Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Seventy Years

us in the future commensurate with our present hopes the rise in the salary is a sure fact."

So he came, bringing with him two small daughters by his first wife who had died the previous year. During his first year in Worcester he found opportunity not only to win the devotion and respect of his students, which he was to continue to do for four decades, but to win the heart of his fair colleague, Miss Fletcher. They were married in November, 1870, and she continued her teaching until the spring of 1872.

Also in June, 1869, Alden was elected professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, and Gladwin, professor of Drawing. Another instructor in Mathematics, Mr. Frank A. Sherman, was added in the fall of 1870; he was called to Dartmouth the following spring. Mr. R. C. Parish became a part-time instructor in English at that time. Prof. William W. Ware, of the Massachusetts Institute, was appointed lecturer in Architecture, and Prof. Paul A. Chadbourne was induced to come from Williams to give twenty lectures in Geology.

These constituted the staff with whom the first class had contacts. Clerical assistance was an unknown luxury. Professor Thompson wrote his letters and records in longhand and carefully recorded impressions of them in copypress books. Financial accounts were kept and all checks issued by the treasurer of the Corporation, David Whitcomb, and it was sometimes necessary for Thompson to remind him that certain accounts were long overdue, not infrequently salary payments.

But if the faculty and students were having their troubles, they were insignificant in comparision with the problems of the trustees. Directly after the dedication of Boynton Hall, a committee was appointed to report upon the condition of the funds. Mr. Hoar, chairman, reported that the Board was faced with a deficit of about $12,000. Nearly half of this amount was due the several funds on account of construction


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