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1891 in Clemson History

Events that occurred in 1891:

  • January: The "Washington and Southwestern Vestibuled Limited," is inaugurated by the Richmond and Danville Railroad along the "Piedmont Air Line Route." This Washington-Atlanta train was soon nicknamed the "Vestibule" because it was the first all-year train with vestibuled equipment operating in the South. This train will not stop at Calhoun. Dining cars, a new concept in railroading, were also introduced on the Washington-Atlanta run. Davis, Burke, "The Southern Railway: Road of the Innovators", The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill and London, 1985, Library of Congress card number 84-15343, ISBN 0-8078-1636-1, pages 63-64.
  • January 29: Land is staked for construction of new railroad depot at unincorporated community of Calhoun.
  • The board of trustees determines that the new institution will be run along military lines and that the students or cadets will wear grey military uniforms.
  • March: The trustees, apparently on Henry Aubrey Strode's recommendation, establish a number of "chairs," faculty positions that might form the basis for later "departments." Strode serves as chairman of the trustee committee on curriculum whose report is adopted by the board. "The two principle areas of instruction, agriculture with four chairs and mechanical with one and several shop foremen, were to be supported by five chairs in English and literature, mathematics, physics, history and political economy, and chemistry. It is not clear how extensive a search was conducted to fill these positions, but most of the first sixteen appointments were South Carolinians" ( "Tradition: A History of the Presidency of Clemson University", Mercer University Press, 1988, page 28). Strode was to serve as professor of mathematics.
  • July 28: The cornerstone of the main College building is laid, which will become known as the Main Building. "Appropriately Governor Tillman, for whom the building later would be named, was principal speaker." (Bryan, Wright, "Clemson: An Informal History of the University 1889-1979", The R.L. Bryan Company, Columbia, South Carolina, 1979, ISBN 0-934870-01-2, page 36.)
  • July 29: First election of faculty members takes place. Chosen were C. M. Furman, English; C. W. Welch, physics; William S. Morrison, history; J. S. Newman, agriculture; A. V. Zane, applied mechanics, and President Henry Aubrey Strode, assigned as chair of mathematics. Among the assistant and associate professors elected were Richard Newman Brackett, soon to become head of the Chemistry Department. Morrison resigned his position as superintendent of the City School District of Greenville, South Carolina to take the Clemson job.
  • Fall: Original target date for opening the college for classes. It was not met. At this time, the chemical laboratory, mechanical hall, experiment station, some residences and support facilities, and some of the farms and the access roads from Calhoun and Pendleton were virtually complete; the cornerstone of the main or classroom building was laid in July, and construction was begun on it, an attached chapel, a dormitory, kitchens, boiler room, an infirmary, and other residences.
  • November: Richard Newman Brackett, Ph.D., joins the first faculty at Clemson as associate professor of chemistry. He will serve until his death in 1937, 46 years. His college service record chit exists in the Special Collections of the Cooper Library and, in what is probably his own hand-writing, lists his date of employment as July 29, 1891.

1890 The 1890's 1892