By Carleton Ross Hume
The University of Oklahoma was established by an act of the first Territorial Legislature, approved December 19, 1890, providing for the location, control, election of the President and faculties, establishment of departments and certain other requirements.1
Cleveland County voted a $10,000 bond issue May 19, 1891 by a vote of 1288 to 21. A forty acre campus was given by Norman citizens. On February 19, 1892, the Board of Regents met to consider plans for a $30,000 building which eventually cost $40,000.2
The University was organized on September 15, 1892, with a faculty consisting of David R. Boyd as President; F. S. E. Amos was Professor of English and History; E. N. Rice was Professor of Ancient Languages and Edwin DeBarr was Professor of Physics and Mathematics. There were about sixty students; this number increased to 107 during the year.
Classes were held upstairs over the Atkins Furniture store in the stone building on West Main Street in Norman now known as the Warren building.
On August 16, 1894, the parents of the writer received a letter from Mrs. David R. Boyd followed the next week by one from President Boyd which induced them to send him that fall to the University, now in its third year. The writer goes on to say that:
I left Anadarko on Sunday afternoon by buggy, caught the midnight Rock Island train from Chickasha to El Reno; then took the morning train
on the Choctaw (now Rock Island) to Oklahoma City. There I changed to the Santa Fe afternoon train and reached Norman, Monday, September 8. I secured a room at President Boyd's home on the Boulevard, and the next morning I interviewed President Boyd, paid the $3.00 incidental fee and enrolled as the youngest member of the Freshman Class of 9.
The first building had been started during the first year and was completed in 1893. The campus consisted of forty acres. A native oak walk extended along the west side of Boulevard to the campus. The only buildings near the campus were three or four houses along the Boulevard and about the same number north on Elm Street. All around was farm land.
I had many homesick days, but in time we got acquainted and gradually entered the social life offered us.3
3Adapted from the manuscript entitled, "The Beginning of Some Oklahoma University Traditions" by C. Ross Hume (Archives, Oklahoma Historical Society).