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Minnie Howell: 1899-1900

President Ernest R. Nichols, 1899-1909

Ernest R. Nichols Ernest R. Nichols, as had Will before him, fell into the presidency by virtue of being availabe. He had accepted the acting presidency with the notion that he would soon be back researching and teaching physics; there is no particular evidence that Nichols had any strong inclination to remain in charge. The Board interviewed several priminent educators, but those offered the position declined--probably because of the history of political turmoil associated with the post. Nichols had served as acting president for one year when the Board elected him president. ... Unlike some of his predecessors, the new president said and wort little for publication; he decided not to carry out disputation by way of the press. Both Willard and Walters remember Nichols as an efficient, tolerant, hard-working chief executive, who in a decade saw state appropriations increase almost tenfold while student enrollment climed to well over two thousand."

From James Carey's Kansas State University: The Quest for Identity, pg. 89-90.

Events from 1899-1900

  • Ernest Nichols is named president. (Jul 1899)

  • The Students' Cooperative Association took over the operation of the bookstore and dining hall. (Sep 1899)

  • The squabble between the seniors and the juniors over the memorial corner stone of the new Agricultural building got out of hand. When members of the junior class broke the second stone belonging to the seniors, the faculty intervened, resulting in four students being suspended for the remainder of the term and two being publicly reprimanded. The senior class requested that none of the juniors be suspended. The junior class as a whole (which would have included Minnie Howell) assumed responsibility for the action of some of its members. The faculty rescinded their earlier decision and a truce declared between the juniors and the seniors. (Nov 1899) (Read the poem about the events printed in The Sledge.)

  • Electrical Engineering curricula adopted. (Fall 1899)

  • The Dairy Barn was erected. (Jan 1900)

  • Agriculture Hall, now known as Holton Hall, was erected. (May 1900)

  • cartoon depicting the May day events, printed in The Sledge. "The Seniors and Juniors had a little squabble on the campus in front of the Main building on May day morning. On the previous night the Juniors had erected a May-pole bearing their colors. The Seniors, backed by the Freshmen and Sophomores, where bound to remove it and were looking for tools to dig it up, when a few solid Freshmen took a hold of the pole and broke it off about half way up. A scramble for the possession of the flag followed, in which the class emblem and a number of collars and cuffs were torn to shreds, but no one was hurt, and sweet peace reigns once more on Agricultural Science hill." (From the Industrialist, 08 May 1900, page 450)

  • Chemistry laboratory fire Chemistry Lab (Holtz Hall) burned. (May 1900)
    For additional information, see the History of Holtz Hall

  • Library contains 21,450 bound volumes, 17,000 pamphlets, and 2,500 government documents.

Course of Study, 1899-1900
Reflecting information from Minnie Howell's transcript

Fall Term
14 weeks
Veg. Gardening
Oratory (Visible Speech)
Chem. of Cookery
Dom. Sci & Lab
Winter Term
12 weeks
Eng. Literature
Special Physiology & Emergency Lectures
Spring Term
11 weeks
No classes listed on transcript
[When no work outside of class required, italics are used.]

Domestic Science

The student is required to keep a set of note-books as follows: permanent note-book for the lectures, recipe book for the practical work, and the daily class record of the individual and general work of each lesson given. The following topics are considered: a course in fruit cookery, plain household cookery; lectures upon food principles, classifications, etc., cooking temperatures, study of fuels, and fire building.

From the General Catalog, 1899-1900, p.49.

Emergency Lectures and Physiology

This work consists of lectures on the following topics: First aids to the injured; general lectures on home nursing and home sanitation; contagious and infectious diseases; special and advanced physiology.

From the General Catalog, 1899-1900, p.50.

English Literature

The purpose of this course is to trace the rise and growth of English literature from its beginning until the present time; to introduce the student in a modest and elementary way to the various aspects and species of literature and to the artistic problems involved in an appreciative study of the great classics of the language; and, lastly, to study and analyze in chronological order a number of the famous masterpieces of English literature in accordance with sound principles of taste and interpretation. Pancoast's Introduction to English Literature will be taken as a guide, but there will be no slavish adherence to the text. The instruction will by varied by occasional lectures from the professor in charge, and the presentation, from time to time, of thoroughly prepared papers by members of the class. At all times the utmost freedom of discussion will be invited. A few of the great classics will be read, analyzed and interpreted in class, while others will be assigned for private reading.

Especial stress is all the way laid on finding the elements of beauty and moral power in every production read. All together, it is hoped that this extended excursion along the most considerable stream of the world's literature may prove an inspiration toward noble and earnest life; may show the power of language and the imperishable character of its more beautiful forms; may reveal something of the mode and meaning of social advance and civilization, and be to the student in after life a well-spring of pleasure and profit.

From the General Catalog, 1899-1900, p.56.

Vegetable Gardening

Horticulture students working in the gardens. The work of this term is devoted to an examination of the operations of vegetable-gardening, with special attention to seasonable practice, including the application of fungicides and insecticides, and a more detailed study of varieties with reference to local conditions.

From the General Catalog, 1899-1900, p.58.