Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Seventy Years

Mrs. Sinclair retired from the teaching staff in May, 1872, much to the regret of her colleagues and students. Professor Kimball's assignment to the new department of Physics at that time required the appointment of another assistant to Professor Sinclair, whose duties included Civil Engineering as well as Mathematics. Again the choice fell to an Amherst graduate, Thomas E. N. Eaton, '68. Mr. Eaton, whose early education had been gained entirely by home tutoring, achieved high success at college, winning first prize in Mathematics. Preceding the Worcester appointment, he was a teacher at Lawrence Academy in Groton. In 1873 he was promoted to assistant professor, and the following year became junior professor of Mathematics, most of his work thereafter being with the junior, or first-year, class.

The first graduate of the Institute to receive a position on the staff was Henry P. Armsby, '71. He served as assistant in Chemistry during the year 1871-72, prior to the continuance of his studies at Yale. Fifty years later he was also to be the recipient of the first honorary doctorate conferred by his alma mater. The next graduate assistant, in the same department, was Walter U. Barnes, '75, who succeeded a Miss Mary F. Reed in the laboratory. Mr. Barnes was promoted to instructor in 1882, but retired from the staff the following year.

Enos H. Bigelow, '75, served for two years after graduation as tutor in languages, then went to Harvard Medical School to prepare for a long and useful career as a physician. He was succeeded by U. Waldo Cutler, '74, who was appointed instructor in 1878 and promoted to assistant professor in 1883.

The need for more instruction in field work for civil engineers was met in 1874 by the appointment of Aldus M. Chapin as instructor. Mr. Chapin was then about sixty-two, a practical engineer of much experience, who had been city engineer of Worcester in 1873. He had formerly lived in Manchester, N. H., and it was there that young Milton Higgins


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