Mathematics at the University of Florida in Gainesville, the first 65 years

Author - Dr. Paul Ehrlich - Math Professor - University of Florida - Gainesville

The Graduate Secretary has the responsibility of maintaining lists of all masters theses and doctoral theses which have been written by graduate students in the Department of Mathematics. Also, a copy of all of these theses has been placed in the Chair's office in the Department of Mathematics. These sources show that the first masters degree granted by the Department was awarded in 1928, and the first doctoral degree was awarded in 1950, the same year that the American Mathematical Society first published the research journal Proceedings of American Mathematical Society to complement the older Transactions.

A collection of old University of Florida catalogues and University of Florida Records is maintained in the Special Collections Room on the first floor of Smathers Library. The early catalogues, starting with 1905--1906 and carrying on up until the 1920's contain leisurely descriptions of how the University of Florida came to emerge on its present site in 1906. According to the University of Florida Record for 1911, the 1905 Buckman Act of the state legislature provided for the coalescing of five of the then existing public institutions of higher learning in the state of Florida

  1. the Florida State College at Tallahassee which stemmed from the West Florida Seminary (1857)
  2. the (White) Normal School at DeFuniak Springs (1887),
  3. the East Florida Seminary in Gainesville (1853),
  4. the South Florida (Military) College in Bartow (1895), and
  5. the Florida Agricultural Institute in Osceola County (1903) [1]
into just two institutions,
  1. the Florida Female College and
  2. the University of the State of Florida.

It is interesting that the catalogues make no mention of several other institutions of higher learning in the state which are also listed in Proctor's history [2] as follows:

  1. the Normal School for Negro Students in Tallahassee (1887),
  2. the Florida Agricultural College (1884) in Lake City, and
  3. the Normal and Industrial School (1901) in St. Petersburg.

Thus when we look at the 1911 Catalogue, we should remember that this is just a few years after the establishment of our current institution under the Buckman Act. Academic year enrollment for 1911--1912 stands at 302 students. At that time, the campus map shows six buildings on campus, including two dormitories,

  1. Buckman Hall, a familiar name from the Buckman Act, and
  2. Thomas Hall; named after Mayor Thomas of Gainesville;
  3. a Machine Shop (shop work in the engineering sciences);
  4. the Dynamo Laboratory (laboratory work in Electrical Engineering);
  5. the Science Hall of two stories containing classrooms and laboratories for Botany and Horticulture, Chemistry, Physics, Zoology and Bacteriology; and
  6. the Experimental Station Building (an agricultural experimental station).

It is noted that an Engineering Building is under construction, and much is made of the fact that all buildings are furnished with electricity, heat, light, and running water. It was apparently not felt necessary to list the location of the mathematics department. Then P. K. Yonge (President, Southern States Lumber, Pensacola) was on the Board of Control of the University and Albert A. Murphree was President. During those times, the catalogue listed the entire instructional staff, so we find exactly 26 instructors listed, including two student assistants in Chemistry. The Department of Mathematics is still represented on this list by exactly one individual, Professor H. G. Keppel, Ph.D. (Clark), listed as being responsible for the instruction in Mathematics and Astronomy. Elsewhere in the catalogue, where the information about Mathematics and Astronomy is printed, a second individual, M. D. Hadley, A.B., is also listed as assisting Keppel with instructional duties.

Now the faculty listing for 1911 for the College of Arts and Sciences reveals that Professor Keppel was more the rule than the exception, and that many faculty members handled several departments. The following instructors are now listed as comprising the staff of the College of Arts and Sciences:

Albert A. Murphree, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins)
James N. Anderson, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins)
Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
Professor of Ancient Languages
James M. Farr, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins)
Professor of English
Edwin R. Flint, Ph.D. (Gottingen)
Professor of Chemistry}
John R. Benton, Ph.D. (Gottingen)
Professor of Physics
Charles L. Crow, Ph.D. (Gottingen)
Professor of Modern Languages
Enoch Marvin Banks, Ph.D. (Columbia)
Professor of History and Economics
Herbert S. Davis, Ph.D. (Harvard)
Professor of Geology, Zoology, and Bacteriology}
Herbert G. Keppel, Ph.D. (Clark)
Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Edgar S. Walker, U.S. Army (Retired)
Commandant of Cadets, and Professor of Military Science
Wilbur L. Floyd, M.S.
Professor of Botany
George M. Lynch, A.B.
Professor of Elementary Education and Supervisor of Rural Schools
John A. Thackston, Ph.D. (New York University)
Head, Department of Education, Professor of Secondary Education and
Inspector of High Schools
Harvey W. Cox, Ph.D. (Harvard)
Professor of Education and Philosophy

Now it should be recalled, of course, that in those times, all American workers put in much longer hours and worked more days per week than is now customary. But still it is interesting to look more closely at the 1911 Catalogue and notice the following further examples of multiple duties.

First, Professor Benton is not only found in Arts and Sciences, but also under the College of Engineering faculty roster; Benton has the title, Dean of the College of Engineering, and Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering. Thus Benton not only was Engineering Dean, he also provided instruction in physics and electrical engineering. In this context, we should recall Mrs. Mabelle Benton's reminiscences in Appendix A of Chapter 3.

More interestingly, perhaps, to the readers of the Walker Hall Review, we find that under the instruction in Civil Engineering, that three instructors are listed, including the same Major Walker listed above after which Walker Hall was later renamed from Engineering or Mechanical Engineering. By 1918--1919, we find that Walker has obtained a promotion to Colonel E. S. Walker, U.S. Army (retired) and is still Commandant of Cadets, and Professor of Military Science and Tactics. But in the 1920 Catalogue, someone else has taken over the military instruction, and Colonel Walker is now in Mechanical Engineering with the title, Instructor in Descriptive Geometry. Amazingly, we even encounter Colonel Walker in the 1943--1944 Catalogue as a Professor of Drawing (Special Status). More information about Colonel Walker's role on campus during World War I is contained in Appendix~H to this chapter.

Returning to the 1911 Catalogue, we find the following course of instruction at that time listed under Mathematics, fairly similar to 1905--1906:

Mathematics Ia.
Solid geometry (5 hours), required of all freshmen
Mathematics Ib.
Plane and Spherical Trigonometry (5 hours), required of all freshmen
Mathematics IIa.
Plane Analytic Geometry and College Algebra (3 hours)
Mathematics IIb.
Differential and Integral Calculus (3 hours)
Mathematics IIIa.
Differential and Integral Calculus, continued (3 hours)
Mathematics IIIb.
Solid Analytic Geometry and Theory of Equations (first semester). Advanced Calculus and Differential Equations (second semester)
Advanced Calculus with Applications to Geometry.
The description indicates that the second part concerns the application of calculus to the theory of envelopes, contact, curvature and torsion of twisted curves
Mathematical Seminary.
Subject for the year --- Higher Plane Curves (both semesters, 3 hours)

During the early years of the University of Florida, the standing committees and faculty appointed to them were listed in the catalogue. Thus we learn that Professor Keppel was on the Entrance Examination, Graduate Work, Publicity, and University Publications Committees. Entrance requirements in mathematics consisted of 2 years of algebra and one year of geometry: the five books of plane geometry. There was then no tuition charged for Florida residents except in the College of Law. The dormitory charges were $57 for the fall semester and $60 for the spring semester. Students (males only, of course) were required to wear a gray uniform, which was listed as costing $23. Already at this time, a half-apology is made in the catalogue that only the masters degree is offered in terms of higher studies opportunities. One interesting part of the catalogue reveals that the faculty, including President Murphree himself, stood ready to offer public lectures, free of charge, at high schools across the state on topics printed in this catalogue. Murphree himself offered 8 topics with the University of Florida listed, naturally as this eighth topic. Dr. Keppel is listed as being ready to lecture on a A Trip through Holland (illustrated). It is also indicated that the faculty stand ready to help with the establishment of reading circles in local communities. The purpose of this program was, of course, to build up friendly relations for the new University throughout the state of Florida. However, this lecture program was not a success and was eventually abandoned. More effective in building public good will toward the University, were the efforts of the Agricultural Extension Division and the Agricultural Experiment Station in improving Florida agriculture, and also the Farmer's Short Courses offered on campus. The College of Arts and Sciences contains a department of Biblical Instruction, headed by none other than President Murphree himself. Courses are offered to the juniors and seniors in the Bible as a possible block of electives among six others. A final note from 1911; H. H. Buckman of Jacksonville is listed under awards as offering a handsome medal each year to the student in the College of Engineering with the highest grade point average for the year.

In the Seminole Yearbook for 1917, descriptions of some of the professors in the College of Arts and Sciences are given. The following is written about Professor Herbert Keppel:

``The College of Arts and Sciences teaches the student above all to
think for himself. It is for the most part under such men as Dr.
Herbert Keppel, who has never been given a fair mathematical problem
which he could not solve: ....''

Two further glimpses of Professor Keppel come to us from two different sources. First, one of Dean Benton's sons, Dr. John Benton, has written the following in response to an earlier draft of this chapter:

``It was interesting to read about the early days of the University in Gainesville. One personal reaction on my part as I noted the names of Dr. Charles Crow and Professor Herbert Keppel was to think that there was camaraderie and mutual respect among the early faculty members for my father named his second son (Charles Richard) after Dr. Crow and his third son (Hugh Herbert) after Professor Keppel. (Additionally, Dr. Crow was Charles' god-father.)''

In later correspondence, Dr John Benton recalled that five of the pioneering faculty members, who served under both Presidents Sledd and Murphree, were known as the Faithful Five in certain university circles by 1930. These faithful five were Professors Anderson, Benton, Crow, Farr and Floyd. A photograph taken in 1928 after Murphree's death is captioned

``Five Members of the University Faculty Who Antedated Dr. Murphree
in Service.''

John Benton recalls that after Dean Benton died on January 8, 1930, the comment was made that Dean Benton was the first of the Faithful Five to die, and the youngest.

Returning to the subject of our own Professor Herbert Keppel, we found second, the University Archives contains an interesting legacy of Dr. Keppel, a notebook which Dr. Keppel titled on the cover Mathematics and Pedagogy: Notes taken while reading and dated April 20, 1894. These notes were taken from Keppel's study of journal articles and also his attendance at a course during the time he was pursuing his graduate studies at Clark University. The first item he copied is a ``Report of the Committee of Ten,'' which concerns setting uniform admission standards for university admissions and suggestions for curricular reform in the high schools and prep schools concerning the teaching of arithmetic and geometry. Keppel translated portions of an article by a German professor, Prof. Dr. Rethwisch, concerning German education in the 1800's. He made notes on material comparing German, French and American high schools. He made notes on two articles published in the Bulletin of the New York Mathematical Society in the October 1891 and the October 1893 issues, The Teaching of Elementary Geometry in German Schools by Alexander Zimet, and Instruction in mathematics in the U. S. by Professor T. Safford of Williams College. The notebook includes notes taken at a course of lectures given at Clark University by Dr. Henry Taber beginning on April 14, 1893, with the first page containing a reference to a journal article of de Morgan's. Finally, Keppel made comments on his teaching experiences at the``Academy of Northwestern University'' from September, 1895 to June, 1896 using the text Wentworth's Plane and Solid Geometry.

In 1918, a famous epidemic, [3] the Spanish influenza swept across the world, reaching Florida by October, 1918. Proctor [2] writes that during the first week of October approximately one-third of the student body and many of the faculty including President Murphree and Professor Keppel became ill. Several students and Professor Keppel died as a result of this disease. In this context, however, a third glimpse of Professor Keppel comes to us from Mrs. Benton's recollections in her Oral History Interview [4] with Professor Samuel Proctor in 1969 in which Proctor asked her about this epidemic as one of many topics.

``Mrs. Benton, do you remember the epidemic of the First World War?''
Mrs. Benton:
``Oh yes, yes. Who would forget it? Dr. [Herbert Govert] Keppel, who taught math, died in that.''
``Keppel, yes.''
Mrs. Benton:
``He was a wonderful person.''
``A good friend of Dr. Benton?''
Mrs. Benton:
``That is right. Of course, I had known him ever since I had been in Gainesville and admired him very much. Actually, he was the one who took over my Sunday school class [at the First Presbyterian Church] when I dropped out [after her marriage to Dean Benton in 1914]. He lived with the Burgers, who lived on Thirteenth Street, just a block from University Avenue. [The Bentons lived where the Holiday Inn now stands at the corner of University and Thirteenth Street.]''
``So the flu epidemic was a bad time for Gainesville, wasn't it?''
Mrs. Benton:
``It was terrible. Dr. Keppel had been working for the YMCA and I don't know whether in other states than Florida, or just entirely in Florida, but anyway he got it somewhere along. And he knew that he was ill, but he wanted to come home. By that time he'd gotten married, he was an old bachelor when he married. He had just been married during the Christmas holidays before that and this was the fall, just when school was starting. And he came back to Gainesville to die. That was a most tragic thing, because he was such a wonderful person.''
``Was anyone in your family ill?''
Mrs. Benton:
``No, we escaped.''
``Did you do any nursing on campus with the students?''
Mrs. Benton:
``Well, I guess I didn't because I was tied down at home with little children [the Benton's had four sons]. But those who were free did I'm sure. And one of the most valiant workers was Mrs. Walker, Mrs. E. S. [Edgar Smith] Walker.''
``Colonel Walker.''
Mrs. Benton:
``Walker Hall was named for her husband. She was really a wonderful person. A lot of people didn't entirely approve of her methods, but she was good hearted and a hard worker and worked among the poor and the sick. And used her own money. She was a Stringfellow, and they had means besides his salary. He was a retired army officer and probably got something from that. Also he taught in the engineering college for years and years.''

An article about Professor Keppel published in the Gainesville Daily Sun in October 1918 fills in more details about Keppel's life not revealed by the University catalogues, as well as supplying the rationale behind Keppel's choice of community lecture topic ``A Trip through Holland (illustrated)'' as mentioned earlier in this chapter.


Doctor H.G. Keppel, head of the department of mathematics of the University of
Florida, died at his home in Gainesville on Saturday, October 5. 

Herbert Govert Keppel was born April 7, 1866, in Zeeland, Michigan. His father,
Govert Keppel, was born in Holland of a family well known in southern Holland
from the time of the crusaders, and came to this country at the age of
nine years. His mother, Marie DePree, was also born abroad and came to
this country in childhood.  Her family were French Hugenots who had
immigrated to Belgium during the persecutions of the seventeenth
century.  Both parents came as members of a Dutch community which settled in 
southwestern Michigan, and Doctor Keppel always retained
many of the traditions and sentiments of his Dutch ancestry. 
Doctor Keppel graduated from Hope College, Holland, Michigan, with
the degree of A.B., in 1889, and spent the following year in clerical
employment in Washington, D.C., in the census bureau and pension
bureau.  The next year he taught mathematics in the high school of
Orange City, Iowa, and this led him to decide taking up the study of
mathematics as his life work.  He spent the years 1892 to 1895 at
Clark University preparing himself to receive the Ph.D. degree in
mathematics, but left there to take a position as instructor in
mathematics at Northwestern University before receiving his Doctor's degree. 
During the Spanish-American War he saw service as a Y.M.C.A. secretary and 
incurred typhoid fever while in the service. He returned to Clark University 
in the fall of 1900 and received his Ph.D. degree in 1901, after which he 
returned to his former position in Northwestern University, and remained 
there until 1908, when he accepted the position of professor of mathematics 
at the University of Florida, which position he held until his death.  
During the past summer, he was asked to serve on the national commission to 
inspect the mathematical teaching offered by war Y.M.C.A.  In connection with 
this work he made a trip to Gulfport, Mississippi, and contracted the Spanish 
influenza there, arriving home seriously ill about a week before his death.  
His life was one of those which had been sacrificed to the war, since his 
death was a direct result of exposure and lack of care while on war duty. 

There is probably no member of the faculty of the University of Florida who 
was more universally loved than Doctor Keppel. He was not a man who sought
popularity or prominence in any way, but was always ready to become a
friend of those with whom he was associated, and to interest himself
in their interests.  He had all the qualities of a good
teacher---thorough scholarship, patience and sympathy, and his lively sense 
of humor was one of the delightful features of his teaching.
Among his colleagues on the faculty there are hardly any who have not
enjoyed intimate companionship with him.

His services to the University of Florida have been very great, not only in 
teaching within his department, but also in the important share he has
had in the building up of the university and in the shaping of its
policies; and at times when counsels have been confused and measures
have been proposed which inclined to opportunism or extremism, or
educational quackery, he has always exerted a strong influence for
sound principles, moderation, and genuineness.

In his personal tastes, Doctor Keppel's interests of late years leaned more to
philosophy than to pure mathematics.  He was exceedingly fond of travel and had
made several tours of Europe, especially in the country of his

He was a member of the First Presbyterian church of Gainesville, and took part
in many church activities.

Doctor Keppel was a member of the American Mathematical Society, National 
Education Association of University Professors, the Atheneum Club of
Gainesville, and the honorary fraternities of Sigma Xi and Phi Kappa
Phi, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of
Science.  He was member of an International Commission on the Teaching
of Mathematics in colleges.

He is survived by his wife (formerly Miss Anna Kramer of Detroit),
by his mother, two brothers and three sisters.''

The earlier Obituary Notice in the Gainesville Daily Sun provided these further details of Keppel's death:

``Dr. Herbert G. Keppel, professor of mathematics at the University
of Florida, died at his residence on West University Avenue
 Saturday night at 11:45 o'clock. Pneumonia was the cause of this good
 man's death, brought on by Spanish influenza, contracted while absent
 from home at Gulfport, Miss. He was three days en route to Gainesville
 after first being attacked by the disease, and he reached home in a 
weakened condition.'' 

This unfortunate death of Dr. Keppel while still in his early fifties, during the Spanish influenza epidemic resulted in the arrival on campus of Dr. Thomas Marshall Simpson, and, indeed, from the viewpoint of departmental leadership, we could regard 1918--1951 as the Simpson years, because Simpson would serve as Head Professor of Mathematics, later Chairman, once that title came into usage, of the Department from 1918--1951 and Dean of the Graduate School from 1939--1951. Indeed, he was only the second Dean of the Graduate School, following our first such dean, Dean James Anderson. Although no surviving records left by Dean Simpson himself seem to be readily accessible on campus, we are able to find Dr. Simpson listed in the 1955 American Men of Science and thus learn the following about his background from that source. He was born in Addison, Maine on February 19, 1881. Mrs. Pirenian recalls that Simpson may have attended Boston Latin School before matriculating at Harvard College.

            A.B., A.M., Ph.D.
A.B., Harvard, 1905; Private school teacher, Boston, 1905--1907; Private 
school teacher, Baltimore, 1907--1908; Instructor, University of Wisconsin 
1908--1918; A.M., University of Wisconsin, 1910; Ph.D., University of 
Wisconsin, 1916; Professor of Mathematics, University of Florida, 1918--

A telephone call to the Department of Mathematics at Wisconsin revealed that Dr. Simpson's thesis title was On a Functional Equation of Abel, but nothing more. However, on January 22, 1997, I was surprised to receive the following e-mail query from the noted analyst (with an interest in special functions) Professor Richard Askey of the Department of Mathematics of the University of Wisconsin:>

Dear Prof. Ehrlich,

The Math. Dept. at the Univ. of Wisconsin is having a meeting in May
to commemorate the 100th anniversary of our first Ph.D. in mathematics.
I will be talking about the work on special functions at Wisconsin.  One
thing I would like to mention is the thesis of Thomas Marshall Simpson,
which was on a functional equation of Abel.  Unfortunately, there is
no copy of the thesis in our library and he does not seem to have published a 
paper on this.  I checked with the library or archives at the
Univ. of Florida, and just got the following message.  Have you any
idea whether this thesis might be somewhere buried in an obscure place
at the Univ. of Florida, or have any leads to relatives who might have
his copy?

The reason for thinking that this might have something to do with
special functions is an earlier thesis written under Van Vleck's
direction.  This deals with the functional equations obtained from
taking the functional equations for sin(x+y) and sin(x-y)
 and the corresponding ones for cosines, and finding the general solution.
The general solution involves theta functions.  In the paper on
this work published in 1916, there is no mention of Abel, but in
fact Abel was the first to consider this equation.  Since Simpson
wrote his thesis under Van Vleck, it is possible the thesis dealt
with special functions.

Thanks for any suggestions you might have,

        Dick Askey''

As with Herbert Keppel, we are fortunate to have a second Oral History Interview [5] which was conducted in November, 1977 by Emily Ring with Simpson's second wife, Mrs. Elizabeth R. Simpson, as part of Professor Proctor's materials which were made available to me. The following information is thus obtained on Dr. Simpson's early years.

Mrs. Simpson:
``Dr. Simpson was born on the east coast of Maine. I believe the little town was called Addison. He left there and went to Boston where he attended the Boston Latin School. He graduated there with honors and received a scholarship to Harvard. He also got awards of various kinds. I had in his library a number of autographed books; he was quite a classics scholar. The Boston Latin School is one of the very oldest in the country, and the people who graduated there almost always went to Harvard. He owned signed books which I turned over at his death to the rare book section of the university library here. He had a number of autographed items that they wanted, so I gave them, knowing they would be well cared for. He went to Harvard and graduated in three years with the class of 1906 [ed., 1905 according to the 1955 American Men of Science]. From there he went to the University of Wisconsin at Madison.''
Mrs. Ring:
``He majored in classics?''
Mrs. Simpson:
``No, he majored in mathematics; he had a double major in mathematics and physics. He was also a scholar in Greek and Latin. He got a master's. He taught while he was doing his graduate work in Madison, and he and Frances Shulte were married. After he received his Ph.D. in mathematics, he came to the University of Florida. They had three children---two boys and a girl. They came to the University of Florida where he was head of the Department of Mathematics and also the only instructor. That was in 1918.

While here I believe he contributed a great deal to building up the standards of the university. He brought so many outstanding people to the Department of Mathematics---men like Zareh Pirenian, Dr. Franklin Kokomoor, and many, many others. A number of people have now passed away. He built up the department to about fifteen or twenty when [he] retired. He kept the department headship after he became Dean of the Graduate School ... he and I worked together in the graduate school, in Anderson Hall [ed., from 1943--1951], when about the only male students around were the lame and those men too old for military service. In the summer we had women teachers. He headed up the program for people in the service who came back to school ....''

In keeping with Mrs. Elizabeth's Simpson's recollections of Dr. Simpson's fondness for the classics, we should also mention that several people, including Mrs. Edwin Hadlock and Mrs. Margaret Rice, one of Elizabeth's daughters, have mentioned to me that Simpson wrote poetry, which he liked to share with others. In Armstrong's 1928 biography of President Murphree, the following memorial poem by Dr. Simpson is published, [6, p. 141].
He ruled with kindness. Men are won, he knew, by love: That golden rule of life he found within the Book. He ruled with wisdom straightly sent him from above He ruled with patience that misfortune never shook. He ruled with dignity becoming to a king, Yet firm, by winds of doctrine never turned aside. He ruled with vision. When the crows were clamoring, He saw beyond, to where the true and false divide. He ruled with loyalty to man and faith in God. He ruled with honesty and purity of heart. His even-handed justice needed not the rod; From righteousness and mercy he could not depart. The measure of his greatness we can never know. However hard the task, he smiled and said, `I can.' Our wonder grows, as looking on this world below, We see how, when the need is great, God sends a man.


Now we turn away from the reminiscences of Mrs. Simpson, back to the drier information contained in the 1920--1921 Catalogue and the 1921--1922 Announcements. Academic year enrollment for 1920--1921 stands at 823 students. The Commencement Address delivered on July 7, 1921 is contained in this volume; it was by Judge Thomas Schakelford, Sr., on The Mind of Man. P. K. Yonge is still on the Board of Control. A listing of the student body is printed in the catalogue. By now the campus has grown to 12 buildings from 6.

  1. Thomas and
  2. Buckman Dormitories;
  3. Mechanic Arts Shop;
  4. Science Hall now containing only Chemistry, Biology, and Geology, and the University Museum;
  5. the Agricultural Experiment Station Building;
  6. Engineering Hall containing Civil, Electrical, Mechanical Engineering, Mechanic Arts, and Physics;
  7. the Agricultural College Building;
  8. University Commons containing a dinner room and kitchen, and an annex which is the Y.M.C.A. Hut;
  9. Language Hall which is the home of the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Departments of Language, History and Economics, Mathematics, Sociology and Political Science and in the basement, a bookstore and the offices and press of the Alligator;
  10. George Peabody Hall, newly erected for $40,000 from funds donated by the Peabody Board of Trust, which contains Education and Philosophy, Teacher-Training Work, and the general library of the University
  11. the College of Law Building; and finally,
  12. a combined Auditorium and Gymnasium.
A description is still furnished of the amenities enjoyed by all of these buildings--electricity, heat, light, running water. By now the Mathematics Department has tripled in listed size to a professorial teaching staff of three:
Professor Thomas M. Simpson, Ph.D. (Wisconsin)
Professor of Mathematics
Assistant Professor William S. Perry, A.B., M.S.
Assistant Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering
Acting Assistant Professor Peter H. Lucas, A.B.
Acting Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Physics.
Elsewhere in the catalogue, Henry C. Johnson is listed with the job title of Fellow and Assistant in Mathematics. Additionally, the Summer School Staff listing for 1920 contains the following names:
G. M. Lynch, A.B.
A. E. Gladding (no degree listed)
E. S. Barney, A.B.
Methods in arithmetic.

The listing of George Lynch is especially interesting. First recall that Lynch is listed in the 1911 Catalogue with the title of Professor of Elementary Education and Supervisor of Rural Schools. However, if we look in Lynch's background from the early 1905--1906 Catalogue, and also in Proctor's thesis [7], we find that Lynch had quite a diverse teaching career. In particular, Lynch served on the instructional staff of the East Florida Seminary in Gainesville as the faculty member in charge of mathematics instruction prior to the formation of the University of Florida by the Buckman Act. According to Proctor's history [7] of the origins of the University of Florida, Lynch was himself a graduate of the East Florida Seminary, who had been teaching school in Melrose and then Green Cove Springs prior to his appointment to provide the mathematics instruction at the East Florida Seminary in 1896. Apparently, Lynch's instruction was of such a caliber that mathematics was strengthened to one of the best departments in the Seminary, as Algebra, Plane and Solid Geometry, Trigonometry, and Calculus were offered. In the 1905--1906 Record of the University of Florida, Lynch puts in an appearance, but now in the Normal Department as instructor of Geography, History and Civics. Indeed, the Record carries the following description of Lynch's educational background corroborating Proctor's discussion:

A.B., East Florida Seminary, 1891; Professor of History and Civics, East 
Florida Seminary, 1897--1899; Professor of Mathematics, East Florida Seminary,
1899--1905; Assistant Commandant, East Florida Seminary, 1900--1905; 
President, Florida Teachers' Association, 1904; Present position, 1905--

Even in 1920, the Department of Physics still contains only two professors listed as providing instruction:

Professor John R. Benton, Ph.D. (Gottingen)
Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering
Assistant Professor William S. Perry
as above. Professor Benton is still Dean of the College of Engineering, and Professors Benton and Perry continue to teach the Electrical Engineering courses as well as the Physics courses. During the June 1, 1920 commencement, the following number of degrees are awarded:

Number and Type of Degrees Awarded Field or College
5 B.A.Arts and Sciences
5B.S.Arts and Sciences
2B.S.Agricultural Education,
6B.S.Civil Engineering
6B.S.Electrical Engineering
3B.S.Mechanical Engineering

The tuition fee for the College of Law is now $40 per year. There is otherwise no in-state tuition, but the out-of-state tuition is also $40 per year. There is a registration fee of $10 per year, and a student activity fee of $15 per semester payable on entrance. The Board and Lodging costs are given as $90.00 per semester.

The list of faculty committees reveals that Professor Simpson is serving on the Committees of Admission, Schedule, and Student Organization. The Graduate School reports that it now offers masters degrees of the following type: M.A., M.A. in Education, M.S., M.S. in Agriculture, M.S. in Education.

Mathematics A.
Solid Geometry (2 hours)
Mathematics B.
Plane Trigonometry and Logarithms (2 hours)
Mathematics I.
Plane Analytic Geometry and College Algebra (3 hours)
Mathematics II.
Spherical Trigonometry and College Algebra (1 hour)
Mathematics III.
Differential and Integral Calculus (3 hours)
Mathematics IV.
Solid Analytic Geometry and Calculus (2 hours)
Mathematics V.
Advanced Calculus and Differential Equations (2 hours)
Mathematics VI.
Theory of Equations, Complex Numbers, and Determinants (3 hours)
Mathematics VII.
Modern Projective Geometry (2 hours).
The offerings in the Department of Physics consist of the following:
Physics I.
General Physics
Physics II.
General Laboratory Physics
Physics III.
General Electricity and Magnetism
(2 recitations, one 2 hour laboratory exercise per week)
Physics IV.
General physics, including mechanics, heat, sound, light, electricity and magnetism. Designed to meet the needs of the General Student and of those taking the Pre-Medical Course.
The following wish list description is also found ---
Advanced Courses in Physics.
Six advanced courses in physics, as electives for Juniors, Seniors, and Graduate Students have been planned:
  1. Advanced Experimental Physics,
  2. General Mathematical Physics,
  3. Mechanics and Acoustics,
  4. Heat,
  5. Optics,
  6. Theoretical Electricity
A check of the catalogues a few years later reveals that these courses were indeed successfully introduced.

Finally, the Department of Bible Studies is now headed by a familiar name to all current Gainesville residents, Professor Ludwig W. Buchholz, A.M., who has the title under the listing of Officers of the University of Professor of Education and School Management, and Counselor for the School of Disabled Soldiers. L. W. Buchholz was the father of F. W. Buchholz, who would serve as principal of Gainesville High School for many years. F. W. Buchholz also had the distinction of receiving his training in mathematics at the hands of Albert Murphree at the Florida State College between 1901--1904, cf. [6, p. 37] or Chapter 6.

In 1927--1928, all the members of the student body are still listed, including summer school students as a separate list. The President's Report of 1940 reveals that 2,073 students were enrolled during the regular terms. Now the campus map contains 21 buildings, and Murphree, first elected President in 1909, is listed as being deceased on December 20, 1927 with Dr. James M. Farr, encountered earlier in 1911 as the Professor of English, continuing the academic year as Acting President. We find that Turlington is now on campus as a Professor of Agricultural Engineering with a doctorate from Cornell. The Mathematics Department is now housed in Peabody, instead of Language Hall. Then Peabody is described as containing Education and Philosophy, Sociology, Mathematics, Teacher Training. The third floor houses (temporarily) the School of Architecture, and the University Architect is on the second floor. The Graduate School still only offers the Masters degree.

In this catalogue, the Department of Mathematics now contains 9 people offering instruction, but no one is listed as head of the department. It must have been obvious then that the one person with rank of Professor was in charge.

Thomas Marshall Simpson, Ph.D. (Wisconsin)
Professor of Mathematics
Wilbert A. Little, A.M.
Associate Professor of Languages and Mathematics, (part time) [Professor Philip Bradshaw has recollected that Little taught Latin.]
William Harold Wilson, A.M., Ph.D (Illinois)
Associate Professor
Bernard F. Dostal, M.A.
Assistant Professor
Franklin Wesley Kokomoor, Ph.D (Michigan)
Assistant Professor
Charles A. Messick, M.A.
Assistant Professor
Cecil Glenn Phipps, A.M.
Assistant Professor (on leave)
Allen Craig, A.B.
Joseph H. Kusner, A.B.
The names of eleven Fellows and Graduate Assistants are also listed in the catalogue, but none in mathematics are listed. Yet in 1928, the Instructor Allen Craig listed above, received our first Masters degree in August with the topic An Exposition of the Galois Theory of Equations and supervisor Professor Simpson. The second and third recipients of the Masters degree are Uri Pearl Davis, On the Prime Number System, June 1930, with no supervisor listed, and Samuel W. McInnis, A Study of Hilbert's FOUNDATION OF GEOMETRY, June 1931, with supervisor Professor Simpson. During the rest of the early part of the 1930's, we find that of the staff listed above, Associate Professor Wilson, Assistant Professors Phipps and Kokomoor are listed in the Department's list as directing masters theses, but surprisingly also Instructor Joseph Kusner, A.B., is listed as directing the seventh masters thesis, Mitchell Rosenberg, The Foundations of Point Set Theory: Transfinite Arithmetic awarded in June 1933. This apparent mystery is resolved by consulting later catalogues, which reveal by that time, Kusner had received his doctorate from Pennsylvania (apparently then a center for the new research field in the U.S. of topology) and held the rank of Assistant Professor. The offices of individual faculty members are listed in the catalogue; part of the faculty was in Peabody, part in Mechanical Engineering (now called, Walker Hall, where part of the Department was located until 1997!). In view of data turned up in slightly later catalogues, we presume that the faculty shared offices in that time, although individual office assignments are not given in the 1927--1928 Catalogue, only building assignments. University-wide committee assignments for the faculty are still listed, just as in 1911 and 1920. Professor Simpson, Associate Professor Little, and Assistant Professor Kokomoor served on the Committee for Religious Welfare (of the student body). Further, Professor Simpson served on the Committees of Admission and on the Committee for Correlation with High Schools. Volume 35 of the American Mathematical Monthly contains a description of the 12th annual meeting of the Mathematical Association of America, held in Nashville on December 29 and 30, 1927. One hundred sixty-seven members of the M.A.A. attended this meeting, including Professors Dostal, Kokomoor, and Simpson from the University Of Florida.

Now on looking at the course listings in the 1927--1928 Catalogue, we find that the offerings have a much more familiar look to them. During those times more advanced courses were published, apparently, with the name of the faculty member, regularly responsible for that offering. Thus we find that Kokomoor has introduced an intermediate level course in the History of Mathematics.

Introduction to Higher Algebra. Simpson
Theory of Groups of Finite Order. Simpson
Mathematical Statistics. Wilson
Fourier Series and Harmonic Analysis. Simpson
The Function of a Complex Variable. no instructor listed
Differential Geometry. Wilson

The Economics Department is offering a course entitled Elements of Statistics. At that time, the Physics Department was of comparable size to the Mathematics Department and had a staff of 1 Professor, 2 Associate Professors, 2 Assistant Professors including Arthur Aaron Bless, Ph.D. (Cornell) with an office in Mechanical Engineering, and 3 Instructors.

A full description is also given of the courses offered during the Summer School. It is interesting to see that the mathematics course offerings fall into two groups the first of which might be termed remedial and consists of what looks like a review of arithmetic as well as of high school mathematics. The regular offerings consist of the following courses. I have indicated which were taught by Professors Simpson and Kokomoor that summer, given prominent role in the early development of the department of these two professors:

Solid Geometry.
Plane Trigonometry. Simpson
College Algebra.
Plane Analytical Geometry. Kokomoor
College Geometry. Kokomoor
Elementary Calculus. Kokomoor
Calculus. Simpson
The Teaching of Mathematics.
Professor Philip Bradshaw [8] has recalled that this last course, The Teaching of Mathematics, was an offering that Dr. Kokomoor would teach in summer school for ``the great number of teachers who wanted graduate certificates,''

While discussing the late 1920's, one of our most successful undergraduates, John Barkeley Rosser, should be mentioned. First Professor Kermit Sigmon of our department, then our 1950's Ph.D. graduate Professor John Kenelly, called my attention to Rosser. Kenelly, in particular, told me the following folk lore about Simpson and Rosser. Apparently, Rosser had come to Simpson's attention as a bright undergraduate at Florida. This led to Simpson's advising Rosser to study Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead's book Principia Mathematica, which must have inspired Rosser to undertake his eminent career as a logician. Rosser was born in Jacksonville on December 6, 1907 and received his B.S. from the University of Florida in 1929. But before completing his doctoral work at Princeton in 1933, Rosser received the Master's degree in physics in 1931 at the University of Florida with a thesis On the extension of certain theorems of mathematical physics and their subsequent application to problems in wave mechanics. After Rosser received his Ph.D., he spent 1935--1936 as a National Research Fellow at Harvard, before rising through the ranks at Cornell beginning in 1936 as an Instructor, then leaving his Professorship at Cornell in 1963 to take up the directorship of the Mathematics Research Center of the U. S. Army, on the Wisconsin campus at that time, until his retirement in 1978. Rosser's studies in physics must have stood him in good stead toward the end of World War II as Rosser spent 1944--1946 as the Chief of the Theoretical Ballistics Section of the Allegheny Ballistics Laboratory in Maryland. This work resulted in the publication of the book with Robert Newton and George Gross, Mathematical Theory of Rocket Flight, in 1947. Dr. Kenelly recalled Rosser as being the author of the text Logic for Mathematicians. Our younger logician colleagues in the department, like Professor Douglas Cenzer, recall Rosser as being the author of the book Simplified Independence Proofs: Boolean Valued Models of Set Theory, published in 1969 as well as Rosser's being President of the Association for Symbolic Logic during 1950--953 and an editor of the Journal of Symbolic Logic.

During the 1920's and 1930's, members of the Department of Mathematics were active in the Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America; the first organizational meeting of this section had been held in Atlanta in April, 1922. Professor Thomas Simpson served as Section Vice Chair in 1931 and Section Chair in 1932. Professor Franklin Kokomoor served as Vice Chair in 1934 and Section Chair in 1935. Here is the announcement of the program for the sectional meeting held in April 1933.


                                                         March 17, 1933.

Fellow Member:

The Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America
 will hold its eleventh annual meeting at the University of Georgia,
 Athens, Ga., Friday--Saturday, April 7--8.

Professor Frank Morley of Johns Hopkins will be the chief speaker.
 Professor Morley has been an outstanding leader in the field of
 mathematics in America for the past twenty-five years. 
His contributions to the study of mathematics have been many and

Anyone who is interested in mathematics is invited to attend all
of the meetings including the dinner. High school teachers of
mathematics are urged to attend. If you can attend the dinner 
(in Lucas Hall, Friday, April 7, at 7:00 P.M., price 50 cents,
informal dress), please notify Professor D.F. Barrow, Athens, Ga.,
before April 6.

                                       Faithfully yours,

                                         W. W. Rankin, Sec. Ch. Program Com.,
                                         Duke University, Durham, N. C.
April 7, Presiding, Professor T. M. Simpson, Chairman, University of Florida.
4:30 p.m.

         ``Arabic Mathematics in the Dark Ages''                                  20 min.
           Professor F. W. Kokomoor, University of Florida.

         ``Methods of Proof in Geometry''                                         20 min.
           Mr. Herman Usher, Supt. Public School, Buena Vista, Ga.

         ``Subfreshman Mathematics''                                              20 min.
           Professor Cecil G. Phipps, University of Florida.

          Round Table Discussion---Value of Recreational Problems 
          and Puzzles in Studying Mathematics, Led by Professor Floyd 
          Field, Georgia Tech.                                                    30 min.

6:00 p.m. Adjournment.

7:00 p.m. Dinner in Honor of Professor Frank Morley, Johns Hopkins Univ.
             Professor R. P. Stephens, Presiding, Univ. of Ga.

          ``An Experiment in Standard College Courses''
             Dr. C. M. Snellings, Chancellor University of Georgia.

          ``What is a Mathematician?''
             Professor A. B. Morton, Georgia Tech.

          ``To the Teacher of Mathematics, a Toast''
             Professor J. F. Messick, Emory University.

          ``The Old Order Changeth''
             Professor Frank Morley, Johns Hopkins University.

April 8,   Business Meeting, Professor T. M. Simpson, Presiding.
9:30 a.m.

10:00 a.m. ``A Study in Probability''                                             20 min.
             Professor P. R. Hill, University of Georgia.

           ``The Jacobian Algorithm for Periodic Continued Fractions
             as Representing a Cubic Irrationality''                   
             Professor J. B. Coleman, University of South Carolina                20 min.

           ``Algebra and the Plane''                                              50 min.
             Professor Frank Morley, Johns Hopkins University.

           ``Convergence of Infinite Exponentials''                               20 min.
             Professor D. F. Barrow, University of Georgia.

12:15 p.m. ``A Time Integral in the Calculus of Variations''                      20 min.
             Professor Beckwith, University of Georgia


Turning to the 1934--1935 academic year Catalogue, we find that now Professor T. M. Simpson is listed as being Head of the Department of Mathematics. Just as today, the University is printing many different things: a schedule of classes offered, a schedule for Freshman Week, a general catalogue, a catalogue of the Graduate School (or more precisely, the Upper Division). John Tigert is President of the University, James Anderson is Dean of the Graduate School. [In 1939, Simpson is listed as being Acting Dean of the Graduate School. Matherly is now Dean of the College of Business. Professor William Wilson of the Department of Mathematics is Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, serving under Dean Townes R. Leigh. [The American Men of Science reveals that Professor Wilson served in the Arts and Sciences Dean's office in various capacities from 1928--1946. Then in 1946, Wilson became the Head Professor of Freshman Logic in University College and also a Counselor in University College.] In addition to awarding masters degrees, the Graduate School is now offering the Ph.D. degrees in two academic areas, Chemistry and Pharmacy (and also Pharmacognosy, which is descriptive pharmacology dealing with crude drugs and simples, according to Webster's Dictionary). During the commencement ceremonies of the summer of 1935, 7 Ph.D.'s are awarded:

Number Field or College
3 Pharmacognosy
Ph.D Degrees awarded at the Summer 1935 Commencement Ceremonies.

Instruction in the University is divided into elementary instruction, which is organized in its own college, and the Upper Divisional Instruction, which has its own catalogue, much like the catalogue of the Graduate School today. The following statement is found about Woman Students in the catalogues of that era:

``The University of Florida is an institution for men only, except
during the summer term. Under certain circumstances, woman
may be admitted to the professional schools of the Upper Division.
 ... consult the Registrar for further information.''
However, a check of the 1935 Summer Session student enrollments reveals that about sixty percent of the students studying during the summer session are women; especially, in the College of Education, the enrollment for the First Term of the summer session consists of 142 men and 690 women. Professor Philip Bradshaw [8] has recalled that
``women, beginning in 1935 were admitted to Pharmacy, Agriculture and Law. The
rubric, I believe, was that any college was to admit women if the course or
degree was not offered at FSU, then FSCW. [ed, i.e., Florida
State College for Women.] The Graduate School was always open to

The Mathematics Department staff for 1934 in the Upper Division Catalogue consists of the following 10 people, listed again by rank:

Thomas M. Simpson Ph.D. (Wisconsin)
Head Professor
William H. Wilson Ph.D. (Illinois)
Franklin W. Kokomoor Ph.D. (Michigan)
Cecil Glenn Phipps Ph.D. (Michigan)
Associate Professor
Joseph H. Kusner Ph.D. (Pennsylvania)
Assistant Professor
Hallet H. Germond Ph.D. (Wisconsin)
Assistant Professor
Bernard F. Dostal M.A.
Assistant Professor
Zareh M. Pirenian M.S.
Assistant Professor
Uri Pearl Davis M.A.
Samuel W. McInnis M.A.

The Faculty Directory reveals that the Faculty of the Department of Mathematics all have offices in Peabody, but also that there are 3 people in each office. Now, from 1928--1929 to 1934, Kokomoor has risen from Assistant Professor to Professor. Phipps has gotten his Ph.D. and risen from the rank of Assistant Professor to Associate Professor. As previously mentioned, Kusner has also received his doctorate from Pennsylvania and been promoted to Assistant Professor. The second and third recipients of the masters degree from the Department in 1930 and 1931 are now Instructors in the Department. [Thus we can detect a pattern in those times of teaching while working on the masters, then continuing to teach with the rank of Instructor while taking summer work at an institution like Chicago for around five summers, then taking a year's leave to write the thesis and earn the Ph.D, finally attaining the rank of Assistant Professor.]

The courses offerings have grown slightly: Dostal is listed as teaching a course entitled Heaviside Operational Calculus, Kokomoor has introduced a course on History of Elementary Mathematics and finally Phipps is teaching Functions of a Real Variable.

It is interesting to consult the schedule for the second term of 1934--1935 and see what sort of things the senior faculty are teaching, cf. [9]. Simpson has the following five courses: 2 sections of College Algebra, Functions of a Complex Variable, and Integral Calculus. Kokomoor is offering Plane Analytical Geometry, Mathematics for Agriculture, Business Mathematics, Elementary Mathematical Analysis, and Synthetic Projective Geometry. Phipps is teaching Plane Trigonometry and Logarithms, Elementary Mathematical Analysis, Integral Calculus, and Advanced Topics in Calculus.

Since this is still the time period of the Great Depression, let us return to [4] and record Mrs. Mabelle Benton's recollection of that period in her Florida Oral History interview:

Mrs. Benton:
``There wasn't much stirring in Florida. There just wasn't anything here.''
``Then we went into the real estate collapse in the 1920's.''
Mrs. Benton:
``That was in 1925, I believe. And then the ...''
``Then the hurricane.''
Mrs. Benton:
``Then the stock market in '29 and then all of those Depression years.''
``Everything got starved---salaries and libraries and buildings.''
Mrs. Benton:
``I do know that. A number of younger men in the engineering college would accept jobs here and there because it paid better. I told Dr. Benton if he really wanted to go somewhere (my father was still living, father died just two years before Dr. Benton), that I was willing to go with him. I mean, I felt responsible for Father, but I felt it was his career, I was willing to go with him. But he felt that he was established. He had thrown in his lot with the university and he would stick it out. Besides, we had our own home.''

Despite the throes of these hard economic times, during the thirties, Kokomoor has two masters students, Kusner has one masters student, Phipps has one masters student, Simpson has 4 masters students, including C. Bassel Smith who later served as the specialist on elasticity theory in the department, and himself directed 13 masters students between 1948 and 1963 and 8 doctoral students during the 1950's. Finally, Wilson directed two masters theses which were awarded in 1932 and 1933.

A check of the Mathematical Reviews Author Index for 1940--1959 reveals that Cecil G. Phipps's research area was mathematical economics. It is interesting to note that a paper Phipps published in 1952 on Money in the Utility Function received a mathematics review report by the eminent mathematical economist Kenneth Arrow.

We indicated earlier that Dean Benton's son, Dr. John Benton, recalled that the faculty must have been a closely knit group during the 1910's when the staff and student body size was so much smaller than today.

Evidence provided by a second link to the past indicates that this must have also been so during the 1930's and 1940's as well. Mrs. Lillian Pirenian is not only the wife of former staff member Professor Zareh Pirenian, who was on the faculty of the Department of Mathematics from 1931 until 1972 when he retired, but also Mrs. Pirenian grew up in Gainesville where she attended the public school system. As a Gainesville High School junior, she valued the privilege of studying geometry under Mrs. Dorothy Phipps, wife of Professor Cecil Phipps of the University of Florida Mathematics Department.

Mrs. Pirenian remembers President Murphree as being a strong Baptist, yet when Reverend John R. Cunningham was pastor at the First Presbyterian Church, Dr. Murphree attended the First Presbyterian Church because of the quality of Dr. Cunningham's sermons. Mrs. Pirenian also remembers the Colonel Edgar S. Walker's attended the First Presbyterian Church, and Mrs. Walker happened to be Mrs. Pirenian's girl scout troop leader.

Mrs. Pirenian recalls that under Preacher Ulysses S. Gordon, a block of seats was set aside at the First Presbyterian Church for a different fraternity each week, thus encouraging church attendance by that particular fraternity at least on that particular Sunday.

Mrs. Pirenian told me that the faculty referred to each other with nicknames; Professor Pirenian was sometimes called Pi, Mrs. Pirenian referred to Dr. Simpson as Dr. Tom and to Dr. Kokomoor as Dr. Kok. (I have also learned that in former times, Professor Theral Moore was always called T. O.).

During World War II, when fuel for automobiles was rationed and thus driving was curtailed, Preacher Gordon asked Mrs. Pirenian to help him organize a class at the First Presbyterian Church for young married couples. (Incidentally, our own Professor Simpson and Mr. Chester Yates, both Elders, taught this weekly class alternating every other Sunday). Mrs. Pirenian bicycled through Gainesville with her young daughter in a bicycle carrier calling on the young wives and encouraging them to attend this Sunday school class with their husbands.

Zareh Pirenian was born in Bardizag, Armenia in October 30, 1901. He came to the attention of the English expeditionary forces during an American-British expedition into Constantinople, serving as a translator. Pirenian had read widely much Western literature in the European languages rather than translated into Armenian, so he was prepared to study in the West, and came to the University of Florida at age 17. He enjoyed sciences as well as mathematics. A favorite Armenian proverb by which he was taught was

		``Speak little, and you will hear much.''

First, Pirenian waited on tables, then worked in the library to finance his education. Then, he came to the attention of Simpson during his undergraduate studies, and Simpson appointed Pirenian to teach calculus during his senior year in college at Florida, thus helping him financially in that way. Pirenian was also president of his fraternity, Lamda Chi Alpha, during his senior year. As a result of his love of science, Pirenian decided to do masters work in Chemistry, even though Simpson encouraged him to study mathematics, and thus Pirenian received his masters degree in Chemistry from the University of Florida in 1928, following upon the receipt of the B.S. in mathematics in 1926. Then Pirenian studied at the University of Chicago while also serving as an Instructor of Mathematics, then Assistant Professor at Alabama Polytechnic (later renamed Auburn) during the time period 1927--1930. Pirenian met Professor Bolling H. Crenshaw, Chairman of the Mathematics Department at Auburn, through this position. Even before Pirenian returned to the University of Florida in 1931 as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics, a book Mathematics of Finance came to be written, with joint authors Simpson, Crenshaw, and Pirenian, the first edition published by Prentice-Hall in 1930 with later updates in 1935, 1950, 1951, and 1969. A typewriter was available on the second floor of Walker Hall on which Pirenian typed revisions to this text and also solutions to the exercises. [During Professor Theral Moore's first semester here in 1955, his teaching assignment consisted of topology, a section of calculus, a section of basic mathematics (unified trigonometry, analytic geometry and calculus), and two sections of business mathematics, using the Simpson, Pirenian, Crenshaw text. Moore's opinion based on this direct teaching experience, was that the Simpson, Pirenian, Crenshaw text was extremely well written.]

The Pirenians were married in 1939. Mrs. Pirenian recalls that Zareh's office was in Walker Hall 101 (prior to renovation) and later in the 1950's, Zareh had office mates Morse and Hutcherson, thus confirming the fact that the faculty were three to an office, even in the more recent days of the 1950's. Mrs. Pirenian recalls that during World War II, Zareh was involved in the A.S.T.P. program (= Army Special Training Program) where uniformed army recruits were given mathematics training by our faculty, even though they were not registered students at the University. The students were marched into the classroom by a drill sergeant, ordered to sit down, had their mathematics class, then were ordered to stand up, and marched out at the end of the class period by the sergeant.

A second closer study of the catalogue reveals more about the division of instruction into the Lower Division and Upper Division. Indeed, in 1934, an administrative structure was being implemented at the University of Florida which survived until around 1978, namely, the division of instruction into the General College which administered work of the Lower Division, and the Upper Division, which included advanced undergraduate courses and the graduate programs.

(When this structure was abolished in 1978, then the Lower Division was absorbed into Arts and Sciences, with the resulting name change to the CLAS, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, with Professor Charles Sidman, History, as the first Dean, serving from 1978--1988. Also, Little Hall was originally constructed to be the home of the General College.)

Proctor [2] writes that the idea of the Lower Division stemmed from President Tigert himself. Beginning around 1930, Tigert wished to see a revision of the undergraduate curriculum, but met with resistance from many faculty members and deans. Tigert continued to push this concept, and in 1934, the Board of Control approved his plan for a major curricular reorganization. Proctor [2, p. 35] writes

`` A Committee was appointed with Walter Matherly as chairman, and
chemistry professor Alvin A. Black and education
professor Winston W. Little. Within weeks, the committee presented
its first report. It primarily addressed the need of providing
education for those students who had to leave the University before
completing their degrees. Approximately one-half left before completing
their sophomore year, and about two-thirds never graduated.

The report recommended that a new lower division be created to provide
courses that would stimulate intellectual curiosity and 
encourage independent work. Student progress would be measured by
 abilities, appreciation, skills and understanding and
not by courses passed and credit hours accumulated. A Board of
Examiners would administer comprehensive objective tests [i.e.,
multiple choice]. Required courses would cover the social sciences,
biology, physical sciences, logic, basic mathematics, English and the
humanities. There would also be eleven elective comprehensive

Interestingly, anecdotal evidence provided by an alumna of the University of Illinois at Urbana reveals that in the late 1930's this institution also had a very high freshman dropout rate; anyone with a high school diploma from any Illinois high school was automatically eligible for admission during the end of the enrollment period, but not by any means guaranteed the successful completion of an undergraduate degree, cf. [10].

The change in curricular organization shows itself already in the 1935 Catalogue, during the first year of operation under this new system. All newly admitted students entered the General College which had the following mandated curricula for the first two years.

First Year
C-1 Man and the Social World
C-2Man and the Physical World
C-3 Reading, Speaking and Writing
C-4Man and His Thinking (one term)
General Mathematics (one term)
X Military Science and Physical Education

Second Year
C-5 The Humanities
C-6Man and the Biological World
Y Military Science and Physical Education

At that time, no clock hours or class grades were awarded for these classes, although it is claimed that frequent testing was given for the purpose of progress reports. Instead the students of that time faced a battery of 8 Comprehensive Examinations of 6 hours each. Superior students could petition to take several of these tests without taking the courses. Also, students who wished to enter the College of Engineering could take C-2: General Chemistry in place of the above general course and also an unnumbered course in Mechanical Drawing and Descriptive Geometry during the first year. A Summer Shop Course continued to be required of engineering students, or the student could present 12 weeks as a student helper in an approved shop, power plant, or industrial plant.

Professor Philip Bradshaw, who studied at the University of Florida between 1935--1940 and later was on the faculty here, had the following recollections about the founding of the University College [8]:

``The idea of University College was locally backed by John Tigert. At
that time, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Columbia College of Columbia University, and
several other private and state institutions had general colleges.  Tigert
was very much aware of this movement, as he had been U. S. Commissioner of
Education before becoming President of U. of F.  UC [ed.,
University College] was, unfortunately, not acceptable to U of F
faculty.  He brought it to pass by fiat.

Any high school graduate from a Florida high school was automatically
eligible to enroll at U.F. Drop-outs were frequent.  In 1935, I heard a weak
student say 
			`I must last until Thanksgiving,'

so the local newspaper can report that he attended the University of Florida.
Indeed, many left at Thanksgiving or Christmas and never returned, except as

... Winston A. Little, M.A., was the second dean of University
College after W. J. Mathingly, who was the first dean of University
College, 1935--1936 and dean of Business Administration. The
late dean of UC, Bryon S. Hollinshead, had in 1950 written with others
and edited General Education in a Free Society. UC,
1935--1978, became the premier college of its kind.''

Having studied the Lower Division in more detail, we return to the Upper Division to list the Mathematics Graduate Course listings in the Graduate Catalogue:

Math 502. Vector Analysis
Math 508. Project in the Mathematics of Finance
Math 511--512. Introduction to Higher Algebra
Math 515. Theory of Numbers
Math 518. Theory of Groups of Finite Order
Math 520. Mathematical Statistics
Math 0521. Empirical Analysis and Curve Fitting
Math 0522. Method of Least Squares, Statistics
Math 524. Synthetic Projective Geometry
Math 525--526. Econometrics
Math 0534--0535. General Projective Geometry
Math 0536. Foundations of Geometry
Math 540. Fourier Series and Harmonic Analysis
Math 542. Heaviside Operational Calculus
Math 549--550. Theory of Infinite Processes
Math 551--552. Advanced Topics in Calculus
Math 555--556. Functions of a Complex Variable
Math 557. Differential Geometry
Math 559--560. Functions of a Real Variable
Math 0568. History of Elementary Mathematics
Math 575. Fundamental Concepts of Modern Mathematics

Our final look at the Department of Mathematics in this chapter is from the 1939--1940 Catalogues, on the eve of the entry of the United States into World War II. The Commencement Address for July 20, 1940 is delivered by George C. Gibbs, Attorney-General of the State of Florida, and concerns the events leading up to World War II and the sacrifices that will be demanded of that generation of students, even though this is still prior to the entry of the United States into the Second World War. Student enrollment has grown to 3,546 during the regular academic year. John Tigert is President of the University, James Anderson is listed as Dean of the Graduate School, Emeritus, and finally Thomas Simpson is not only Head of the Department of Mathematics, but also Dean of the Graduate School, with his Dean's Office in Language Hall, now called Anderson Hall. The rest of the Mathematics Faculty is now all located in Peabody, mostly with two or three persons to an office.

A half decade after the establishment of the Lower Division, the General College has apparently blossomed into a fine bureaucracy. Each of the Comprehensive Courses now has a faculty member in charge. Thus, Professor Franklin Kokomoor now has the title of Chairman of Comprehensive Course-42: General Mathematics and an associated office listed as being Peabody 106. The course offering schedule for the spring semester of 1940 reveals that Mathematics C-42 meets 4 days per week, and during this spring semester, 15 sections of this mathematics class are being offered, with 12 sections in Peabody, 2 in Language Hall, and 1 in Engineering. [After the dismantling of the General College in 1978, this course had a metamorphosis into the current MGF 1202: Fundamental Concepts of Mathematics which had 14 recitation sections in the fall, 1993 semester.]

Consulting the class schedule for the Upper Division reveals that Professor T. M. Simpson is still listed as the Head of the Upper Division Mathematics, with his office listed as Language Hall 11, that of the Dean of Graduate School. In the Upper Division, 29 sections of mathematics classes are being offered, including 12 sections in Basic Mathematics and 6 sections in Differential and Integral Calculus. The Graduate School catalogue lists 128 faculty as offering courses in that division during the academic year. The Graduate School now offers doctoral work in Animal Husbandry (Animal Nutrition), Biology (Zoology), Chemistry, Pharmacy and Pharmacognosy. During the summer commencement ceremonies of 1940, however, only 2 doctorates are awarded, one in Biology and one in Pharmacy. The following courses have been changed or added to the Graduate Course listings for the Department of Mathematics. Mathematics 520 has been retitled as Advanced Statistics. The following three new courses have been introduced: Mathematics 519---Theory of Probability and Theory of Sampling, Mathematics 522---Finite Differences and Interpolation, and Mathematics 529---Biometrics. Hence, graduate work in Statistics is offered in the Department of Mathematics.

Apparently, the faculty size in the department now stands at 12 professors. These are listed in two groups. First, in the Lower Divisional Catalogue, the following (alphabetical, apart from the Chair) list is found:


Franklin W. Kokomoor Ph.D.
Professor of Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences
Uri Pearl Davis M.A.
Instructor in Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences
Bernard F. Dostal M.A.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences
Theodore S. George M.A.
Instructor of Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences
Joseph H. Kusner Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences
Samuel W. McInnis M.A.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences
Ernest C. Phillips, Jr.
Instructor of Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences
Cecil G. Phipps Ph.D
Associate Professor of Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences
Zareh M. Pirenian M.S.
Associate Professor of Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences
Edward S. Quade Ph.D.
Instructor of Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences

It is interesting to learn from the 1939 Seminole that Professors Phipps, Quade and George taught the general science course C-2: Man and the Physical World in Lower Division during the 1938--1939 academic year.

In the Graduate Catalogue, the following professors are on the list of those providing graduate instruction during the academic year: Hallet Germond, Franklin Kokomoor, Cecil Phipps, Zareh Pirenian, Edward Quade, and Thomas Simpson. Thus not all mathematics faculty taught in both the Lower and Upper Division each semester, even in 1940. We should emphasize that several current faculty members have stressed that the Department of Mathematics was highly unique throughout the period of existence of the Lower and Upper Divisional instruction, as being the only department in Arts and Sciences which did not have substantially different staffs for these two different divisions.

These two lists reveal the following changes in the Department of Mathematics since 1934--1935. Professor William Wilson has retired. New faculty Theodore George and Ernest Phillips have been added. While McInnis received the masters degree in 1931 and Davis in 1930, McInnis is now an Assistant Professor while Davis remains an Instructor. Hallet Germond, Joseph Kusner, and Zareh Pirenian have all been promoted from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor. But Dr. Quade has obtained a doctorate from Brown University, as well as being found on our masters list as our fifth masters student, receiving the M.A. degree in 1932 with thesis title The Development of the Idea of Integration with supervisor T. M. Simpson.

The Committee on Religious Welfare of the Student Body, ceased to exist already in the 1935 Catalogue. But in 1940, a growing list of Faculty Committees is found, including new Committees on Use of Space, Tenure, and Retirement. Wilson is serving on the Retirement Committee. Simpson is on Scholarship and Loans, Research Council, University Examinations, and Chair of the Graduate Council. Kokomoor is Chair of the Student Publications Committee and also on the General College Administrative Board. Kusner is on the University Publications Committee.

Returning to the 1955 volume of American Men of Science, we find that a year after retirement from the University of Florida in 1951, Dr. Simpson went to Henderson State Teachers College in Arkadelphia, Arkansas to serve as a consultant for general education and to assist this institution on setting up a curricular and organizational structure like the University College and Lower Division at the University of Florida. We are also fortunate at this juncture, because Dr. William Ray Hare, Jr., Ph.D. in 1961 from our department with advisor Professor Jerry Gaddum and Professor John Maxfield as Dissertation Committee Chairman, had met Dr. Simpson precisely during this time when Simpson was at Henderson State. Professor Hare, now at Clemson University, writes the following about Dean Simpson:

     ``... As Henderson State Teachers College (Arkadelphia) was adopting the 
 general or university college program from the University of
Florida, Dr. Simpson was hired as a consultant in general education and moved
to Arkadelphia... in 1950. [ed., actually 1952]  I had classes
under him up through summer school, 1955, at which time he took a position at
Southwestern (now Rhodes) College in Memphis. (He was a staunch Presbyterian.)
He spent two years there, before retiring permanently from active teaching. He
built a new home in Gainesville and moved back in the spring/summer of 1957,
and I visited them occasionally during the first year in graduate school.  I
occasionally ran into him on campus, where his innate intellectual curiosity
had him trying to learn Russian at age 80--- !! We somehow drifted apart and I
just know he died of some form of cancer in, probably, the mid-1960's. [ed., in 1962]

	He regaled me with stories of his undergraduate days at Harvard ... where 
he had advanced calculus under Osgood, algebra under Bocher, and Shakespeare
under Kittredge. In fact, when the head of the English department at Henderson
had a stroke 2--3 days before the start of a semester, he stepped in and taught
the course in Shakespeare .... Liz Meux took the course and said that
it was one of her memorable classes.

	He went to Wisconsin for the Ph.D. which he got around 1912--I think his work
was in Complex Analysis, but I'm not sure.  He shared an office with
someone very famous, like George Birkhoff, maybe and told about the
proof by this person of some well known Poincare conjecture---every
continuous 1-1 map of the closed annulus onto itself has at least 2
fixed points. (Or some such theorem---don't quote me literally---I
always called it the washing machine theorem!)

    He came to the U. of F. which was really just getting started
after consolidation of several institutions of higher learning around
north Florida.  His home for most of those years was across US 441
from the campus and a block or so south of the Administration Building.
He told me of how so much of the land on both sides of 441 were cornfields
and pasture lands back in the 19teens. He mentioned hiring Kokomoor from
Michigan around 1918 [ed., actually 1927] and they worked
together as a team for many years.  Also he hired Phipps, Pirenian, 
then C. B. Smith much later ....'' 

Dr. John Meux, a second undergraduate at Henderson State who later received the Ph.D. degree from our department in 1960 with a thesis directed by Professor Russell W. Cowan on ``Orthogonal polynomial solutions of a class of fourth order linear differential equations", has similar memories of Dr. Simpson.

`My first contact with Dr. Simpson was as an undergraduate at
Henderson College in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.  The time frames are
somewhat fuzzy since this was about forty years ago, but I believe
that Dr.  Simpson had either directed (or had assisted in) the
establishment of Henderson's General College program.  This program was
patterned after the general college program then in use at the University of 
Florida. This was, of course, after Dr.  Simpson had retired as Dean of
the Graduate School at the University of Florida.

I believe Dr.  Simpson did some teaching at Henderson but I was
never in one of his classes.  As one of only five or six mathematics
majors, however, I talked with Dr.  Simpson on several occasions.

After graduating from Henderson in 1953, I did not see Dr.  Simpson
again until the summer of 1957. By that time, Dr.  Simpson had retired
again and moved back to Gainesville, while I had completed a master's
degree at the University of Arkansas and had moved back to Gainesville
for Ph.D. work in mathematics.

My family (wife and five-month old baby) arrived in Gainesville in
late May of 1957 and were promptly welcomed by Dr.  and Mrs.  Simpson
who showed us around, had us to dinner, and introduced us to many
people.  Their kindness and thoughtfulness enabled us to adjust
quickly to our new environment.

Contacts with Dr.  Simpson were frequent during my three years at the University
of Florida.  We were occasionally invited to the Simpson home and he
often dropped in at the student union where a group of us would be
drinking coffee and talking.

I particularly recall one morning when I came upon him sitting by
himself at a table in the student union.  As I approached I heard him
muttering in a completely incomprehensible (to me) manner.  He glanced
up, waved me to a chair, muttered a few seconds longer, and explained
that he was taking a course in Russian and was practicing his accent.

He was a gentleman I will never forget.''

We return to Mrs. Elizabeth Simpson's Florida Oral History Project transcript [5] to gain her perspective on these later years of the 40's, 50's and 60's as concerns Dean Simpson and herself. It is interesting that both Mrs. Pirenian and Mrs. Simpson were vividly impressed by the A.S.T.P. program.

Mrs. Ring:
``Those were the days when we had ROTC. We had navy boys on campus and air force boys.''
Mrs. Simpson:
``Yes, we had them from all the services who came here for just a few weeks. As I remember, it was about six weeks.''
Mrs. Ring:
``Didn't they wear their uniforms to class?''
Mrs. Simpson:
``I think so.''
Mrs. Ring:
``And they would stand up until the professor told them to sit down.''
Mrs. Simpson:
``I don't remember the details because I never attended one of the classes. But that brought some students on campus which was good for the university. Then of course, after the war, the G.I. Bill came in, and many of the young men came back. Some had been wounded; some were in very good shape. They took advantage of their opportunity to get university work, and they were very serious minded students.''
Mrs. Simpson:
``Yes. Well, Dr. Simpson wrote several textbooks. He wrote an algebra and geometry book on his own. Then he and Pirenian [ed., and also Crenshaw] collaborated on a book which was for college students. Their most successful text book was The Mathematics of Finance. There were a number of revisions .... The book was a very popular mathematics text, and it was translated into foreign languages, or maybe it was just sold in places like Canada. Long before Dr. Simpson died, 100,000 copies had been sold, which is pretty good for a mathematics text book. Mr. Pirenian had done the work of setting up the problems on the page. He was a very meticulous person as well as a fine teacher. He arranged for the problems on the page so that at the bottom of the page you came to the end of the problem---you never had to turn over the page to finish up the problem. The publisher told him he had never seen such a manuscript in his life. There was nothing he had to do to change it. It was just perfect.''
Mrs. Ring:
``And then Dean Simpson died in 1952?''
Mrs. Simpson:
``No, we were married in 1952, he died in 1963. After he retired and before we were married, he got a call from a little town in Arkansas, Arkadelphia, where Henderson State Teacher's College was. The Ford Foundation was setting up a program for training teachers in basic subjects rather than in so much education methods. Henderson was asked to be included in that group. Dr. Simpson took the job of coordinating the program for Arkansas. He was sent to Henderson State Teacher's College in the fall of 1952, and we were married just before we left. I left the university, and we went there for one year. But each year, they asked him to stay on another year, so that we were there for three years?''
Mrs. Ring:
``Did you like it there?''
Mrs. Simpson:
``I loved it. Arkansas is just such a friendly, wholesome place .... In the meantime we built a home here [in Gainesville] after Dr. Simpson had sold the Simpson place opposite the university.''

Then as we were moving into the house, we got a long distance call from Southwestern at Memphis, Tennessee, which is a Presbyterian College. [They] wanted him to come and teach. He wanted to go; I knew that. He was ill that summer because he had a gall bladder problem. When he went into the hospital, they wanted to operate on him, but he wanted so badly to go to Memphis to teach that we postponed surgery. I put him on a very strict diet, and we moved to Memphis. We remained there two years.''

Mrs. Simpson:
``And seventy-one when we were married, and he was teaching actively for five years after his retirement.''
Mrs. Ring:
``It sounds to me as though you took very good care of him if he worked all those years after he was retired.''
Mrs. Simpson:
``Oh, yes. He had a very strong constitution. He was born in the snows of Maine and was brought up in Boston. He was very hearty [and] rugged. He used to laugh and say that only the strong lived to grow old up there because the young ones were frozen to death before they grew up.''
Mrs. Ring:
``Perhaps that explains why you have so many people in Maine up in their nineties?''
Mrs. Simpson:
``I think it does. They are tough, and if they can last to grow up, they are very active to go on into an old age.''
Mrs. Ring:
``Did you like being in Memphis?''
Mrs. Simpson:
``Yes, we liked it very much.''
Mrs. Ring:
``It was quite different from Arkadelphia?''
Mrs. Simpson:
``Yes, quite different. Dr. Simpson was a strong Presbyterian. He had been a ruling elder in the First Presbyterian Church here for many years. [Reverend Leonard Blanton has informed us that Mrs. Frances Simpson was Nursery Supervisor for 18 years at First Presbyterian Church.] In those days, they didn't rotate the position of elder very much.

Yes, Preacher Gordon [a well known pastor of the First Presbyterian Church from 1928--1968] was a very close friend of Dr. Simpson. In fact, the first meal he had in Gainesville when he came here was at the Simpson home. They were very close all of those years. It hurt Dr. Gordon quite badly when Dr. Simpson died .... He [Dr. Simpson] died in February, 1963, just before his eighty-second birthday.''

Mrs. Ring:
`` Well, we want to thank you for coming on such short notice and giving us the story of your life, Elizabeth.''
Mrs. Simpson:
``I didn't talk very much about Dr. Simpson. I know Dr. Proctor knew him very well. The old Who's Who has his basic dates---the dates of his first marriage and his birthplace, because it was a little town. We had a home in Sullivan, Maine, for several years after we were married. We went there in the summer which was wonderful. Most of the time when we went up there, however, we were fixing up that old house, repairing blinds and cutting grass which had grown too high all around. But it was a wonderful experience.''
Mrs. Ring:
``If there weren't quite so many fogs up there, I would be happy.''
Mrs. Simpson:
``We didn't usually go until July, and we came back early in August.''

Professor Robert Meacham, founding member of the Department of Mathematics at Florida Presbyterian College in St. Petersburg, Florida (now Eckerd College), informed me that Dean Simpson had donated a set of journals to the University of Florida Mathematics Department, which were kept on the third floor of Walker Hall, mainly for the use of the graduate students. This material included a a complete set of the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society going back to Volume I which was published in 1895! When the Florida Presbyterian College was established around 1960, Professor Meacham requested the Florida Mathematics Chairman at that time, Professor John Maxfield, to donate these journals to the library at Florida Presbyterian College, since the University of Florida Libraries contained all of the material Simpson had given the Department. Professor Maxfield agreed to this request, and thus Dean Simpson's own journal collection now resides in the Eckerd College Library.

As a concluding note to this chapter, it is interesting to observe that the scientific honorary society Sigma Xi has had a chapter on campus since 1937. During the academic year 1941--1942, Professor T. M. Simpson served as President of the University of Florida Chapter of Sigma Xi, over 20 years after arriving on campus in 1918 in his mid thirties, as the Professor of Mathematics following the death of Professor Herbert Keppel in October of 1918.


  1. The consistent inclusion of this institution in the discussion of the foundation of the University of Florida in the University Records is a curious puzzle for the following reason. Professor Samuel Proctor (personal communication, March 29, 1994) has kindly informed me that while the Agricultural Institute of Osceola County was approved by the state legislature in 1903, it only existed on paper as funds for its operation were never voted. It ceased to exist, of course, even on paper with the passage of the Buckman Act.
  2. Proctor, Samuel and Langley, Wright, (1986), Gator History; A Pictorial History of the University of Florida, South Star Publishing, Gainesville, Florida.
  3. Pop-Stojanovic, Zoran. Personal communication.
  4. Transcript of Florida Oral History Project Interview by Dr. Samuel Proctor of Mrs. Mabelle Benton, February, 1969.
  5. Transcript of Florida Oral History Project Interview by Mrs. Emily Ring of Mrs. Elizabeth Simpson, November, 1977.
  6. Armstrong, Orland K, The Life and Work of Dr. A. A. Murphree, Murphree Memorial Fund, printed by St. Augustine Record Company, 1928.
  7. Proctor, Samuel, (1958), The University of Florida: its early years, 1853--1906, Thesis, University of Florida.
  8. Bradshaw, Professor Philip, Personal communication, July 1994.
  9. Perhaps we are seeing here an illustration of what Samuel Proctor in reference [2, p. 37], cites as one effect of the Great Depression at the University of Florida: ``courses were eliminated from the curricula, classes were increased in size, weekly teaching loads were expanded to sixteen hours, and salaries were reduced from ten to fifty percent.'' After conferring with Florida Governor David Scholtz in 1933, University of Florida President Tigert had to reduce the budget from $748,000 to $561,000.
  10. Ehrlich, Eleanor Ewing, Personal communication.

Appendix A

Enrollments at the University of Florida during the academic year
Enrollments at the University of Florida during the academic year (not including summer session)
1905--1906 135
1920--1921 823
Source: Report of the President of the University for the academic 1939--1940.

Appendix B

The Philosophy of the Lower Division and General College

The following interesting statement is found in the 1951 Catalogue, which sheds some light behind the rationale for forming the Lower Division and Upper Division in 1935:

``In a reorganization ... in 1935, all freshmen and sophomores were
placed in one college. The University College administers all the work
of the Lower Division, which includes the pre-professional work for
the Upper Division schools and colleges, and a core program of basic
education for all students. In 1944, the American Council on Education
defined this program. 

`General Education refers to those phases of
nonspecialized and nonvocational education that should be the common
denominator, so to speak, of educated persons ... the type of
education which the majority of our people must have if they are to be
good citizens, parents, and workers.' ''

Appendix C

Books authored by mathematics faculty members at the University of Florida from 1911--1940

Here I have listed all books published at any date whatsoever, by all persons who were on the instructional staff between 1911--1940. Especially, this reveals that Dr. Quade, who received the fifth masters degree from the Department of Mathematics in 1932, a doctorate from Brown University, and was an Instructor here in 1940, later appears to have been a systems analyst with connections to the Rand Corporation.

  1. Karl Schmidt: (born in 1874)
    • From Science to God: Prologomena to a Future Theology, Harper, 1944 (201 S352f)
    • The Creative I and the Divine, The Dial Press, New York, 1937.
  2. Craig Thornton Allen: (born in 1905)
    • Hogg, R., and Craig, A., Introduction to mathematical statistics, MacMillan, 1959, 245 pp. [519.9 H716i], 3rd edition, 1970; 4th edition, 1978, 438 pp. [346 H716i4]
  3. Hallet H. Germond
    • Research in trade and industrial education, Daytona Beach, Florida; University of Florida, School of Trade and Industrial Education, 1941, 89 pp. [LC1043 .G471 1941]
  4. Franklin Wesley Kokomoor: (born in 1890)
    • Historical highlights of the Gainesville Kiwanis Club, 1923--1963, Gainesville Kiwanis Club, 1979.
    • Mathematics in human affairs, Prentice-Hall, 1942, ?54 pp. [510 K792m]
      This book reveals Kokomoor's interests in the history
      of mathematics, and also, has references to the Bible,
      reflecting Kokomoor's interest in religion. For instance,
      on p. 8, Kokomoor cites  I Kings
      7:23 as evidence that pi may have sometimes been
      taken to be 3, i.e.,
      ``And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from one brim to
      the other .. and a line of thirty cubits did compass
      it round about.''
      The role of the Catholic church in medieval scholarship
      is also discussed in the first chapter. Kokomoor stresses
      the many sided interests and occupations (outside of mathematics)
      of many of the contributors to the development of mathematics
      from Greek times up through the nineteenth century.
    • The teaching of elementary geometry in the seventeenth century, Bruges, Belgium, St. Catherine Press, 1928. [513.07 K80t]
    This last item consists of a reprinting of Dr. Kokomoor's
    dissertation which appeared as three articles in the history of
    science journal Isis. 
    1. The first portion, Isis 10 (1928), pp. 21--32, consists of a list of seventeenth century textbooks available in various libraries in the United States which Dr. Kokomoor had examined. Kokomoor studied old texts at the libraries of the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, Columbia University and the New York City Public Library. He also thanked two individuals, Professor David Eugene Smith of the Teachers College of Columbia University and George A. Plimpton of New York City for giving him access to their private libraries.
    2. The second portion, Isis 10 (1928), pp. 367--415 is on The Distinctive Features of the Seventeenth Century Geometry. This portion discusses how the teaching of geometry, at that time primarily an advanced subject suitable for the final years of gymnasium study in Germany or college study elsewhere, evolved away from the Elements of Euclid, which had been the chief curricular source in prior times.
    3. The final portion, in Isis 11 (1928), pp. 85-110 is on the The Teaching of Elementary Geometry in the Seventeenth Century and discusses aspects of teaching this material which can be deduced from the texts examined.
  5. Joseph Harrison Kusner
    • The nature and human significance of mathematics, Second Preliminary Edition, 1937. [510.1 K97n2]
  6. Thomas Marshall Simpson: (born in 1881)
    • Crenshaw B., Pirenian, Z., and Simpson, T., Mathematics of finance, proceeded by Elementary commercial algebra, Prentice-Hall, 1930, 383 pp. [510 C915m].
      Here is a paragraph from this book which I especially enjoyed and
      which will serve to provide an illustration of the writing style of
      those times:
      ``Caution. In speaking of a sum of money, it is absolutely essential
      to know the  time connected with that sum. Manifestly, the
      enthusiasm with which we would receive the promise,
      `I will give your $100,' would be dampened if the promiser immediately
      added the words '50 years from now.' In particular, the words `5000 due
      in 3 months,'shall mean that the $5000 will be $5000 at the end of three
      months. Consequently, under business conditions, it would not be worth
      $5000 today.''
  7. Crenshaw B., Simpson T., Pirenian, Z.,
    • Commercial algebra, college course, Prentice-Hall, 1935, 174 pp. 3rd revised edition, Prentice-Hall, 1950. [510 C915c, resp., 510 C915c3]
  8. Simpson T., Pirenian Z., Crenshaw B.,
    • Mathematics of finance, Prentice-Hall, 1951 [510 C915m3] 4th edition, Prentice-Hall, 1969 [510 C915m4]
    • Plane trigonometry and logarithms, Winston, Philadelphia, 1930, 174 pp. [514.5 s613p]. Next edition -- 1944
  9. Charles A. Messick: (born 1896)
    • Symmetric functions of infinitely many elements, Ph.D. thesis, University of Chicago, 1930, 46pp.
  10. Zareh Pirenian: (born 1901)
    • Chemistry M.S. thesis in 1929 at the University of Florida with title Study of methods of separation of metals of the platinum group. See under Simpson for other books.
  11. Edward S. Quade
    • Analysis for military decisions, Rand McNally, 1964, in the Rand lectures on Systems Analysis [335 Q1a]
    • Analysis for public decisions, American Elsevier Pub. Co., 1975, 322pp. [H61.Q16] 2nd edition, North Holland, 1982
    • Miser, H., Quade, E., Handbook of Systems Analysis, North-Holland, 1985, [T57.6 .H365 1985]

Appendix D

Dean of the Graduate School Thomas Simpson's Annual Report for the academic year 1943--1944

Not only did the President of the University have to write an Annual Report which is to be found in these old catalogues, but also, we find reports to him included from all the deans of the various divisions. In particular, from Dean Simpson's report of 1943--1944, the following information is obtained. Graduate Study at the University of Florida was first established in 1910. Since that time through the 1943--1944 academic year, a total of 695 Masters degrees had been awarded and a total of 38 Doctoral degrees.

Appendix E

Size of the Instructional Staff in the Department of Mathematics (not including Graduate Assistants)

19112: 1,0,0,1
1920--19213: 1,0,2,0
1927--19289: 1,2,4,2
1934--193510: 3,1,4,2
1939--194012: 2,4,2,4
1951--195228: 5,7,6,8 [included 2
Interim Instructors]
Here ``x: a, b, c, d'' denotes a total of x persons on the Instructional Staff with ``a'' Professors, ``b'' Associate Professors, ``c'' Assistant Professors, and ``d'' Instructors.

Appendix F

Life in Gainesville in the 1910's and 1920's as Remembered by Mabelle Williams Benton

The Florida Oral History Project Transcript [4] of Mrs. Mabelle Benton as recorded by Professor Samuel Proctor in February, 1969, not only has provided us with valuable information about Dean John R. Benton and Professor Herbert Keppel as recorded in Chapters 3 and 5 above, but also provides a fascinating glimpse of life in Northern Florida during the early part of the twentieth century.

Prior to her coming to Gainesville in 1913 and her marriage to Dr. Benton in 1914, Mabelle was teaching school in Orange Park, Florida, for two years before entering the Florida Female College in the fall of 1906, shortly after this institution was established under the Buckman Act of 1905 with Dr. Murphree as President as described in Chapter 3. Orange Park at that time was a small resort destination for wealthy Northerners near Jacksonville. Mrs. Benton had several brothers living in Jacksonville, and her father was practicing medicine in Williston. She comments that in that time period, she always traveled by train to visit either her brothers in Jacksonville, or her father in Williston.

Mrs. Benton comments that when she went to the Florida Female College in Tallahassee in fall of 1906, that she recalls there being only two automobiles in all of Tallahassee. Again, the students traveled to college by train, with everything they needed for the year contained in a large trunk, except their umbrellas and raincoats which were carried with them on the train, in case it was raining when they reached their destination. While at the Florida Female College, Mrs. Benton met the Murphree family, as a Murphree daughter was also studying at the Female College at the same time while Murphree was President from 1905--1909.

After graduation from the Florida Female College, Mrs. Benton obtained a position in 1913 in Gainesville as the fourth grade teacher in the Gainesville public school located on University Avenue where now the Kirby-Smith Building stands. Mrs. Benton recalls that there was one building for the lower grades, and one building for the high school. Also during the year that she was teaching fourth grade, Mrs. Benton taught a Sunday school class at the First Presbyterian Church. Of course, she did not own an automobile, but in that former location of the First Presbyterian Church, it would have been within walking distance of where she taught and boarded.

``What did Gainesville look like [in 1913]?''
Mrs. Benton:
``I guess the population was something like 5,000. That was before the day that they had any library at all. The first library in Gainesville was an Andrew Carnegie Library which was torn down quite a number of years ago. Then another library was built on the same spot, which has been the library until quite recently.''
``Where did you live when you were teaching [fourth grade]?''
Mrs. Benton:
``On University Avenue, just a block or two from school. It was known as the Dowling house. It was Mrs. Dowling that ran it.''
``It was like a boarding house?''
Mrs. Benton:
``A boarding house, about next door to the McCreary and Merchant homes.''
``You lived there and you took your meals there?''
Mrs. Benton:
``That is right.''
``Were the streets out that way in northeast Gainesville paved?''
Mrs. Benton:
``I guess University Avenue was sort of roughly paved with crushed rock, as I remember it.''
``From the school up to the courthouse square?''
Mrs. Benton:
``Yes, and out to the campus because the University was already there.''
``Were there some brick streets around the square area---North and South Main Street?''
Mrs. Benton:
``Well, I dimly remember that. The Methodist Church took over the property which was the old East Florida Seminary. I attended the Presbyterian Church, which was on University Avenue. So, my goings and comings were mostly on University Avenue.''
Mrs. Benton:
``There were some real large homes. People built larger homes in those days. You hoped that you would be able to have a maid, at least part of the time, so you could afford to build a larger home. Most of the homes were quite large.''
``What about entertainment?''
Mrs. Benton:
``They had the Chautauqua and, the year I was teaching here, they had at least one lecture there. I think they had one or two plays. Shakespeare plays, or something of the kind.''
``What about the area west of the courthouse square, as you proceeded out University Avenue toward the campus?''
Mrs. Benton:
``That hopefully, was to be the main residential street of the town and a few nice homes were built along. But the town was slowly developing. The Depression came on and so on, and there weren't too many homes built. Eventually, the powers that be, I don't know whether it was the city commission or the real estate people or who, they began trying to get business in and voted business. So the University Avenue did not develop as what the original city fathers had hoped, as a beautiful residential street leading to the University ....''

With some apparent difficulty, Dr. Proctor was able to pry out of Mrs. Benton, how her husband and she had met; a social was held one afternoon with teachers and some of the university faculty invited. The Benton's were married in 1914. They first rented a home on University Avenue, then built one in 1915 on University Avenue, exactly where the Holiday Inn now stands. Unfortunately, later two fraternity buildings were constructed between the Benton's and the corner of University and Thirteenth Street, also where the Holiday Inn now stands today, so the Benton's obviously had a bit of a noise problem as they were raising their four boys in that location. Again, Mrs. Benton recalls that the primary mode of transportation was walking, with few automobiles in Gainesville. Even though Dr. Benton had a Model T Ford, apparently, one did not use an automobile in the 1910's as casually as we do today. Professor Proctor inquired of Mrs. Benton about the use of horses in Gainesville at that time.

``Were there many of these little surreys that people had?''
Mrs. Benton:
``I don't believe there were .... There were buggies or surreys for rent, but I don't believe many people kept any sort of a carriage.''
``What was the social life like for faculty and faculty wives in those early days, Mrs. Benton?''
Mrs. Benton:
``I guess there was not very much. Way back in those days, people walked. You went to call on the new people, and they returned the call and such. That was about all.''

Now Dr. Crow, Dr. Herbert Keppel, and the Andersons all lived on Thirteenth Street not far from the University. Thus, these seemed to have been the Benton's closest friends at the University. Even though Mrs. Benton had known a daughter of the Murphree family in Tallahassee as mentioned above, the Murphrees did not live close to the Bentons in Gainesville, and thus perhaps, were not such good friends as Crow, Keppel and the Andersons.

``You walked for the most part?''
Mrs. Benton:
``Yes, Gainesville just encompassed a very small area.''
``Well, where did you do your shopping? Your grocery shopping, for instance?''
Mrs. Benton:
``To some extent we telephoned for things. I don't know where the store was. There were four Higgenboggen brothers, and I don't know how many of them worked in the store and ran it, but some of them did ....''
``So you telephoned and they delivered things probably by surrey or carriage to you, wagon?''
Mrs. Benton:
``A wagon something, probably a wagon.''
``So you didn't have to go shopping like ladies have to go today too much?''
Mrs. Benton:
``No, we might have gone occasionally, but I think it was mostly by phone.''

Appendix G

Pre-World War II Faculty Biographical Sketches

In this chapter, we have given a good deal of information about our past chairman Professor Thomas Simpson and also some information about our past colleague Professor Zareh Pirenian, which was kindly supplied by his wife Lillian Pirenian. Chapter 8 will be devoted to the Chairmanship of Professor Franklin Kokomoor, so we will not discuss him here.

In this Appendix, we present the biographical highlights that we have been able to obtain on some of the other personalities mentioned in this chapter, who happened to have supplied information to the 1955 American Men of Science.

Allen Thornton Craig was our very first masters student on our list, receiving his degree in 1928 with supervisor Professor Thomas Simpson and title An Exposition of Galois Theory of Equations. Craig was born in Marion, Alabama on August 5, 1905. He received the A.B. from the University of Florida and the M.A. as we already know in 1928 from the University of Florida. He was an Instructor at the University of Florida during 1929--1930, then went to what was at that time called the State University of Iowa in Iowa City, receiving the Ph.D. in 1931. Craig rose through the ranks at Iowa State, serving as Assistant Professor from 1934--1938, Associate Professor from 1938--1942, then receiving promotion to Professor in 1945. His biographical sketch reveals that during World War II, he served with the University of Columbia Research Group M in 1942 and then in the U.S. Naval Reserve during 1942--1946. He lists his research interests as mathematical statistics, sampling theory, and ndependence problems and indeed we have noted in Appendix C of this chapter that Craig co-authored a statistics text in 1959.

Bernard Francis Dostal lists his area of general interest in the 1955 merican Men of Science as Mathematical Physics. Dostal was born in Vienna on January 11, 1888 and became a naturalized United States citizen in 1913. He received his A.B. from the University of Wisconsin in 1914, and the A.M. from that same institution in 1915. During 1915--1916, Dostal was a Fellow at the University of Indiana, then in 1916 a Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. He served in the Signal Corps of the U.S. Army during 1917--1919. Then Dostal was on the research staff at A.T. & T., followed by a position as research engineer at the Kortsa Diesel Motor Company during 1919--1923. Dostal then returned to academia, serving as an Instructor at the Engineering College in Michigan from 1923--1927 and coming to Florida as an Associate Professor in 1927, the same year Kokomoor joined the staff. Dostal retired from our faculty in 1953 in his sixties with the rank of Associate Professor, then went to Marquette University beginning in 1953. Dostal lists his research interests as engineering; number theoretic functions in electrical engineering; number theoretic functions in quantum mechanics; non-Aristotelian logic in mathematical physics; harmonic analysis of weather phenomena; operational calculus and differential equations.

Theodore Samuel George listed his area of interest as Applied Mathematics. He was born in Grove City, Pennsylvania on October 10, 1911. He received the B.S. from Grove City College in 1932, then taught high school in Pennsylvania from 1932--1934. Following this high school teaching, Professor George went to Duke University where he taught as a graduate assistant from 1935--1938 and received his masters degree in 1936. George then served as an Instructor in our department from 1938--1942 and did summer work at Brown in 1941 and Pennsylvania during 1946--1948. During this time period, George was able to receive his Ph.D. in mathematics from Duke in 1942. Reflecting Professor Sam Proctor's account of World War II at the University of Florida, George left our staff in 1942 and served in the United States Navy from 1942--1946. Following the war, George took a position as Consulting Engineer and Head Consulting Mathematician with the Philco Radio Corporation during 1946--1951. Then he became Chief, Operations Analysis, Air Force Missile Test Center, Patrick Air Force Base in 1951. He lists his areas of interest as Applied mathematics in communications; statistics of noise in electronic equipment; electrical network design; operations analysis.

Our third recipient of the masters degree, Samuel W. McInnis, with supervisor Professor Thomas Simpson and title A Study of Hilbert's FOUNDATIONS OF GEOMETRY, spent a long teaching career in our department. McInnis was born in O'Brien, Florida on January 25, 1891. We do not know much about his early history, except that he records that he taught elementary school in Florida from 1910--1916 and served in the Medical Corps of the United States Army during 1918. After World War I, McInnis received the A.B. from the University of Florida in 1923, then was supervising principal in the Wauchula public schools from 1923--1929. In 1929, McInnis returned to our Department with the rank of Instructor and taught until his retirement with the rank of Associate Professor in 1958. He records his interests in mathematics as geometry and algebra. Retired Professor Samuel Gould Sadler informed me that McInnis was fond of duck hunting; Sadler recalled McInnis hunting on Paynes Prairie.

The reader blessed with a good memory for trivial details may recall that William Perry assisted both Professor Simpson with mathematics instruction and Dean Benton with physics and electrical engineering instruction during the early days of our institution in the 1910's. Perry was born in Ft. Deposit, Alabama on January 7, 1883. He received the A.B. in 1906 from the very institution where Andrew Sledd was Professor of Latin after being dismissed from Emory, namely, Southern University in Alabama. Perry served with the rank of Instructor in Physics at the University of Florida from 1910--1917. Then after the receipt of the M.S. from the University of Chicago in 1917, Perry was promoted to Assistant Professor in 1917 and then to Associate Professor in 1927. Professor Perry retired in 1947, and that is all the information we have from the 1955 American Men of Science for Perry.

Professor Cecil Glenn Phipps was born in Skidmore, Missouri on July 24, 1895. He served in the United States Army during World War I from 1917--1918. Then Phipps received his B.A. from the University of Montana in 1921. Phipps went to Minnesota with the rank of Instructor and Assistant in Mathematics, serving in this position from 1921--1924, and receiving the M.A. from the University of Minnesota in 1924. Phipps then served as an Instructor at the University of Florida from 1924--1927, but went on leave to complete his studies at the University of Minnesota during 1927--1928, receiving the Ph.D. degree in 1928. Phipps then returned to the University of Florida, serving with the rank of Assistant Professor from 1927--1929, Associate Professor from 1929--1943, and receiving the promotion to Professor in 1943. During 1944--1946, Phipps served as an Instructor in the U. S. Army University in France. He lists his areas of interest as approximation of functions of real variables and foundations of mathematical economics. In Professor Charles Crow's manuscript on the early history of the University of Florida, a monthly faculty discussion club, the Atheneum Club, already established by the time of the Sledd Presidency in Lake City, is mentioned. Members would work up lectures on subjects outside their academic specialties for presentation to the others at these monthly meetings. Professor Samuel Gould Sadler informed me that Professors Franklin Kokomoor and Cecil Phipps had been participants in this Atheneum Club; Phipps recruited Sadler into membership.

Edward Shaumberg Quade was born in Jacksonville, Florida on June 28, 1908. He received the B.S. from the University of Florida and was our fifth masters degree recipient, receiving his M.S. in June, 1932 with supervisor Professor Thomas Simpson and title The Development of the Idea of Integration. During the time that he was pursuing his graduate studies, Quade taught as an Instructor in our department from 1929--1932, thus apparently during his senior year, just like Professor Pirenian had also done. Quade went to Brown University for further graduate study and received his Ph.D. in 1936. He taught at Brown from 1932--1934, but then had the rank of Instructor at the University of Florida from 1935--1940, followed by the rank of Assistant Professor from 1940--1942. Quade served in the United States Naval Reserve during 1943--1945. After this war service, Quade returned to the University of Florida as an Associate Professor during 1946--1947, then received promotion to the rank of Professor in 1947. However, Quade left Florida in 1948 as a Design Specialist at Douglas Aircraft, then was hired as a Mathematician at the Rand Corporation in 1948. As we have noted in Appendix C, Quade apparently was very successful in this area, authoring three books on systems analysis.

Our final colleague whom we were able to track down in the 1955 American Men of Science is William Harold Wilson. Wilson was born in Edwardsburg, Michigan on November 17, 1892. He received the A.B. at Albion College in 1913, the A.M. from the University of Illinois in 1914, then the Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1917. Wilson served as an Instructor at M.I.T. from 1917--1919, then went to the University of Iowa where he served first as an Instructor, then an Assistant Profesor from 1919--1926. Wilson joined our department in 1927 with the rank of Associate Professor, and was promoted to Professor in 1929. [Thus the three new faculty members to which Dr. Kokomoor will refer in his reminiscences in Chapter~8 as comprising the staff during 1927--1928 along with Simpson are Dostal, Kokomoor and Wilson.] Wilson served as Assistant Dean of Arts and Sciences during 1928--1930, then Acting Dean from 1930--1933, Assistant Dean from 1933--1941, Associate Dean from 1941--1946. In 1946, Professor Wilson took over the job of heading up the Comprehensive Course Man and his Thinking, for he lists his title as Head Professor of Logic, University College and also Wilson became involved with student advisement in 1946 as well. He retired in 1959 with the title of Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and Logic, and Counselor. In the 1955 American Men of Science, Wilson lists his interests as functional equations, general education and counseling.

Appendix H

The University of Florida during World War I

Here is what is written in the 1918--1919 University Record concerning the role of the University of Florida during World War I. Recall for purposes of comparison in terms of the number of men trained, that in 1911--1912 the regular academic year enrollment was only 302 students and the corresponding enrollment in 1920--1921 was 823 students.

ARMY TRAINING SCHOOL J. R. Benton, Educational Supervisor R. E. Chandler, Associate Supervisor GENERAL STATEMENT
Under special arrangement with the Committee on Education and Special Training of the U. S. War Department, vocational instruction was given to enlisted men in various specific trades useful in the Army. The men were under regular army discipline and while here, in addition to vocational training, received military training under the following officers: ALFRED S. KNIGHT, Captain, Inf. U.S.A., Commanding Officer HUGH B. MAHOOD, Captain, Medical Corps U.S.A. ROBERT K. OSBORNE, 1st Lieut. Inf. U.S.A. CHARLES R. CROSSETT, 1st Lieut. Inf. U.S.A. DONALD R. MORRISON, 1st Lieut. Dental Corps. U.S.A. JOSEPH V. MCKENNA, 2nd Lieut. Inf. U.S.A. RAYMOND W. HOGAN, 2nd Lieut. Q. M. Corps U.S.A. The first detachment (275 men, all from Florida) arrived on June 15 and left on August 13. The occupations for which these men trained are listed below, together with the number of men each, and the names of the instructors:
Bench Woodworkers, 20; H. B. Foster. Carpenters, 23; F. H. Winston. Chauffeurs (Army truck drivers), 100; E. D. Hulbert, assisted by E. C. Wilson, J. W. Chapman, E. B. Paxton, W. H. Howell Electricians, 20; L. E. Means, Jr. Machinists, 12; A. J. Strong. Radio Operators, 100; J. L. McGhee, assisted by A. P. Fowler, E. S. Traxler, T. J. Swearington, Jr., W. S. Perry [ed., recall that Perry taught both physics and mathematics when Simpson first arrived on campus] The second detachment (330 men, 150 from Florida, 180 from Georgia) arrived on August 15 and left on October 13, having received instruction as follows:
Auto Mechanics, 80; E. D. Hulbert, assisted by E. C. Wilson, W. M. Howell Carpenters, 20; F. H. Winston. Chauffeurs (Army truck drivers), 40; J. W. Chapman. Electricians, 20; L. E. Means, Jr. Machinists, 10; H.B. Foster. Radio Electricians, 40; T. J. Swearington, Jr. Radio Operators, 100; supervisor, J. L. McGhee; E. S. Traxler, assisted by E. L. Williams, T. J. Barns. Telegraphers (Morse), 20; A. P. Fowler. The number of men given above are those called for by contract and differed slightly from the actual number in attendance, which was usually greater at the beginning of the period of instruction, and owing to discharges, less at the end. The contract between the War Department and the University called for the instruction of four additional detachments of enlisted men of 270 men each, to arrive on October 15, 1918; December 15, 1918; February 15, 1919; and April 15, 1919. The occupations to be taught and the number of men called for in each by contract are shown below, together with the instructors appointed.
Horseshoers, 20; L. T. Roux Machinists, 15; H. B. Foster. Motorcycle Mechanics, 80: E. D. Hulbert, assisted by J. W. Chapman, E. C. Wilson Pipe Fitters, 15; R. T. Irving. Radio Operators, 100; supervisor, J. L. McGhee; E. S. Traxler, assisted by T. J. Swearington, E. L. Williams, A. P. Fowler Surveyors, 20; H. L. Thompson. Telephone Linemen, 20; L. E. Means, Jr. With the arrival of peace, the need for further vocational training of soldiers ceased, consequently the War Department did not send the men for whom it had contracted after October 15. The staff of the Army Training School was disbanded on December 13.''

A somewhat more lively and colorful glimpse of this same period is provided in Orland Armstrong's 1928 book The Life and Work of Dr. A. A. Murphree, p. 85--88. Also, this source offers us the first substantive treatment of Colonel Walker's presence on campus which we have found so far.

``Military Training on the Florida Campus

              `Who is the happy Warrior? Who is he
               That every man in arms should wish to be?
               ... It is the generous Spirit, who , when brought
               Among the tasks of real life, hath wrought
               Upon the plan that pleased his boyish thought:
               Whose high endeavors are an inward light
               That makes the path before him always bright:
               Who, with a natural instinct to discern
               What knowledge can perform, is diligent to learn;
               Abides by this resolve, and stops not there,
               But makes his moral being his prime care.

---William Wordsworth'

When land-grant colleges were first established, the government stipulated that military training must be provided to the students enrolled. Consequently, when the University of Florida was first founded, military training was introduced as a part of its activity.

Col. E. S. Walker, who came to the University to take charge of military training in 1908, was one of Dr. Murphree's closest friends. Col. Walker was the president's golfing companion on many an afternoon's playing around the greens of the Country Club. It is safe to say that each man found the companionship of the other delightful.

Dr. Murphree was greatly interested in military training. He kept in close touch with Col. Walker and with the military department of the University at all times, and did all that he could to raise the standard of military training to the high level that it reached previous to his death.

Col. Walker came to the University of Florida in the fall of 1908. He found only one military company with about fifty students. For eight years the department had a slow but steady growth in enrollment. The installation of the Reserve Officers Training Corps in 1916 gave a great impetus to the department, for it meant that government inspection would be made and that uniforms would be issued by the government. The year 1917 brought the entrance of the United States into the world war, and raised the military training being done at colleges and universities to the highest importance. Dr. Murphree was quick to sense this importance, and gave Col. Walker and the military staff at the University of Florida every encouragement in co-operating with the government in the training of students. In 1918 the Student Army Training Corps was established at the University, with about 400 men in the battalion. During the summer of that year a vocational training school was also established on the Florida campus. The purpose of this school was to train young men in trades and vocations needed in warfare, such as motor mechanics, cooks, and the like.

The summer of 1918 furnished no vacation for Dr. Murphree, nor for scarcely any of the members of the University faculty. The spirit of winning the war had seized every loyal American. The University campus was turned into a camp. A large searchlight placed on top of Peabody Hall flashed here and there around the campus, throwing the dark places suddenly into light. Sentries were placed at all the gates and before dormitories, and no one could enter the grounds after a certain hour without being challenged.

It was during the following fall that the flu epidemic broke out on campus. The auditorium, which was then on the upper floor of the Agricultural College, was turned into a hospital and a number of the men were requisitioned into hospital service.

During this critical period in the life of the University, and in fact, in the life of the very nation itself, the firm, calm but energetic nature of Dr. Murphree asserted itself. One who worked shoulder to shoulder with him in those trying times has paid him this tribute:

`I have seen the University president work until exhausted during those days of
the flu epidemic, and then come back early the next morning to plunge into the 
exacting duties again.  He carried with him during such times of
stress an optimistic spirit, and his presence among men and women who
were trying to alleviate suffering or minister to the unfortunate was
an assurance that all his heart, mind and physical power were at their

During the period of the Student Army Training Corps the personnel of the staff of Officers under Col. Walker was augmented by a score or more, and this number remained on the campus during the vocational training days. [Other contradictory sources (i.e., an obituary article in the { Gainesville Daily Sun) indicate that Colonel Walker served as a recruiting officer for the State of Florida during World War I.] Dr. Murphree showed to the military staff a spirit of co-operation at all times, and won from them frequent expressions of esteem.

The signing of the armistice on November 11, 1918, brought to an end the immediate necessity for training students for warfare, and necessitated a vast amount of work in getting military training back to a peace time condition. But the spirit of military training had quickened on the campus of the University of Florida, and Dr. Murphree held before Col. Walker and the military staff the aim of building up an honor Reserve Officers Training Corps at Florida.

The University was placed on the honor list for the first time in 1919. At this time there were 400 honor students in the battalion. It was a signal honor for Florida, for the inspectors from the War Department in Washington declared the Florida battalion to be among the best six in the country.

In 1919 Col. Walker was retired by the government as head of the R.O.T.C. at the University, and the apointment was given to Major Ward. Col. Walker has maintained his connection with the University, however, and in discussing his relationship with Dr. Murphree said:

`I knew him both officially and socially and he was one of the best friends I 
ever had.  He believed in the value of military training, for he felt
that it was splendid discipline, and everyone who came in contact with
him knew how definite were his ideas of discipline. 

Dr. Murphree was good natured always, but was especially genial, friendly, and full of humor when we would be taking trips together. Before Gainesville had a golf course, we used to go to nearby cities to play. It was as a golf player that the human traits in Dr. Murphree's character became most apparent. He kicked about bad shots and was elated over good ones. He always made it a point to get the best clubs on the market.'

Col. Walker recalls that on a return trip from St. Augustine, where he and Doctor Murphree had gone to arrange the details in connection with the gift of the University organ, they were accosted by a man in ragged clothing who asked them for a ride as far as Palatka, saying he was an ex-service man who had been wounded during the war. Dr. Murphree picked him up and talked to him as cordially and with the same friendly interest he showed to all persons, and had made a friend of him when he left him at Palatka.

In 1920 the R.O.T.C. of the University of Florida again made the distinguished college rating for the Fourth Corps area. To attain this rating it was necesssary to be among the six highest out of the sixteen college and university corps of the southeastern section of the United States. The rating was done by the United States army inspectors who made minute examination of the personnel, equipment, discipline and general efficiency of the student troops.''

Appendix I

Epidemics Prior to the 1920's

We have seen in this chapter, that our second Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy, Dr. Herbert Keppel, died in the Spanish influenza epidemic in October, 1918. We take our current medical capabilities so much for granted, that I decided to provide some historical material on how Floridians coped with such diseases prior to having much reliable medication available to deal with public health problems. While treating the Spanish influenza epidemic in Florida, several historians contrasted this with the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1888. Thus it seemed appropriate to recall this earlier epidemic, as well as the 1918 epidemic.

Jess Davis's History of Alachua County [1, p. 43--44] contains an eyewitness account of the 1888 Yellow Fever Epidemic provided by B. M. Tench, which was recorded by Davis in an interview with Tench probably in the early 1950's.

``Like a blow in the face to the people of Florida was the announcement from the office of the Mayor of Tampa that Yellow Fever was epidemic in his city. It was early Spring of the year 1888, ten years before the great Dr. Walter Reed made the statement of discovery that the only way whereby the yellow fever germ could be spread was by a mosquito, and the only way to stop the Yellow Fever was to control the mosquito.

The people of Gainesville and Florida were justified in being almost panic- stricken for just ten years before, in 1878, Yellow Fever had killed fifteen thousand people in cities and towns along the Gulf Coast in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, and some up the Mississippi River in Tennessee. One hundred and thirty-two towns and cities had outbreaks of Yellow Jack.

The announcement by the Mayor of Tampa was a courageous and commendable act. It broke a long-established policy. Until that date, it was the policy of towns and cities to withhold and even deny the existence of any contagious disease within their borders. The memory of man for things that bring disaster and death is long, indeed. Alachua County and other counties quickly placed guards on all road and rail entrances into the county. Since the guards were armed with guns, they became known as shot-gun guards, and the action was called the shot-gun quarantine. The legislature of Florida hurridly enacted rather loose authorizations for the county guards. The guards were located at county lines. An officer boarded every passenger train with power to put off, at the next county line, any person not having a health card or certificate. The law was enforced to the hilt. The health certificate had to be signed by a qualified, recognized person stating that the traveler had not been in a quarantined or infested area within the past two weeks.

Most towns following the action of the county, established guards at or near the city limits. Yellow Jack, like time, marched on, with some of the wayside stops on the Atlantic Coast Line Railway, until it reached Jacksonville about the first of July. The disease came north along the Seaboard Railway and hit Fernandina about the first of August. Both railroads had completed their lines to Tampa about the year 1883. Tampa had a population of a little more than 5,000 people (5,132).

The port of Jacksonville was closed and all rail traffic stopped. Many business houses locked doors. At first, Fernandina denied that Yellow Fever was there, but the longshoremen struck, led by a huge Negro on a big white horse; he was a powerful rabble-rouser. Looting soon followed. The Mayor wired the Governor for assistance as he feared the town would be burned. He still denied the existence of Yellow Jack. The Governor, Perry, wired Capt. I. E. Webster of Gainesville to assemble his Company and proceed to Fernandina. The railroad agent, Mr. H. E. Day, the Mayor of Gainesville, and most of the citizens believed that Jack was in Fernandina, so the Gainesville Mayor, J. B. Brown, insisted to the Governor that Yellow Fever did exist in Fernandina. The Governor made further inquiry of the Mayor of Fernandina who emphatically denied that there was fever in his town.

The Governor took him at his word and ordered Capt. Webster to proceed to Fernandina with the Gainesville Guards. The Commander of the Ocala Rifles received like orders.

Captain Webster prepared to board the Seaboard for Waldo and Fernandina. The train was scheduled to leave at 8:00 p.m. It was a soft summer night in late August; a full moon was shining. Most of the able-bodied people in Gainesville were gathered on the streets to see the boys off on that fatal trip, which, before the consequences were over, was to bring death and disaster, and suffering, and heartache to a great many Gainesville families, and set the city back, retarded in its growth, from ten to twenty years.

News that the guards had been ordered to Fernandina swept over the town in a very short time. City officials, the ministers, the physicians, and in fact, nearly everybody in Gainesville who could get uptown, soon gathered; first, at the intersection of Main and University Avenue. The Armory was located over what is now the Woolworth Building. With the exception of the occurrence of the Second Battle of Gainesville during the Civil War, this was the most momentous and dramatic incident ever recorded in the history of Gainesville.

National Guard Units of that day were very much on the social side. Its members were drawn from the most cultured and intellectual leading homes and families in Florida. The Gainesville Guards had one of the finest double quartetts in all of the National Guard organizations. Further, the entire company like [sic] to sing. It was well-known for its marching and singing.

So, the Guard started for the Seaboard Air Line Station, with hundreds of people, some cheering, and some grim-faced, joining in to march. The marching song, We`ll hang Yellow Jack to a Sour Apple Tree, As We go Marching On, was begun and joined by every voice. Then a more serious vein pervaded the marchers and they were singing, Onward Christian Soldiers. The crowd was increasing at every block. By now, many Negroes living in the depot area had joined the crowd and joined the music with the spiritual fervor that only members of that race can contribute.

The train was thirty minutes late. The Guards and the crowd sang on and on, spiritual songs at first, then followed by Stephen Foster songs, and others predominating in the South. The train rounded the curve, stopped, the Guard entrained, and the people melted into the night, having participated in one of the most heart-moving concerts in the strangest setting that Gainesville will ever know.

Later, came the Day. Gainesville and Ocala had been spared. But on the 17th day of September, 1888, the chairman of the Board of Health, in all honesty, was forced to announce that Yellow Fever was epidemic in Gainesville. Pandemonium reigned. Fear and hurried exodus was the order of the day, or rather, night. Gainesville officials, the newspapers, and the people, having kept faith with the State and responded to the Fernandina riot case, now must pay. As indicated above, many people succeeded in getting out of Gainesville before the city was quarantined and manned with guards at all entrances.

So far as can be determined, there is no record, nor can anyone say with any degree of accuracy, just how many people in Gainesville died of Yellow Fever. A quarantine camp was established just on the rise of the hill and north of the Waldo-Williston cut-off road intersection with southeast 4th Street, which is the Evergreen Cemetery Road. Many who died were burried hurridly and without true records made of the name of the deceased, or a marker provided. When the road was paved a few years ago, bones and other signs of graves were obvious to the persons doing the grading. Suffice it to say that shortly after the epidemic as many of the bodies whose graves could be identified were transferred to the Evergreen Cemetery.

A momument was erected near the walk from the courthouse corner of the square dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives in the Yellow Fever epidemic. On the north side is this inscription:

	`Erected in Memory of Their Deceased Comrades by Company A, 2nd Bn.,
Florida State Troops, 1890.'

On the south side of the monument is the inscription:

 	`Died of Yellow Fever, 1888, contracted While on 
Duty at Fernandina.'

The east side bears the one name, `Sgt. M. F. Miller,' and on the west side is the inscription, `Lieut. E. A. Evans.'...

The fence was torn down around the Courthouse about 1908. The monument was removed from the courthouse grounds around 1922 and now stands at the entrance gate of the Evergreen Cemetery....

Following is a copy of a letter from the Adjutant General's Office, State of Florida, Tallahassee, dated October 30, 1888 (pen and ink letter) addressed to Captain I. E. Webster:


Capt.  I. E. Webster
Comdg. Co. ``A'', 2nd Battn.


Enclosed is the Treasurers' check 875 on First National Bank of Palatka for $194.24, being amount (less 3 cents enclosed of the pay-roll of your Company for services at Fernandina, Sept. 6 to 12, 1888. I also enclose our copy of the pay-roll in order to enable you to distribute the amount. Please return same.

Very Respectfully Yours,
D. Lang, Adjt. Gen. ''

T. Fredrick Davis's History of Jacksonville [2, pp. 180--186] provides a much more graphic account of the events of this Yellow Fever Epidemic as seen from the Jacksonville viewpoint:

``In the early spring of 1888, a peculiar fever, the nature of which baffled the physicians somewhat, was prevalent in Jacksonville and several persons died of it. Early in the summer some of the cases had well pronounced symptoms, but it was not officially proclaimed yellow fever until some time later. The case that brought out the announcement was that of a man named McCormick, who had come here only a few days before from Tampa, and who was first reported sick on July 28.

On August 8, the populace was thrown into frantic excitement by the annoucement that four new cases had been found, and two days later the Board of Health issued a proclaimation that the yellow fever was tending to assume an epidemic form. Many persons had already left the city, and this proclamation intensified the alarm to such an extent that all outgoing trains and boats were crowded to the full capacity, while the public roads were congested with terrified people, fleeing in every conceivable conveyance and on foot, scores of them having no destination in particular and uncertain as to where they were going. Many of those who were unable to pay for transportation to the few places which generously opened their gates to them, suffered great hardships, as a rigid quarantine was immediately declared against Jacksonville by nearly every community south of the Mason and Dixon line, and these unfortunate people were driven from town to town in their search for shelter.

The intense excitement that prevailed throughout the surrounding country is indicated by the act of the citizens of Waycross, Ga., in threatening to tear up the railroad tracks if refugees were permited to pass out of Jacksonville by way of Waycross, even in locked cars and passing that town at a high rate of speed. As a protective measure, the authorities at St. Augustine turned back all mail matter from Jacksonville, although it had undergone thorough fumigation; and other places in the State refused to allow merchandise of any description to come into their respective communities from the infected district, while some local Boards of Health went so far as to exclude such things as machinery, wagon wheels, railroad iron, ice, and even silver dollars. To enforce these regulations armed guards surrounded nearly every hamlet in Florida and southern Georgia.

The natural result of this shot gun quarantine, as it came to be known, was that business in Jacksonville was completely paralyzed, in fact practically ceased. The Clyde Steamship Line discontinued its service, and then soon followed the discontinuance of all up-river boats. The States north and west brought such pressure to bear upon the U. S. Marine Hospital Service, that the Surgeon General ordered a camp of detention near Boulogne, on the St. Marys River, afterward called Camp Perry, where all refugees bound north or west by rail must remain for ten days before proceeding. Thus every avenue of escape was closed to the remaining residents of the city, except through a detention camp where accomodations were exceedingly meagre, consisting of well-worn tents that were of little or no protection against rain; coarse food; insufficient bedding; no hospital accomodations; and where, at first, ladies and children had to eat at the same table with negroes.

Such was Camp Perry during the early stages of the epidemic and numbers of people preferred to remain in Jacksonville amid all the horrors of the yellow fever rather than subject themselves and their families to these vicissitudes. The conditions at Camp Perry were later greatly improved.

Towns and cities all over the country, though fanatical in their efforts to prevent the arrival of refugees, yet generously offered money and supplies to the unfortunate community; but it was decided that for the time being at least, Jacksonville could care for herself out of the donations of her own citizens, .... It was not until the 22d of August that a formal request was made for assistance, and it was addressed only to the citizens of Jacksonville, those here and away. The constantly increasing need, however, made a general appeal necessary, and on the 5th of September notice was sent out that money and supplies would be received from the country at large. Contributions immediately began pouring in from corporations, benevolent societies, mayors of cities, boards of trade, chambers of commerce, banks and individuals all over the United States. ...

Jacksonville during the progress of the epidemic was a place of utter dispair. Hundreds of men were at work cleaning up the city and suburbs, burning trash, and disinfecting; every able-bodied man who applied for work was given something to do, at a nominal salary, the authorities believing that this was the best method to handle the situation as to idleness, and at the same time bring the sanitary conditions to the greatest perfection. But with all this activity, the deserted stores and residences and the serious countenances of the citizens, told plainly the story of the calamity; and at the night there settled over the city an uncanny stillness, broken only by the occasional rattle of the death carts or the muffled noises of those whose duty called them out after dark. The odors arising from the free use of disinfectants surcharged the atmosphere and furnished the basis for the statements of the negroes that they could

 		`smell the yellow fever in the air.'

It was a situation well calculated to crush the stoutest heart. At the time people thought the best way to escape the yellow fever was to remain indoors from sundown to sunrise; but they were utterly in the dark as to how to combat the disease, as is evinced by the experiments conducted for that purpose. One of the first was the concussion experiment, the theory being that concussion caused by the firing of heavy cannon charges would kill the yellow fever microbes. The only result attained, however, was the breakage of windows in several churches and numerous other buildings.

`The concussion theory was first advanced in the fall of 1877, by Mrs. H. K. Ingram, of Edgefield, Tenn., in the publication of a paper entitled Atmospheric Concussion as a Means of Disinfection. She claimed that the explosion of gunpowder in a room would kill mosquitos and other insects by concussion and that the same principles were applicable to the destruction of microbes in the air. (Published in the Jacksonville Sun and Press, Sept. 13, 1877).'

... Huge fires of pine and tar were kindled at night in different sections to purify the air and prevent the spread of the infection; tar was supposed to possess great virtue in this respect.

Depopulation was finally decided upon as a means of bringing the epidemic to an end, and for the purpose the people were requested to go to the camps provided for them. Camp Mitchell, named for Dr. Neal Mitchell, was established about seven miles west of the city. Camp Howard, another refugee camp, was located in North Jacksonville, about two miles from the city limits and just beyond was the Sand Hills Hospital. Several hundred people went to these camps.

In the meantime two or three special refugee trains were run out of Jacksonville. One of these trains, bound for Henderson, N. C., by reason of unavoidable delays, was two days in reaching destination and five cases of yellow fever developed en route. A panic ensued among the passengers, while a rigid quarantine was maintained against the infected cars by the other cars of the train. Upon their arrival in Hendersonville, the patients were taken to the hospital, where every attention was accorded them. Hendersonville threw wide her doors to the people of stricken Jacksonville from the very first, and kept them open until the last.

A strict requirement was that all mail matter should be thoroughly fumigated. Two fumigating stations were maintained, one at LaVilla Junction, near town, and the other near Waycross, Ga. The Waycross fumigating car, from August 1 to December 1 handled 2,536,845 pieces of mail matter, and each piece had to be handled four times in the process of fumigation.

Those who applied for work to the relief association represented only a small percentage of the idle who would not or could not leave the city. When it became known that an appropriation of $200,000 had been made by the Congress .... The prospect of being fed without having work to do lured many to the infected district, and the checking of this inflowing tide necessitated the placing of a cordon of armed guards around Jacksonville and the suburbs, including South Jacksonville. In the early part of September a house to house canvass was made, which census showed 3,945 whites and 9,812 colored then in the city.

The stupendous undertaking of providing for the needy and worthy poor devolved upon the relief association formed early in the epidemic. After investigation, rations were issued to those in actual need of them, a ration for an adult for one week being: 2 pounds of bacon, 3 pounds of meal or 2 pounds of flour, 3 pounds of grits or two pounds of flour, 1 pint of molasses, 1/2 pint of salt, 1/4 pound of coffee, 1/2 pound of sugar, and 1 bar of soap. The total number of rations issued in this way during the epidemic was 196,538. In special cases certain delicacies were issued to the sick on the order of a physician. A physician had written an order, but inadvertently left a space above his signature. In this space a thirsty patient inserted the words

		`one case Mumm's quarts; 6 bottles claret.'

Another patient, by adding the figure 2, raised his order for 1 chicken to 12 chickens. The system was changed. One sad case will illustrate the distress prevailent before systematic relief measures were adopted. A gentleman walking down the street met a boy crying bitterly. The little fellow said he was hungry; that his mama was lying in the house there dead, and that his sister and himself had had nothing to eat for over a day. Investigation revealed the mother lying in the room where she had died 24 hours previously and the father just breathing the last when relief arrived.

On November 26, when the temperature fell to freezing, the epidemic was generally considered at an end, although occasional cases continued to be reported from the suburbs until December 6. The last death from yellow fever occurred December 5. The Board of Health issued a proclamation that December 15 should be the day when refugees might be allowed to return to Jacksonville; but those who would not remain at night might come in on December 10, the penalty for disobdience of these laws being $500 fine or 30 days imprisonment.

On December 15 hundreds of citizens arrived by trains and boats, many reaching the city late the previous night by conveyance or on foot. Extra trains were run on all the roads and they came into Jacksonville filled to capacity. With 4704 cases and 427 deaths (324 white and 103 colored) charged to account, the great epidemic became a matter of history.''

The same source has the following account of the 1918 Spanish influenza epidemic in Jacksonville, following the conclusion of World War I, cf. [2, pp. 272--274]: ``In his report to the City Commission, December 31, 1920, the City Health Officer, Dr. Wm. W. MacDonell, said: `On September 18, 1918, influenza, or grippe as it is sometimes called, was first brought to our attention as occurring in prisoners at the city farm. The disease gained a momentum all over the city, so that by October 1st it was reported to the City Commission as being epidemic in Jacksonville. Warning notices were inserted in the newspapers with directions as to symptoms and what to do if taken sick. On October 4, a call was issued for volunteer nurses. On the 7th, cases and deaths had become so numerous that the schools were closed by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, after conference with the city Health Officer. The motion picture shows closed their doors voluntarily upon the informal request of this department. The City Commission, on October 8, by order, closed all amusement places and soft drink parlors, and placed a ban on indoor public gatherings; and on October 10 ordered all retail stores opened at nine a.m. and closed at four p.m., so as to limit street-car congestion. A soup kitchen, for those unable to secure nourishment, was opened on October 10, in the basement of the Union Congregational church by the Sunday School. Deliveries were then made by citizens in automobiles, and over one hundred cases were served the first day. St. John's Parish guild took over some of the work on the 11th, and a kitchen was also opened for negroes, in Stanton School. Following this a diet relief organzation was formed, and all of these activities were grouped under systematic management, funds being contributed by many citizens. On October 12, General Duvall, commander of Camp Johnston, tendered the use of four army portable soup kitchens, which was accepted. This relief organization served 5,709 white and 11,084 colored cases from October 10 to October 22, when the necessity for such relief no longer existed. Emergency hospitals were opened at the Y.M.C.A. and at the Y.M.H.A. buildings, at Stanton school, and at St. Luke's Hospital. The local Red Cross stood sponsor for the hospital at Stanton school, and their ambulance and the sanitary detachment were on the job day and night.

The peak of the epidemic was reached about the 13th of the month (October), on which day there were 39 deaths. New cases apparently ceased to develop by the 22nd (October), and at the end of the month there had been 464 deaths from influenza or complicating pneumonia. The disease ran through all the susceptible material before it died down. It is estimated that there were nearly 30,000 persons infected with the disease and that none of our published precautions had any effect on the disease.

In January, 1919, there were 471 additional cases reported, and for the year 1919 there were 621 cases with 64 deaths.

In 1920, during February and March, there were 2,541 cases, with 79 deaths. A large number of physicians reported in 1920 that about one-quarter of their cases had a previous infection, in 1918.'

The forgoing tells the official story of the epidemic of 1918. There was no panic among the people like that of the yellow fever epidemic of 1888, for the flu was everywhere, all over the world, and there was no place to go to escape it. Yet the same dreadful hush hung over the community during those four weeks of October; the same resignation to the inability to combat the spread of the disease; the same serious countenances and indications of mourning---all served to remind the old citizen of the terrible time thirty years before. The business thoroughfares of the city looked deserted, and many of the stores were closed with a sign `All sick,' hanging on their doors. As the Health Officer says, the precautions recommended had no effect, and doctors and nurses suffered in greater proportion than the layman, perhaps because of the superhuman demands upon them.

While the 427 deaths during the yellow fever epidemic of 1888 were stretched over a period of 4 months, the 464 deaths from the flu of 1918 occurred within a period of about 4 weeks. The rattle of the death carts of 1888 was supplanted by the whir of the motor in 1918, as the trucks took their loads away.

It is well to note that the complicating pneumonia which caused most of the deaths from influenza, developed in nearly every case from a relapse, as the result of the patient's getting out of bed and becoming chilled while the fever of the first attack was on him, or too soon after it had left him.''

While we have been able to present an account of Dr. Keppel's death from the memorial article in the Gainesville Daily Sun and also Mrs. Benton's recollections of this influenza epidemic in Gainesville, we have not been able to locate a detailed description of this epidemic at the University of Florida. Thus, as a partial substitute, we conclude this appendix with a description of how this epidemic effected the University of Missouri-Columbia, a comparably sized university town, cf. [3, pp. 442--444].

``One of the circumstances which made the last few months of the war period excessively hard, not only on college campuses but all over the country and for that matter all over the world, was the epidemic of Spanish influenza. It was known to be spreading in other parts of the world before it reached America, and steps were taken to insulate America, all to no avail. In August and September of 1918 it appeared among soldiers and private citizens and spread rapidly. In Columbia [Missouri] the doctors forwarned people and issued statements as to what might be done to avoid the disease. But within a week after the S.A.T.C. [Student Army Training Corps] went into effect on October 1, there were seventy cases of the disease among students. On Monday following the opening of school an order was issued to suspend all University work, but for the students to remain in Columbia. The suspension of classes was continued from day to day, and all Columbia schools, churches, and movies were closed. The University campus was closed to all persons except students; members of the S.A.T.C. were forbidden to use the east campus or the Library Building, while other students were excluded from the west campus. Even members of the Faculty could enter the west campus only by a permit issued through the President's office. After the suspension of classes had been in effect for three weeks, the University was opened again on Monday, October 26, but only for members of the S.A.T.C. These soldier-students were required to wear masks in the classroom. The reopening of school was postponed for other students, but it was thought that the disease was so well under control that it was safe to allow the soldiers to return to their school work. Finally, all classes except in the University high school and elementary school were resumed on Thursday morning, October 31. All students and Faculty were required to wear masks.

The University, in the meantime, had converted the old Welsh Military Academy, west of the M. K. & T. railroad tracks, the Kappa Sigma fraternity house, and the top floor of Switzler Hall into temporary hospitals. Instructions were issued for making or purchasing the required masks. In the course of the epidemic many students and members of the Faculty died. The first student to be buried was Lawrence Stewart, son of a University professor. The epidemic returned with renewed violence in the latter part of November, and the University closed for the term on December 6. The epidemic was the worst that had ever visited the University campus and was probably the chief reason why the fall term was so devoid of worth-while scholastic attainments. Notice was issued through the President's office that classwork for the next term would begin on Wednesday, January 1, with registration on the two preceding days, but that all students would be required to wear masks...... in the fall of 1918, fraternity life practically disappeared from campus, and the chapter houses were taken over by the University and used as barracks or hospitals....

Social life on campus gradually disappeared during the war years.... By the fall of 1918 all student dances had ceased, for the men were under military discipline and were not excused to attend social affairs; even if they had been given furloughs for the dances, the doctors would have banned such an assemblage of people that fall. Social gatherings ceased in the churches, and for several Sundays religious services were forbidden by the Board of Health.

......during the fall of 1918 there were no intercollegiate athletics at all for Missouri students, for under the order of the University Board of Health, all football games were cancelled. This was one of the reasons why the students thought of that fall as being such a drab term.''


  1. Davis, Jess G., History of Alachua County, 1824--1969, Gainesville (?), 1970.
  2. Davis, Frederick T., History of Jacksonville, Florida and Vicinity, 1513--1924, Quadricentennial Editon of the Floridiana Facsimile Reprint Series, University of Florida Press, Gainesville, 1964.
  3. Stephens, Frank F., A History of the University of Missouri, University of Missouri Press, Columbia, Missouri, 1962.

Appendix J

Colin Gunn, Class of 1916

Among the many fine people I have been privileged to come to know since leaving the University of Missouri and joining the University of Florida, are Reverend and Mrs. Benson Cain, now ``retired'' in Melrose after spending many years as missionaries to Japan. Mrs. Cain fortuitously happens to be a daughter of Colin Gunn, who attended the University of Florida from 1912--1916, graduating with the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1916. Mrs. Cain alerted me that her late father had participated in Dr. Samuel Proctor's Florida Oral History Project, completing a transcript in this program in 1979; so that's how the material in this appendix came to my attention. Mrs. Coline Cain grew up in Gainesville and through her family's participation in the First Presbyterian Church came to know our early head Dr. Thomas Simpson and also his daughter Ruth. Mrs. Cain then attended the Florida State University during the days that it was still an institution for women only. When I asked Mrs. Cain if she had any Simpson stories for me, she told me an aspect of those times, when Gainesville was so much smaller than it is today; the children of the University faculty tended to keep a little apart from the others, and socialize more with each other. Thus, Mrs. Cain did not know the Simpsons as well as I would have liked from the viewpoint of using her as an oral historical source. However, Mrs. Cain recalled seeing Colonel Walker and his wife Mrs. Sally Stringfellow Walker at church services at First Presbyterian Church; at that time, Walker would have been in his 80's.

Simpson stories or no Simpson stories, we are lucky enough to learn posthumously from Colin Gunn himself about attending the University of Florida when things still centered around Buckmann and Thomas Halls. What is not revealed in this oral history transcript [1] is that to help with college expenses, Gunn and another student ran a small business on campus where they would take the coats of students, press them at night in the basement of the dormitory, and have them back ready to wear the next morning to class, freshly pressed.

Here are the portions of the interview [1] which pertain to student life in Gainesville in the early 1910's!

Mr. Gunn: :
``I was born at Greenwood, Jackson County, Florida on November 16, 1892.
I see. What was your father's name?
Mr. Gunn:
Colin Campbell Gunn.
And your mother's name?
Mr. Gunn:
Annie Elizabeth Rawls, her maiden name.
Now was your father a farmer?
Mr. Gunn:
No, my father was a country school teacher.
Oh, I see.
Mr. Gunn:
All of his life.
Uh huh. Did he teach high school or grade school?
Mr. Gunn:
Well, mostly rural schools. He taught some high school, but he was primarily concerned all of his life with seeing that these sharecropper children, who didn't have much opportunity, learned to read and write. Some very interesting folk tales about his experiences are all scattered out through there. That's where he spent most of his time. Now he did become later Superintendent of Education of Jackson County.
Well, then he must have known Mr. [William] Sheats, [Superintendent of Public Instruction] too.
Mr. Gunn:
Oh, Uncle Bill, yes indeed. Yeah, then [William M.] Holloway [Superintendent of Public Instruction] too.
Do you remember both Mr. Holloway and Mr. Sheats yourself ?
Mr. Gunn:
I remember them, yes, casually as, of course, I was just a youngster at the time. Yes, I remember them both.''

Mr. Colin Gunn graduated from high school in Marianna County, then studied for one year in a Presbyterian preparatory college, Palmer College, in DeFuniak Springs, during 1909--1910. Then he returned to Marianna for more high school work. From the age of six, Gunn had wanted to study in the College of Agriculture. We resume the oral history transcript [1] as Gunn starts discussing his student days at the University of Florida.

Now you said that you took your meals in the mess hall. How did that operate? Was it like a cafeteria?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh no, it was like a boarding house. They were seated. I was a waiter. Served tables in the dining room, what are called the mess hall, which I believe is now called the Commons.
Yes sir. So you brought the food to the table?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh yes, yes.
And then it was passed around?
Mr. Gunn:
How many meals a day did they serve there?
Mr. Gunn:
They served all three meals? Were they at one definite time that you had to be there or you wouldn't get food?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh yeah. Yeah. They locked the doors, as I remember, after so many minutes. You're not permitted to enter after---I've forgotten what it was, but as I remember it, they closed the doors after so many minutes. Opened them on a certain schedule, and then if you weren't there for that, you just didn't go.
Let me ask you this. When you first started school at the university, did they have compulsory chapel services?
Mr. Gunn:
Yes, except I believe the law school was not required to attend chapel. Well, let's see. I'm not really positive about that. But there was some difference. Yes, all underclassmen certainly.
Where did they hold those services?
Mr. Gunn:
Well now, the first years I was there, the chapel, as we called it, was the second floor of the north end of what's now the agricultural college. [ed., so this would now be called Griffin-Floyd Hall] And then buildings were not entirely completed, ag. and one or two others, and the entire north end of that was left open, not divided into classrooms as it is now, and that was called the chapel. You attended chapel in there, you know.
Did they move that later on while you were a student?
Mr. Gunn:
I don't believe they did.
It was always there?
Mr. Gunn:
I don't think I ever went to chapel anywhere else except in the ag. building.
I have been told by some other people that occasionally a member of the faculty would read some Scripture and then say a few words to the students.
Mr. Gunn:
Yes, that's right.
Did you all sing hymns or anything like that?
Mr. Gunn:
I don't recall that we did.
Let me ask you this now. When you started school, where did you go to pay your money and register for classes? Do you recall?
Mr. Gunn:
I believe the business office at that time was in what is now called Language Hall. [ed., renamed Anderson Hall in 1949]
Would that have been Mr. [Klein] Graham's office?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh yes. Yes. Klein Graham was the business manager at the time. I'm quite sure that it was what is now Language Hall.
Was there any sort of a book store in that building, where you get your books for your classes?
Mr. Gunn:
No, I don't recall where we got the books. I really don't.
Do you remember if there was anyone to help you to select your courses? In other words, for you, someone who wanted to go into agriculture, was there someone there from the College of Agriculture to tell you what to take?
Mr. Gunn:
I don't think so.
You just used the catalog? The list of courses?
Mr. Gunn:
I think that's the way it was.
Okay. Was there a gymnasium of any sort on campus when you started? Either a brick building or a wood building ?
Mr. Gunn:
I don't recall that there was.
Was there any sort of man made swimming pool, or did people just have to go in the sink hole or something?
Mr. Gunn:
No, there was a swimming pool during the time that ... I don't know where it was when I entered or if it was completed during the time I was there, but I do remember that there was an open air swimming pool.
Uh, huh. Can you tell me roughly where it was, perhaps compared to Thomas Hall?
Mr. Gunn:
It was south and west of the dormitory.
Oh, I see. A litle over where they built the brick gymnasium? In that area?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh, yeah.
I was going to ask you about military training. I assume you had to go through compulsory military training?
Mr. Gunn:
Yes, we went through three years of that.
Uh huh. Did they make you buy your own uniforms or was that issued to you?
Mr. Gunn:
I don't definitely recall about that. It must have been issued to me; I would've remembered if I had to pay for it [chuckle].
What sort of military training do you think was involved in it?
Mr. Gunn:
There was class room study of what we called drill regulation, approached in a book. It was a class period and then we had drills.
How frequently did you drill?
Mr. Gunn:
I think it was three days a week. I'm not positive about that, but I think it was three days a week.
Did they teach you to use firearms?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh, yes.
Do you remember if each man had his own equipment with him or whether that was stored in a certain place, whether there was a sort of armory or barracks or something ?
Mr. Gunn:
No, I don't remember. I don't think we kept it in our rooms. I think we kept it in storage somewhere, but I'm not perfectly clear on that.
Okay, when you fell in, in formation, where did you fall in and where did you drill on campus?
Mr. Gunn:
We used to fall in in front of Thomas Hall, and then drilled between what was then two dormitories. There were only two dormitories at the time, Buckman and Thomas Hall, and there was quite an area in between, and we did most of our drilling between those two dorms.
I see. Did they ever take you off-campus on any kind of march or maneuver, that you recall?
Mr. Gunn:
The only one I recall was, I believe, a Confederate veterans reunion in Jacksonville. We took the, we spoke of it as a battalion. There were three companies at that time, and they took the battalion up there for a week, one at a time, of course, three or four or five days, whenever the convention was held up there in one of the parks.
Do you remember who the commanding officer was while you were a student? Would it have been Major [Edgar Smith] Walker?
Mr. Gunn:
Yes, indeed.
It was?
Mr. Gunn:
Yes sir.
Can you tell me anything that you remember about him, about his personality, and the way he acted, what kind of man he was?
Mr. Gunn:
Well, one outstanding thing I remember about Major Walker was his ability to remember names. Now he would call the individual students by names from the very begining. I can remember that very clearly, one of his traits.
Uh huh. Was he a big man, Mr. Gunn? Was he a large physical man?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh, no, no. Colonel Walker was neither tall nor large. He had been a cavalryman as I remember it. He was not a large man. [ed., the previous Professor of Military Science and Commandant of Cadets, Lt. L. Ball had been very unpopular with the student body. Among other things, Lt. Ball led the battalion on marches through Florida back country of 5 to 6 miles duration, riding his horse, while the students marched on foot.]
Let me ask you about the library. Where was the university library located?
Mr. Gunn:
Now let me see. When I finished school it was in what is now Peabody Hall, I think we call it. But before that I think it was in another building, because I remember Peabody was under construction at the time that I went there.
Do you recall where, in the building the library was located, what part of the building?
Mr. Gunn:
Well, it was on the first floor, if I recall.
Is that where you did your studying for your classes?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh, I did very little studying over there.
Did you study in your dormitory room?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh yeah, oh yeah.
I see. Do you remember if the library was open in the evenings or on the weekends ?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh yes, it was open in the evening I'm sure, yes.
Did you belong to a fraternity or other social organization while you were a student?
Mr. Gunn:
I didn't belong to any Greek social fraternity while I was in college. I belonged to the agricultural club, I believe they called it, and YMCA, perhaps some others, but that's all I recall right now.
Can you recall where the YMCA held their meetings and their exercises?
Mr. Gunn:
I think at the chapel. And there was the ag. building that I referred to earlier. I think we met there.
Did they have any sort of dances or picnics or get-togethers, the YMCA I mean, for students and for girls from the town of Gainesville?
Mr. Gunn:
I don't recall any.
Do you recall any part of the university or any organization of the university holding dances or get-togethers of that kind of students and for girls from Gainesville? Or did they do that stuff?
Mr. Gunn:
I don't recall any except the fraternities' dances. Of course they had them.
Were those fraternity dances open to other students as well as to the fraternity members? Do you recall?
Mr. Gunn:
I don't remember if there was any distinction made there. I don't recall.
Where would a student have gone, since the university was all male at that time, to meet a girl in Gainesville at that time? Was there any way one could strike up an acquaintance with a girl?
Mr. Gunn:
Through the churches, as I remember, was about the preferrable way of meeting up with several partners of different kinds from the local people.
Do you remember many of the students going to church services?
Mr. Gunn:
Yes, they went to them.
Would you say most of them regularly attended church services?
Mr. Gunn:
Well, I don't know what percentage of them attended, but quite a group usually attended, yes. Of course they had the young peoples organizations in the churches which the students attended, you know, BYPU, and Christian Endeavor, and the Epsworth League, and that kind of thing. And the students always, well not always, but many of the students went there. And of course all of the young people in Gainesville. The girls were there.
In those days before there were many paved roads, did many of the students go up to Tallahassee over a weekend, do you know?
Mr. Gunn:
[chuckle] I don't recall that many of them went up there in those days.
It was too hard to get there?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh yes. It was quite a chore to get to Tallahasee and back then.
So they probably didn't start doing that until the late '20's and 30's, would you say?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh yes. I imagine it was about then. I don't know if there's been much of it since that time.
Do you recall seeing or hearing about many students using liquor on campus in those days?
Mr. Gunn:
No, I don't recall that it was looked upon as being much of a problem. Of course there was some of it, there was no question about that. I remember one evening or one night it was, I was awakened by a group out there. They were quite happy. But this was, I guess, three or four of the boys, I don't know where they'd been or what it was about, but they just happened to be right near my window. I don't recall any real difficulty.
Would they have been liable to get into a lot of trouble if they had been caught by a faculty member?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh, I think so, yes. We didn't have a student government in the beginning. Student government was set up while I was a student.
Did you have anything to do with that, Mr. Gunn?
Mr. Gunn:
No, I didn't have any important or active part in it.
Do you recall if many people smoked at that time? Smoked cigarettes or cigars, or anything like that?
Mr. Gunn:
Well, there was some pipe smoking, quite a bit. I don't remember about cigarettes, but I guess they did. I didn't pay much attention to it. I was never interested in cigarettes. I was a pipe smoker, and I do recall some of them smoked pipes, some just smoked cigars. I remember one thing that the boys used to laugh about, one student that made the remark that it was going to be expensive for him to pass a certain course because he'd have to supply the professor with his black high-priced cigars [chuckle].
Can you tell me how people generally dressed to go out to class in those days? By that I mean, was a student expected to wear a tie or anything like that?
Mr. Gunn:
No, I don't recall that there was anything said about our dress. However, we didn't go barefooted and in shorts like they do today. But we went just conventionally dressed just like we did at home or like we did on the street or anywhere else.
And there were no regulations of any kind, as you recall?
Mr. Gunn:
I don't recall any.
While you were a student, were the freshmen still expected to wear a litte beanie, a rat cap?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh yeah. Oh yeah. [laugh] We had rat caps back in those days.
Did the upper classmen enforce any of the rules that freshmen were supposed to follow, such as wearing the rat cap?
Mr. Gunn:
On yes. Unofficially, yes.
But they kept a pretty sharp eye about that?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh yes, indeed.
Can you tell me some of the other things that a freshman would be expected to do or to know?
Mr. Gunn:
Were they expected to know the names of certain faculty members?
Mr. Gunn:
I don't remember any requirement about which or how many they were supposed to know. Take into account in those days we knew everybody on campus: professors, or students, or garbagemen, or what not. Everybody knew everybody else in those days. There were only 300 or 400 of us.
Do you recall who cleaned up in the dormitories? In other words, were there maids or janitors or whatever who looked after these buildings?
Mr. Gunn:
Yes, quite clearly I remember Mrs. [S. J.] Swanson [matron] and Mrs. [Margaret] Peeler [assistant matron] who took care of it. Of course, they had several employees who did the work. But they looked after the rooms and took care of all of that kind of stuff. The dormitories then were built in sections, you know, fire proof sections. I don't remember how the work was divided up, but I remember those two ladies quite definitely, quite favorably. They saw to it that stuff was being kept right. We were supposed to keep our rooms for the most part, but they did come around each morning and sweep the rooms out.
Were these people who worked for Mrs. Swanson and Mrs. Peebler Negroes?
Mr. Gunn:
Yes, they were for the most part Negro women, as I remember it.
Uh, huh. What about the laundry?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh gee, we had an influx of Negro women on Monday morning, always.
They would come and get it for you?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh yes, they could come in and the boys would have it ready and they take it out and bring it back on Friday, I guess. I don't remember what day they brought it back. I think it was quite a common thing for a student to have a wash woman.
Now that would have been a private arrangement between the student and the woman, right?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh yeah. On yes.
Had nothing to do with the university?
Mr. Gunn:
Where did the students go to buy their clothes in Gainesville?
Mr. Gunn:
On, Barnett's and Burkhim's downtown.
Down in the square?
Mr. Gunn:
Yes, those are the two names that occurred to me right away, but there were others. Old Chitty's, of course, has always been down there on the square. Well, there were several others, but those three were the old timers in this city. Fletcher Barnett and Louis Burkhim and H. M. Chitty, were the three men's clothing stores that everybody knew, and had been there for quite a long while. I guess they're all out of business now.
Were there any clothing stores, or were there any stores of any kind north of the campus, across the street, in those days?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh yes. There was one or two eating places. There was a big frame building where the---what do they call the restaurant down there now? Anyhow, that was run by a Greek called Alex; I forget what his other name was. And then there was a small place run by a man and his wife who we knew as Uncle Dud. His name was William, I think. Those two places were run, I think, in what's now called the Gold Coast out there.
Were there just those two boarding houses?
Mr. Gunn:
Well, to begin with. Of course later on Ma Ramsey came in, and set up her place, and some others perhaps. I don't recall. I know in her later years they used to put, in the summer time, when the extension service brought in the 4-H Clubs, the dormitories were closed and Mrs. Ramsey fed them.
Were there private houses?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh, the faculty was built all along University Avenue. Yes, indeed.
All the way along there while you were a student?
Mr. Gunn:
Yes. In that block from Thirteenth Street on west to over past where the restaurants are now.
Were you involved in athletics when you were a student, Mr. Gunn?
Mr. Gunn:
Not enough that anybody ever knew that much about it.
Not on a team?
Mr. Gunn:
Where did they play? Where did they hold football games during that time?
Mr. Gunn:
Of course it's hard to remember now [chuckle].
Was it around where Florida Field is?
Mr. Gunn:
Yes, it was in that vicinity there.
Uh huh. Can you tell me a little bit about what you remember [Albert A.] Murphree [President of the University of Florida], what sort of man he was?
Mr. Gunn:
You know, the one thing I will always remember of Dr. Murphree is that when you entered the president's office, Dr. Murphree was the person that greeted you. I made the statement many, many times that he's the only executive I ever knew that occupied the front office and had his secretary or help in the back office. I distinctly remember that when you entered the president's office you were greeted with what we always referred to as that million-dollar smile.
Uh huh. I understand that he was also a great one for remembering names.
Mr. Gunn:
Oh, indeed he was, yes sir. He knew them all; he knew their parents and everything. Yes, indeed.
And he would greet you when he saw you on campus.
Mr. Gunn:
Oh, yes. Yes, sir.
How about Dr. [James M.] Farr? Do you remember Dr. Farr?
Mr. Gunn:
Quite well. I remember him as an English prof. and as vice-president of the university. He was not president at any of the time that I was there. Dr. Murphree died after I graduated. But I knew Dr. Farr as a prof. quite well.
Did you have courses with him?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh, yes. Indeed, yes. I remember that he boasted he was one English department head that never published a text book [chuckle]. I also remember that he went to South Carolina every summer, because he was a native of South Carolina, and when the dormitories closed, of course, we have the summer school every summer that the teachers came to. Those of us who worked there in the summer on campus were permitted to keep our rooms and to board in the dormitory and we also served, I did, as others did, in the mess hall. But when it was out, we had to rustle for ourselves, and Dr. Farr went to South Carolina as I said, every summer. One occasion when they closed the dorms we had moved to Dud's place across the street over there, the place I spoke of, Uncle Dud's, and we went over there one morning and Dr. Farr had returned from his vacation and he was there for breakfast and I said to him,
``Doctor, I hope you enjoyed your vacation.''

 And he said,

``Indeed, I did. I spent it all fighting Cole Blease [a 
   candidate for the governor of South Carolina].''
Cole Blease was a militant South Carolinian, you know.
That's right.
Mr. Gunn:
And he says he certainly enjoyed a summer fighting Cole Blease.
I understand he was kind of a feisty person and also that he was something of a boxer.
Mr. Gunn:
I don't recall about the boxing part of it. He was quite energetic and always ready with a come back, feisty with his conversation.
Uh huh. Did you ever have any classes with Professor [Charles Langley] Crow, [Professor of Modern Languages]?
Mr. Gunn:
No, I never had any language courses, modern languages courses. I knew Dr. Crow. Of course we knew everybody, as I said in those days. I knew Dr. Crow, that is I had a speaking acquaintance with him, as we did all the profs., but I never had one of his classes.
How about Professor [H. G.] Keppel, [Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy]?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh yes [laugh]. Oh boy, I sure sweated through trigonometry under Keppel. Yes sir. Yes sir. He was good.
Uh huh. How would you describe him? Was he a big man, was he an old man when you were a student?
Mr. Gunn:
Well, he was not excessively overweight, but he was a well built man, broad shouldered. He was actually close to six feet tall. He was, I mean, not over that. An excellent mathematician.
Uh huh. That sounds like a German name. Did he have any kind of accent that you can recall?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh no. Let's see, I expect you would notice it on first acquaintance perhaps, but very soon you'd forget that there was any. [ed., Keppel was of Dutch ancestry.]
Uh huh. Do you remember him as being a hard professor? Demanding?
Mr. Gunn:
Well, he expected you to come up with assignments that were given. And very considerate. I didn't have any complaints.
Did you know Dr. Cox, Harvey Cox, who was an education professor?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh well, casually only. I had no work under Cox at all. I had a room-mate who was very, very fond of Dr. Cox. He thought he was a wonderful person.
Since you were in agriculture, you will remember Professor [Peter Henry] Rolfs, [Dean of the College of Agriculture].
Mr. Gunn:
Oh, quite well, yes.
Did you know him at all well? Did you have much contact with him?
Mr. Gunn:
Well, I knew Professor Rolfs quite well, I think, yes, Director of the station. I worked in the experiment station building a great deal as a student. I did everything---preparing charts and running mimeographs, laboratory work, and everything else that is in that building, you know, for different individuals. I remember one incident [chuckle]. Two incidents, I remember. The first one, there was a man by the name of [John] Belling [Editor and Assistant Botanist to the Experiment Station] who was a scientist and who was working on velvet beans. The old Florida velvet beans were full of sticky spines, you know, and hard to handle. And Dr. Belling, who was English, at the time had undertaken to, some way, to work those spines off of the Florida velvet bean. Part of my activity as major student in the university was working with Dr. Belling in the laboratory, picking the beans from the field and then counting the dead ovules and other things that were factors in the laboratory. And [chuckle] on one occasion, one of the scientists from the third floor---Dr. Belling's office was on the second floor---came in with a specimen---I don't remember what it was---of some kind that had been sent in for identification. And he came along and asked Dr. Belling if he could identify this and he said,
``No, no. I don't know.  I don't know. I don't know.''

Well, he said,

``Well, all right, thank you,''
and he walked out and went down to the director's office which was Rolfs, you see, old Rolfs was a domineering character, a wonderful man, and he came back up and stopped in and said,
``Mr.  Belling, would you be interested in knowing what the chief

``Oh, I say, I do, I would. It would be interesting. It would be

``Well, he said it was so and so,'' and he had two long names, you know,
and Belling said,
``Oh yes, yes, yes. So I thought at first, too, but it isn't, it isn't,
it isn't [chuckle].''
It didn't make any difference to him what the chief said. Yes, I knew Mr. Rolfs quite well. He spoke to my wife and I about going to Brazil at the time that he went down there. But we had other ideas. I knew the Rolfs' family. There was Mrs. Rolfs and the two daughters. They grew pineapples down in St. Lucie County, I believe it was; they used to talk about the pineapple operation down there and all that. But I did some work for Mr. Rolfs. I remember one thing he said to me one time. I was working for Mr. B. F. Floyd [Plant Physiologist, Agricultural Experiment Station] in physiology, plant physiology, the plant physiologist, on the third floor and he said,
``He's got some work he wants you to do. Suppose you go
down and see him? He'd like you to get some work done for him.''

 And I went down there and he had some drawings he wanted made.  And I

``Professor Rolfs, I'm honored that you asked me to do this and I would
enjoy doing it, but I don't  draw anything. I can't, I just don't do
that at all.  I just can't do it. There's no use my undertaking it,
because it would't be successful.''

`Well,' he said, `You can do that.'

`No,' I said, `I am embarrassed, but I just can't do it. That's all
there is. I just don't draw anything. 'And I says, `Sir, it'll be

`Well, that's all right, take it out.'

Well, I come back with some drawn lines made on a piece of paper,
and there was this old gentleman and he looked at the stuff and he
looked at me and he say, `Well, Gunn, are you sure you can draw your breath?
Well, he wasn't lacking in a sense of humor anyway.
Mr. Gunn:
Oh, no, he was not lacking in any sense of humor. He was all right. He was a good friend of mine. I got to know him quite well.
Do you remember Dr. [Edward R.] Flint, the chemistry professor?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh yes, yes. Yes sir. He was campus physician at the time. That was when we didn't have any hospital or anything of that kind. The third floor or---Thomas Hall, was it? The A Section of one of the halls---I think it was Thomas---was what they called the Infirmary. We had a nurse up there, Miss [Mary] McRobbie, a wonderful English woman. And if a boy were to get banged up, or had a siege of Dengue Fever one time and things like that, you know. If you'd get a cold or something, they'd send you up there and she'd give you an aspirin or something and send you home. Once in a while they keep them a night or two to get the fever out of them, but that was all the medical---and Dr. Flint, who was campus physician, was head of the Department of Chemistry.
Uh huh. Did you ever have any courses with Dr. Flint?
Mr. Gunn:
No. Well, wait a minute. Now I believe I did have one freshman course with him.
Was he a hard teacher?
Mr. Gunn:
No, not particularly. I don't recall him being what I would consider a hard teacher. In fact, I didn't have it hard. [chuckle]
That's a good way to go.
Mr. Gunn:
I think I got by pretty easy, I thought. I was very much impressed by all the ones that I had. I remember particularly that the week that I graduated, my father died out at Jackson County and I was away for the last examination, and one of them particularly that had been difficult for me, a course that I elected and it had taken so much work that I was quite worried about that and it was one that I missed while I was gone. When I came back, I went over. The prof., his name was [H. S.] Davis, [Professor of Zoology and Bacteriology]. He gave me the questions and I went into the other room there. Sat there and mulled over them a little bit and I just simply couldn't concentrate at all. So I went back by his desk and told him there was no use in me taking any more time there, that I wasn't getting anywhere at all. I simply couldn't concentrate on that stuff. And he said,
`Well, just leave it there.'

And I went back the third time and told him that; I said,

`I don't know what I'll do about this, but I simply can't concentrate
on it, that's all.'

And he said, `Oh, well, don't let that worry you. I sent your
grade in while you were gone anyway.' [laughter]
I wish I would have met somebody like that. Did you have any occassion to know Dr. [J. R.] Benton, the engineering professor?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh, we knew Ickey. Everybody knew Ickey, you know.
Mr. Gunn:
Ichabod Crane. That's the way ...
That's what they called him?
Mr. Gunn:
Yeah. He carried himself somewhat like you had read about Ichabod Crane and he went around campus that way. But he was a very brilliant man. No question about that. I had no work under him, but I had a few contacts with him. Admired him very much.
Was there any place in Gainesville for the students to go for entertainment in those days? Was there a motion picture house or ...?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh, yes. Yes, every time we won a football game we had a shirt tail parade downtown. And took in the picture show, you know. Oh yes. They had, I think two picture shows. The first one was down near where the old post office building is. I've forgotten what they called it. But anyway, that was the first I remember, and there was one uptown. Then there was a local theatrical group here that used to put on plays in the old Baird Theater building. And those were once or twice a year. The local talent.
Mr. Gunn, when did you graduate from the university?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh, it was 1916.
1916. Where did they hold the graduation ceremony? Do you remember?
Mr. Gunn:
Wait a minute ... I'm not sure.
But would you tell us briefly what you did then in your career after you left the university? Did you make use of your agricultural degree? Is that what you went into?
Mr. Gunn:
Well, you know, I've heard it many times since I've finished school that very few people wind up in what they had as a major. Well, that was true in my case from an economic point of view. The Depression brought it on, as I presume was true of others. When I came out, as I've already related, my father died just as I was graduating, and of course what I needed was an income. I had two other brothers, one was in school at the time that I graduated and one was still to come, and still had a sister, quite a bit younger, and my mother. So the state had just been invaded by the citrus canker, which is a disease of citrus that you've heard of, of course. And Wilmon Newell [Director of Agricultural Experiment Station and Agricultural Extension Division] was brought over. He had been in Louisiana, had done an outstanding job over there. The Plant Board was created in the 1915 legislature, and Dr. Newell came over to set the thing up. And I've said facetiously a number of times, although it's pretty close to the truth, that the Plant Board hired everything that year that had an agricultural degree and could walk. Well, I met both of these qualifications. So I went in, with this canker first thing, and then went to Fort Myers. I had never been further south than Gainesville at the time and I didn't know anything about citrus. Of course I'd had some courses, but that was one advantage I had. I remember definitely that I was quite egotistical about it at the time. But they gave us a test and they ran us through a cram course as we came out of the school, you know, enrolled us in these special classes, and they put us to work, then they ran us through this test. And of course those of us from Florida, although I had not majored in citrus, had some of those courses and we had a little advantage over the boys from Idaho and Nebraska, and New England and all. And we had two grades, those that made more than seventy-five, I believe it was--I may be mistaken about the grades--but anyone that made the higher grade, above a certain grade got $75.00 a month. And the ones that made between that and sixty-five, if my figures are correct, you got $65.00 a month. Well, I got into the higher grade point. And I didn't make an exceptionally high grade, but I got above this number, whatever it was, so I got $75.00 a month when I came out of school.
Could you tell us a little about the nature of that work that you did with the citrus canker down there in Fort Myers?
Mr. Gunn:
Well, what we did was to inspect the trees and to find places that were infected, you know. In this, I believe they are still arguing about whether it was a bacteria or a fungus, but that's beside the point. Wherever we found this disease up there, why, we destroyed the tree.
The whole tree, not just the ....
Mr. Gunn:
Oh yeah, yeah. Dig it up.
Did you burn it too?
Mr. Gunn:
Oh yeah. Burn it right there. Don't move it off the property or anywhere else. You see, we'd disinfect. We wore coveralls, white coveralls over everything and we dipped them in bichloride solution before we went into a property and then when we came out of a property, and then before we went into the next property. Even though the suit had been dipped when we came out of this property, before we went on to the next one we dipped it again, taking no chances, naturally. But I went through that then, on, around Lee County and I went down to Wauchula one time from there to see some stuff that was quite heavily infested and to do some work down there. But most of my time was spent at Fort Myers. There and at Wauchula. I was down in Bonita Springs, and a few other places along the coast down in there. But what we did was to go out in the morning and just walk slowly around the trees, you know, and spot these splotches if you could find them.

The transcript [1] goes on to talk about Gunn's other ventures and how things were during the Depression, but that is not really germane to our purpose here, so we refer the reader to the Florida Oral History Project, for a first hand account of survival during these times. One thing Mr. Gunn did append to the transcript was the following written material:

``Additional information: after two years of working to make money to come to the University of Florida, I had made $67.50. I put $7.50 in a railroad ticket from Marianna to Gainesville, $60 in my pocket, and came to the University of Florida and graduated in four years with very little help from the outside. I received a bachelor of science degree in agriculture, membership in Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and Alpha Zeta Agricultural Honor Fraternity. Some years after graduating, I received notice of election to Gamma Sigma Delta National Honor Society.''

Given Mr. Gunn's recollections about Dean Benton, it is appropriate to quote here also from Major Wilbur Floyd's comments on the unveiling of the Benton Memorial Tablet during the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Celebration of the University of Florida held on February 12, 1931, cf. [2, pp. 196--197]:

``As a leader he manifested his ability by selecting able co-workers, by making prompt and accurate decisions, as doing as well as counseling, by manifesting faith and vision, and inspiring associates with energy, confidence and assurance. With his own hands he helped to build the first little dynamo house and installed the equipment therein, at a time when funds were so low and prospects so poor the building was called `Calamity Hall.' This served as an electrical laboratory till funds became available to erect the hall which was recently named for him. [ed., Benton Hall, later torn down before the erection of Grinter Hall, currently occupying the site of the former Benton Hall]

Fitness for use he always placed above show or ornamentation. When the buildings which now house the college were designed, he gave attention to every detail and insisted on changes in the architect's plans that would better adapt them to the uses and purposes for which they were intended.

It is characteristic of an earnest, practical man that he go directly to his objective, whether it be moving from one place to another, performing an experiment, solving a problem, or reaching a conclusion. This was a conspicuous trait of Dr. Benton. He wore a path across the campus in the most direct line from his house to his office, solved problems by the slide rule, illustrated his lectures by plain, well-drawn figures, and administered his duties as dean by direct, unequivocal methods.

Three years ago at an alumni luncheon, those of us still here who were members of the first faculty, were named and honored as the `faithful five'. Dr. Benton is the first of this group to be called by the death angel. We who remain cannot find words to express our feeling of loss of him who for twenty-five years was our friend and companion. No one remembers him to have uttered one impure thought, one allusion of indelicacy, or one unbelieving suggestion. His fidelity to duty, his untiring labor for the advancement of the institution which means much to all of us and into which he has woven the warp and woof of his nature, will ever be remembered. We have been drawn closer together in a spiritual way by him, and feel stimulated to carry on because his spirit still lingers with us.''

Philip S. May, Past President of the Alumni Association had the following remarks, which amplify on Mr. Gunn's recollections, cf. [2, p. 198]:

``A little more than twenty-two years have passed since I first knew the late Dean Benton. My first sight of him will never pass from my memory. He was making his way across campus, along the straight line about which Major Floyd has told us, and from that sight of him I knew whence came Ichabod, the name by which he was affectionately known on the campus. But only in stature, gait and profession did he resemble the schoolmaster of Sleepy Hollow; in mind and soul he was distinctly John Benton, a man of rare talents, character, and effectiveness. There is generally a coldness about efficiency, but Dean Benton, probably the most efficient man with whom I have every been intimately acquainted, was first a great soul with genuine warmth of personality.''


  1. Florida Oral History Project, University of Florida, interview of Colin D. Gunn, by Stephen Kerber, dated December 1, 1979.
  2. The Record of the University of Florida Bulletin of the Proceedings of the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Celebration, February 12, 1931, Vol. 24, no. 5, (March 15, 1931), pp. 183--214.