THE BACKGROUND OF MY LIFE AS RELATED TO
AND TO THE HISTORY OF HASTINGS COLLEGE
After the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad, my uncle, General Stanton, who was breveted "Lieutenant Colonel" for gallant service against Crazy Horse, became Paymaster General for the United States Army. He died at Omaha in 1900 and is buried in Arlington. I interviewed Buffalo Bill when he was in Hastings some years ago. He campaigned with Colonel Stanton.
In the sod house period, I took a homestead in Lincoln County. Later, I traveled to Nebraska by township and section lines, inspecting lands, using a team of broncos. The contour and wide sweep of unbroken prairie are distinct in my memory. I acted for many years as manager for the South Platte territory for Burnham-Tolley Company Investment Bankers. All this will serve, I trust, to give a better understanding of the background of my story.
I located in business in Hastings to a considerable degree because of the College and the character of the men who made up the community. At that time, the College was just beginning on the present campus. College interests were everywhere discussed. I asked my two sisters to come here from Iowa to attend the College. It was not long before I met a fair-haired girl among the students, who has since done more for me than any one else since those days.
All in all, I have knowledge of the territory and the purposes of the founders, whom I knew personally. They were headed by the Reverend Griffes, [the first minister of the newly-established Presbyterian Church.] It was largely through his efforts that the College Foundation was established. In addition to those acquaintances, I was in business with the men who revived the plans five years later – plans that were never abandoned and builders who reappeared when financial conditions encouraged greater local developments.