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Coe College 1851-1901

In 1950, Grace Hartzell Douma composed a thesis on the history of Coe College.  The thesis was submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in history at the University of Wisconsin.  The history covers the years between 1851 and 1901.  The document is 206 pages long.  Unfortunately, a number of pages have gone missing. 

An excerpt:
"Literary societies played the highly important role on the Coe campus that they did on so many other college campuses during the latter half of the century.  On many campuses the literary society was the only extra-curricular activity sponsered by the school...

Alpha Nu was the first literary society at Coe.  It was organized in January, 1882 for the men on campus.  Within the next year a group of young women formed a similar organization and named their society after Mr. T. M. Sinclair, a Coe patron who had died in 1881.  In 1885, a second society for men, the Olios, was established, but another group for the women was not formed until nine years later.  This was the Carleton Society.

The general purpose of a society was to provide experience in declamation, composition, oratory, debate, parliamentary tactics, presiding over assemblies, keeping minutes, keeping accounts, and managing funds.  The officers of a given society varied somewhat, but in general they included a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, critic, and curator.  Some societies also had a chaplain and a "prosecuting attorney," (123-124).

For full text of Grace Hartzell Douma's thesis entitled Coe College 1851-1901, click here.

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