Date of this Version
Published in THESE FIFTY YEARS: A HISTORY OF THE COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA (Lincoln, 1925).
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE
IT IS here that we draw the dividing line and proceed 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.