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115 Years Ago

The articles in “This Week…” come from a variety of sources: view books and catalogues from years past, newspapers, literary magazines, even schedules hold information about our past which inform our present. In the crush of the start of a new academic year, this column is eight days late in getting started. I'll try to produce something new each week on "throwback Thursday." So this first column is more appropriately, "Last Week in NMH History."

  Our school has published a newspaper since 1888. It is perhaps the best source of information about our history, particularly of events from our first half century. Even though we were two separate schools in this era, one newspaper served both the Northfield Seminary and the Mount Hermon School for Boys for much of this time. In the coming weeks, more will be written on the subject of the various periodicals produced here over the years, but for now learn about a presidential visit.

from The Hermonite, vol. XVI, no. 1; September 20, 1902; pp. 1-2. 


IT was an auspicious day for Hermon when for the first time in her history she was honored by a visit from the President of the United States, and Hermonites in general believe that Theodore Roosevelt has ample cause to remember the hearty welcome he received during the few minutes which he spent here.
At 5:45 o’clock in the afternoon of September 1, Labor Day, the train pulled into the little station which was hardly recognizable in its garb of color, and Mr. Roosevelt stepped from his car and was formally received by Messrs. W.R, Paul, and A.G. Moody [W.R. and Paul were founder D.L. Moody’s two sons, A.G. Moody, his nephew. –ed.] with Dr. Pentecost and the selectmen of Northfield, who escorted him to the carriage in which he was rapidly driven to the Chapel.
  The farmer folk had come from far and near, for to most of them this was the opportunity of a lifetime, and not to be missed under any circumstances, and the campus was literally thronged with vehicles of all descriptions, gaudily decked for the most part with flags and bunting which flapped gaily in the breeze, and in company with the decorations which were displayed on the various halls and cottages of the School gave one the impression of the Fourth of July rather than a cool day in September.
The cloud of dust raised by the advance crowd of sheriffs first warned the waiting crowd of the President’s approach, and a moment later the carriage dashed into view and rolled swiftly to the foot of one of the paths leading to the Chapel, where Mr. Roosevelt alighted and accompanied by his party passed through the student guard which was drawn up on either side of the path, and on into the building, where after being received by the faculty he took his seat on the platform amidst vociferous applause.
The first sight of “Teddy” was the signal for everyone in the house to rise to his feet and “yell” and after a moment or so of individual work along this line, the fellows gave the regular School “yell” with “Roosevelt” on the end, which seemed to tickle the Chief Executive immensely for his face wore a very substantial smile as he bowed his acknowledgements. His words were all too brief, but were directly to the point and well-expressed in an impressive manner. The applause was liberal and showed the appreciation with which his speech was regarded.

Editor’s note: The article continues and describes Roosevelt’s address in Northfield, and elsewhere in the newspaper, excerpts from his speeches were reprinted. To read more, drop by the archives office at the Schauffler/Rockey Library and read the accounts for yourself.