1902

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1902 in Clemson History

Notable Alumni[edit]


Events that occurred in 1902:

  • The Central Roller Mill opens for business.
  • January 1: The first "bowl" game is played in Pasadena, California as part of the Tournament of Roses (it would not become known as the Rose Bowl until 1922) between Stanford and Michigan, Michigan winning the first East-West college football game, 49-0, in front of a crowd of 8,000. The two schools each receive $3,500, and the Tournament of Roses realizes a profit of $3,161.86. Despite this, the football match part of the Tournament will not be repeated until New Years Day, 1916, although other "tournaments" are held including chariot races, auto races, ostrich races, and in 1913, a challenge between an ostrich and an elephant. (The pachyderm won that one...). (Jones, Todd, "The Second Season: How the Rise of the Bowls Shaped College Football", ESPN College Football Encyclopedia, ESPN Books, New York, New York, 2005, ISBN 1-4013-3703-1, page 1435.)
  • January: Dissent on campus among the students over the college's rigid military discipline and overcrowding in the barracks, among other things, leads to in-fighting between the student body and faculty, some of whom, it becomes obvious, are hated by the cadets. Senior James Lynah ill-advisedly steals a turkey from the yard of history professor William S. Morrison and his graduation is held up. The senior class petitions the faculty to let him graduate. The senate cannot muster the three-fourths majority required to expell Lynah during its January 22-January 23 meeting, but suspends the cadet indefinitely. The secret proceedings of the meeting become known to the students within the day, revealing that at least one faculty member, sympathetic to the students, leaked the debate. An outraged President Henry Simms Hartzog calls a special meeting of the professors and denounces the "eavesdroppers or traitors in the Faculty" and describes "the condition of affairs" as "annoying, serious, and disgraceful." Eventually, Lynah is allowed to graduate, and becomes a loyal alumnus.
  • Spring: Pilferage on campus spirals out of control and the Board of Trustees hires a private detective to try to identify those responsible. Suspecting the faculty as ring-leaders, he focuses on the professors and turns up - well, pretty much nothing.
  • April 21: The seeds of the first student walk-out are sown when young assistant professor Richard Newman Brackett reports cadet E. Allison Thornwell to the faculty senate for taking test tubes in a chemistry lab from a storecase without permission. The student maintains that he has done nothing wrong as he was not attempting to remove the glassware from the lab but merely using it for an experiment.
  • April 23: The faculty senate meets to adjudicate several disciplinary cases. A cadet who was absent without leave is given extra guard duty as a punishment, and the senate similarly reprimands a cadet who disobeyed an order that could have destroyed an expensive motor. The faculty votes, 15-13, to suspend Cadet Thornwell for the rest of the semester. Interestingly, Brackett, and fellow chemistry professor Mark Bernard Hardin vote against the motion.
  • April 28: The faculty senate meets again to consider a petition signed by most of the sophomore class to reinstate Thornwell, arguing that the punishment does not fit the infraction, and, further, that Thornwell's conduct had been common practice for years. The senate refuses to reinstate him, however, and adjourns without allowing any further statements by the sophomores. That evening, the sophomore class apparently seeks out President Hartzog, and asks his permission to leave campus to present their petition to Board of Trustees Chairman Richard W. Simpson in near-by Pendleton. Hartzog refuses, and says that he will present their plea to Simpson. Not trusting the president to properly represent their views, the sophomore class packs its bags and prepares to leave Clemson.
  • April 29: Sixty-nine of seventy-four members of the sophomore class depart Clemson by train. The senior class immediately supports the sophomores' action and the other classes prepare to depart the school on April 30. Board Chairman Simpson pleads with the cadets not to join the departed sophomores and promises that the board will hear the sophomore class' grievances. The whole mess gets news coverage in the papers with Simpson quoted as saying that "Clemson College was teetering on the brink," and that if the majority of the students leave, irreparable harm would result.
  • May 8-May 9: Although initial support for maintaining order and discipline at the college is strongly in favor of Hartzog and the faculty, this is undercut when the Reverend J. H. Thornwell, father of the expelled cadet, protests that his son has been unfairly denied due process, and demands that the board hear an appeal. The Board of Trustees hold open hearings in the chapel on May 8-9 in the presence of the faculty and the cadets and reinstates Thornwell, as well as all of the sophomores who walked out, providing that they make up the classes they missed. President Hartzog resigns amidst this crisis, meeting one of the student demands. The trustees do not accept his resignation, however, and the situation remains confused until he tenders his resignation a second time in June, accepted by the board in August, and he departs for Ouachita College, Arkadelphia, Arkansas.
  • June: President Hartzog departs Clemson for Ouachita College, Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Widespread drinking is reported at the June commencement, a fall-out of low morale on campus following the walk-out.
  • First year that the "Gamecock" mascot name is used by South Carolina. They had previously used several names including the College Boys (in 1892 for a single game with Furman), and the Jaguars.
  • August 28: First Lieutenant Edgar Alexander Sirmyer, born in Michigan in December 22, 1875, entered West Point, June 1893, graduating June 1897; detailed to Clemson this date as Commandant of Cadets and Professor of Military Science and Tactics. (The Oconeean, Volume Two, 1904, page 17.)
  • August 30: Patrick Hues Mell, M.E., Ph.D, a native Georgian, born in 1850, and graduate of the University of Georgia, elected this date as Clemson's fifth president after being nominated by Senator Benjamin Tillman. He served until 1910. He succeeded President Henry Simms Hartzog, who served from 1897 to 1902, resigning in August 1902 amidst controversy.
  • Wednesday, September 10: Fall session begins.
  • October 4: Clemson opens at home on Bowman Field in second meeting with North Carolina State, winning, 11-5. Clemson leads series, 2-0.
  • October 17: Coach John Heisman perpetrates the great football team hoax on Georgia Tech. A train-load of apparent Clemson players arrive in Atlanta and are observed making a late night of it in the big city.
  • October 18: Goaded by seeing the night owl regimen of the Tigers, Georgia Tech fans bet heavily on the home team. Then the real Clemson squad arrives to play, having spent the night in Lula, Georgia, north of Atlanta. The Tigers defeat Georgia Tech handily, 44-5, leading series, 3-0.
  • October 24: In second meeting with the school, Clemson blanks Furman, 28-0, in Greenville, leading series, 2-0.
  • October 30: Clemson suffers only loss in a 6-1 season when the Tigers are defeated by the Gamecocks in Columbia, 6-12. Future Clemson Head Coach Bob Williams guides the South Carolina squad in an upset of a heavily-favored John Heisman-led team. The Tigers lead the series, 4-2.
  • October 31: When victorious Carolina fans carry a transparency depicting a Gamecock lording it over a defeated Tiger in the Friday Elk's Parade despite having been forbidden to do so by authorities, Clemson cadets are so incensed that they march on the campus after the parade, determined to get satisfaction and destroy the image. A near-riot is avoided by deft negotiations but the severity of the incident causes the cancellation of the Clemson-Carolina match-up for six years.
  • November 8: The Tigers shut out Georgia on Bowman Field, 36-0, to tie the series at 3-3.
  • November 15: Clemson blanks the Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn) Tigers, 16-0, in game played in Alabama, to tie the series at 1-1.
  • Monday, November 17: Second quarter begins.
  • November 27: Thanksgiving. Clemson plays football in the snow for the first time in a game with Tennessee in Knoxville. The Tigers win, 11-0, and claim the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association crown with a 6-1 season record. Series against Tennessee stands at 1-0-1.
  • December 5: James Strom Thurmond is born in Edgefield, South Carolina, the son of John William Thurmond (May 1, 1862 - June 17, 1934) and Eleanor Gertrude Strom (July 18, 1870 - January 10, 1958). He will attend Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina, where he will be a member of ???, graduating in 1923 with a degree in horticulture.
  • December 30: Cadet Lorin Oscar King, (born February 21, 1878), dies at home of ill health after being compelled to leave school in October, being bed-ridden since November 6. (Commemorated on page 72, The Oconeean, Volume One, 1903.)



1901 The 1900's 1903