Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Seventy Years

his children after his death, on condition that the income be used to promote the commercial features of the Shop, and that if at any future time the commercial shop should be abandoned, the fund should revert to Memorial Hospital.

George I. Alden was selected to succeed Mr. Higgins as representative of the State Board of Education on the Board of Trustees. This was a fitting choice, for these two men had been members of the faculty during exactly the same years and later had been intimate associates in industry.

Another member of the original Institute staff, though in an exceedingly minor capacity, was John Hurley. His death in the fall of 1911 removed a real character who had always taken pride in being "a friend of the boys." The friendship was reciprocated, for in appreciation of the fact that John had never told tales, no matter how serious the prank, class after class had subscribed to the annual fund that provided the Hurleys' Thanksgiving dinner. John was the original janitor of Boynton Hall and errand boy for everybody. Born in Ireland, he had come to America as a young man, and had become the Institute handy man at thirty. When he became too old for his regular job, he was transferred to the shop, under protest, and continued to sweep there until he was eighty-one, two years before his death.

The vacancy in the chair of Applied Mechanics caused by Professor Hancock's death was not filled until May, 1912, when John Harland Nelson was called from a similar post at Case School of Applied Science, where he had taught for three years. A graduate of South Dakota State College and a former instructor there, he came with a high reputation as a teacher, a reputation which he fully maintained at Worcester.

The resignation of Wilbur R. Tilden as instructor in pattern making in November, 1912, removed from the staff one of its most fantastic characters. Tilden ruled the pattern shop for eight years. He was as cordially liked by students who were adept at woodworking as he was hated by many of those whom he dubbed "wood butchers." To succeed him


[WPI] [Library] [Contents] [Back] [Forward]

Last Modified: Fri Jul 30 11:15:25 EDT 1999