Charles Alling, Jr., entered Hanover College in 1879, when he was thirteen years old, as a student in the "preparatory department"; he graduated in 1885, when he was nineteen. During his junior and senior years, he kept a diary, recording his day-to-day experiences. He seems to be a fairly typical student of his time. He had an active social life, getting into mischief with his friends, escorting girls to dances, and participating in fraternity life as a member of Sigma Chi. He also had a serious side, reading poetry, discussing sermons with his friends, and worrying about how to find the right career after graduation.
After graduating from Hanover, he went on to practice law in Chicago and to serve as an Alderman there. He maintained interests that he had developed at Hanover --directing the First Presbyterian Church School in Chicago and becoming a national officer in Sigma Chi, for instance. He married in 1914 and had no children. -smv
Aid to the Charles Alling Diary, Archives of Hanover College,
Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Indiana); "Alumni File of
Charles Alling, Class of 1885, "Archives of Hanover College, Duggan
Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Indiana); Doug Denne, Archivist,
Hanover College (Hanover, Indiana), personal communication.
Below are excerpts from the diary, focusing especially on pages transcribed by students in His234 "Studies in American Cultural History: The Middle Class" (taught by Sarah McNair Vosmeier in Fall 2016). All the entries that have been transcribed so far are available here.
Thursday, Sept. 20th.
I did not get my lessons this afternoon as I was bothered very much by our many callers. At four o'clock, Nathan, Howard and I went to the fraternity hall to put a new lock on the door. After supper, I went over on the college steps to practice my speech. We have wasted the whole evening in talking, etc. Howard gave me a hint to help quiet over here. His father told him to do so, because Archer had complained to him. I was walking along with Irwin this afternoon and let myself out "as follows:" Frank, this is truly a happy life; we are now in the vigor of our youth, in these pleasant surroundings, enjoying the delights of college life and the blessings of comfort, kind, sympathetic friends, and in fact. leading an enviable life; but there is one thought that mar s this scene of harmony and pleasure and mingles "bitter with the sweet." That is, my friend, that I will soon have to leave these scenes of placid enjoyment, [strikeout: and] to sunder these ties of friendship so endeared to my heart, and fight my way in the wide wide world, 'mid it s buffets, its scorns and its disappointments. Frank, you will [stikeout: soon] in two years, Deo Volente, occupy the place in the course of instruction, which I in company with my class now occupy. The time since I was a Freshman seems but yesterday and it will seem the same to you when you have passed over the short, short time between now and your Junior year." I talked to him somewhat on this wise, as it was the true feeling. of my heart. I enjoy this college life, this classic village, these delightful strolls, this comfortable room, this lovely view, my society and fraternity. O, Madison is nowhere.
Friday, Sept 21st. 1883.
This has been the first day that I have gone to college without my lessons. I knew very little of two of them and had not looked at my mechanics. I am not doing as well in latin as I have done and I am going to "brush up" a little. Finley heard from Ed Morse today and he says he is teaching in the public schools at Oxford, O. He will pay his obligations when he receives his first payment, which I hope, to the extent of $200 worth, he will soon do. Ed is a jolly good fellow if he does have a few failings. Will Baird came in to see us this afternoon. Will is a good-hearted, whole-souled fellow and the more I see of him, the more I like him. I sit by him in class and in two or three recitations and by [strikeout: with] my contact with him in many ways I become more attached to him as the "years roll on". We had a good session of society this afternoon.
+ Saturday, Sept 22nd. +
Our question for debate last night was: Resolved, that Cromwell was justifiable in the execution of Charles I. Howard F led on the affirmative and Bovard on the negative. I made my best debate and hope I have made some improvement. I did not get one single lesson this morning but was kept from studying by our numerous callers. I got my latin and Polit. Econ. this afternoon. John, Turner, Voris, Irwin and I went down to Mr. Shipleys by invitation of Miss Cain to spend the evening. I did not have as good a time as I expected. We did not do anything but talk and went home at eleven- refreshments- apples. I took Miss Williamson home and Irwin, Miss Wiggam . Nathan brought [Mame?] S. & Nell P. out to fix up his curtains this afternoon.
page 8 - transcription by Anna Owens, HC 2020
Sunday, Sept 23.
The S.S. lesson was concerning the calling of Samuel. After it I went to
church with Howard Fisher who told me it was communion Sunday. I tried to
sleep after dinner but did not succed very well. Doctor’s sermon this
afternoon was a good one, but it was most too deep for us. I understood
most of it, however. After church Howard & I walked over by the
site of grandfather Scovel’s house. There we met old (78) squire Logan who
told me a great deal about mother and the rest of the family. He said that
uncle Bob was a great friend of his son George. He invited me to come over
and talk to his wife sometime soon. He told us a great many reminscences
about Old Hanover life. He dug grandfather’s grave and all the rest of the
I went to Y.M.C.A.
tonight with Todd. Walter Fisher made a good address. It rained very hard
Monday, Sept 24
The first recitation we had was in political Econ and I am sure that I made a ten. I was not called on in Latin, which I had well prepared. Our experiments were very interesting today. A small piece of phosporus made a beautiful light when touched to a hot file and then put in water. Charcoal also looked beautiful when put in a bottle of oxygen. It all decomposed in beautiful little sparks. The experiment with red oxide of mercury was also very good. I had a good, old fashioned talk with Wiggam this morning. Eva Hennessy came out with her sister today but I did not see her till she was about to go home. The boys got the foot ball tonight and played, but I practiced my speech. I received a letter from Kit tonight.
page 9 - transcription by Caitlin Hedman
Tuesday, Sep 25. 1883
We had some good experiments in the labatory this morning. We made oxygen
gas from binoxide of manganese and chlorate of potash. There is a great
deal of work in firing apparatus, etc. We had a regular fraternity meeting
in here after dinner trying to decide as to when to take Coons and Voris
in. We took them in tonight though. Nathan and Walter went to Madison and
thought out some saradines, rolls, ice cream, and cake. We had a huge time
in taking them “amid the ropes”. I came home early (12 o’clock) as I have
to get up early. We all took sheets from the dormitory, used the mystic
bowl, etc. It was truly ridiculous.
Wednesday, Sept 26
I felt well this morning, and felt in a humor to make a speech. My mouth
got very dry, was the only trouble I experienced. I know I did better than
I have for a long, long time. Dr. told me so and I knew I put more force
in my declamation than I have for a long time. I took my shoes down to be
mended this afternoon. We raised a big racket tonight. John is going to
get into trouble on account of it. I got into Turner’s vacant room and
“laid low” for a long time. Eva Hennesey came out with her sister today
and I had a good, long talk with her, during our vacant half-hour caused
by Prof. Baird excusing us. May Wood is to move to Chicago soon and wants
us to come around. Friday Night Kit writes that Hal Bright is very sick.
: Thursday, Sept 27th
Linck Cravens told me when I went over to college that Hal Bright was dead. It utterly surprised me as it did the rest of her friends. When he told Lida Hunt in chapel, she almost cried. During the morning K it telephoned me that she was to be buried tomorrow at 10 o'clock. As our fraternity was going up to have a group taken, I thought I would stay over for the funeral. We came up in Waddle's wagon and had a good negative taken, but when w e came back for the second sitting we all burst out laughing. It was a fair negative though. In my way home to supper, I stopped in at Bright's and saw Hallie. She did not look very natural about the mouth, but looked very well otherwise. Fan Vail and Agnes were there and looked broken hearted. I came home and saw Kit who looked bad from sitting up the night before. This is a loss to these girls as Hal was such a warm friend of all of them. She has been unconscious for two or three days, or rather not able to talk or hear. It seems, as Agnes says, that it is all a dream and [strikeout: seems] it is impossible to realize the full force of the blow.
I went over to Linck's and got his chemistry tonight and studied a little bit. May Wood, Jen, Lot and Ida came here tonight to ask me to a little company which was to meet at her (May's) house tomorrow night. I declined as I don't feel much like being gay after the sad scene I saw this afternoon
page 11 - transcription by Lisa Quiroga, HC 2020
Friday, Sept 28. 1883
I went down town to get Kit some black gloves and then took the surrey to funeral. The pall bearers were Nathan Powell, Rob Moffett, Bert, Ollie DeLoste, Will Johnson, John Collins, Clem Bradley, and Joe Colgate. It was an impressive scene that the church presented, as Mr. Bradley, followed by the bier, followed by the relatives, walked slowly up the aisle. The church was full with the many friends, both young and old. She [strikeout: has] is the first one of the society crowd to die, and her death called forth sympathy and sadness from all of the young people of Madison. Many of her friends especially girls cried at different times during the service. There were a great many hacks & private carriages. Father, F. Swope, Sam Moffett and I went up to graveyard in our surrey. The singing at the grave by the Misses Eaverson was beautiful. Mrs. B. & Mame cried very hard when the coffin was let down into the grave. It was a beautiful day and the pleasant air and sunshine seemed to make a strong contrast with the gloom of greif. We got home about 12:30. Nathan and I went to Hanover this afternoon but did not make the afternoon session. We went to Ame's this afternoon and had some cider and apples. Maggie was pleasant as ever. We drove to the P.O. and got to the dormitory just in time for supper; came out of society early and arrived here at Madison about 9:30. It has seemed a very long day.
page 12 - transcription by Justin Ventura, HC 2020Saturday, Sept. 29
I went over to Linck’s today, to find out where my lessons were. I
studied my chemistry and latin before dinner. After it, I went down town
on numerous errands; came home and got my political Econ. by supper time.
Phoebe is making me an apron for laboratory work. Aunt Janie came home
from Indianapolis tonight. She and Howard had gone out yesterday morning
on an excursion. Frank Cunningham was here to call tonight. He looks some
older but is the same jolly Frank as ever. Kit and I walked down town
after supper. I got a hair cut at Christian’s and came home then as it was
too late to go anywhere then. Mrs. Bright gave Kit a beautiful red fan of
Hallie’s for a momento.
Sunday, Sept 30.
We had church in the basement again today. Mr. Brown preached a theological sermon under which the people grew restless at times. Prof. Baird is to preach in the Auditorium next Sunday. I hope I will be able to hear him. It was communion Sunday and many people of our own church and many visitors were present. Tom Clements & Wife, Misses Birdie and Lydie Clough were [strikeout: all] present. It rained very hard so I did not go to S.S, but read the Observer all afternoon. Bert and I called on Frank Wharton at Aunt Beck’s tonight before church. He has been sick for two or three days but is up now. He has had trouble with his eyes, similar to Berts “iraetus”. We took the two Hennesey girls home & had a pleasant call.
Saturday, Oct. 6.
I did not start to studying till eleven o’clock, but got latin before dinner. After it, I played foot ball till four when Howard and I went out to Dunns in his buggy. We got a jug of cider and some apple butter. While I was passing Clemen’s, .I got a telephone message telling me that Aunt Mary and Marie were coming [strikeout: th] tonight. Howard came down for me and stayed to supper. I did not do anything with my lessons and am glad we have experiments Monday. Taggart, a new fellow from Louisville [strikeout: will be] knows Frank Cunningham and used to goto his school. He is a very nice fellow, although he is rather a hard bat. He is a splendid foot ball player and was one of the captains. I put the ball through the goal twice this afternoon. Heller is a good player, though he is but a little fellow.
page 19 - transcription by
Thursday, Oct 11th. 1883.
John accused Nathan of pouring the water in our bed. Everything seems to point to him as the vile perpetrator of the base, insidious act. It must have been done by him when I left him at the bottom of the stairs to go over the hill. It was a mean trick, I don’t care who did it. I came over during our two vacant hours and spent them profitably. I have accomplished more during the afternoon than I have [strikeout: for] this year before. I finished my essay tonight by 7:30, wrote a postal to McFarland and have done many little odds and ends without wasteing any time whatever. Nathan left to visit Huline for a few days. Prof. Baird and Dr. Fisher have left to be gone for a week. Ohio is said to have gone Republican - - may Heaven grant it so to be! The boys are quite anxious for the true returns.
page 22 - transcription by Cecilia Paul, HC 2020
Wednesday, Oct. 17th
Todd came over this afternoon (as he did for two days past) to ask me to read his latin. I do not object to it very much, for it is good exercise for me. I did very little studying this afternoon as I went out to see the Juniors and the Sophs play a picked fifteen of the rest of the college. It was a very exciting game and well played by both sides. The latter side won, however, by a score of 2 to 1. They played till after dark, 6:30. The goals were 2:2, but one that the J’s and S’s won was declared illegal on account of a foul. They were still playing this when time was called, thus giving the “mixture” the game. Went down to mail and got letters and papers from home. The Sophs spoke in the chapel this morning. Howard spoke well but was unfortunate in the selection of his speech. It was one of Talmadge’s descriptive speeches not especially fitted for the display of high oratorical powers.
Friday, October 19th 1883:
As it was raining, I asked Lum Melcher to come over to dinner with me. He came and I was therefore not able to commit my oration. I got up society, however, and spoke it without making any serious mistakes. I had to speak it slowly for fear of forgetting. Linck got very mad at Nathan for laughing in society. They had quite a dispute. Bouard got quite angry because some severe criticisms were passed on his Essay, “Campmeetings.” We had a very good session taking it all in all. Nathan asked me to go home with him and I did so. Went down to the store after supper and got $5.00 from Bert. Papa came home from Chicago last night saying he had a good time. Kit, Bert and Frank Cunningham went to the skating rink tonight. I stayed at home to get my Political Economy.
page 27 - transcription by Brooke Keeylen
Thursday October 25th 1883
I put in my spare moments well yesterday; studied till five o’clock and from seven to eleven. Mr. Korbly spoke of short hand reporting Sunday Aft.; how useful and valuable it was to a young man. I therefore looked over Johns book by Graham and may try to learn it. If I am to be a lawyer it will be valuable and if a reporter or journalist, almost essential. I made a score in mathematics as I got through my problem long before Frank Swope who had the same one. I had a better recitation in chemistry than usual; diligence has its rewards. All of Madison boys went over to Clemen’s to engage company for a dance at Dr. Hutchings tomorrow night.
Friday October 26th
I spoke in society this afternoon, but as some of the boys were laughing as usual, I did not do myself justice. It is a shame that we all laugh so much at every little incident which happens. We have some good performances but they are ruined by so much levity. I was to take Tot Gorgas tonight but her cousin was dead. Sam M., Gail and I went up to Madison in our surrey. We had a fine time at the dance. We had no programmes but it was nice for a change. Kit went with Sam, Alice Emmet with Gail, Anna Dold with Stratford, Florence H. with Charlie and Lot Brewer with Frank Swope. Anna Dold is in my opinion the most elegant and fascinating dancer in Madison. Had two elegant waltzes with her.
page 28 - transcription by Zach Bosell, HC 2018
Sunday, Oct. 28th.I wore my blue suit today as it looked better than my other. Mr. Brown preached a good sermon on, “Take heed how ye hear!” His evening discourse was quite practical concerning the liability of the devil lurking in assemblies where time glides so swiftly and where the pleasure seekers think there can be no higher heaven. “The way of the tempter” was his text. Will J. walked home with Kit today and I with Jen Graham.
page 29 - transcription and
research by Matthew Todd, HC 2016
Monday, Oct. 29th. 1883.
It has rained very hard indeed for the last two days. The road was washed as clean as a parlor floor today. Gail came out with me in the buggy. I left my valise at the stable this morning ; hope nothing will be missing. It has rained hard all afternoon. I got my Latin out in Swope's room as Baird, Riley and Hamilton are peened up here by the rain. Did not accomplish much, as I usually do when we all study together. Old Mr. McKnight was found dead in the street last Friday. Heart disease is supposed to be the cause. His son Virgil is here. Bert was pall-bearer for Jack Verry's daughter yesterday afternoon. Mr. V. is now in Chicago. I went down to the P.O. this afternoon and got my valise and fruit cake which Lot Brewer sent me.
Tuesday, Oct. 30th.
We were hindered from studying tonight for about an hour but managed to
get our lessons by eleven. I did not write my letters or work on my essay
or study short hand. Alas! how true it is, "time waits for no man." I
studied hard this afternoon and went to fraternity tonight. I took the
cake down and the boys soon made short work of it. We read "Twelfth Night"
and got about half way through it. We had a very interesting meeting. Todd
read a letter from Wooster College telling how popular Uncle Fit was. And
how much advanced their college was, under his good government. I copied
one or two good extracts from Shakespeare while we were reading tonight.
page 30 - transcription by Valerie Campbell, HC 2016
Wednesday, October 31.
Some of the freshmen spoke in chapel this morning. Brashears was frightened badly. Armor spoke very deliberately and in his own peculiar manner. Bovard had to take the criticisms offered; a thing which he does not do in society. Abrams leads so far. John and Irwin speak next week -- "get out from under"! I studied hard on my chemistry and then wrote a long letter to Aunt Belle. The boys came in our room tonight and raised a big fuss preparing for Hallow Ee'en. They made a stuffed man and hung it out the window. A few boys have gone out but nothing will be done compared to the foolish devastations of last year. Dr. spoke to me about going out. I told him I would stay at home- - "decidedly so". He said in chapel that two or three still had accounts to settle with the faculty. I hope nothing more will be said about it.
Thursday, October 32 or November 1
We did not have breakfast this morning till after the first bell had rung for college. It is very annoying to have to wait so long for meals. Coons was out last night and he told me that Tull shot beans at them and hit a fellow near him in the back; it shook him up in a lively manner. With the exception of this "all was quiet on the Potomac last night." We had a huge time tonight. Nathan, Howard, Billie Voris, Joe, and I got John mad and he left and locked us in with a hook. I then got the boys to let me down to the porch by a sheet; I came up thro' Nathans room and encountered John with a squirt gun. I gave him a pitcher of water and gained the fort. Lee threw water on his own overcoat which I wore.
page 31 - transcription by Cody Reister, HC 2017
Friday, Nov. 2nd, 1883
I got along nicely in mathematics today. I am beginning to take an interest in it. There was ice on the porch this morning. We hail thee, O winter! Another season rolls ‘round; although we are yet having some nice fall weather. Miss Hennesey is now boarding at Dr. Fisher’s and alas! I see sweet little Eva no more. Mrs. Fisher did not like to take her but did it for accommodation – a very generous and commendable spirit. Some of the girls came into society this afternoon and the boys would not adjourn but just made fools of themselves and “insulted” the girls by going into a committee of the whole. We had a good debate tonight on; resolved that the U.S. was morally justifiable in the Mexican War. I led the negative, which side won. John and I dressed up as Clay and Calhoun and created quite a sensation with our high collars, large cravats and dress coats.
page 33 - transcription by Alec Dunn, HC
Monday, Nov. 5, 1883
We went to the Y.M.C.A. last night and then to the monthly concert where Dr. Allan addressed us concerning his work among the freed-men. It was a splendid talk and well appreciated by everybody. One remarkable incident he mentioned was the death of Dr. Livingstone in Africa. His faithful black servant came to his tent one morning and found him on his knees praying. He came a second and a third time, but he was still praying. At last he touched him and found “he was dead”. Dr. A said that when he heard of it he thought, O’ would that we would consider, by the kneeling corpse of that good man, dead in the heart of the dark continent, Africa as consecrated to God; ourselves sworn by this scene to the work of evangelizing the 7 millions in our country as a step toward the mighty task of converting the 230,000,000 in that far-off land. He said that God would hold us to account if we did not do our duty by these worthy people. I believe I will send some of old clothes to him to distribute among the missions under his care; he made an appeal to this effect.
Tuesday, Nov. 6.
John received a telephone from Charleston stating that his grandmother, Mrs. Henderson, was dead. He walked to Lexington this afternoon or rather yesterday. I have a scene in our drama to write. Our class intends to take the road during the holidays and make some money for the gymnasium fund. It is rather a hazerdous attempt, but success to it! Went to fraternity tonight and have studied till seven. I like rooming by myself.
page 34 - transcription by Claire Harvey, HC 2017
Wednesday, Nov. 7.
The boys turned Dr's. dog loose last night with a tin pan on his tail. It was about twelve and made considerable commotion. Irwin and Coons spoke in chapel for the first time today. They did very well for beginners. Prof Young told me, I was doing very poorly in chemistry. I told him that I studied hard enough to get along tolerably. It quite surprised me when he said that had several sevens and a few fives in my marks. Well, I suppose the only thing to do is to commence to “pick up a little”; although I am doing as well as the majority of the class. I have read some on my essay and have used my time well today. I am reading the New Testament now and it is seldom I miss reading a chapter every night. I think merely from an intellectual point of view the bible will do a great deal for the reader; aside from the duty and privilege which every Christian ought to esteem it.
Saturday, Nov 17.
I read on my essay all morning. John also worked on his. We were closed to all intruders and cleaned up the room ourselves. I went to sleep after dinner and did not get up until four o'clock, much against my intentions. Williamson and Dawson came in about ten o'clock and I proposed to get a matress and slide down the stairs. Coons helped us and we were having a jolly time when the old man came up. We all ran to our rooms. Dan and Allan had "gone to bed" with their clothes on and got up to let the old man in when he knocked. Of course this strategy let them out entirely. He came in and accused me and I did not say anything as I thought it would all pass over. But he found Coons closet locked and after no answer to his overtures of surrender he (Archer) prepared to stay in the room all night. But the boys began to gather and plot for his escape. They bored a hole through the plaster from Vons' closet and fixed a signal for his departure. A crowd then surrounded the old man, one fellow blew out the light, another knocked three times and out came Koons covered with a night shirt. He ran to our room and just shut the door in time to exclude the O.M. who was in hot pursuit. It reminded me of a scrub race when the motley gang rushed from Coon's room, he in the lead, his besieger following and then the crowd of boys who cheered lustily for his safe retreat. Alas! my essay. It is only completed about as to a third part, having been interrupted by the exciting episodes above narrated.
Sunday, Nov. 18.
"T'is always the unexpected which happens". In the midst of prosperity prepare for adversity. As I walked down to breakfast this morning, Mr. Archer met me and handed me my bill: he also prohibited me from going down to breakfast. Frank Swope took me down as his "company" but the old man braced himself against the door and said I was prohibited. Frank got mad and said he considered it a personal insult to him. It was all to no avail, so I went without my breakfast. The Swopes gave me some apples and dried cake. I could not go to S.S. for the boys came in to hold a consultation and farewell reception and kept me from dressing. I felt rather bad all morning and on Charlie Swope's advice went down into the parlor and talked with Mr. Archer and his two charming daughters as to the propriety of my hunting around Hanover on the Sabbath to find a boarding place. I "monkeyed" and pled considerably but all seemed dark as ever. Mrs. Archer came up soon after and told me that she had persuaded her husband to let me stay till tomorrow. All the boys asked me about it and condoled with me when I went to church this afternoon. Lace told me at supper that Mrs. A. wished to see me. She told me that they had decided to take my word for it and keep me. The boys were waiting to hear the verdict and carried me up on their shoulders. I felt like a free man & congratulations were in order. Koons was also acquitted before the "San-she-drim" as he called it. Hurrah! Home Again!
Friday, Jan. 18. 
Other considerations have come in, however, to wield a greater influence.
My circumstances and surroundings are such as to alienate me from the
ministry. Although I have always had a good reputation at home among my
acquaintances, yet a certain amount of frivolity -- so to speak -- has
been one of my characteristics. Especially in the company of the girls, I
have got a way of talking which, though generally proper, impresses them
with the idea that I am up with the times. It would be hard for me to
counteract this sentiment and become a steady -- going, embryo preacher.
My extreme youthful appearance would also act as another hindrance. These
and other considerations make me have a sort of inward feeling that I
should turn my attention elsewhere.
Last summer, I read Matthew's Getting On In the World, and thought of studying law. It seemed to me that I was capable of succeeding if so many men had gained a footing; men, that is, of very limited education and of exceedingly small energy or prominence of character. Graduates of Hanover College, whom I know, have gained success, and, not to be egotistical, I think I have as much of the elements of success as they had. John Wiggam and Frank Swope both intend to be lawyers and I would hate to say I was not the mental equal of either. But the idea of learning stenography was suggested to me by Mr. Korbly, saying something about it at home last term. I thought then that the acquisition of this
page 75 - Transcription and research by Jennifer Wullenweber, HC 2012
Sat. Jan. 19. 
art would be a good preliminary step to the profession of law or to journalism in which latter direction my thoughts seem somewhat definitely to settle. My youth, the opportunity of at once sustaining myself, the fair prospects of honorable success, the opportunities of travel as a correspondent, the importance of the journalists profession, etc. seem to tell me that this is my most congenial sphere.
I do not desire to be a business man; there are enough in the family now to represent the hardware trade. Besides my education is too valuable to squander by tying myself down to the petty, irksome restraints of a business life. As to wealth, I care not, whether I ever become a five hundred thousand man. Of course, I expect to live very comfortably and to know how to manage my finances.
Sunday, Jan. 20. 
I have come out rather plainly above but deem this subject worthy of its attention . . . . .
I wished I had gone to church this morning when there was a crowd of boys in here who kept me from doing anything.
Mr. McCoy preached this afternoon a sermon which by request he repeated, having delivered it last Sunday Morning. His text was, "Holding up the word of life." It was quite a practical, heart-reaching discourse.
Howard Fisher and I had quite a conversation after Y.M.C.A on the questions relating to predestination. We discussed the matter thoroughly but were still somewhat in the dark on closing. We took Judas as a good example of what we meant.
page 97 - transcription and research by Karin Schubert, HC 2009
It is a pity I cannot write more in my old friend but the fates seem to be against it. Every day seems to be so completely filled, that no time is left to use in compiling my daily thoughts and acts. I often wonder how it is that Frank Swope accomplishes so much. He gets his lessons better than I do and has more surplus time in which to play ball, lawn tennis, and especially does he devote an hour or two daily to music. Now why is it I can not practice short hand some time during the week at least? One reason is that confinement to my room is not healthy for me. Constipation affects me whenever I stay in my room during the whole day. Therefore one hour at least must be spent in aiding my digestive apparatus in its work. Before 4:30 then in the afternoon, I have time only for one lesson. After supper, I generally study from seven till ten but the interruptions are frequent so that a whole evening is often wasted. Besides, fraternity meeting comes on Tuesday night and it is therefore lost. A social or call or concert generally uses another evening of the week, leaving only Monday and Wednesday and Saturday nights on which to study. Our lessons are not hard this term, but they require a great deal of time -- psychology particularly. On Tues. and Thurs. we are
page 98 - transcription and research by Sarah Beckman HC 2009
so very fortunate as to have only two studies to employ our time; some of the other classes, on the other hand, have four to get on these days. In many cases it seems that "the more man does, the more he can do." Again, it often occurs to me that I do not know how to recite. Some fellows make a blind stagger at questions and hit them every time; with an air so in different and features so suggestive of a knowledge of the whole subject, that the professors pass them by with a ten. It is only during this -- my senior year that I have learned to recite to Prof. Young. I study hard and closely and aim to gain a general knowledge at least of every species that arises. I then sit up and look at him like a man -- which I never used to do -- and even discuss the questions with him. It amuses me to see how John Wiggam manages his recitations. He often fails to look at his book before the vacant hour and then skims the lesson over here in my room or in Marshall's. When he goes to Prof. Morse's room he always seems to get through without any serious blunders. But it seems to me that it is only on account of his age that he is often passed by when a hard question reaches him and that his answers -- generally vague -- are accepted. While with one so young as I the old Prof. does not scruple to be very familiar; that is, he "calls me to time" whenever it suits his royalty; whenever I do not know a lesson, he always finds it out.
Having noticed on the previous page a remark concerning Prof. Morse and his recitations, it seems best to resume the narration on that fertile topic. As we boys have often remarked, our recitations to Prof. Morse become a mere farce in the last two years of the college course. Analytical Geometry was the only mathematics in which I took any interest and I made a success of it, obtaining a mark of 96 unprecedented in my previous mathematical career. Very little time did I ever spend upon that study, but it was enough to give me a fair knowledge of the subject. I have often said, when rather discouraged, that I could never make a mathematician, but the reason was a lack of effort. Because in Analytics, my marks were high and I felt they were justly so. There are some curves and equations in that study which are difficult and I can say, without boasting, that I grasped and understood them as well as any other man in the class. Of course some things were difficult and discouraging to me, especially those operations which depended on former studies as geometry and trigonometry. But upon looking back at my record in mathematics in the first three years I can not seriously blame myself for its shortcomings. At that time I was riding out from Madison and was requiring a great deal of time out of each day in which to do it.
We, Howard and I, would arise about 6:30 every morning in the winter, often before it was light enough to dress without the gas. After putting on our clothes in a hurried manner, we would eat or rather bolt our breakfast from 6:45-6:55. This always left us five minutes in which to hitch the horse to the buggy, which, by the way, we had reduced to a science: one of us would hurry to the stable each morning before eating breakfast and feed, brush, and put the harness on the horse; everything would then be ready to hustle him out of the stable, snap the lines and traces, and dash on to conflict. Starting at 7 a.m. left us just an hour and ten minutes to make it in time for chapel. It was a full seven miles and a half up hill, so that we often tested the metal of our charger in attempting to escape absence. We would arrive home at 2 p.m. and begin studying about 2:15. It left us only a short while till it was time to curry the horse, grease the buggy or do something relating to our transportation. During what we had of the afternoon then Charlie Allison, Linck Cravens and I would "dig out" our Latin. After supper, I always looked over my mathematics, or else my Greek, but soon became too sleepy to do anything, having been out in the wind, and being too young, growing all the while, to make myself put in the evening till ten p.m. at least to good advantage. So I say, that my record
page 101- transcription and research by Taylor Elliot, HC 2012
in mathematics, though it is not what it should be, seemed almost fated. If I had only boarded at Dr. Fisher's in my Freshman year, as Walter so persistently advised me, and have demanded ungently said request, I might stand today at the head of my class. "If the dog had not stopped, he would have caught the rabbit." However, I am not ashamed of my course in Hanover College and have much to make me feel satisfied. Though I may be a little short in Greek and Mathematics, my record in Latin is a formidable chair of self satisfaction in which to rest my misgivings. Again, if I had stayed in Hanover during my Freshman year, it might have had its drawbacks; so with the optimist let me say, "The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places, I have a goodly heritage." x x I find I have digressed exceedingly from the intention in starting which was to say a word concerning our "mathematical farce." Some of our recitations to Prof. Morse are as ridiculous as the closing piece in a negro minstrels. In Astronomy there is none whose action is sound. Many enter the room without even looking at the lesson, and make the queerest answers, but generally sliding by without notice by giving evasive answers and drawing Prof. on into answering his own questions. The "recitations in Astronomy" are too rich to be soon forgotten.