Former Resident Remembers Early Days of Collegeport
had to be different than the
Gulf Coast University of Industrial Arts opened for the first time
the University, there were fifty students that lived in the dorms;
thirty came to classes from their homes off campus and from the hotel.
building was a quadrangle of 200 feet with a south frontage. On the left
(west) side was the girls dorm (40 x 75). Then, back of the west side
housed the city public school (1 through 6 grades) while they were there
The college used it
the right side was the chapel (40 x 125). The remaining east side housed
the boy's dorm.
between the west and east sides on the north was the laundry, kitchen
and large dining room (also play room 80 x 40).
the west front by the girl's dorm, was a forty foot square room for Miss
Kendrix, Dean of Women (also Professor). Ten feet of this space was the
private piano room. Joining the chapel-side was a forty foot square
bedroom for President and Mrs. Travis. President W. H. Travis' office
took off ten feet facing south. There was a forty foot south front
opening that led into the patio of a hundred and twenty foot square of
room opened into the center patio which held a baseball field and on the
back, near the kitchen, was a basketball court. In the patio near the
music room was a weestach tree which inspired the University song, Tune
of "The Old Apple Tree."
the courtyard of Old GCU--It was there that I first met you! etc."
was no running water at this college because the University was planned
and built in such a short time (one summer). Betty Hill (Blessing)
carried the water in a red wagon. It took lots of water to run three
washers of clothes before lunch, besides the dorm water. All the water
came from a pump on the north side, near the two chicken yards, cow
shed, and tractor barn. Back of this, there were two outdoor 3 hole
toilets which used sheets of Sears catalogs for toilet paper. They were
used in the daytime by all the college students and the public school
the dorms, each two students shared a china washbowl and pitcher of
water, and a coal oil lamp on a chest in which clothes were kept. The
students slept on half beds with a throw rug in between each bed. At the
end of each dorm was a six foot bathtub. In those days it was quite
proper for as many as 8 girls to bath (one at a time) in the same tub of
water. Then the tub was refilled and the others took their turn bathing.
At this end, there was a china commode and 10 granet buckets of water to
fill the open toilet tank after each flushing. This water emptied into a
cesspool. This china toilet and cesspool was a Northern newspaper
feature of the University. Over at the
were two - one burner coal oil stoves that held the tea kettles of water
on top. This was heated for bathing. In each dorm, a curtained off place
for hanging clean clothes completed the room lay-out.
worked in the kitchen, and the laundry because most of the wash was for
the hotel and townspeople and they sold one hundred loaves of bread
boys planted the farms, and acres of fruit trees. Cow feed was sold all
over the country as Mr. Moore had just perfected a new feed for
of three courses was served at
and consisted of cream of wheat or oatmeal. Then appeared
fried eggs, bacon, hash brown potatoes and biscuits. Last, came
hotcakes, or French toast with jelly and homemade cottage cheese, milk
and coffee. This completed the meal. Each side of the table had long
benches to seat 5 and two chairs at each end resulting in 12 students at
was a class before the boys took their lunch to the University Farm
(learn by doing). Half the class worked in the citrus and fig nursery.
After they returned at
they attended other
classes. The girls took piano, voice, sewing and cooking classes during
the day. They had sandwiches for lunch. Each Saturday, the students had
sack lunches so everyone could do more things.
dinner consisted of
steak, potatoes, rice, beans, salad, and dessert, and plenty of homemade
bread with lots of milk and coffee. The food was served family style in
large dishes up and down the extra long tables. The students could take
as much as they wanted to eat -- even up to 3 helpings, but nothing was
ever to be left on the plate or that person would get scolded. The
blessing at each meal was said after everyone was seated. "Thank
you God for this food, Amen" was said by all fifty students and the
five College professors. Then, the big dishes were passed.
supper, there was a class, and at
everyone was free to have fun. Each night had a special
party such as ice-cream, candy pull, pop corn, etc. Church in the chapel
was both morning and evening on Sunday.
great event was the President's Fraternity Initiation. After the first 9
weeks of college, students who made 6 A's on 6 courses were initiated.
There was one boy and thee girls at the Junior College Academy; and two
boys (Tom Slone and Frank Slone) and four girls (Alice Slone, Nora
Smith, Betty Hill, and another girl) of the
University at Collegeport was advertised in the big northern newspapers
and hundreds of northerners came south to get out of the cold winters.
By now, there were a thousand people living in Collegeport. There were
community boat rides, large enough to hold 100 people, box suppers, hay
rides, fish and oyster fries, etc.
a month, the
President Wolfe at the
1913, a three story red brick building housed the University (the public
school grades used 2 rooms from
). After 1927, pupils
went to Palacios Schools. On this land now stands the Collegeport
Hayes Morrison was born in
Edna Slone was born in
weeks after the engagement party, Paul left the University early that
morning and walked down the road to catch the Hurd boat going to
Palacios to get the University's supply of ice (4 blocks of 300 pounds
each). A wagon was waiting at the pier, on both sides to deliver the
ice. When Paul got off the boat at the pier, he walked to the railroad
station to catch a train to
wedding was at Rev. M. A. Travis' home (14 x 18) on
groom wore a double breasted navy blue serge suit and stood in front of
a small table. The bride marched to the altar to the tune of the wedding
march. She wore an ankle length suit of soft white wool with a batiste
high neck tucked blouse. The high topped leather shoes, and the
felt-veiled hat were in black.
were the first couple to marry in
Paul Morrisons (1926) were charter members of
Morrisons raised two foster nieces as their own children. Dr. Minnie
Alice Robertson was given a formal art debut with 300 people, then
became director of art at
Paul Morrison died at his home in
Morrison lives in their home in
Slone was head of the horses and cows, later in life, he farmed rice and
had a very large ranch of hundreds of cows and show horses. Nora Smith
became head of the laundry. The college did the town's laundry. She got
her degree in three years and taught public school. Frank Slone was head
of building and painting. Later, he became a house builder in
Copyright 2005 -
Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
|This page was created
Jan. 10, 2005
|This page was updated
Oct. 20, 2006