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