Scrapbook History: Leon L. Budd

21 01 2015

The Michigan State University Archives hold materials that are decades and even hundreds of years old. Recently, pulled from the shelf was a scrapbook from a student that graduated from this university in 1915, exactly one hundred years ago.

Scrapbook #320 UA 10.3.124

Scrapbook #320 UA 10.3.124

Leon L. Budd’s memory book has specific pages for events to record throughout his college career. He records the scores of various sporting games and writes “Yell – Rah! Rah! Rah! Uzz! Uzz! Uzz! M-A-C!”. There is even a section for interactions with professors, where Budd notes that one of the most valuable lessons he learned was to “study chemistry”.

Scrapbook #320 UA 10.3.124

Scrapbook #320 UA 10.3.124

The next section lists his dear friends, along with their happiest memories at Michigan Agricultural College. “It’s never late till 12 pm and it’s early after that” wrote John S. Hancock of Hart, Michigan. Budd’s friends proved to have some fun with the advice “If you can’t be good be careful”. A couple students bonded over their hall placement with the saying “To Hell with Wells and Abbot its Williams Hall for us” and the rivalry continued “To H—L with Williams – Wells is The Gentlemen’s Dorm”.
The happy thoughts did not disappoint, below are a few favorites:
“Of what shall man be proud of if he is not proud of his friends”
“MAC did it”
“RAH! RAH! For M.S.C.”
“Eat, drink, and be merry”
And of courses they remind us that Michigan’s cold hit this generation as well; “It’s so cold in here that the thermometer is froze”

The chants and songs during the football games shows just how much tension there was (and continues to be) between State and Michigan. Here are just a few of the “College Yells”:

We’ll rub it into Michigan, Michigan, Michigan;
Rub it into Michigan, M.A.C. can.
On to old Michigan.
Rub it into Michigan, M.A.C. can.

Hi-le, hi-lo, hilo,
Michigan’ chances grow slimmer and slimmer
Hi-le, hi-lo, hilo
Michigan’s chances must go.

Scrapbook #320 UA 10.3.124

Scrapbook #320 UA 10.3.124

School dances were also recorded, with marks next to the name of the dances done at a party. Budd attended quite a few dance parties during his time at Michigan State.

Scrapbook #320 UA 10.3.124

Scrapbook #320 UA 10.3.124

Mr. Budd also has some memorabilia from days as an engineering student. One poster depicts a skeleton at a desk with an open book to “MAC valves”. The bottom of the poster reads “=Ye=Faithful=Engineer=”.

Scrapbook #320 UA 10.3.124

Scrapbook #320 UA 10.3.124

The following pages are filled with pictures from Leon Budd’s time at MSC. They include the “Fresh-Soph Rush. 1912. ’16 vs ‘15”, places on campus, his friends, his love interest, and himself. Following those are pages of classic scrapbook findings, the football program, class schedules, and newspaper clippings from the games.

Scrapbook #320 UA 10.3.124

Scrapbook #320 UA 10.3.124

We really get a glimpse into life at Michigan State during Leon Budd’s time here. The buildings have changed, the style is different, and the course options have diversified, but the smiles and comradely seen between Budd and his classmates seem to be an everlasting effect of time at Michigan State.

Scrapbook #320 UA 10.3.124

Scrapbook #320 UA 10.3.124

Scrapbook #320 UA 10.3.124

Scrapbook #320 UA 10.3.124

Scrapbook #320 – UA 10.3.124

Written by Laura Williams

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Pioneers of International Education: Onn Mann Liang

26 03 2013
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Onn Mann Liang can be seen here in 1926, in his graduation cap and gown.

International students have been studying at Michigan State University for over 140 years, which the Archives’ new exhibit – International Students at Michigan State – outlines over here.  Recently, the scrapbooks and work documentation of one such student, Onn Mann Liang, have been uploaded to our On the Banks of the Red Cedar website almost in their entirety.  These donated materials provide the story of Liang’s life, mainly in pictures and a few brief correspondences, from late high school until the year before his death in 1957.

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Being an Engineering major, Liang seemed to have a fascination with bridges. This image is one of many he took of various bridges while in the US, and it shows him on campus standing on a small wooden structure.

Liang was one of a

group of twenty international students who studied at MSU in the 1920s, and he can even be seen in the first photo of the International Students exhibit with the International Studies group known as the Cosmopolitan Club (back row, third from the right).   His scrapbooks from the time he spent at MSU reveal how immersed he was in the campus lifestyle.  His photographs include images of himself and others canoeing and walking alongside the Red Cedar River or alternatively around the major sights of campus, such as Beaumont Tower or the Greenhouses; the pictures also reflect his interest in bridge engineering – multiple artistic shots of various bridges around MSU have been included.  These campus pictures are

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Liang was a prolific photographer, especially of MSU’s campus. This particular image appears to be on a bank of the Red Cedar River.

inter-mixed with oddly familiar and nostalgic college scenes of Liang looking perturbed at large drafting desks, reclining on lawn chairs, exploring nearby cities like Ann Arbor, and

finally posing in his long-awaited cap and gown.  While he was still attending school, Liang was known for the quality of his photographs (even winning a few awards), and his shots were good enough to open a photography studio in Lansing.

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Liang took this picture while in Chicago in 1928. The La Salle Street bridge is foremost in this image, but another two can be seen in the background.

After completing his undergraduate studies in 1926, Liang spent the next six years in the US travelling to various cities while also working for the Michigan State Highway Department.  Scrapbook images of Chicago show such famous buildings as the Tribune Tower as well as the La Salle Street Bridge – which was built and completed throughout the year of 1928, and, as a bridge enthusiast, could very well have been the reason for Liang’s visit to the city.   Within the next two years his travels also brought him to Buffalo, before he came back to Michigan and began working full time with the Highway Department.  Some of Liang’s final photographs include him among coworkers at the Department, prior to his return to China in 1932.

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This image shows Onn Mann Liang and his wife on their wedding day in 1936.

Wedding photographs from 1936 and registration documents as a Civil Engineer show Liang’s quick integration back into Chinese life.  Employment papers from the same period reveal Liang’s work as a primary engineer of dyke and bridge plans throughout his native country, which, just as with his time spent at the Michigan State Highway Department, was a direct application of the education he received from MSU.  After processing the Liang scrapbooks, it becomes apparent that he carried that education with him, even up to the last years of his life.  The final image of the Liang scrapbook shows him on a return trip to San Francisco alongside his wife and son – with the Golden Gate Bridge receding behind.





The Pere Marquette 1225

17 12 2012

The Pere Marquette 1225 might be one of the most famous trains in North America, but most know it as the Polar Express, and it’s sitting right down the road.

The 1225 was one of the steam engines built in 1941 for the purpose of transporting supplies to World War II factories.   Coming in at over 100 feet long and 400 tons in weight, the 1225’s engine runs at 3,000 horsepower, requires  a ton of coal for every 12 miles, takes eight hours to fire up, and requires 10 – 15 people to run.  The locomotive, built at a cost of $200,000 ($2.5 million today), is the largest to ever run in Michigan and was only used for a decade.  Diesel and other less expensive forms of power were taking over the market, and the era of the steam engine was at an end.  After the war ended, the 1225 was transferred to a scrap yard in New Buffalo where it remained until 1957.

The 1225 was officially commemorated on June 12, 1957.  Forest Akers and other MSU dignitaries were present for the occasion.

The 1225 was officially commemorated on June 12, 1957. Forest Akers and other MSU dignitaries were present for the occasion.

It was at this time that the Pere Marquette 1225 was donated to MSU, and it was the beginning of 30 years of debate.  Forest Akers, along with a group of Railroad enthusiasts, desired to acquire the locomotive as a monument to the Age of Steam, and John Hannah didn’t.  One newspaper is quoted as saying, “The University was not in the railroad history business, nor did it intend to enter such.”  Due to Akers’ generous donations to the school, however, there was not much of

The crew of Project 1225 distributed brochures explaining their mission and selling detailed drawings of the locomotive for restoration funds.

The crew of Project 1225 distributed brochures explaining their mission and selling detailed drawings of the locomotive for restoration funds.

an argument, and the 1225 was officially welcomed to campus in June of 1957.

“Welcome” could be a generous word.  MSU publicly considered the engine to be an eyesore, and the 1225 sat unused just south of Spartan Stadium until Randy Paquette assembled an organization of fellow students to restore the machine in 1969, under the name of Project 1225.  Worried by the timeliness, cost, and danger of the steam engine, MSU proclaimed that should the students cease work on it at any time, the machine would be scrapped immediately.

Many of these students say that had they known what was in store during the restoration of 1225, they never would have started the project.  Few of the original student crew were in the Engineering department, and zero of them had experience in locomotive construction.  One quote summarized this succinctly, “…no shop building, no crane, no drop pit, no tools, no supplies, no experience, and no money.”  Just to get power at the work site, a 400 foot extension cord was snaked across streets and through an open window.

This photograph came from Vol. III, No. 6 of the Project 1225 Bulletin, and it shows some of the original boiler crew.

This photograph came from Vol. III, No. 6 of the Project 1225 Bulletin, and it shows some of the original boiler crew.

The crew eventually was put in contact with one Kenneth Pelton, who had worked on the original models of the 1200 Berkshire series in the 1930s.  For over three years, Mr. Pelton donated his time, dedicated to making the 1225’s boiler operational.  By 1975 the crew were able to run the boiler long enough to blow the whistle, which could be heard over five miles away and rang, “…crying out like a newborn dinosaur.”

After 20 years of financial woes, the Michigan State Trust for Railway Preservation was formed in 1979 to raise money for restoration in order to make a “working relic” out of the 1225.  The locomotive found a new home in 1983 off of an old rail line in Owosso, Michigan, where it still resides under the jurisdiction of the Steam Railroading Institute.  The building was refurbished to provide a workshop for easier repairs and more suitable conditions for the workers themselves.  Their work paid off.  The restoration was completed in 1988 when the train took its first trip to Chesaning (which it does every holiday season now), at a total final cost of $1 million.  The students of 1971 estimated it would cost at most $30,000 and only take a year.

The Pere Marquette 1225’s most recent claim to fame came in 2004, with the premier of the cartoon The Polar Express.  The author of the original famous children’s story, Chris van Allsburg, grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which was a regular part of the Marquette’s route.   During filming of the movie, sound and design technicians from Warner Brothers regularly worked with the employees of the Steam Railroading Institute, receiving schematics of the train’s design, as well as traveling to Owosso to record the locomotive itself.

The Pere Marquette is only one of 6 or 7 engines of its kind to be operational in the US today.  More information about rides and tours can be found at the Steam Railroading Institute’s website here.

This image of the 1225 in action was taken by Robert Emmett for the 1992 Newsletter of the Michigan Trust for Railway Preservation.

This image of the 1225 in action was taken by Robert Emmett for the 1992 Newsletter of the Michigan Trust for Railway Preservation.