- This celebrated institution has earned
the reputation of being the equal in every
- respect of any institution of its kind
in this country. The first Freshman class, composed of five members,
under the direction of Hon. S. T. MERRILL, of Beloit,
was started Nov. 4, 1847, in the basement of an old stone church,
located on the northwest corner of Broad and Prospect streets.
In May, 1848, the faculty was increased by the acquisition of
Profs. J. J. BUSHNELL and Joseph EMERSON, classmates
at Yale. In 1850 the Rev. A. L. CHAPIN was called to the
college, and became its first president in July of that year,
retaining that position for more than thirty-six years.
- The first college building, now known
as Middle College, was erected in 1847 and
- 1848, the cornerstone being laid June
24, 1847, and was ready for occupation in the autumn of the following
year, and for six years was the only college building; all public
exercises being held in what is now the geological room, except
Commencement, which was held out-doors.
- The buildings have since been increased
to eight, all of which are situated upon a
- beautiful bluff on the eastern side
of the Rock River. A new academy building is projected. The college
grounds consist of twenty-five acres, the larger part of which
was donated by the city of Beloit. The location is not only one
of great beauty, but most healthful. This college in every respect
offers every advantage that the best Eastern colleges offer,
without the besetting temptations so common to college cities.
The citizens of Beloit manifest a cordial interest in the welfare
of the students, and a healthful restraint is put on anything
that would have the least tendency to lead them into vicious
channels. It is a settled principle of the faculty not to retain
any one as a student who does not show a manly purpose to make
good use of the advantages afforded. The cost of tuition is comparatively
low; board and home comforts are obtainable here at much lower
rates than in the East, while many opportunities are presented
by which industrious students can meet part of their expenses
while attending college.
- The library contains over 14,000 volumes,
which have been thoroughly indexed,
- facilitating their use by the students.
Astronomical studies are rendered specially interesting and practical
through the college observatory, which contains a telescope surpassing
even that of Yale College. Students of astronomy have much more
latitude in the use of this telescope than is given elsewhere.
The college has an equipment of thirteen large microscopes. The
course of geology is unsurpassed for extent or thoroughness,
by an university, east or west. The gymnasium is well equipped,
and offers an unfailing means of exercise and recreation.
- An idea of the general method of procedure
adopted by the college can be conveyed
- in no better way than by quoting a
few paragraphs from its prospectus, i.e., "The work comprehends
a training (a) in language, as the great instrument and condition
of all culture, civilization and thought; (b) in mathematics
and exact science, as a most valuable discipline, as well as
furnishing the mind; (c) in the histories of nature and of man,
as the source of practical knowledge; and (d) in those philosophic
and religious principles necessary to complete the general preparation
for a broad and useful life, and, when supplemented by special
technical training, for the best success in any good profession
or employment. This work is distributed in two departments: 1.
The college proper, with two parallel courses: (a) A classical
course, giving prominence to ancient languages and literature.
(b) A philosophical course, combining with Latin a wider range
of science and of modern languages. 2. The academy, which is
under the immediate charge of the principal and his assistants.
The college Faculty have a general direction respecting the duties,
advise concerning the discipline, and take part in the instruction
of the school. The work of the academy comprises three courses
of study - a classical, a scientific, and an English or business
- The classical and scientific courses
are especially designed to prepare the student in
- a most thorough manner to enter the
college, while the English course is designed to thoroughly prepare
students to enter upon the active duties of business life, and
for teaching in the common schools of this region. Suitable apparatus
is provided in each department, necessitating their use, and
quantitative and qualitative chemical analysis is a special feature
of laboratory work in the department of chemistry and mineralogy.
Several prizes and scholarships are annually distributed, the
most deserving, of course, being the recipients.
- Voluntary literary societies in the
several departments are sustained by the students.
- The degrees of Bachelor of Arts and
Bachelor of Philosophy, respectively, are conferred upon graduates
of this college, while at any time, not less than three years
after graduation, the degree of Master of Arts will be conferred
upon any student of Beloit upon presentation of satisfactory
evidence that he has spent at least one year of the intervening
time in some professional or liberal study, together with a satisfactory
thesis on some topic of science or general literature.
- Although undenominational, this college
was started with a conviction that a complete
- liberal education must combine in its
culture, learning, religion and morality, that christian truth
received and obeyed in love, is essential to the development
of the faculties of perception and reason, and is the spring
of righteousness in the individual life, and of pure and healthful
morals in the State. Prayer and biblical study are among the
exercises of the week, while on Sunday every student is required
to attend divine worship at some one of Beloit's churches. The
influence for good that has gone out from this model institution
has diffused itself through every avenue and by-way in this vast
country, emanating, as it continually is, from the persons of
hundreds of noble men, whose mental, moral and spiritual faculties
have been quickened into a broader and deeper though at this
overflowing fountain of the waters of true life.
- They are now discharging their respective
duties among their fellow-men in varying
- capacities, as ministers, college presidents,
editors, physicians, lawyers, statesmen, manu- facturers, merchants,
etc., in a manner most creditable to themselves and to the institution,
as well as acceptable to those among whom they labor.
- From its inception, the scholarship
of this institution has ranked with the most famed
- Eastern colleges as a comparison of
the alumni will verify. Founded by men from Yale, they modeled
it after their Alma Mater. At a great pecuniary sacrifice the
scholarship has been maintained on a high plane, as many who
desired an education by an easy process would not undergo the
rigid courses of Beloit College.
- The second and last president of this
institution to the present time, Rev. Edward D.
D.D., LL.D., was called to the position on the retirement of
Dr. CHAPIN, a biographical sketch
of whom appears on another page. Mr. EATON was born in
Lancaster, Wis., Jan. 12, 1851. After his graduation from Beloit
College in 1872, he took a three years' theological course, the
first and third years at the New Haven Theological Seminary,
from which institution he graduated in 1875, and the second year
at Andover Theological Seminary. After spending some time in
educational pursuits at Leipsic and Heidelberg university, in
1876 he accepted the pastorate of the Congregational Church of
Newton, Iowa, and in 1879 that of the Oak Park, Ill., Congregational
Church, where he remained until, in 1876, he accepted the Presidency
of Beloit College. In 1887 the degree of LL.D. was conferred
upon him by the University of Wisconsin, and that of D.D. by
the Northwestern University at Evanston.
- Beloit College is especially strong
in its faculty, which ranks among the ablest in the
- United States. Rev. Joseph EMERSON,
D.L., professor of Greek, has been identified with the college
since its inception. He is a graduate of Yale College and was
a member of the Yale faculty when he received the call to Beloit.
He had also studied theology both at Yale and Andover. He is
a cousin of Ralph Waldo EMERSON and is endowed with brilliant
qualities similar to his. Rev. William PORTER, D.D., professor
of Latin, and secretary of the college, has been connected with
the institution nearly forty years. A biographical sketch of
James BLAISDELL, D.D., professor
of mental and moral philosophy, appears elsewhere in this volume.
Rev. Henry M. WHITNEY, M.A., professor of rhetoric and
English literature, is a brother of Prof. W. D. WHITNEY
of Yale and Prof. J. D. WHITNEY of Harvard. He was elected
an honorary member of the British Association for the Advancement
of Science in 1881. Since 1883 his leisure time has been mostly
given to work as associate editor of the forthcoming Century
Dictionary, and a Dictionary of Synonyms and of Synonyms Discriminated,
written by him, has been incorporated into that work. Thomas
A. SMITH, Ph.D., is professor of mathematics and physics.
Erastus G. SMITH, Ph.D., has been professor of chemistry
and mineralogy since 1881. He graduated from Amherst College
in 1877 and received his degree of doctor of philosophy at the
University of Gottingen, Germany, in 1883. Rollin D. SALISBURY,
M.A., is professor of zoology, botany and geology. Rev. Almon
W. BURR has been principal of the academy for five years.
Calvin W. PEARSON, Ph.D., is professor of modern languages.
Theodore L. WRIGHT, M.A., is assistant professor of ancient
languages. Hiram B. DENSMORE, B.A., is instructor in botany
and zoology. Robert C. CHAPIN, M.A., instructor in civil
polity, is a son of Ex-President CHAPIN. Rufus B. McCLENON,
M.A., is assistant in the academy; so also is Llewellyn J. DAVIES,
B.A; Edward M. BOOTH, M.A., is instructor in elocution.