xt75736m0z6g https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt75736m0z6g/data/mets.xml Federal Writers' Project of the Work Projects Administration for the State of Kentucky 1939 books The University of Louisville This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed.  Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically.  Physical rights are retained by the owning repository.  Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. copyright laws.  For information about permissions to reproduce or publish, contact the Special Collections Research Center. Kentucky Works Progress Administration Publications University of Louisville A centennial history of the University of Louisville text A centennial history of the University of Louisville 1939 2012 true xt75736m0z6g section xt75736m0z6g '¥" . . . ~ · M.: ..·;r»,··$ .- I 1
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 I A CENTENNI/\L HISTORY
OF THE
UNIVERSITY OE LOUISVILLE

 A CENTENNIAL HISTORY
OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE
¤* ··•_
‘¥!E'TT€"L?Y
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PUBLISHED BY THD Umvmzsmr op Lomsvxun ,`
PMNTED BY Tm; STANDARD P1um·1Nc C0., LOUISVILLE, KY. b
{Q

 FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY
WORK PROJECTS ADMINISTRATION
F. C. HARRINGTON, Commissioner
FLORENCE KERR, Assistant Commissioner
GEORGE H. GOODMAN, Administrator
Kentucky Work Projects Administration
R
MEDICAL CENTER LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY OF I CAMPUS DEVELOPMENT PLAN MODEL .......................... 240 .
BRIGMAN, BENNETT M. .................................................................. 204
BURNETT, THEODORE L. ................................................................ 40
CALDWELL, ISAAC ............................................................................ 40
CAMPUS OF LOUISVILLE MUNICIPAL COLLEGE FOR NEcR0Es ........ 212
CITY HOSPITAL IN 1856 .................................................................... 60
CLARKE, ERNEST S. .......................................................................... 104
CLEMENT, RUEUs E. .....___..,,__..__._____._,_______..______.._,__.,...................... 220
COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS, 1907-1925 .......................................... 16
COLVIN, GEORGE .............................,................................................ 40
DABNEY, WILLIAM .......................................................................... 104
DAvIDs0N, DR. HARRY A ................................................................. 104
_ FAIRLEIGH, DAVID W. ..................................................,................... 40
FORD, ARTHUR Y. ............................................................................ 40
GROSS, DR. SAMUEL D ....._......,....__....__....._....._....__.....,..._................ 52
GUTHRIE, JAMES .............................................................................. 40
HELM, BLAKEY ........................................._................._.................... 104
JOLAS, ]A<;QUEs ......................__....,......_...............,...___...................... 196
JOUETT, EDWARD S. ..................................._.................................... 104
KENT, PRESIDENT RAYMOND AsA ..................,...._...._...,......,.........,.. 96
LANE, DAVID A. ................................................................................ 220
xiii

 n
L xiv Illustrations
  Lorr, ]. N., ]R ................................................................................... 152
  LOUISVILLE UNIVERSITY .................................................................. 60
  MOORE, DR. JOHN WALKER .......................................................... 152
NICHOLAS, S. S. ................................................................................ 40
OPPENHEIMER, ]. ]. ........................................................................ 152
O,ROURKE, ]0P1N T. ........................................................................ 152
PARR1s1~1 HALL .................................................................................. 212
PATTERSON, JOHN L. ...................................................................... 40
PLRTLE, JAMES S. .............................................................................. 40
PLRTLE, W1LL1AM B. ........................................................................ 104
PLAYHOUSE, THE, ON BELKNAP CAMPUS ........................................ 188
RAUCH, ]0sEP1-1 ................................................................................ 104
SCHOLTZ, MAYOR JOSEPH D ............................................................. 244
SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY .................................................................... 76
SCHOOL OF LAW, BELKNAP CAMPUS ................................................ 224
SCHOOL OF MEDICINE IN 1856 ........................................................ 60
SCHOOL OF MEDICINE IN 1959 ................................_....................... 68
SPEED (]. B.) MEMORIAL MUSEUM, BELKNAP CAMPUS ................ 80
SPEED SCIENTIFIC SCHOOL, BELKNAP CAMPUS ................................ 180 -
SPEED, W1LL1AM S. .......................................................................... 104
STAMM, FREDERICK W. .................................................................... 152
STEVENSON, GUY ............................................................................ 152
STEWARD HALL ................................................................................ 212
STRONG, MARGARET K. .................................................................. 152
THRELKELD, HILDA .......................................................................... 152
VINSEL, KENNETH P. ...................................................................... 152
W1L1<1Ns0N, FORD LEE .................................................................... 152
WOTAWA, EDWARD ]. ...................................................................... 196
YANDELL, DR. DAVID WENDELL .................................................... 52

 PRESIDENTS
or THE
UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE
S. S. NICHOLAS, 1846-47
JAMES GUTHRIE, 1847-69
IsAAc CALDWELL, 1870-86
JAMES S. PIRTLE, 1886-1905
THEODORE L. BURNETT, 1905-11
DAVID W. FAIRLEIGH, 1911-14
ARTHUR Y. Form, 1914-26
GEORGE C0Lv1N, 1926-28
· ]01-LN L. PATTERSON, 1928-29
(Acting President)
RAYM0N¤ A. KENT, 1929-

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ADMINISTRATION BUILDING THROUGH BELKNAP MEMORIAL GATE
Bclkmzp Cmzzpm

 Chapter One
B G C l( 8 YO U U d
ONLY SIX DECADES after George Rogers Clark landed
at the Falls of the Ohio River the University of Louisville
was created. The men and women who guided the develop-
ment of Louisville during these intervening years brought
with them into the wilderness a foundation of cultural heritage
and a background in which the university readily took root.
The university celebrated its centennial in 1937 as the
oldest municipal university in America. It is only necessary
to examine the social background and community interests of
old families associated with Louisville’s history to understand
the genesis and the development of her modern municipal uni-
versity. Directly and indirectly their social and cultural at-
tributes and those of their descendants have been woven into
the spiritual, if not the tangible, evolution of the university.
The names of men who first served on its board of managers
are still household words to the residents of the city. Indeed,
they, their associates, and their descendants symbolize the
culture of old Louisville. With each passing generation a
host of others have made their contributions, and as the history
of the university unfolds, the spirit of Louisville is revealed.
The men of prominence who constituted the first board
of trustees of the university represented a community leader-
ship that was forward looking, and alert to create cultural and
professional opportunities for the youth of Louisville. Their
V 1

 l I
I 2 A Centennial History of i
, ideals and visions often transcended not only the possibilities of
j their own generation but also those of several generations to q
follow. Some of their dreams, in fact, have materialized only ’l
in recent years. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to I
select from the earliest directories and records the names of all r
the old Louisville families who had a part in the pioneer efforts I
that gave Louisville its university. The yellowed manuscripts t
that chronicle the ·history of the city and its many institutions t
do not mention all who were actively interested. The reputa- s
tions of generals are made by the men who march in the ranks, ]
and whose individual names and personal deeds are seldom V I
known. The same thing is true of a pioneer democratic I
society. Its leadership is a reflection of the morale and quality *
of the people. In recalling, therefore, the names of the men 1
who composed the city council in 1837, it must be remembered *
that a host of other men and women whom they represented,
and whose names are not recorded, helped to initiate far- ,
reaching movements. On this council, which approved almost ,
unanimously the several attempts to found a college or univer- p
sity, were Simeon Buckner, Garrett E. Pendergrast, William {
H. Field, ]ames Guthrie, ]oseph ‘Metcalfe, ]ames A. Rogers,
]ames Rudd, Daniel Smith, and Charles M. Thruston, In
1838, when the cornerstone of the Medical Building was laid,
the program of the ceremonies carried in addition the names
of Mayor Frederick A. Kaye and Councilmen ]ohn B. Bland,
]ames E. Redd, Colman Daniel, William T. Spurrier, Daniel
C. McAllister, Hugh Ferguson, ]ohn M. Talbott, ]ohn Curry,
Paul Dannelli, and ]acob W. Errick.*1
*Notcs, references, and sources are indicated by numerals. These refer
to corresponding numbers at the end of this chapter. Notes on Chapter One
begin on page 20.
~s

 T/oe Univerrity of Louisville 5
Prominently mentioned among those active in one capacity
or another in these early civic activities are ]ohn Rowan, Levi
Tyler, William Penny, Edward Crow, joshua H. Bowles, R.
R. Mcllvaine, and William Garvin. Families prominently
represented were the Breckinridges, Ballards, Butlers, Bridges,
Bateses, Barbours, Buchanans, Buckners, Bells, and Bullitts;
; the Churchills, Crosbys, Colemans, Clarks, and Caldwells;
; the Ewings, Fieldses, and Fergusons; the Galts, Graysons, Gold-
. smiths, Gwathmeys, and Gists; the Harrisons, Hewitts,
, ]aco‘bses, ]o‘hnsons, Millers, Merriwethers; the Ormsbys, Old-
1 . hams, Popes, Prentices, Pendergrasts, and Prathers; the Rowans,
; Rogerses, Taylors, Thrustons, Wards, and the Speeds. There
V were many others whom the older residents would, no doubt,
1 mention as the founders of that early Louisville culture out of
j which developed the ideal of a municipal university.
l, These early leaders came from many states in the Union,
T- and especially from central Kentucky, where a similar culture,
it V educa-tionally sustained by Transylvania University and other
i' schools, already llourished. In the early part of the nineteenth
H century Lexington had passed the pioneer stage and had be-
$= come a well-ordered metropolis of cultural importance, some-
H times referred to as the "Athens of the West." Her medical
L school ranked at least fifth among those in the Union. At
is this time such river towns as Louisville were looked upon as
L unhealthful and conducive to fevers. Only adventurers daring
Sl the fever for the promise of large financial stakes took up
Y» residence in the river bottoms. But with the coming of the
steamboat the allurements of river towns increased.
Fer Furthermore, when the cholera epidemic of 1853 made its
ine ravaging sweep across Kentucky, one out of every seven persons

 aff"' 
I 4 A Centennial Hiytory of
  in Lexington was stricken. The theory that the inhabitants
  of the river bottoms were more susceptible to fever than those
of the high and dry inland towns of the Bluegrass was ex-
ploded. Louisville consequently profited from that tragic epi-
demic by an influx of settlers who turned to the task of making
the village a pleasant and prosperous place in which to live.
In those early days, especially before the 1820’s, general
cultural conditions in Louisville were largely circumscribed by
the hard, practical considerations of a pioneer society. An
atmosphere of refinement and social grace was not evident
until the third decade of the nineteenth century, but a num-
ber of fortunate circumstances had already created the condi-
tions favorable to a more genteel society. Under the stimulus
of economic prosperity such a cultured society gradually
emerged and took its place in the life of the city. In M’Mur-
trie’s description of Louisville society in 1819 is a fairly ac-
curate and penetrating observation:
Commercial cities of all newly settled countries, whose inhabitants
are gathered from every corner of the earth, who have migrated thither
with but one single object in view, that of acquiring money, are
stamped with no general character, except that of frugality, attention
to business, and an inordinate attachment to money. Absorbed in the
great business of adding dollar to dollar, no time is devoted to litera-
ture or the acquirement of those graceful nothings, which, of no
value in themselves, still constitute one great charm of polished
society.2
This was undoubtedly true of Louisville in 1819, but
H. M’Murtrie recognized the beginnings of something more
urbane and less mercenary in the society of the thriving river
town. It began to blossom in the following decade and bore
fruit in the thirties.
—a

 Of The U niverrity of Louiwille 5
Irs There is a circle, small, ’tis true, but within whose magic round
rge abounds every pleasure that wealth, regulated by taste, can produce,
,x_ or urbanity bestow. There, the "red-heel" of Versailles may imagine
. himself in the emporium of fashion, and, whilst leading beauty through
dl` the mazes of the dance, forget that he is in the wilds of America.3
lg
lc' Louisville, traditionally named for Louis XVI, King of
Val France, is also culturally indebted to the colony of French-
by men who came into the \\7est and settled at the Falls of the
in Ohio, seeking refuge from the misfortunes that had over-
ii taken them in their native land. M’Murtrie’s comment on the
M_ " `red-heel’ of Versailles" suggests the cultural influence exerted
us on the pioneer community by these French émigrér. This
ly element created an environment characterized by fine, gracious
ir- living that brought favorable comment fr-om visitors who dis-
;c— covered at the Falls of the Ohio increasing refinement and
social polish apparently not expected on the frontier. There
its was, for example, Michael Lacassagne who reproduced the
cf flowers and gardens of his native France and in his will pro-
re vided for their care until 1860. Another whose work brought
gg glory to Kentucky was ]ohn ]. Audubon, the ornithologist,
.a_ famous for his sketches of the birds of the Ohio Valley. Then
10 there was Constantine S. Rafinesque who laid the foundation
Ed for our modern scientific knowledge of the natural history and
resources of Kentucky. There were those whose thrift, skill, and
it genius gave them prominence in business, such as the Bar-
re baroux, Berthouds, Honorés, Tardiveaux, and the Tarascons.
gf They were millers, merchants, manufacturers, and navigators
ye who contributed materially, as well as culturally, to the pros—
perity and growth of early Louisville.

 e’"" l V
‘ 6 A Centennial Hirtory of {
The chief motive that attracted men of adventure, ambition, 1
and even culture to Louisville was the economic advantage it <
enjoyed from the falls which forced the river traffic to halt at 4
this point. In those days natural waterways were the principal =
means of transportation for heavy and bulky freight. The *
Ohio and its various tributaries served an enormous valley east 1
of the Mississippi. Louisville was at the one point on the Ohio 1
River that was not navigable the year around. Freight and `
passenger traffic on the great river had to be transferred at
Louisville. George Rogers Clark had established a military *
base here on his way down the Ohio River because he was
obliged to carry provisions overland around the falls and re-
load them for transportation on the lower river. Mrs. Frances
Trollope wrote on her visit to Louisville in 1829: i
'Ilhe Falls of the Ohio are about a mile ibelow Louisville, and pro-
duce a rapid too sudden for the boats to pass, except in ·the rainy sea-
son. The passengers are obliged to get out below them, and travel
by land to Louisville, where they find other vessels to receive them
for the remainder of the voyage. We were spared this inconvenience
by the water ·being too high for the rapids to be much felt, and it will
soon be altogether removed by the Louisville Canal coming into
operation, wlhich will permit the steamboats to continue their progress
from below the falls of the town.4
As the western country filled up, and the lands were cleared
for production beyond family consumption, the necessity for
markets arose. The period from 1810 to 1840 was one of
great expansion westward. Land speculators and statesmen
alike boomed the West. Every social and economic disturb-
ance on the eastern seaboard resulted in the migration of dis-
contented men and women to the West. In the face of tempo-
ig ` ···~;·i I

 ’ The University 0f Louisville 7.
, rary privation, the pioneer was happy to be free of the restraints
t of an established social order in the East, where limitations
{ and misfortunes had discouraged him. He had climbed into
[ a covered wagon, or followed the trail on foot, to begin life
2 over again. Albert Eugene Gallatin spoke the truth in his
t declaration to Congress early in ·the nineteenth century when
, he said: " .... if the cause of the happiness in this country
{ were examined into, it would be found to arise as much from
t the plenty of land in proportion to the inhabitants which their
V citizens enjoyed as from the wisdom of their political institu-
S tlOHS."5
T- Louisville naturally participated in the expansion of the
S West and also proli-ted from its natural monopoly. Here the
old river became a center of industry, and merchants, traders,
and speculators mingled and transacted business. Goods were
'Z exchanged or stored in warehouses. Money was spent freely
Q1 or banked. The village at the falls became a boom town. A
¤ single lot sold for as much as $700. Warehouses were filled
E to the roof, and the wharves were loaded with uncovered mer-
¤ chandise. The white population, only 3,512 persons in 1821,
ls had more than doubled in 1827. The people began to discuss
the possibility of incorporating the town in order to provide
:1 for self-government. Contracts were let for the building of a
[ canal around the falls, and work was started in March, 1826.
f The canal was opened for navigation on December 5, 1850,
R after an expenditure of $750,000.
,_ The city continued to prosper throughout the period from
;_ 1828 to 1837. Many distinguished men settled in Louisville
I_ during those years, men whose contributions to the intellectual

 el"' 
. 8 A Centennial History 0f {
and spiritual life and the material development of the city ,
are memorable. Although floods, tornadoes, cholera, and de- 1
pressions plagued the city again and again, its citizens were ’
never discouraged for long. The spirit of forging ahead in 1
the face of adversity is typical of Louisville even to the centen- ·
nial year of its municipal university, 1957, which was also the 1
year of a great flood. l
The panic of 1837 was the most severe blow that ever g
struck the town. Ben Casseday drew a vivid picture of that ·
historic event: _
The last few years had been years of such unexampled prosperity; ;
confidence had become so thoroughly established, credit was so plenty, I
and luxury so courted, that, when the unexpected reverse came, the
blow was indeed terrible. On the 19th of April, the banks of Louis- *
ville and of Kentucky suspended specie payment by a resolution of the i
citizens so authorizing them. Previous to this, the banks all over the
country had stopped; another awful commercial crisi-s had arrived, ‘
and one which Louisville felt far more severely than she had felt the
former. Instead of passing lightly over her, as before, the full force
of the blow was felt throughout the whole community. House after
house, which had easily rode out the former storm, now sunk be-
neath the waves of adversity, until it seemed as if none would be left
to tell the sad story. A settled gloom hung over the whole mercantile
community. Main Street was like an avenue in some deserted city.
Whole rows of houses were tenantless, and expectation was upon the
tiptoe every day to ·see who would be the next to close. Each feared
the other; all confidence was gone; mercantile transactions were at
an end; and everything, before so radiant with the springtime of hope
and of promise, was changed to the sad autumn hues of a fruitless
year.6
The founding and development of the university can be at-
tributed only partly to the economic advantages derived from
the location of Louisville at the Falls of the Ohio. The cir-

 I T/ae University of Louisville 9
’ cumstances under which most settlers came to the frontier
· tended to democratize the West far beyond the ideals of
T Thomas jefferson. Some of the great political and social
1 movements of the nineteenth century originated on the frontier
· where a man was a man if he had it in him to be a man, no
5 matter what his previous status had been. The West was the
land -of the common man, and what was good for one was
r good for the other. There, the political aristocracy of the
t; caucus was largely supplanted by the democracy of Andrew
Iackson, who, with his followers, refused to recognize the
right of any class to exclusive privilege. If education was good
; for some, it was good for all. This attitude, however, was
; not, at first, universal in the West. The leveling influences
- of the frontier were to be far more effective in the second and
E third generations. Consequently, there often developed clashes
F in sentiments and ideals. This fact had an important bearing
e upon the attempt to establish a university at Louisville.
f In Kentucky, as in other early pioneer states, there were two
  conflicting theories pertaining to education. The older of the
E two, brought by the pioneers from the East, maintained that
M public education should begin at the top. The first objective
S in this theory was the establishment of a great university en-
rt dowed by the state, then academies, and lastly common schools.
Ie In other words, if a student succeeded in achieving sufficient
is common school education by the route of tutors or private
schools, the state should then promptly provide him with op-
;- portunities for professional training and, perhaps, a higher
D liberal education. The opposing theory, which sprang from
y. the masses, held that the state should first provide common

 10 A Centenninl History of {
school advantages for all the people, and, as time wen-t on, I
should add academies and colleges and even universities. j
Public education in Louisville prior to its incorporation as g
a city, in 1828, was a state function that dated from 1780, j
when Kentucky was still a part of V·irginia. In response to -
petitions, certain lands were donated by the mother-s·tate for
the establishment of seminaries of learning. Al·though the
idea of a public school system was not entertained by the  
constitutional conventions of 1792 and 1799, the example set
by Virginia in 1780 had established a precedent. Therefore,
one of the earliest statutes enacted by the state of Kentucky
set aside 6,000 acres of public domain in each of the counties
for the establishment of seminaries.
‘In 1828, when the first charter incorporating Louisville was
granted, provision was made to establish free common schools
in each of the city wards. The twelfth provision of section
11 provided that the mayor and councilmen had the power
and authority to establish one or m