Page images



[ocr errors]

of regents shall sell any portion of lands mentioned in the previous section (the public lands granted by Congress July 2, 1862), at a price not less than three dollars per acre, for cash at the time of sale or upon the following conditions of credit, when deemed by them most conducive to the interest of the college, to wit, in eight equal annual installments, with ten per cent. interest on each installment, payable annually.” On timber lands one-half the purchase was payable in advance. The amount derived from the sale of these lands, it was further provided should be paid into the State treasury at the end of every three months by the land agents employed, “to be invested in State or United States bonds, and the interest accruing on deferred payments on lands sold, together with the interest derived from any investment, shall be applied to the payment of the current expenses of the State Agricultural College” and to discharge certain debts named.

The Governor was by the same act authorized to issue State bonds to the amount of five thousand five hundred dollars, the proceeds of which were to be used in payment of arrearages and the current expenses of the college. As long as the principal and interest on these bonds remained unpaid, the amount to be applied out of the income from the sale of lands for the current expenses was not to exceed four thousand dollars per annum.

The State seems to have made additional loans in favor of the college, for this act is found in the laws : 2

66 Whereas the State of Kansas has hitherto advanced as a loan from time to time, the several sums necessary to pay the salaries of professors in the agricultural] college, thus complying with the conditions, required that the institution should go into active operation within a limited time, and securing its benefits to the earlier pioneer settlers in this Commonwealth: Therefore,

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas, That the several sums advanced to pay the professors in the Kansas State Agricultural College, from the year 1863 to the year 1869, inclusive, be, and the same are hereby, donated to said college, together with all interest that may have accrued on said sums.93

Two provisos were added to this section of the act, to the effect that the amount so donated should be used, (1) to purchase additional lands for the college farm, to erect buildings, and to develop the agricultural department; (2) to purchase, to the amount of fifteen hundred dollars, a proper set of arms and accoutrements for the use of the drill

i This section was amended in 1871 to read (Laws, p. 16): "The amount derived from the sale of (said) lands shall at the end of each month be, by said agent, paid into the treasury of the (said) Agricultural College, to be invested as the board of regents may direct in school district or State bonds, or by note or mortgage on unincumbered real estate worth double the amount loaned thereon." 2 March 24, 1870, Laws of United States and Kansas, 14.

The amount of debt remitted was $36,400; Report of president to Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1870, 270.

class in the military department. The State subsequently relieved the college of indebtedness by provisions that it be paid in permanent improvements on the college grounds," etc.

Twice the State made appropriations in restoration of the endowment and income funds, which, by the provision of the act of Congress donating lands to the States, were to remain undiminished. The appropriation in 1881 for this purpose was $17,979.091; in 1885, $4,613.44.2

The college, as at first located, was upon the premises of the Bluemount College Association, two miles from Manhattan, but in 1875 the furniture and apparatus were removed to the farm of two hundred and fifteen acres one mile from Manhattan. Thereon buildings have been erected by the State, valued at one hundred and twenty-eight thousand dollars. The farm and grounds, furniture, stock, and other illustrative apparatus are valued at over one hundred and twelve thousand dollars.

The annual income from the endowment fund ($501,436.33) is about thirty-two thousand dollars », and meets all expenses of instruction.

It receives further by an act of Congress approved March 7, 1887, by general appropriation, fifteen thousand dollars each year for the maintenance of an experiment station “to aid in acquiring and diffusing among the people of the United States useful and practical information on subjects connected with agriculture, and to promote scientific investigation and experiment respecting the principles and applications of agricultural science.”

The State provides, as the law requires, for the necessary buildings and expenses in management of funds. It has beside, as has been noticed, also aided in payment of salaries of professors.


The appropriations granted by the State Legislature are as follows: 4

1868.-Salaries and improvements
1869.-Salaries and improvements
1874.-Past indebtedness
1875.- Improvements, etc....
1876.–Building and other improvements
1877.-Agricultural building and other improvements.
1879.--Regent's expenses....
1881.--Restoration of endowment and improvements

$2,700.00 3,200.00 5,200.00 7,500.00 8,715, 00 8,919.00 1,500.00 2,300.00 22, 084.00

6,000.00 13, 675.00 15,300.00 20,274.00

5,100.00 25, 729.00

1 Laws of United States and Kansas, 39.
2 Idem, 42.
3 Catalogue for 1887–88, 17.
4 Laws of United States and Kansas, 32–45.

[blocks in formation]

1881.-Mileage of regents.

$3,600.00 1883.-Improvements

12,000.00 1883.-Mileage...

3,000.00 1885.- Improvements

22, 013.00 1885.-Mileage...

1,700.00 Special appropriations to 1885..

... 18, 822.78 The total expenditures for the past twenty-five years, as furnished by the present president, are: For buildings and repairs

$125, 426. 81 For apparatus and expenses..

136, 322. 47 For expenses of regents in care of lands, funds, etc.

50, 270.85

[blocks in formation]

For prompt and continued attention to the founding of a university, and for wise legislation pertaining to the management of school lands and funds, the State of Nebraska stands among the foremost of the group of Commonwealths that make us a nation. Apparently profiting by the unfortunate experiences of some other States, the Legislature has from the first endeavored to follow a course of action which would insure the careful preservation of the national grants, besides adding to them continually by means of grants, taxes, and appropriations. Through this management the university funds have not accumulated as rapidly as they possibly might have done had the lands been thrown upon the market at a low appraisal, yet the benefits accruing from the present course will be far greater and more lasting. It is hardly necessary to state that the foundation of the University of Nebraska rests, as in other Western States, in the munificence of the General Government in granting lands for seminaries of learning. The "enabling act," passed by Congress in 1864, which prepared the way for the admission of the State into the Union, granted the usual seventy-two sections of land for the use and support of a State University," 1 and twenty additional sections for public buildings.


The initiative was taken toward the establishment of the university, in the Constitution adopted in 1867, which declares that “schools and


1 Section 10, Revised Statutes of Nebraska, 1881, 14; U. S. Statutes at Large, Vol, XV, 49.

880 No. 1-20

means of instruction”I shall be encouraged; that funds arising from grants of land and other property to the State - for educational and religious purposes shall forever be preserved inviolate and undiminished,” and that no school lands shall be sold or alienated 2 " for a less sum than five dollars per acre.” Here, at the inception of university legislation, the voice of this people is recognized in the preservation and disposal of its funds. Although but comparatively few lots of land were sold under this price fixed by the first Constitution, the minimum price on all school lands was raised in the second, which was adopted in 1878. It is clearly stated in this latter instrument that “university, agricultural college, common school, or other lands which are held or may hereafter be acquired by the State for educational purposes, shall not be sold for less than seven dollars per acre nor less than the appraised value.93

It was further provided that “the general government of the versity of Nebraska is, under the direction of the Legislature, vested in a board of six regents, to be styled the regents of the University of Nebraska, who shall be elected by the electors of the State at large

for a term of six years."4 Under these acts, carried by a popular vote, has grown the university of the people. It has been placed at the head of the public educational system of the State, and aims to complete the work begun in the primary and secondary schools. It endeavors to 5 secure to all an opportunity of liberal culture in literature and science and in such technical and professional courses as shall from time to time be added.”5 With the exception of a small matriculation fee of five dollars, the advantages of the university are offered to all 6 free of charge for tuition without regard to sex, or race, or place of residence, on the sole condition of possessing the intellectual ard moral qualifications requisite for admission to such an institution." In order to harmonize the work of the university with the other parts of the public system, any bigh school or academy which has adopted a prescribed course of study,“may, on proper application and inspection, be accredited as a preparatory school of the university."?


The university was chartered by an act of the Legislature, approved February 15, 1869. In this act five departments or colleges were authorized, as follows: (1) A College of Literature, Science, and Arts”;


"Art. I.
2 Education, secs. 1 and 2.
3 Art. VIII, sec. 8, Revised Statutes, 30,
4 Art. VIII, sec. 10, Revised Statutes of Nebraska, 30. (1881.)

Catalogue, 1887-88, 84.
6 This fee goes to the library fund. Revised Stat., 513.
7 Twenty-five schools have entered into this relation to the university.
8 Laws of Nebraska, 1869,172.

9 Originally designated “The College of Ancient and Modern Literature and the Natural Sciences,"




(2) an Industrial College, embracing agriculture, practical science, civil engineering, and the mechanic arts; (3) a College of Medicine; (4) a College of Law; and (5) a College of the Fine Arts. The organization of these colleges was delegated to the board of regents consti tuted by the Governor, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the chancellor of the university, as ex officio members, and nine others appointed by the Governor.

Only three of these colleges have been organized, viz, literature, industrial, and medicine. The last named was organized in 1882 and was suspended in 1887.

Steps have been taken toward instituting a college of fine arts.

In accepting the national grant for agricultural colleges, Nebraska joined it with the seminary lands heretofore mentioned, thus consolidating the entire endowment fund. It was enacted that “the State university and the agricultural college shall be united as one educational institution and shall be located upon a reservation selected by the commissioners in said Lincoln.?2

The buildings were to be erected at Lincoln as soon as funds could be procured from the proceeds of the sales of land donated to the State for that purpose.


Commissioners were appointed in 1867 to select the university and agricultural college lands. The lands were to be appraised in tracts of forty acres each, with the exception of wooded lands, which were to be appraised in lots of ten acres each. These lands were to be sold at public auction to the highest bidder, provided that they should not be sold for less than the appraised value. Unsold lands were to be leased for not less than six per cent. of their appraised value, and the proceeds of sales and rentals were to be invested in United States securities bearing not less than six per cent. per annum on the investment. The above rules were slightly modified by subsequent acts. "An act to provide for the registry, sale, leasing, and management of all public lands, and funds set apart for educational purposes and for the investment of funds arising from the sale of such funds," i approved February 15, 1877, renewed and enlarged the former conditions. The lands were to be sold as before, and those not sold were to be leased for a period of twentyfive years at not less than six per cent. on the appraised value, being subject to reappraisal every year. The lands could be called in prior

1 In 1875 this number was reduced to six.
2 Revised Statutes of Nebraska, chap. 82, sec. 11, p. 484.
3 Laws of Nebraska, 1867, House, third session.
4 Act of Assembly, 1867 (House, third session), 60.
5 Chapter 80, Revised Statutes, secs. 4 and 7, 479 ; Laws, 1867, 37.
6 Laws, 1867, 55.
7 Laws of 1877,


« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »