Ohio History Journal

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174                                              OHIO HISTORY


This conference settled differences until 1891. When the board of con-

trol met that year, the members were still dissatisfied because of the lim-

ited amount of land allotted to them. They voted to request the General

Assembly to permit the removal of the Agricultural Experiment Station

to Wayne County. Also they expected the University to buy the buildings

they had used on the campus for $12,000. The trustees could not see why

they should buy the buildings since they were already located on the cam-

pus and the trustees lacked the money or possibly even the power to buy

them. Hayes was again called to arbitrate this dispute. Agreement was

made to appoint committees representing each side to settle property is-

sues and to leave the problem of disposition of the buildings to the legis-


Hayes's first two years on the board were ones of giving advice on and

mediating problems of concern to the trustees. This period of activity came

to an abrupt end because of his state of shock following the death of Mrs.

Hayes in June 1889. Mrs. Hayes had been stricken while he was on his way

home from a board meeting.31 For some months he curtailed his activity,

and attended none of the board meetings until early in 1890.

The business of the board of trustees included many small day-to-day

problems and dealings in addition to questions of major importance. Hayes

spent much time on seemingly minor difficulties which could be resolved

in a short time. Most of his correspondence on board matters dealt with

such items as requests for appointment to the faculty, faculty and student

problems, disputes with the townspeople, and gifts to the University. Most

of it is uninteresting and routine, but a few examples will show his atten-

tion to details, a side of his personality not so well known as his handling

of major problems and issues. These minor incidents, of course, happened

throughout Hayes's entire board career, and the chronology in most cases

is not important.

As might be expected in a university town, disagreements arose between

the college community and the citizenry of Columbus. One such dispute

involved a city thoroughfare across the campus. In 1890 Neil Avenue ended

at Eleventh Avenue and then started again on the north side of the campus.

Pressure had been applied over a period of several years to have Neil Ave-

nue extended through the University property.32 It was reported to Hayes

that citizens were quite upset over the matter and threatened to have the

board reorganized, the University moved out in the country, and funds

withheld from the institution by the General Assembly if Neil Avenue

were not extended.33 The Board resisted for a time, but eventually Neil

Avenue was extended.34

In 1891, the city was putting a trunk sewer through the campus. As had

been predicted by the University people, the sewer drained the "lakes &

spring" until both became dry. The city placed Professor Frederick W.

Sperr, a mining engineer from the faculty, in charge of the sewer con-

struction after he said that he thought he could fix the damage and restore

the spring. Hayes was very much concerned about the loss of the spring

and wrote Cope: