Scrapbook History: Wendell Paddock

30 11 2011

The Archives is home to a plethora of documents, records, photographs, journals, magazines and so much more! Out of all of these things, my favorite gems are the scrapbooks. Today I decided to pick a random scrapbook off of the shelf and see what stories it would hold. So I chose Number 35…

This scrapbook belonged to Wendell Paddock, a student at MAC from 1888-1893. He was a student studying agriculture and his scrapbook consists of many receipts, invitations, announcements, dance cards, and other sorts of record-type memorabilia. When I first began looking through the scrapbook, I was thinking that I might have to choose another one, because all this had in it were boring documents! However, as I continued looking through it, I noticed that we could learn a lot about Wendell through these old documents he kept.

Wendell enrolled at MAC for the fall term of 1888. When he first enrolled, he was required to pay a fee of $11.75; $5.00 for Matriculation fees, $4.25 for room, and $2.50 in incidentals. His registration card helped us see some of the first classes he took while at MAC. For his first term, he was enrolled in “1 Agriculture”, “F.H. Drawing”, and “Engineering”. Each semester, Wendell would take a variety of classes eventually hoping to achieve his Bachelors of Science degree in Agriculture. Throughout his five years at MAC, Wendell belonged to the Club Boarding Association. Membership in this gave students the ability to live in the college dormitories. Our friend lived in room 131 of Abbot Hall. Wendell also was fairly involved in the college social life.  He was a member of the Olympic Society, the Feronian Society, the MAC Social Club, and was a subscriber to The College Speculum, the school newspaper of the time. He also attended many school dances such as the Olympic Society socials and the Junior Hop.

Then I came across this…

This is a hand written letter to our dear friend Wendell from the president of the university at that time, Oscar Clute. It reads:

June 7, 1892

Dear Mr. Paddock,

           Word comes to me that instead of giving yourself to the furniture room, to look after goods where called for, you give the key to the utterly irresponsible parties to go there alone.

           I am paying you for looking after that room. If you do not want to do the work you need not the job. I know that you very responsibly neglected the order of the rooms, and now I find that you do not attend to the other work .

           Any further delinquency as to the this work will at once cancel the job.

                                                                                           Truly yours,

                                                                                                           Oscar Clute

Clearly, Wendell was not attending to his duties called for by his job! I thought it was really interesting to see that the president of the university himself, would write Wendell a handwritten letter addressing this issue!

Overall, Wendell seemed like your average college student back in the day. This scrapbook provides a really unique gateway to get a glimpse into Wendell Paddock’s life.




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