Garfield University.The idea of erecting a university in memory of President Garfield originated with W. B. Hendryx, a personal friend of Mr. Garfield. There seemed to be no opportunity for establishing such a school in the east, so Mr. Hendryx came to Kansas and after some consideration the matter was taken up by the Christian church. The college committee of that body, consisting of A. J. Thompson, R. F. Lotz, W. D. Stone, Walter Chenault and Howard Rash, made a report to the Kansas convention of the church at Wichita on Oct. 7, 1886. The report stated that the committee believed $100,000 could be secured for the location of the college, if the committee could guarantee that the church would raise an additional $100,000
Of the several locations considered, Wichita was chosen. That city named, organized and chartered Garfield University, with a board of nine directors, and secured options on desirable college sites. On May 29, 1887, a contract was signed by the directors and the college committee, by the terms of which the board was to erect a university building on a 23 acre campus in the southwest part of the city, the building to cost not less than $75,000, nor more than $100,000. Instead of following the original plan, work was begun on a five-story building, covering three-fourths of an acre of ground, and in the second report of the committee this statement is found; "It is now certain that the building will cost not less than $200,000."
Mr. Hendryx, who had been elected business manager, secured funds to carry on the work and efforts were made to complete the north wing of the building in time to open school in the fall of 1887, but this was found to be impossible. The board then secured another building near the university, and there the first classes were held, with Dr. Harvey W. Everset as chancellor. A faculty of twelve persons was selected, and the following departments were provided: preparatory, normal college of letters and science, college of music, college of Bibical theology, and school of art. The law school was opened in Sept., 1888, and the college of medicine the following December. Some 500 students were enrolled in 1889 and the faculty was increased to forty members. In 1890 a business college of Wichita was affiliated with the university, which swelled the enrollment to over 1,000.
In the meantime the Wichita "boom" began to decline, property values decreased, and the land belonging to the university could not be sold without great sacrifice, which meant ruin to the institution. A mortgage of $65,000 was placed on the building and grounds, but the business depression continued and at the close of 1890 the university had no funds to continue its work. The university, therefore, closed its doors after three years in which it had gained an enviable reputation among the institutions of its class.
Mr. Hendryx was not willing to give up the fight, and succeeded in interesting Edgar Harding, a wealthy resident of Boston, Mass., in the college. In Feb., 1892, Mr. Harding assumed all outstanding indebtednesssome $125,000and settled the claims of all creditors. A new charter was obtained, a new board of trustees assumed the management, and the name was changed to "Central Memorial University," the name Garfield to be retained as a general designation. On March 28, 1892, the university again opened its doors. Subsequently the property of the institution passed into the possession of James M. and Anna Davis, who donated it to the "College Association of Friends." (See Friends University.)Page 710-711 from volume I of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I
TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
J | K | L | Mc | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Background and KSGenWeb logo were designed and are copyrighted by
Tom & Carolyn Ward
for the limited use of the KSGenWeb Project.
Permission is granted for use only on an official KSGenWeb page.
Home Page for Kansas
Search all of Blue Skyways
The KSGenWeb Project