The group will host its annual banquet at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at First Presbyterian Church in Bowling Green.
No cussing, drinking, smoking, gambling, fraternizing or loitering, and no skipping church.
Those were just a few of the rules outlined in a 1889-1890 Pike College catalogue, which was donated recently to Champ Clark Honey Shuck Restoration Inc.
The group will host its annual banquet at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at First Presbyterian Church in Bowling Green. The Hungate Award will be presented and a raffle will be held. Tickets are $25 each or $40 per couple, and are available by contacting a Honey Shuck board member or calling 573-324-6707 or 573-324-3154.
Pike College provided an education strong on the classics to thousands of young people from its founding in 1881 until the building on Centennial Street burned in 1922.
The class of 1889-1890 had 130 students who took classes in everything from zoology and plane geometry to violin and Homer’s Iliad. There were eight faculty members, six of whom were women. President Ernest W. Dow also taught languages and “mental and moral sciences.”
Sixty-eight students were from Bowling Green, which the catalogue describes as “a beautiful little city of 2,000 inhabitants.” Another 48 kids came from other Pike County communities, with six from Lincoln County and two each from Monroe, Ralls and Audrain counties. The other two students were from the state of Virginia. A little over half of the total were women.
The catalogue lists important topics such as tuition costs and class offerings, but it’s the “Rules and Regulations” section that seems quaint almost 130 years later.
“As a home for students it is decidedly free from temptations,” the booklet assures. “There are no saloons in our city. Our students are thus free from a temptation which wrecks the lives of many a young man.”
Parents can entrust “their sons and daughters to our care with confidence that their habits will be carefully looked after, and everything possible done to promote their welfare,” it continues.
“Loose discipline and thorough scholarship seldom go together.”
Those who couldn’t resist the enticements of licentiousness and debauchery faced discipline that included expulsion.
“Neither drinking nor gambling will be tolerated,” the manual says. “Such offences are grevious and persons so offending will be summarily dealt with. We cannot afford to permit the attendance of even one ‘tippler’ for the reason that through his influence others may be contaminated.”
Also banned were the “use of profane or impure language,” “frequent visits to each others rooms” and “loitering about town.” No tobacco products could be used inside the college building and “ladies are not allowed to receive the attention of young gentlemen except by consent of the parent or guardian and of the President of the College.”
Religious observance also was deemed highly necessary. “Our students are expected to attend some one of the Churches and Sunday Schools on Sunday,” the catalogue says.
Tuition ranged from $18 to $21 per year – about $475 to $550 today -- depending upon the course of study. The average annual wage at the time was around $375. Tuition could be paid for the year or in thirds at the start of semesters on Sept. 9, Dec. 2 and March 3. There were no additional costs or book fees. Refunds were not available to those who dropped out or were suspended. There were no classes on Thanksgiving and the day after or from Dec. 24 to 30.
Students were allowed to board with local families for $2.50 to $3 per week – around $65 in 2017 -- as long as the college president approved.
“A number of our best families are now keeping student boarders and others are will to do so,” the catalogue says.
Many student names are recognizable to Pike County residents today, including Biggs, Ingram, Omohundro, and Sisson.
The catalogue is one of thousands of items on display at Honey Shuck, the Clark home at 207 E. Champ Clark Drive in Bowling Green.
At the Oct. 26 banquet, Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum Executive Director Henry Sweets will deliver the keynote address. He’s expected to note connections between Clark and Twain.
Champ Clark Honey Shuck Restoration board members include President Nathan Lilley, Vice President Charlene McCune, Treasurer Bob Kirkpatrick, Secretary BrentEngel, Paulette Bruch, Ethan Colbert, Nancy Guyton, Alan Hiles, Holly Johnston, Diane Kirkpatrick, Glen Leverenz, Tom Lewis, Trevor Lilley, Larry Twellman, Margie Vogel and Pam Williams. Honorary members include Millie Betz, J. Bennett Clark, Millie Jackson, Ed Lawson and Elenore Schewe.