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4 Ch. 3 - The Craighead Years - 1912 - 1915 by H. G. Merriam

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The following article is an excerpt from The University of Montana, A History, by H. G. Merriam, published by the University of Montana Press in 1970.


The Craighead Years

1912 – 1915

You can never have a university as long as the professors are not free.

-E. B. Craighead

            Edwin B. Craighead came to the presidency of the University of Montana[1] from many years of educational work in the South, immediately from eight years as President of Tulane University in New Orleans.[2] He was a scholar in the Greek language and literature, and had studied in Leipsig and Paris. The LL.D. degree had been conferred upon him by the University of Missouri and the D.C.L. degree by the University of the South. He was a southern gentleman who liked people and sociability and in return was liked by them.

            Temperamentally and by experience he was a very different man from his predecessor. Where Dr. Duniway was meticulous and severe he was easier-going and tolerant. The Duniway need for strict adherence to regulations he replaced by a more clement operation. Each man was a humanist, Dr. Duniway loving and having confidence in mankind and in a scholarly, traditional education, and Dr. Craighead loving and having confidence in men and in whatever education they needed.

            When Dr. Craighead arrived on the campus he found a college which, newly freed from preparatory students, had struggled against odds for four years to realize itself as a good undergraduate institution. He wished to turn the college into a university. He found the people of Missoula thinking of the University as theirs, the University of Missoula. He possessed an idea of a greater university, one located no matter where, though advantageously in Missoula. He found statewide knowledge of the University meager and clouded by the trouble created by the dismissal of Dr. Duniway. He set about to inform the people of the State. He immediately felt the competition of the other units of the University System for students and in their offerings to them, and began asserting the advantages of the University. The duplication of work in the four units he thought a needless waste of money in a State which could not afford the waste of even pennies.

            On the campus he found athletics, a powerful publicity agent for any university, held on tight rein, and placed responsibility for their condition on a faculty committee,[3] which eased regulations. The curricula he found in good condition, but, in order to appeal to more students and enlarge the University’s sphere of operation, he began pushing the more practical and professional fields of study as opposed to the classics and languages, a movement that was general in the early 1900’s throughout the country.

            Dr. Craighead brought to the campus an aggressive policy of expansion – in number of students, in range of curricular offerings, in addition of professional schools and graduate work. He was an eloquent speaker whose words commended him and his cause to his audiences and he traveled widely over the State making friends for the University. He encouraged, possibly over-favored, professors who could and did present the University to Montana citizens tellingly. Enrollment of students rose in the three years from 1912 to 1915 from 350 to nearly 800, about 650 of them Montanans and 120 out-of-Staters.

            The President’s first year, 1912-13, saw the progress or the formation of several departments and schools. Education became for the first time a separate department; a curriculum was set up in Domestic Science and Household Arts;[4] work in the Engineering School was enlarged; extension work was vigorously pushed – 26,810 people, the President reported, “have heard our extension lecturers in the past year,” a Bureau of Public Information was formed, [5] and an effort made to develop a “graduate department.”

            The School of Law, promised by the President a new building when its registration reached 100 students, grew from 21 students in 1912 to 77 in 1914 – 15. When Dr. Craighead arrived the School was two years old; he immediately authorized the Dean to employ three professors, and Professors L.  J. Ayer from the University of Chicago, S. P. Langmaid from Harvard and C. W. Leaphart, a 1913 graduate from Harvard Law School, were added to the staff.[6] In 1913 the School was made a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Its standards for admission of two years of college work and for graduation three years of study exceeded the standards of the American Bar Association.

            The School of Forestry, offspring of the Kirkwood short courses for forest rangers, was established in 1913 with fourteen students and Door Skeels as Dean. The Dean, Dr. Craighead said, was “considered by experts one of the best equipped men in the United States to head a department of Forestry.” In the beginning it was a technical school and only gradually took on professional aspects.

            The year of 1913 – 14 was indeed a busy one, for in it the School of Journalism, with its much publicized operation in tents loaned by the military at Fort Missoula, was established.[7] It was soon moved, by the cold weather principally, into an old bicycle shed whose sides had been boarded up. Possibly not on this occasion but certainly applicable to it, the President said, “I would rather have instructors of ability teaching in shacks than in marble halls filled with industrious mediocrity.” He also told high school students that “for the department of Journalism maximum salaries have been set aside and it is our purpose to secure two of the ablest men.” He acquired the services of the able editor of The Missoulian, A. L. Stone, to head up the work, and his colleague, Carl Getz, from the University of Washington. On the first day of classes in Journalism the President commented, “Professors Stone and Getz make a great team and I am encouraged to believe that we shall have here the greatest school of Journalism in the whole West.” His belief soon began to turn into reality, for within two years the School was one of 47 accredited schools and departments in the country. In November, 1914, six Journalism students formed the Press Club; within a few months the National Professional Journalism fraternity, Sigma Delta Chi, granted a chapter. By 1916 it was one of 110 schools and departments of Journalism deemed worthy of a charter membership in the American Association of Schools and Departments of Journalism. From the beginning, because of the Dean’s wide acquaintance among newspapermen, the Montana Press Association stood behind the School, at times donating equipment to it.  Dean Stone , a genial man who readily won the admiration of his students, had just issued a book, Following Old Trails, published by his friend Morton J. Elrod, 1913, and was full of Montana history, which he related informally to his classes.[8]

            Almost incredibly, in that same year, 1913, the School of Music took form with DeLoss Smith at its head – “one of the best trained musicians in the country,” the President asserted, and two years later Cecil Burleigh, “an expert violinist and a composer of national reputation.”[9] Dean Smith came from teaching at Columbia University. The Dean found himself located in a tower room of Main Hall, directly under the striking clock, too small to accommodate a piano. At first he and an instructor in piano, Miss Josephine Swenson, were the staff. In the face of such a lack of promise he stoutheartedly set himself the task of organization and development. His vision was to make the people of the campus, the town and the State music-conscious. His immediate purpose was to teach students how to study music, how to memorize, how to obtain a thorough understanding and application of the role of music. Within a year students were offered work in voice (he was himself trained in that field), in piano, in public school music, in music history, theory and harmony, orchestra and chorus. By 1921 the School had a staff of six instructors, eighteen students as majors in Music and a large number taking elective courses.

            Dean Smith soon began bringing to Missoula audiences, at his own financial risk, artists and musical organizations – Zimbalist, Pavlova, Damrosch and his New York Symphony Orchestra, Schumann-Heinck and others. He was a versatile man – besides teaching and performing he composed during his life 500 musical pieces and constructed ten violins, two ‘cellos and three violas.[10] As early as 1914 he made plans for a music building at an estimated cost of $40,000 and in the following year planned for a smaller two-story building at a cost of $2,600, mainly for practice rooms.[11]

            Once more the year 1913 – 14 figures in new arrangements at the University – Pharmacy was transferred from the State College at Bozeman in exchange for the School of Engineering. At that time admission to work in pharmacy was one year of high school; the President and faculty thought it was better not to jump the requirement at once or to make the department into a school, but within three years only four-year high school graduates were admitted. At first, the purpose of the School was to train druggists, then it began also to aid pharmacists to solve scientific and applied commercial problems and to give the public information about drugs and medicines. At first, also, the course in pharmacy required only two years of work, but gradually over the years it has required three, then four, then five years, and at present (1969) is preparing to offer a doctor’s degree. For more than forty years C. E. F. Mollett was Professor and Dean and for about as many, Professor John Suchy and he were the staff.

            The President reported to the Board of Education, “Commerce and Accounting . . . is developing rapidly into a real school of finance.” In 1914 – 15 that work enrolled 109 students. The Summer School in that year offered courses by thirty instructors and eight lecturers to 156 students; the following session enrolled 365 students from Montana and twenty other States. The catalog of the University suddenly expanded from a modest pocket-sized booklet of 176 pages to a large-sized, massive book of more than 400 pages.[12]

            During the Craighead years the University was placed on the accredited list of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, the first recognition of the University as a whole unit by an official national organization.

            All of these changes of 1913 – 14 had to be approved, of course, by the Board of Education. Dr. Craighead seems to have experienced no difficulty in obtaining approval. At its June 14, 1913, meeting it approved appointment of a professor of Commerce and Accounting and professors or assistant professors of German or French, Journalism, Domestic Science, Law, Music, Fine Arts, and Public Speaking. It set aside $6,000 for fellowships and scholarships. The Legislature also recognized the expanding institution – in 1913 it appropriated for the University for the biennium $296,000 (reduced, however, by the Board of Examiners to $201,000) and $327,000 in 1915, an increase of more than 60 percent. Dr. Craighead was an effective worker with legislators. He had the contemporary reputation of being “a go-getter.”

            One idea the President had steadily and fixedly in his mind, namely, the matter of consolidation of the four units. The idea was being talked about when he came to the campus by thoughtful citizens all over the State. It had never been entirely quieted since early consideration of the founding of a university. Mr. George Stull of Billings definitely proposed it in 1901 and the Board of Education on December 1, 1902, discussed it, coming to the conclusion that it “is not advisable or proper at this time to attempt consolidation.” As had been stated, President Duniway, recognizing that actual consolidation might not be feasible, for political reasons or because of financial limitations, recommended to the Board in 1908 an arrangement for cooperation, unity and avoidance of duplication of work.

            It has been reported that Dr. Craighead, on accepting the presidency of the University, orally had undertaken not to agitate the question of consolidation, but he could not have avoided having the idea in mind for espousal when a favorable opportunity presented itself. Early in his presidency he formed a plan which he sent in a letter, suggesting secrecy, to many people over the State asking their opinion, but nothing seems to have developed from it. The Board itself adopted a resolution on December 23, 1912, favoring consolidation and stating it would “use all honorable means to establish it.”[13] At the same meeting it heard members of the Association for the Creation of a Greater University of Montana, an organization composed of some fifty prominent citizens in Helena. That committee had been endorsed by the alumni and the faculty of the University. Four days later, on December 27, the Montana Teachers Association adopted a resolution prepared by a committee, of which J. M. Hamilton was a member, reaffirming its stand of twenty years previously and pledging itself to cooperate “in every honorable way “ with the Board of Education, with the Helena-formed Association and with all good citizens to bring about consolidation. If Dr. Craighead had ever agreed not to agitate for consolidation these actions surely released him from the agreement; at any rate, he threw himself wholeheartedly into a campaign for it. A bill in the 1913 Legislature barely failed of carriage. In his fight for consolidation he had the support of the Missoula Chamber of Commerce. C. H. McLeod, manager of the Missoula Mercantile Company, told him that he personally would get 5,000 acres for a new campus and raise money for it in twenty-four hours. The newspapers of the State the President found not so responsive. The President wrote to Governor Stewart in January, 1913, “It is easier for me to get what I have to say published in the papers of Boston, or Chicago, or Spokane than in the press of our own State. The State of Montana and the press of Montana do not realize that we have a university in this State.”

            Following the action of the Board favoring consolidation several leaflets supporting and opposing the action were printed and widely distributed. Superintendent of Public Instruction H. A. Davee wrote one favoring it, LaRue Smith of Great Falls another, and Professor William Aber a third. The Board, on June 1, 1913, reversed itself and resolved that all former actions of the State Board of Education on the matter of consolidation be rescinded, that the Board neither favors nor opposes consolidation, that each member is free “to take such part in this discussion as his judgment may dictate as wise.” It added: This Board “does not believe that any faculty member should be intimidated or restrained or in any way influenced in the matter of the expression of his views in so far as the expression of this same may be timely and not inconsistent with the proper discharge of the duties for which he is employed.” This warning and another in 1915 did not deter the President from pressing the campaign for consolidation. Neither did the passage by the 1913 Legislature of a law for the unification, but not the consolidation, of the University units, to begin on July, 1, 1913, under a chancellor, whose salary and expenses should not exceed $20, 000, whose office should be in the State Capitol and who should himself reside in Helena. John H. Durston, editor of The Anaconda Standard, had proposed such a solution to the problem. However, since a campaign for consolidation was under way the plan was delayed and not put into operation until 1916. In 1914, W. R. Allen, chairman of a citizens’ committee, prepared an initiative measure calling for the location of a unified university in either Bozeman or Missoula, and in the same year Senator Paris Gibson of Great Falls and D. F. Goddard of Bozeman sponsored a movement for consolidation at one of the two towns,[14] and in a letter sent to many Montanans presented eleven reasons in favor of it. Nothing seems to have come of either movement.

            In the 1915 Legislature Representative Ronald Higgins of Missoula presented a bill abolishing the chancellorship, which was passed by the legislators but vetoed by Governor Stewart. Meanwhile, Initiative No. 9 had been prepared, asking the people of the State to vote “yes” or “no” on consolidation and on location of the proposed Greater University in either Bozeman or Missoula as might be determined by a commission of college and university professors from outside of the State. Meanwhile also, President Craighead was pushing his campaign. The principal opposition centered in the State College, J. M. Hamilton, President. At the November 2 election the initiative failed to pass by a vote of two to three.[15]

            In spite of successful athletics, in spite of new departments and schools and desirable changes in curricular matters, in spite of good teaching, dissatisfaction with administration arose. The faculty was split in allegiance to it: the students were loyal to it. The Missoulian took a stand against Dr. Craighead and some people of the Missoula community were disturbed by what they called “conditions on the campus.” J. H. T. Ryman, a Missoula banker and chairman of the local Executive Committee of the University, was a strong conservative who did not like change; Dr. Craighead was as strong a liberal who saw change as inevitable and desirable. Although they seemed to get along together during the President’s first two years a break came in the third year. Ryman asked the State Board of Education that he be heard about conditions on the campus. He was given a hearing in open session on June 7, 1915, four days before Commencement at the University. Scholastic standards, he maintained, were lax; the President most valued good mixers on the faculty; committees were in control whose chairmen, it was seen to, favored the President’s policies; the President promoted gossip and resented criticism; the only fixed policy was that of expansion and advertising; Dr. Craighead was subsidizing athletics; the budget was not in proper condition; and, in general, the University was going to the bowwows. The Board examined Mr. Ryman and then voted that the President’s contract “be not renewed.”[16] The following day, June 8, the Board approved recommendations which Dr. Craighead had made for the coming year. Only a short time previous to this action the President had enquired of a Board member about a rumor unfavorable to his administration and had been told that all was well.[17]

            When Dr. Craighead returned to Missoula on the evening of his dismissal he was greeted at the railroad station with a tumultuous welcome by citizens and students, followed by a large protest meeting. The next day a second protest meeting was held in a Missoula theater.

            The 1916 Sentinel editor wrote of the reaction of students in the autumn of 1915: “Last June [1915] the future of the University glimmered in the light of promise and progress. Last June the largest class in the history of the University was graduated. And last June came the crash that shattered plans and hopes, and struck at the very roots of the University. Dr. E. B. Craighead was dismissed . . . the students, scattered about the State, were stunned . . . School opened in September with a strange tenseness in the air. The old firm foundation was gone. Many of the faculty members were missing. The University stood broken,” he continued. “When it was learned that Professor Scheuch was to be Acting President registration showed  a return of a majority of the old students,” and so, “with more determination and better spirits than ever before the undergraduates started the school year determined to overcome the instability caused by faculty changes and political troubles.”[18]

            The Kaimin it its first autumn issue carried a calm editorial saying that the students regretted the dismissal of the president and three faculty members, they were fond of them and wished them well, but they, the students, would accept the fact and go steadily on their way. The student body itself was in [a] different mood: it circulated a petition first asking and then demanding the resignation of J. H.  T. Ryman from the local Executive Committee of the University. Definite charges were listed against him and a threat made that if he did not resign the petition and the charges would be presented to the Governor. Five students met with Ryman in his bank office and presented the petition, were greeted well and told that they were young people and that he would not resign. No additional action seems to have been taken.

            A special convocation was held on the campus on October 26 for the students to bid farewell to Dr. Craighead. Payne Templeton, president of the student body, presented him with a loving cup – “may you drink from this cup,” he said, “four beverages – sympathy, respect, affection and good wishes for you in your new field on the South Dakota prairies.” The Kaimin reported, “Never in the history of the University was there such a demonstrative assembly.” Dr. Craighead assured them: “You can never plough in new ground without hitting a stump,” and “A university . . . should be an educational pharos radiating with the light of truth every hill and dale and mountain peak.” The students, enraged, had threatened in June not to return to the University in September, but Dr. Craighead had written them in late summer urging them to return in loyalty to him, to the University and to Montana – “I hope to see in September the largest and most enthusiastic student body that has ever assembled at any college in Montana.” Here was that large and enthusiastic student body on this October day, showering him with affection.

            The dismissal of the University’s president had become widely known. The American Association of University Professors had sent a committee to the campus in 1915 to investigate it. Its report, however, delayed until May of 1917, had been too late to be helpful in the situation. It was, in general, an exonerating report, finding most of the charges against Dr. Craighead unsubstantiated. It found that he had brought undue pressures on faculty members for support of his wishes or policy, that he was unduly concerned about the loyalty of the faculty to him. It found the administration lacking “in some respects in an orderly, constructive and efficient internal policy.” Two more serious matters it found to be absence of a well-defined budget system and corruption in the management of athletics. It concluded that though the President had apparently been dismissed on the charges by Ryman, in reality the dismissal came as a result of his campaign for consolidation. After commending Dr. Craighead for his policy of expansion, his development of new departments, the excellent faculty he had brought to the campus,[19] and the increase in the size of the student body, it stated, “The procedure [of the Board of Education] . . . was unjust to President Craighead and disastrous in results.” It realized that the campaign for consolidation tended to drag the University into politics, but held that the fault lay in the decentralization of the institutions, not in the President’s campaign.

            The AAUP committee went beyond reporting on the dismissal of the President and commented on the difficulty under which a president of the University of Montana labored. The University, it stated, was operating under five official bodies, namely, the State Board of Education, which, inadequately, met only twice a year, a University Committee of the Board, a local Executive Committee with strong powers of recommendation to the Board, the Appropriations Committee of the Legislature, and the State Board of Examiners.[20] The Committee thought that the intercity rivalry of adherents of the four University System units and the inevitable involvement in politics should have stirred the Board and especially the Governor to preventive action.

            On the day when it dismissed the President, the Board was indeed busy, for without making charges or holding hearings it also dismissed three faculty members who allegedly had helped J. H. T. Ryman prepare his charges, being out of sympathy with the administration. They were Dr. G. F. Reynolds, Professor of English, Dr. T. L. Bolton, Professor of Psychology, and Miss Mary Stewart, Instructor in Speech and Dean of Women. The Board acted, it stated, “in the best interests of the University.” Protest from the two men brought no action, but on October 11 the Board, wishing to do what it could to right matters, and influenced, possibly, by a petition from a women’s organization asking that Mary Stewart be reinstated, placed all three persons back on the faculty with the provision that they take a year’s leave of absence, the men without pay and Mary Stewart on half-pay. The Board during the summer had tried to place the trouble in the hands of Chancellor-elect Dr. Elliott, but he had refused to have anything to do with it on the grounds that he was not yet in office. In the spring of 1916 the two dismissed men talked with the Chancellor, he then being in office, saying that they desired to return to their duties at the University.[21] The Board, however, had again changed its mind and voted not to return the three dismissed faculty members to the faculty at the termination of their leaves of absence. Dr. Reynolds wrote to Governor Stewart enquiring when he should return to work and was told exactly what the Chancellor had told the two men, that if he did not resign formal charges as to his suitability for the position on the faculty would be made. None of the three dismissed persons returned to the campus.

            The image of the University, protection of which has at times resulted in pussyfooting action by administrators and faculty, was seriously marred by the dismissal by the Board of Education without charges and without adequate hearings of two presidents within four years and three faculty members.

            A pleasant aspect of life at the University under the presidency of Dr. Craighead appears when relations between him and the students are known. The President was immensely popular.[22] At convocations he talked with them in a friendly, fatherly way – “It was a regular family chat at convocation.” The Kaimin for February 12, 1914, commented, “It was a pleasant talk and while it rubbed a bit with some, the assembly was one of the most profitable of the year.” He told the students that he favored fraternities as long as they behaved, urged them to make friends widely, to be friendly with the faculty, and not to roll up debts. He was as enthusiastic about students as he was about the University’s curricula and it’s Schools – “A fine spirit,” he reported to the Board of Education, “prevails throughout the student body . . . . I doubt whether a better student body can be found anywhere.” When Journalism instructor Carl Getz came to the campus in 1914 he was impressed by the camaraderie between the students and the faculty, by the self-reliance of so many of the students, and by the democratic atmosphere in the University. At the center he placed the President, “an educator who combines all the qualities of a scholar, an executive and an orator.”

            In general, the students held Dr. Craighead in fond regard. They jested with him - a Sentinel editor wrote: “Our prexy, of whom we could not, would not dare to say anything funny. He might consolidate us.” They praised him. They raged when he was dismissed. On Sneak Day (abolished later by President Clapp) they celebrated his birthday by giving him a box of cigars and a loving cup. On another day the Sigma Nu pledges humorously appeared on the campus in convict clothes to clean it. At the farewell convocation in 1914 they “cheered him to the rafters.” His office door was always open to them.

            Aber Day (inaugurated on April 16, 1915, in honor of Professor William Aber, whom the students considered their friend as well as self-appointed custodian of the campus) was instituted to give the campus a spring cleaning. The Dean of Women, Mary Stewart, suggested an annual May Fete and the first one was presented by women students on the lawn south of Main Hall on May 11, 1913. In that year the student store was opened. When “outside people” spoke of curbing “the utterances of our faculty” The Kaimin advocated mass revolt by the students should those people do so.

            A Sentinel editor reviewed the athletics of 1913-14: “The University is closing a very successful year in athletics. . . . Credit must be given the Chamber of Commerce and the people of Missoula . . . for the first time in years the town really got behind the University . . . in every respect the spirit, both over town and at the University, was better than ever before. The year was a year to be proud of; it carries promise of a better one next year. But most of all it has made for the development of real spirit at Montana.” The next year was, indeed, a better one, for the football team tied Idaho (0-0), defeated Washington State, Utah State, North Dakota State and Montana State. The unimpressive 1915 team had won two games, lost two and tied one, and to the surprise of everyone tied the champion team of the East, Syracuse University.[23] The glory of this feat is still sung. It was too bad that Dr. Craighead was not present to see it.[24]

            During the Craighead years important events were happening both inside of the State and elsewhere. Suffrage for Montana women, for one thing, came up for a vote and found both faculty and students favoring it strongly; the campaign for consolidation was absorbing the energy of the President,[25] faculty and some students, who were busy writing letters home urging it. In July of 1914 war broke out in Europe, but one would hardly know from reading student publications over the next two years or more that war was raging – for instance the Sentinels for 1915, 1916, and 1917 were silent about it. It was not until April, 1917, when the United States entered the war and students began enlisting, that the war was noticed. The 1919 Sentinel was dedicated to the 230 students who had served in the trenches and on the sea and in the air. That issue observed that the prewar student body had been “a rollicking carefree band of young men and young women.” In those days it had seemed important that freshmen wear green caps, that Hi Jinx be funny, that the glee clubs, oratory and debate, and dances flourish.

            Whatever charges may have been leveled at Dr. Craighead the period of his presidency was, in general, one of sound expansion in right directions.

[1] The University was known as the University of Montana from 1895 to 1913, when it became the State University of Montana. In 1935 the name was changed to Montana State University and in 1965 back to its original name, the University of Montana.

[2] An alumnus of the University stated that he was out of favor at Tulane because he had dismissed some “antiquated” professors of medicine and put in men from the East. The matter seems to have been political in nature.

[3] He was later accused of appointing committees which would follow his wishes.

[4] The 1916 Sentinel editor wrote: “Home life is broader and more cultural if the mother is versed in literature, art, history, mathematics, economics, etc. . . .  but it may be happier and more effective” if she has been trained in home economics.

[5] From its beginning the University has been asked for faculty services – for instance, Professor Rowe identified rock specimens and made soil analyses, the pharmacists analyzed drugs, the botanists identified plants and seeds, the economists have advised on economic matters, the law professors responded to legal enquiries, the English professors advised on high school teaching, and so on. Possibly every department and school has been tapped and information has been given gratis.

[6] Professor Leaphart, who was considered by the students as the most demanding law professor, left, in 1915, for two years and returned as Dean in 1917.

[7] At first the schools were called departments and the deans were directors.

[8] The book was a collection of stories he had printed in The Missoulian when editor of that paper. It was and is much prized. Of the country just west of Missoula he said there was so much of it that it had to be set on end.

[9] He was at the University from 1915 to 1919.

[10] Dean Smith, using words by Mary Brennan Clapp, wrote a stirring football song for the University, with tomtom effects, entitled “The Warriors.” Though it has been widely published it has never captured the enthusiasm of Montana students. It should.

[11] The Encyclopedia of Northwest Biographies wrote of him: He “built a monument in the cultural life of the Northwest and an institution whose influence has done much to foster the art of music in the State.”

[12] Like all catalogs of that time, and even today, it carried a good lot of window dressing, but it gave a reader fairly complete knowledge of what the University thought it was.

[13] Be it resolved that it be and is hereby declared to be the sense of the State Board of Education that we favor the consolidation of the following State institutions of Montana, to wit: The University of Montana, the Montana College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, the State Normal College, the State School of Mines. . . “

[14] In 1949 Mr. Allen produced a lively book about his political and business career in Montana entitled The Chequamagon, a famous restaurant in Butte. At a convocation at the University Butte’s mayor, Lewis Duncan, said that “the mere question of location should not enter into the matter of consolidation” and that “all questions of this type should by settled for the good of all concerned,” and the comment echoed and reechoed.

[15] Although the question of consolidation or of unification has come up for discussion from time to time since 1915, the issue has now been decided by the size of the investment in the six units in their six towns, but it probably will never be forgotten, especially at budget times. Professor Scheuch in a Commencement Address at the University in 1938 said: “Craighead had the correct and courageous idea – that is, to unify three of the then four units into one University of Montana. . . . The dismissal of this great idea seems to me to be the greatest sin committed against education in this State.” He also said: “While I was here I saw it [the Montana scene] much too closely: the trials, the problems, the disillusionment of deferred and ruined ideals of which there were many.”

[16] “. . . the State Board of Education for many years has, as a body, apparently been destitute of a proper sense for the ordinary courtesies and amenities in its dealings with officers and teachers of the university,” the American Association of University Professors Investigating Committee wrote in its report, 1917.


[17] To a friend in the Middle West who had just resigned his presidency Dr. Craighead wrote, in May, 1914, “The university presidency is not a position for an independent man.”

[18] In the same Sentinel Professor Scheuch began his greeting to the students, “The University has just passed its twenty-first year and stands at the thresholds of a brighter and more settled future.” It was true, but as Professor Freeman queried, “How could he think so in 1916?”

[19] He brought in Dr. R. H. Jesse. Had he done no more for the University than that he would have done it a genuine service. For more than forty year Dr. Jesse was a stabilizing influence on the faculty. He was conservative only in that he would accept change only after gathering and considering all the facts. He was Dean of Men from 1918 to 1927; Dean of the Faculty from 1928 to 1945; Dean of the College from 1936 to 1945; Vice President from July, 1945 to 1954; Acting President from July 1, 1950 to March 1, 1951. A second appointment of great importance was that of C. W. Leaphart, Law instructor 1913-1915; Dean of the Law School 1915-1954; Acting President for five months in 1941, and again July 1, 1943-July1, 1944. He and his staff raised the Law School to a high reputation. His service to the University, like Dr. Jesse’s, was long, loyal and of deep value.

[20] This organization exists today (1969), with, moreover, an Executive Secretary of the Greater University, located in Helena. The local Executive Board, however, is now active only as counselor to the president and as an agency for maintaining good relations between the University and the town. Also, at present the powers and responsibilities of each group are more clearly defined than in 1915.

[21] Dr. Bolton wrote to Acting President Scheuch on November 28, 1915, “I should like to return, since the Board has reinstated me.” In the same letter he accused Dr. Craighead of having started the rumor that he, Bolton, wished to be president of the University. One of Ryman’s charges had been that Dr. Craighead gossiped. Dr. Bolton also stated he heard that the Board had tried to make some amends to him and to Dr. Reynolds.

[22] C. W. Leaphart, who was a faculty member at the time, once said, “I wonder if any college president was ever so popular with students as Dr. Craighead,” and a student said, “You just couldn’t help liking President Craighead.” S. R. Logan, a student of the Craighead days, wrote that the President had “a powerful intellect and was very emotional. He was a man who just expected to be the leader in whatever he did.”

[23] The U. of M. team gained 251 yards from scrimmage, 29 of them by passes, the Syracuse team 142 yards, 107 of them by passes, leaving only 34 yard gained by rushing. “Click” Clark was declared by the Syracuse coach the fastest end he had seen.

[24] He was made Commissioner of Education in South Dakota, in which office he served for two years. Three months after his dismissal as president he established a weekly newspaper, The New Northwest, which he and his two sons ran in Missoula. It was a radical paper and as such was constantly criticized and berated by The Missoulian, which was owned by Joseph Dixon.

[25] Dr. Craighead wrote to a friend: “I am buried in this educational fight.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 19:06