The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903, May 03, 1902, Image 1

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vol. xvm, no. xvii
Establishment in Lincoln of an Institution Which Has for
Its Purpose the Amelioration of
Some of the Distressing Conditions that Confront the Poor
The announcement of the approach
ing completion of the house erected at
the corner of Twentieth and N streets.
by the College Settlement association
for its new home, has occasioned so
many inquiries that it is believed a
brief review of the association and its
plans will be a topic of real interest
to the people of Lincoln. A word of
preface in regard to the origin of the
idea may not be amiss, as doubtless
there are those unacquainted with its
'alins and methods.
F The initiative in this movement was
tm taken by Arnold Toynbee an Oxford
p student who, conceiving the idea that
the poor might be brought to a bet-
"- terment of their social and industrial
u 'condition through the example and In-
- . , flueiice of a model home established In
their midst, devoted his short life to
, . the. work in the worst section of East
London. "Toynbee Hall," erected as a
memorial of his life and idea, became
the centre for redeeming. East London,
and the parent of the, "halls" now
.scattered all over the world. In Amer
ica the eastern colleges first took up
the work, and located "settlements" in
the worst districts of the great cities.
Today these centres may be found
connected with every important col
lege and university in the land, and
have extended from large to small city,
and even to rural communities. Men
and women of wealth, social position,
and educational acquirements become
"residents" in these "settlements" and
thus a living part of the people of the
neighborhood. The aim of all Is to
help those less fortunate to help them
selves. The idea of charity is wholly
absent. Those who are often so widely
separated Into social classes are
brought together and questions of mu
tual or diverse interests are presented
and discussed from all points of view.
Miss Jane Addams, of Hull House, Chi
cago, stands today as the most noted
leader of this movement. Great buildings-
on Halstead street have sprung
into being under her magic touch.
Summer outings, mothers' clubs, read
ing and amusement rooms, recreation
' and play grounds, cleaner streets, and
- better government indicate a few of
the lines of work and results of Hull
" House. Graham Taylor, of "Chicago
Commons," has reformed in large part
the life of a ward, and so strong has
become his work, that the University
of Michigan has established a fellow
ship, the holder of which lives for a
half year or more at the "Commons"
to study college settlement methods.
Unde Mr. Taylor's direction investi
gations are carried on by more than
I .thirty "residents," who give their time
jjP.and strength to the work in hand.
Hp Whole neighborhoods have been trans
r formed in every city in our land, and
yet not a worker of the hundreds in
this movement receives payment for
his services. In -some cases expenses
are provided for, but salaries are never
The work was first taken up in the
University of Nebraska in 1896 by Pro
fessor Wolfe, who, accepting Professor
James' theory that emotion without ef
fort is enervating, sought in settlement
work the means of giving expression
to student altruism. The social needs
of Lincoln were in no way the needs
of a larger city, and the result of stu
dent effort upon the classes among
whom they worked was for the time
regarded as of less importance than
the influence of the endeavor upon the
students themselves. Preliminary in
vestigations by Professors Wolfe,
Possler, 'Hodgwffiir'and others, led to
the calling of a faculty conference,
and, soon after, to the adoption of a
constitution and a formal organization.
After a period of introductory activity
on the part of the faculty alone, the
working board was reorganized, so as
to include three faculty and four stu
dent members, and. the latter at once
pressed Into active service through the
has been of more practical value or
more popular than that In manual
training, begun at first with the simple
Sloyd system and the use of ordinary
Jackknives, and quickly rising from an
initial attendance of ten to the un
comfortably crowded number of forty,
with still others desiring to Join. A
reading room supplied with some two
hundred bound volumes and numer
ous magazines, and a collection of pic
tures, loaned out in turn among the
various homes, were additional meth
ods of neighborhood instruction and
The people of Lincoln have through
out entered very heartily Into the col
lege settlement work, aiding it by
their contributions and encouragement,
and assisting in Its development, until
the movement has become much more
than a mere university affair. A sec
ond reorganization of the board has
recently been made to include three
members from the city Messrs. J. E.
Miller, G. W. Rhodes, and Mrs. G. M.
Lambertson, and with its new home
the work enters upon a new and larger
Twentieth and N Streets.
organization of numerous committees
for the conduct of various lines of the
work. Mr. and Mrs. Fauquet first took
up the actual "resident" duties in the
location chosen at Eighth and X
streets, and night schools, sewing
school, entertainments, games, and
other means of social inspiration and
betterment gradually Introduced. Of
the numerous lines of instruction none
field. Instead of a mere "model home,"
the intention is to now make it a sort
of social "clearing house" a place
where different social strata may met
for amusement and Instruction, where
boys and girls may find attractions
sufficient to keep them from the streets
and, if necessity demands, a place
where mothers may leave their chil
dren during working hours. The new
home, a view and plans of which are
presented In the accompanying Illus
trations, Is a large house, 28x36 feet
square, two stories In height, with ten
rooms, besides basement and garret.
Both of the latter will be put to good
use, the basement being Intended for
the manual training work, for which
ten benches and a full supply of ex
cellent tools for ten workers afford a
most encouraging equipment. Furnace
heat, gas lights, and sanitary sewer
age will assist In making a model
dwelling. The ground floor rooms may
be used for reading, study, or games,
or may be thrown into practically one
large room for auditorium purposes.
The association regards the outlook
for the coming year a3 most encour
aging. The board has succeeded In
securing Mr. Prevey, the efficient sec
retary of the Charity society, as the
"resident,"" to begin his duties In the
fall. His wide experience In social
work, and his still wider sympathy
with those who will be his neighbors
In the true sense of the word promise
by far the most successful year in the
history of the "settlement." But it is
not alone In the fact that an efficient
"resident" has come to the aid of the
association that success may be predi
cated. The new house, the better
equipment, the more cent nil location,
and above all the deep sympathy
shown by faculty, students, and citi
zens cannot help but inspire all to re
newed energy.
The settlement Is not an "institu
tion" or a "home" In the sense of a
charity home, but a real home with
Its doors always open to neighbors,
rich and poor alike. The college set
tlement does not aim to duplicate any
work now under way by other asso
ciations. Its purpose Isunlque. and
its field unoccupied. It does not dis
burse charity. It strives to make
charity unnecessary. It does not enter
directly Into the religious field, yet Its
every effort will be to make for mor
ality, and against the low and the vul
gar. In Its educational efforts It will
not duplicate the work now carried on,
but strive to reach those who cannot
take advantage of the public schools.
Evening classes will be formd, and
instruction given In manual training
and domestic service. 'Those who be
lieve in this movement, and all are
rapidly coming to be Its friends wish
to offer a common ground of meeting
for radical and conservative: for
worker and employer where one is Just
the equal of 'the other in rights: for
the refined and those whose advan
tages have been less. In short the plan
requires sacrifice and devotion; not a
spirit of patronage or of pride. The
common brotherhood must ever be In
mind, and the welfare of city, state,
and nation the goal towards which all
efforts shall tend.