reported that "the general aspect of the churches is cheering, and gives promise of vigorous growth. There seems to have been an important preparatory work going forward, and the power of the gospel has been greatly extended." The opening sermon was from the text, "Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee; go up and possess it; fear not, neither be discouraged." Deut. i. 2 1. At that Association, for the first time in their history, they had with them a secretary of the Home Missionary Society, Dr. Clapp. Till that year no railway train had ever reached the Missouri valley; when it finally came it was on Sunday.
   Theodor Christlieb, professor at Bonn, unable to attend a great meeting of evangelical Christians in America, sent his greeting in two ancient words -- "Nunquam retrorsum!" (never draw back). These men of Nebraska never did. They were fast men. They loved the state. Four of them are still living in it, and two are buried in its soil. More than one-half of those ten are here.
   The cradle of the Prince of Burmah is said to have cost two million rupees. It is a frame of mango wood incased within and without with sheet gold. Over this is ornamental gold set with




diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. It is swung from a rod of cords of gold twine, and the cushion is of embroidered green velvet. But the cradle in which Congregationalism in Nebraska was rocked was as primitive as that of the babe of Bethlehem, and was rocked by hands which knew toil and pain, as those which seized on Plymouth Rock for a refuge.
   These men in their death will doubtless have very simple memorials. But monuments cannot preserve a lifeless fame, nor their lack destroy a fame fit to live. One who has visited the burial place of the Humboldts says, that, leaving the house, passing through the garden, and down a long avenue of trees where the branches intertwined make a thick roof overhead, into a thick wood, far from the busy hum of life, there is their sepulcher. "No urns, no monuments, no triumphant inscriptions, but only green mounds, plain white slabs, primeval forest trees, and on a lone, marble column, a snow white figure of Hope," while on two plain white slabs are the world famed names, William and Alexander. Yet their deeds in their exalted departments of labor are told, and will be. So the deeds of these whom we recall today. Congregationalism in Nebraska will never forget her beginnings.
   The years immediately succeeding 1867 were scarcely more prosperous. Two churches and three pastors were added in 1868. The year following was much the same. Then came the completion of the Union Pacific railway, causing everything to spring forward. Church planting did not lag behind, and much growth was made in all its fields, so that when they met in Omaha, in the fall of 1875 they were able to make this wonderful report:
Churches increased from . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 to 77
Ministers      "           "     . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 to 50
Members      "           "     . . . . . . . . . . . . .. ..210 to 2002
Congregations           "    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 452 to 3716
S. S. scholars            "    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 550 to 2941

   However, this gain was made through much suffering and struggle. Those eight years were full of severities. The old question, "Where shall we plant and how?" was changed to, "How shall we maintain and develop what we have planted?" People were plentiful, almost too plentiful. In 1871, sixty-five thousand came and settled. Other years equaled and even exceeded that number. But they were poor;



many of them were worthless. "Soldiers of the late war, young men, the poor but the energetic, the shiftless and improvident, virtuous and vicious, cultured and ignorant, from the four quarters of the globe; single, in families, and in colonies; some at the noon-time of life to retrieve broken fortunes; some to lay foundations for homes where land is given for its occupancy; all with hopes born of land advertisements, to be realized only by the provident and industrious." So sighed the state superintendent, Rev. O. W. Merrill, in 1872.
   "You will find," he adds in the same report, "hundreds of families shoeless and nearly naked, living on bread and water while they are seeking to get a first crop from their farms. For rich as is the soil, yet the bread is not grown baked, and the meat is not in the larder ready for use."
   Three years later the narrative committee tells much the same tale. "The struggle, not for wealth or competency, or even for the comforts of life, but for existence, crowded out every other earnest thought. One year ago it seemed to human comprehension that very many of our feeble churches must be blotted out. It was difficult even to raise the eye of faith to any brighter scenes or hopes beyond. The fears of the worst, of starvation even, drove multitudes of our people to the older states." The Prophet Joel's desolation of the palmer worm, the locust, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, was seen in Nebraska. "Entire harvets (sic) were swept from the fields, as by the wand of the enchanter."
   But in these years, even, it is said, to the everlasting honor of Christ, not one standard-bearer left his post on account of these trials, and very few even of the members withdrew." Rather, the Almighty came to them, and such spiritual replenishing was among them as had not previously been experienced. In 1873, the. narrator says: "From the dug-outs, sod houses, and other unpretending dwellings, souls have been gathered into the kingdom of heaven." In 1875 revivals were reported in nine churches. Weeping Water alone received one hundred and five members, seventy-two being by profession. So the churches "were edified, and walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost were multiplied."
   To these eight years belong also the first separation of the churches into local associations. As early as 1868, when the act seemed like making two bites of a cherry, they dared to meet, and resolve, "That




the formation of one local association on each side of the Platte river is desirable for the better development of piety and direction of Christian labor." This resolution seems not to have taken effect until 1870, when the Omaha and the South Platte Associations were organized. In 1872 the Columbus followed, being separated from both the others, and in 1875 the South Platte gave up its name and churches to its successors, the Lincoln and Blue Valley. So, in eight years they had grown from one feeble band of ten churches to. five bands aggregating seventy-seven. They even districted the state among themselves for the better evangelization of it, giving to pastors the regions contiguous to them," and in 1872, I find Mr. Sherrill appointed in this way to have oversight of the "U. P. R. R. West of Lone Tree," a veritable apostolic parish. Every movement of these first men meant conquest, conquest, the state for Christ. Nothing was willingly omitted which could further this cause.
   In these times occurred also the great struggle for the location of a Christian college within our hounds. The earlier attempts at Fontenelle had been only measurably sucessful (sic). The state was too new, the population too sparse, and the support too feeble. Even the very elements seemed to conspire against it, burning to the ground the building which they had laboriously reared and dedicated in 1858. In 1866 its founder was compelled to say of it: "Since its inception it has passed through a period in which to keep it alive was all we could do." With the dawning of better times the cause was taken up afresh and with interest, but opinion had grown to be divided as to the proper point for its location. Fontenelle had ceased to be central, and had not fulfilled its early promises of growth. Other towns had surpassed it, and were anxious to strengthen themselves by securing the institution. In consequence there was precipitated such a strife between the brethren as had not vexed them in all the preceding years of their labors. The final debate and decision were reached in Omaha at the General Association in 1872. So animated (the record says "spirited") did the debate become, and, so zealous were all parties that no injustice should be done them, that the following precautions were taken:
   1. "Speakers were limited to five minutes and two speeches."
   2. "Eleven o'clock was fixed upon as the time when the debate should cease and the vote be taken."



   3. No one was "allowed to vote by proxy, or to cast more than one vote."
   When eleven o'clock came, an amendment postponing the whole matter for four months, was narrowly lost - twenty out of forty-six supporting it. The ayes and noes were then called on the main question, which resulted in locating the college at Crete, by a vote of 31 to 14. Every man's vote was recorded as he gave it, and stands still upon the minutes of that Association meeting. Looking back upon that scene with the composure of to-day, we cannot appreciate bow much grief to some that action caused. But the strife is passed and we have instead our solid, useful, and promising college in the valley of the Blue, and all contentedly say that events seem to have justified that stormy decision.
   One other event of these years must be mentioned - the organization in 1873, of the Woman's Board of Missions for the state, auxiliary to the W. B. M. I. The first gift to this National Society was five dollars from Mrs. Gaylord in 1871, and the first from an auxiliary society was from the "Little Workers," of Ashland in 1874. In 1875 they met in Omaha in connection with the General Association, and reported $97.30 as their receipts for the year, being, they said, an increase of over one-half in our donations."
   So these eight years were full of notable progress. They greatly developed what the preceding twelve had planted. They answered the question whether what had been sown was God's seed or man's, and whether it had fallen upon soil, wayside, stony, and thorny, or upon that which was good. Other years of this number will doubtless show greater results in the quantity of work done, but they can scarcely exceed these in their quality. These put to the proof that Congregationalism is adapted to Nebraska, and that, even in most severe trials, it can be trusted to live and do good. They attest the character of the work as divine, and illustrate the confidence of one who sang:
"The wind that blows can never kill
The tree God plants;
It bloweth east, it bloweth west,
The tender leaves have little rest,
But a wind that blows is best.
The tree God plants
Strikes deeper root, grows higher still,
Spreads wider boughs, for God's good-will
Meets all its wants."

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