|O. P. Hay, PhD in 1891|
|period postcards of Irvington campus|
In the 1888-1889 school year, the Butler University catalogue states there were 9 professors for 74 students: 18 seniors, 14 juniors, 19 sophomores and 23 freshmen. There was a Professor of Mental Science and Philosophy (Allen R. Benton, LLD -- who was also president of the university), Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy (William M. Thrasher, AM), Professor of Latin Language and Literature (Scot Butler, AM), Professor of Natural History and Geology (Oliver P. Hay, AM PHD), Professor of Modern Languages and Literature (Hugh C. Garbin, AM), Demia Butler Professor of English Language and Literature (Harriet Noble, AM), Anderson Professor of Greek Language and Literature (Demarchus C. Brown, AM), Professor of Biblical Literature (unnamed), Adjunct Professor of Chemistry and Physics (Thomas M. Iden, PHM) and an Instructor in the Preparatory Department (R. Rollin Kautz, AB), with Kautz also serving as Librarian.
The catalogue further states that "the College of Literature, Science and Arts offers two courses of study -- the Classical and the Scientific" ... which "lead respectively to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science." Coursework during freshmen and sophomore years was 100% prescribed, 60% prescribed in the junior year and 25% in the senior year. Freshman year studies for classics included Latin, Greek or German, math, English and Bible; for science it included zoology, math, German, English and Bible. Sophomore studies for classics included Latin, Greek or German, science (zoology, physiology, botany), English and Bible; for science it included two science courses, math, German, English and Bible. In the junior year the required courses were rhetoric, mechanics, English, physics, while for the science degree the required courses were math, French, physics. Senior course requirements were psychology, astronomy and logic in the classics, and psychology, astronomy, French and logic for the sciences.
There is detailed information on the courses in each department; the detailed information for Oliver Perry Hay's Natural History courses are:
NATURAL HISTORY AND GEOLOGY
The instruction in this department is given by means of lectures, recitations, Laboratory practice and field work.
Zoology -- The Freshmen of the Scientific course devote the first two terms to the study of Vertebrates, and are taught to identify and describe species, how to make and preserve collections, and to make investigations by means of dissections and use of the microscope and accessory apparatus. Habits of accuracy in observations are insisted on, and an effort is made to get the student to comprehend the significance of the structures observed by him. The materials furnished by the neighborhood, and those contained in the college collections, are drawn upon in carrying on the work of instruction. The third term will be employed in the study of Invertebreates, or in the further investigation of some class of Vertebrates.
Physiology is studied by the students of both courses during the Sophomore year. Martin's Human Body is used as the text-book; but in order to give more reality to the students' knowledge of the subject, numerous dissections and preparations of some of the more important organs of some of the domestic animals are brought before the class. The subject of Histology is illustrated by means of a considerable number of well prepared microscopic slides.
Botany is studied by all the students during the last half of the Sophomore year, the greater part of the third term being devoted to the collection and identification of species of native plants. Each student is required to prepare an herbarium. Bessey's Essentials of Botany is used as a text-book, but the subject is further elucidated by lectures, by the exhibition of numerous preparations and by means of the compound microscope. In the identification of species the works of Gray and Wood are employed.
During the Junior year students in the Scientific course may elect Zoology or Botany. In either case the work will consist principally of laboratory exercises and the consultation of standard authorities. These studies may be continued also during the Senior year, and full opportunity will be offered to those who so elect those studies to do original work.
Geology is pursued during the first two terms of the Senior year by such students as elect this study. It may also be continued during the last term of the year. The instruction will be imparted by means of lectures, field work and the use of the museum collections. An excursion is made each autumn to some interesting locality in the state. From notes taken on such trips gological maps and sections may be prepared, and a thorough study made of the locality.
In the collections of the University there is abundant material for illustrating the sciences of Zoology, Mineralogy and Geology. Some of the materials have been obtained by purchase, some have been contributed by the friends of the institution and some by the National Museum, while a considerable portion has been collected by the professors who have occupied the chair of Natural History. There is a very fair collection of minerals, including a number of the most important ones. The Paleozoic Age is represented by numerous specimens of rocks and fossils, principally from localities in Indiana. There are also fossils of Cretaceous deposits of Mississippi and Kansas, and Tertiary fossils from Mississippi and elsewhere. Of land, fresh water and marine shells there are several hundred species. There is a considerable collection of alcoholic specimens of fresh water and marine invertebrates. The collection of fishes, made partly by Prof. D. S. Jordan, partly by Prof. Hay and partly the gift of the National Museum, is one of the best in the West. There are also numerous specimens of reptiles, birds and mammals.
Click on each period picture (and map) to see a larger view of each Butler University building:
|Administration building||Burgess Hall||dormitory||Missions Building||Thompson Library||West Campus|
It is unknown who brought Oliver Perry Hay to Butler in 1879, but my guess is that is was 1873-1881 Butler University president Otis Asa Burgess (1829-1882). Oliver Perry Hay attended Eureka College (Illinois) in ~1864-1870; was a professor of Natural Science at Eureka College in 1870-1873; was awarded an M.A. degree by Eureka College in ~1873; was a professor of Natural Science at Oskaloosa College (Iowa) in 1873-1876; studied at Yale University in 1876-1877; was a professor of Natural Science at Abingdon College (Illinois) in 1877-1879. Otis Asa Burgess had been instrumental in obtaining the Charter of Eureka College from the Illinois State Assembly in 1855, and served as one of the first professors to teach at Eureka College in 1855-1856, moving to Indianapolis in 1862 after serving for the Union in the Civil War. Therefore, he would not have personally known Oliver Perry Hay as a student or professor (or his wife Mary Emily Howsmon who also attended Eureka College but did not graduate). However, Burgess remained interested in Eureka College throughout his life; his widow presented a $10,000 gift to Eureka College in 1891 for an academic building in his honor. Both Captain and Mrs. Burgess were active members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). It is noteworthy that the subsequent president of Butler University, Harvey Everest (1831-1900), also had served as president of Eureka College (1864-1872 and 1875-1881) would personally have known Oliver Perry Hay and Mary Emily Howsmon at Eureka. (Note that with a graduating class of only 3 in 1870, clearly the president would know every student.) It is quite possible that Burgess contacted Everest to inquire about potential professors when Butler University was suddenly faced with the need for a new Natural Sciences professor in 1879.
In fact, Harvey W. Everest performed the marriage between Mary Emily "Mollie" Howsmon and Oliver Perry Hay on June 30, 1870! So indeed, he knew both very well. It is likely that Oliver Perry Hay stayed in touch with him professionally and personally, such that he knew that Oliver Perry Hay was a professor at Abingdon College in 1879. When Everest subsequently came to Butler, he was also a professor of biblical literature and moral science, and in 1884 published The Divine Demonstration: A Textbook of Christian Evidence used by Disciples of Christ bible schools
Butler University presidents in Oliver Perry Hay's days:
|Otis Burgess, 1868-1870, 1873-1881 -- under his tenure all distinction in the course of study for male versus female students was abolished.||Harvey Everest, 1881-1886. Served twice as president of Eureka college, and was also professor of biblical literature and moral science at Butler.||Allen Benton, 1861-1868, 1886-1891. Resigned in 1868 over low salaries for faculty. Was a professor of philosophy, and resigned to devote himself to his teaching.||Scot Butler, 1891-1904, 1906-1907. "Instilled intellectual achievement, religious and moral idealism, and simplicity and native dignity" at Butler.|
The Indianapolis city directories do not exactly reflect the dates I would have expected for Captain Burgess, and neither does the history of past presidents on the internet (above) -- particularly noteworthy are the omissions of Jameson and Atkinson, and the disagreement over dates. The Indianapolis directories:
1880 Butler University P. H. Jameson, Pres, C E Hollenbeck, sec, Irvington, Ind
1881 Butler University Otis A. Burgess, Pres, Chauncy Butler, sec, Irvington, Ind
1882 Butler University, Harvey W. Everest, Pres, Chauncy Butler, sec, Irvington, Ind
1883 Butler University, Harvey W. Everest, Pres, Ovid B. Wallace, sec, Scot Butler, treas, Irvington, Ind
1884 Butler University, Harvey W. Everest, Pres, Demascus C Brown, sec, Scot Butler, treas, Irvington, Ind
1885 Butler University, Harvey W. Everest, Pres, T M Idens, sec, Scot Butler, treas, Irvington, Ind
1886 Butler University, Harvey W. Everest, Pres, Thomas M Idens, sec, Scot Butler, treas, Irvington, Ind
1887 Butler University, Scot Butler, treas, Irvington, Ind
1888 Butler University, Allen R Benton, Pres, Irvington, Ind
1889 Butler University, Allen R Benton, Pres, Irvington, Ind
1890 Butler University, Allen R Benton, Pres, Irvington, Ind
1891 Butler University, Allen R Benton, Pres, Irvington, Ind
1892 Butler University, Allen R Benton, Pres, Irvington, Ind
1893 Butler University A M Atkinson Pres Board of Directors, S. Frasier Sec Board of Directors, Scot Butler A M Pres Faculty and Treas Board of Directores, Irvington, Ind
While the man/men who brought Hay to Butler is/are unknown, what is known for certain, is that David Starr Jordan, Oliver Perry Hay's predecessor, resigned the post in 1879 when the Directors of Butler University decided to remove all non-church members from the faculty. "Jordan did not have strong views, pro or con, on religion, and could have joined a church in order to save his job, but being a man of strong moral principles he chose to resign rather than be coerced in this matter." (source). Jordan had personally recommended Richard Rathbun (later a world-renowned expert on crustaceans) for the position, but Hay was selected, partly because of his religious background and because he "... had written articles on science for church papers, and who, it was thought, would be less pronouncedly an evolutionist than either Rathbun or myself" (Jordan 1922a: 184). However, as Jordan (op. cit.) noted, Hay's views on Darwinism later turned out to be quite as radical as those of Jordan and Rathbun! (source).
Jordan was a popular professor at Butler University, revitalizing the teaching of biological sciences at Butler based on his own summer courses experience. In the summer of 1873 Jordan had been selected by the renowned Harvard zoologist, Louis Agassiz, to participate in a unique experiment involving the teaching of natural history utilizing specimens in their natural environment. Jordan then brought this experience to Butler ~1875, not only using the collected specimens for teaching during the school year, but also instituting summer trips for education and collection of specimens -- traveling to Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Northa Carolina and South Carolina. It appears that Oliver Perry Hay continued Jordan's summer specimen-collection tradition.
David S. Jordan, PhD
At Indiana University Jordan was a visionary educational reformer and innovator (instituting the modern concept of majors) (source). He was tapped as president just six years after moving to Bloomington, in 1885, and in 1891 was tapped to be the first president of Stanford University.
The man/men who were instrumental in Hay leaving Butler are also unknown. The family story is that Oliver Perry Hay left Butler when he wished to teach evolution instead of creationism. It is noteworthy that Oliver Perry Hay left Butler University soon after his 1891 Presidential Address to the Indiana Academy of Science on "A consideration of some theories of evolution" (pdf--see p.33-46) where he stated that the evolution proposition of Darwin and Wallace is "almost unanimously accepted by the scientific world." In fact, the magazine that carried this address states that Oliver Perry Hay was living in Chicago, apparently having already resigned (although his son was listed as still living in Irvington). Biographies of David Starr Jordan confirm that the Butler University was very Christian, and anti-evolution (source).
My guess is that it was the majority of the directors, led by either Butler Board of Directors President Atkinson (listed in Irvington directories) or the University President Scot Butler (listed on the Butler University website). I am guessing that it was a decision similar to that in 1879, when the Board removed all non-church members from the faculty. On the other hand, I also wonder why after 11 years (1880-1890) of being listed as a professor, Oliver Perry was suddenly listed for the next three years as a teacher (1891-1893), in the middle of Allen Benton's second term as president. And why he is listed as a teacher at Butler when the 1891 Indiana Academy of Sciences magazine lists him living in Chicago. Perhaps the actual firing of Oliver Perry Hay as a professor was not quite as precipitous -- Butler University may have let him know for several years they were unhappy with his increasingly "radical" views on evolution, but Oliver Perry might have been waiting for William Perry to finish undergraduate studies and for his daughter(s) to finish her/their college prep years (see Butler University Preparatory School below)
Oliver Perry Hay's graduate degrees
It is confirmed that Oliver Perry Hay graduated from Eureka College in 1870, based on the family story that he married on the day of his graduation. Eureka College was able to confirm his degree in 1870, but had no documentation to share. They did share that Molly Howsmon was also a student at Eureka but did not earn a degree, and that Oliver Perry Hay was in a graduating class of three students. He became a professor of natural sciences at Eureka the following year when the current professor precipitously died. He earned a Masters Degree at Eureka College in 1873 (again, no documentation).
His son William Perry Hay said that he was awarded a Medical degree from the Indiana Medical College (probably in the early 1880s), but this degree is not mentioned in his 1920 Who's Who listing or his obituary. Since the Medical College was part of Butler University, it is possible he took courses and was awarded some kind of honorary degree, similar to that of his predecessor, David Starr Jordan ("During the school year, despite his many teaching duties, Jordan found time to take courses at the Indiana Medical College, with the objective of better preparing him for teaching courses in anatomy and physiology. This resulted in his being awarded, in June of 1875, the degree Doctor of Medicine, which Jordan described as "scarcely earned."")(source)
1878 - 1905: The Medical College of Indiana; formed by the union of the Indiana Medical College (1869-78) and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Indiana (1874-78). -- Oliver Perry Hay moved to Indiana in 1879, so it would be after that; he got his PhD in 1887, so it would be before that. In the 3rd annual announcement of the Medical College of Indiana, 1880-1881 -- O. P. Hay is not a student or graduate -- note this college was the medical department of Butler University. And the 1882 advertisement for Butler University only mentions that Oliver Perry Hay has a A.M. (his masters degree).
The 1881 Medical College of Indiana catalogue mentions two MD degrees: the standard degree required three years of study under a regular graduate and two sessions of study while the honorary degree was granted to "distinguished scientific men."
It is assumed that Oliver Perry Hay did indeed take at least one course assumed to be in physiology (since he was teaching that to the undergrads at Butler). His son details further "he took a course in medicine at the Indiana Medical College, receiving the degree M.D." so perhaps this degree is not mentioned in his biographies as he felt, as did Jordan, that the M.D. degree was "scarcely earned." It is surprising that since medical school today requires four years of coursework, that back in the 1870s/1880s one course would suffice!
|Indiana University degrees: PhD in 1887|
A PhD was generally awarded to those who by special study in some department of Science, Literature or Philosophy obtained eminence as an original investigator, and presented to the Faculty a meritorious thesis based on such investigations. This was similar to the requirements for a Master's degree. It is assumed that extensive coursework was not required for these degrees, with the degree based on experience and work achievement instead. Note this appears to be different from the MD mentioned above which appeared to be based solely on coursework.
Note that in the 1888-1889 Butler Catalogue, it mentions that David Starr Jordan was awarded an honorary PhD degree in 1877 (two years before he resigned).
His son William Perry Hay details this further as his father took "a graduate course in paleontology at Indiana University, receiving the degree Ph.D."
Bloomington is ~60 miles from Irvington. There appears to be no gap in Oliver Perry Hay's professorship at Butler University 1879-1892, so it is unclear when he completed the coursework at Bloomington; it is possible there was a single course and it was in a summer when he did not teach. Oliver Perry Hay's predecessor at Butler, David Starr Jordan, was at Indiana University -- professor of Natural History 1879-1885 and president 1885-1891. Although the details of Oliver Perry Hay's PhD studies have not been documented, they would likely have been under Jordan's auspices.
During his early years at Butler, Hay found time to work toward his Ph.D. degree, which he received from Indiana University in 1884, although there is no evidence that this was obtained under Jordan's direction. He served as an assistant for the Arkansas Geological Survey during summers from 1884-1888, and held a similar position with the Indiana Geological survey from 1891-1894. He was one of the founders of the Indiana Academy of Science, and served as president of that organization in 1890-1891. He resigned his position at Butler in 1892." (source)
|1920 Who's Who listing for Oliver Perry Hay|
Butler University Preparatory School
Children William Perry Hay and Mamie Hay in the Preparatory school and University.
There was also a Preparatory School associated with the University, whose graduates "pass without further examination into the Freshman class, corresponding to their Preparatory course." The studies for the Classical Course included Latin, English History, math, physics, Greek or German while the Scientific Course included Latin, English, History, math, physics, German,
During the 1888-1889 school year, the catalogue also documents that Oliver Perry Hay's son William Perry (age 16-17) was a sophomore in the University, and daughter Mamie Hay (age 15) was in the 2nd Preparatory class. Fannie (age 12-13) and Robert (age 5-6) were not in the Preparatory school. I could not find John Minnick (Mamie's future husband) at the University, which surprised me, as I thought he had first met the family at this time; he was born ~1869, so I would have expected to find him as a junior/senior in this catalogue.
I was especially interested in the information on the preparatory school. The Hays moved to Irvington in 1879, when William was 7, Mamie was 6 and Fannie was 3. Robert was born in November of 1882. When they left in 1892, William was 20, Mamie 18, Fannie 16 and Robert 10. From his notes, we know that William entered Butler at age 13, and graduated at age 19 (1885-1891). We know nothing of Mamie's education, but do know that Fannie went to the University of Chicago (they lived in Chicago 1893-1897, when Fannie was 17-21). It is assumed that the three oldest children all attended the preparatory school affiliated with Butler University, while Robert was too young. From the (1889-1889 Butler University catalogue) stating that Perry Hay is a sophomore, it appears that he started the university at age 15; he must have been 13 when he entered the Butler University Preparatory School.
Butler University after Oliver Perry Hay resigned
1893 started the full-page ads in the directory. In 1893 there were two pages:
|Butler University 1893 ad page 2|
|Butler University 1893 ad page 1|
|Butler University 1894 ad|
For background information, in August 1858, Darwin and Wallace jointly published the theory of evolution in a paper, which, although lauded by fellow scientists, did not have the impact of Darwin's Origin of Species which was published a year later.
33 years later, by the time of his resignation from Butler ~1891/1892, Oliver Perry Hay was quite a radical evolutionist. His Presidential address, Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science for 1891, was 14-pages, in which he stated "While the main proposition of Darwin and Wallace that species arise from earlier species by descent with modification, has been almost unanimously accepted by the scientific world, a number of scientific authorities have, within recent years expressed more or less dissatisfaction with the prominence that Darwin and Wallace and their followers have given to the doctine of Natural Selection as an explanation of organic evolution." (source: publications)
|modern picture of evolution for man|
At that time  in history the theory of evolution was considered controversial in public opinion, and a large fraction of its detractors linked it with atheism. It would not be until the 1930s that the beginnings of the modern synthesis brought Darwinism to the core of modern biology. In his published work In His Image, William Jennings Bryant argued that evolution was both irrational and immoral. Bryant was highly influential in raising public and legislative support for the Butler Act, and its enactment by the legislature of Tennessee came at least partially as a result of his advocacy.
It took over 200 years for the Catholic Church to accept the scientific evidence that the earth revolved around the sun (still a "theory" today; first espoused by Copernicus in 1514 and popularized by Galileo in his 1663 book Dialogue for which he was put on trial). With the popularity of "intelligent design" arguments of the early 21st century, it appears that acceptance of the theory of evolution is destined to take even longer. I wonder if Oliver Perry Hay would be surprised that over 85 years after the Scopes trial we are still hotly debating the teaching of creationism and evolution in our schools; his great-great-grandson is.