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until 1899 that the tax was restored to the one-mill levy on the dollar of valuation.
From the beginning the University derived practically no money from tuition fees. “To all residents of the State the tuition will be free," read the University's first announcement. “An entrance fee of $5 is paid by every student at the time of his matriculation. Non-residents of the State are charged $8 per term.” At that time there were three terms of school, a fall, winter, and spring term. A few years later this fee charged outsiders was abolished, it being felt that most of those coming from other states were prospective residents for Nebraska. From 1876 to 1879 an incidental fee of $2 was charged students.
The salaries of the faculty were comparatively liberal for that day. In fact, it was a long period of years before there was much of an increase over those salaries paid the first few years. At a meeting of the Board of Regents held in December, 1870, the salary of the chancellor was fixed at $5,000. But at a meeting April 4, 1871, the salary of the chancellor was fixed at $4,000, and that of the professors at $2,000. At a meeting in June, 1878, the salary of the chancellor was reduced to $3,500 and all $2,000 salaries were cut to $1,800.
THE LANDED ENDOWMENT During the early years the University had not begun to receive any income from its landed endowment. Governor David Butler on December 23, 1870, reported that the endowment lands "are now being selected.” However, the report of the Board of Regents for February 28, 1871, contains this notation:
“The Committee reported that the grant for the seventy-two sections was complete, but that an additional act of Congress was necessary to entitle the State to the 90,000 acres. A joint resolution was ordered to be drafted for presentation to the Legislature asking of Congress such an act.”
On March 4, 1871, the Legislature formally petitioned Congress for the grant of land. William Adair, for many years president of the Board of Regents of the University, personally selected the lands to be included in the government's grants of land for the endowment of the institution. Unfortunately, these lands which had been carefully selected for the University were merged with the common school lands, under a state board other than the Board of Regents,—all called educational lands. The amount of land belonging to the common schools was always so great that there was a constant clamor on the part of the people to sell it. The idea was to attract people to the state and at the same time reduce the taxes. Could the University lands have been divorced from the common school lands they could have been retained until they would have brought large sums.
The Constitution of 1875 provided that none of the lands could be sold for less than $7 an acre. For many years the educational school lands were subject to lease for twentyfive years at 6 per cent of the appraised value, subject to reappraisement every five years, and the lessee had the right of purchase at the appraised value. As the value approached the constitutional minimum of $7 an acre, people found it more advantageous to purchase. The sale of the University lands, along with the common school lands, was made for one-tenth down and twenty years time on the balance. The Legislature of 1897 prohibited the further sale of the University lands, but unfortunatel most of them had been disposed of before that time.
THE FIRST CHANCELLOR Allen R. Benton, the University's first chancellor, undoubtedly had more foresight than most of the people of the time gave him credit for. It was the chancellor who in the second year of the University's history suggested the holding of farmers' institutes, the first instance of agricultural extension instruction in Nebraska and a movement
which in forty years was to grow to unusual pretensions. It was Chancellor Benton who at one time amazed the people of the state by suggesting the possibility that a larger campus should be secured for the institution, because of the rapid growth anticipated. While the institution did not grow as rapidly as Chancellor Benton had anticipated, there did come a time when it became necessary either to enlarge the uptown campus by purchasing high-priced land or else to remove the University bodily to the Agricultural College campus. In his first report the chancellor recommended that a woman be employed on the faculty, which was to find realization some years later.
Chancellor Benton was born in Cayuga County, New York in 1822. He was graduated in 1847 from Bethany College, Virginia, now in West Virginia, with first honors in mathematics and languages. For several years he was professor of ancient languages at Northwestern Christian University, Indianapolis, Ind. He was chancellor of the University of Nebraska from 1871 to 1876, resigning to return to Indiana where he later became president of the Northwestern Christian University, later Butler College.
Annual Reports of the Chancellor to the Board of Regents, University
of Nebraska. 1872-76.
CALDWELL, HOWARD W. Education in Nebraska. Circular of Infor
mation No. 3, 1902, of the United States Bureau of Education. Catalogs of the University of Nebraska. 1872-77. Laws of the State of Nebraska. 1867, 1869, 1871, 1877. MORTON, J. STERLING and WATKINS, ALBERT. History of Nebraska.
Volume 3. Western Publishing and Engraving Co., Lincoln. 1913.
Reports of the Board of Regents, University of Nebraska. 1871-79. The University of Nebraska, 1869-1919. Semi-Centennial Anni
versary Book. The University, 1919.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE AGRICULTURAL
with the history of the Agricultural College rather than that of the University. Having seen the University established with its integral college units, it is now fitting to devote our attention primarily to the College of Agriculture, with only such references to the University as occasion demands.
It will be recalled that one of the primary purposes of the Land Grant Act of 1862 was to offer industrial education to the people, or as the Act stated, “to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts.” It was more from a sense of duty that the Agricultural College was established than because of any particular demand for that kind of instruction. It was at least thirty years before agricultural instruction received any great amount of recognition.
During these years, it must be remembered, there was a general intolerance of "book farming” among both farmers and non-farmers. The teaching of farming in the schools was regarded as a somewhat futile task.
It was some time before the Agricultural College succeeded in inducing, students to take its regular courses. The first year of the University the Agricultural College had not come into existence. On September 5, 1871, "S. R. Thompson was elected to the Chair of Theory and Practice of Agriculture (later to be made dean], but not to enter on his duties sooner than one year from the present," according to the report of the Board of Regents of that date.
In his report for the year ending in June, 1872, Chancellor Benton stated: