More Glass Plate Negatives from the Muskingum Archives

During the Spring semester Katie Day ’12 and Erin Stevic ’02 went through our collection of very old and very fragile glass plate negatives in the Archives collection. Most of the images appear to be from the 1910s and 1920s, and include many images that do not e

xist in the archives collection in paper form. Katie and Erin carefully laid each negative on a light box and snapped a digital image of each before transferring them to to archival envelopes and storing them in archival boxes. Thank you, Larry Normansell, Social Science Division chair, for finding the money to purchase the needed archival supplies. Over the next few weeks I will be posting some of… Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Scholarship Day Address, 2012

Hard Times


William Kerrigan, Cole Professor of American History, delivered this address at the annual Scholarship Day program on April 12, 2012.

On December 23, 1841, a Muskingum College student named Robert W. Hunter sat down at his desk to write a first draft of an essay assigned on the subject of “the Times.”  “Hard Times is the general cry at present with the greater part of the community, and more especially with the speculator or trading part,” Mr. Hunter began.

And all this originated chiefly from their own bad management.  Bankers and all such jobbernowbs are not satisfied when doing very well, but will endeavor to venture a     little farther

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Takako Yagi’s Short Story

Takago Yagi was one of eight Nisei (second generation Japanese-Americans) invited to Muskingum College during World War II after President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued executive order #9066, which paved the way for the forced relocation of 120,000 ethnic Japanese on the Pacific coast to internment camps during WWII.  There were few ways for an internee to find release from these camps, but the government would allow individuals to be released to the guardianship of any communities in the interior of the United States who were willing to sponsor them.  There were few communities willing to do this, but Muskingum College President Robert Montgomery made the bold decision to bring some college-aged Nisei out of these camps to study at Muskingum.  The Nisei students thrived at Muskingum and many became campus

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Richard Pipes’ first impressions of New Concord

Richard Pipes is a Professor Emeritus at Harvard, and one of the nation’s leading experts on Soviet and post-Soviet Russia.  But in 1940 he was a young immigrant, a Jewish refugee,, whose family had barely escaped Poland just as the Nazis invaded.  The family managed to make it to Italy, then to the United States where a friend of a friend invited them to stay on their farm in upstate New York.  This is the story of how he came to Muskingum College.

We spent the rest of the summer on the farm.  In the hayloft where John and I slept, I chanced on a copy of the 1914-1915 Who’s Who in America. In the back… Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Robert W. Hunter on the moral dangers of shooting marbles

Robert W. Hunter was a student at Muskingum in its earliest years.  A collection of essays he wrote while a student at Muskingum is among the University Archive’s most valuable possessions, as it gives us a glimpse of student culture during Muskingum’s first years.  Robert’s father was born in Ulster, Ireland, and his mother in Pennsylvania, and they imparted to young Robert a Scots-Irish Calvinists strict moral code.  Among the earliest essays Robert wrote while attending Muskingum was this jeremiad against the moral dangers of shooting marbles, which he insisted was “laying a sure foundation for gambling.”  According to Robert W. Hunter, students and other New Concord young people could be found shooting marbles in the streets and in front of the grocers. This “evil habit” could lead students down… Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Thomas A. Boyd’s Memories of Muskingum

Thomas A. Boyd grew up on a small farm near Fairview, Ohio at the turn of the nineteenth century.  As a bright scholar, he was able to secure a job teaching in one room school houses across Guernsey County at a time when the qualification for teaching was having at least two years more education than the students you taught and passing a test.  During his summers Boyd took additional college prep classes at Muskingum, and for one year became a full time student.  Boyd would eventually earn a Bachleor’s Degree in Chemistry from to the Ohio State University, then go to work for Charles Kettering in Dayton, Ohio, a pioneer in the emerging automobile industry.  Working in Kettering’s lab on the problem of developing a fuel for automobiles that

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Fortescue Cuming’s 1807 journey

Fortescue Cuming was a European investor who travelled across Ohio looking for promising locations for investment. In the summer of 1807 Cuming traveled down the Ohio river to Maysville, Kentucky, then headed overland along Zane’s Trace. In the ten years since Ebenezer Zane blazed the Trace, it had been widened by the shoes, hoofs, and wheels of thousands of migrants and their horses and carts into a very rough and rutted wagon road. Zane’s Trace arcs across the southeastern corner of Ohio ,meeting the Ohio river at Wheeling on the east side of the state, and across from Maysville, Kentucky in the south. Its course is roughly followed today by US-22 from Maysville, KY to Zanesville, then US-40 from Zanesville to Wheeling. In eastern Muskingum County, the Trace followed the… Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Muskingum’s Literary Societies

If you have visited Fran and Walter Otto Hall in recent weeks you might have noticed two old glass windows hanging from the ceiling underneath the stairs to the second floor. These are transoms preserved from Johnson Hall before it was demolished. In the late 19th and early 20th century, two of the larger rooms on the second floor of Johnson Hall were the meeting rooms of two rival literary societies on campus, The Philomathean (Philo.) and Union Literary (U.L.) Societies.

Ryan Worbs provides this brief history of Muskingum’s literary societies and their place in the early history of the college.

Across the nineteenth century and into the twentieth, literary societies promoted intellectual and… Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

A Essay from the Robert W. Hunter Papers

This entry comes from Ryan Worbs, ’10, co-author of Muskingum College, a Pictorial History.

Robert W. Hunter was a student at Muskingum during its first years. A collection of of his student essays are in the Muskingum Archives. The Hunter Papers provide a unique glimpse of the thoughts and attitudes of one of Muskingum’s earliest students. A majority of the Hunter notes consist of essays, oratory notes, penmanship exercises, and personal letters. Hunter’s writing addresses quite a variety of topics; he was an avid defender of temperance, opposed to gambling and risky land speculating, in favor of free public schools, and even posited that Cincinnati might serve as a more appropriate capital of the United States as it lay near the geographic and population center… Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Glass Negatives

Tucked in the archives is a box of old glass negatives taken about 1900. They are ghostly images, some of them cracked, many of them too faded to view. I have scanned a few for your enjoyment.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off