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Title: College Men Without Money
Author: Riddle, Carl
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  _Published June, 1914_




  A MOTHER’S DESIRE REALIZED--AMES                                   1

  “MAGNA CUM LAUDE”--ASPINALL                                        5

  TASK WORTH WHILE--CLARK                                            8

  MAKING ODD HOURS PAY--DAY                                         12

  THE COLLEGE STORE--DODGE                                          15

  BROTHER HELPS BROTHER--DRAPER                                     19

  THE COLLEGE INSPIRATION--DYER                                     24

  OVERCOMING HARDSHIPS--FRAZIER                                     29

  THE DIGNITY OF SERVICE--FOX                                       35

  A HAPPY MISFORTUNE--FRENCH                                        42

  FINDING ONE’S PLACE--GERNERT                                      47

  “THE TARHEEL”--GUNTER                                             49

  NO WORK TOO HARD--HALFAKER                                        53

  CULTIVATING SIDE LINES--HELLER                                    60

  A SMILING SELF-RELIANCE--HUGHES                                   65

  A MOTHER’S INFLUENCE--KENDALL                                     67


  THE WILL AND THE WAY--MCCUSKEY                                    79

  KEEP GOOD COMPANY--MCLEOD                                         82

  THE DEMOCRACY OF A COLLEGE--MOON                                  83

  OBEYING THE CALL--MORGAN                                          88


  MAKING ONESELF USEFUL--NELSON                                     96

  A FAITH “DIVINELY SIMPLE”--NICKS                                 112

  ONE WHO KNOWS IT CAN BE DONE                                     115


  FAITHFUL IN LITTLE THINGS--SAUNDERS                              126

  FROM JANITOR TO COLLEGE PRESIDENT--STALEY                        134

  STARTING WITH FIVE DOLLARS                                       138

  FROM GOOD TO BETTER--SWAIN                                       142

  A TASK WITH A MORAL--TRAYNOR                                     146

  FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF DENVER BULLETIN                           151

  THE FRATERNITY OF WORKERS--VAN RUSCHEN                           157

  HOW THE PHYSICAL SIDE HELPED--WADE                               162

  THE WAY ALWAYS OPEN--WALTERS                                     167


  OPPORTUNITIES MAKE US KNOWN--WENTZEL                             177

  MAKING PLAY OUT OF WORK--WIGGINS                                 185

  NOTHING SUCCEEDS LIKE SUCCESS--WRIGHT                            189

  WORK A STIMULUS TO AMBITION                                      194

  THE UNIVERSITY AS A GOAL                                         200



  MANY LANES OF USEFULNESS--BOSWELL                                208

  ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE WILLING HEART--DAFT                       212

  DIFFICULTIES PREPARE FOR REAL WORK--FRYE                         215

  PLUCK RATHER THAN LUCK--HENRY                                    221

  POVERTY IS NOT HIS MASTER--JOHNSON                               225

  DEFEAT DOES NOT MEAN FAILURE--JOHNSON                            228

  “START RIGHT”--JOHNSON                                           230

  THE REAL QUESTION--JORGENSON                                     233

  WILLINGNESS TO WORK A GREAT ASSET--MOORE                         239

  KEEP ON TRYING--OMAHART                                          242

  OPTIMISM IS AN ASSET--OXLEY                                      245

  THE DESIRE FOR SOMETHING BETTER--PATRICK                         249

  DETERMINATION VERSUS POVERTY--PORTER                             252

  THE REAL NEEDS OF THE WORLD--RANKIN                              255


  THE HELP YOURSELF CLUB--SELLARS                                  261

  THE HOW AND WHY--SHINN                                           263

  MAKING USE OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY--SMITH                           266

  EDUCATION WORTH THE PRICE--WEST                                  273

  WORK NO CLASS BARRIER--WRIGHT                                    280


  HOW TO WORK ONE’S WAY THROUGH COLLEGE--BROWN                     283

  DOES A COLLEGE EDUCATION PAY?                                    286


Having entered the preparatory schools with 94 cents, and college
with less, and knowing that the greater number of those who control
the affairs of the nation and who strive to make the country better,
are men and women who did likewise, the thought for this book entered
my mind. The first aim was to collect matter from students only, but
this was changed. The main part of the book contains articles from
college and university graduates. The last part of the book contains
contributions from students now in college, and shows how the actual
thing of working one’s way through college or university is being
done. A few of the articles which go to make this volume were used
as a special series in the _Raleigh Times_, Raleigh, North Carolina,
and requests from various parts of the country were received by the
compiler for the production of the series.

The object of the compiler is not to praise the merits of those who
have succeeded, but to point a moral to young men and women who desire
an education and have small means. A prominent editor says: “The
history of college education among English speaking people is now
about one thousand years old. It began with the University of Oxford
in England, which has been in existence a decade of centuries. It has
spread to many lands, but in all lands it has been about the same to
the poor boy. It can be truly said that he has never seen an age or a
country or a college where he had an easy time in getting his diploma.
It has always been a fearful struggle for him, and it will doubtless
continue to be. But it is also true that the brightest pages, the very
brightest, in all our long educational history are those that record
the triumphs of the poor boy. And his triumphs are written throughout
that great period. He has demonstrated a thousand times over that
‘where there is a will there is a way,’ that ‘poverty does not chain
one to the soil.’”

So, my efforts have been to help rather than to praise, to make the
past a great light for the future, and to pave the way for more college
men not blessed with wealth. If this volume serves to aid one in these
directions I shall be glad.

To Professor W. P. Lawrence, Professor E. E. Randolph, Professor R.
A. Campbell and President W. A. Harper, of the Elon College Faculty,
the compiler is greatly indebted for their faithful service in the
preparation of this work; also to many others who offered suggestions
and advice.

  Elon College, N. C.
  March 16, 1914.




Before the close of my high school course I faced two proposals,
acceptance of one of which would cause me to go to college; the other
would set me to work. The first was this: provided I would live at home
in Bangor and go back and forth daily to the University of Maine in
Orono (a ride of about fifty minutes on the electric car) I was offered
about half of the expenses of my entire college course. The second

Thanks to my mother’s influence and the fact that I wanted a college
education, I had no hesitation in accepting the first proposal. Thus
I came to belong, not to a class of “college men with no money,” but
rather to that of “college men with little money.” The essential
difference is one of degree only, provided there is present a true
determination to secure a college education.

Why did I go to college? To a great extent because of my mother’s
influence; because of her who could not conceive of her sons as
non-college men. She thus constantly encouraged us to go to college
regardless of whether we had to earn all or part of our way. In
addition to this ever-present influence I was a somewhat imaginative
and philosophical lad. It seemed to me that just as a hill was made
not merely for climbing, but that the climber should be rewarded for
his attempt by the beautiful view of broader countries seen from the
summit; even so a college education was designed, not to be a stumbling
block to the youth of our country, but rather to serve as a means of
intellectual elevation from which should open up visions of greater
things in life. These two things made me become a “college man with
little money,” who was ready to do any honest work to make up the
financial deficiency.

How did I earn my way through college? In an account book, which I have
preserved for many years, I find this statement, written when I was
a sophomore in high school: “School closed (for the summer vacation)
Friday. On Saturday I helped Roy cut grass and received twenty-five
cents. From that regular employment followed and I earned and spent
money as follows:”

There follows, then, a record of fifteen cents from someone for cutting
grass, or fifty cents from another for a bit of carpenter work such
as a boy could do. Very consistently during the remainder of my high
school course I worked, caring for lawns and gardens in the summer, and
running one furnace and sometimes two and shoveling snow in the winter.
I also pumped a church organ. By these means I earned and saved
$200.00 in the two years before I was ready to go to college. This sum
I placed in the bank.

For two years of my college course I lived at home and went to and from
the University each day. To earn money I tended a furnace and shoveled
snow, pumped a church organ, and occasionally sold tickets at various
entertainments in the Bangor City Hall. In the fall of the sophomore
year I won a first prize of fifteen dollars in the annual sophomore
declamations. During the summer between my first and second years in
college I worked as an amateur landscape gardener, caring for lawns and
gardens and doing odd jobs of all kinds. For the greater part of the
summer following the second year I worked as a carpenter. I also tried
the work of book agent, but made little headway at that.

Beginning with my junior year at college my plans were considerably
changed. No longer did I travel to and from college daily, but,
thanks to the generosity of a friend, I was permitted to live at the
fraternity which I had joined in my freshman year. Thus I was given
an opportunity to enter into the larger life and activity of the
University, and so to share some of the college honors and profit by

But still there was the necessity of earning money. I still lacked many
dollars, even many hundred dollars, necessary to secure my college
education. During that junior year I worked at every opportunity and
earned money by selling tickets at various places, giving readings
at a church entertainment, winning another first prize in the junior
declamations, taking school census in my home ward in Bangor, and by
doing odd jobs whenever any presented themselves. During the summer I
secured work at a seashore resort and because of the somewhat isolated
nature of the place saved nearly all my earnings.

In amount of money earned in all ways, my senior year was the best
of my entire college course. During the Christmas recess I worked as
floor-walker in a store, and during the spring vacation again took
school census, this time in a larger ward which returned me more money.
I won fifty dollars in an intercollegiate speaking contest, and earned
nearly sixty-five dollars as substitute teacher in Bangor high school.
These amounts, combined with my previous savings, or what was left of
them, and an advance from the same friend, enabled me to graduate from
the University of Maine in 1913 with all bills paid, but burdened with
a great debt of gratitude that I can never properly pay.

As I look back over my college course, I feel that it was worth all the
work that I was obliged to do.

  _Orono, Maine._



At the age of twenty-five I went to West Virginia Wesleyan College with
a fairly large amount of worldly experience, very little book learning,
and enough money to take me through two terms of school. I was
preparing myself for the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
and was willing to preach my way through school. I did not know anyone
in the school, nor did I have any definite promise that I would get a
charge near the College. Incidentally, I might say that I had been in
this country only eighteen months at that time. I landed in New York
with only six dollars, plus the amount that the immigration authorities
require each one to have upon landing on these shores. I did not know a
man from Maine to California.

After consultation with the Dean I found that I needed one year to
complete the college entrance requirements. During the next summer I
made enough money to pay my few debts; so I returned to the college
square with the world. A few weeks after school opened, I went to our
conference and was assigned to a circuit in close proximity to the
College, which paid me $360 for the year. There were six appointments
on the circuit; each congregation wanted me to hold a protracted
meeting and I had to hire a horse every Sunday, for the average
distance for me to travel was twenty miles a Sunday.

There was no opportunity to make any extra money, for I held protracted
meetings in the vacations and had to do extra pastoral work in the
summer, which, of course, had been sadly neglected during the school
year. It need hardly be said that there were many trying times. I had
much practical experience in a system of bookkeeping; but, somehow, and
at very irregular intervals, the bills were all paid at the end of the

I was returned a second year. The salary was increased $50.00, and for
a time I was passing rich. But troubles were plentiful, sometimes.
I was going out on a mission of good cheer, riding thirty miles on
Sunday--it may be in sleet and snow, and the steward had been able
to collect only $3.21, when I needed much more than that to pay
my board bills. Then when I could succeed in casting these gloomy
thoughts from my mind, in would rush the inspiring thoughts of my
Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Math., all fighting for first consideration.
Notwithstanding, given good health, one can get through. It has been
done and can be done again, is part of my philosophy.

The last two years saw me on another charge, paying much more money,
but a much more difficult field, mentally. I was able to graduate,
free from debt, though I had seldom been so during the whole five
years. I feel as though I have a right to say that I did not slight my
work, for I was graduated “Magna cum Laude” and took a few other honors

Taken collectively, the grind of lessons, the worries of a circuit
together with shortage of money are not always conducive to optimism,
but I felt like I had to get through. The same zest I had then for
learning is still with me. I may say that I have no more money than I
had when in college, but as much ambition.

  _Madison, N. J._



I worked my way through college from necessity--I had to do so, or to
give up the idea of having a college education at all. I had no ideas
then concerning the great advantages of such a course.

When I was a little boy my father had formed the plan of sending me to
college when I should have reached the proper age, but he died when I
was scarcely fifteen years old, and my hope of ever securing a college
education vanished. Seven years later, when I was twenty-two, a chance
experience renewed within me the desire to go to college, and I laid my
plans accordingly.

I had little money, though I had been teaching school two years and
had also been farming for myself. It seemed to me then, and I feel it
much more strongly now that I have had an experience with hundreds of
other students in a similar situation, that it would be better to delay
beginning my college course until I had saved enough money to give me a
good start. This I did, farming another year and spending an additional
winter in teaching a country school. When I was ready to enter college
I had money, which I had myself earned, more than sufficient to pay all
of my college expenses for two years.

I had not been in college long before I saw that the fellow with no
special talent or training is very much handicapped in earning his
living. Such a man must take what work he can get, and must usually
work at a minimum wage. Often, too, the only work which he can get is
mere drudgery. The man who can sing or can play a musical instrument
well, the man with a trade, or a particular fitness for any special
sort of work, can earn his living more quickly and more pleasantly than
can the man who must confine himself to unskilled labor.

Soon after I entered college a chance came to me to become an
apprentice in the office of the college paper and to learn to be a
printer. I did not need to earn money during my first year, so I
entered the printing office, and gave myself to learning to set type.

I worked at the trade industriously during my leisure moments, the
fellows in the office were quite willing to instruct me, and at the end
of a year I had become so proficient that I was employed as a regular
type-setter. In this way I earned satisfactory wages during the rest of
my college course.

My connection with the college paper gave me an interest in newspaper
work in general, and I soon had an opportunity to do reporting for one
of the city daily papers published in the college town. For this work
I was paid a definite amount a column, with an understanding that the
total amount of news which I should furnish each week should not exceed
a set number of columns.

These two sources of revenue, together with small amounts which I was
able to earn proved quite sufficient to furnish me enough money to meet
my regular college expenses. They gave me, also, more pleasure than I
should have been able to obtain had I been forced to earn my living by
means of unskilled toil.

My summer vacations I employed on the farm. I had many rosy
opportunities presented to me by solicitors who came to the University
to earn possibly fabulous sums of money during the vacation by
retailing their wares, but I preferred to work on the farm for two
reasons: such work offered me a definite sum for my summer’s work,
small though it might be, and I was in such a position that I felt that
I should know what I could rely on. It gave me in addition three months
strenuous exercise in the open air, and thus prepared me for the months
of hard study that came through the college year.

As I look back now at the manner in which I earned my way through
college, it seems to me in the light of the many years of experience
which I have had since, a very good way. As I have watched the hundreds
of self-supporting students at the University of Illinois, I am led to
the conclusion that it is seldom a good plan to start upon a college
course without money, even if one has to postpone going until that is
earned. Unskilled labor is unprofitable, and anyone who would succeed
must have or must develop skill or training in some special work.
Lastly, it seems to me that the average man will find it very much
better to employ his vacations in work that will bring him a definite
and assured income, even though that be small, than to risk earning ten
times as much, as a book agent, for example, where he is quite likely
to fail.

  _Urbana, Ill._



I was born in Harlan County, Kentucky, which is one of the remote
southeastern mountain counties of that State, on the twentieth of
December, 1877. I was one of eight boys. After my mother died my father
married a second time. He had six boys and two daughters by his second
marriage. We lived on a rough mountain farm. Our income was meager and
our educational and cultural advantages even more meager. Our public
schools were of the poorest kind and lasted only three months in the
year. We did not attend them even consecutively through these three
months. I always was ambitious, however, after I had learned to read,
to get what I could from school, and from books.

My mother died when I was fourteen years of age. It was about this time
that I began to try to attend public schools regularly although ours
were poor. At the age of seventeen I had my first five consecutive
months of school. This gave me a taste for more knowledge, since here
we were studying geography and history and those branches which gave
us some knowledge of a larger world than we mountain boys knew.

At eighteen I entered the Presbyterian School at Harlan Town. I
graduated from this little academy when I was twenty. All of this
time I had taken great delight in working odd hours outside of school
and on Saturdays and holidays, to pay my way. By this time I found it
possible to teach in the country schools. This I did two terms. There
was finally an opening at college where I had a chance to pay my way by
taking care of the fires, milking cows, running errands, etc., for a
gentleman who lived near the college and who had to be away from home
most of the time.

I entered Tusculum College at Greeneville, Tenn., in September, 1897. I
worked for Mr. L. L. Lawrence, an attorney, who lived near the college
campus. My work was not very hard, but took a great many hours each
day. By diligent application to my studies I found it possible to make
up the branches in which I was deficient in the preparatory department,
and to graduate with my Bachelor’s degree on the 1st of June, 1901.
Having to do the manual labor that I did and at regular hours,
established in me regular habits, both in meeting engagements and in
preparation for classes, which I have found in later life invaluable.
As I look back over my experience in college, I cannot remember the
time when I was not perfectly delighted with the opportunity of work
and study, even though I went many weeks destitute of “spending money.”

After I had finished college I entered upon a course of theological
study which I pursued for four years graduating from McCormick Seminary
in the spring of 1907. Meantime, however, I gave two years to teaching
and to the work of the Y. M. C. A. as student secretary in Tennessee.
This I found necessary in order to earn money to purchase books and
carry on my courses of study without running too heavily in debt.

Since I have been regularly in the ministry, I have many times given
thanks for the Providence that made it necessary for me to get what
little I did get in the way of education through this long course of
labor, manual and mental. Many encouragements came along the way. There
were many kind friends who, without my solicitation, have helped me at
various times. I believe that the man who tries will always find much

  _New York City._



By way of introduction, I will say that when I was in school I never
had any inclination whatever to attend a higher institution of
learning. But upon graduation from the ninth grade I was influenced
to attend the academy. I was at that time living in St. Johnsbury,
Vermont. I attended the academy there two years, and then finished my
preparatory course at Vermont Academy, Saxton’s River, Vermont. As time
drew near for graduation there, I finally became quite interested in
agriculture and I decided to enter the Agricultural Department of the
University of Vermont at Burlington. The next question was, “How am I
to bear the expense?” My father was perfectly willing to help me and
desirous of helping me through, but he was financially unable to send
me through on his own resources. Since I was desirous of learning, I
agreed to find some method of helping him out. It was finally decided
that I should enter that fall (1908) and my application was sent and

My father, who aided me to the extent of $50 the first year, went
to Burlington a short while before College was to open and held an
interview with Professor J. S. Hills, the Dean of the Agricultural
Department. It ended in my securing the work of “sampler” at the
Experimental Farm. The work included getting up at five o’clock every
morning and going out to the barn and “sampling” and “weighing” the
milk from fifty odd cows. There were two of us that did this work. When
there was nothing ahead we would help in the milking. This required
about two hours in the morning. At five o’clock in the afternoon
the same work had to be done. If any of the readers have ever done
this kind of work they can well appreciate my circumstances. For
remuneration, I received fifteen cents an hour and was able to earn an
average of twelve dollars a month, from which I paid my board. This
consisted of one meal in a boarding house and two in my room. Although
the work was rather undesirable in many respects, I have, nevertheless,
many times thanked fortune for it. On Saturdays, I had a job emptying
ashes and carrying coal for a woman down town, and in the winter I
kept her roof and walks clean. In this way I picked up a neat sum. I
did this work all the first year of college. During the summer I was
very fortunate in securing a position at the Experiment Station under
Professor Washburn (the head of the Dairy Division) for $40 a month,
working nine hours a day. Along with this I kept my work at the farm so
I managed to get $55 or more a month. Most of this I saved to help me
in my sophomore year.

When the three months’ summer vacation was over, I still retained
my work at the farm and kept it during the whole year. My father
occasionally sent me a little money, and I got along as well as I
could. During my sophomore year my uncle died and left me a small sum
of money, but I used only $50 of it during my sophomore year. During my
summer recess in that year I again worked for Professor Washburn on his
books and experiment work. I received the immense wage of $45 a month,
and still worked at the Farm, so I managed to obtain about $60 per
month. I worked the whole three months, and then I decided to change my

I went to see the student owner of the “College Store,” Mr. I. H.
Rosenberg, and obtained the work of clerk in the store at the salary
of four dollars a week. I worked the whole year for that and it more
than paid my board. The $125 saved during the summer paid my necessary
bills. Then I received $100 more from my uncle’s estate.

In June I decided to buy the “College Store,” as it was for sale, but
how was I to pay $729 when I didn’t have it? I wrote to a relative
of mine in regard to the money, but he would not lend me the money
without a note signed by myself, father and grandfather for security.
I thought there must be another way to obtain it, so I went down town
and conferred with Mr. G. D. Jarvis, a merchant in the city. He had
known me for two years, and had taken a strong interest in me, and
after knowing my circumstances he told me he would lend me the money.
Of course, I had no property to give as security; but Mr. Jarvis knew
me and took my note as security for the money wanted. I paid $600 down
for the store and gave a note for the balance, the first of June. So
I became owner of the “College Store” for my senior year. During the
summer I went to Nova Scotia and worked in a creamery in Brookfield,
doing the helper’s work. I wanted to learn creamery work and I thought
that was my opportunity; so I took it. I received $12 a month and
board. I came back to college no richer financially, but richer in
knowledge. I opened my store at the opening of school, and I earned
enough to pay my expenses through my last year. I sold it in the spring
to another student and paid Mr. Jarvis.

I graduated in the class of 1912, the first class graduated by
President Guy Potter Benton, now of the University. I received the
degree of Bachelor of Science in Agriculture.

In June of my senior year I secured the position of teacher of
Agriculture and the Sciences in one of the Vermont schools. I am still
there, and enjoy my work very much.

  _Morrisville, Vermont._



When I graduated from the high school of Oswego, Kansas, in 1896 at the
age of seventeen, I had the ambition to attend college, the University
of Kansas in particular, which seemed to me to be the normal thing for
a young man to do. My parents were in full accord, as their example
and precept had always been favorable to as large a use of books as
circumstances would allow. Though up to that time my every educational
need had been met, it was recognized that my college training must come
only after I had earned the money to provide it. I was the oldest of
five children and my father’s income was only that of a country doctor
in a county seat, a town of 2500 inhabitants.

Before her marriage my mother had taught school and many of her best
friends and mine were teaching school at the time of my graduation from
the high school. This and perhaps more particularly the further fact
that I had received good grades at school seemed logically to suggest
that by teaching school I should earn money for a college education.
But during the summer of 1896, and, again the next year, I sought in
vain to persuade country school boards that I was the proper person to
teach the youth of their district. They considered me rather young and
forsooth lacking in experience, which I was seeking a chance to secure.
And so I was saved from becoming a poor school teacher.

Opportunities as clerk, however, were offered and by the first of
April, 1901, I had experiences in hardware, grocery, and shoe stores.
The various changes were made through no fault of my own; but, though
they were in the nature of promotions, the financial return was so
slight that after five years I had perhaps not more than $50 saved
toward my cherished college career.

On April 15, 1901, I began work for a real estate loan company with
duties but little more responsible than a fifteen-year-old office boy
might have discharged. The wages were small, but were soon advanced.
In four years I was earning what was accounted a goodly amount for a
town of that size. Though I had spent some money on vacation trips each
summer and for necessary things throughout the year, I had saved a few
hundred dollars.

Meanwhile, my brother, two and a half years younger than I, had secured
fairly remunerative work earlier in life than I had done. He, too,
wanted a college education and had entered the University of Kansas in
September, 1901. As nearly as I can recall he had enough money to go
through the first year without doing any outside work. Occasionally
during the next three years I lent him money which he repaid when I was
later in school; but in the main he supplemented his summers’ earnings
by strenuous activities during the school year. He was at different
times steward of a boarding club, night clerk at a hotel, and one of
the student assistants in the University library. His experiences and
difficulties were really of more interest, and more particularly those
of a student working his way through college than any I can relate of

In September, 1905, when twenty-six years old, I went to Lawrence,
Kansas, and enrolled in the state university as a special student. I
desired courses particularly in history and economics. As I expected
my college career to be limited to one year, I believed the special
classification was advisable. Because I wished to study as much as
possible I attempted no outside work, but I was economical in my
expenditures. Yet I did not then, nor at any later time, deprive myself
of a reasonable amount of recreation.

At the close of school in June, 1906, I returned to my work in the real
estate loan office in my home town. I was not satisfied with the extent
of the schooling received. I kept under my ambition, however, and laid
aside my earnings again until September, 1907. I then returned to the
University and again enrolled as a special student. I started to earn
my board by washing dishes, but after six weeks’ trial I found that it
took so much time that I quit outside work and gave myself wholly to

The spell of the college was now strong upon me and I wanted to
continue until I could secure a bachelor’s degree. To so shape my
course during the next three years as to correct the irregularities of
my “special” course was a task, especially since I was now vitally in
newspaper work and desired more courses in history and English than the
schedule permitted for a regular student.

Though I yet had money to my credit, I wanted to be able to aid my
sister who started this year. Therefore, to earn my board, I served as
table waiter at a club from September, 1908, to June, 1909. Meanwhile,
my outside duties on the student newspaper and in Y. M. C. A. work
increased in addition to the larger opportunities for profitable
recreation. Thus my life was growing strenuous.

In an effort to keep down expenses, I started the fall of 1909 as
associate steward of a club. Ill success attended me, and before
Christmas I was paying board. My work for the student newspaper brought
me some slight return financially, but not commensurate with the time
it took. I was also a member of the Y. M. C. A. cabinet this year.

From September, 1910, to my graduation in June, 1911, I gave a very
considerable amount of time to my newspaper work and had more pay
therefore; but at the end of my course I had borrowed several hundred
dollars from a brother. I was on the Y. M. C. A. cabinet during this
last year also.

My university training has not prepared me for any get-rich-quick
career. Efforts since graduation to push ahead into a newspaper life
have added to, rather than taken from, my debt. Nevertheless, I do not
regret the plan of action which I followed to get a college education.
I cannot estimate in dollars the satisfaction I have in the retrospect.
I was not penurious with myself when in school, and so enjoyed life,
even though always economical. The friendships formed and the larger
vision of life which I now have compensate me for past difficulties and
those yet to be overcome ere I can obtain such financial stability as
I might have acquired six or more years ago if I had been content to
continue in the real estate loan office of my home town.

  _Oklahoma City, Okla._



My first inspiration toward college came from a public school teacher
by the name of Homer C. Campbell, now a successful business man of
Portland, Oregon. Mr. Campbell was a gifted teacher, brimful of
inspiration and helpful suggestions.

My impression while I was a boy was that the rich only could get
through college. My estimated amount of money needed was far beyond
what I ever had seen together and was beyond my fondest hopes.

During the seven months of Mr. Campbell’s stay with us, he taught us
much not in the books. He made us realize that there were higher fields
inviting us and the means to the end were within our reach. Before he
left us he exacted a promise from me that I would go to college. I was
very willing to promise, due to my confidence and admiration for the
man; but, at this late date, I realized that far, far away was my hope
to realize the goal. My old teacher did not let me forget my early
ambitions, but took numerous opportunities to remind me of my promise.

After teaching a short term in the country and then serving as
clerk more than a year in a country store, I quit the job with many
misgivings and started for the Ohio Normal University, located at Ada,
Ohio,--the school founded, and many years directed by that prince of
educators, President Henry S. Lehr. I had all the queer sensations of
a new boy in a strange school, but the experience is common to all who
will read these letters; so it will be unnecessary to repeat it here.

I had one hundred and forty dollars as a nucleus that I had saved from
two years’ work. Three terms made up my first year. There were five
terms in the year. I was able to get through three of them, and have
a small amount of my capital left. I may add that the Ohio Normal was
run for the benefit of the student body and a vacation was a very
rare occurrence, and when it did occur, there was what was known as a
“vacation term” for the students who did not have time to quit. In the
town was my old teacher, who often had a kind word for me and always
pointed to the day of graduation, a day which seemed too far away for
me to consider.

I taught school that winter. As soon as school closed I went back to
the Normal, took a new start, and worked all summer till time for
school to begin in the fall. So, by the plan of the Normal school,
I was able to teach each winter and go to school from early in the
spring till late in the fall, and still make the purse hold out. The
high cost of living was not in evidence. I paid $1.40 a week for table
board, and fifty cents for my room. This continued till the purse
came in a little stronger, and I went up to $1.60 a week. I may add
that in my later years I got into the plutocrat class and paid $2.00
a week, but the room rent was the same. Two dollars per week was a
regular Rockefeller rate for the Normal boys, but we lived well. Our
wants increased as the years went by, but we were able to have some
surplus left over each year, which was a very gratifying condition.
Thus, by half year work and half year study, I was able to complete
the classical course when the long hoped for day of graduation came.
This is now history. My ambition had been thoroughly aroused and I
felt that I must now finish college. My surplus with a little that my
brother lent me during the last few months in college was enough to
take me through. As I look back over the road, I find only pleasant
recollections of the college work, even though there were times when
we bought our coal oil by the half gallon because it avoided a large
investment at one time in one commodity.

We did not ride in automobiles then as many do now. Our only expense
aside from lodging, board, and fuel, was to spend a few dollars for a
good book now and then, and a few dollars more for lecture tickets. The
lectures were of the best, by Joseph Cook, George Wendling, Sam Jones
and men of that type. We must admit at this late date that our best
girl beside us made the lectures more interesting and instructive than
they could have otherwise been.

Our temporal wants were few, and our intellectual opportunities,
accordingly great.

One time in traveling through the mountainous part of Kentucky the
most conspicuous sights were the cabin on the barren hillside and
the razor-back hog with the proverbial knot in his tail to keep him
from running through the crack in the rail fences. I was so impressed
with the simplicity of the life there that I said to a gentleman on
the train near me, “How do these people ever supply their wants?” He
replied in the characteristic English of the locality, “Mister, they
ain’t got no wants.” These people seemed to be happy. As I look back
over my college work and experience when often the purse got down
below the last nickel, I recall that our desires for knowledge were so
paramount that we did not seem to have any wants.

At this time of life I take off my hat from the place where the hair
ought to grow to do honor to the Ohio Normal University, because it
made it possible for me and thousands of others to get inspiration for
higher things. All honor to the Ohio Wesleyan University, my later
school, for its scholarly instruction, its able professors, its college
association, and above all its training in Christian manhood, a part of
the curriculum never forgotten or neglected in the O. W. U.

May the years deal kindly with all such as the president emeritus
of the Ohio Normal who will still inspire youths to do their best,
and reach out to the things beyond. Rewards have come to many of my
professors in the Ohio Wesleyan University, but the memory of their
lives and work remains.

Any young man or woman who has no obligation but his own support can
enjoy the advantages of the best educational institutions of this or
the Old World and make every dollar of his expense independently.

  _Wichita, Kansas._



From the very beginning my opportunities in school were very limited.
I was the third child of a family of eight children. My parents were
very poor and we older children had to work hard helping father fight
the wolf from the door. Then too, father did not take the interest in
sending us to school that he should have taken, although he was an
educated man, and taught school nineteen years. He claimed that we
could learn as much at home as we could at school. Holding to this
theory he kept us at home. The theory might have worked well, if he had
given us fixed hours for study and play; but instead of this he kept
us at work on the farm all summer and fall. In winter he would cut and
sell wood. Every morning, when the weather was not too severe, he took
my two oldest brothers (and me too, when mother could spare me) to the
woods to cut or saw a load of wood, while he hauled a load to town and
sold it. Of course, I could not cut wood, but I could pull one end of
a cross-cut saw equal to either one of my brothers. When the weather
would not allow us to go to the woods, father made us study.

I had a yearning desire to learn to read and cipher. Still, like all
other children, I liked to play, and devoted most of my time to it.
One of my cousins, who lived near us, used to come over and play with
us every Sunday. She would tell us what a good time she had at school.
This made me anxious to go too, and I pleaded with father to let me go,
but my pleading was all in vain. He said I would learn more mischief
than anything else, and he was not going to send me. Mother saw that I
would learn, if I only had an opportunity, and she, too, insisted on my
going to school. Still father would not listen to the request.

At the age of twelve I had never been inside of a schoolhouse. Mother
saw that father was making a mistake by keeping me out of school. So
she decided to send me without his consent. One day when father came
to dinner, he did not see me and inquired where I was. Mother told
him that I had gone to school. He hardly knew what to say or think;
so at last he said (realizing that he was in the wrong): “If she is
determined to go to school, let her go, and let us see what she is
going to do.”

The question then arose, how was I to get my books? I knew father would
not get them for me. I told my cousin (Miss Nettie Bruce) my situation,
and she agreed to lend me her books the first year. After that I always
raised turkeys or ducks enough to buy everything that I needed in

I went to the public schools five sessions. During this time I made
fairly good progress. An almost uncontrollable thirst for knowledge
took possession of me. I was not satisfied unless I had a book in my
hand. My teacher told me that I ought to go to college. I thought this
was impossible. So I decided that I would teach the next year.

During the summer Professor J. J. Lincoln, one of father’s old
schoolmates, paid us a visit. He insisted on my going to college.
Father wanted to send me, but was not financially able. Professor
Lincoln told him how I could go with very little cost to him. He told
him that he could get me a position in the dining room, by which I
could pay half of my board. He thought that father could certainly
arrange to lend me the other half, and the college would wait until I
finished for my tuition. This seemed reasonable, and after a little
consideration father agreed to send me.

On September 5, 1906, I started to Elon College, N. C. This was my
first trip from home. The first few weeks were trying ones with me. The
thought of being two hundred and fifty miles from home without money
or friends was almost more than I could bear. But I plucked up courage
enough to conquer the homesickness, and just determined to stay. It was
not long before I began to make friends.

I entered the sub-Freshman class. Had the faculty allowed me, I
would have undertaken two years’ work in one. I went there with the
determination to do all that my strength would permit. I managed to
get them to allow me to take twenty-six hours’ work a week. This gave
me all that I could do. I did not have much time for pleasure like the
other girls. As I was kept very busy, the time soon slipped away.

On April 21 I received a telegram saying, “Mother is very ill. Come
home at once.” The next day I arrived at home and found her very ill. I
knew that she could not live long. I sat by her bedside until the 9th
of June, when God called her home.

My hopes of ever receiving an education were now gone. As I was the
oldest girl, and my youngest brother was only four years old, the
responsibilities of the home and mother fell largely upon me. I tried
to fill her place in my humble way the very best I knew, feeling that
this was the only way that I could honor her.

The next fall before school opened I made preparation for my younger
brothers and sisters to enter school the first day. How I did wish that
I could go too, but I knew that this was impossible, as father could
not get anyone to keep house for him. During the winter I devoted every
spare minute that I could find to my books; but you may know that I did
not find much spare time after sewing, cooking, washing, ironing and
mending, and keeping the house straight for such a large family. Of
course, my sisters helped me every evening and morning.

The next year I decided to teach the public school just three miles
away, where I could board at home, and look after the home affairs too.
This year, by raising turkeys and teaching I cleared one hundred and
fifty dollars, which was enough to pay half my board and other expenses
(not including tuition) for one year in college.

Father was very anxious for me to go to college now. Sister being
seventeen years old, father said he thought that she could keep house.
Still I felt that she could not, and that it was my duty to stay at
home, but at the same time I was praying for an opportunity to go to
school. Taking father’s advice, the next fall I went back to Elon.

The following spring, before I came home, sister ran away and married.
This made the way difficult for me to go back to college, but father
succeeded in hiring a housekeeper, and I went back the next fall.
Before I came home in the spring someone had persuaded our housekeeper
to leave us and keep house for him. Father tried in vain to get another.

“Where there is a will there is a way.” I never gave up the hope of an
education. I did my best, and left the rest with Him, Who doeth all
things well. He opened the way, led and directed, and I did the acting.
The next fall, one week before college opened, God sent one of my
cousins to keep house for us until I should finish my college course.

I continued waiting on the table in the college dining-room as long as
I was in college. This paid half of my board bill. Father lent me the
other half. During my vacation I raised chickens and turkeys enough to
buy my clothes and books. I gave the college my note for my tuition.

I graduated last spring and am now principal of the Holy Neck Graded
School. I hope to clear enough money this year to pay my college

  _Elkton, Va._



I was born on a Michigan farm the third in a family of ten children.
Some of the first words, the meaning of which I learned, were _Debt_,
_Mortgage_, and _Interest_. And I soon appreciated that the united
toil of the entire household was required through the season to
provide for interest and annual payments on the mortgage. We were
happy, notwithstanding the scarcity of money. The produce from the
farm furnished us with an abundance of good food and we had cheap but
comfortable clothing. With my brothers and sisters I attended the
district school and completed my course in it at fifteen. Two or three
young men of the neighborhood had gone to college and I was fully
bent on going too. It never occurred to me that poverty was a barrier
to a college course. I was large for my age. So I took a teacher’s
examination and was granted a certificate and taught a six months’ term
of country school, closing it seven days after I was sixteen. I boarded
at home and received $130 for the six months. Half of this money I
gave to my father and with the other half I entered and completed the
spring term of the high school. During the winter evenings while I was
teaching I studied Latin grammar and Jones’ “First Latin Lessons.”
Hence I was able, with some help from my brother, to join the Latin
class on entering the high school, to pass the examination at close
of the term, and thus to have a year’s Latin to my credit. I returned
to school at the opening of the fall term, but left at Thanksgiving,
when I returned home to teach the same school I had taught the previous
winter. I received this time $120 for four months. I studied my Cæsar
evenings, and on reëntering school in the spring found myself able to
join the class and to maintain a passing grade. I always was needed
on the farm as soon as school closed in June. There was a large hay
crop and a wheat harvest of 75 to 100 acres. Then followed plowing and
preparation of soil for fall seeding. But I generally found a few weeks
and a few rainy days, that I could take for making money. I canvassed
the country one summer selling a United States wall map. The price was
$2.00, within the reach of the farmer’s purse. I was quite successful
in making sales, and the commission was good. Indeed, I regarded it a
poor day in which I did not make five dollars, so that in two or three
weeks I earned about $60, my capital for the coming school year.

I entered college in the fall of 1883. I really had no money and had no
hope of any financial help from home. During the summer I had earned
enough to purchase a four years’ scholarship, the value of which was
$100, but which I secured at a reduced price. This, together with good
health and a hopefully inclined temperament, was my capital with which
to begin my college course. I secured a room in the men’s dormitory,
and to obtain necessary furniture, I had to incur a debt of $16. The
room was to cost me $12 per year. Of course, I had to have books and
that increased my debt; but I was perfectly familiar with the word, for
my whole previous life had been concerned with it. I did not worry.
But with neither wheat nor potatoes growing to pay my debt, I realized
that the situation required some attention. I noticed in a corner of
the campus about fifteen cords of four foot beech and maple wood. I
made inquiry and learned that it belonged to the college president.
Then I called upon him and applied for the position of wood sawer to
him. He asked me whether I had ever sawed wood. I replied truthfully
that I had never sawed much, but that I knew how it was done. He said
he would furnish the saw and the “horse” and that I would have to saw
only enough each day to keep him supplied. That suited me, for it
meant that I could have other contracts running at the same time. It
took practically the whole winter to complete the work, sawing usually
toward evening enough for the following day. My compensation in money
was $20. But I was also facing the question of daily bread. I couldn’t
go to a boarding club for I had no money. There was a college boarding
hall. I noticed that they kept a cow, and I conceived the idea that
that cow might help support me. I applied to the matron and arranged
that for feeding and milking the cow and running some errands (the
telephone was not yet) I was to have my board. It seemed to me then
that everything was favorable. I continued to earn my board in this
way till towards the close of my sophomore year. Then, for what reason
I do not now recall, I resigned as milkman and secured a position to
assist in the dining-room of a leading hotel. There was no specific
contract as to how much I was to do. What was right in service for my
board was left entirely to my judgment. But I recall that I aimed at
one thing--punctuality. I do not remember ever to have been late. I
remained there until I voluntarily quit near the close of my senior
year. I never had any misunderstanding with anyone while there; was
always treated well, and liked the place. The board, of course, was
good--almost too good for a college student.

A young man in college, though, must have collars and cuffs, and a
cravat occasionally and new clothes. He will have laundry bills, and
must have money for stationery and postage, if he writes home to mother
weekly. Every young man who has a mother should do so. I was such a
young man, and of necessity I was constantly alert for employment
that would bring me needed money. My suit became shabby. I pondered
what to do. I saw in the _Sunday School Times_ an announcement of Dr.
Trumbull’s new book, “Teaching and Teachers,” and sent for a copy and
agent’s terms. It sold for $1.50 and the commission was 60 cents per
copy. I started out, and by putting in spare time for a week I earned
enough to purchase the new suit. The college cistern needed cleaning.
I took the contract for $3.50. It was a large cistern and supplied the
drinking water for the dormitory students. There was about one foot of
water in it the day I cleaned it. I hired a fellow for $1.00 to hoist
the buckets and I went down into it and scrubbed it clean. We finished
about sunset. The authorities concluded to lay a new conducting pipe
from the dormitory to the cistern, a distance of about fifteen feet.
While we were cleaning they tore the old one out. Just as we finished,
the college president came along and peered down at me. “Ah,” said
he, “how nice and clean. Now pray for rain.” “No, no,” exclaimed the
registrar, who had overheard him, “don’t you see we have not laid the
new conductor pipe? Wait till that is laid before you pray.” There was
no sign of rain. We felt perfectly secure in leaving it; but that night
there came a great storm with a terrific downpour. The water collected
from the dormitory roof was discharged into that open clay ditch in
which the new conducting pipe was to be laid and thence flowed in a
dashing stream into the cistern. At sun-up there was four feet of water
and clay in the cistern. I had another contract at $5.00 that day, and
I wrote on the fly-leaf of my trigonometry that night, “God helps those
who help themselves,” and I’ve believed it ever since.

Let no one think I had no fun. The memory of my college days is
decidedly pleasant. I found time to play ball. I was a member of the
college male quartette and of the Choral Union. I always attended the
college lecture and entertainment course. I was a member of one of the
literary societies, and was frequently on the program of great public
demonstrations of college oratory. I never was conscious of any slight
because I worked. On graduation day Ex-president Rutherford B. Hayes
addressed our class. Some things he said seemed intended for me. He
spoke of the Dignity of Work. He said many people had hands and didn’t
know how to use them. It was really an appeal for manual training, a
phase of education not then in vogue, but to which advanced educators
were turning attention. But I had had it all as an extra. I had read
Latin, Greek, and German with my classmates. I had traversed the
historical centuries in their company. I had struggled with them on
conic sections and had lounged with them in logarithms. They were my
equals and superiors in all these, but I had the advantage--I had taken
Manual Training. There were some points of contact around that college
and campus that _I_ only had touched. To be sure it was of necessity,
but it was a blessing, nevertheless. I have not yet lived to see the
hour that I have regretted that I worked my way through college.

  _St. Joseph, Mich._



Burton L. French of Moscow, Idaho, who is now serving his fifth term
as representative in Congress, was born on a farm near Delphi, Ind.,
August 1, 1875, of Charles A. and Mina P. (Fischer) French. In 1880
the family moved farther west and lived two and a half years near
Kearney, Nebraska, where young Burton attended four terms of three
months each, in the country schools. When he was seven years of age,
his people moved to the Northwest, living part of the time in the State
of Washington and part of the time in Idaho. At the age of fifteen, Mr.
French had completed, in the Palouse, Wash., public schools, a course
practically equivalent to our present public school course, including
the first year of high school work. From this period in his life, he
worked his way through the preparatory school and through college,
taking the degree of A.B. at the University of Idaho in 1901, and the
degree of Ph.M., at the University of Chicago in 1903.


Mr. French says: “As one of the older children in a large family, the
responsibilities that rested upon my father and mother at the time I
was ready to take up educational work preparatory to entering college,
and as well later, to carry through a course in college, were such that
I was thrown upon my own resources.

“Two of the chief circumstances that attended my early life were:--

“1. That of being required as a boy to perform under the direction of
my father and mother, a reasonable amount of wholesome manual labor,
largely the kind that is required of the ordinary farmer’s boy.

“2. That at the age of sixteen, I was thrown upon my own resources in
the matter of continuing my educational work.

“My parents, aside from teaching me respect for manual labor and in
a large degree helping me to be proficient in the same, inspired me
with the ambition to complete a college course. I did not regard the
fact that I would need to work my way through college as in any way an
embarrassment, and I do not recall ever having had the wish that my
people could send me through college.

“Before reaching my eighteenth year, I had been able to attend the
preparatory department of the University of Idaho for six months and
had earned the money to carry me through this period by serving as
clerk in a general merchandise store and by working in hotels as a

“Following the close of the term of school, I found work as a waiter
during the summer months, and in September following my eighteenth
birthday I began teaching in a country school. During the succeeding
eight years I completed the work in the preparatory school and a
college course in the University of Idaho, leading to the degree of
A.B., earning most of the money that I required to pay my expenses by
teaching school and at periods when there was no employment in this
field, by working upon a farm.

“My circumstances required that I take my college course by doing part
of a year’s work at a time and I was able to attend college from the
opening of the college year in the fall until the close of the college
year in the spring, only once during my college course and that was
during my junior year. During the period, too, I was away from college
two years in succession, serving during this time as principal of the
public schools at Juliaetta, Idaho.

“During the latter portion of my undergraduate years, I was able to
do a small amount of tutoring in the preparatory department of the
University, and as well, at one time earned my board by managing a
boarding club that accommodated from twenty-five to sixty students and
faculty members. In order to remain in college and complete my senior
year with my class, it was necessary for me to borrow a small amount of
money, which I was able to do, without imposing upon anyone else the
responsibility of standing as my security.

“Prior to completing my senior year in the University of Idaho, I
had been elected a Fellow in the Political Science Department of the
University of Chicago. My fellowship, supplemented by a small amount
of money which I borrowed, enabled me to do postgraduate work in that
institution, leading to the degree of Ph.M., which I received in 1903.

“It is proper to say that during my undergraduate days I was able
to do certain classes of work while engaged in teaching that helped
me materially in carrying my college work upon returning to the
University. For instance, one spring I made my herbarium, collecting,
mounting and classifying the plants required to be assembled by each
student in botany.

“Not only was this work of benefit to me, but it was of intense
interest to every boy and girl in the country surrounding my school.
Many were the children making herbariums of their own, who would assume
an air of superior importance in comparing themselves with their
fellows who did not accept the names _anemone-nemorosa_ in lieu of wind
flower, _ranunculus ranunculaceæ_ in place of buttercup, and the common
variety of the saxifrage family as _philadelphus-grandiflorus_ instead
of mock orange. This was the most clear-cut piece of work that I
probably did outside of the classroom, though in history, mathematics,
and the languages, I was able to do a large amount of work that made it
possible for me to carry with less difficulty the classroom work upon
returning to the University.

“Another thing that is quite as important as the manner in which I
earned the money to carry me through college, is the manner in which
I spent it. The high cost of living was a serious problem, and having
obtained my money in serious manner, I necessarily measured its
value with much care, and during more than half of my years in the
preparatory and undergraduate school, I found it necessary to be a
member of a bachelors’ club made up of students, who, like myself, were
working their way through college. In this way we were able to lower
the expenses of living considerably.

“In the letter from the author of ‘College Men without Money,’ Mr.
Riddle in referring to me as one who had worked his way through
college, spoke of me as among that fortunate class, and I regard
his phrase as a very happy one. Probably the brief recital of my
experiences and the way in which I earned money to complete my college
course, may mean little or nothing to anyone other than myself. To me,
however, the working my way through college is a positive asset, and as
I said in the beginning of this sketch, I regard it as one of the most
fortunate circumstances of my life.”

  _Moscow, Idaho._



The problem of a college education confronts many young people. We
have many colleges, but how to obtain a college education is a vital
question to many high school graduates and others who have not the
money. Here are the colleges and the teachers, but many do not have the
funds on which to go. This is the decisive hour, as here it is that one
decides to climb the hill or remain at the foot.

My experience in working my way through college is not peculiar, but
tallies with the experience of hundreds who have undertaken the same
task. If a person is determined to get an education he will succeed,
and herein lies the keynote to the problem.

It was my fortune to attend a college situated in a small town, as such
locations are always best for the one who has to make his way. Work was
easily secured, and as my desire was to get an education by my labor, I
seized every opportunity for making a dime. Serving as janitor, making
fires in the early morning hours, raking snow and ice from the college
walks in the winter, raking leaves on the campus in the fall and
spring, serving as clerk on Saturdays and other work of this kind paid
my way. But that which gave me the inspiration for all this, and made
the task easy, was the one great purpose of preparing for the gospel

I have finished the A.B. course in Wittenberg College, Springfield,
Ohio, and was better off financially the day of my graduation than the
day on which I entered. There is work for him who desires it. There is
always a place in life which we should fill, and the finding of that
place is an epoch in our lives, and the preparation for it is what
makes the event memorable and life-lasting.

  _Louisville, Ky._



The why: I wanted a college education.

The how: By sticking type, kicking the 8 x 12 Gordon jobber, feeding
the old Babcock drum cylinder, yanking the lever of the paper cutter
(which usually had a dull knife), doctoring the ramshackle old engine
in the print shop of The University Press at Chapel Hill, N. C., and
working fourteen and sixteen hours a day,--and enjoying it, too--on
rare occasions, especially when there was a ball game on the “the Hill.”

Later, when I came to be manager of the shop, the principal part of
my work, at times, was finding new and novel excuses for not getting
the work out on time. I am not sure, but I am inclined to think that
I did my full share of creative work in that field, a field in which
imagination has done and is doing wonders. I believe that I may safely
refer to Acting-President E. K. Graham, Dr. Archibald Henderson, Dr.
George Howe, Dr. L. R. Wilson, Professor N. W. Walker and other members
of the University faculty for testimonials along this line. Certainly
they will bear me out in the statement that I always had an excuse
ready; also that I usually needed one.

The smell of the print shop had been in my nostrils since I was a
mere youngster. I “learned the case” on _The Express_, at Sanford,
N. C.; graduated into the shop of Cole Printing Company, in the same
town; worked for a short time in one or two other shops, and so when
I started for Chapel Hill in the fall of 1904, fired with enthusiasm
by glowing tales of life on “the Hill,” I felt that I was fairly well
equipped to earn my living and get an education.

I might state, parenthetically, that the enthusiasm lasted almost to
University Station. It came back later with compound interest; but when
I first set foot on Chapel Hill soil I did not stand calmly and survey
the world that I had come to conquer. In fact, the conquering instinct
in my manly breast was distinctly dormant.

I was armed with fifty dollars, enough to pay the registration fees
and to give me a feeble shove. The above soon lost its force, however,
and it was up to me to dig, which I did. There may be poetry and there
may be glory in working your way through college, but I found that it
consisted mostly of digging.

I got along fairly well with my school work during my freshman year.
I earned enough money, lacking just five dollars, besides my initial
fifty, to pay my expenses, but I didn’t luxuriate noticeably. I did,
however, learn to study.

It was well that I had learned this. During the summer I received the
appointment as manager of the print shop at Chapel Hill. And then my
troubles began in earnest. I used to examine my head before going to
bed, to discover if my hair had turned white during the day.

The shop handled six or seven university publications, ranging from
the weekly students’ paper to the annual catalogue, in addition to
a goodly amount of job work. The work, all except the binding, was
done by students. Their work at best was irregular. The supply of
printer-students was always short. The university authorities gave free
tuition to the boys in the shop, but there never were enough of them on
hand to keep up with the work properly. It was owing to this fact that
I was compelled to develop the excuse-making part of my imagination.
Oh, it was a man-sized job. And I was just turned nineteen, and the
little blue devils were constantly on the job. It was probably very
fine training. But it was also rather fierce.

But never mind. The job carried with it a regular salary, ridiculously
small, but enough to furnish the necessities and a luxury now and then.
I learned to crowd much work into a given period of time. I learned the
value and limitations of running a bluff. I learned to love some of the
faculty men, who were patient with the shortcomings of the shop. Also I
got off my school work in pretty good shape.

My junior year was not so bad. I had learned that it was not a hanging
crime for a publication to come out late--although some of the editors
seemed to think so. I had a better and larger force of student
printers, and I had more time for recreation. Also my salary had been
increased so that I never had to worry about my board bill.

At the beginning of my senior year, having been elected editor of _The
Tar Heel_, the college weekly, I resigned as manager and borrowed a
little money. I did some work in the shop, enough to keep me from
forgetting that I was a horny-handed son of toil, and associated
(euphemism for loafed) with my fellows more, and played a little
football--and made marks that were not nearly so good as those I had
made in the days of my labor.

Altogether, though I wouldn’t care to go through with it again, the
work there was good for me. It was hard at times, mighty hard. But
the old shop was a God-send to me, as it has been a God-send to many
another young fellow, who owes his college training to the opportunity
offered there.

  _Greensboro, N. C._



On January 7, 1902, after a long and hard summer’s work on the farm I
determined to enter college and prepare myself educationally for the
Christian ministry. I had carefully saved the earnings from my summer’s
work, which was my first away from home. My accumulations amounted to
one Crescent bicycle, a trunk filled with the kind of clothing that
a green country lad would get when making his first purchases in the
average “Jew Store,” and one hundred and twenty dollars in cash. I
felt that with this I would be able to become established and be in
a position to earn my way. My intentions were good and my faith was

Having seen in the _Herald of Gospel Liberty_ the announcement that
any honest industrious young man who desired a college education could
attend Defiance College a whole year for one hundred and ten dollars,
I thought, here was my chance. Surely if such a young man could go to
college for the amount named above I was running no serious risk in
undertaking to go from January to June on that amount. My eagerness

Now, it was almost two hundred miles from my home to Defiance, Ohio.
This was a long journey for a lad of my makeup to take on his own
initiative and under protest of many friends. But amid showers of tears
and volumes of good advice my mind was made up, and no one was happier
than I when the time came to start.

At eight-thirty o’clock I arrived in the historic old town of Defiance,
reputed far and wide for its mud and natural scenery. I shall never
forget the old board walks. It was dark and the rain was coming
straight down. No one met me at the train for I had sent no herald to
announce my arrival. I mounted the old hack and made my way straight
to the College. At that time the institution did not belong to the
Christian denomination. Really you would have thought it didn’t belong
to anyone. Dr. John R. H. Latchaw was the President and Rev. P. W.
McReynolds was Dean. Dr. Latchaw was out of the city and when I arrived
at the college Dean McReynolds met me at the door. He received me and
welcomed me in his characteristic manner and proceeded at once to
enroll me as a student. I was soon enrolled, had my tuition paid, and
was on my way in company with the Dean to find a room. By nine o’clock
I was located and had partially unpacked my trunk. That was “all glory”
for me.

I was out for business, therefore it was my business to be out. My
plans were laid to be regular and persistent in my work, so, no sooner
were we located, than I was on my way down town to purchase an alarm

Not only did I need the College but the College needed me, as luck
would have it. The basement was full of four-foot wood (cord wood),
which must be made ready for four small heaters in various rooms of the
building. It was in the basement of the College building that I took my
physical culture each evening and on Saturdays, with a cash dividend
of twenty-five cents for each cord of wood I cut. Soon we had all the
wood cut, and I was out of a job. But my attention was called to the
fact that more wood was needed at my room, and that it was my turn to
furnish the supply. I inquired and found that if I would walk out in
the country about three miles I could have the privilege of chopping
up the dead timber for the wood. On Saturday mornings I shouldered my
ax and saw and made for the woods. Many was the day that I chopped
entirely with the ax all day, with four cords of fine wood in the rick
at night and a good supply of tired and sore muscles. We were able to
get the wood hauled in at twenty-five cents a cord. I had my supply of
wood for our room, and sold about ten cords to other students who had
more money than desire to exercise after the woodman’s fashion. I would
deliver the wood evenings at $1.50 a cord. This gave me some spending

June came and I was getting along well, when one day after supper at
the club I engaged in a wrestling match which resulted in a broken
arm. All my plans were broken in a moment. My work was at an end for
the summer. After commencement I returned home and spent the summer
doing errands and chores with no financial income.

During the summer I was notified that the College would be removed
from Defiance, Ohio, to Muncie, Indiana, about fifty miles from my
home, and that the school would be known as Palmer University. I was
urged to come to Muncie early and enroll in the new institution. No
sooner did I receive the word than I mounted my bicycle and peddled my
way over to Muncie to see what arrangements I could make to earn my
way. The President arranged for me to become advertising solicitor and
business manager of the _University Bulletin_. This was a new line of
work for me, and it was with some hesitancy that I took hold of the
work. But I was in no condition for physical labor; so gave myself the
advantage of a doubt and went to work at once. I was very successful
and cleared about forty dollars, which those in charge seemed to think
was too large an income for a student and began at once to curtail the
contract. This was not at all pleasing to me.

In the meanwhile the effort to remove the College from Defiance to
Muncie had failed. The citizens of Defiance arose in arms, elected
Dean McReynolds President of the College, put up a considerable cash
guaranty and began an enthusiastic canvass for students and money. The
College at Defiance became the property of the Christian Church, and
a definite campaign for funds was instituted and carried forward by
President McReynolds. All the old students were at once communicated
with and urged to return. I was acquainted at Defiance and was only
waiting for an opportunity to return.

President McReynolds remembered the farmer lad who could handle the
saw and the ax so well. He wrote me that if I would come to Defiance
he would give the position of janitor at a salary of seven dollars per
month and that I could room in the College building and board myself.
I thought that I would be able to earn something in addition, so I sat
down and answered the letter at once, stating the train on which I
would arrive.

When I reached Defiance I thought it the most beautiful spot in all
the earth. I felt like the prodigal son when he came in sight of his
father’s house. President McReynolds met me about two blocks from the
campus and with suit-case in hand we went to the College. In less time
than it takes to write it we had gone over the work and I was employed
as janitor of the College, a position which I held for two long school
years. My arm was weak and tender, but the work was not slighted. At
the close of each month I received a check for seven dollars. The smile
that played over the President’s face was worth more than the check. He
simply wouldn’t let a fellow get discouraged or give up.

Of course, it was impossible to get along on seven dollars a month,
even if one had no room-rent to pay and boarded himself, so I was
compelled to earn something besides. I undertook the laundry agency,
which the first week netted me the snug sum of ten cents. But by the
following June my commissions amounted to from two and a half to
three and a half dollars each week. It was a good business indeed for
a student. At the same time I was college librarian and in this way
earned a part of my tuition. My work was very heavy, indeed, but I had
never failed to make the grade; so I felt that the only honorable way
out was to go straight ahead.

In the fall of 1903 I applied to the Northwestern Ohio Conference for
a license to preach, which was granted. I began by supplying wherever
opportunity afforded. I did not drop any of the work I had been doing,
but during the remaining college course I supplied the pulpits of over
forty different churches. Sometimes they more than paid my expenses,
and again I bore my own expenses. In the fall of 1904 I accepted the
pastorate of two churches in connection with my college work. All the
time I was compelled to do at least a part of the work at the College.
In January of 1905 when I engaged in special meetings with my churches
it was impossible for me to carry the work at the College. I then left
school and accepted the pastorate of the third church. In July of 1905
I married and moved to Wakarusa as pastor of the Christian Church
there. I served that church for a period of two years, after which I
resigned to complete my course at the College. I moved to Defiance and
served two churches during the school year of 1907-8, and graduated in
June of 1908. I am proud of my Alma Mater, and since my graduation I
have had the honor of being president of our Alumni Association.

In September of 1908 I was called to serve the Christian Church at
Lima, Ohio, as pastor. I continued for just four years. I then received
and accepted a call to the pastorate of the First Christian Church of
Columbus, Ohio.

These have been years of toil and sacrifice and joy. Though much of the
way seemed dark, I have been conscious of the guidance of an unseen
hand all the way.

  _Columbus, Ohio._



I was born January 19, 1888, on a small farm near Ladora, Iowa County,
Iowa. My first nine years were care free, with no responsibility except
school and play. In the spring of my tenth year my mother died, and
there being a large family it was difficult for father to keep the
children together thereafter. In the following fall I, with two younger
brothers and a sister, was placed in the care of the Iowa Children’s
Home at Des Moines, Iowa. In the following February I was “bound out”
to a big ranchman in South Dakota.

Tagged as a sack of sugar, stating my name, from whence I came, and my
destination, I was ushered aboard a Milwaukee train, only too soon to
reach my new home on the Dakota prairie. Very soon after my arrival
upon the ranch, I was informed that the purpose of my presence there
was not for ornament but for work. I also very early realized that my
portion of the work was not imaginary. During the second summer, my
assignment was to milk ten cows twice daily and to spend the rest of
the eighteen hours of the working day in the harvest field. I did
not, however, complain about the amount of work that I had to do, but
I did object to the kind of treatment that was accorded to me. Being
but eleven years of age, I did not have the judgment of a man, and I
suffered for it. I shall carry through life scars of that old raw-hide
whip,--and they did not come by chance. Believing that I was not
adapted to ranch life, I decided to take an extended leave of absence.
On the 5th of August, 1899, before daybreak, unknown to anybody, I
started on my journey. All day under a scorching sun I tramped the
dusty road westward across the prairie. Tired, penniless, and half
starved, I begged food and lodging of a family late in the evening. I
told them my story, and winning their sympathy I remained with them
several weeks.

After an absence of about two years, I returned to Iowa County, only
to find that my old home was no more. My father, older brother, and
sisters were each supporting themselves, and I must do likewise. For
seven years I made my home with an old soldier, who lived near Ladora.
I worked during each summer, and very profitably spent the short
winters at the yellow schoolhouse located in the woods. In the fall of
my eighteenth year I entered the high school at Ladora. The school was
small, not accredited, hence the advantages offered were much inferior
to those of larger schools. Believing that I could make better progress
elsewhere, I entered the Iowa Wesleyan Academy in the fall of 1907. It
was here that I first came in contact with the real struggle for an
education. I had often dreamed of college life and its opportunities.
Now my visions were beginning to be realized, but not without effort.
I entered the Iowa Wesleyan Academy with three hundred dollars and an
ambition; after graduating from the Academy, I had only an ambition. My
money was gone, and there were four years of college life yet before
me; but my ambition was only bigger. My willingness to work and my good
health were the factors which made my education possible.

Upon my arrival at Wesleyan I had a very cordial introduction to a
Hershey Hall dishpan and we very soon became intimate. In addition to
the dishwashing, I mowed lawns, tended furnaces, swept houses, and even
did family washing. I was there for an education and determined to get
it at any cost. During my first summer vacation I followed the worn
trail of the canvasser, to return with some valuable experience and
little profit. During my second summer I was given employment with a
Chautauqua system as tent hand. I am now serving my fifth consecutive
season, having been promoted to advance diplomat. The Chautauqua
affords employment for about ten weeks during the summer and an
opportunity to hear the very best talent on the American platform. The
experience in Chautauqua work has been worth as much to me as two years
or more in college. I value very highly indeed the privilege of coming
into personal contact with such men as Senator Gore, and Hon. W. J.

While listening to these masters of the platform, I conceived the idea
of lecturing on my own account. Realizing my lack of ability to compile
an original lecture, I secured a note-book, wrote down everything I
heard. After collecting for two summers I arranged my stories in series
under the caption of “Chips and Whittlings.” I had printed a lot of
advertising material, and posing as a humorist, I began my platform
career. Some of my friends laughed at my undertaking, while others
commended my nerve; but it was easier bread and butter than sawing
wood. I had to do one or the other, so I stuck to the platform. Without
serious neglect to my college work, I had by the end of that school
year realized a profit of three hundred dollars above expenses. After
another summer I compiled another lecture entitled “Scrap Iron.” My
people did not fall over each other to hear my lectures, yet I usually
made good and have even filled a number of return dates.

I cannot remember when or how I received the inspiration to attain a
college education. I entered with a determination to win; to win not
only a degree, but every experience possible. In many ways I have
won, but not because of my ability; only by hard and persistent work.
Three times I represented Iowa Wesleyan in debate; twenty-two times I
fought for her laurels upon the gridiron; and, last year, representing
Wesleyan in the Iowa State Oratorical Contest, I carried the purple
and white to victory. I served as president of the Hamline Literary
Society; was for three years a member of the Y. M. C. A. Cabinet, one
year as president; a member of a Gospel team; and a student member of
the Forensic League. In my sophomore year I won the debating medal.
In my senior year I was awarded the national degree in the Pi Kappa
Delta, an honorary forensic fraternity. I was charter member of the
Sigma Kappa Zeta fraternity, which, during my senior year, was granted
a charter by the national Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. My activities
were not, however, confined to college alone.

My college life at Iowa Wesleyan has truly been full of many and varied
experiences. Believing that old motto, “We are rewarded according to
our efforts,” I resolved always to do my best, and the results have
not been disappointing. While studying constitutes a big part of
college, yet I am convinced that books alone are by no means all of
an education. In college I have ever striven for the practical. I now
possess two degrees, one from the college of Liberal Arts, the other
from the college of “Hard Knocks.” I know what I have; but more than
that, I know the price that it cost. I pride myself as being one of the
fortunates who has worked his entire way through college.

  _Batavia, Iowa._



When I was nineteen years of age, I concluded that it was no longer
right to ask my father to continue my support while I was a college
student. It simply meant going in debt for him. I preferred, if it
were necessary, to assume the debt myself. I then began to plan to
maintain myself during the remaining five years of my collegiate and
professional courses.

I was able to do this without any particular difficulty. I do not have
the slightest reason to pose as a hero in the transaction. I made
considerable money by securing the agency for a photograph gallery in
a large city not very distant from the College. I added to my funds
likewise by getting out certain advertisements for a lecture course,
being paid a fair commission on all advertisements secured. I preached
occasionally also as a supply and received some remuneration for this
work. In addition to these three sources of income, in my senior year
I received some prize money, which was a very great help. My last two
years in the theological seminary I was able to support myself entirely
and to add very largely to my working library by taking the pastorate
of a small church. Indeed, while I was in the seminary, I managed to
pay off all the debt that I had incurred while going through college.

It is my deliberate opinion that the poor boy in America has even a
better chance for an education than the wealthy boy. This observation
grows out of the experience of my student days, and likewise out of my
experience as a college president. The poor boy is much more likely
to present over the counter those higher purchase-prices than are
absolutely necessary in the securing of an education. Given strong
purpose and good health, there is no reason why the average American
youth should not go through college.

My final word on the subject would be this: Some young fellows who
“work their way” through are a little too apt to do considerable
whining and to put themselves in the attitude of claiming sympathy. I
do not believe that this mood has a good effect on character. A smiling
self-reliance will represent a much more winning attitude.

I shall be happy if these few words shall prove in the least degree
inspiring to any of our American youth and shall add even one good
life to that procession that moves toward our higher institutions of

  _San Francisco, Cal._



I am not a self-made man. I doubt if any man is. I guess I was born
with a love for books. I did not make that. I learned to read, so I
have been told, by bringing a book to my mother and asking her the
names of the letters and what they spelled. I recall with a pleasure,
that has never lost its peculiar charm through the years, a visit at
the home of a neighbor when I was not yet three years of age and the
placing in my hands of a blue covered book with pictures of birds and
animals in it. The feeling of delight, the thrill of joy, the profound
impression of that one day and incident have never left me. I love a
book still. Just to feel it, let alone peruse it, is like caressing a
loved one.

I possess, I always have possessed, an unusually good memory. I did
not make that. I was naturally observant. No credit can accrue to me
from that source. I loved to learn. Some grammarians may differ with me
in the use of the word “love,” but let them; I do not care, it may be
because they have never loved in that way. I must have inherited that.
I was passionately fond of music. Another day stands out across the
years as memory travels back, when as a boy of eight or nine years of
age I traveled from the little log cabin on the farm where I lived to
the nearest town, three miles away, with a pail of blackberries on my
arm which I peddled from door to door. In my travels I found myself in
the vicinity of a group of fine brick and stone buildings which I knew
instinctively was the State Normal School and from within the walls of
that building there floated strains of heavenly music. It may have been
some pupil practicing scales, I know not; but this I do know, it was
celestial to me, and I see that boy in poor, shabby clothes, but neat
as mother’s love could make them, barefooted, tired, dusty, standing
there with the big tears running down his cheeks, his heart filled with
an inexpressionable longing to be able to play like that, and with it
a desire to go to school and obtain an education. I did not make that

And then at the back of and under and through all the woof of every
man’s life, if he be not blind, he can see, or if he be not dishonest
and will acknowledge it, there ever runs the warp of the wonderful
influences of other lives and the strange providential guidings which
do more than anything else to make men and women.

Supreme among these influences, as in most men’s lives, was the
influence of my sainted mother, whose self-sacrifice for her boy, who
so many times was so unworthy of it, has been the most potent factor
in helping me achieve whatever of real success I may have attained.

My mother was a widow left with six children, five of whom were at
home. The youngest was a girl less than two years of age, another was
under four, and I was not yet six years of age. We moved at the time
of her widowhood from the city to my grandfather’s farm. Grandfather
had died and grandmother was left with no one to care for the farm. My
brother and I were the farmers. He was fifteen years of age and I was
about six. The country school was a mile and a half from our home. I
went winters rather irregularly, for the cold weather and deep snows of
northwestern Pennsylvania in those days made it well-nigh impossible
to attend regularly. In the summer there was the farm work which
prevented my getting the benefit of the summer term. But I studied
and read not with any definite aim, but just because I liked to study
and read. Grandmother’s death and the sale of the old farm when I was
about eleven years of age, left the mother with nothing but her bare
hands to support her growing family. I went to work on a farm and the
outlook for an education was anything but reassuring. I still continued
to get some schooling at the little country school during the winter.
The summer that I was fifteen I was working in the garden of the pastor
of the little Christian church, which I attended, and he told in the
neighborhood that he had found a diamond in the rough. I have never
questioned the latter part of that statement as applied to me, but have
always felt that the good old man’s vision must have been somewhat
impaired by his years. However that may be, he resolved to see if some
way could not be devised for polishing the rough specimen.

Soon after this he retired from the active ministry and went to live
in the town of Yellow Springs, Ohio. At this place the Christian
denomination had a college known as Antioch College.

One day our little family was thrown into excitement by a letter from
the afore-mentioned pastor, the Rev. Joseph Weeks, saying that he had
procured for my mother the position of cook for the college boarding
club and an opportunity for me and my sister, next younger than I, to
work our way through school. After much deliberation and many councils,
it was finally decided that we go. That was a happy time for me. The
impressions which crowded thick and fast into my life at this time can
never be erased or forgotten. The wonderful journey, the great stone
building, the dormitories, the beautiful campus, the teachers, and the
dear old library. Oh, the library was best of all.

On my arrival I went to work in the dining-room. It was my duty to fill
the water glasses on the tables before each meal and then to assist
in clearing the tables at the close of each meal and to help in the
washing of the dishes. I also carried coal and water for the kitchen. I
spent one happy year there and I do not think that my teachers during
the nine months that I was under their training and polishing ever
discovered any diamond-like qualities about me except the roughness.
Overtaxed with the work, mother’s health broke and we were forced to
leave. It was a bitter disappointment to me. I, as the oldest at home,
felt that I must try to do something to help care for the rest of the
family. Then came days of darkness and struggle. I could find no work.
Finally a farmer, taking advantage of my desperate condition, hired me
for the munificent salary of six dollars per month. At one time during
this period I walked twenty miles to the city of Erie and hunted for
work as faithfully as I knew how to look for work in a great city, but
found none, and was forced to walk back again disheartened, only to be
told by a penurious relative where I had been staying that “I had not
tried to get work.” I hope God has forgiven him. I believe I have, but
it still hurts when I think of it. Then I walked fifty miles to the
city of Ashtabula, Ohio, stopping at the towns on the way, in some of
which I had acquaintances, and tried to find work, but without avail.
Finally, finding myself in the city friendless, homeless, penniless,
night came on and I crept under a sidewalk hungry and thoroughly
disheartened, and slept. In the morning somewhat rested I walked to a
neighboring town where a cousin of my mother’s resided; there I got a
dinner and a good night’s rest. From there I journeyed back home.

But the darkest day will have its dawning and the longest lane its
turning, and that fall again the way opened and I entered the Old
Waterford Academy at Waterford, Pa. Here I did janitor work the first
year, in the Academy, and earned what extra money I could around the
town by splitting wood and doing odd jobs during my leisure hours. The
second year I obtained the janitorship of the graded school. By dint
of hard work, carrying seven studies each term, I completed the three
years’ course in two years, graduating in 1889. Then I felt that on
account of my mother and sisters I could not remain longer in school,
but must look after them, which I did until the death of my mother and
the marriage of my sisters. During these years I had varied experience,
working at shoveling dirt on the streets of Erie, unloading lumber
barges at the docks, as attendant in the State Hospital for the Insane,
teaching school, driving a team in the lumber woods as a lumber jack,
working three years at printing, two years in a general agency of
fire insurance, as secretary of Young Men’s Christian Association and
physical director of same, and finally, entering the ministry.

After the death of my mother and after someone else had relieved me of
responsibility for the care of my sisters, I felt the need of further
preparation for the work to which I had been called. I felt that I
was too old to attempt a college course, and decided that if it were
possible I would like to take a course in the Moody Bible School at
Chicago. I did not have the money to do this, but felt that some way
would open. God almost miraculously opened a way, and I became director
of the religious and club work for men and boys in a social settlement
in Chicago where the salary was sufficient to aid me in doing this very
well. Thus I was able to graduate from the Moody Bible Institute, the
best school I know of for the training of Christian workers.

I would like to say to any young man or woman, anywhere, I can think of
but two things that need stand in your way of getting a thorough school
training. One is, health so poor that you cannot attain it, or the care
of others which may demand your time and energies to such an extent
that you cannot devote either to the pursuit of knowledge. To such let
me say that there are lessons to be learned under these circumstances
of equal value with the training of the schools, and the curriculum of
no school, college or university can furnish them. Your loss will not
be without its compensation. If you meet the disappointments cheerily,
bravely, and strive to make the most of life and learn your lessons
from the school in which you are ever being trained, the great school
of life, you will grow into a broader, deeper, tenderer, nobler man or

It is not so much poverty and environment that will keep boys and girls
from an education as it is lack of vision, desire, determination,

I am not at all anxious about the boy or girl who has these qualities.
They will succeed in the great race of life, if upheld by a strong
moral purpose at the back of it all. It is the boy or girl who, having
the advantages, the opportunity, the means for an education, has not
the vision, the desire, the purpose, that needs our sympathy and
anxious thought.

  _Burlington, N. C._



Early in September, 1890, I arrived at Elon College about a week
after the opening of the first session of the College. I had in money
and other resources that I could turn into money less than $100. My
purpose was to stay until my money gave out--perhaps I could get on by
supplementing it with odd jobs until well on into the spring. It was
my ambition to be a teacher in an academy or high school. I felt that
to rub my elbows against college walls a few months, at least, would
eminently satisfy my ideal of preparation.

Well, that was a wonderful $100. It opened doors, revealed vistas,
heightened ideals, increased the tension of life until since the day
I entered college I have lived in a different world. The College was
young--had no traditions, casts or cliques among its membership. As
a subfreshman I was allowed to possess my soul in peace and live my
life as leisurely or as diligently as I pleased. I chose soon after
getting into the college current to live as diligently as possible. I
meant to make the freshman year and the substudies also while my money
lasted. I succeeded. By the time my money was gone--about the first
of April, 1891--a long vista of a complete college course had burst
invitingly before me with “graduation” in letters of fire at the end.
What should I do? I was penniless, and knew no one from whom I could
borrow. I had been reared, the son of a country minister, in a back
section, sometimes called “backwoods,” where life was pure but simple
and easy-going. Everybody was poor, and a college bred man a curiosity.
Having grown to manhood under such conditions, I felt keenly the
struggle now going on between poverty and the newly awakened ambitions
in my life. But there was nothing to do but to accept the inevitable.
The situation, I kept to myself. I felt it a disgrace to be penniless
amongst many who seemed to have abundance; so I kept my troubles to
myself until I was about to leave, when to my surprise, Mr. Tom Strowd,
with whom and his excellent family I had boarded, offered to credit my
board account until the end of the session. Another gentleman, Mr. P.
A. Long, offered to give me a job of carpenter work during vacation.
The results were, I finished the session on the strength of credit with
people, all of whom were strangers to me when I came to the college.

The carpenter work in the summer and of afternoons and Saturdays until
late in the fall, together with more credit on college expenses in
the spring, got me through the sophomore year. The severe strain of
working my way and keeping up my studies threw me into a fever in the
late fall, which lasted several weeks, and it was with difficulty that
I passed my work in college. At commencement, however, I had put the
sophomore year behind me with a fair record, and the burning letters
“graduation” were perceptibly nearer than a year ago, yet I was almost
as near out of debt as then.

This summer I taught school at Cedar Falls, a little manufacturing town
in Randolph County, N. C. While here I fell under the kindly interest
of the wealthiest man of the town, Mr. O. R. Cox, who, after learning
something of how I had made my way thus far, offered to lend me such
sums of money as I should need to get through the next two years. The
remaining two years went smoothly along. I was in good health and
supplemented the loans from Mr. Cox with what I could earn by various
kinds of self-help; for I borrowed as little as possible.

These two last years were filled with work and many gratifications
also, for the literary society and the religious organizations gave me
what honors they had to bestow. I was president of the Y. M. C. A.,
was sent to Y. M. C. A. conferences and conventions; was teacher in
the Sunday School and later superintendent. I represented the literary
society several times, twice at commencement, and other times in public
debates. I was the valedictorian of my class on Commencement Day,
and on the same day was offered a position in the English department,
with privilege to prepare myself for the place by university study. I
have, therefore, supplemented my college course by special study in the
University of North Carolina, Yale, and Oxford.

It is trying and positively discouraging many times for one to have to
make his own way through college. The experience has put the conviction
in me, however, that the young person appearing at the threshold of a
college course is more seriously handicapped if he has too much money
than he who has none at all.

  _Elon College, N. C._



I had a great desire for an education. This desire was the outcome
of two strong convictions--that my place in the world’s work was to
be in the ministry of the Gospel; that I could never render the best
service in that capacity without a thorough education. When I was ten
years old my mother was left a widow. Father bequeathed to his wife
and children a noble character, but no estate. I early learned the
lessons of industry and frugality, and these combined with some native
determination, made the venture of securing a college course at the age
of eighteen rather easy. I was not afraid to work, nor to suffer.

I was a stranger to the faculty and student body. Moreover, I was a
stranger to college ways, so my first step was to borrow enough money
to put me through at least part of the first year. I found some janitor
work that year. It helped, but not much. The next summer I worked in
a grocery store, and when the term opened in the fall, I was back
with a little money and plenty of nerve. During the second year more
janitor work occupied my spare hours until the spring when I organized
a boarding club, and remained as manager of that for the next two
years. This partly paid my board, but room rent, tuition, and clothing
were to be provided. Each summer I sought employment. One vacation was
spent in a tin can factory; another in the Y. M. C. A., as an assistant
secretary; another in doing my first preaching in a schoolhouse in
the outskirts of the city of Wheeling. I had to do almost three full
years of preparatory work, and my work was so irregular that I scarcely
had a “class” until my senior year in college. Through the kindness
of the faculty, I was permitted to do some work during vacation, pass
examinations at the fall opening, and receive credits. I thus made my
full course in economics.

The first money which I had borrowed was long overdue, although I had
kept the interest paid. The note called for settlement, so after I had
been in the struggle for four years, I asked for an appointment at the
fall conference of our church and was sent to a circuit that paid $500.
I served it for one year out of school. I felt more than ever desirous
to finish my education, so I made preparations to return to college
the next fall. The officials of the churches which I had been serving
made it possible for me to return to them while carrying the regular
work in my studies. Pastoral work was not demanded, and each week I
traveled something over two hundred miles on the railroad, going to
and from these churches, or rather, the station nearest the churches,
and then walking from five to ten miles and preaching three times on
Sunday. This was hard on the purse and the pulse, so the next year I
asked for churches nearer the college. I got them. A job lot of them
at that--just eight, with an extra preaching place tacked on! What I
lost in railroad mileage, I gained in foot travel, beautiful mountain
scenery, and good atmosphere. In June, 1908, I received the bachelor
of arts degree, and in September of the same year entered Boston
University School of Theology, from which I was graduated in June,
1911. My expenses were met here by preaching in a small church on the
south shore of Cape Cod. With all my working I needed more money than I
could earn, and the only resort was borrowing, which I did from my life
insurance company, and from the board of education of the Methodist
Episcopal Church. In all, I have spent nine full years in college and
seminary work with a fairly good record in studies, and received no
help except from my own labor. Having the will, I made the way.

  _Shinnston, W. Va._



Being the son of an invalid mother and a Confederate soldier who
received a wound that permanently disabled him, I did not attend
school but five months till I was twenty-one years of age. Believing
that education is to agriculture, commerce, society, professions,
government, and Christianity what the sunshine and the rain are to the
vegetable kingdom, and what Christ is to those who believe on Him, I
decided to try to cultivate the mind of myself and as many others as I

When I left home, I had one dollar. “Keep good company, and may God
bless you,” were the words which my mother gave me. By the time I had
secured work, I had spent my dollar, but held on to the advice, which
did me more good than all the gold of California would have done me. I
was willing to do any honest thing to educate myself. I plowed, cooked,
walked four miles to school, worked on Saturdays and during vacation,
drove a wagon, rang bells, studied fifteen hours every twenty-four, and
taught school.

  _Broadway, N. C._



I finished preparatory school in June, 1891, and was in debt. I taught
a district school during the following season, paid the debt, and then
taught another year in the preparatory itself. In the fall of 1893 I
had accumulated about $150.

I had previously decided to enter the University as soon as I could,
and in September I went to Iowa City with what cash I had and became a
freshman. At that time I did not know how I should be able to sustain
myself during the year, but proposed to remain there as long as I
could and not to leave until I was compelled to do so by physical
necessities. In those days board was a good deal cheaper than now, and
clubs furnished the necessaries of life for $2.50 a week and the room
cost us $6 a month, which sum was divided between myself and room-mate.

Along toward Christmas the necessity of purchasing a number of things
that I could not figure on before, in the way of clothing and supplies,
made it obvious that my funds would be exhausted long before the spring
vacation of my freshman year. I had previously been looking around for
a place to earn part of my expenses and finally secured a job as a
waiter at a restaurant. In this manner I cut off the weekly expense for
meals, as my meals were furnished at the restaurant as compensation for
my services. Aside from this my expenses remained the same.

I finished that year with some money to spare and invested something
in an outfit to enable me to earn money in the sale of stereoscopic
views. The summer of 1893 was exceeding dry and times were very hard
and this venture proved an expensive failure. At the end of three weeks
from the time I started my money was gone and I had to get back home
and start into something else. I finally got a job of looking after the
insane patients at the Poor Farm at $25 a month and went back to the
University with about $50. The second year was the hardest I had at the
University, and, in fact, I had to borrow $100, which I secured from an
old gentleman to whom I was a stranger, but to whom I was recommended
by several students.

I had realized the necessity, from previous experience, of looking
ahead for employment, and so when the spring vacation came I had got a
job in the University library which I think paid me $2.00 a day, and in
addition thereto I was janitor for the Y. M. C. A. building and also
for one of the churches. The janitor work I did at night. This work
I carried through the summer, managing still to do the work at the
restaurant, which was light during the summer, but which paid for my
meals. This gave me ample funds to begin my junior year. In the fall of
that year I found an opportunity to write editorials for a local paper,
which paid me $5.00 a week, so that I was able to quit the restaurant
work. I was able to pay something on the loan that year, although not
very much. This work on the newspaper I continued as long as I was in
the University and it finally was the means of my finishing there in

I was a little in debt when I finished the course, but had another year
yet in school before I could be admitted to the bar. I concluded to go
to the city where I could get some business experience in a law office
aside from training in school. So I went to Chicago and got a job in
a law office at $5.00 a week, and attended a night school. Previous
experience had taught me that the bare necessities of life do not cost
so very much. I refunded the loan that I had secured while at the
University and got $50 more. By securing a room that was large enough
for three of us at Chicago, and which in addition had an alcove with
a gas stove in it, where we could prepare part of our meals, I found
living inexpensive.

After finishing the law school there, I remained a year working in a
law office during the day and in the Crerar Library at night, until I
had sufficient funds to pay all of my debts and to come back to Iowa
and pay a few months’ rent for an office. I began business in my
present location in that manner and have continued there ever since.

In 1906 I went to the State Senate as a representative of this
district, and there found as colleagues five boys whom I had known
at the University. Two of them had supported themselves while at the
University by work similar to mine. One of them was janitor of a
church and the other had been a waiter at a restaurant. I cannot say
that I regard the experience as involving any great hardship. I never
felt at any time, while I was at the University, that this employment
which was obligatory was of any disadvantage to me, except that it
took more time than I wished to devote to work. My experience is that
there is more of a democratic spirit in universities and colleges than
is found elsewhere in the world. Such work as I did could have been
done by any able-bodied student, and I am quite certain it never would
prove disadvantageous to his social standing. I believe that if I had
it to do over again I could do the same thing to better advantage.
While expenses are now higher than they were, compensation for labor
is also a good deal higher and employment is much more easily found
than during the years from 1893 to 1897. The question as to whether a
collegiate education is available to every young man in this country
I think is entirely dependent upon the question as to whether it is
desired. I have no doubt that the experiences of many whom I knew at
the University, which experiences were similar to mine, could be
duplicated in almost any of the larger institutions of the country.

  _Ottumwa, Iowa._



When I was about fifteen years of age I was converted and joined Big
Oak Christian Church in Moore County, North Carolina. At the age of
about seventeen I felt the divine call into the gospel ministry. I
made known to the Lord my willingness to obey the heavenly vision.
But I could not see how I could prepare myself for so great a work as
I did not have any money. Neither was my father able to help me in a
financial way. I was then working at public work and the money that
I earned was being used to help support the large family to which I
belonged, there being nine boys and four girls in our family.

However, I told my father of my desires and how that I desired to
become a preacher some day. He told me that if I could make my own way
through school he would let me go then, even though I had not reached
the age of my freedom. I appreciated this kindness of my father very
much. He was always good to us boys, and so was mother. But they were
poor and I knew they needed my wages, at least until I was twenty-one.
I knew I was no better than my other brothers, and I also knew that my
father was not able to treat us all so nicely as to let us quit working
for him before we were twenty-one years old. Hence I felt it best to
work on with him until I reached that age, which I did.

On my twenty-first birthday the “boss man” paid me off and I carried
the money to my father and gave it to him. I then began to work for
myself and to plan to go to school. I worked at a shingle mill for two
months, saving in that time about $30.00. I then left home for school.
I had about fifteen dollars when I got to the first school I attended
which was Why Not Academy in Randolph County, N. C., it being conducted
at that time by Professor G. F. Garner. Here I kept “bachelor’s hall,”
doing my own cooking and cutting wood on Saturdays to help defray my

While here I began to correspond with the President of Elon College,
Elon College, N. C. This institution belongs to my own denomination
and I decided that I wanted to study there. I had no money with which
to pay my expenses, but I had some good friends who loaned me enough
money to start to college on. So I entered Elon College. I was timid,
dull, and embarrassed, but I know God had called me to a great work and
that call included a preparation. I was willing to make the sacrifice.
Those things with which I busied myself in the afternoons were chopping
wood, cutting corn, and cleaning off the town cemetery. I kept up this
work for the first year. The second year my conference licensed me to
preach and I was called as pastor of two churches. After this I made my
way through college by doing pastoral work. It was hard on me, but I
believe it was God’s way of helping me through college.

My college career was one of hard work and much toil. In fact it was a
miracle that I got through at all. And I am convinced that if a man has
a noble purpose prompting him to strive for an education, he can get it.

  _Elon College, N. C._


J. R. MOSLEY, L.I., B.S., M.S., PH.D.

My observation and experience has been that anyone who is anxious
enough for a knowledge and culture to be willing to sacrifice false
pride, and do well whatever his hands find to do that needs doing, can
easily go through college, and even take advanced university training.
It is not so much a question of money as desire, determination and
steadfastness. The only exception is where one is bound by higher
duties, such as caring for parents, or any call from the Divine that is
direct and immediate.

When I started to college in the fall of 1889, I only had, of my own
making, a little more than enough money to buy necessary clothing and
railroad fare from Statesville, N. C., to Nashville, Tenn. I had stood
the competitive examination for a scholarship at Peabody College for
Teachers and that paid two hundred dollars a year in addition to free

Major Finger, who was then Superintendent of Education for North
Carolina, wrote me that while others had won the scholarships open to
North Carolina for that year, I was prepared to enter the sophomore
class at Peabody, and that if I would pay my expenses one year, he
would, upon the recommendation of the President, appoint me to a
scholarship which would be good for two years. When mother saw my heart
was set on going to college, she said, “Rufus shall go if we have to
sell the creek field.” As I was the fourth child of a family of eight
children, and as we were not through paying for the whole farm, I could
not accept such a sacrifice.

When I told Mr. R. G. Franklin of Elkin, N. C., of Major Finger’s
offer, he said he would be one of three men to lend $50.00 each.
Col. A. B. Galoway of Elkin, and Mr. James Bates, near Capps Mill,
joined him in furnishing the strictly necessary money for the first
year. Father stood my security, and he and Col. Galoway and Mr. Bates
have gone where such unselfish goodness and generous faith are fully
appreciated and rewarded. Only Mr. Franklin lives for me to thank and
bless for his faith and helping hand when both were so much needed. The
good mother still lives, and has increasing joy and hope in life, and
all of her children rise up and call her blessed.

During the first year at Peabody we had a short vacation in February,
and I went out as an experimental book agent. I found that as trying
as it was on the agent as well as the people, I could make money as
a canvasser. Sometime in the spring Dr. Payne, President of Peabody,
recommended me for a scholarship, and Major Finger gave me the
appointment. This I held for two years until I received my bachelor’s
degree. The summer vacations were all employed in canvassing or
collecting, and I became a good enough collector for a publishing house
at Nashville to pay me $70.00 a month and expenses. Apart from my
strict loyalty to my employer and hard work, I regret this part of my
life, for I have seen for a long time that the selling of even Bibles
to the poor at high prices on the seductive installment plan, is a
form of business that is not righteous enough even to use as a means
for getting an education. As the true light breaks upon us, we can do
nothing that is not necessary, right and beneficent.

During the first three years at Nashville, I received on scholarship,
made by summer work and saved enough money to pay back all I had
borrowed for the first year and to take one year’s graduate work at
Nashville. My expenses had been considerably increased on account
of rather poor general health and the loss of time and expense of
three spells of sickness while I was canvassing or collecting. Being
prominent in college life, and having too much of the pride for the
finest and most sensible economy, also caused my expenses to be more
than were strictly necessary. Indeed false pride has been my expensive
weakness and has stood most in the way of a life in strict harmony
with reason, love and the spirit of truth.

Before I had taken my master’s degree at Nashville, I was offered
a fellowship in the Wharton School of Finance of the University of
Pennsylvania, that paid $160.00 a year, the necessary university
expenses. But I had my heart set on going to the University of
Chicago. President Harper told that they would do as well by me as the
University of Pennsylvania, so I entered there as a graduate student
in 1893, the year of the World’s Fair at Chicago. I got to see much of
the exposition during its last month without harm to my class work. I
was given work as an assistant in the library, which called for cutting
leaves of new books and magazines, putting the library stamp upon
them, and carrying them to the departmental libraries. I was also an
assistant in one of the departmental libraries. A dear college friend
and professor at Nashville, Mr. A. P. Bourland, gave me such aid as
was necessary until I received a fellowship that paid me $320.00 a
year. The fellowship was awarded by Professor Harry Pratt Judson, now
the president of the University. A short time after receiving this
fellowship I was offered a professorship at Mercer University, Macon,
Georgia, and the way was open for me to continue my education as a
teacher and as a student as long as I cared. For two years it was
arranged for me to teach at Mercer half of the year and spend the other
at the University of Chicago, where I taught one class and continued
my work as a student. The third year I taught six months at Mercer and
spent the spring semester at Heidelberg, Germany. The following year
I taught about seven months at Mercer, and went to Harvard for the
closing lectures of the spring term and for the summer work.

Before the sixth year of my work at Mercer had closed, I was told by
Chancellor Hill of the University of Georgia, that with my consent
he would go before the board of trustees and recommend the creation
of a new chair, the character of which would be determined largely
by preferences, and he would recommend me to fill it. As inviting as
it was I declined the generous offer, and in a short time resigned
my position at Mercer for the quest of health, truth and the larger
freedom along the lines of study and activity.

  _Macon, Georgia._


REV. W. J. NELSON, B.A., M.A., TH.M., TH.D., PH.D.

I was the oldest of a large family of children. My father had no
income, save what he made on a small farm, and a little corn, flour,
meat and other produce with a dollar now and then, which he received
for full time pastoring two or three churches. The district schools
where we lived were poorly equipped and managed, and ran only a few
months each year. Until I was thirteen years old I got the best these
schools could give. But with a growing family without a corresponding
growth in my father’s income, at thirteen, to aid in the support of the
family, I was forced to give up my schooling and do mill work when I
was not working on the farm.

All I had learned up to that time was reading, writing and a little
arithmetic. Since the nature of my work did not require that I keep
up my writing and arithmetic, I soon forgot both. But the thirst to
know about things and people caused me to read all my spare time. My
father himself was a college-trained man. He worked hard on the farm
or elsewhere all the week and preached every Sunday, never faltering
in spirit. But sometimes he would fail in strength of body. Though
he never complained, I could often see that hurt look on his face.
This was caused by the financial depression which followed Cleveland’s
administration, the covetousness of the people he served and other
circumstances, which were depriving him of giving his children the
educational advantages enjoyed by the children of those whom he served.

All this time I was longing for an education, and saw the disadvantage
to which the lack of it was placing me. My father would each year
promise me that the next year I could go to school. But when the time
came I would have to stay and work and let the younger children go or
let a note on a new schoolhouse, a new church house or Howard College,
at Birmingham, Ala., be paid. The fortitude of my father, that look on
his face, the rainbow promise that some day I should even go to Howard
College, and the thought that I was helping him care for the others and
keep my sisters and younger brothers in school, made it easier for me.
But many times I bathed my pillow with tears till the tired body forced
sleep, all because I could not go to school like my boy companions.

Thus I toiled on until I was nearly eighteen years old. My body was
already stooping with toil, my hands hard and horny. I had forgotten
how to write. I knew not how to figure, except a little “in my head.”
But still I read. This only increased my thirst for an education. At
last the promised rainbow now appeared just ahead. Next year I was
going back to school. And I was to stay there till I had finished at
Howard College. But again my father failed me because others failed
him. I did not get to go. This was my severest disappointment, and but
for a move my father made it would have been almost unbearable.

This time he resolved to sell his little home and go West to try life
all over again. We moved to Texas into a frontier section where there
were not even at that time the small school advantages back in Alabama.
It took all the little home brought to get us out West. We had to
start again from the very bottom. The second year my father bought a
piece of undeveloped land. For five years I stayed with him, helping
him to make sure a home for him, mother and the children. His health
was fast breaking by this time. For the first three years there was no
opportunity for schooling. I was by that time twenty-one years old, too
old for free tuition, and I had no money.

The winter of the fourth year I had one month of a breathing spell
which brought to me an opportunity. My father told me of six acres of
very fine land he wished opened and if I could get it cleared I might
have all it made. Meantime the trustees of a little district school
two miles away needed some wood for the school and offered to take it
as tuition. So here was my chance. During the day I went to school,
furnishing wood for tuition. After school hours and at night, by the
light from burning brush, I cleared the land. It made three bales of
cotton, the proceeds of which I saved for my future education. The next
year I hired to my father for ten dollars a month and my board. This
money I also added to my schooling fund. The following winter I got
another month schooling at the little district school, again furnishing
wood in payment for tuition. I again hired to my father for twelve
dollars and fifty cents a month, saving every cent I could.

Things were now getting easier at home. Our new home was paid for.
The land was very fertile. My father’s health was much better. Many
settlers were coming in. A good district school was being developed.
Most of my brothers and sisters were getting the free schooling. Some
of my older sisters were being sent away to school. I was now nearly
twenty-three. I had taken advantage of what I had. The little school
where I had gone for a month each of the two preceding winters was not
a graded school. This had made it a little less embarrassing for me.
For fear the teacher would hold me back, I had carried a copy-book
in my pocket without his knowledge, that I might the sooner learn to
make the letters of the alphabet. I had learned how to use figures
up to common fractions and how to spell a few simple words. With the
exception of these two months’ schooling it had now been about ten
years since I left the schoolroom, ten years of the best part of my
life for acquiring an education--from thirteen to twenty-three. But
after this added waiting and hoping of a little over five more years,
my rainbow again appeared as from a sudden burst of sunlight on a
receding cloud.

My chance had at last come and I was going to use it. It came in this
fashion: It was one March day just after the noon hour I had started
to the field, when there came to me a letter from the principal of a
boarding school which had both a graded and high school department.
He wanted someone to live with him and do his chores for board while
attending the school. The crop was started, and, of course, to leave at
this time would disconcert my father and his plans for the year. But
there were only a little over two more school months in that session.
And if I would go then I could have the place as long as I wished it.
If not, someone else might take it and my chance would be gone. My
father saw the opportunity for me and acquiesced.

With the money I had saved and this opportunity to work for my board, I
now left home and began my schooling in earnest. I entered this school
in the low sixth grade. However, having a strong body and willing
mind, I carried eight studies while the others carried only four. In
the two remaining months of that session and the two following years
I completed the high school course. I graduated with honors, was
valedictorian, and received the faculty medal for the highest grades
made in school my senior year. The week following the close of school
I passed an examination for a county teacher’s certificate.

But to do all this I had to work. For my board in that home, I had all
the wood to cut, water to draw, fires to make, garden and yard to keep,
horses and cow to care for, fences, etc., to repair and many other odds
and ends to do. In order to prepare my school work I did not retire
till ten and arose again at three or four, getting only from five to
six hours’ sleep out of the twenty-four.

There is one little incident connected with my stay in this school that
might be worth mentioning, as it shows how I met one of the greatest
difficulties which a young man just entering school at my age has to
meet. As I have said, I entered this school at the age of twenty-three
in the low sixth grade. Those in my classes were children about twelve
and thirteen years old. You can imagine how I felt, a big awkward
young man twenty-three years old in classes composed mostly of little
children from ten to twelve years younger. But my embarrassment was
intensified when one day a little twelve-year-old girl made fun of the
way I was trying to work an example in common fractions. I felt hurt;
I closed my book and quietly walked to my seat. A cousin of mine was
teaching the class. She caught the look on my face and saw that it was
not that of rebellion, but that I was only hurt, embarrassed, and was
trying to conquer. I shall never forget the kind look she gave me,
as she said, “Will, you are excused, if you wish to go.” Her remark
was not only a rebuke to that member of the class, but it helped me
to conquer. I took my books and went to my room resolved to show this
little girl that, “He laughs best who laughs last.” And I did. When I
started she was almost a grade in advance of me. But I finished one
year ahead of her with honors while she hardly got through a year later.

I had been working heretofore during the summer vacation months that I
might be able to return to school each winter. But as I was to teach
the coming winter, I spent the summer studying at the North Texas State
Normal, Denton, Texas. To do this, I now for the first time borrowed
money, fifty dollars, from a friend of mine, a banker, who had once
struggled for his education. He had been watching me and gladly came
to my help and voluntarily offered all the money I needed. With this
fifty dollars I was able to take the summer normal course. At the close
of it I passed an examination for a state teacher’s certificate which
entitled me to teach in any of the public schools in the State.

On returning home I was given the home school where four years before I
had learned to figure and write, paying for my tuition with wood. The
salary was forty dollars per month and the length of session was now
six months. This seemed like a big salary to one who had never before
received more than twelve dollars and fifty cents per month. But it
was not the salary, it was the opportunity that I now saw further
to pursue my studies and to instill something of the same spirit and
enthusiasm in others, that now meant so much to me.

I had once hoped for no more than the mere knowledge of how to read
and write and figure, which this little district school had in former
days given me. But with that knowledge had come a broader vision and
the ability and opportunity to pursue that vision--that of getting a
high school education. And now I had reached that goal, had gone to the
state normal and held from the State a recognition of the right and
ability to pursue this still greater vision of giving knowledge and
inspiration to others, how could I ever wish or hope for more?

But it chanced that that very summer my rainbow again moved out just
ahead of me. I attended a district Baptist association. Dr. S. P.
Brooks, president of Baylor University, was there and made a speech
on education. Here I heard how he had once been a section hand on a
railroad. And now he was the president of a university, and with a
great heart was telling me and others how we needed that college and
how it really needed us as instruments through which to bless the
world. Oh! That was almost another world’s message to me. My vision
again broadened. The rainbow of my boyhood days again appeared.

I did not get to talk to this man. I was half-way afraid of him or
revered him. But I did not need to talk to him. I had heard him and
he had inspired me. I returned to my home with new hopes and soon
formed new plans. I would work hard till the opening of my school to
pay off the fifty dollars I had borrowed. Then I would save all that
I made teaching that session that I might go to college the next.
Yes, I wanted to be faithful to my former vision and purpose to teach
that school. But at the same time I would make it a stepping stone to
something higher.

But I was prevented from doing this. Just about two weeks before my
school was to open, a preacher from a near town came to me and asked
me if I wanted to go to Baylor University. I readily told him I did.
“Would you go?” he asked. I replied, “I would if I could.” But that
seemed impossible. I had no money. My father could not help me. And,
besides, I was under obligation to teach that school. He offered to
help overcome all these difficulties if I would only go. I afterward
saw that his main purpose was to see if I wanted to go, and would if I

He himself had worked his way through Mississippi College and the
Seminary. Without my knowledge, he and his church had watched my
struggle for an education. Ofttimes in former days I had sold him and
other members of that church, not knowing who they were at the time,
many cords of wood and watermelons to help pay my way in school. I had
now stopped and was going to teach. They were afraid this would mean
the end of my own school days. Thus he came in behalf of his church
to ask me to go on at once to college. If I would do so they would
furnish me ten dollars per month. I saw the trustees of the school I
had contracted to teach. They were unselfish and sympathetic toward me.
Glad that I had this opportunity, they released me on condition that I
help secure a teacher in my place. This was easily and satisfactorily
done. I renewed the note at the bank, and with the money I had made
since my return from the Normal and the first ten dollars from that
church I made preparation, and bought my ticket for Waco, Texas, to
enter Baylor University. After I had bought my ticket I had but fifteen
dollars. I felt that if I could only get there I could work for my
board, and with the promised ten dollars a month I could pay all my
other expenses.

When I reached college there was but one person in all that city,
student body and faculty, that I had ever before seen--Dr. Brooks. And
he had never before met me. I could not get there till the night before
matriculation began. Then I could find no opening or home where I could
work for my board. They had all been taken. Dr. Brooks saw my anxiety
and disappointment. He encouraged me to hope and hang on. And I did.

I made arrangements with a students’ club for a month’s board,
matriculated as subfreshman and got down to work. I saw that Dr. Brooks
was very busy. Therefore I never went to him with my troubles. But he
would sometimes overtake me on the campus or call for me to come to
his office and would encourage me. Once while on a trip somebody sent
by him fifteen dollars to help me hold on. I do not now know where
it came from. I was able also to get five dollars per month from a
students’ aid fund. I have often felt that without this it would have
been impossible for me to stay. For at the end of the first month there
was still no place open for me to work. And so it was from time to time
for the first year. When I would hear of and go to see a place someone
was just ahead of me. Then once or twice the church would fail to send
me the ten dollars. How I ever stayed out that first year I can hardly
realize. It seems like a nightmare at times as I look back on it.

I had no money to renew my worn-out clothes. And in those days I became
an artist with a needle. I could put as nice a patch on the elbow of
my coat sleeve and elsewhere as any woman. And when the feet of my
socks would no longer hold darning, I would cut them off and sew two
legs together, sew up one end, and wear them that way. And at the wash
tub, there was not in all the South a black mammy that could beat
me. I bought me a set of smoothing irons and with the exception of
my collars and occasionally a shirt I ironed all my clothes. I also
pressed my coat and trousers. And by pressing now and then for others I
would bring a twenty-five cent piece to my depleted purse. But there
were homesickness and heart aches. There was no going home Christmas
and other vacations. And more than once my hope was almost gone. And
ofttimes when my room-mate had gone to sleep I would slip away into the
darkness to the old Baptist Tabernacle, that once stood where the First
Baptist Church now stands, and pray till far into the night for God to
help me hold on and to open up some way. I well remember one morning
after a night of wrestling, my room-mate approached me and asked if I
needed any money, saying that his parents had sent him more than was
necessary for his immediate needs. I told him my condition. He gladly
lent me enough to pay up my board for another month.

This ended my first year. The delayed check from the church enabled
me to return home, where I spent the summer at hard work. I had had
a taste of college life. I had also tried my mettle, and was now
determined to finish. The church again promised to continue its help.

Therefore, I came back that fall, but with a more hopeful outlook.
Soon after my return I found a good home three miles out from the
college where I could work for my board, and also some clerical work.
I notified the church that I could get along without their help,
thanking them for what they had done for me and asking that they help
someone else as they had me. This they did. The nature of the work I
did in this home was very much like that I did while in high school. I
continued to work here for three years.

After staying in this home a year and at the close of my freshman
year, the pastor of the East Waco Church, where I worshiped and taught
an adult Bible class, had to give up his work because of ill health.
Though I had never been ordained, but had tried to preach a few times,
the church asked that I supply the pulpit till they could get a pastor.
I agreed to do so. They paid me ten dollars per Sunday for my service,
which lasted for six months. But I continued working for my board,
fearing to give up the place lest somebody else would have it when I
got through with the church. Besides, by doing this, and with that
forty dollars per month for six months, I was able to pay the fifty
dollars I owed the bank, provide myself with some necessary things,
continue my college work during the summer term and have enough to
return for my sophomore year.

However, all this work was not done without some embarrassment,
especially at first. This family for whom I worked were in good
circumstances financially and were members of that church. Ofttimes
on Sunday morning after I had done their chores, dressed in my blue
“Carhartt” overalls, I would hitch their horse to the carriage for them
to go to church. Then I would put on my best clothes and go and get in
the pulpit and preach to them. But these proved to be some of the best
friends I ever had.

Thus, by means of plenty of hard work, it was made easier for me to
stay in college. When I ceased my service for the East Waco Church I
was called to serve a small suburban church for one-half time for ten
dollars per month. After a while they increased this to fifteen. In my
junior year I was called to another church, sixty miles out from Waco,
for the other two Sundays at twenty-five dollars per month. At the
close of my junior year I gave up working for my board, devoting all my
energies to my college and church work. Also at the close of my junior
year I was awarded the first holder of the M. H. Wolfe scholarship of
two hundred and fifty dollars to be used during my senior year. During
this year I had smooth sailing.

At the close of my senior year I was awarded the E. L. Marston
scholarship of two hundred and fifty dollars to Brown University,
Providence, R. I. I again spent my summer working hard and then
borrowed two hundred dollars that I might supplement this scholarship
and go to Brown for my A.M. work. I had become so accustomed to
working during both school and vacation that I might stay in school,
I continued to do so while in Brown and on through my seminary year.
After taking my A.M., I returned to Brown for a second year of
postgraduate work. This last year I made an average of ninety-five
dollars per month while also carrying on my university studies.

The next year I went to the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary,
Louisville, Ky. The first year I was there I finished the Th.M. degree,
and pastored a half-time church outside of Louisville. I returned to
the Seminary a second year, completed the class work and stood the
examination for the postgraduate Th.D. course. I expect later to submit
my thesis for that degree.

Through it all I got a full share of college and seminary life and
spirit. The knowledge, inspiration and visions of life were but a part
of what I got. There were also close friendships and insight into human
nature. I also had my part of college fun and got my share of class and
student honors. It was not necessary to be, as some may think, a mere

Thus I have told you the story of how I got my education. I was
twenty-three when I left home to begin in the sixth grade. I was
thirty-three the day before I received my Th.M. degree from the
Seminary. And one year later I left the schoolroom with a younger
spirit, a broader vision, better equipped to continue my place in the
service of humanity and God.

During it all I borrowed only two hundred and fifty dollars. At the end
I had paid this back and paid for fifty acres of land. My father never
helped me a cent. He was not able at first. But he did appreciate my
struggle, and late in my college course came to me and said that he
was in better circumstances and if I ever got to where I could not go
myself to let him know. I never got to that place. He asked for the
pleasure of making me a present of my first college diploma. I gladly
gave him this pleasure. The departure of that hurt and disappointed
look on his face, in knowing that I was somehow getting what he wanted
me to have, has repaid me a thousand times for all the struggles I have
had to make unsupported by him.

You may think that my being a minister and the salary from preaching
made it easier for me than it would be for others. But this is not
necessarily true. For if you will note, the work that I did was the
work that anyone can do and it was up to and through my high school,
subfreshman and freshman years in college that I had such a hard
struggle. And it was after this time that I ever received a cent for
preaching. Moreover, for two years of my time at Baylor I had to
pay my tuition, one year by working in the Library, the other with
a scholarship. And at Brown University no free tuition is given;
preachers and all pay alike.

There is a college education for every man. And all that is needed
for the acquiring of such is an uncompromising desire and purpose and
strength of body and mind.

  _Rock Hill, S. C._



Orange County, North Carolina, was my native home, where I was reared
on the farm in a home of limited means. There were eight of us children
who grew to manhood and womanhood in the old home.

Our advantages for an education were unusually poor, being only that of
the old free school which at the time ran from two to three months in
the year and ofttimes we did not get to attend all the time. That old
free school was all that my brothers and sisters ever had the privilege
of attending. Father provided a good honest living for the home, but
was not able to send his children away to school.

I was not willing to stop with only the advantage that little school
afforded. At twenty-one I had fifty-four dollars, and with that I
entered the Siler City high school and remained there for three
five-month terms. While there I did my own cooking, cut wood, made
fires and swept the academy for my tuition. I then taught one session
of public school at $20 per month. I then entered the Caldwell
Institute of Orange County, N. C., and was in school there two years.
The first year I boarded with a widow and did enough work to pay my
board and received my tuition there for work that I did in securing

In the fall of 1899 I entered Trinity College, where I remained four
years, graduating in the spring of 1903. While in college the work that
I did for paying expenses was mostly during vacation. By this time I
had become quite a successful salesman. I traveled every vacation,
selling books, pictures, etc. The goods that I handled were always of
a helpful nature, and as an evidence of this fact I traveled the same
territory for five different summers. Every summer I made enough to
pay my expenses in college the following session, and when I graduated
I was in better circumstances financially than when I entered. The
last summer I was promoted as general agent for books and had several
sub-agents working under me.

Now I have briefly outlined how I worked my way through high school
and college, while there are many other ways not mentioned in which I
earned small amounts, such as cutting hair, mending shoes and cleaning
clothes, I desire to say that the working my way was not all; I can
remember how well I managed--making a little go a long way; learning
the value of a dollar and knowing when and how to spend it to the best
advantage. All this is due to my keeping a book account of all my
expenses. I kept an itemized account of everything, even to my postage

I shall never forget the kind words of encouragement from Dr. W. P. Few
and others while I was in college. Dr. Few, now president of Trinity
College, is truly a friend to a poor boy.

In conclusion I desire to say that my working and managing my way
through school has been of untold value to me in other ways. I have
never had work that paid any fancy salary, but have always been able to
lay aside a little every year. The Giver of all has helped me to manage
that little so that it continually grows and multiplies and shall ever
be dedicated to the Master’s use.

  _Milton, N. C._


Perhaps during no other period of civilized history is the excuse for
a boy’s not obtaining at least a college education so unfounded and
unacceptable, to those of us who have traveled this very same road, as
it is to-day. About us everywhere are great schools and institutions
of learning with their various departments supported by State and
individual endowments, eliminating the once felt great college expense,
and placing the best within the reach of us all.

This fact, however, is not apparent to everyone, and it is for this
reason the writer has been induced to say just a word of encouragement
to the boys on the farm and to those who have seen a very little of

First of all, allow him to assure you that “no one knows the
possibilities of a newly born babe,” and one must remember that our
greatest statesmen and thinkers at one time could scarcely read, as
well as that the most famous musicians once knew not the musical scale.
Just so it is with the boy in the remotest district of the country. He
may have the making of a Lincoln or be able to rise to the position
of a King. Therefore, we see, “Everyone is the architect of his own
fortune,” and the only three necessary requisites are health, strength,
and a sound mind.

It has been the writer’s great pleasure to have lived in every walk of
life from the boy on the farm to one in the greatest cities of both the
United States and Europe and it is not through hearing or fancy, but
with personal authority he can speak.

There is a greater appreciation for the working college boy to-day
than ever before. Even the greater institutions like the University of
Chicago, Illinois, and Wisconsin, as well as all the State Universities
of the South, have in their enrollments not only boys who are earning
their way, but boys who are leading their classes and represent the
strongest types of young manhood we know. One almost comes to feel
that, though the path is a bit more rugged, self-help develops in
the college boy, as in the football player, a keener sense of duty;
gives to him a firmer confidence, and leaves no obstacles that he by
constant, honest effort cannot surmount.

Oh! what the writer would have given to have known this when he was
a boy! He was reared on a farm and had very few of the opportunities
enjoyed by the boys in the remotest districts of the country to-day.

There must have been an inborn instinct to try for an education,
because no forms of business or other like inducements ever claimed any
part of his mind. He remained on the farm till he was seventeen years
of age, going three months to school in the summer and doing what he
could with his books himself at odd times. Finally his brother gave him
a cotton patch. The cotton, when sold, netted him $85. With this money
he went away to a boarding high school where he came in contact, for
the first time, with teachers of some influence and moral strength.
He remained at this school five months and had to return to the farm
because of no more money.

From the farm he went to work in a general store, thinking perhaps this
was a quicker and shorter way, but found this a difficult task, too,
to save any money ahead because of such small wages. All this time
there was an ever increasing desire to go away to school, “money or
no money,” but lack of experience made him afraid. From the store he
went out from town to town as a picture agent and it was here perhaps
that a bit of self-confidence was first gained. All this time the one
purpose and desire was to save money for college, but sales were not
successful enough to warrant his going into what seemed impossible
to the inexperienced mind. Finally, one day he came in tired out and
discouraged feeling that to be a picture man was to be of little force
in the world. He clearly saw that, first of all, one must be educated.
Acting upon this conclusion he boarded a train for the State University
of Louisiana, which was to open in ten days. He first set about
finding out whether boys without money could earn their way by work.
He told the President that all the money he had was $65, but that he
had come there determined to enter school. This determined spirit made
the President offer some encouragement by advising the young student
to register and try. He did far more than this by saying he would give
the boy the name of a newspaper editor who wanted some boy to assist in
managing the circulation of his paper.

With this small spark of hope, the young student settled down to
study and to try to meet the entrance examination, which he himself
thought he could not pass. The necessary “mark” was made to enter the
subfreshman department, however, and he was finally enrolled and became
one of the boys.

He worked every afternoon in this newspaper office, seeing that the
papers were delivered promptly, collected for the paper and solicited
new subscriptions. Thus he made his expenses for the entire year. This
did a great deal to encourage him. After spending the following summer
looking after the horticultural gardens, he returned the next session
and carried papers as an ordinary newsboy, and passed his freshman year.

After this year a scholarship was granted him by the University, which
made his expenses possible during his sophomore year. During his junior
and senior years he assisted in the zoölogical laboratories at the
University and taught the sciences at the city high school, which more
than paid his expenses to graduation.

During his summers he worked as “tick agent” for the Bureau of Animal
Industry, Washington, D. C., and in this way saved sufficient money to
begin a medical course, which he saw no chance of completing at the
time. Luck came his way, however, and he met every obstacle for two
years and finally borrowed money from a friend to finish his medical

One finds a course in medicine somewhat more difficult to work through
than a college course, but after one has gone through college these
difficulties are easily met.

Finally, allow him to say that all any boy needs to obtain an education
is money enough to pay his railroad fare to the school he wishes to
attend; after he reaches there, if he is in earnest, someone will show
him a way.

The writer does not wish to disclose his name for personal reasons,
but anyone interested can get his address from the author of “College
Men without Money,” and letters written to him concerning how to work
through school will be answered with pleasure.



REV. C. H. ROWLAND, A.B., M.A., D.D.

On the 10th day of September, 1895, I arrived at Elon College to do
five years’ work in order to receive a diploma from that institution.
It seemed like an impossible task. A well-worn trunk held my
belongings, which consisted of a preacher’s coat of long standing. My
purse contained the whole amount of six dollars and seventy-five cents.
It might be of interest to say that I was nearing my twenty-seventh
birthday, and had been a licensed preacher for four years. There is no
need to tell why I was at college without money, for I have already
said, that I was a preacher, and the Scriptures say, “Not many wise men
after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called.”

It was Dr. Smith Baker, of Maine, who said, “In the ministerial
profession, four-fifths of the ministers worked their own way by
doing all kinds of work from sawing wood to teaching school.” I was
not one of the class who sawed wood, neither did I teach school, but
I preached, just simply preached. I have not asked those who heard
me what _they_ called it, but _I_ called it “preaching.” I always
believed that if a young man had brains and energy he could obtain
an education without much help from anyone but God. My trouble was, I
wanted enough money before I went to college to “put me through.” I
suppose, if I had been so favored with money, I would not have been
worth “putting through.”

That was a ride never to be forgotten on that September morning, when
I left my home to drive thirteen miles to Raleigh, N. C., to take the
train for Elon College. A widowed mother at home--practically no money
in my pocket, and five years’ work to be done in college. My little
bark was on a stormy sea, but I had decided to use the oars with all
my might, and if I went down I would be breasting the storm. If it had
not been for the prayers and sacrifices of a Christian mother, and the
encouragement of a devoted cousin, who lived with us, I should have
failed. That same mother is helping her boy to-day by her prayers,
although she has passed her four score years, and has been an invalid
for many years. When I arrived in Raleigh, I was met on the street by
an uncle, and he asked, “Where are you going?” I said, “I am going to
Elon College.” He turned and walked with me down the street until he
came to a drug store, and then he said, “Come in here for I want to
give you something.” We went in, and he asked for a box of soap, and
he purchased a box containing three bars of soap. He had it wrapped
nicely, and we walked out, and then he said, “I want to give you this
for service and a symbol; keep yourself clean.” I do not know which he
thought I needed the most, the soap or the advice, but I know that both
were timely, and I feel sure I profited by the incident.

My first day at college left me almost penniless, for I paid five
dollars as a matriculation fee, and the remaining one dollar and
seventy-five cents was invested in second-hand books, except a few
cents retained to pay postage in writing to my mother and my girl. That
first week at college was a long one, but at last Saturday came, and
I dressed and went to the depot to go to my Sunday appointment fifty
miles away. I met one of the professors on my way to the station, and
he asked me, “Where are you going?” My heart sank within me, for I
did not have a dime in my pocket, but I said, “I am going to fill my
appointment.” Just before I got to the depot, for I “walked and was
sad,” I met a preacher. He looked kind, but preachers are generally
poor men to borrow money from, but I said right out, “Brother ----,
loan me one dollar until Monday.” That preacher had the real money,
and it might have been his last dollar, but he handed it to me. It
took almost every cent to pay my railroad fare, and nothing with which
to return. That was one time I acted on faith. The church which I was
serving at that time held a conference on that Saturday afternoon, and
one of the brethren asked that they pay up just a little better, as
“their pastor was in college.” They paid me a little more than a dozen
dollars that day, and I am sure that I preached better than usual on
the following day. I received one hundred dollars from that church that
year, and paid twenty-five of that to the railroad for transportation.

That college year was not far spent, when another church called me to
become pastor at a salary of fifty dollars for the year. I had resigned
two churches before I left home, as they were so far from the College
that they took more of my time than I could give, and the expenses were
more than the salary paid. My brother gave me most of my clothes, and
all the help he could, and my churches paid other bills. The vacation
was spent in evangelistic work for which I received a small amount.
The second year was even more gloomy than the first, for the hired man
at home had failed to make good. Someone had to be found to take his
place, and it seemed for some time that I would have to be the man.
After arrangement was made for home I began my second year at college
with one more church, and that one was much nearer and it was to pay
one hundred and twenty-five dollars as a salary.

It may seem like a small matter to preach three Sundays in each month,
and attend school, but it is hard on all--the professors, the student,
and the people. With three churches I began the third year, but in ten
days after I returned to the College I had the misfortune to shoot one
of my feet, and a part of the foot had to be taken off, and one-half
of the year was lost from college. It seemed that the way was now
blocked entirely, and that my college days were at an end; but mother,
my faithful cousin, and I put our heads together, and we decided to
move to the College. When we arrived at Elon College, Christmas of
1897, I was still pastor of three churches, but my expenses were so
much increased that I took the fourth appointment at a salary of
seventy-five dollars for the year, making my salary in all three
hundred and fifty dollars. The remainder of my time at the College I
preached every Sunday, with few exceptions.

It does look like a reflection on those churches to tell of the small
amount paid for preaching, but the thing that startles me is, how
they were ever able to pay what they did for such preaching. I hope
they feel that they were giving themselves to save a poor preacher in
college. The amount received for preaching did not meet our family
expenses, but we took a few boarders, and received a little from the
farm, and the rest I borrowed. The last year was a test of faith also,
for my strength was hardly equal to the task of keeping up with my
classes, and looking after home duties, and preaching every Sunday,
and trying to make up some work missed while lame from my accident.
Work was piling up, churches were paying poorly, grades were poor, and
the breaking-point almost reached, and it was my senior year. I would
not let myself think about failing to receive my diploma, but the way
was dark. The commencement time was coming, and money was getting more
scarce, and bills more frequent. One day a real friend came to me and
said, “A man trying as hard as you are needs help,” and she handed me
a sum of money. I wept, and she wept with me, but I saw through those
tears light that I had not seen before.

The day of graduation came on the 14th day of June, 1900. It was a glad
day, and a sad day, for I felt that I had almost reached the goal, but
I knew that I had not gotten all that I ought to have gotten out of my
college course. I thought people would ask me about my grades, but not
one has asked me about them yet. I find that folks are not interested
in what my grades were, but what I can do.

One thing I learned by being at college without money, and that
was that money is not essential to character. Money cannot cover
up badness, neither can poverty hide goodness. It is not a matter
of how little money you have to get through college, for the money
is the smallest part of a college life. The less money the better
in some cases. It is not so much money as it is great Faith, and a

  _Franklin, Virginia._



My father, George W. Saunders, was born in England, June 3, 1837. His
parents emigrated with their children and settled in Oneida County, New
York, in the spring of 1852. My mother, Mary E. Walker, was also born
in England and came with her people in the forties to the same county
in America, and I presume they should properly be placed in that large
class of people who were “poor but honest”; my maternal grandfather,
Thomas Walker, became a prosperous farmer, and lived to a very old
age. Shortly after his coming to America, my grandfather, William
Saunders, became an invalid and my father, being the oldest of a large
family, was compelled to assist in earning a livelihood for the family
and so was deprived of early educational advantages. He was a man of
strong natural talents, of strict integrity, and was commonly known
as a “hard-headed old Englishman.” He became a very successful farmer
before his death and “passed over the grade” financially just as I
became of age. My sainted mother was a plain, home woman who loved her
family and her God, and who devoted her life to her family of eight
children and her husband. I was the oldest child, and was born on the
10th day of April, 1861, in Oneida County, New York. In 1868 my father
removed to Iowa City, Iowa, where he was a railroad foreman for five
years, and during those years I attended the graded school when I was
not sick. In the spring of 1873 my father concluded he did not desire
to rear his boys about a railroad, and so settled upon an eighty-acre
farm, near Stuart, Iowa. At this early age, when I was puny and weak, I
was forced by the financial condition of the family to enter upon the
active duties of the farm. Many a day have I plowed, when I did not
possess sufficient strength to pull the plow around the corners, and
lifted it around by getting the handles upon my shoulder. In the spring
of 1876, my father saw that he could make only a bare living upon his
small farm, so he sold it and removed to Vail, Iowa, and settled in the
rich and fertile valley of the Boyer River. At this time he had about
two thousand dollars, a weak body, and an ambition to achieve success.
An injury sustained while in the railroad employment incapacitated
him from doing the heavy work of the farm, but it did not impair
either his ambition or his energy. I worked from seven in the morning
until sundown on the long summer days behind a heavy team. Mother
sympathized with me, but father never realized that the toil was beyond
my strength. He was a firm believer in the doctrine of “hard work” and
that “Satan finds mischief still for idle hands to do,” and governed
himself accordingly. He loved his family and did the best for them that
his means permitted.

The county was new and people were all poor, but the land owners
characterized the others as “poor renters.” For four years we were in
the latter class. I completed the country school, in the spring of
1877, and then desired to enter the Vail school, the course of which
did not extend beyond what would now be classed as the eighth grade.
We lived three miles from town, and as my people could not afford to
pay my board in the village, I was necessarily compelled to live at
home and go horseback to school. When I was about sixteen, I determined
to become a lawyer and so informed my people. They treated the
announcement as a boyish whim, and later discouraged me from entering
upon such a course. Father urged that I might become one of those
“educated fools” and mother, who was a devoted member of the Methodist
Church, quoted to me that passage of Scripture, “Woe unto ye lawyers.”

Books to the amount of about seven dollars were required if I should
enter the Vail school and that was a large sum of money in our large
family. The turning point in my life came on a cold December day in
1877. I had taken a load of hay to Denison about eight miles away.
All the way there and back I was pondering over the question of an
education. When I drove into the yard after returning from town,
father came to assist in putting away the team. I was stiff with cold,
but I said, “Father, I am going to Vail to school after New Year’s.”
He retorted, “Where is the money to come from for the books?” I said,
“Father, you spend six dollars per year for chewing tobacco” (his only
bad habit), “and you can afford that much to send your boy to school.”

I went to school two and a half months that winter and likewise the
next two winters. I then secured a second-grade certificate and taught
a county school the two winters preceding my twenty-first birthday.
Each winter I taught a four months’ term--wages $30 per month the
first winter, and $35 the second. The first winter I walked three
miles across the prairie, cared for a team at home and acted as my own
janitor at the schoolhouse. This was the awful winter of 1880-81, when
the snow was four feet deep on the level. There were no roads that were
available to me, and I made my own path. I saved one hundred dollars
that winter and a like sum the following winter, so when I attained my
majority in April, 1882, I had two hundred dollars. I had never had
an overcoat and I did not possess even a trunk. I owned a colt that I
sold for fifty dollars. That summer I worked on my father’s farm at
a wage of twenty dollars per month for five months, and on September
15, 1882, I started for Drake University with $350, a suit of clothes
and a trunk. I had thought by day and dreamed by night of a college
education, and now the dream was to become a reality. As the train
whistled at the station, father grasped me by the hand and, with tears
streaming down his face, said, “Boy, I have opposed this all the time,
but I guess you are doing the right thing.” That was the first word of
encouragement I had ever received from my parents to proceed with my

My room, partially furnished, cost me four dollars per month when I
shared it with another, and board was $1.75 per week in the “club.”
We did not fare sumptuously, but we had sufficient wholesome food to
keep us in good health. I did not earn any money during the first fall
and winter, but in the spring I seized an opportunity to earn three
dollars per week by sweeping six rooms, carrying the coal for the same,
and ringing the bells for all the classes and the college bells from
6 A. M. to 9 P. M. A watch was necessary for my work, so I took part
of my hard-earned wages and bought a watch which is now a treasured
possession. The following summer I worked upon the home farm and
returned to Drake in the fall. I did janitor work during my second year
at the same scale of wages. I also spent many of my Saturdays grubbing
stumps out of a lawn near the University. In the spring of my second
year I worked Saturdays on the streets with a shovel, receiving $1.50
for eight hours’ work. In the spring term of my second year, some of my
college chums found that my return was doubtful: hence they elected
me steward of the boarding club for the succeeding year. This paid my
board and room rent during the third year. In the summer following my
second year, I assumed the role of book agent. This experience was not
very successful, netting me only about seventy-five dollars for my
summer’s work.

When I entered Drake University, I had two years of preparatory work
to do. I carried five studies for three years, reciting daily in each.
This was possible because we had eight class hours of forty-five
minutes each. As I approached the end of my third year, some of
my teachers urged me to return for another year. I found that by
carrying six studies all the year I could graduate classical, and on
the last Sunday night before commencement I determined to return,
notwithstanding the fact that my purse was empty. I worked again on
the home farm in the summer vacation, and returned in the fall with
sixty dollars and an assurance of a loan of one hundred dollars from
my father. The University had agreed to take my notes for the tuition
of my senior year, so I returned in the fall of 1885 not knowing how
I should get through the year, but confident that in some way I would
earn some money and complete the course. The evening I returned to the
University, the secretary of the faculty offered me the editorship
of the college paper. Frank Morgan, of blessed memory, assumed the
business management, and we divided two hundred and forty dollars
between us as the profits of the venture. A personal friend, who was
as poor as I, with me rented a furnished room in which we kept “bach.”
I shall not state the amount it cost us for fuel, coal oil and food,
but it was much less than the expense of boarding in the club. I edited
the paper, carried six studies, and broke down about two weeks before
commencement. I did not take my final examinations, but was awarded my
degree upon my class standing. I had borrowed the promised one hundred
dollars from my father, had given my notes for my tuition, and when we
made our final division of profits arising from the paper, I had sixty
dollars in my pocket and my college degree.

Between the winter and spring terms of my senior year, I applied for
the principalship of the high school at Manning, Iowa. For six weeks
the board was in a deadlock and then it elected the other applicant.
It was a bitter disappointment, as such positions were not numerous
and most of them were then filled. I planned to teach two years and
then pursue the study of law. About two weeks before commencement, I
was offered the principalship of a two-room school just outside the
corporate limits of the city of Des Moines. But I saw, however, that I
could immediately take up the law, and so about July 1, 1886, I entered
the law office of C. C. Nourse and in the next fourteen months I read
the junior year of the law course laid down by the State University.
In the fall I took charge of my school, but I read law nights, mornings
and Saturdays. I was fortunate in securing board at a very reasonable
price. By close economy I paid all my debts and had about one hundred
and fifty dollars left when the fall of 1887 came. I then entered the
State University of Iowa, passed the examinations of the junior year,
became a member of the senior class, and graduated in June, 1888.

Such in brief is the story of my struggle for an education. I have
written it with the hope that it may encourage other young men and
young women of limited means to make the effort that I made to open
the gates of opportunity. While the expenses have increased, the
opportunities for employment have multiplied in a much greater ratio,
and I am fully convinced that any young man or young woman, with fair
health, may secure a higher education if he has it in him and is but
willing to pay the price of toil and sacrifice.

Some may inquire, Did it pay? Within one hundred feet of where I
performed janitor work, Drake University in 1900 conferred upon me the
LL.D. degree; three times have I been elected to the State Senate. The
State Bar Association has honored me with its presidency.

  _Council Bluffs, Iowa._



I have been asked to tell _why_ and _how_ I worked my way through
college. Because there was no other way to get through college, but to
work through, gives the reason _why_.

My father, John Tilmon Staley, was a school teacher. He died of typhoid
fever at twenty-eight, when I was five.

My mother married Archibald M. Cook three years after my father’s
death, and was the mother of eight children: three Staleys and five

At the close of the Civil War, emancipation left us nothing but land.

In 1866 my uncle, Lieutenant J. N. H. Clendenin, proposed that if I
would work with him on his farm he would send me to Dr. W. S. Long’s
school in Graham the next winter. My stepfather said he was not able to
send me to school, but he would give me my time. I worked on the farm
that summer and entered school January 17, 1867, and walked three miles
to school that term.

At the end of that term, Dr. W. S. Long proposed to furnish me board,
clothes and tuition, if I would live with him and provide wood, keep
rooms in order, build fires, cultivate the garden, milk cows, feed
horses, and cultivate a small crop in summer vacation. I accepted and
entered his service in September, 1867. I hauled wood two miles, cut
and placed same in place for fourteen fires, swept schoolrooms and
built fires; attended to horses, cows, and garden; went to the country
for feed, flour, meat, and live beef and butchered it; cultivated
vegetables, potatoes, and corn in summer; did sundry errands for Dr.
Long; and recited lessons when other duties did not prevent, and kept
up with my classes.

In 1869 I taught the Graham Public School and in the spring I entered
the store of Col. A. C. McAlister in Company Shops (now Burlington)
as clerk. In addition to my store duties, and with the consent of my
employer, I attended to the morning express train and sale of tickets
at four o’clock. My pay as clerk was board, laundry, and $10.00 per
month; and I received $10.00 per month for attending to the early
morning express train. At the end of the year Col. McAlister paid me
$5.00 per month more than he had promised.

In the spring of 1871, I spent four months more in the Graham School,
and entered the sophomore class in Trinity College, N. C., in
September, 1871. I graduated from Trinity in June, 1874, in a class of

The first half year in Trinity I boarded myself by renting a room from
a minister whose wife prepared meals for me and another young man, who
is a distinguished judge. The son of the good woman who prepared our
meals worked his way through college by sweeping rooms and building
fires. He became a fine judge.

Two years and a half I boarded on credit with W. S. Bradshaw and his
good wife. At the end of the spring term of 1872, Mr. Bradshaw asked
me if I was coming back in the fall. I told him I would have to stop
and make some money and would come again. He replied: “I will board you
till you get through, and wait with you for the money.” I said, “I have
no security to give you.” He replied, “I will trust you and take the

After I finished I paid for my board with interest, paid my tuition in
full (though the college did not charge ministerial students), and made
a donation of $100 to the college. In addition to this, I secured a
$100 subscription from each of the other twelve members of our class to
be paid in four equal annual instalments after graduation.

Friends and churches aided me in the sum of two hundred and forty-nine
dollars. Since then I have paid to the church in cash more than twice
as many _thousands_ as I received _hundreds_.

After leaving College seven hundred dollars in debt, I taught with Rev.
D. A. Long and Judge B. F. Long in Graham, and preached as assistant
pastor of New Providence Church till 1877, when I entered the
University of Virginia. That was the only institution where I accepted
_free tuition_; but I paid all other fees.

About the easiest task of my life was to work through college; and,
if I may make one remark, it would be that the danger of schools is
to make education too easy. The armor used by Roman soldiers in camp
exercises was twice the weight of that which they used in battle. This
made battle easy as compared with drill. It seems to me that college
life ought to develop human powers by double strain so as to prepare
for life’s big task. Hot-house methods cannot make men of greatest
endurance and usefulness. That is why so many men drop out suddenly in
the prime of life. They cannot stand the strain of great public service.

  _Suffolk, Va._


I graduated from high school in 1907 with less than $5 left from my
previous summer’s earnings. Although, when younger, school attendance
had been distasteful to me, I was now fully determined to get a college
education, and that without asking financial aid from my parents. I
had been reared on a farm and was used to hard work; but I felt that
my education should now count for something, and that I should be able
to get something better than manual labor. I made a complete canvass
of the town and obtained offers of two very lucrative positions. The
first on a local paper (I had already made some progress in learning
the printer’s trade) at the enormous salary of $2.50 per week, and the
other as assistant bill clerk in a wholesale house at $3 per week. I
decided to accept the latter, as it offered the better chance of a
quick rise, but the offer was rescinded before I could accept it. I
then returned to the paper, but found that they no longer needed a
“devil.” I saw then that it was the overalls for me.

My first position was in a lumber camp in the Smoky Mountains at $1.40
per day of eleven hours. Next I took work with a gang engaged in
grading at $1.25 per day. It was in July and slightly “warm around
the edges,” but I was getting along fairly well when I was offered the
position of “devil” on the other local paper at $4 per week. I accepted.

I worked for this paper for over two years and my wages were steadily
raised. Our week consisted of fifty-four hours, but I frequently worked
from ten to twenty hours a week overtime, in addition to walking back
and forth from my country home and doing the chores night and morning.
I frequently spent only my pay for overtime, and deposited all of my
regular salary in the bank.

I well remember the fall of 1908, when, in a big rush the other two
printers got on a big drunk and quit, thus leaving the whole burden
on me. The strain was heavy, but I stood it and as a result got the
foreman’s place long before I had served a four years’ apprenticeship.
By the summer of 1909 I had saved $575. I had never commanded a large
salary, as I quit just when I was becoming efficient enough to hold
down a position in a bigger office. I was offered a chance to learn the
linotype, but refused and entered college in September.

I did no outside work until the following spring when I started to
working in a local printing office at odd times. I picked up $25 in
this way. During my sophomore year I made $50, and started with the
same work in my junior year, but was offered work correcting English
papers and made $60 in this way during the year. The first summer
out of college I worked at my trade and saved about $100. The next
summer I took an agency with the Aluminum Cooking Utensil Co., which
has, I suppose, helped more boys through college than any other one
company. I was absolutely inexperienced as a salesman, but worked hard
and cleared $200. The next summer I took the same work, but as I had
secured an instructorship which would pay the expenses of my senior
year, I “loafed on the job” and saved only $75. I have since sincerely
regretted this wasted summer.

By these financial means, without any assistance whatsoever, I
completed my college course, and on the day of graduation I could have
paid all of my debts and railway fare home, and still have had $25 to
my credit, or $20 more than I had when I finished high school.

When I landed in my college town I knew absolutely no one and, although
I had very little money to spend and the college has the reputation
of being somewhat aristocratic, I haven’t made such a bad record.
In my freshman year I won the English scholarship; in my sophomore
year the history scholarship; and in my junior year the endowed
scholarship, under which I took the instructorship. I have served as
president of the literary society and have twice represented it on
public celebrations. I have been on the intercollegiate debate, and was
elected to the position of valedictorian by the senior class. I was
also elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa and Delta Sigma Rho (both
honorary). I mention these facts merely to show that a fellow without
money need not be denied an active part in college life and activities.

In looking back over the past six years I attribute my ability to do
what I have done to perseverance and good health. Too much emphasis
cannot be laid upon the latter. Any young American with determination,
good health and reasonably good sense, who has no one else dependent
upon him, can get a college education to-day.--“_ZANK REIN._”

  _Lexington, Va._



I was born and reared on a little farm in Washington County, N. C.,
near the present site of Creswell. My father was poor. Four years of
service and suffering in the Confederate army so wrecked his health
that he was able to do but little after it was all over.

There were no schools of any consequences near, and had there been,
they were barred to me, for my father was not able to pay tuition, and
there were no public schools in that section.

When I was nearly fifteen years old a gentleman living near by employed
me to grub new ground. This work had to be done at night after my day’s
work at home. By piling the brush and firing them two hours’ work
could be done before the light was entirely gone. It took about eight
nights to do a “task” which was a piece of ground sixty feet square.
After having finished three tasks, the gentleman paid me. With the
money so earned a bottle of ink, six pen points, half quire of paper,
a pen staff and a “blue-back speller” were purchased. The speller was
necessary that the script letters might be learned. Having made a small
rough table in which a drawer was placed to hold writing material, the
task of learning to write was begun. To me this was much more difficult
than grubbing. Even after I had learned to make the script letters I
did not know how to spell. As a substitute for this lack more than half
the speller was copied. By the time this was done some of the simpler
words had been learned and so I began to write. About the same time I
undertook to work “sums” in Greenlief’s Arithmetic. This was painfully
slow. Ben. Spruill, now Capt. Spruill, of Creswell, N. C., taught me to
reduce a fraction to a common denominator. This was done with the sharp
point of a cotton burr, the figures being made in the sand between the
rows of cotton.

On August 12, 1880, I arrived at Yadkin College, now Yadkin College
Institute, engaged board, matriculated and began to cast about for
some work. Mr. James Benson, long since dead, was a large merchant of
the place and employed me to make drawers to place under the shelves
in the store. I made the first one the best I could and tried to
make every drawer better than the preceding one. This work was done
on Saturdays, and when it was finished he employed me to stay in the
store on Saturdays and paid me really more than I was worth. Soon his
health failed and I was out of a job. On March 24, 1881, I began work
at house carpentry and tried to keep up my studies by sitting up late
at night preparing the lessons for the next day. At commencement I
had my speech prepared and stood my examinations, passing on all but
one study. During the vacation of 1881 taught school and saved a few
dollars to begin the next term.

When school opened this was soon gone and something had to be done.
A small unused room was secured, a pair of scissors, two razors, a
comb and brush and a barber shop was opened. The boys were kind and
long suffering, so the business prospered. Thus another term was
finished,--and no debt. Again during the vacation of 1882 I taught.
At the close of this vacation I was elected town constable. This was
by no means to my liking, but something had to be done, or quit. This
business frequently broke into my school work and made it hard to keep
abreast of the class. However, in this way I managed to pay expenses
for the term and saved a few dollars besides. During the vacation of
1883 I taught school near Denver, N. C., and in the meantime served as
pastor of Fairfeld Church. Both together made it possible for me to
have more money than I ever had at one time before.

On returning to college at the close of vacation I was elected a tutor.
In this way I earned ten dollars a month and kept up my own studies.
This work was more in keeping with my general taste than anything I had
hitherto tried. It was a fine opportunity to review what I had done and
was perfectly agreeable to me. The amount thus earned was ample for all
my real needs, and so the difficulties began to give way. Hope that
had been groping amid the shadows began to mount up, and resolution
grew strong. Thus, sustained by a kind Providence and encouraged by
friends, my college course was finished.

I feel that this would be incomplete were I to omit to speak of Rev.
John Parris, D.D., who gave me so much encouragement and help. When I
was yet a boy, never having been to school a day, he, somehow, learned
that I was anxious to read. Knowing I had no books he would borrow them
from Capt. T. J. Norman, becoming personally responsible for their safe
return, and bring them to me. When bringing them he would say, “Now,
young sir, if you damage this book I may not bring you another.” He not
only brought the books, but would question me on the contents when he
returned. He was a man who seemed stern and repulsive to the young, but
when better known was as gentle and sweet spirited, loving and tender
and patient as a mother.

  _Mebane, N. C._



There is nothing remarkable about my experience in working my way
through college. I do not deem it worth the telling, except that it
may help to encourage the boy who thinks that it is more than he dares
undertake to obtain an education without means to back him.

I was born in Ontario, Canada. I was fortunate in being able to get an
excellent common school training and three years of high school work
before having to get out and dig for myself. Since the age of fifteen,
when my father died, I have been at all times self-supporting, and,
before coming to North Dakota at the age of twenty, I had taken such
employment as was obtainable. In the summer of 1898 I had saved enough
money to make the trip to North Dakota, looking for opportunities.
Teaching seemed to be the most feasible stepping-stone, so that fall,
after having spent three months as a farm laborer in this State, and
having saved what I had earned, which, together with a little I had
left of what I had brought from Ontario, made about $90, I entered the
preparatory department then in existence at the University of North

It was a month after the opening of the school year when I entered
school that year with the idea of taking a winter course for teachers
in order that I might take the state examinations for a teacher’s
certificate in the spring. Instead of taking the course intended,
however, I fitted in as nearly as I could to the regular course of
study for the last year of the preparatory department and used what
spare time I could obtain to study the common branches upon which I
would have to take examination for a teacher’s certificate. By close
application to business I was able to carry along the regular course
of study and also to secure the coveted teacher’s certificate in the

I left the University that spring at the end of the winter term, March
22, or thereabouts, and taught school from then until about the last
week in October. I left the University on Friday and commenced the
term of school on the following Monday and had no vacation during
the summer; and, in addition to that, I succeeded in obtaining the
permission of the school board that had employed me to teach six days a
week during the last five weeks in order that I might get back to the
University a week earlier than otherwise. My salary was $40 per month.
I had barely scraped through from November 1 until March 22 on that
ninety dollars, and had to make a loan of twenty dollars from a friend
to tide me over until I got a month’s salary. At the end of the term
of school I had paid back the $20 and saved about $110.

During the spring term of the University, while I was teaching, I
continued my studies as if I had been at the University, endeavoring to
do the same work that my class-mates at school were doing and reporting
from time to time to the professors. I burned midnight oil many nights,
but North Dakota spring weather is healthful and invigorating, and
I gained flesh on it and was able to take the examination with my
classmates in June to get better than a pass mark in all subjects. Then
I commenced on the subjects. I expected to begin on in the fall, as I
knew I would be about a month late entering college.

The story of my life for the next twelve months is much a repetition
of the previous year, except that I did not have the extra work of
preparing for teacher’s examination. I had to borrow about $36 to tide
me over until I got my first month’s salary, but I paid this back
during the summer and returned to school late in the fall as usual with
about $120. The following spring, in fact, before the winter term had
ended, I was “broke,” as each year seemed a little more costly than
the previous. President Webster Merrifield, then and for many years
previous at the head of our University, was the good angel who came to
my rescue. Every boy was his friend and he was the friend of every boy
in the institution. Always looking for an opportunity to help those
he thought worthy, he divined my need and offered to help me with a
loan that would tide me over the spring term. At first I declined the
tender of aid, but later thought better of it and accepted a loan of
$60 and gave my note, payable one year after the expected date of my
graduation. That summer I took a position as timekeeper for an extra
gang doing surfacing work on the line of the Great Northern Railway in
Minnesota and returned to school at the opening of the school year that
fall with about $75 ahead.

The University of North Dakota, at that time, had about two hundred and
fifty students, including those in the preparatory department. A little
book store and postoffice was conducted by students in one of the
University buildings. President Merrifield controlled the appointment
of the postmaster and manager of the book store, but the students
getting the positions had to finance the book store themselves. I
applied for and received appointment in the book store and postoffice,
and retained an interest in it during the three years following. I had
to do some skirmishing to borrow $100 to add to my $75 to provide my
share of the capital necessary to make advance payments on our stock of
books, and was denied a loan from friends I thought knew me well enough
to trust me. Again a generous professor in the person of the dean of
the college of arts came to my aid and made me the loan. I shall not
soon forget his kindness.

During those last three years of my college days while completing the
courses of arts and law I was able, writing life insurance among the
students as a side line in addition to doing my share of the business
in the book store and postoffice, to make my entire expenses and leave
school free from debt.

  _Devil’s Lake, N. D._


Benjamin Eitelgeorge arrived at University Park the 6th of September,
1905, With $45.00 on hand. He took the severely plain quarters in the
basement of University Hall and worked for his room rent and tuition.
He did his work well. He went from house to house in search of work for
Saturdays and afternoons. At first no one seemed to need him. Later
on, however, there was all the work offered which he could do, in
house-cleaning and other work, at twenty cents an hour. He won a prize
in that first year and was made head janitor at the college. In the
second and third terms he had the care of a cow and a furnace. So the
first year closed with a new sense of self-reliance.

In the summer he went to summer school, working for his tuition, and
had the care of a cow, pony and lawn for his room and $15.00 per month.

In the fall he was made head janitor at $15.00 per month, with room
rent and tuition added. Saturdays he had all the outside work he could
do. This brought him through the year in comfort and with a still
deeper sense of self-reliance.

Now he was given charge of the church at Black Hawk, on request of the
people there who had heard him preach, and he has kept that service
for four years. Indeed, the people at Black Hawk desire to have him
appointed as their pastor for life. He now preaches at three places
each Sunday. Of course, this left Mr. Eitelgeorge no opportunity to
get into all sorts of college sports. He took part in all inter-class
games, however, where the object in view is the pure fun of the game.
He was active in the debating club, and made the honorary debating
fraternity, Tau Kappa Alpha. He was conspicuous in all the Christian
activities of the college. Mr. Eitelgeorge says he enjoyed college life
as much as any student who ever went to college, and that he would not
take anything for the experience and satisfaction of having worked his
way through college. He was graduated with the A.B. degree in 1911.

This sort of discipline creates men who can do things. If Benjamin
Eitelgeorge were shipwrecked on an island which was peopled by rude
savages he would know what to do at once. With a prayer in his heart,
and that everlasting smile on his face, he would begin at once at the
task of creating a Christian nation out of the raw material. And in
twenty-five years he would have trade relations with other countries,
an ambassador of his government at Washington, and a Christian college,
with the whole faculty from the class of 1911 in the University of

John F. Sinclair’s story reads like a romance. In February last he made
an address at the Denver Y. M. C. A. to the high school and working
boys on “How to Work One’s Way Through College.” From that speech
the following facts are taken: Mr. Sinclair came to University Park
with Mr. Eitelgeorge from New Mexico in September of 1905. He had $20
in his pocket and plenty of pluck, but with no certain ideas about
how he could make a living. He went with Eitelgeorge in that first
canvass for work, but no one seemed to want them. There were plenty of
discouragements at the start, but presently he had more work offered
than he could do. He roomed in the basement of University Hall and did
honest work to earn his tuition and room rent. At that time we had a
boys’ club where the fellows kept in prime condition on two dollars
a week. For two years he made his way with odd jobs. He “waited on
tables, washed dishes, cooked meals, scrubbed floors, washed windows,
cleaned furnaces, built fires, chopped wood, beat rugs (the most
despised job in the curriculum), cut out weeds, mowed lawns, spaded
gardens, painted, calcimined, solicited, sold peanuts and pop-corn, ran
errands, etc.”

This sort of discipline for two years made him very self-reliant and
resourceful. Now he found more permanent sort of work. One year he
served as boys’ secretary in the North Side Y. M. C. A. In another
he made good money in charge of a laundry agency. In the following
year, his fifth, he did janitor work in the city in a down-town office
building. In his sixth year he has made a good living in teaching
mechanical drawing at night in a country high school and has sold
mail boxes. He cleared several hundred dollars in one summer selling
books to the farmers in Kansas. Sinclair says that some of his friends
have done well in carrying papers on regular routes, in reporting for
newspapers, in playing musical instruments, in growing mushrooms and
in tutoring. He says jobs come to the fellow who sticks and works.
Each year he has found it easier than the year before, and each year
he has had more profitable work than the year before. He wears good
clothes and lives in a first-class college room now. Sinclair played on
the college baseball team four years, and, of course, was in all the
interclass games of his class. He made his “D” in baseball. He counted
it his first duty to make his living, his next duty to keep a high rank
in his classes, and his third duty to get into such athletic sports as
were possible to him and necessary to his health.

The popular conception of a student who earns his living is that he is
a lank and lean boy who burns the midnight oil in a poor room in an
attic. Sinclair says he found it profitable and conducive to health to
live in an airy room and to sleep seven or eight hours every night.
So he has been in superb health every day since he came to college.
Sinclair believes in concentration and in being wide awake. The rest
of this story must be reported in his own words:

“In spite of my participation in athletics and in other activities,
and although I’ve worked hard for a living, and even though I’ve never
burned the midnight oil and never studied on Sunday, yet I’ve made
high grades, averaging over ninety. I count myself only an ordinary
chap, too. Get your lessons day by day and you will find time for other
important things.

“I took part in the other activities of the University. I sang in the
glee club one year; was a member of the Y. M. C. A. cabinet almost
every year; was president of the freshman class; acted as treasurer of
the debating club; served on the students’ commission; was yell-master
last fall; and besides was actively engaged in church work. It is the
old story that the more you do the more time you find in which to do.
This active school life prepares one for strenuous life in the world.
However, there is great danger in overdoing this matter. College life
should be secondary to your studies. We go to college to learn and we
must not sacrifice our mental and spiritual training for minor things.
A man should not neglect his social training, either, but this, too, is
a secondary matter.

“The working student is treated as a social equal by most people in
most colleges. I have never been snubbed. On the contrary, I have
become a member of one of the national fraternities; I have dined with
a professor’s family often; when I was janitor in the city the people
called me Mr. Sinclair and not Mr. Janitor; I was welcome company to
the best girls in college. A working student is highly respected if he
conducts himself as a gentleman should.

“In conclusion I would offer these suggestions: If you have a strong
desire to secure an education, to serve the world efficiently, and are
free from ill health and family encumbrances, go to some educational
institution with a determination to stick it out. Have faith in
yourself, in your fellow-men, and in God. If you are a Christian your
struggle will not be so hard. I cannot give too much weight to my
religion as a factor in making my college work successful and my life
happy. I doubt whether I could have withstood without my faith in God.”



During the winter of 1897-8, after a campaign lasting for more than
two years, I came to my last stand and finally surrendered to the call
of Jesus Christ to enter the Gospel ministry. I had completed the
eighth grade in my fourteenth year and had spent two or three years
working with my father at the carpenter’s trade. I began now to gather
information about colleges and the cost of getting an education. I
soon found that to wait until I could earn enough money to pay my way
through college would take a long time. I had no friends or relatives
to help me pay even a part of such an expense, and I realized that I
must either work my way through or give up my vocation. The long and
bitter struggle that preceded my decision to become a minister left me
but one alternative. I was determined to get an education which would
fit me for the work I had chosen. I felt that a minister must know men
as well as books, and that whatever would give me a touch with folks as
they are would add to future efficiency. I liked work, carpenter work
or any other kind. I had never known what it was not to work, even as
a child, and so it was but natural that I should look about for an
opportunity to work while attending school. This is _why_ I worked my
way through college.

One man’s need is often another’s opportunity. In the fall of 1898
the Synod of South Dakota found it necessary to close its university
at Pierre, after a long struggle against great odds. It was finally
decided that its academy at Scotland should also be closed and a new
institution started at Huron, the best location available. Huron had
a large four-story brick hotel building unoccupied for several years.
This building became the home of the synod’s new educational venture
and became known as Huron College. Rev. C. H. French, the President
of Scotland Academy, became the new president of Synod’s College. I
had become acquainted with President French during the summer of 1898,
and with the opening of Huron College he found an opportunity for me
to help put the old hotel building in shape. So it happened that I
landed in Huron, South Dakota, about December 1, 1898, having about $25
in money and my chest of tools. I went to work at once repairing and
remodeling the college building, and for five years I was the college
carpenter (_ex-officio_). I had been there about two weeks when one of
the boys, Ray Scofield, found a place for me in a small hotel where I
received room and board for three or four hours’ work a day waiting on
tables, buying provisions, etc. I remained in this hotel three school
years. Railroad men and other common laborers were the boarders at
this hotel, and I learned to know this class of men in a very intimate
way. Odd jobs of carpenter work, or perchance scrubbing office floors,
carrying coal, cleaning rugs or cutting wood, added a little now and
then to my cash account. During the first two summer vacations I worked
with my father and helped him to carry the unequal burdens of life.
During the summer of 1900 I read Latin in the evenings and made up one
year’s required work in that subject, thus enabling me to graduate from
the academy department the following commencement.

In the spring of 1899 I signed the Student Volunteer Declaration, and
began to look forward to service on foreign mission fields. I had
become active in Y. M. C. A. work, and became treasurer of the local
association. During the fall I began to give talks to Sunday schools
held in country schoolhouses, and in December, 1900, I took charge of a
country church about thirty-five miles from Huron, preaching regularly
every two weeks. Often the alternate Sunday would find me supplying
some other pulpit near Huron. This added a little to my income, and
gave me plenty of opportunity for studying different kinds of people
as well as learning how to reach them through preaching. From this
time forward there was rarely a Sunday that I was not out of the
city preaching somewhere. The school year of 1901-2 I spent at home
working with my father, though I continued to preach on Sundays. When
I returned to my school work in the fall of 1902 I was absent from my
classes for over a month at the request of the president, in order that
I might be able to fit up additional dormitory rooms on the fourth
floor. I might have paid my way through college that year, but my
habits of work made the boarding club less desirable for me. I rented
a room in a private home and secured work at a large café where I
received my board for waiting at table three hours a day. I took great
delight in study, just for its own sake, and found in my outside work
a wholesome check to the tendency to forget that books and real people
are often very far apart. The claims of both were ever present with me,
and to respond to them both I found it necessary to keep on working.
That became another reason _why_ I worked my way through college.

There are perhaps few men in whom poverty extinguishes the desire to
give to others. It is one of the prerogatives of free sovereign manhood
to bestow gifts on others. This is one of the primitive instincts that
remains amid the evolutionary changes of the human race. Under the
influence of Jesus it has become a form of the highest act of worship.
It was this impulse that led me to form habits of giving in college.
In looking over my college accounts now, I find that during those
seven years I gave to church, missions, Y. M. C. A. and other objects
from $500 to $800 in money. In addition I paid my own expenses to the
Student Summer Conferences at Lake Geneva, Wis., three times, attended
the International Y. M. C. A. Convention at Buffalo, N. Y., and the
International Student Volunteer Convention at Toronto, Ont., all at my
own expense. At the close of my college work I had a library of several
hundred volumes. Now, after eight years, I can look back and feel
that were I to do it over again I would, without hesitation, follow
a similar plan. I am now finding almost constantly that my college
experiences are to my advantage in many ways.

To the young men and women who may read this brief story I would say:
Be never afraid of work, but honor it by doing it in the very best
manner possible. Add to your strength, efficiency, to efficiency a
noble purpose, and with it all be loyal to Jesus Christ whose moral
grandeur and spiritual transcendence have made the honest laborer a
member of the world’s best aristocracy.

In the hope that this story may nerve another for the struggle to
breast the current which sweeps humanity onward, ’mid hopes and fears,
’mid agonies and tears, to destinies unknown; and with the prayer that
the vision of far off success may inspire another to do and dare in the
search after Education’s Holy Grail, I send forth this little message
to all who belong to the great fraternity of Workers.

  _Plankinton, S. D._



In the summer of 1903, at the age of twenty-five and with very little
high school training, I determined to go to college. I had no money
and my people were too poor to give me anything but encouragement. I
had taught one country school and spent one summer in the West selling
maps, but the most I could scrape together, in addition to experience,
was a slight equipment of clothing and $30 in money. With these stored
in my old trunk, I landed in Bloomington, Indiana, a few days early
to report for football practice and to look for work. I was given a
try-out at football before any arrangement was made for permanent

I shall never forget that first afternoon football practice. Nature
had been kind to me in giving me a strong body and good judgment, and
I felt I could tackle any fellow that ever carried the pig-skin. I was
well seasoned, having spent the summer working on the section, and
it was lucky that I was. We kicked and fell on the ball for a while
and then the coach lined us up for a little line-bucking. This was in
the days when the line man on the football team selected his opponent
who played opposite him and fought it out with him. The modern, open
and better style of football had not yet invaded the game. I had
always played the position of tackle and it was there I was tried out
that first afternoon. Captain Clevenger took the back field to run
down punts and Coach “Jimmie” Horn took us heavyweights for a little
line-bucking. I happened to be the only lineman that was an unknown
quantity to “Jimmie” and he promptly proceeded to get acquainted, in
the peculiar way that coaches sometimes have. He first lined me up
against “Cube,” but as he was fat and soft from his summer vacation,
he was put to snapping the ball and Smith, Shirk and I tried it. I was
not tried out much on the defensive that day but was asked to open up
a hole between that big tackle and guard for the man who was coming
through with the ball just behind me. We worked at that for about an
hour. I do not know how well I succeeded but there never was a time
after that first practice that I ever feared losing a place on the team.

The coach and manager knew of my financial condition and, as that was
the days of the training table, my first job was purveyor for the
training table. It was really the best snap I ever had. All I had to
do was to collect the money from the other fellows at the end of the
week and turn it over to the manager. Things moved along well until
the football season was over and the training table broke up. I then
took the job of waiting on a table and washing dishes at one of the
high-priced boarding clubs. This lasted until I was given a job by a

One Sunday afternoon when I was feeling unusually blue, because of
the fact that my books and incidentals had drawn very heavily on my
$30 college fund, one of my friends, a senior by the name of Payne,
called in to see me. Just as he was leaving he handed me a $5 bill and
said that “Jake” Buskirk had sent it to me and said to tell me that
he admired my playing and wanted to make me a little present. I shall
never forget the feeling I had when I realized that it meant he was
giving me $5. I was overjoyed at getting the much needed five, but
studied for a long time whether I should keep it or return it. I felt a
little like I was being bribed. However, when I invoiced my assets the
feeling somewhat subsided and I decided to keep it, but for a long time
I told only one or two of my very best friends about it. That was the
first I knew there was such a fellow as “Jake” Buskirk, but the next
afternoon at practice, in compliance with his promise, my friend Payne
was there and gave me a real introduction to “Jake.” I do not know just
what I said; I only know that I tried to thank him and thought that he
looked like the best man I had ever seen. I met him a number of times
afterwards that season and later became very intimately acquainted
with him and I have never yet changed my first opinion of him. Before
Christmas “Jake” asked me how I would like to come up and stay with him
and take care of his furnace and horse. He explained that he had a
large roomy house and could fix up a room for me without much trouble.
I was glad of the opportunity and made my home with his family, which
consisted of himself, his good wife, one of those splendid Southern
ladies, and his two boys, Kearney and Nat. At the end of the winter
term, however, my money was gone and my clothes were worn. I determined
to leave school and work until the beginning of the following year.

During my short stay at Bloomington, I had met and made many friends
who were anxious to assist me in any way they could.

When I left school I took a job as brakeman on the Illinois Central,
but as I had to provide for extra board I made very little more than
expenses. When school opened in the fall I accepted a position as
teacher in the city schools of Linton, Indiana.

In the spring of 1905 I learned through some of my friends at
Bloomington that there would be an opening in the Co-Op, the university
book store. I immediately applied for the position and obtained it. I
had saved up a little money and stocked up in clothes. When I entered
school in the fall of 1905 I felt like a new man, full of hope.

The Co-Op was a book store owned and operated by the University for the
benefit of the students and, aside from a business manager who was a
member of the University office force, it was managed by students. It
took three to run it. By dividing our time we were able to attend our
classes and keep the Co-Op open from nine to twelve in the morning, and
from two to five in the afternoon. We were paid on a per cent. basis.
With what money I could make during my vacations I was able to graduate
in the class of 1908, receiving the degree of LL.B.

We do not go to college merely to develop our mental self, but we have
a physical and social self which I believe is as essential to train
and develop while in college as is the mental. I have always been a
large, strong physical fellow and many of my less fortunate companions
have laughed at the notion that my college training has helped me
physically; but, my college has done as much for me both physically
and socially as it did mentally, and I believe the former two are as
important elements in a young man’s make-up as is the latter. Thanks
to my college athletics, I contracted physical and mental habits that
have made me a better and more useful man and I think will prolong life
several years.

I was one of the more fortunate self-supporting men while in college
and, while I do not disclaim all credit for sticking to it and pulling
through, yet I often wonder if I would to-day be the proud possessor of
a college diploma had I been small of stature and not able to make good
on the gridiron.

  _Fredonia, Kans._


C. M. WALTERS, A.B., PH.B., M.A., M.D.

After attending the Burlington High School one year and spending all
the money I had except one dollar, I decided to take a business course
in Elon College. I arranged with Dr. J. U. Newman, Dean of the Faculty,
to get my tuition, room rent, fuel, and light for ringing the College
bell. I also collected and distributed laundry to help pay my expenses.
With the money collected in this way and from doing other small jobs
about the College, I succeeded in paying all my expenses for the first
five months except $65. I secured my diploma in the Business Course in
June, 1900.

Realizing that my preparation in English was not sufficient for me to
command the best positions in the business world, I decided to take
the regular college course. So in September, 1900, my brother and
I organized the first boarding Club at Elon College. I was elected
manager to collect for board, buy all provisions, hire a cook, and
have general oversight of the Club, all for the small salary of one
dollar a week. I still held my job as laundry agent, but I gave up my
position as bell boy for the College. By sweeping, dusting, lighting,
and building fires in the Psiphelian Society Hall I made twenty-five
cents a week. I was also janitor for the Philologian Society part of
the time at the same salary, and two years later when the acetylene
gas lights took the place of the old oil lamps in the Society Halls, I
had charge of the gas generator, which paid one dollar a month. I also
made stretchers for the art room and did other small jobs of carpenter
work, cut wood, and did most any little job I could get to do to make
money. Of course I didn’t have any time for play, but I worked enough
to get plenty of exercise and graduated in four years with high honor.
I gave notes for my tuition except for the last year. I was laboratory
director during my senior year, which paid my tuition.

From the time I was a small boy in the public school, too young to
study Physiology, when the class recited I would stop studying and
listen to them and long for the time to come when I could study
medicine. This dream was realized in the fall of 1904 when I entered
the University of North Carolina, and began the four years of hard
work which was required to get my M.D. It was during the Christmas
examinations of this year that my eyes failed, due partly to using
a microscope too much, besides the hard strain of late study hours.
I could not see how to read, but I managed to get some one to read
for me and I passed my examinations. During my second year at Chapel
Hill, I secured boarders, collected for board, and kept books for a
regular boarding house to help pay my board. I also acted as laundry
agent, managed a pressing club, and taught English and Latin to medical
students who did not have sufficient preparation in these branches to
study medicine.

My last years in the medical course were spent at the University of
Maryland. The first year I distributed tickets and posters for the City
Y. M. C. A. meetings during my spare hours, for which work I received
$2.50 a week. There was so much walking in this I would be so tired at
night that I could not study, so I soon gave it up and devoted all my
time to my books. I secured an appointment as medical assistant in the
hospital (which was awarded to the best students in the class), for my
senior year. Owing to the difficulty we had in securing good board near
the hospital my class mates persuaded me to organize another boarding
Club, which I managed for a few months; but because my hospital
work required so much time, I had to turn it over to someone else.
I graduated with the class of 1908 from the University of Maryland
and passed the State Board examination in June of the same year, and
located at Union Ridge, N. C., where I have enjoyed a very lucrative
practice. I have been asked to write this for the benefit of other
young men who are working their way through school. While it has been
a hard struggle, and I have seen a few dark days when it seemed that I
would have to give up for want of means to go forward; still when the
time came that I had to have money, I always found some way to make it
or some friend kind enough to lend it to me. So my college career has
been a very pleasant one.

  _Union Ridge, N. C._



I have been asked to tell the young people of to-day how I planned to
meet college expenses without money with which to start. In the hope
that some young man may be encouraged to undertake the task of securing
a good preparation for life, whether he has any money or not, I am
giving a brief outline of the struggle I had to secure what little
training I happen to have for life’s responsible duties.

I was born and reared on the farm. From my childhood, I had impressions
that God wanted me to be a minister of the Gospel, and had always
expected to make the necessary preparation, and give my life to the
task of this kind of special Christian work. I had finished the graded
school of my neighborhood, and had done one year’s work in high school,
when, in the following summer, I injured my spine permanently by riding
on a harvesting machine over some very rough ground. This occurred
when I was seventeen years of age, and for nearly ten years I suffered
intensely from this misfortune; the greater part of the time unable to
earn a dollar. During this period, I became discouraged and decided to
give up the idea of ever being able to secure the training that would
fit me for my chosen work, and finally decided to turn my attention to
some other pursuit. At this time I married the woman who must be given
the credit for the greater part of what little success I may have had.

After I had spent nearly ten years casting about to adjust myself to my
surroundings, I somewhat recovered from my injury and again turned my
thoughts to the ministry. “There is a divinity that shapes our ends,”
after all; a Siamese missionary came to Old Charity Chapel, in Shelby
County, Ohio, my home church, and told the story of the Cross. I do not
remember a word he said, but I do know that he inspired me with a new
vision and a new determination to undertake the task for which I felt
that God had endowed me; and out in the barn, on the old home farm, I
settled the question and decided that God would have to lead the way.
I had spent practically all the money that had come into my hands,
seeking to recover from the harvester accident. That summer I earned
a little money and on the first of September I had just $33 saved up,
with which to start to college. I lived 125 miles from Merom, Ind., but
I had decided the matter, and the limited amount of money could play
no important part in my purposes. I had entered a little partnership
with God, as the senior member of the firm, and I was only to furnish
the effort, consecration, application, toil and faith, and He was to
furnish the balance. How well He played His part, subsequent events
have told. On the fourth of September, 1898, with this small sum of
money, $33, in my pocket, my wife and I went to Merom, Ind., where I
entered Union Christian College. Tuition must be paid, room rent must
be provided for, and we must both be provided with board. Dr. L. J.
Aldrich, the president of the college, assisted us in finding suitable
quarters, and also assisted us in finding some suitable employment for
the wife. She secured employment at the Harper House, where several of
the students boarded, I boarding at the College Club, which was much
cheaper. She earned enough to pay her own board and mine. Thus we were
able to live very comfortably for a while. But after a little, several
of the boarders left the Harper House, and she lost her place. Nothing
opened for us then, and it seemed for a time that we would have to
return home. These were dark days and our faith was tried. At last I
went to President Aldrich and laid the matter before him. After going
into the details of the situation, he thrust his hand in his pocket
and gave me a $20 bill. I never saw $20 look as big as it did that
night. He told me to take it and make it go as far as possible, and
pay it back when I was able. Arrangements were made by which we could
pay tuition and room rent the next summer and the good wife secured a
place where we roomed, earning her board by assisting the family with
household duties. I earned a little supplying for some of the ministers
then at Merom and by holding a revival during the vacation. But this
was not sufficient to pay necessary expenses. I borrowed $20 of my
brother, and then, to make ends meet, I reduced the number of meals at
the club and ate only breakfast and dinner, in order to reduce the cost
of board to $1.10 per week. During the remainder of the year, I did not
eat supper, and because I was denied this luxury, the wife also refused
to eat supper, and thus we passed away the evening hours, just over the
kitchen, where the tempting flavors from the supper table below came up
through our room, to add to our hunger.

The following summer I canvassed for a magazine in Piqua, Ohio, and
sold nearly 500 subscriptions, and earned enough to pay all the debts I
had contracted during my year at Union Christian College.

During this summer vacation I was called to preach at Houston, Ohio,
where my father had preached forty years before. This was within 100
miles of Antioch College, and in the fall we went to Antioch, Yellow
Springs, took up our abode in two of the old south dormitory rooms,
and I entered the Academy for a course of study. Our income was small
and a large part of that must be spent for car-fare. Again the good
wife proved a helpmeet indeed, by very materially assisting in taking
care of the expenses. However, we had to live without meat and other
luxuries. I continued at Antioch three years, at which time I went
to Muncie, Ind., and entered the New Palmer University, and remained
there until Mr. Palmer’s death, two years later, which made necessary
the closing of the school. During this time I went out and preached on
Sunday and returned to my work on Monday. We then went to Defiance,
Ohio, and entered Defiance College and continued there two years and
graduated in the class of ’07, after which we went to Cincinnati
University, where I entered the Graduate School and in the spring of
1908 received the Master of Arts degree, receiving the honor of being
one out of four who carried an average grade of “A” in five courses out
of six.

During my course of study in these institutions I received in gifts
from friends not more than $25. I suppose that during this period we
spent not less than $300 for doctor bills. But through it all God has
opened the way. There were times when it seemed that we would have to
give up the quest, times when we did not know whether we could make
ends meet longer or not. It was not smooth sailing nor was it an open
sea. But it has been worth while. As I see it now, it developed those
elements of character that serve one best when obstacles mountain-high
appear before him. Those years are the best investment of my life.
If I had it to do over again, I would be willing to sail the same
choppy sea, rather than face life without that little I succeeded in
gathering up during those years of struggle. Humbly submitted for the
good of “somebody’s boy.”

  _Albany, Mo._



I was born in a humble home in the backwoods of Berks County,
Pennsylvania. I had few companions outside of school hours in the
little country school where we studied in English and played in German.
I had no one of intimate acquaintance who had any appreciation of
higher education or of professional life. The awakening of a moderate
ambition was largely due to the influence of a devoted mother and an
inspiring teacher.

With three months’ cramming in a summer normal, I changed from a
student to a teacher in the little red school house. During the long
vacations that followed I attended Perkiomen Seminary, where I was
graduated in 1902. When I passed my twenty-fifth birthday I had given
eight years of service to our schools at a salary of $238 per year. I
had paid for my preparatory education and had saved $200. At this time
I also had signed an anti-saloon petition which efficiently barred me
from further employment in the same school. This predicament put me
to thinking what would be the next best step. My prep. school was an
excellent eye-opener for college possibilities for poor boys, yet I
never before realized what it could mean to me. However, in one month
after my downfall I was making my exodus to the Pennsylvania State
College. I was without a friend that could give me advice or direct me
to means by which a young man might work his way. My $200 was dwindling
to a small margin as I got my equipment of books, uniform, instruments,
fees, board, room, etc. I soon hailed an opportunity to husk corn on

Time progressed slowly, work became scarce, football enthusiasm rose
to a high pitch. Most of the boys were planning a trip to see our team
face its foremost rival of the season. It seemed evident that a three
to five dollar outlay on such a trip could not include me. There were
more meetings, music, yells, and speeches; and the fellow who refused
to go either had poor spirit or he felt real mean. I was one of those
who felt mean. So did my room-mate. We raised a question and forth came
the solution. I suggested that we go at the lowest possible outlay. On
the morning of the game when the band led the march to the depot we
were in line. The enthusiasm and the victory seemed to be fully worth
the price. When the noon hour arrived and the boys resorted to the
hotels, chum and I sauntered down along the railroad, secured a box of
crackers, and with some dried beef that I had brought from home, we
made the noon-day meal. On our return to college we proceeded to work
out the balance of the program: that was to board ourselves until we
had saved the amount. With a tin tomato can hung above our student
lamp as a cooking outfit we proceeded with our experiment in domestic
science from Thanksgiving to Christmas. We were so elated with the
success and the economy that we returned with well packed trunks after
Christmas and continued the experiment until Commencement week, when
we both secured positions as waiters. This scheme made a nice saving,
as it cost us less than $1.25 per week each for our board. I waited on
tables for my board for the remaining three years of my college course.

The first year closed with my financial rating $200 less than it was
at the opening of the school year. It was the close of my hardest
year. With my fragmentary preparation and several entrance conditions
I found it necessary to work to the limit of my ability, mentally and

I adapted my summer vacation to my needs and divided my time between
farm work and canvassing for the “Wearever” Aluminum Cooking Utensil
Company. I saved enough to equip myself with clothing, books, etc., to
start my next school year.

I started the work without definite plans for the finances of the year.
I gave some assistance to a student agent selling drawing instruments.
This line of work put me in touch with the commercial possibilities for
a student to earn his way. I noted the pennant agent, the pin agent,
the clothing agent, the laundry agent, etc. Yet was I too sensitive of
my backwoods instincts to move myself from the outside of this field
to a top notch competitor with upper class agents. Various college
activities seemed to prevail upon my time and I could not curb that
inner desire to be active along these lines when the finance seemed to
be within my control. However, in my junior year I accepted partnership
in the drawing instrument business which netted me a considerable
income for the opening week of the school year. In my senior year I
made my only real commercial venture. I gave security for my stock and
took $1,000 worth of instruments on the field. I secured a store room
where I had a good window display, took in second-hand uniforms, which
I sold on commission, and, too, late in my college career, I learned
the commercial possibilities open to the student who will do things
in a business way. I gave students from 20 per cent. to 40 per cent.
discount on instruments and yet cleared enough in two weeks to aid me
greatly in my senior year.

Amongst other means of support I shall mention a few of a general type.
I was chapel monitor for over two years which was worth one dollar per
week. For two years I was marshal in my lodging house, which reduced
my room rent. I worked in the library and took advantage of many minor
opportunities. My summer vacations were spent similarly to the first
one. Throughout the course I always was within a margin of the means at
my command.

You will note that my financial career at college was rather
promiscuous, without plan or system. I therefore hope to make this
sketch doubly helpful by adding a discussion on “advice” and another on
“college activities.”

A little experience in earning, saving, and learning the value of a
dollar before entering college never comes amiss. However, the fellow
who puts off college entrance because he enjoys fair earnings, or
because he wishes to accumulate a comfortable sum, usually never
gets there. Don’t expect too much in earning ability during your
first term at college. It is far more important to make a good
start intellectually, as that is the paramount business in college
attendance. It is one of the sad things to see a young man give up in
discouragement because he failed to place emphasis on application to
study. Therefore, when entering college, plan to give the first few
months to the college business without direct interference by any other
obligations or diversions.

Plans for the first year’s finance might include an attempt to
locate friends at college who might aid in finding a waitership
or some other work that does not break directly. Such work at the
start should not be discouraging, as those places naturally belong
to older students who have worked up to the situation. It is well
to recognize that others have rights and needs similar to your own.
Again to start, as one who is given a preference by pull, is not the
most agreeable situation. Another first year plan is the securing of
agency privileges from some good firm, let’s say for college jewelry.
Several weeks before Christmas vacation, when your work is well in
hand and your acquaintance with classmates established, first canvass
your classmates, then other students, for the holiday orders. During
one week it is possible to do your studying while others play and your
canvassing while others study. In a large college such a canvass may
net $100 profit. As business acquaintance and reputation grows, other
lines can be added and much trade comes with limited effort.

I look upon the tutoring opportunity as one of the errors of my college
efforts. I mean by this, my neglect to give it any attention. My advice
to a young man is: work up your class standing from the beginning,
especially in subjects where others are wont to fall. It may take
excess time at first, but it makes easy sailing later, and the more
you earn the stronger you become as a student; a fact which is usually
to the contrary in other financial means at a student’s command. It is
also rather lucrative as students make it net from 50 cents to $5 and
$10 or more per hour.

Vacation specialties are a boon to many a student canvasser. It is not
undesirable for any student to try his hand in dealing with people of
various types. However, it is remarkable how many students fail in
successful canvassing. The nervous strain on the fellow that fails,
while he feels the waste of much needed time and money, is great and
has a tendency to crush out even the little ambition that remains.
Vacation work should be rest from mental strain, it should be open air
work, and it should be in a measure manual. It is hoped that the reader
will note that money is not the only nor even the first consideration
in a wisely planned effort to work his way through college.

“College Activities” may seem an oddity in this discussion. I pity
the student who thinks because he is poor he should get all and give
nothing. I had a college debt of $400 when I finished, but the energy
put into non-required college activities would have canceled the debt
several times.

For four years I served on the Intercollegiate Debating Team, during
which time my Alma Mater rose from last place to first in the League.
For two years I was a member of my class debating team. In my junior
year I served as editor-in-chief of the college annual published by the
class. At the close of that same year I took first place in the Junior
Oratorical Contest. In religious work I had charge of Bible groups for
three years, was treasurer of the Y. M. C. A. in my junior year and
president in my senior year. At the close of my course I was elected a
member of “Phi Kappa Phi,” and was chosen valedictorian of my class.

Catch my creed. There is no harm in a little college debt. Be willing
to give as well as desirous to receive. If you are in want make an
honest effort to find the means necessary, but thereafter place your
college above the dollar and the good time. There is nothing seriously
wrong with the fellow who accumulates a thousand above expenses during
a college course, but if he fails to give a reasonable portion of his
energy to the higher purposes of his Alma Mater, the fruit of his work
is chaff rather than grain.

  _California, Penn._



The same problem confronted me that confronts the great majority of
college boys when they decide to go to college--the financial one.
Three financial plans were open. I could borrow the money necessary
for a college course and pay it back after completing the course, or
I could work two or three years and save the necessary amount before
going. The only other course open was to earn my expenses as I went.
Any one of these plans would have incurred a hardship, so I selected a
part of all three of them. I am convinced that this was the very best

The day I decided to go to college, twelve months before I entered,
I was financially about even with the world. By good luck and close
saving during this following year my savings amounted to five
hundred dollars, which represented my total capital when I entered
the University of North Carolina. As a freshman, I had very few
opportunities to make money, and by the end of the year my capital was
reduced to one hundred and fifty dollars. A position the following
summer on a weekly newspaper netted expenses and experience, and I
therefore started back the next year with only the hundred and fifty.

Expenses were provided for this year by means of work with the
University Press and the management of a boarding house. Newspaper
reporting furnished a few dollars and some good experience, and a
campaign for subscriptions to a popular magazine was also productive.
About this time I found it necessary to use my original hundred and
fifty for an object not connected with college, and so it was paid out.
But the end of the session found me practically even financially and
with all debts paid.

At the beginning of my junior year, I had less than one dollar
capital. The management of the Press was given me at this time at a
salary of sixty-five dollars a month, and I continued to manage a
boarding house. A number of side schemes, including the management of
telegraphic athletic reports, selling advertising novelties, newspaper
reporting, an interest in a fruit store, etc., brought in irregular but
substantial returns. During this year I managed to meet all expenses
and save about three hundred dollars. This amount added to a lot of
nerve with which I borrowed twelve hundred more, gave me capital for
an investment, which later netted a profit of two hundred and fifty

During the following summer, I spent the three hundred in traveling and
entered my senior year without a cent but the two hundred and fifty,
which was tied up in such a way that I couldn’t get it for some time.
I leased the print shop this year and did other work such as selling
shoes, advertisements, visiting cards, etc. The larger part of my time
this year being taken up with some of the more strenuous “college
activities,” my income was cut down and it was necessary for me to
borrow less than a hundred dollars from the University. At graduation,
I could have paid off all debts, and had left two hundred dollars or


  Total amount spent during four years
  with amount of scholarship included
  (time includes three vacations)              $2,700
  Cash on hand at beginning            $500
  Value of Scholarship                  240       740
  Total                                $740
  Balance                                      $1,960
  Investment (later realized)                     250
  Total earned during college course.          $2,210

From this statement it is clear that I spent much more money than was
necessary. Five hundred dollars could have been saved out of this
amount if I had cut out a few of the luxuries, but as the money was
earned, I felt free to spend it.

My conclusions and advice are that any boy can go through college if
he is prepared to enter and is willing to work. The working college
boy is the happiest because he is always busy and doesn’t have time to
get blue. He can enjoy his pleasures without thinking that he will some
day have to pay the money back. His activities are so diversified that
they do not become monotonous, and making money becomes to him as much
sport as playing baseball. He can go broke for three weeks and sell a
few books to raise money for a midnight lunch and have more fun out of
it than another boy with a barrel of money and a new automobile. All it
takes for a boy to go through college without money is nerve to try it,
grit to stick to it, and a happy attitude toward life to enjoy it.

  _Hartsville, S. C._



The University of Wyoming situated at Laramie, Wyoming, on the
broad plains which roll away to the hills and blue mountains capped
with snowy peaks, is surrounded by an air of freeness and democracy
characteristic of this great equal-suffrage State.

After finishing the preparatory course of the University, I was
determined to complete the fours years of college; and, thus in the
fall of 1909, I found myself a freshman in the College of Liberal Arts
of the University of Wyoming.

My home was on a ranch some twenty-five miles out of Laramie. I
therefore accepted gratefully the opportunity of staying with my aunts
in town in order that I might go to school.

Dr. Grace Raymond Hebard, Professor of Political Economy and Librarian
at the University, made me her assistant in the library. Through the
fours years of my college course Dr. Hebard, who is a noble woman, was
my guide, philosopher, and friend, helping me in every way possible. I
remained assistant librarian through my entire course with a raise in
salary each year. Since my salary from this source was not sufficient
to meet all my expenses, and believing thoroughly in grasping every
opportunity, Dr. Hebard urged me to try for some of the literary prizes
in the University.

The first one I tried for was an essay on the “Overland Trail in
Wyoming.” I worked on this essay during one of my summer vacations
and in the fall received the prize of $50. Other prizes which I
was successful enough to win were: “A Place in Wyoming Worthy of a
Monument,” $10; “Opportunities Wyoming Offers to Technically Trained
Men and Women,” $25, two times, (different years) making $50;
“Principles of Free Government,” (two times) making $50; a short story
contest at the State Fair, second prize, $50.

This essay work not only gave me experience in writing and some
valuable information, but also meant a great deal in a financial way.

It was necessary in connection with the library work that I take
typewriting. With the practice gained in the library, together with the
work in class, I was able to typewrite fairly well at the end of the
first year. Many times I made a little extra money doing typewriting.
On one occasion I made $2.50 for four hours of such work. Typewriting
has been one of the most useful subjects which I took in college.

In the last half of my freshman year my sister and I economized by
keeping house in two rooms rented in a private home. The next three
years we were able to live at the girls’ dormitory. My sister, too, is
earning her way through college, and we will never regret doing so.

In my sophomore year I decided to take up drafting, and was allowed to
elect sixteen hours in the College of Engineering. In the spring of
both my junior and senior years I was offered the position as temporary
draftsman at $100 a month by the United States Surveyor General
in Cheyenne, but I refused, as I wished to graduate. This merely
illustrates how college people may receive good positions.

In my junior year I was elected editor-in-chief of the college paper,
for which I received $10 a month and credits in English. During my
senior year I was also editor and received $15 a month, the paper
having been changed to a weekly.

One might think that, with being editor of the paper and assistant
librarian, the remainder of my time would have to be devoted entirely
to my studies; but far from it. The fact that I was devoting a portion
of my time to earning my way gave me the best of training. I had my
work down to a system, and when I studied, knowing just how much time
I had, I learned to concentrate to such an extent that it was no
trouble to study in a room when four or five people were carrying on a
conversation. I did not take the minimum amount of work either, for at
the beginning of my senior year I had just twenty-two credits to make
and upon graduation had eleven credits too many.

I engaged in athletics heartily. I played on the basketball team, being
captain one year and manager the next. For four years I was a member of
the Young Women’s Christian Association Cabinet, the Mandolin and Glee
Clubs, and took part in dramatics and other social activities. Besides,
I devoted some of my time to Pi Beta Phi, of which I am a member.

I did not take library work with the intention of making it my
vocation, but merely as a means of going through college, but there
was an opening in the State Library and on July 1, 1913, I accepted
the position of Assistant State Librarian in the State Law Library at
Cheyenne, Wyoming.

On June 12, 1913, I received the degree of B.A. I was nineteen years
old, but I came out of college with developed ideas of how to go about
making my own living in a manner which I could have gained in no other

To work my way had not injured my health, as I always took plenty of
outdoor exercise, walking, skating, etc., and each summer was spent
at home on the ranch, fishing, riding and camping in the mountains,
besides working at home.

With parents and relatives making sacrifices and determined to give my
sister and me the opportunity to gain a higher education, and with the
encouragement of friends, I have attained, and my sister will attain
next June, a college education.

It is worth the effort a thousand times. The spirit of the University
of Wyoming is greatly in favor of students helping themselves. The
leaders in social life, athletics, and in every phase of the life of
the University are wide-awake young men and women who are willing to
help themselves.

The men or women with a good education are being sought after in the
business world to-day. To know that you have gained this education by
yourself, makes you independent and places you on the road to success.

(Since writing the above Miss Wright stood a civil service examination
for clerk-draftsman and passed fourth highest in the United

  _Cheyenne, Wyo._


I entered the engineering department of the University of Texas as a
freshman in the fall of 1892 at the age of seventeen. I graduated with
the degree of C.E. in the summer of 1900, eight years later, having
spent four years of that interval as a student at the University. With
the exception of about $130, I bore all the expenses of my university

During my first year I lived with a relative and did chores about the
house in return for my board and lodging. My total expenditure in
money during this year, including two months’ preparation for entrance
examinations, was about $130. The most rigid economy was necessary, of
course, to keep expenses down to this amount.

After the first year I was out of school four years, the chief reason
therefore being lack of funds. These years (1893-1897), as will be
recalled, covered a period of financial depression, especially 1893
and 1894. Being untrained in any trade or profession, I was obliged to
be satisfied with whatever wages I could earn, and at times I was glad
enough to make a living. A long spell of typhoid fever kept me from
work for six months, and my finances suffered a corresponding setback.

I matriculated at the University again in the fall of 1897. During
the session of ’97-‘98 I earned both my board and lodging by doing
light chores and tending rooms occupied by boarders. My four years’
savings, aggregating $200, were sufficient to cover other expenses,
close economy being practiced. The first part of this year was the
most discouraging period of my university life. My outside duties were
distasteful, not through discouragement, but by reason of continued
contact with people who greatly underestimated their value. I had
become unaccustomed to study, and I had reached the years when I felt
that I should be earning an income somewhat different from higher
education. But a tenacious nature prevailed, and after a few months it
became clearer that I was on the right track.

During the vacation following my sophomore year I tried very hard to
earn something toward the expenses of another year, but it was a dull
season and work of any kind was difficult to find. Late in the summer
I got a job, and in the three remaining weeks of vacation I earned a
little more than enough to pay my fare to Austin.

I landed in Austin with $3.20, and without any plan whatever for
meeting the expenses of further work in the University. But with
confidence resulting from the optimism of youth, combined with the
experience of previous years, I fully intended to continue my
university studies, and this I did. I visited the home where I had
lived the year before, and the lady of the house kindly offered to
let me work out my board until I could make permanent arrangements. I
immediately wrote to a relative asking the loan of $50 with interest.
Although I was unable to offer security for the loan, a check came
promptly, and I was in a position to matriculate and purchase the
necessary books. I then joined a student club and remained a member
during the year, the cost of living in a club being less than in a
regular boarding house. During the year a small business in handling
student supplies netted a profit of perhaps fifty dollars. The club
paid me a small price for chopping the stove wood, and this brought in
a few dollars, although the work was done principally for exercise.

Early in April of that year I left the University to accept a position
on a survey party at $35 a month and expenses. I owed at that time
bills aggregating about $40, but these were paid by savings from my
wages before the end of the session.

At the beginning of the succeeding fall term I gave up my work with the
survey party and returned to the University to complete my course of
civil engineering. Permission was granted by the heads of the various
schools to take up senior with the understanding that junior work
omitted in the spring be made up during the year. The savings remaining
from my summer’s wages amounted to a little more than $100. I lived
at low rate boarding houses this year, except two months when I worked
for my board. My business in student supplies, this year on a larger
scale, netted about $100. I also earned a small sum during the year
by working a few hours each week in the office of an engineer in the
city, the hours of work being arranged so as not to conflict with my
lecture hours at the University. At the close of the session I had a
few dollars left over. I graduated with the degree of Civil Engineer.
Being fortunate enough to obtain at once a paying position, I was able
within two months to pay back with interest the fifty dollars borrowed
two years before. I could then follow my chosen line of work free of
debt. In regard to the benefit derived from my connection with the
University, it is always difficult to picture “what might have been”;
and also one is apt not to realize all the advantages that have come to
him as the result of higher education. In my own case I know that my
university training was well worth the time, labor, and sacrifice that
it cost; for it equipped me for entrance into a remunerative vocation,
and through the knowledge and training acquired in the four years’
course I was able successfully to complete a civil service examination
for an appointment in the technical branch of the Federal service
immediately upon graduation. Advancement and corresponding growth
of income have followed, accompanied by the advantages of extensive
travel. Furthermore, in my own case, which doubtless is typical, the
years devoted to higher studies stimulated ambition and developed a
self-confidence; otherwise, these qualities probably would have been
wanting to prompt and sustain an effort to make the best use of my
natural powers. Not the least benefit derived from a few years spent
as a student at the University is the social pleasure and practical
assistance afforded by the mutual interest of ex-students, many of whom
are now filling prominent and responsible positions.

During the last two years of my university work when tempted to quit,
or when “practical” persons suggested that I was prolonging my school
days late into life, or that I “knew enough already,” I strengthened
my purpose and met those arguments by the answer that while out of
the University I made little more than a poor living, whereas in it I
not only made a better living, but was acquiring valuable education
as well. During my struggles with financial problems when at the
University, I always received from my officers and faculty of the
University practical assistance, and this without doubt will be the
experience of any other student similarly situated.

That no young man or young woman of receptive mind, who possesses the
requisite physical and mental strength and has the necessary ambition
and determination, need be deprived of the advantages of a university
education by reason of financial limitations, has been repeatedly
demonstrated in the past. I fully believe that the result in every
case is worth the effort; but the unavoidable outside duties and the
cramped finances narrow the horizon of self-supporting students. I
would, therefore, offer to students the suggestion that they guard
as much as possible against narrowness in the acquisition of their
education and in their university life, and that they endeavor to
correct in their subsequent life after graduation any such resulting
defect.--_The University of Texas Bulletin._



I am writing this piece of personal history, not because it contains
any great amount of interest for people in general, but because it may
be an inspiration for some young woman who may chance to read it--and
she may be induced to step out and try a similar plan for herself.
Therefore, prosaic though it be, it will be, nevertheless, a true story
from first to last.

I was born and grew up like many another healthy youngster, with no
marked precocity. Because there were no good schools near by, the
children of the family were taken to a village in the county, and
placed in what was then the best private school in that part of the
State. I was then eight years of age, and this trip of sixteen miles
in wagons across the snow one January day was my first glimpse of
the outside world. I recall vividly now the impressions that came
to me that first night and during the first days. There were in the
family two older sisters and a brother, and four or five cousins and
half-uncles. I had heard them discuss the wonders of this new world
before we made the move. We had a play-house in the barn. It was in
this barn that the marvelous stories were told, and plans were made
for what we meant to do and to be when once we were there. I remember
that I would dig my toes in the ground, standing ready to swing, but
listening open-eyed, and then let myself go high in the air, dreaming
of the great future. So, the village, quaint and quiet, except for the
school, was to my youthful imagination a part of Paradise.

We lived in this village and attended this school for three years. My
mother died the first year, and a married sister came to take charge
of the household, which was coöperative in its nature, every member of
the family having his share of the daily tasks. The school was a good
one, not only for its time, but judged even now by modern standards.
It knew little of the principles of pedagogy, and had meager equipment
in library and laboratory, but for a period of a quarter of a century,
under the influence of its one principal, it had the power to transform
the lives of hundreds of crude country boys and girls. What was taught
was well taught, and the men and women who went from the school are
known to-day in places of great responsibility. But the facts learned
were a small part of that school’s work. Somehow, under the inspiration
of that principal and the assistants whom he had the wisdom to employ,
the school had a spirit akin to that of Rugby.

And so my story is more than half told. When once the mind is awake and
the soul is stirred, there is something within that bids us neither
stand nor sit, but go!

After this I had two years in school nearer my home. When I was fifteen
I was offered a position as assistant in a school and in my ignorance
as to its responsibilities I accepted. I liked the experience, and
decided that I had found my calling. The way opened for me to attend a
normal, and in one year I was graduated--full fledged, with a permanent
certificate. (I count this year as one of the best of my life, because
of the influence of one teacher there, and for this I can pardon the
absurdity of permanent certificate.)

The five years following this graduation I taught in the public
schools--five busy and happy, but hungry and unsatisfied years. During
these years I had the joy of waking up other boys and girls, and during
these years at night I had my first opportunity to read good books.

And then the way opened for me to go to the University. I had saved
what I thought was enough money to put me through, and though some
people thought I “knew enough,” I dared to lay down my work and go.
I have never regretted it for one day, in spite of the sacrifice,
hardship and anxiety when funds began to fail, I had the foolish idea
that I must get my degree before I stopped. And I did. Now, I should
say, go as long as you can with health and comfort--physical and
mental--and then, if you can not make your way, teach and go again.
You will be the better for the discipline, perhaps, and the university
the richer for your maturity.

But, a teacher may ask, why set the university as my goal? “If I have
a good position, and have managed by great privation to go through a
normal school, am I not entitled to rest a while and let well enough
alone?” Let me answer that no university claims to be the final goal.
Take your respite, teach with all your might with the best light that
you have. But go up for some summer session. You will catch the spirit;
you will soon see that you need the university, and if you have in you
the right fire, your university needs you. Then if you are too timid
to give up your position, ask your board for a leave of absence and go
back as you can and take your degree.

But my heart turns to the girl away back in the country, to the girl
who has felt her soul stir within her, but has curbed every hope
because she thinks herself shut within walls that cannot be broken
down. Don’t believe it. Keep the fire alive. Let the university know
who you are and what you want, and if you cry loud enough and long
enough--and mean it, some one will come to your rescue. Take my word
for it.--_The University of Texas Bulletin._




I am making my own way through college because there was no one at home
able to send me aid or to pay my expenses.

I am making my own way because I wanted to be a college man; to
graduate from college; to become more intelligent educationally along
general lines; to be able to take my place in public, whether on the
platform, before an audience, or in polite society at social functions,
with ease and grace instead of embarrassment. I was told a college man
could succeed better than a man without a trained mind. I found the
educated men advancing beyond me in position and salary, even though
younger, at the office where I worked. I always looked up to college
men and women, as to my elders, with a certain respect and admiration
for their superiority--derived as I believed from their college course.
I had a desire every time a public speaker referred, in my hearing, to
ancient history or to some event, poem, or historic personage, to delve
into those mysterious realms of learning so that I might appreciate
more fully the point he was trying to make clear, by an understanding
of the circumstances connected with the reference which would enable me
to make the application to the speaker’s topic.

I am working my way through college because I had read before coming,
and I have discovered for myself since coming, that many students
succeed in securing a thorough college course by their own efforts and
God’s blessing.

I am working my way through college because I have nothing to lose and
much to gain thereby.

I am devoting part of my time--usually half of each day--during the
school days, and all day Saturdays, of the two semesters comprising
the school year, to the clerical work and such other duties as I may
be called upon to perform under the direction of the president and the
registrar in the administration department of the College located at

During the summer vacations, holidays, and such other spare time as is
at my disposal, I canvass with such articles as hosiery, underwear,
neckwear, sweaters, and books, both among the members of the student
body and the citizens of the municipality in which our school is

I get on by keeping everlastingly at it, steadily, day by day and
year by year, and by a careful expenditure of the money earned, for
necessities and such worthy causes as I choose to support, avoiding
most of the luxurious and expensive pastimes for the three-fold
purpose of conserving time, money and energy.

I am encouraged along the way by the assistance, the kindness, the
moral and financial support of a host of much appreciated friends
and customers, and by the manifold blessings of God, such as health,
strength, a normally perfect body, which in His mercy He has seen fit
to bestow upon me, a poor, ignorant, ambitious boy, an humble and
unworthy follower of the Great Teacher.

  _Adrian College, Adrian, Mich._



My early education consisted of the three R’s learned at home with
my father as teacher, and a half-dozen two-month terms in the public
school. There being no high school nearer than twenty-five miles,
father kept me on the farm about three years after this and then
sent me to a preparatory school for two years. These two years
fixed my moral and religious ideas and gave me a great faith in the
possibilities and rewards of human effort. After this he sent me to a
private school in the West for one year, and the following summer to
the North Texas State Normal. During this year, especially, my desire
to be self-sustaining had grown to be very strong, and it led me to
obtain a six-year first grade certificate to teach in that State.

Scarcely had my certificate been issued when a call came to return
and take charge of a private rural school. The call was accepted, and
school opened immediately upon my return. During this year I made up
my mind to attend Peabody College and secure a life certificate good
in a number of Southern States instead of returning to Texas for a
permanent certificate. All I needed to carry out this plan was the
money. Father had helped me until I was able to help myself. I was not
willing longer to spend his money. There was only one thing left me to
do, and that was to enter the world’s workshop.

The next two years found me very busy, on the farm, in the log woods,
and teaching rural schools. These two years rewarded me with enough
money to pay my expenses during the two-year normal course I had
planned. My application for entrance showed I had almost enough credit
for college, and my plan was immediately changed from a two-year to a
four-year course.

Having only two years provided for, I felt the need of doing outside
work, but with a little entrance requirement to make up I found only
enough spare time to work in a grocery store on Saturdays to pay my
room rent. When the next year came the duties of business manager of
the student monthly magazine, which left me no time to earn anything.
Success in this enterprise, however, opened up greater opportunities
the following year. The faculty committee made me joint manager of the
college book-store. This work paid me enough for board and room. To
provide for my other expenses I joined a crew of college men who were
going to Virginia to sell books for a local publishing house. Besides
furnishing the necessary means this work gave me a most valuable
experience, and an opportunity to travel about twenty-six hundred
miles, visit a large number of cities and see ten States.

Every expense of my junior year was now provided for, but this did not
satisfy me. My eyes had been opened to see another opportunity. During
this year in addition to my work in the classroom, in the book-store,
and in the literary society, I found time to edit both the student
monthly magazine and the college annual. Besides this I would use
spare moments in taking orders for class pins, graduation invitations,
and in soliciting business for a clothing house and a local jewelry
establishment. I also joined my room-mate in organizing and conducting
the annual Thanksgiving party to Mammoth Cave. These various sources
yielded me half enough for my expenses the next year, my senior year.

But before my junior year had closed came the radical announcement
that Peabody College would be discontinued for reorganization and
rebuilding. This left me at sea, with insufficient means for a whole
year and the disadvantage of selecting a new college. I decided to
finish in one of the larger universities at a greater expense. This was
met by another contract with the same publishing house. This contract
was for six months and netted me above all expenses over one thousand
dollars. Then I entered the University of Chicago, where I could pursue
my work during the winter and continue with the publishing company
during the vacation, helping not only myself, but many other ambitious
young men secure the means for an education, and a practical experience
that will serve them to advantage all their lives.

  _Wildersville, Tenn._



Why am I making my way through college? Like all normal young men I am
possessed with an ambitious, enterprising spirit, which continually
urges me to do things and be somebody. I am led by a natural inherent
desire to press forward. I feel that, sometime in the future, when the
greater part of my life is behind me, I shall look back over the years
that are gone, and shall measure what I am with what I might have been.
At that time, whenever it may be, I feel that, if I am not able to say
that I have not lived in vain, life will seem empty and meaningless to
me. I want to be, in every respect, a success in life. In short, I am

Ambition may manifest itself in one or many of several ways. In days
of yore, it rushed the impetuous youth into battle field. To-day it
is very apt to express itself in a desire for a higher education.
Everything depends on the attitude one takes toward higher education.
I feel that the great problems of the day demand the attention of the
best and broadest men that the age affords, and that no uneducated man
can ever hope to realize his best. I think that any man, in order to
do the most good for himself and for his fellow beings, must be able
to plunge into the battle of life unhampered by lack of preparation.
I realize that many walks of life are open only to those who have a
college or university education.

Here, then, is why I am working my way through college: because I
feel that by so doing I can broaden myself physically, mentally, and
morally; that I can fit myself to cope with the questions of the day,
and conquer; that it will enlarge my possibilities in life almost
beyond comparison; that it will not only enable me to become a success,
but, if I apply myself rightly, that it will leave me in a position to
do something of value for coming generations; and that, for my having
lived and done, the world may, in some way, be bettered.

Many are the means which I employ to accomplish this end. It requires
not only the making of money, but the saving of money as well. It
requires a systematic arrangement of time, and a constant concentration
of energy to the task at hand.

During the school year I have done almost all degrees of physical
labor, ranging from folding papers to shoveling coal and digging tile
ditches. My motto is, “anything that is honest.” A college town always
affords plenty of employment. I find that steady work of some kind is
much more satisfactory than depending upon odd jobs. I wait on tables
in a hotel for my board and like the plan very much.

I spend the summer months in the country, generally at farm work.
I sold books one summer. Last summer I spent a month and a half at
tiling, and find that it pays very well, but the work is rather severe
for a student. I am able to save from $90 to $125 during the three
summer months. With this much in hand I am able to meet expenses very

Working one’s way through college demands economy, hard work, and
determination; but the end in view justifies the means. It is a real
pleasure for one to feel that he is doing things himself. With the
possibilities that are open to the young man to-day it seems that
everyone ought to be willing to devote a few years to preparing himself
to better understand and deal with the conditions under which we live.

  _Simpson College, Indianola, Iowa._



In every college town there are many openings for the young man and
woman who wish to earn their way through college. There are always
men who will make room in their homes or in their place of business,
for that young man who is anxious enough about acquiring an education
to work for it with his hands. Seldom do we find such a person making
his way through school by working at the same thing each year. More
frequently we find them working at the best thing that offers. It is in
this way that I have made and am making my way.

Usually young ambitious persons work their way through school because
it is their only means of acquiring an education. In other words, they
are self-supporting. Others, however, who are not forced to do outside
work in order to go to school, find it very advisable to take upon
themselves a certain amount in addition to their studies.

The first thing I asked myself was: Am I able, physically and mentally,
to work my way through school? Some are not physically able to do
outside work and to carry their school work at the same time. Others
are not mentally qualified to pursue their studies in an official
manner while making their expenses, in whole or in part. I have found,
however, that by making a definite schedule for each day, I can give
a certain amount of time to outside work, though the time allotted to
each of my school subjects may possibly be more or less than the time
required by others for those same studies. It may be seen that it is
not for everyone to carry regular work in school and while doing so to
earn his expenses. Yet if a man can he is better off to busy himself
with work that is bringing him an income. In taking outside work, I
feel that I can do it without detracting from the time required for the
preparation of my studies.

Again, I have always been taught that for a man who has never been
placed under obligations to himself in any way, it is better that he
bear a little responsibility. The young men who jump out into the
whirl of life’s battles are at a great disadvantage, but the young
men who, while in school, have learned how to contend with impending
circumstances, will be enabled to cope more successfully with the
circumstances which will surely confront them after their school days
have ended. I believe that every thinking person will bear me out
when I say that the strongest college graduates are those who have
known what it was to roll up their sleeves and to help do the ordinary
commonplace things. If, by being responsible, one acquires a new
experience and added strength, it is essential that we assume some
responsibility. Therefore, I feel that I am making my education twofold
in value by working my way through school.

To many there comes the opportunity of doing some work along the line
of their intended profession and in such cases outside work is to be
encouraged. Such is my privilege. I am studying for the ministry and
have been preaching for four years in connection with my school work,
earning in this way the greater part of my expenses. In that four
years, I have written, in outline form, three hundred and ninety-two
sermons. To some this may not represent much, but to me it represents a
great deal, including extensive research along different lines and the
task of putting together my thoughts in a logical form. I feel that I
will be more capable of preaching my first sermon after leaving school,
having had all these experiences in the pulpit and in the study.

Furthermore, practical experience brings us into close touch with
people. In this manner, have I learned the different ways of the church
and I have become acquainted with the various classes of people which
are represented in the church. This means a great deal to any man, for
there are many complex situations in connection with the church, and
there are also many matters associated indirectly with the church,
which demand solution.

The first means by which I made a part of my expenses was by scrubbing
halls and washing windows. This I did in compensation for my board
and a part of my room rent. It was new work to me; for I had never
scrubbed a floor in my life. Yet it enabled me to see the world from
the standpoint of the porter and I frankly confess that, after I had
once gone through this experience, I had a different regard for the men
and women of this occupation.

Later by selling and delivering papers, I got to see the world from
the standpoint of the newsboy. This proved to be a valuable experience
to me. For the first time in my life I faced the mobs of the street
and transacted business with them. The many faces into which I looked
made impressions upon my life, some of which have been lasting. The
care free and the burdened; the hilarious and the melancholy; the
custom-bound and the independent; the victims of disease and those to
whom disease was unknown; in fact, people representing every condition
and every class of life were among those with whom I came in contact.
The good which I received from dealing with these widely different
and distinct types of humanity is measured only by the resolutions
that a man makes when he sees the beautiful and the unattractive, the
uplifting and the debasing, the efficient and the inefficient, all
within the experience of a day.

After my experience as a newsboy, I secured a place in the college
dining hall to carry off and to scrape the dishes. This I did for a
school year. Though I had little liking for this work, I am better off
because I did it and I have more sympathy for the housewife, the daily
routine of whose duties every true mother must endure. From this place
I was transferred a step higher. I began to wait on tables--a good
place in which to cultivate one’s temper and to learn the art of being
patient. Here one deals with all kinds of temperaments. The waiter must
listen to the reasons (given by the girl who came in late) why toast
is better buttered before it is served, and why coffee ought to be
eliminated from the menu. Of course, he comes in contact with others
who do not care what they have to eat, just so they have enough of it,
and so it is hot. Hence, such work is valuable experience, and the
waiter who for two or three years finds these faults repulsive to him
and then allows himself to drift into the same sort of thing, deserves
little pity.

At the present I am holding a student pastorate in the Methodist
Episcopal Church. I can reach my appointment by leaving Saturday
night, being able also to get back in time for my first class Monday.
A great deal of fault is found with the student preacher, and usually
this criticism originates within the college halls. In some schools he
is regarded as one who cannot do anything else but preach--a sort of
abnormal being; in others, however, he gets the respect which is justly
due him. We do not need to investigate very far to find that most
denominational schools owe their very existence to the never-tiring
work of the clergy. By making my school life twofold, I am enabled to
state my theories and conclusions from actual experience; for each day
I receive incentives which serve to promote the line of work which I am
pursuing and if I should once more go through the process of finding my
place in the world, I am of the opinion that I would be drawn into the
work of a student preacher.

We often hear that the college is a place where preparation for the
work of life is made. Our elders tell us that the work of the college
serves to broaden our horizon by changing our perspective; but the
college, to the man who has never supported himself, will not mean a
revelation to the world’s activities in their most true and real form.
After graduating from college a man will find that he has awakened in a
real world in which men are bearing responsibilities, and will realize
that in every phase of life the world is calling for men who have had
the most experience, who have received the strength which comes only
from carrying a load.

  _Indianola, Iowa._



The demand of to-day and to-morrow will be for men who have had a
college training, while the men who have little or no education will be
compelled to fill the mediocre places in life. This fact was profoundly
impressed upon my mind while yet in the grades of our common school.
The per cent. of the men who have made good under adverse circumstances
awoke in me dissatisfaction with my surroundings and circumstances. I
resolved to attain some better station in life.

The fact that Abraham Lincoln, in spite of his physical appearance,
financial condition, and many obstacles, any one of which would
discourage the ordinary boy, attained the highest honors in the gift of
our nation, was an inspiration to me. Marshall Field at one time was
a poor boy, a clerk, in a country store, who, upon visiting Chicago,
resolved to become a great merchant.

I perceived that the keynote of the greatness of such men as Lincoln
and Field was not only in having an ideal, but that, never ceasing,
never flinching, never faltering, they kept their ideal before them.
These men realized there was no victory in retreat. They were men with
a mission and an aim. They had faith in the standard they were striving
to attain, and consequently they were truly successful.

Because of the fact that the world has an unlimited field for the man
with a college education, while the uneducated man is forced to mingle
with the mass in the lower walks of life, a college education became
my ideal. Circumstances were such that I had to work my way through
college, if I ever attained my ideal. At first the barrier seemed
insurmountable, and I allowed myself to think of a college education
more as a dream than something which I might actually obtain. After
coming in contact with some college men, however, I found that my
dream of an ideal might become a reality. Through many discouraging
difficulties somehow I clung tenaciously to my ideal, broke down every
barrier that arose, and came to Simpson College.

Everything was entirely different from what I had pictured. However, my
ideas are not changed so much as they are strengthened and broadened.
The vital question of work while in school, which at first seemed dark
and gloomy, has changed its aspect entirely. In the first place the
thing that impressed me most forcibly was that the boys and girls who
take class honors are students who are compelled to work their way
through college. It is not that any of us lack talent. We all have
sufficient talent, but where we are deficient is in will-power to
persistently keep our ideals before us and attain that ideal with the
vigor of a Field or a Lincoln.

The next thing that I readily perceive is that the student who earns
his way through appreciates his opportunity. He realizes that fortune
smiles upon those who roll up their sleeves, put their shoulder to the
wheel, and have backbone and stamina to fight the battle, and not turn
aside for a little dirt or hard physical labor. The student who strikes
the word “luck” from his vocabulary waits for no psychological moment,
loiters not for a miracle to occur, but rather creates the miracle,
makes his own opportunities.

In our college, here in the Middle West, the manner of earning one’s
way varies a great deal. We are blessed with a rich country and the
greater per cent. of the people are prosperous. The majority of
students canvass during the summer vacation. I was formerly employed
as a clerk in a hardware store before coming to college. Next summer,
however, I will take up some form of canvassing. Canvassing has two
distinct features that should appeal to the student; first, the
opportunity to study human nature, and secondly, the fact that the
harder you work the more you earn. Next school year I will have a
position whereby I can earn my board and room, and with my summer
earnings I shall be able to return for another year’s work.

My first reason for working my way through college was because of
financial necessity. Now if I were to choose between the two avenues
of securing a college education I would cast my lot with the boy who
works his way. His conceptions of life are broader, and he is better
fitted for the battles of life he will meet when he leaves college.
Thus, in many ways I consider the necessity of working one’s way
through college not a detriment, but a blessing in disguise, which
gives one a greater knowledge and a broader conception of what a life
worth while really means.

  _Simpson College, Indianola, Iowa._



It has been my misfortune, or fortune, to be reared practically in the
arms of poverty. I have spent the most of my days on a little farm in
southwest Arkansas, the family consisting of six children and father
and mother, living in an old log house on the farm. Just at the time
when we were getting to where we could make a crop without buying
everything on time, we lost about all we had on account of the ill
health of my mother.

I was eighteen years of age when I finished the seventh grade. I
thought then that I had enough education for any ordinary man. I had
finished geography in the high school, I knew United States history
fairly well, and had been through fractions in arithmetic; so I
thought I was prepared for life. Besides having enough education, as I
supposed, mother’s health was very bad; so I decided that it was time
for me to stop fooling with school and go to work.

The next school term came around and mother’s health was no better;
so as I had to stay at home, I decided to attend school. Three days
after school was out, mother died. “Now as mother is gone and I have
finished one grade more than is necessary, I must get out and make
something to replace our loss,” was about as high a thought as ever
entered my mind.

Along in the summer I went to New Mexico. There were several children
where I stayed, and when they started to school, the thoughts of the
dear old school days came to me, and I wished that I were in school.
As soon as I could get money enough, I returned home and entered
school. Although I had learned enough to begin to realize my ignorance,
I was still determined to make something to replace our loss. With
this in view, I went to Texas, before school was out, to take a
position at $30.00 per month and board. This was more than the average
man received; yet it did not take me long to realize the fact that
competition is too hard for any ordinary man to earn enough by honest
labor to place himself in good circumstances in twelve or fifteen
years. I had come to desire a nice home surrounded by the comforts of
life, and when this desire dawned upon me, I decided to finish the high

I returned home and entered school at the beginning of the term. After
some insisting on the part of my professor, I decided to go through
college. I had practically two years of high school work before me, and
I had no money at all; still, the more I thought about it, the more
determined I was to take a college education.

By working hard and doing without many necessities, I managed to
graduate from the high school at the end of two years, with first
honors. As the time of my departure for college drew near, I found
that my determination increased. I borrowed a little money with which
to make the start. I arrived at Fayetteville, Arkansas, September 18,
1912. As the old boys have nearly all of the work about the University,
it is hard for a freshman to get work. But after school had been going
on a week, I secured a position which paid me $5.00 per month. I soon
made a good many friends, including the commandant. With their help I
have been able to get enough work to carry me through my first year. I
wish to say to those who read this, that I never could have made my way
this far without these friends, and a determination. I try to make all
the friends I can, but I never let a friend come between me and duty.

  _University of Arkansas,
  Fayetteville, Arkansas._



    Have you succeeded as yet on the way to success
      Or has your life been one of despair?
    Have you taken life in its daily process,
      Or chosen your path with a care?

A defeat so long as it is not on the roll of the Grim Reaper is not a
defeat but a victory. You cannot win without experience, and defeat is
only a blazer to the goal of success.

You can afford to take the harsh treatment from the hands of the world,
because it means that later on in life you will be able to undergo the
same without flinching.

Set your mark and keep your eye on it. When every chance seems gone and
all the world fighting, you look towards your goal--stop and think--do
not rush off into the old road of “I give up.” Life is worth more to
you than a complete failure--you can succeed half way and be a howling
success. Keep your eye on your mark.

Failures are recorded from the mere fact that a man quits at the first
mile in the race of life. From the time you start in until the end has
arrived, form a determination to succeed in some way or another. Make
it a persistent effort even though failures pile high on your list.

You cannot gain the determination in a day nor a year. Every day of
your life beats the time as a pendulum of a clock, and every day you
must try to get that determination. In the end even though you haven’t
shone as a brilliant star, you have formed an idea of what it means to
be determined.

A man who has not suffered defeat is the man who will utterly fail when
defeat does come. Experience is teacher of belief, and in the defeats
you receive you learn to love the battle of life. The realization comes
that life is a little of your own making and not at all a matter of

Work is an excellent developer of the mind. It winds you in and out
through the different roads of humanity and you come to a point of
seeing the realness of life. The unreal is left standing as a skeleton,
weak and frail. From your position in which you are toiling for an
education you cannot fail to choose the reality. It has a determination
and all views are in accordance with yours--a persistent effort to

  _Shurtleff College, Alton, Ill._



I am glad to be numbered in that group of students who are working
their way through college. It has fallen to my lot for many years to
make my own way in the world. Early in life I decided that the best
thing I could do was to obtain a good practical education as soon as I
could, and then I would be better able to make a living.

I had no means with which to go to school, as my parents died when I
was quite small, leaving me none of this world’s goods; but, through a
friend I heard of a school near my home in Georgia, where one could go
without much money. So I applied for admission, and entered The Berry
School of Rome, Ga., in 1908. It is a Christian industrial school for
country boys whose means are limited. I remained there four years,
working at the school during the summer to pay all expenses for the
following year. I finished there in 1912.

It was while I was at The Berry School that my vision of life was
broadened, and I was determined that my main object would not be simply
to make a living, but to be of some service in the world, especially
to those who were less fortunate than I. I decided, therefore, to go
through college, if possible. It was the influence of the noble founder
and teachers of Berry School which gave me a desire to go to college,
and it was they who helped me financially through my first year at

This is my second year at Davidson College, North Carolina, and I
believe I can finish the four-year course without very much more
outside help. The first part of last year, I put in a good deal of my
spare time in working for some of the professors, but in the spring
term I spent the time in collecting Kodak films to be sent off for
developing, for which I received a liberal commission. I found this
work to be much more profitable than the other odd jobs I had been
doing. I still have this agency, and besides, my room-mate and I
represent a laundry and a shoe repairing establishment of Charlotte, N.
C. The three agencies take up very little more time than one, yet, our
profits are more than trebled.

For the spring term I will wait on tables at one of the boarding
houses, and this will pay my board for the term. I also have the
monitorship of our class, and this pays well for the time it requires.
I don’t say that with all this work my studies are not somewhat
neglected, but with systematic work I do not believe it will interfere
very seriously with my classroom work.

Last spring when I was looking out for work for the summer, my
attention was called to that of canvassing. I never thought I would
like this work, but knew that there was good pay in it, so I decided
to try it. I liked the work much better than I expected, and it is very
profitable business. I believe that the average student who works hard
could make at least $100.00 per month canvassing, and meeting with
different people throughout the country and studying human nature is
certainly profitable educationally. I know the experience has helped
me a great deal, and I would not take a considerable sum of money for
the training I received while canvassing. I am going into the same work
next summer.

I don’t believe that any young man should deprive himself of a college
education, simply because he thinks he cannot afford it. My advice is
to start right in, and some kind of work will present itself, enabling
you to work your way to graduation.

  _Davidson College, Davidson, N. C._



To-day if a young man or woman lacking financial means wishes to get
an education, the question is not: Am I able to get it? It is: Am I
willing to work for it? I have not completed my education, but I am
working for it. With the hope that it may encourage someone who thinks
working for an education is a colossal task, or that it may suggest a
way, I shall tell how I have been working my way through college.

At fourteen I debated whether I should complete my high school course
or not and ended with the belief that a commercial school would give
me a more practical education than the high school and would put me on
a salary basis when I was through. There were six of us children at
home; as they would grow up the expense of keeping our family decently
would soon exceed father’s income, for he was a wage earner. It would
cost about $15.00 per month to go to the commercial school. This father
could spare out of our month’s savings, but it would be a sacrifice;
yet he was willing to do it. I decided to get a business education,
but determined to pay the expenses myself. At Laurium, Mich., two
miles from my home, was the Laurium Commercial School. The day after
my father and I had agreed upon the course I should follow, I went to
Laurium and had a talk with the principal of the school. He needed a
janitor and I offered to do the sweeping, dusting, window-washing,
firing and all duties incident to a janitorship in return for all
expenses. He hesitated, for I was young, and small for my age. Finally
he agreed, and one day after the opening of the regular fall session I
was at work on my Bookkeeping.

It was hard work, especially when winter came, when I had to trudge
through the deep snow, and sometimes it was dangerous, when a
northwestern blizzard would come sailing over us from Lake Superior.
The stoves of the school had to be fed during the months between
October and April. It was necessary to carry the fuel from the basement
to the third floor at convenient times and to arrive early in the
morning to enliven the fires. It was hard work on the muscles, but my
heart was seldom heavy, for the students were considerate and kind and
they made me feel inspired rather than humiliated; in fact, I was one
of them. I succeeded in covering as much work as the average student
and at an average standing, and in a year and a half I had completed
the combined commercial course.

Just before leaving the commercial school, I made application for a
position with a commission house in our city. They took me on trial and
for awhile it seemed as if they would not keep me. But I succeeded in
sticking and by burning some midnight oil, and a lot of digging managed
to fall in line with the work, and it was a task, for the accounting
system used was a cost-finding system and made the work of the
bookkeeper difficult and a matter of great responsibility. I remained
in this position three years when I resigned to accept a position with
a lumbering firm during one winter’s operations.

I had long come to learn that my education was inadequate and many
times regretted that I left the high school. To make the best of it, I
spent most of my evenings in the public library and in my room covering
lost ground. As my ignorance made itself more and more manifest, I
began to think out some plan by which I could get to college. The
winter I worked with the lumbering firm, I was employed three evenings
a week tutoring a class of men in a large coöperative department
store, who wanted to make ready for promotions. This work brought me
some money and experience. The money I had saved would not keep me
more than a year in college, but I thought that with a little more
preparation I could teach the commercial subjects in some college in
return for my expenses. So I resolved to take my earnings and attend
the Zanerian School of Penmanship, Columbus, Ohio, that I might be
capable of teaching Penmanship as well as Stenography and Bookkeeping;
but father was stricken with pneumonia and disabled for six months and
I gave him the greater part of my savings to help him out, and retained
only $150.00, which would pay all traveling expenses, tuition and room
rent, but would leave nothing for board. Yet I went to Columbus, and a
week had not passed before I had a place as waiter in one of the best
restaurants in the city, where I worked 2-1/2 hours a day and got my
three meals, and the work did not interfere with my classes. Numbers of
students in the Ohio State University and other colleges of Columbus
earned their board that way. I made many acquaintances through my
connection with the church, Sunday school and Y. M. C. A., but my being
a waiter in a restaurant did not seem to hurt my standing with them.

Before eight months had passed my money was spent and I began to seek
a position. It would not have been difficult to get employment as a
bookkeeper or stenographer, but I wanted to teach. I was not seeking
long. Mr. Zaner, principal of the school, called me to his desk one
morning and asked me if I wanted to go to North Carolina to teach. I
replied that I would. After a short correspondence I had my contract
with the Bingham School, Mebane, N. C. At this time it was necessary
to borrow some money, which I did, and after making a little pleasure
trip through the eastern states I arrived at Bingham School and began
to teach Bookkeeping, Shorthand and Typewriting. That was last year.
During the day I taught and during the evenings I studied history,
literature, mathematics and science. The reading I had done came to
good stead, and I found that I was not so far behind in my education
after all. Before the year was half gone I came in touch with Elon
College about fifteen miles away. Learning that the institution had a
commercial department, I wrote to the president, offering my services
as a commercial teacher for expenses in the college. My offer was
finally accepted. When spring came I had paid all debts and saved some
money. With it I went to Rochester, N. Y., and attended the Rochester
Business Institute, securing a teacher’s diploma.

Last September I entered upon the work I am doing here. As a student
I have twenty hours of college work per week and I am teaching
bookkeeping and stenography. Altogether it amounts to about thirty-two
hours of work per week. It gives me much to do, yet I am not sorry, for
I have no chance to waste any time and there is not much tendency to
fall into lazy habits. Besides my regular work I give one and one-half
hours daily to gymnasium and spend every Monday evening in literary
society work; in fact I enjoy as many privileges and opportunities as
any other student has time to enjoy, and I believe that I would not
be doing any better if someone else was paying my expenses. Now the
way is open before me to get my college education. When the proper
time comes it is my plan to enter the University of Michigan to study
for a profession. At the present time my purse is empty, yet I am
sure there will be a way; there always was a way when I was willing
to pay the price, namely, a little hard work and a careful management
of my time and means. Of course, there have been times of doubt and
disappointment, when I have been among strangers, or when temporary
pressure of work has made me feel that I could not hold out another
minute; but those incidents have been eclipsed in the regular progress
of better experiences and now I feel that I would not have the past to
be other than it has been, and I face the future with a hopeful heart.

  _Elon College, N. C._



After graduating from a high school in 1907, I was thrown upon my
own resources. The possibility of entering college and paying my own
way seemed only a faint hope. I had read of such things but, at the
time, it seemed too great a handicap with which to burden myself. For
three years I worked at the collection window of the First National
Bank in my home town, and in September, 1910, quit my position and
left for Minneapolis, determined to take at least a year or two at
the University of Minnesota. I had four hundred dollars in my pocket,
the result of three years’ savings. My first work was given to me by
the secretary of the University Y. M. C. A., and for two years I took
care of the Y. M. C. A. building and the university observatory on
the campus. For this, I received twenty dollars a month, which helped
considerably,--especially in view of the fact that I had joined a
fraternity and my expenses were somewhat higher than the average. My
first summer vacation was spent in a machine shop and I saved $150.00
from my summer’s wages. This and what I had earned while the University
was in session paid my expenses the first two years. By this time
I had decided to finish my course at any cost. The second and third
summer vacations were spent at outdoor carpenter work which proved both
remunerative and healthful. In my junior year I was given the care
of the furnace at the fraternity house, in which I lived, in return
for my board. I was also advertising manager of the _Gopher_, the
junior annual, and solicited advertising on a commission basis. In the
meantime, I was active in college activities and had been elected to an
associate editorship of the _Minnesota Daily_, the student newspaper.
In the spring of last year the students elected me to fill the position
of managing editor, carrying with it a salary of twenty-five dollars a
month. The amount has since been raised to thirty dollars a month for
the nine months of the college year. At odd times I have done newspaper
work for metropolitan newspapers. At the present time I am receiving,
besides my regular salary, from five to eight dollars a week from
Minneapolis newspapers for reporting university news. The University is
also paying me $5 a month for drilling as captain in the cadet corps,
making my total earnings from $50 to $60 per month at the present time.
I am carrying full senior work in the University and, although it keeps
me busy handling it all, I expect to graduate next June without any
conditions or failures.

What has been accomplished is no more than any young man can do. I have
been especially favored at all times with the best of friends, who
have pushed me forward at every opportunity. A willingness to work is,
I have found, the best asset.

  _University of Minnesota,
  Minneapolis, Minn._



Being filled with the determination to force the future to surrender
its best opportunities to me, and fully realizing that this
determination must be the mainstay of my confidence in my own powers
to accomplish whatever end I had in view, I set out for college one
September day, the goal of my educational dreams. I had forty dollars
in my pocket and possessed hopes of securing several jobs that would
furnish me board, room, and a little spending money.

I spent most of my days around and about Dayton, Ohio, prior to this
time and had never been in a larger city. Columbus, Ohio, the capitol
of the State and the location of Ohio State University, appealed to me
as being a place that must surely afford me an opportunity to earn my
way through college.

Having arrived within her borders, I immediately hastened to the
vicinity of the University and rented a room. I soon found a room-mate,
the room costing us seven dollars. I had decided that if necessary I
could sleep in a hay-mow and I would have done that very thing before I
would have turned my steps homeward.

I next picked out a restaurant. The proprietress came forward and gave
a smile which encouraged me to present my cause to her. It was not
very many minutes before I secured a promise of a job,--to be taken on
probation. This was what I wanted, as I knew I could soon impress her
that I meant business.

But this only guaranteed me my board. I then sought a job up town as
clerk. I had had a little experience in a shoe store at home and felt
rather safe in tackling such a job in Columbus. At the second store
to which I applied, I was able to make a bargain to serve as clerk
nine hours every Saturday for three dollars. This made me feel that my
present college problem was solved.

Before the year was up I lost my shoe store position and applied at a
haberdasher store. I had little experience in this line, but felt that
if I should heed instruction carefully and work diligently I could
hold down the position. Owing to this fact I was never disappointed by
losing work due to my inability to “make good.”

During the summer, at the close of the first year, I was able to secure
a position as stenographer. I obtained my stenographic knowledge the
year after I left high school, working during the day and attending a
business school in the evenings. I might also state here that I was
able to supplement my earnings during my first year at the University
by little jobs of typewriting to be had about the campus. The money
that I earned during the summer had to be partially diverted into other
channels, and left me but little more to start the second year than I
had the first. I was a little more familiar with surroundings, however,
and knew just what avenues to take for remunerative employment. I
went about it almost as I did the preceding year. I first obtained a
restaurant job. Then it was not long before I heard of a stenographic
position open requiring several hours of my time each evening. This was
the most lucrative channel I had yet entered. It was not permanent,
however, as the employer realized that for two more dollars per week
he could command the services of a girl for full time each day. I then
returned to the restaurant, and now claim it to be my only salvation.

If I may add a few words of advice to this experience of mine for
any who are similarly determined, I would say, “Don’t give up the
ship,” even though you are unable to see from whence your next dollar
is coming. Make every possible avenue refuse you first. Enlist the
services of your professors, make application with every employment
bureau, go up one street and down the other searching for work. This I
have done and have met with success. If you will do it, your college
course is an assured reality. If you are a man of this caliber, your
studies will not be neglected. After your graduation you will enter
life, having met all its requirements for success.

  _Ohio State University,
  Columbus, Ohio._



I had never seriously considered going to college until, during my
junior year in high school, a visiting university professor, who
addressed the student body on “The Advantages of a College Education,”
offered statistics to show that, while only two per cent. of the
high school students of this country ever graduate from college,
about seventy-five per cent. of the successful men to-day are college
graduates. This came as a surprise and a revelation to me, and set me
to thinking seriously about what advantages a college education really
had to offer, with the result that I decided that it has many in this
day and age. And so I resolved to go to college.

Then there arose the question of finances. I consulted my parents; they
encouraged me in my ambition to continue my education, but told me that
if I went away to school it would be on my own resources. However,
I knew that there were a great many self-supporting students in the
colleges of the United States. I had sufficient confidence in myself to
be willing to make a trial at earning my way as others were doing.

I entered the University of Arizona in the fall of 1911. The first two
or three weeks I made expenses by beating carpets, hoeing weeds, and
mopping floors; then a newly made friend, the superintendent of the
University dining hall, gave me a job there waiting on table. I was
the only student waiter. There were, in addition, eight or nine Japs
serving as waiters, with whom I managed to get along all right. From
that time on I have had easy sailing. To-day, the Japs are no longer
in the mess hall, but in their places are thirteen student waiters.
This is indicative of the rapid growth of our college, and particularly
of the number of self-supporting students who enter every year.
Ninety per cent. of the men students of the University of Arizona are
self-supporting; this is said to be the highest average of any college

There are three essentials that the young man who enters college with
the intention of working his way must possess. First of all, he must
have stamina. Call it what you will: “grit” or “sand” or “pluck,” it
all amounts to the same thing, that he must “screw his courage to the
sticking point,” and, in the face of disappointments and rebuffs, keep
it screwed there.

The fellow who can best do this is the one who has the happy faculty
of looking on the bright side of things. For the young man who starts
out to work his way through college, an optimistic temperament and a
flat pocket-book are to be preferred to a pessimistic disposition and
a purse with $25 in it. The college or university man working his way
should take to heart that little rhyme which says:

    “It is easy enough to be pleasant
    When life goes by like a song,
      But the man worth while
      Is the man who can smile
    When everything goes dead wrong.”

A third essential is inventiveness and originality of mind. Many a
fellow has worked his way because he could invent opportunities,
while others sat and waited for them to come their way. The young man
who goes to college ambitious to work his way ought not to become
discouraged when he gets there because he finds the usual occupations
taken. Let him consider that they are not the only possible ways of
earning money; that there are others, dozens, yes, scores, of other
ways, and that it remains for him to invent the way.

These three essentials just discussed are those that are demanded of
the young man. And in return he gains from his experience--what?

For one thing, a stronger confidence in himself; a deeper, more abiding
faith in his own abilities; he puts them to the test, and finds
them not wanting. And if he finds any wanting, he feels stronger in
realizing his weaknesses.

Another thing that he gains is a surer appreciation of the value of
money. He may never have had to earn much before. But when at college
he is thrown on his own resources, when he gets each dollar by hard
work, he appreciates its value--and he will be slow to waste it.

Grit, an optimistic outlook, and a quickness to discern or to invent
opportunities, then, are the three essentials for the young man
ambitious to earn his way through school. And when he has achieved
his ambition, when his college days are over, and someone asks him,
“Was the experience worth all the hardships it cost you?” he can
unhesitatingly answer, “Yes, many, many times over.”

  _University of Arizona,
  Tucson, Ariz._



When a boy at the age of sixteen, I lived with my father on a very
poor, rocky, stumpy farm near Joplin, Mo. My education and financial
condition were very limited. I attended the country graded school until
graduation. One day as I was toiling among the stumps on our little
farm, it came into my mind, “What good am I doing here, and what good
might I do had I the opportunity?” It was only a few weeks before I
received a circular letter from the Joplin Business College, offering
me the opportunity of attending this school and of making my expenses
while there. I had only $25 and to me the task seemed hard and the
burden heavy; but within there was a burning desire for something
better, something more elevating than the companions with whom I had

On the 19th day of November, 1909, I entered the Joplin Business
College. I enrolled and graduated in the bookkeeping, stenographic, and
penmanship departments within a period of two years. I was compelled
to earn entirely my board, room, and clothing while I was attending
school; and, in order to do this, I waited on tables in restaurants,
mowed lawns on Saturdays during the summer, did janitor’s work at
the business college, was janitor at the Presbyterian church, read
gas meters for the Joplin Gas Company, and worked in a shoe store on
Saturday nights.

After graduating, September 1, 1911, I was chosen as assistant
secretary of the Y. M. C. A., Pittsburg, Kansas. I had been with
the Y. M. C. A. only one year when I concluded that my work in that
department was limited, and that I needed more education in order to be
of service to my fellow-men. The boys’ secretary assisted me in getting
the position as private secretary to Dr. Campbell, President of Cooper
College, which I am now attending. In this way I am able to make my
expenses and carry regular college work at the same time.

During the summer months I travel as field representative for the
Pittsburg Business College. In this way I make enough to buy my
clothing and pay incidental expenses during the winter.

Every man who makes his way for three or four years in a college of any
kind realizes in a full measure the value of his time and money. He
learns to have confidence in himself; he learns to be more dependent
upon himself; and in many ways he learns the ways of the world.

Many times during my business college career I went without meals in
order that I might have enough money to meet the other expenses of the
month. My tuition was paid, only as I could make enough over my board
and room to make payments on it.

My desire is to become a Y. M. C. A. secretary, and it is to this end
that I am working. I hope to attain this blessing by making my own way
through college.

  _Cooper College, Sterling, Kansas._



At the age of twenty-one Leroy had developed the idea that he ought
to do something for mankind and for the world in which he lived. One
day he sat in the shade of a large tree pondering over this matter,
and he thought, “I can never do my part in making the world without
an education.” And he thought that every man had a part; for he had
come to see through his reading that most men who had accomplished
things were educated. But as he turned these things over in his mind,
he remembered that somewhere he had heard of young men working their
way through college, and he said, as if speaking to the ants that were
ascending and descending the trunk of the tree, “If others have done
that, I can.”

After he had rested, he got up, went into the house and said, “Mother,
I believe I will go to college.” But his mother said, “Why, my dear
boy, you have no money, and your father could not help you, for he is
not well and cannot support the family. You have been so very good to
stay at home after you were of age to help us and give us the money
you have earned at spare times.” Leroy said, “Well, Mother, others have
worked their way through, why can’t I?”

On January 22, 1908, Leroy arrived in a college town in the Middle
West. After he had introduced himself to the treasurer of the College,
he was questioned as to his means, and replied that he had but 58 cents
left. When he was asked how he expected to go through college without
money, he answered, “By work.” That was a satisfactory reply, so he was
assigned to a room.

The weather was bad for some time, and work was scarce, but after a
while things got better. One day a fellow student said to him, “I know
where you can get work for your board and room by taking care of a
cow.” He investigated and accepted the work, and held it until school
was out in June. During vacation he worked on a farm and on a railroad
section, and returned to school in September. Everything was all right
until February eleventh, when he, along with a hundred other boys,
was put in quarantine with smallpox. For eleven days he was in the
hospital. When he came out his arm was so sore he could not work, and
his eyes were so weak he could not study. He had to go home.

The next fall, after cutting corn and picking apples until winter, he
returned to school and found work as janitor. He occupied the basement
of a large building, receiving his rent for firing the furnace. He
earned his board this winter washing dishes in a fraternity house.
Later he decided to “batch” and lived chiefly on rice and beans.

After selling books through vacation the time came to return to school,
but his father fell sick, and for days lingered between life and death.
After he began to recover he went West to recuperate, leaving the
support of the family on Leroy. When September came again, his money
was gone. He found a position as night operator in a telephone office,
and continued here until school was out.

Looking back over the past, he says, “They who trust in God and work
will gain the victory,” and he assures the world that he is not sorry
that he made the effort, and assures every young man who has good
health and determination that he who wants an education can get it.

  _Liberty, Missouri._



At present there is much discussion as to whether a young man should
earn the means for his own education or not. I shall try to give, in
this paper, my reasons for working my way through college, and the
methods I am using.

My reasons for obtaining the money for my education by my own efforts
are threefold. In the first place, I believe that I can get more out
of my college course if I have to bear my own expenses. The student
who goes to college with the purpose of working his way through will
strive harder to make every moment count than the student who has no
such responsibility. Secondly, I believe that by working my way through
college I will be better fitted for life through training in economy.
Economy is something that is essential to success and happiness. We can
acquire it only by long and incessant practice, and surely there is
no better opportunity for practicing this important acquirement than
during our college days. Last of all, I believe that I should work my
way through college because in so doing I will be of more service to
the world. Before a man can be of the most service to the world he
must have a broad education that has trained him to reason and observe.
He must be able to see the needs of the world and must have the ability
to cope with them. Thus it is to be seen that if I will be better
equipped for my life work by educating myself I will be able to see
the real needs of the world, and surely if I am better equipped to see
those needs I will be better fitted to take my place in life and cope
with them.

There are three methods I am using to earn money to bear my expenses:
First, by working during vacation. Last summer I worked on my uncle’s
farm, and was able to save about eighty dollars. Secondly, I do some
kind of work during my spare hours while I am at college. In this way I
have been able to pay my board. I find the most profitable employment
to be that of agency work of some kind, such as selling clothing,
ties, college and class pennants, and stationery. In the third place,
I borrow some money each year. I am paying interest on this money, and
hope to be able to pay back the full amount within a few years after I
finish my education. In addition to the money that I borrow, since I am
a ministerial student, I receive some money from the presbytery each
year. In this way I count on a total of about two hundred and sixty
dollars a year.

  _Davidson College, Davidson, N. C._



I am a freshman at Simpson College, and am working my way through. When
I graduated from high school last spring, I did not think that I could
be in college this fall. My mother could not afford to send me. I had
no means of my own. I would be too young for two years to be entitled
to a teacher’s certificate; and in the little town where I live, it
is very hard for girls to find for themselves any other employment.
I was sorely dissatisfied with the thought of being out of school so
long; for though I dearly love to study, I knew I could not make much
progress without good books and teachers, which in private study I
would not have. I was fully resigned to the necessity of postponing my
college course for several years. How foolish I was I soon found out.

One of my high school professors had been asking me repeatedly why I
didn’t go to college. At last, in desperation, I told him I didn’t want
to be asked that question any more, because I couldn’t afford to go. He
calmly responded, “I don’t see how you can afford not to go to college.
These are the most vigorous years of your life, and one of them spent
away from your studies will make school work much harder and much less
interesting to you. A year of idleness will dull your appreciation of,
and keenness in, all that school can give you. If you wait until you
have saved money enough to go, it is very probable that you will become
discouraged, and your ideal will retreat from you. Go now! Work your
way through! It will be easy!”

I wish someone would say words like those to every high school
graduate. To me they were a revelation. Work my way through? Why,
nobody but boys ever did that; how could I? But finally I allowed
myself to be persuaded that, since others had done it, I could at least
try. One thing was greatly in my favor: as honor graduate, I had been
awarded free tuition at Simpson College, for one year. Immediately I
set out to provide for other expenses. I made tatting by the yards, and
sold it to whomsoever I could. I gave music lessons, but, since there
were so many other music teachers in town, I could not make much in
that way. I was very well satisfied that I was able to make enough to
pay for my carfare to the college town, my term fees, and my books. A
friend found a place where I can work for my board and room, so that
my expenses now are practically nothing. I am in a private home, and
help with the housework. My work and my classes are so arranged that
I often have several hours in which I can do extra work, which is
nearly always available. Thus far, I have not had to borrow. I should
not advise students to borrow unless it is quite necessary. I do not
like the idea of incurring upon myself the responsibility of a debt.
But most colleges have a loan fund, and I should surely prefer to avail
myself of that rather than to stop my school work. So here I am, making
my own way, doing what I thought was impossible; and I am happy.

“But does not the work take so much time and strength that none is
left for studies and for social functions?” someone will ask. Here,
indeed, a little optimism is necessary; but, once get the work properly
systematized, and there is no waste of time. The studies will be sure
to find themselves a place, as do most of the social functions. And
who cares for being a little tired? I am young and strong; I can laugh
fatigue away.

I am sure that I shall appreciate my college course much more, if I get
it for myself, than I should if I were dependent upon others for it. If
it were given to me, and if I passively received the gift, I might fail
to understand its value. Whereas, if I myself must put forth the effort
for it, I shall be brought to realize how much it is worth.

Then, too, what a splendid tonic for self-respect it is to be doing
things for one’s self! It makes one feel strong and independent, an
individual capable of serving one’s self and others, and not a poor
weak thing for everybody to stumble over or stoop to assist. I fondly
cherish the idea that the independence thus gained will help me to
carry on whatever profession I may choose as my life work with greater
facility than I could otherwise. The ideal of any true profession is to
help humanity; if my education, whether gained within the walls of the
college or in the great school of life, but fits me to be helpful to my
fellow creatures, it will have fulfilled its purpose.

Does anyone still ask why I want to work my way through college? In
return I ask, “Why should I not?” There is no reason why any girl
should not have a college education if she sincerely desires it. Money
counts for little; it equips none with armor wherewith to face the
battles of life. In getting an education, as in all things else, health
and pluck are the only requisites. Individual effort must be exerted.
The girl who succeeds is the girl who undertakes all kinds of work, in
school or elsewhere, happily and heartily.

  _Simpson College, Indianola, Iowa._



When I first conceived the idea of going to college I thought such an
undertaking was entirely out of the question, for I was a boy without
means. But I had a good supply of enthusiasm and so determined to try
it. I decided that I would have a better chance at a small college, so
I chose Hanover. Upon my arrival there in the fall of 1910, I began
a series of very interesting, often embarrassing, but always amusing
experiences. I had just enough money to pay my board for one week, but
I used my brains more that week than I ever had before in my life. I
soon found a grocer who needed help on Saturdays and he said he would
give me a position that would pay $1.25 per week.

The first night I was in town I noticed that the evening mail arrived
at 9 P. M. and that only a few people were at the postoffice, so the
next day I called on about a dozen families and agreed to bring their
mail to them each evening for ten cents a week. This turned out to
be a gold mine, for after about a week I had fifteen families on my
list. These things, with a few hours of rug-beating and window-washing
occasionally held me up during my first year at college.

When I went back the second fall I started a shoe-shining parlor, and
soon worked up such a trade that I had to get an assistant, and finally
as my work in the grocery took more and more of my time, I turned the
shoe-shining business over to him and spent all of my spare time in the

I have many times lain awake at night and thought out schemes to make
self-help money for myself and others. Last year we organized a club,
calling it “The Help Yourself Club,” of about twenty or more boys. I
was “Chief of the Employment Department,” and when we became known we
had all the work we wanted to do. Anyone wanting any kind of work done
from shorthand dictation to cistern cleaning, called or telephoned to
me and I sent a man to do it and saw that it was done. Our plan proved
even more successful than I had thought it would, and the club is to be
a permanent one.

This year we are planning to go into business on a large scale. One of
our members is to start a lunch counter. The shoe-shining and repairing
shop is to be resumed, and I am thinking of setting up a penny picture

In closing this, let me say, “Rah! Rah! Rah!” for the boy who has
worked his own way through college. He learns to depend upon himself
and that is the greatest lesson one may learn at college or elsewhere.

  _New Castle, Ind._



I was born in the Arkansas River Bottom in Pope County, Arkansas,
and reared on the farm. My parents had practically no education, but
plenty of practical “bay horse” sense. Both father and mother were real
Christians, and taught us children those principles.

I am the sixth child of twelve. Father died when I was eleven years
old. At thirteen I broke away from mother’s teachings. I went to
working in the coal mines and worked there and on the farm until I was
twenty-two years old. I used tobacco in every form, swore, danced,
drank whisky, and in fact I committed the entire catalogue of crimes.

I was converted at twenty-one, under the ministry of Wild Bill Evans.
Immediately GOD called me to preach His gospel. I felt as distinct a
call to get ready as I did to preach. At this time I did not know that
Hendrix College was in the world, although it was just forty-five miles
from home, nor did I know of any other college. Somehow GOD began to
open my eyes, and old Shinn began to work with HIM.

I was the oldest child at home at this time. Mother said that she
could live without my help, and if I thought I could get an education
by myself she was willing for me to go. I packed my little bundle of
clothes in a little canvas suit-case, and walked across the country to
Hendrix. This was in August. When I arrived here I saw the president,
Dr. Stonewall Anderson. I “batched,” and cut wood for him three weeks.
I found out that I could not enter even the Academy of Hendrix. I went
back home, went to a little country school in the fifth and sixth
grades, then to a little better school that winter, made a crop and
worked at the mines until September, 1907. Then I came again to Hendrix
and entered the first year Academy. I had no money to begin with, and
I have managed for every dollar I have used. I have never asked for
a job of work of any kind. I was a few days early and I did general
cleaning up, from mowing the campus to washing windows. My work was
of such quality that the matron chose me as one of the waiters in the
dining-room. I was asked to run the dairy department the next year. I
did this work four years. Last year I did the buying for the dining
hall. I have the dairy department again this year. I cut meat, clean up
the basement, and the campus, and keep up all odd ends that I can.

I have played baseball two years, and this is my fifth year in
football. I was business manager of our College Magazine last year. I
have been our representative to the Y. M. C. A. conference at Ruston,
La., twice. I preach during the summer vacations.

I have worn clothes that the boys gave me every year since I have been
here. I sometimes buy a reasonably good suit, coat, or trousers, from
some of the boys very cheap.

I have not missed a meal nor a class on account of sickness since I
have been here.

This is the “How.” And the “Why” is because there is no other way for
me to get through. This way suits me. The best time of my life has been
since I have been in college.

  _Hendrix College,
  Conway, Arkansas._



It was my vague wild dream, the dream of returning to school, ever
since in my sixteenth year my days at the country school ended. My
father had purchased forty acres of land, every acre of which bristled
with giant pines, hemlocks or spruces. To subdue and turn this into a
farm without capital made my presence at home most necessary at the
earliest possible time, I being the only son at home large enough to
saw and roll logs.

But ever my soul welled up within me as I thought of the world’s tasks;
and at times forbidden tears came as I realized my inability to add my
part. For from early boyhood I had dreamed day dreams of usefulness.
The words of the poet ever taunted me as I repeated them,--

    “In the world’s broad field of battle,
      In the bivouac of life,
    Be not like dumb driven cattle,
      Be a hero in the strife.”

At nineteen, my younger brother having grown out of the country school
and into workdom, I went to seek my fortunes in the beckoning West.

Four years of “bumping against the world” served only to increase
my desire for knowledge. But the thought of entering school at
twenty-three with little boys and girls embarrassed me, till happily
my attention was called to St. Paul’s College at St. Paul Park,
Minnesota, about forty miles from where I was then employed, where,
I was told, other men of similar ages and circumstances had found
suitable environment. I got into correspondence with the president of
the institution, told him I wanted to go to school, but didn’t have
much money. Anxiously I waited for an answer to that letter. It came. I
could fire a boiler in one of the heating plants and help take care of
the campus. This would pay my board and room rent. Other odd jobs, he
suggested, would help out in tuition and incidentals.

School began on Tuesday; so Monday found me speeding for college, with
ninety dollars to begin a college career. Never did a man approach a
college with less of self-confidence than I. The cows, as I crossed the
fields to the college with a number of students-to-be, seemed to look
at me with hungry eyes; for why should I not suppose that even the cows
around a great institution of learning were sufficiently educated to
know a green freshman.

I soon acquired the combination of the heating plant, so that I could
roast or freeze the dormitory inmates at will. (Some say it was mostly
the latter.) However, things passed along very successfully, save
an occasional dilemma announced by shrieks of terror-stricken girls
in rooms where spirting radiators demanded immediate presence of the
janitor. At times I was offered odd jobs by professors and neighbors,
not the least in importance of which was the milking of the president’s
cow night and morning, the same cow whose wistful gaze I had so loftily
interpreted on that first day, an opinion which I was soon forced to
surrender, for I found that she had made poor use of her opportunities
to acquire culture, unless it were physical culture or athletics, for
occasionally, and without warning, she chose to dismount me from the
milking stool and stick her foot in the milk pail in a very uncivil
manner. These employments, with an occasional opportunity to help in
the college laundry, added very materially in making my first year in

My first vacation was spent in a partially successful attempt at
selling books in Saskatchewan, Canada. The latter part of the summer
was spent threshing in western Minnesota.

I returned to school about five weeks late that fall with scarcely as
much money as on the previous year. The president had written to me
that he would employ some boys in the kitchen and dining-room that year
and offered me one of the places, a proposal which I promptly accepted.
This work brought about the same pecuniary returns as the firing had,
and left some time as before for odd jobs.

The second summer was spent in my home vicinity in northern Michigan
after what seemed a necessary absence of nearly three years. But
September soon came again. My summer’s work had not netted so much as
the previous summer’s earnings, but experience and familiarity with
conditions at the school added faith for another venture.

I had resolved to try rooming out and boarding myself. A room was
offered me by an aged widow and her daughter who taught in the public
school. In payment for the room I was to tend the furnace. The work
was a pleasure, the home was an exceedingly pleasant one in every
respect, and I was made welcome in all parts of the house; and, save
in one respect, I was contented in my situation. This one thing was in
boarding myself. Though I believe that, too, would have succeeded had I
had a room-mate to share the domestic duties. My hostess in her kind,
motherly thoughtfulness saw my discontentment and suggested that I add
a few more of the domestic duties to mine and take one meal each day
with them. This I consented to do, though I felt, and still feel, that
the service rendered was insufficient to pay for what I received. I
intend some time to clear my conscience by, at least partly, making up
the deficiency.

During this year I found almost regular employment in the college
laundry on Saturdays, which, with the other earnings mentioned, carried
me through my third year.

During these three years I had made use of every opportunity to
broaden my intellect and develop my small talents. The Literary
Society, the Y. M. C. A., the Temperance Society and the Epworth
League, aside from class work, offered splendid opportunity for
practice in composition and public speaking.

Commencement had come again. Another graduating class went out from our
dear old college halls to enrich the world.

Again the question of earning the funds for school faced a few of us,
who were fortunate enough to have to “paddle our own canoe.”

After working a few days in the vicinity of the college, a fellow
student, of similar circumstances, and I went into North Dakota, where
we spent about two months working on a farm. A minister in the town
near which we were employed, hearing that we were students, invited us
to his home where he consulted us concerning doing some substitute work
in filling a number of Sunday charges which happened to be vacant at
that time. Though quite inexperienced in pulpit work, upon being urged,
we consented to do our best. There was something at once humorous
and long-to-be-remembered in this situation, as, on account of scant
room in the farm house we were obliged to take our suite in the barn
hay loft, which we heartily christened “our first parsonage.” And who
will deny that the cackling of chickens, the bawling of calves, the
whinnying of horses and the grunting of pigs in an adjoining building,
together with the other barnyard dialects, was an inspiring atmosphere
for spiritual reflection? This work, aside from the practice and
added self-confidence (for, modestly, we did have a degree of success
surprising to ourselves), added considerably to our funds.

School days approached again, but owing to an unprofitable move on my
part, my acquired capital did not inspire me with confidence to return
to school. But through the kindly interest of a friend I was offered,
in loan, an amount sufficient to make it possible for me to return. Not
many weeks passed before I again secured the work of firing one of the
college heating plants. This year the work of firing was facilitated by
an apparatus which I invented and constructed, by which the drafts were
opened at any desired time in the morning by means of an alarm clock,
the boilers having been coaled up before retiring. The machine worked
perfectly and added an hour to my sleep in the morning, thus lightening
my labor and increasing my rest.

Still the time required for all the work mentioned, together with the
added responsibilities of the senior year, constituted a load not
easily carried, but when accomplished, gave all the more pleasure.

My experience in largely making my own way through school is no tale
of heroism. The same can be accomplished by any man with ordinary
ambitions and circumstances, and an appreciation of higher education.
There are just a few essentials. Let the man who hopes to work his
passage in school take with him a worthy aim, a sturdy backbone,
strict habits of dependability, a good set of morals, and best of all,
a consecrated Christian character, for the confidence which his conduct
commands will be his best, and at times his only capital.

I am sure that no one who ever accomplished his own support through
college will deny that it was made possible very largely through the
interest and kind thoughtfulness of some generous souls who find the
worthwhileness of life in helpfulness to others. In my room beside my
table hangs a card which reads,--“When on top, don’t forget the folks
who run the elevator.”

I look with thankful memories, as does many another student, toward
those whose carefulness has enriched my life; to the president who
proved a kind and prudent school father; to the professors and
school-mates whose words of courage brought me out of many a slough of
despond, and not the least to those who proved true, unselfish friends
in the exigency of trying circumstances.

My dear friend with worthy dreams, do not hesitate to make the plunge,
out from which you will come strengthened and invigorated for life’s
battles. Have you missed, in your earlier years, the educational
advantages due every man and woman? Your experience has but fitted you
to better appropriate knowledge. And let me add, your maturity will
make it possible for you to lay a larger service upon the shrine of
school and college life.

  _St. Paul’s College, Onaway, Mich._



The first several years of my school life passed pleasantly enough
in the little district school at the corner of my father’s farm in
Southampton County, Virginia. They are remarkable to me now not so much
for the attainment which I made in the three “R’s,” as for the fact
that they gave me the desire and ambition for a well-rounded education.
I remember quite distinctly the first money I ever earned. I was ten, I
think, and the amount paid me by an uncle for some nominal service, the
nature of which I do not recall, was one dollar and sixty-five cents.
My aunt asked me how I would spend it. I considered and then replied
that I would save it, add to it as I got money and when the time came,
go to college. She laughed, and her skepticism was justifiable, for
the treasured sum was soon gone, leaving behind it, however, something
of infinitely more value than the trifles purchased by its commercial
value, namely; a definite hope for a college education.

When I was thirteen, my mother died, the home was broken up and I,
the oldest of five children, went to the little town of Wakefield to
live with my great-aunt, a widow of some means. It was her intention
to educate me, giving me the advantages of college training, and at
her death to leave me her small fortune. Fifteen months later while
I was convalescing from appendicitis and typhoid fever in a Richmond
hospital, she died after a short illness. She was delirious to the
last and died intestate; therefore her property went to her nearest
relatives and I returned to my father. He was and is a lumberman,
owning at that time a sawmill in partnership with a younger brother.
Naturally, I could not remain for a great length of time in a
sawmill camp. The other children were with my father’s people. He
considered for a time putting me in Corinth Academy, a Quaker school
of Southampton County, but finally decided to continue me in the
district school of Wakefield. I returned to this town to board and
attend school. I finished the grammar school that year. During the
summer the People’s Telephone Co. organized, and put the exchange in
the hotel where I boarded. For the novelty of the thing, in the week
preceding the beginning of the fall high school term, I learned to
operate the switch-board with no idea of ever becoming its regular
operator. Two weeks later the chief operator resigned to accept a
position in the city, the assistant became the chief and I found myself
the new assistant. It was my first year in the high school, and when
the novelty of the new work was gone, and the demands of heavier school
work became insistent, I found that I had taken upon myself no light
task. My office hours were long, from five to ten in the evening on
emergency duty, a night bell in my room from ten at night to six in the
morning, active duty again to seven, and one hour at noon to relieve
the other operator. The work was not heavy or hard, but extremely
irritating and nerve racking, especially the emergency duty. Those
first months were hard indeed, but I steadfastly refused to give it
up. It had gratified me exceedingly to write my father that I could
bear a part of my expenses and the idea of resigning my position never
occurred to me. My salary was small, twelve dollars a month, but to me
it meant independence and I was immensely proud of it.

But there was another thing working in my brain which gave me no rest.
The other children were dissatisfied. We had been separated three years
and I wanted to bring us together again as one family. Father could
not be with us on account of the nature of his work, so a sister of
my mother agreed to stay with us, and when the New Year came we were
once more together in a little cottage not far from the telephone
office and quite convenient to school. The active work of the home did
not fall upon me, but the responsibility did. To me, father directed
all instructions, made all checks, and of me required all reports. I
think I am safe in saying that in the four years we endeavored to hold
together barely a paper of pins was purchased without my knowledge and
sanction. I planned and thought out everything about the home from the
daily menu to the hanging of the garden gate, kept up my office and
school work, attended Sunday School and church regularly and did my
best to live before my brothers and sisters a life which should stand
for truth, honor and square dealing.

The years of my high school life came and went and often I despaired of
the end. The state of family finance fell low. The business venture of
my father failed to make good, through no fault of his nor of anyone
else that I know, but because of conditions of the market and so forth.
At any rate, I know that the small amount which I earned was welcome
in the family purse, and I remember very well a period of perhaps two
months when we depended solely upon my efforts.

Those years were by no means easy. There were conditions of which I may
not write that were trying in the extreme--days when I despaired of
the future--nights when I very nearly lost hope of ever attaining any
degree of the cultural training upon which I had set my heart. It is by
no means an easy task to finish a full high school course with credit,
even with plenty of time and no serious problems of living to face. I
have never been and am not a brilliant student--I make no claim to more
than average intellect in any branch of study, and in some subjects
I am hopelessly dull. But I had a strong determination to win if it
was humanly possible, and a very strong incentive and inspiration
in the continued love and trust of those about me. To the faculty
of the Wakefield High School I owe much for the encouragement they
never failed to extend me when I became more than usually depressed.
To Professor J. J. Lincoln and his wife, I am especially grateful.
They not only gave me encouragement and inspiration in many difficult
places, but kept alive in me the desire for education.

I finished at length the high school work, having earned in the four
years about five hundred dollars and taken five prizes offered in the
school for excellency of work, two of these being medals, and the other
three, money prizes. Until the last year of the high school work I had
entertained no hope of college. The desire and ambition were quite as
strong in me as ever. The thought of the end to which I had devoted
my childish earnings for a time, never left me. But it looked quite
impossible and I resolutely faced the certainty of teaching once I had
attained my high school certificate, and to this end I prepared myself.
That last year, however, things looked brighter. Father’s business
prospects brightened and I began to wonder if after all a college
course was not possible. The idea of attempting it at my father’s
expense at a time when he was beginning to straighten up past deficits
and bearing at the same time a heavy running expense, I did not like.
I conceived the idea of taking a course in stenography during the
summer and by means of it, paying a part of my way through college. We
broke up the home and a week following my graduation were in Salisbury,
Maryland, boarding with relatives, and my sister and I attending the
business school. I saw directly that the time was too short to gain any
satisfactory degree of efficiency as a stenographer, but my ships were
burned behind me and there was nothing to do but work as best I could
until the fall opening of Elon College, North Carolina, which school I
had determined to attend.

We intended to make another home in the college town to which we were
going and with this intention arrived there a week before the date of
opening. I was tired. I still did not lack the desire, but the strong
purpose which had before held me up could not longer spur me to the
effort necessary to undertake the task before me. I realized that
it was utterly impossible to manage a home and attend school. A way
out of the dilemma was suggested by the President of the College. We
became members of the Young Ladies’ Club, an institution conducted on
the coöperative plan. My sisters and I became college students and my
brother and two little sisters entered the graded school of the town.

It is nearing the close of my freshman year in college. With the
exception of my tuition for which I had a scholarship from Professor
Lincoln, I have been dependent upon my father for this year’s financial
requirements. To continue my course in college at his expense is from
my point of view, quite impossible, willing and ready though I know him
to be. His expenses, past and present, are heavy, his business status
though steadier and daily growing better is still unassured, the other
children are to be considered; so I have definitely decided either to
teach the coming year or return to college, paying my own expenses. How
I may be able to accomplish the latter, I do not know just now, though
I have a plan which if it materializes will assure me the coming three
years in college.

Of one thing I am assured; a college education is a desirable thing and
worth the price to be paid for it. It is not quite as easy for a girl
to pay her way through as it is for a young man, her opportunities are
fewer and as a rule not so good, but even at that I have a feeling that
if she desires it strongly enough and puts herself in a position to be
worthy of an opportunity it will come quite as surely as to him and she
will make a stronger, finer woman for having faced serious problems and
grave difficulties and won out over them.

  _Elon College, N. C._



Upon finishing my preparatory course at the University of Wyoming
I desired to enter the University proper, and in order to do so,
determined to earn money by teaching. For seven months I taught a
country school about two miles from my home on the ranch.

Although it was rather discouraging to enter college a year behind my
class, I did so, and during most of my freshman year kept house with my
sister in two rooms rented from a private family. It kept us very busy
getting our studies and keeping house, besides working in the musical
clubs, basketball and Young Woman’s Christian Association.

The next year my sister and I lived at the girls’ dormitory. I earned
most of my way by helping clean the girls’ rooms. Sometimes I made
extra money by addressing bulletins, or fixing seals on diplomas, etc.,
in the secretary’s office.

Last year I helped in the dining-room at the dormitory, thus earning
my board and room. Since I am specializing in household economics, I
was given the position of teaching sewing in one of the classes in the
Training School of the Normal School of the University. With this aid
I was able to pay all of my expenses.

This year my mother is in town sending my two small sisters to school
by boarding several of the university students. I assist her with this
work and also have my sewing class in the Training School again.

My sister and I agree that at the University of Wyoming no distinction
is made against a person who is earning his or her way. On the
contrary, he is encouraged and respected in this work. And why not?
A proof of the statement which I have just made is in the fact that
I am a member of Pi Beta Phi, of the Y. W. C. A. Cabinet, the Girls’
Glee and Mandolin Clubs, and I take part in various other university

When I graduate in June I expect to secure a position as instructor of
home economics in a high school. This position pays a good salary, and
is interesting work, and I am sure that I shall never regret the time
which I have spent in attending college nor in doing work to make my
college education possible.

  _University of Wyoming,
  Laramie, Wyo._



How to work one’s way through college is a minor question compared with
the question of character, ideals, purpose, faith and all that makes a
man faithful to his nobler impulses. The chief asset for the attainment
of a college education is a passion for knowledge, knowledge of the
truth which sets a man free from all forms of error and false ideals.
Our life is a constant struggle against our limitations. And the first
asset of a cultured mind and heart is, that the soul shall be sensitive
to the finer things in life, shall “see visions and dream dreams” until
the soul in its thirst for the great things of earth and heaven shall
break beyond the stars and catch a vision of the Soul of all truth. A
young man with such a fire burning on the altars of his heart, with
the sweet incense of his morning and evening prayers ascending as an
expression of the God-ward aspiration of his soul is on the sure road
to true culture and a genuine appreciation of life and all its issues.

How is a boy ever to come into the possession of this soul hunger,
this restless discontent with himself and things as they are? There
are some souls at whose shoulders wings seem to play, lifting them to
great heights where they can hear things “unlawful for them to utter.”
But there are others to whom the incentive upward must be imparted;
in some way their ears must be attuned to the finer voices; the moral
soul must be brought into a conscious realization of its own powers
and the possibility of coming into the sun-burst of God’s presence,
and thus make a man forever discontent with himself. Where is the
average boy to get this blessing, this first incentive to culture and
nobility of life? If the atmosphere of the home is not such as to give
it, either he must get it around the altars of the church, or from the
personal touch of some friend, or preparatory teacher. So many people
live under a low sky, “in the dull stagnation of a soul content” that
the contagion is as heavy as the frost of winter upon the young and
sensitive spirit. Once a young fellow has caught the vision, once he
has heard the higher voices calling him upward, he will follow the beck
of the spirit through college halls and on to high endeavor and noble

As I said, at the outset the question of HOW to work one’s way through
college is a minor question. It depends on what you can do. If you are
ambitious, begin to prepare yourself for college, also for working your
way by learning to do something that everybody else cannot do. Remember
that the world needs men with big hearts, clear minds and skilled
hands. You can be all this. Why not resolve to-day and go forward,
following the guiding star of a Christly ambition in the spirit of

    “Who never turned his back but marched breast forward,
        Never doubted clouds would break,
    Never dreamed though right were worsted, wrong would triumph,
        Held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better.”

  _Council, N. C._


“We Americans are an intensely practical people. Our investments must
promise liberal returns in cents and dollars. From this standpoint a
college education is an absolutely safe and most profitable business
venture. In this country the average annual income of the college
graduate is $600 greater than that of the man not holding a college
degree. Now, $600 is 5 per cent. of $12,000, and this means that
the average college-bred man has safely stored away in his brain an
educational capital equivalent to $12,000 in gold, in excess of the
capital at the command of his brother without a college training. No
father can leave his son a more valuable or profitable heritage, for
the young man cannot lose it, no one will ever be able to steal it
from him, it is safer than a government bond, and the interest from it
will never be in arrears. Large as they are, however, the financial
returns from a college education are not as great as other benefits.
The intellectual training, increased mental powers, enlarged capacity
for rational enjoyment, the increased efficiency for service to God and
man--these are, after all, the essentially great benefits to be derived
from a college education of the right sort.

“You have heard scores of men express the deepest regret because of
their lack of a college education, but you have never heard anyone
regret having taken a college course.

“It has been calculated that the college man has three hundred times
the chance of winning fame and distinction over the man without a
college education. It is the shortest road to success.”

[Transcriber's Note:

Inconsistent hyphenation is as in the original.]

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