A second aspect of the work of the Committee on History and Art is the collection of memorabilia of the School. Preston Lincoln, J.D. 1911, recently wrote his memories of Stanford in 1910-1911. They are printed here for the interest of other alumni.
In July 1910 I came to California to visit an aunt and uncle in Palo Alto after completing a year of mechanical engineering, a four year course in three years in economics, history, biology, ethnology, geology, logic, psychology and English, French and German literature, and two years of law at New York University, or seven years work in five years.
I combined my senior B.S. work in the morning with first year law work in the afternoons of 1908-1909; and served as an instructor in the Biology Department of N.Y.U. in the mornings and as a state reader to a blind law student in the afternoons of 1909-1910, receiving a B.S. in Pure Science in June 1909 and LL.B. in 1910 at N.Y.U.
During my five years at N.Y.U. I lived at home and commuted to University Heights in the mornings and to Washington Square in downtown Manhattan in the afternoons.
My uncle, Walter D. Tobey, had come to Nevada from Massachusetts in 1895 to work on the Union Pacific Railroad but was also interested in mining. When I came our to visit him and my aunt they
lived in a house at the northwest comer of Hale and Hamilton Streets in Palo Alto that was then worth $50,000. It still appeared in good condition when I last saw it in 1969.
In 1910 my uncle was a director of the Wells Fargo Express Company, a member of the Pacific Union Club and president of the Tahoe’ Transportation Company which then owned or operated almost everything at Lake Tahoe.
Soon after my arrival my uncle and aunt took me over to Stanford to see the buildings and visit the Law School. On meeting Dean Woodward I gave him a brief abstract of my undergraduate and law school work at N.Y.U. and asked him what credit Stanford Law School would give me toward an advanced degree. He said I would receive full credit toward a J.D. degree after a year of study and that my J.D. degree would admit me to the California Bar without examination, so I decided to stay and get my degree there. This is how and why I became one of the first 87 to receive LL.B.’s or J.D.’s from Stanford.
In 1910 the Law School had only three class rooms that I remember, and the J.D. class met in one that looked into the inner court or quad facing the Chapel, which was then being rebuilt. My impression is that there were windows at the back and others along the side facing the Chapel, or right side as we faced the door and the Professor’s stand. There were continuous desk tops painted a dull grained green, with shelves for books underneath; and each desk top had accommodations for four or five students with hard bottom wooden chairs with neck-high rounded backs above the arms. My recollection is that there were four or five rows of such desk tops on each side of a center aisle. The Law Library was across the arcade from the classroom.
The only law professors that I had anything to do with were Dean Woodward, Professors Bingham, Cathcart, Hohfeld, Huberich and Professor, later Dean Huston, succeeding Dean Woodward. My memory of Professor Huberich is vague but that for the other Professors is still vivid, visually and otherwise. Professor Hohfeld had the keenest mind but all the Law School faculty knew their subjects and were excellent teachers. “Publish or Perish” had not yet become a motto at Stanford.
I also took one course under President Jordan and Professor Krehbiel in what the irreverent called Dr. Jordan’s “Pipe of Peace” or “Peace Pipe.”
I proceeded to enlist in Company L, 5th Infantry, California National Guard, in Palo Alto, and took two weeks out of my first term in Law School to go to Training Camp at Atascadero in October 1910.
After my first term exams Professor Hohfeld told me that he had passed me only because he felt that I knew more law than I showed in my answers. I did better in my second term but after I had received my J.D. diploma. Dean Woodward told me that there had been considerable discussion among the faculty as to whether I should get it. He also told me that he thought I would do better as a lawyer in Massachusetts (where I ultimately practiced for 56 years) than in California.
In 1910, as I remember it, Stanford had only 1700 students; between it and El Camino Real were first a wide stretch of turf and then a large grove of eucalyptus trees with a wide palm lined avenue.
To the east and west of this were dormitories for women and men, the Leland Stanford Junior Museum, the Stanford home and Dr. Jordan’s home. East of the Quad was Lasuen Street with a book store on its east side opposite the Quad. South of this was a small Post Office, the power house with its famous chimney and several service buildings, including a commons restaurant, the University Inn.
On Lasuen Street was a row of fraternity houses and a row of houses occupied by faculty members and administrative officers. I had a room in the home of Mr. Ames, the University Bursar, at 15 Lasuen Street. This house was still standing in 1968. Several Engineering students also roomed there and we shared a common bathroom.
I ate breakfasts and lunches at a Commons dining room west of the Quad as I remember it. A Miss Short, an assistant in the Department of Education, and Miss Merrilees of the English faculty also ate there. I ate all my dinners at the home of my aunt and uncle in Palo Alto, and spent Saturday night there and most of Sunday. The Chapel mosaics and interior were still being repaired after the earthquake; and I attended All Saints P.E. Church in Palo Alto, where I taught a class of teenage boys in the Church School for the Rev. David J. Evans. Because I spent all of my evenings and weekends in Palo Alto I had practically no contact with the undergraduate students and very little with my J.D. classmates out of class; but I did some gym work and went to Berkeley as a “Rooter” for the football game with V.C. Stanford students tried to raise balloons carrying a large Stanford banner but the attempt failed and we lost the Game. I also attended the musical comedy and two plays on the Quad, bringing a Palo Alto girl.
My uncle and aunt belonged to a four-family bridge club in Palo Alto and my uncle and some of his friends also played cribbage, which he taught me. I was a dub at bridge, but learned cribbage
so well that before I left Palo Alto I could score even with him. On one occasion our whole bridge club went by auto to the home of the Lathrops on a hill upon the Stanford Farm. They had a teen-aged daughter named Hermina with whom I danced at several parties in Palo Alto.
There was a very fine and active dramatic club in Palo Alto in 1910-11 and Professor and Mrs. Bingham were very fine actors in several plays, especially Moliere’s “Medecin Malgre Lui,” performed in English. He was the only Law School professor who took any part in Palo Alto activities that I remember. In 1910-11 there was a toonerville trolley line that ran from the Quad P.O. to Hale St. in Palo Alto. At one crossing near the Quad was a RR Xing warning sign with a bell that frequently rang false warnings and kept them up. It was such an annoyance that it was wrecked several times at night and the trolley line gave up the attempt to keep it going.
One night a trolley car got stalled on the S.P. grade crossing and a freight train wrecked it. I saw the wreck on my way to my campus room. Some student made off with the fare register as a souvenir of this event. Later, in a parade of people in fantastic costumes one man appeared in a white gown and hood with eye holes in it, and with big RR X warning signs on chest and back, a sign “The Ghost of the Damnnuisance” and an alarm clock under his robe, which he rang at intervals. One fraternity got involved in an initiation scandal which involved a bathtub, and was severely disciplined. For a week afterward a bathtub upended stood on the upper porch of the Frat house with a “For Sale” sign on it.
To supplement my allowance from Massachusetts I tutored the teenage daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ames in History and Geography and later tutored two pre-school sons of a Mr. and Mrs. Corryell in Menlo Park. Mrs. Corryell was a Pullman heiress as I remember it. The Rev. Mr. Gardner, chaplain at Stanford, was scandalized at my charge for this tutoring, but the Corryells were so pleased with it that they invited me as a “fill-in” guest at a white tie dinner party. I rode to it on a bicycle in a pouring rain.
My J.D. Class had a photo taken of us in our robes but I spoiled it because my trousers were too long and looked as if they were about to fall down, though well secured. I lost my copy long ago in the course of several moves.
According to Dean Emeritus Kirkwood our J.D. Class started out 20 strong in 1910. Only five of us were left in 1968 and I am the oldest and senior alumnus of Stanford in Boston, Massachusetts at the present time. It is only within the past ten years that there has been any Stanford alumni activity in Boston, and President (now Chancellor) Sterling was the first President of Stanford to visit Boston, where there are now about 1,200 alumni.
In 1910-11 Stanford was as “dry” as Dr. Jordan could make it and any student going to Menlo Park for “liquid refreshments” and caught at it, was in danger of suspension, sometimes for a year. This led to the alibi that “My eyes were weak and I had to rest a year” in the Road to Menlo Song.
Oh, there’s the road to Menlo
As plain, as plain can be.
And if you want to see a wreck
Just take a look at me.
For I have been to Menlo and tasted of the beer;
And that’s the reason my eyes are weak
And I had to rest a year.
I wish I had an ocean of rum and
sugar a million pound.
The dear old Quad to mix it in.
The chimney to stir it round
I’d drink a toast to the cardinal
So glorious and so true, and join in
the rollicking chorus
To hell with the Gold and Blue.