The Hesperian / (Lincoln, Neb.) 1885-1899, February 15, 1894, Page 10, Image 14

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    10
THE HESPERIAN
4
A long array of pawnbroker's balls swung in
the breezes about Ninth and P streets.
Richards' block and Burr's block wore huge
holes in tho ground. The Windsor Hotel
had not been built, nor any of tho larger
buildings about Eleventh and J streets.
Beyond Thirteenth street, there was not a
brick building. The court house yard was a
corn field, and tho capitol grounds a dark,
deserted meadow of timothy. Tho B. & M.
and U. P. were tho only railroads that
entered tho city.
The medical college was a more or less
private affair organized by the physicians of
Lincoln with the hope that it would ulti
mately receive legislative encouragement.
But successive legislatures failed in their in
scrutable wisdom to see tho need of a state
medical school and it died. It had its prin
cipal base of operations in what is now -the
reading room, and a number of hypothetical
bases in various quarters of tho University
and of tho city. A partition stretched across
the long room near tho first window and di
vided it into two unequal parts. There was
a door in this partition high up against the
ceiling. It was reached from the small com
partment by a rickety stairway, and as one
passed through admitted him to tho upper
tier of seats in tho "amphitheatre." This
stretched onward before him and downward
by successive degrees until it ended at a rail
ing near the farther end. Here wore tho
lecturer's table, an operating table with re
volving top, a red sheet-iron stove and a
skeleton. A corner of tho smaller compart
ment had been cut off by another partition
and formed a little room which was used as
a "skeleton closet." A dozen or so skele
tons were kept here. They hung suspended
from the ceiling by hooks screwed into tho
tops of their skulls. The partition was not
abovo seven feet high and it used to be my
great delight as a prep to strike tho strings
abovo tho partition with a long polo and look
through a knot-hole to see their legs dangle.
Here in these rooms tho more or less rough
aggregation of follows that composed tho
body of "medics" held their seances and
performances to tho horror of Saturday eve
ning debating clubs and to tho terror of tho
city. For they wore so careless thai toward
the end tho citizens of Lincoln became justi
fiably incensed. This carelessness was in
sonic cases little short of criminal. Surely,
allowing fragments of human bodies to be
thrown out on tho campus could be called
nothing clso. This was what happened
on the occasion of the first real dissection
the boys had. But it was their first exper
ience with a real "stiff" and they were not
so much to blame after all. It seoms they
had determined on preserving the bones of
their subject to make a skeleton, after they
had learned all they could from it in tho
dissecting room. To this end, thoy sot up
an old stove one night in the basement, con
cealed their subject and prepared, to boil it
the following night in an old wash-boiler.
There were no chimneys nor stovo-pipo
holes in tho basement, but tho smoko was
allowed to escape into tho air and easily,
found its way out through a system of old
ventilators. But lo! and behold! Tho next
night the head of tho subject was gone.
They were struck with consternation and hid
everything at once, for where would jc bo
found. A day or so went by, and one after
noon it was found out on the east side of the
campus, where it was being kicked about by
a crowd of small boys and "preps." That
evening Lincoln was all enflamed by the
news that a man had been murdered upon
tho University campus, and that his body
had been cut up and strewn to tho four
winds. Sheriff Melick armed himself with an
order from the court, ato his supper, and came
in hot hasto, attended by a mob, to forcibly
close tho University. Mr. G. B. Frankforter
was a student of chemistry at that time.
Tho laboratory was in tho' rooms directly
opposite the executive offices. Hero he was
at work in tho evening when tho ball began.
His light must have attracted the attention
of tho mob and aroused their ire, for tho
laboratory was invaded by some bricks.