Monday, December 17, 2012

Sesquicentennial Stories: The Promise of UK #114

Maxwell Springs was named for John Maxwell, one of the founder’s of Lexington. Historically, the springs were used for political gatherings, celebrations and agricultural fairs. By the mid 19th century, an amphitheater and the Bullock house were on the grounds of the present site of Maxwell Place.  These were burned in 1861 when an Union encampment surrounded the springs. Troops also burned trees for fuel, stripping the area of its old-growth trees. The thirteen and a half acre tract which became the site of Maxwell Place was first separated from the original Maxwell holding and sold in 1820.  

 Shortly after the war it was purchased by Dennis Mulligan, an Irish immigrant who became a prominent Lexington businessman and politician.  He had Maxwell Place built, an Italianate villa, for his son James Hillary Mulligan and daughter-in-law Mary Jackson Mulligan. James Hillary Mulligan went on to become a journalist, jurist, legislator, orator, poet, and diplomat.  His served on the Recorder’s Court and earned the title “Judge” which he was known as for the rest of his life.  After his first wife’s death, and a remarriage that caused strife between children of the first and second marriages, Judge Mulligan passed away in 1915 estranged from his second wife.  

After the death of Judge Mulligan, UK purchased the property in 1917 for $40,000. A major renovation took place in 1918-1918 which included additions and enclosures at the rear of the house and a long, narrow pergola leading from the drive to the tower vestibule.  In 1918, Dr. Frank L. McVey became the first university president to live in Maxwell Place.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sesquicentennial Stories: The Promise of UK #115

In 1880,  President James K. Patterson proposed the construction of three buildings: a classroom building, dormitory, and a President's house to cost no more than $4,000. It was reported that some "fifty hands" were on campus making the two million bricks, from campus soil, needed for the three buildings that were to become the Main Building, White Hall, and the Patterson House. The Patterson House was a 5,400 square feet structure made of red brick. The President's house was described as a "beautiful little building, complete in every particular, containing eight rooms, a pantry, store-room, and bathroom.

Patterson on his porch
President Patterson lived there with his wife and their son, William Andrew Patterson. President Patterson continued to live in the house after the deaths of both his wife and child, continuing to live there after his retirement in 1910, until his death in 1922.  However, his brother Walter continued to live in the house until his death 10 years later. During Walter's occupation, he fenced an area in the backyard where he kept hogs and other animals.

From 1932-1939, the house became the Woman's Building, and during that period it housed the offices of the campus YWCA and other women's organizations. In January of 1930, the house became the University Faculty Club, which had been crowded into a corner of the top floor of McVey Hall. When the University Club moved to quarters in the Student Center, the house was remodeled and became the new home of the Dean of Arts and Sciences and his staff in 1964.

Arts and Sciences office in the Patterson house in 1963
In 1967, Patterson House was vacated for demolition to make room for a new classroom building. It was razed along with White Hall and the Carnegie Library.

The house bore a plaque dedicated to President Patterson "to commemorate his life and services to the University."

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sesquicentennial Stories: The Promise of UK #116

Margaret I. King, University of Kentucky’s first Librarian and the namesake of the King Building was a Lexington native, who lived her entire life at her childhood home, 225 South Limestone Street.  Her father's (Gilbert Hinds King) company, Lexington Hydraulics and Manufacturing Company, led the way for what became Lexington’s water works system.  King attended the University of Kentucky graduating with honors in 1898 earning her Bachelor of Arts from the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky.  She began her career doing clerical work in the Lexington law firm of Allen and Bronston from 1899 to 1905.  In 1905, she began her long career at the University of Kentucky by serving as secretary to President James K. Patterson.  

Library Club, 1. ? 2. Minnie Neville 3. Margaret King 4. Dean A. J. Hamilton 5. Freda Lenon 6. Margaret Tuttle
She became involved with the library when President Patterson asked her to organize the University’s first library in 1909.  While putting the library in order, she continued as secretary to the president until she was named the University’s first librarian in 1912.  During her career as librarian of the University, King continued her education.  She performed some graduate work at the University of Michigan, and in 1929, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Librarianship from Columbia University.  Some of King’s professional activities included serving as a trustee for the Lexington Public Library for many years, and directing the survey of Kentucky libraries from 1936-1938 for the American Library Association’s Survey of Research Materials in Southern Libraries.  King’s development of library methods courses eventually led to the establishment of a department of library science at the University of Kentucky.

Interior of the Carnegie Library, the first library on UK's campus
King oversaw the development of a modern university library and her contributions to the library were vast.  She was a dedicated employee who worked hard to improve the quality of the collection and the quality of service.  Dr. Thomas D. Clark, a UK History professor in the 1930’s and later chair of the department, recalled that King’s “whole orientation toward library management was getting books to students, running a good loan desk, and building a good reference department……”  President Donovan described King this way:  “She has built the library up from one that could be housed in a single room to a library that now contains more than 400,000 volumes and is fourth or fifth in size among the libraries of the South.  It would be impossible to estimate the value of her contribution to the University of Kentucky.” 

Library exhibit
In addition to making books accessible to students and faculty, King also facilitated a lecture series, changing exhibitions, and extension programs.  She taught library science and English courses at the university and encouraged her staff to travel to conferences and to obtain Library degrees.
King Library under construction
Outside of her career at the University, King was an active member of Christ Church Episcopal, now Christ Church Cathedral, where she was a Sunday school teacher, the head of the Altar Guild, and the head of the Girl’s Friendly Society for many years. 

Margaret I. King at home, 1949
King retired in 1949, her career at UK spanned 39 years.  In 1948 the Board of Trustees named the library in her name.  Although she retired as librarian, she continued to perform some work for the library at the University of Kentucky.  She died in Lexington on April 13, 1966.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sesquicentennial Stories: The Promise of UK #117

Dr. Frank LeRond McVey served as President of the University of Kentucky for twenty-three years, from 1917 to1940. Through his visionary commitment to academic excellence, McVey transformed the University of Kentucky into a modern, multifaceted, twentieth-century institution of higher education.

McVey was born in Wilmington, Ohio in 1869. In 1893 he received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University (Ohio), and in 1895, his Ph.D. in Economics from Yale. In 1898 he was married to Mabel Moore Sawyer of Minneapolis; they had three children. After completing his education, McVey, held teaching positions at Columbia Teachers College and the University of Minnesota. He served as Chairman of the Minnesota Tax Commission from 1907 to 1909, before being elected President of the University of North Dakota for a term lasting until 1917. That year he was offered and accepted the presidency of the University of Kentucky, succeeding Henry Sites Barker in that post. In 1923, following the death of his wife a year earlier, he married Mary Frances Jewell, of Harrison and Jessamine Counties in Kentucky, a former UK professor of English and, since 1921, Dean of Women at the University.

McVey, himself a noted economic historian and the author of several books on economics and economic history, stressed the importance of a sound education and felt the University needed to attract and retain talented scholars. To this end he hired as teachers, many of them as heads of existing or new academic departments, nationally recognized specialists, increased professors' salaries, initiated faculty sabbaticals to aid in and encourage research, and facilitated the writing of a constitution providing for faculty control over curriculum.

World War I - military training ceremony
 McVey also emphasized the importance of faculty involvement in local and national professional societies and organizations. Leading by example, he served as President of the Southeastern Athletics Conference, Southern Association of Schools and Colleges, National Association of Land Grant Colleges and Universities, and the National Association of State Universities. Faculty members followed suit, and the number of professors that joined, and held offices in such organizations and published scientific and scholarly works dramatically increased.

With Eleanor Roosevelt
 Continuing in the tradition of Judge Barker, McVey sought to increase public awareness of the University and establish good relations between the institution and its constituency in the state at large. He established a University Extension program which set up correspondence classes and provided radio-transmitted instruction to people in remote, rural areas of Kentucky In addition he advertised the school through speeches to civic clubs and organizations such as the Young Men's Christian Association.

The University emerged essentially intact from the effects of a potentially debilitating national economic depression, thanks in large measure to the sound and prudent fiscal policies of the McVey administration. As public support for the institution grew, enrollments swelled. To accommodate this upswing, the President embarked on an ambitious campus building program which bore fruit in the erection of such edifices, venerable to the present day, as Alumni Gym (1924), Memorial Hall (1929), the Margaret I. King Library (1931), and Boyd and Jewell dormitories (1925 and 1939, respectively). The curriculum also expanded during McVey's tenure. Departments of Music (1919), Anthropology and Archaeology (1927) and Library Science (1932) were set up in the College of Arts and Sciences. and the College of Commerce opened in 1925. In 1923 the College of Education was established, and the University School, an experimental laboratory elementary and high school under its auspices, commenced operations two years later.

McVey retired in 1940 but maintained a close association with the University and its host community, in which he resided until his death in early 1953. He continued to give lectures on topics ranging from education to foreign policy at the University and at social functions and served on several commissions on behalf of Louisiana State University, the College of William and Mary, and Rhode Island State College. During this time McVey authored, among others, two noteworthy tomes--- The Gates Open Slowly: a History of Education in Kentucky (1949), and Problems of Administration in Higher Education (1952), and indulged one of his favorite pastimes-painting and drawing.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sesquicentennial Stories: The Promise of Uk #118

Marguerite McLaughlin was born in Lexington, Kentucky, on September 30, 1882. She was a Journalist educator at the University of Kentucky, where she earned her AB in 1903. McLaughlin died November 25, 1961.
McLaughlin when she earned her BA from State College (UK) in 1903
 McLaughlin was one of the first, if not the first woman, to handle general reporting assignments for a newspaper in the South. She worked for the Lexington Herald as a drama and music critic, she handled murder cases, and served as farm editor from 1917 to 1918. Marguerite McLaughlin was a 40-year veteran reporter and a charter member of Theta Sigma Phi.

McLaughlin was the first woman teacher of journalism in the United States and she trained many well-known journalists including the late Joe Creason, George Michler, Thornton Connell of the Courier-Journal, Dr. Niel Plummer, former head of the UK School of Journalism; Don Whitehead, Pulitzer prize-winning AP press reporter; Governor Keen Johnson; Senators Earle Clements and Tom Underwood.

McLaughlin holding tickets for UK's loss to Indiana in New Orleans' Sugar Bowl. Image credited to the Times Picayune, 1940 December 30

McLaughlin served as executive secretary of the UK Alumni Association during each World War; served 20 years (1920-1940) as President of the Lexington Alumni Club, and 30 years (1920-1950) as a member of the Association's executive committee.

In the Classroom
 During World War II, McLaughlin endeared herself to military alumni by having the Kernel sent to them wherever they were stationed. During the early 1950s, she was honored with the "Pro Ecclesiae et Pontificae" award by Pope Pius XII, the highest award which can be given to a Catholic laywoman.

In 1950, McLaughlin received the Alumni Association's Alma Magna Mater Award; in 1959 the Marguerite McLaughlin room in the Journalism Building was dedicated along with her portrait which hangs there today. She retired from UK after 38 years of teaching and then served as President of Welsh Printing Company for a number of years. Marguerite McLaughlin was named to the Hall of Distinguished Alumni on April 11, 1980.

UK Libraries Special Collections houses the Marguerite McLaughlin papers and photographs

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sesquicentennial Stories: The Promise of UK #119

Founded on November 28, 1944, the University of Kentucky Veterans Club started with nine members paying their dues of one dollar to found the organization. The stated purpose of the club was to promote the causes and protect the interests of veterans attending the University of Kentucky. The club's motto was a quote by George Washington, "When we assumed the role of soldier, we did not lay aside the role of citizen." The club lived by their motto as it worked as a liaison between individual veterans and the University. The organization of the club included a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Housing Committee, Steering Committee, Radio Committee, Social Committee, and Women's Division.

 The club provided many services for student veterans, including housing drives, in which over six hundred living spaces were located for veterans, a free employment service, and a loan service using club funds. The club promoted veterans issues through their publication, the POSTwarrior, and their weekly radio program. The club also worked on veterans' rights on the national level, corresponding with members of Congress and successfully lobbying for the increase of subsistence payments for veterans attending school, as provided by the G.I Bill. 

 Though the Veterans Club was one of the youngest organizations on campus, it enjoyed the distinction of being the second largest club by 1947, with 2500 members. The club presidents included Rx M. Turley, 1944-1945; Joseph C. Covington, 1945-1947; Howard C. Bowles, 1946-1947; C. Hoge Hockensmith, 1947-1948; and Sidney A. Neal, 1948-1949. Club members decided to inactivate the organization in the fall of 1949 due to a lessening of veteran attendance at the University. While the Veterans Club existence was brief, its accomplishments were great and aided in the transition from soldier to student for thousands for veterans at the University of Kentucky.