St. Stephen’s: The Early Years (part 2)

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1. Rev. William Olssen, ca. 1880. Rev. Olssen variously taught Greek, Hebrew, mathematics, natural philosophy, English, and history at St. Stephen’s from 1871– 1902. Photograph by F. Forshew.

2. The north end of campus walk, ca. 1880. Rev. Olssen walks where Warden’s Hall is today. The observatory, visible in the background, was built in 1875.

3. James Stryker, ca. 1870. Stryker was an early alumnus of St. Stephen’s who stayed on to teach Greek, mathematics, and natural philosophy from 1868–1894. Dr. Fairbairn reportedly encouraged Stryker to become a clergyman, but he demurred, saying: “There are dead beats enough in the ministry already. ” Photograph by F. Forshew.

4. Classroom scene, ca. 1895. Students of St. Stephen’s College wearing academic gowns review mathematical equations written on a chalkboard in an Aspinwall classroom. In Reamer Kline’s history of the College, this photograph is captioned as follows: “One of the principles of physics studied in St. Stephen’s science classes was the Oscillation of the Pendulum by students who were said to be more interested in Osculation than Oscillation. ”
5. Rev. Charles F. Hoffman, ca. 1890. A trustee of the College for sixteen years, Rev. Hoffman provided sustaining support to St. Stephen’s in the late nineteenth century. His generosity built two dormitories (North and South Hoffman in 1891), as well as the Hoffman Library (1893); he is furthermore credited with “almost single handedly saving the College from extinction,” by his habit of sending checks to Warden Fairbairn during moments of extreme financial crisis.

6. Hoffman Library, ca. 1895. Built at a cost of $73,000, the Hoffman Library took two years to build, and was of “fire-proof” construction. When the cornerstone was laid, it was stocked with items that reflected the purpose of College, and the hopes of its supporters. Among the many contents of the cornerstone can be found essays by the Reverends Hopson (“Fasting Communion”), Fairbairn (“Lectures on Morality), and Hoffman (“Notes on Angels”).

7. The St. Stephen’s Class of 1875. The photo was taken by 1875 alumnus Henry A. Fairbairn, son of the warden, and trustee of the College, and later mounted by 1883 alumnus Arthur Rose for inclusion in a 1916 alumni memorial exhibit.
8. The St. Stephen’s Class of 1877. Photograph by G. W. Pach.

9. The St. Stephen’s Class of 1889. Included here is Matthew McDuffie, one of four African American students first admitted in 1884. Rev. McDuffie later became the first resident priest of St. James Episcopal Church in Tampa, Florida.

10. The St. Stephen’s rugby football team, 1895.

11. The Sunday school class of the Chapel of the Holy Innocents, 1890. Warden Robert Brinckerhoff Fairbairn is visible on the far left.
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