The Census - 5 - The President
My prize for most interesting people of the day goes to Barend and Nettie Kroeze. He is 70, born in Holland, Michigan and the President of Jamestown College. His wife who is 65 is from Minnesota and teaches music at the College.
My interview was with Jeanette, although she said everyone called her Nettie and asked me to put that name on the form. I didn't need to try to drag information out of her. She spouted it.
Here is sort of how it went:
When I asked how many years they had spent in education, it floored me a bit. She had four years of college, and had a BA but he was educated to the level of DD. I certainly had never put DD in my column before. I asked her what it meant.
“Doctor of Divinity.”
“Does that mean he is a minister too?”
“No, not at all. That would be a doctorate in Theology. The degree is generally conferred honoris causa by a church-related college, such as we are, to recognize the recipient's ministry-orientated accomplishments.”
“And so does he give sermons?”
“We both consider that our lives should be an example to others, so you could say we try to preach through the way we live. For instance, I am very active in the Women's Christian Temperance Union which is usually shortened to the WCTU. In 1922 I gave a discourse on liquor as I saw it during a trip aboard. Drinking on ship was the rule rather than the exception, and all on board thought it quite peculiar that I refused the drinks. After entering countries that had no liquor restriction, and noting the conditions in those countries I felt I had proof that we must not stop short of world prohibition."
“Sorry to have to bring you back to the form, but I have a few more questions to ask you. Was your husband was at work last week?”
“He is at work every day of the year. You would have thought by the time he got to be 70 he would slow down some, but it is like he is married to the College. He is the President, you know, and has been since 1909. Did you know, Jamestown College was actually the first higher educational establishment in Dakota Territory, long before North Dakota became a State. It was built through the generosity of the Presbyterian Church. For awhile it was out of action, due to financial problems, but it was reconvened in 1909 with my husband as the President, as he has been in thata role ever since. We have been through some changes, let me tell you, during that time. Lots of problems such as Old Main burning down. But we managed to get another hall built on top of it, and the campus is thriving now.”
“Did you have paid work last week?”
“I teach music at the college – less so now than I did when I was younger, but I have lectures most days, and do some private lessons too. But I do not wish to enter any figures on your form.”
When I asked whether they paid rent for their luxurious apartment in the Hall, she replied, “All the professors who live here have their accommodation as part of their contract. We do pay some rent, $45 a month, but as I'm sure you can tell, that is greatly subsidised. Some of the professors have specific pastoral responsibilities regarding the students in the dormitories – but we do not.”
When I asked who else lived in their apartment, she said that one of the young women students lived with them who was in her 3rd year of her degree.
“Does your lodger pay rent to you?”
“She does not. She sometimes helps with the upkeep. We have cleaning people who deal with the day to day drudgery of keeping up appearances. And although we have a token kitchen, we eat most of our meals in the college dining room, so as to get to know the students and professors
“Is that in this building?”
“No. It was in Old Main originally, but then in the basement of Sanford Hall, and in 1917 when we built the Vorhees Chapel, the dining room moved to the basement there. In the old days, when we first came, women weren't allowed accommodation on campus at all. They had to live nearby in
rented rooms in the town. We did have a list for them to choose from, so they didn't have to do all the research themselves. The men had rooms in one of the dorms. Later on, women were allowed in too, but on different floors from the men.”
So you can see, Clara, that I spent quite a bit of time on this particular entry.
I didn't feel well yesterday, so didn't go to work. My boss was very understanding. Our weather has been very cold and wet, and I think it is just a cold, so have wrapped up warm and am braving it again today, although he told me to have a shorter list, so I have taken him up on that and only
did the rest of the college hall people. Other enumerators are in charge of the other college residences.
My people today were,not surprisingly, all professors at the college. One listed his salary as $3010, another at $2500. But effetively the biggest salary for this small group was the Athletic director, who makes $2620 for working only 36 weeks a year.
I am still not feeling at all well, so only doing a bit of going back to places I have already been to pick up on the odd one missed. I think there were only perhaps 5 or 6 today.
I didn't work during the day as I wasn't up to it, but I managed a few of the country visits today, and Byers gave me a lift.
I am only now able to finish this and mail it to you. What I thought was the beginning of a cold turned into very nasty flu. My boss was okay with me taking time off, and said I could conclude my work when I felt able to. I must say I felt dreadful all last week, but am coming back to normal health now.
Because I am so far behind, I have had to work very quickly, and don't really have time to write much about the people I've interviewed. There wasn't anyone who made more money that those from the last few days or had a more impressive house.
I had to work so fast that I made some mistakes and had to do some crossings off. On the last day I worked before I was ill, I had a problem with sudden heavy rain. I hadn't protected the papers when I went from house to house, and the ink was smeared before I had a chance to get it covered. But when I showed it to my boss the other day, he said it would be okay. It had dried flat, and the gist of what was written there could just about be made out. I would have had to do them again, if he hadn't
been able to read it. Thank goodness it was only the top half of the paper.