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The Class of ’06 Five Years Out

In the course of meandering through some Google results, I ran into this Web page, which describes what the Class of 1906 was doing five years after graduation.

It’s a time capsule of sorts. First, the class was less than a third the size of today’s classes: 148 vs. 500. Second, many were engaged in manufacturing, compared to today’s emphasis on service jobs (lawyers, physicians, teachers). Third, although some had made it to Colorado, Washington, or the all encompassing “in the West,” most were living in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. And finally, good health, which we pretty much take for granted, was not the case in 1911. For example:

Basil Doliver Barlow: With Hornblower & Weeks, Bankers, until August 1909. Married Miss Florence Pratt in July 1908. With the Centennial Milling Co. of Spokane WA 1909. Wife Florence Pratt. Daughter Elizabeth born 12 Jan 1910. With the Columbia Valley Bank of Wenatchee WA 1910. Died 31 May 1910 of Typhoid Fever.

Luther Franklin Bodman: Left college at end of Sophomore year. Went to NC on account of ill health. Died Jan 1908.

Kenneth B. Coulter: 1139 Dearborn Ave., Chicago IL, at Harvard Univ for 2 years. An invalid due to paralysis. No info since 1909.

Morton Griswold: Harvard Law School 1909, engaged in law practice in NYC. Died 5 April 1910 at his former home in Wallingford CT of meningitis.

Russell Hobson: Died 22 Mar 1911 at Saranac Lake NY of tuberculosis.

Brockholst K. Miller: 744 Watchung Ave, Plainfield NJ, Had to give up law practice due to poor health, expects to locate in Salt Lake City UT and resume practice.

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#1 Comment By Anonymous On August 19, 2005 @ 12:25 pm

Very interesting. One day killing time in the Boston Athenaeum, I found old Williams class reports. In my opinion, they almost sound the same as today except far more people in manufacturing and many, many more departures. Another possible undergrad thesis topic?

#2 Comment By Mike E On August 19, 2005 @ 4:42 pm

This is interesting stuff — I wonder if Williams had any native Americans in these early years?

#3 Comment By Guy Creese ’75 On August 19, 2005 @ 6:51 pm

That’s a very good question. I have no idea, although I’d be inclined to think not, due to the wealth of the student body (at least from the 1880s on), as well as the fact that Williams pulled students mostly from Massachusetts, New York, and the Mid-Atlantic states. Also, the college didn’t have a native American background, unlike Dartmouth, for example.

In terms of minority groups, the college admitted Blacks in small numbers from around 1900 until the Depression hit. They pretty much came from Dunbar High School in Washington, DC, which had two Williams advocates (Menard ’09 and MacDuffie ’12). According to Prof. Rudolph, “by 1930 only thirty-six blacks had gone to Williams, but two of them had been valedictorians of their class.” Otherwise, I think Williams had a pretty dismal minorities record until it became trendy/required in the 1960s — just like its peers.