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McCormick, Bart E. (ed.) / The Wisconsin alumni magazine
Volume 28, Number 3 (Jan. 1927)

Baensch, Emil
Dormitory discipline in the early eighties,   p. 93


Page 93


January, 192.7
         .  'Imagine yours -4f on the corner of Park and University forty-five
years ago.
Dormitory Discipline in the]
                                    ..By EMIL BAENSCH, Ex '8i
A   RECENT     ISSUE   of the Alumni
     Magazine.'reports that a code is
being drafted for the government of the
new Dormitories. Knowing that pre-
cedents are helpful in such 'cases, I
nosed 'around in my attic library for
governmental mementoes of the time
when North Hall and South Hall were
'dormitories. While we had no written
code, we had a very comprehensive com-
mon law governing us. Its enforcement
was sometimes hampered, or tampered
with, by an imperious dictator,-Pat
Walsh, the janitor.  How angry Pat
would be it he could be told that he was
the forerunner of an Italian Duce!
  Another weak spot in our system was
that no one was granted authority to
offer a reward for the discovery of un-
known malefactors. We had to rely on
voluntary subscription.  In explana-
tion, I quote the following local item
from the University Press of November
4, 1879:
  "-The bell and four-dialed clock for
the new chapel' have arrived, and are
to be put in position at once, by agents
of their respective manufacturies. The
bell is a beauty, weighs 2,7oo lbs., and is
from the bell foundry of Troy, N. Y.
Some one, too anxious to hear its tone
and get its sounding distance, to wait
for its automatic working by the clock,
took the liberty to try its calibre on
Tuesday eve at their own expense.
About eleven o'clock a doleful tolling of
a bell, before unheard of, issued from the
new chapel and soon all hearers came to
the conclusion that it was the (virginal)
sounding of an instrument, which will
oft recall the under-graduate to his daily
devotional duties.
. "At first it tolled slowly, it was gradu-
ally increased in rapidity, till it acquired
the nature of a fire alarm. At this junc-
ture the town bells took up the echo and
reverberated it -to the farthest limits of
the place. The engines turned out and
made for the University. Half the in-
habitants of the town came to see the
destruction of the State property and to
assist, if possible, those from whom they
gain their support, in the preservation
of their property.- But, alas! For the
second time had they been brought to
the University under the false supposi-
tion that it was in imminent peril of
destruction. They returned with many
curses upon the "hungries,' and deter-
mined, if possible, to discover the per-
petrators of such a dastardly low deed.
There is a notice on    the  'bulletin
board' of $io reward for any informa-
tion which will lead to their detection.
The -students, not to be outdone in
generosity, have started a subscription
list, in which each one in the 500 will
pledge themselves to the amount of $i,
as a reward, to help ferret out the guilty
culprits.
  "If they are found, as no doubt they
will be with $51o reward for them, it
will go hard with them, principally on
account of having so many angry stu-
dents after them, who have lost a dollar
each."
  The building referred to, while build-
ing, was the chapel; when built, it was
the Assembly Hall; then it became
Library Hall; now it is Music Hall. The
subscription list mentioned never got
beyond the "law and order" boys in the
dormitories.- The lesson of the story, as a
precedent, dictates a provision for a
fund on which a designated committee
may draw and offer a "Reward." Just-
ice endorses the request that the "roll
of honor" be also published with the
This, is what you would see.
Early Eighties
   item mentioning the subscription list.
   The original of the latter is in my
possession and a complete copy-herewith
follows:'
             Madison, Oct. 29:1879, -
  We, the undersigned, herewith agree
to pay the sum set opposite ├Żour re-.
spective names, as a reward for the ap-
prehension and conviction of the person
or persons who rang the bell of Assembly
Hall last (Oct. 28) night, thereby caus-
ing a false alarm.
Church ......................      oo
Kalk    ............... .....      oo
Lawrence. Keeley                   ,50
E. K. Holden.      ............. i.oo
Chas. Brown  ........0....    r.o
G. D. Jones ...................  I 0.oo
Ernest S. M oe ................  i.oo
C. W . Rose .................... I.oo
E. G. C. Stevens..............   I .00
J. M . Priest . ..................  i.00
C. B. Quincy.................. i.oo
H. D. Fruit.... I .... ........... 1.00
Frank F. Oster............... i . oo
Emil Raensch .................   r .oo
Mark A. Waldo ............... i. oo
E. B. Priest.................. I. 00
A. D. Schindler .... I .00
J. Hallam  ............. I. 00
H. Tetsdale ..................1.0
John                             10sch .................... i.oo
E. F. Kinne ................... 50
W . F. M ason ................. .  50
J. Douglas........... ........    .00
J. Peterson .....................  00oo
R. R. Reid ....................-5o
  P. S. Every class, like every family,
has its colored sheep, as" witness the
following local taken from the same
issue of the University Press:
  "-One of the mean catiffs of the town
who is trying to obtain the filthy lucre
          (Continued on page, 96')
93


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