Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Thomson R. Bryant, Sr., December 3rd, 1975

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
Transcript
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Index
Search this Index
X
00:00:03 - Interview introduction and early impressions of UK

Play segment

Partial Transcript: The following is an unrehearsed interview with T. R. Bryant for the Alumni Faculty Oral History Project...

Segment Synopsis: Thomson R. Bryant, Sr. is an alumnus of University of Kentucky and former associate director of UK's Cooperative Extension Service. He tells of his early impressions of UK and how he came to the university in 1902.

Keywords: coming to college; competitions; county superintendents; dormatories; enrollment; examinations; exhibitions; laws; preparatory schools; required attire; stationary engines

Subjects: University of Kentucky.

00:02:54 - Student life

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Uh, how would you describe the lifestyle on campus, uh, during your years as a student here...

Segment Synopsis: He talks about what it was like to be a student at UK when he attended. He also describes the typical dormitory of that time and how the students lived.

Keywords: bathrooms; conveniences; curfews; denim; discipline; dormitories; dress codes; furniture; periodicals; sanitation; student conduct; students; textbooks; ties; uniforms

Subjects: University of Kentucky.

00:07:10 - Classes at UK

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Did you find the... the work in the classroom challenging? How were the classes conducted... that sort of thing?

Segment Synopsis: He talks about the way that classes were conducted, the lack of retirement for teachers and some of the subjects students learned.

Keywords: English; French; German; Greek; James K. Patterson; Jimmy White; Latin; classes; geology; graduate work; high school; mathematics; physics; professors; recitations; retirement; science; students; teachers

Subjects: University of Kentucky.

00:09:00 - James K. Patterson and the Lance and Cross Society

Play segment

Partial Transcript: In your recollections of President Patterson... what... what were your impressions of him and, uh, what was his relationship...

Segment Synopsis: Bryant talks about his relationship with President Patterson and Patterson's wife. He talks about how Patterson administered the university and his vision for it. He describes the formation of the Lance and Cross Society, the predecessor to UK's Student Government Association.

Keywords: Bowman Hall; Dr. Bowman; James K. Patterson; Lance and Cross Society; Mrs. Patterson; Student Government Association (SGA); administration building; arts; board of trustees; classics; communication; education for a few; faculty; faculty meetings; historians; leadership; sciences; seminaries; state colleges; statesmanship; strict guidelines; student government; students; university presidents

Subjects: Education.; University of Kentucky.

00:13:35 - UK's relationship with the Lexington community and Transylvania University

Play segment

Partial Transcript: How would you describe the relationship between the university when you were a student and the Lexington community?

Segment Synopsis: Bryant talks about how the Lexington community gave to the University of Kentucky from the very beginning, and the city's support of the institution and of Transylvania College, now Transylvania University. He also talks about the relationship between the two universities and their name changes.

Keywords: Morrill Land Grant Acts; athletics; campus and community relationship; city parks; communities:Kentucky University; community support; competition; criticism; hospitality; legislature; money; state colleges

Subjects: Lexington (Ky.).; Transylvania University.; University of Kentucky.

00:16:43 - Women on campus

Play segment

Partial Transcript: I was curious as to the role of women on campus when you were a student. Uh... what, what role did they play on campus?

Segment Synopsis: He talks about the role of women on the UK campus, and how there were almost no female professors at all. He tells how there was not a women's dormitory until 1905 or 1906. He also mentions the male students' reactions to having women on campus and how they wished that there were more of them.

Keywords: Elizabeth Shelby Kinkade; English Literature; James K. Patterson; Judge Kinkade; Mrs. Stout (??); Patterson Hall; dormitories; faculty members; gymnasium; housing; lectures; residence halls; students; women; women professors; women students

Subjects: Lexington (Ky.).; University of Kentucky.

00:19:55 - Basketball at UK from 1904-1906

Play segment

Partial Transcript: You described many of your athletic experiences in football to Russell Rice for his history of Kentucky football just recently...

Segment Synopsis: He talks about basketball's status as a relatively new game when he was a student. At that time, basketball games were much more chaotic and the coaches didn't know much about the game other than what they read in the rule books. He also describes where they played their games.

Keywords: Buell Hall; Don Pedro Bramson (??); Miller Hall; athletics; baseball; basketball games; basketball teams; coaches; coaching; entertainment; equipment and supplies; football; height; jump centers; lack of rules; new sports; preparatory students; rule books; scoring

Subjects: Basketball.; University of Kentucky.

00:24:56 - Student manager of the football team in 1907 and basketball

Play segment

Partial Transcript: But, um, in football, the rivalry was furious. It was intense. I served as manager- student manager of the team in Nineteen hundred and...

Segment Synopsis: He talks about his experiences as the student manager of the football team. He tells how the field was prepared for the game and also talks about the basketball team's coaching and the basketball they used.

Keywords: Main Street; W.W.H. Mustang (??); basketballs; coaching; faculty athletic committee; fiscal responsibilities; football; football games; gymnastics; rivalries; rivalry; schedules; sporting goods stores; student managers; students; team captains; tickets; transportation

Subjects: Basketball.; University of Kentucky.

00:29:11 - Work with E.S. Good and agriculture extension

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Is there anything else about your student days before we go on into, uh, when you became a staff member...

Segment Synopsis: Bryant talks about his first position at UK as an assistant to Professor E.S. Good in 1908. He also talks about his work in organizing the extension system, starting in 1910.

Keywords: College of Agriculture; Department of Animal Science; Extension Service Department; Professor E.S.Good; agriculture; agronomy; budgets; contageous abortion; employment; experiment station; extension research,agriculture; extension teaching; farmer's meetings; horticulture; money; professors; researchers; staff members

Subjects: Kentucky.; University of Kentucky.

00:32:54 - County agents in Kentucky, 1910-1914

Play segment

Partial Transcript: But, I think, Mr. Birdwhistle, I would like to say a word or two about the interim between 1910 and 1914... those four years.

Segment Synopsis: He talks about the hiring of county agents for Kentucky's agricultural extension program and how they received money from the federal government for it. He mentions some of the counties that chose to benefit from this program in its early years.

Keywords: Davis County (Ky.); Fayette County (Ky.); General Education Board; Henderson County (Ky.); Jefferson County (Ky.); Metcalfe County (Ky.); Muhlenberg County (Ky.); Smith-Lever Act of 1914; U.S. Department of Agriculture; agriculture; bills; congress; counties; county agents; experiment station; extension work; funds; matching funds

Subjects: Kentucky.; University of Kentucky.

00:36:02 - Ideas for starting up the extension program

Play segment

Partial Transcript: When, when you first began developing extension work, uh, where did you get your ideas for how to run, set up...

Segment Synopsis: He talks about some of the places he went for advice about starting up the extension program.

Keywords: Columbus (Ohio); G.I. Christie; Mr. Graham; Purdue University; Rankin; University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana; demonstration method; extension programs; extension work; farm demonstrations; fertilizer; ideas; seeds; soil

Subjects: Kentucky.; University of Kentucky.

00:39:09 - Dean Scovell and UK's experiment station

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Uh, going back for a minute to uh... Dean Scovell's tenure as...

Segment Synopsis: He talks about Dean Scovell, UK's experiment station and the College of Agriculture. He also discusses the relationship between Scovell and President Patterson.

Keywords: Board of Control of the Experiment Station; James K. Patterson; Melville A. Scovell; administration; board of trustees; dean of the College of Agriculture; deans; experiment stations; farmers; fertilizers; laws; livestock feeds; seminaries; subcommittees

Subjects: University of Kentucky.

00:41:53 - Joseph Castle and transitions in the extension program

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Uh, did things change very much when, uh, Dean Castle took over as, as dean of the college?

Segment Synopsis: He talks about how things changed when Dean Castle took over the extension program, and some of the difficulties of that time until Dr. McVey became University President.

Keywords: College of Agriculture; Henry S. Barker; Joseph Castle; Smith-Lever Act of 1914; authority; extension work

Subjects: McVey, Frank LeRond, 1869-1953.; University of Kentucky.

00:43:41 - The establishment of farm bureaus in Kentucky

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Now, uh, Mr. Birdwhistell... uh, in this connection, I would like to... say a little something about...

Segment Synopsis: Bryant describes the forming of the State Farm Bureau in Kentucky. (there is some white noise for about a minute)

Keywords: American Farm Bureau Federation; Kentucky counties; administration; agriculture; counties; extension programs; extension services; farm bureaus; farming; incorporation; members; membership; money; organization; state farm bureaus; state federation

Subjects: Chicago (Ill.).; Kentucky.

00:47:44 - Getting funding from the 1916 state legislature

Play segment

Partial Transcript: The following is part two of an unrehearsed interview with Thompson R. Bryant, Associate Director of Agriculture...

Segment Synopsis: Bryant talks about the funding the College of Agriculture received in 1916, and the controversy about how that money ought to be spent.

Keywords: Bowling Green (Ky.); Dr. Muchler; Joseph Castle; Smith-Lever Act of 1914; agricultural agents; appropriations; controversy; county agents; dean of the College of Agriculture; experiment stations; extension service; extension work; funding; legislature; money; state legislature

Subjects: University of Kentucky.

00:51:42 - County agents in Kentucky

Play segment

Partial Transcript: But at any rate, it gave... uh, the extension service got enough of that money to, um, begin to meet the requirements...

Segment Synopsis: He discusses the appointment of agricultural agents in Kentucky, and how the extension service encouraged counties to request their own agent.

Keywords: Agricultural Adjustment Act; Smith-Lever Act of 1914; agricultural agents; counties; county agents; extension service

Subjects: Kentucky.

00:53:17 - Investigation committee on university procedures

Play segment

Partial Transcript: I'll, um... Mr. Bryant, one interesting thing that came up a year later, then, in 1917 was an investigating committee...

Segment Synopsis: Bryant talks about a committee that was called upon to investigate the way that UK was being run, and the reasons why this committee was formed. He tells how this eventually led to President Barker's resignation and President McVey's appointment.

Keywords: College of Agriculture; Dr. Muchler; Henry S. Barker; Howard Davies (??); Joseph Castle; W.T. Lassiter (??); administration; appointments; board members; board of trustees; committees; cronyism; educators; extension services; funds; governors; investigating committees; reports; resignation; university procedures

Subjects: McVey, Frank LeRond, 1869-1953.; University of Kentucky.

00:58:35 - Selection of Frank McVey as university president

Play segment

Partial Transcript: You mentioned, course, that Dr. McVey came to the university in 1917. What were your impressions of him as a president...

Segment Synopsis: He talks about the choice of Dr. McVey as the next university president and his influence on the College of Agriculture. He mentions the death of Dean Castle and the appointment of Thomas Poe Cooper as the next dean of the College of Agriculture.

Keywords: College of Agriculture; Joseph Castle; North Dakota; Thomas Poe Cooper; dean of the College of Agriculture; selection committees; university presidents

Subjects: McVey, Frank LeRond, 1869-1953.; University of Kentucky.

01:00:14 - Administration of the College of Agriculture

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Um, did Dean Cooper make any immediate changes in the setup of the College of Agriculture when he, when he first...

Segment Synopsis: He talks about the administration of the College of Agriculture under Dean Cooper. He also mentions the dismissal of Dr. Muchler and his (Bryant's) professional relationship with Dean Cooper.

Keywords: College of Agriculture; Dr. Muchler; George Roberts; Thomas Poe Cooper; administration; experiment stations; extension services; funding; investigation; reorganization

Subjects: McVey, Frank LeRond, 1869-1953.; University of Kentucky.

01:02:27 - The Scopes Trial

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Um, another subject around the same time... you'll recall in 1922, a controversy over the teaching of evolution arose...

Segment Synopsis: He talks about the Scopes Trial and its aftermath. There was talk of passing a law that would ban the teaching of evolution in Kentucky as well. He describes how the university administrators got the state to not pass this law. He also discusses the jokes that people on campus made about the trial.

Keywords: Clarence Darrow; Scopes Trial; agriculture; campus; committees; education; evolution; humor; laws; legislators; monkeys; science; state legislatures; teaching

Subjects: Bryan, William Jennings, 1860-1925.; McVey, Frank LeRond, 1869-1953.; Scopes, John Thomas.

01:05:57 - The Purnell Act and the Farm Bureau

Play segment

Partial Transcript: In 1925, um, came about the passage of the Purnell Act. Um... was there any problem in getting the general assembly...

Segment Synopsis: He mentions the Purnell Act briefly. He talks about the Farm Bureau again in greater detail.

Keywords: Ben Kilgore; North Carolina; Smith-Hughes Act of 1917; State Farm Bureau; The Purnell Act; William Niles (??); administration; agriculture; appropriations; crops; extensive services; farm stores; general assembly; laws; merchandising; organization; pulvarized limestone; stores

Subjects: Chicago (Ill.).; University of Kentucky.

01:11:06 - Salary Reductions during the Depression

Play segment

Partial Transcript: I'd like to, um, move on in and talk a little now about the 1930's, um, if you would?

Segment Synopsis: He talks about the salary reductions at UK in the early 1930's and the establishment of a loan fund to help keep UK financially afloat.

Keywords: College of Agriculture; Lexington businessmen loan; finances; financial collapse; loan fund; professors; salaries; salary reductions

Subjects: University of Kentucky.

01:12:51 - Agriculture Adjustment Administration

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Of course, in 1933, we have the establishment of the Agriculture Adjustment Administration...

Segment Synopsis: He talks about the legislation that was passed to try to reduce the amount of surplus that farmers had. Originally, it was up to the extension programs to implement this law.

Keywords: ASCS; Agriculture Adjustment Act; College of Agriculture; Franklin Roosevelt; Penn Brothers; butter; controversy; corn; cotton; crop reductions; farmers; farms; grain; laws; lawsuits; lime; meat; politicians; politics; production; soil conservation; storage costs; supply and demand; surplus; tenant farmers; tobacco; wealth; wheat

Subjects: Kentucky.; Lexington (Ky.).; University of Kentucky.

01:19:17 - Thomas Poe Cooper as acting university president

Play segment

Partial Transcript: In 1940, Dean Cooper became acting president of the university. Um, what changes did this bring about...

Segment Synopsis: He talks about Thomas Poe Cooper's short tenure as acting president of the university and its effect on the College of Agriculture. He also tells how Cooper turned down an offer of permanent presidency.

Keywords: College of Agriculture; Thomas Poe Cooper; assistant secretary of agriculture; extension services; policies; university presidents

Subjects: University of Kentucky.

01:21:00 - Herman Lee Donovan

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Well, uh, in '41, then, Dr. Donovan came as president of the university. What were your impressions of him...

Segment Synopsis: He talks about Dr. Donovan's personality and presidency.

Keywords: College of Agriculture; Frank James Welch; Thomas Poe Cooper; administrators; board members; board of trustees; politics; university presidents

Subjects: Donovan, Herman Lee, 1887-1964.; University of Kentucky.

01:23:19 - Extension work during World War II

Play segment

Partial Transcript: With the coming of World War II, I suppose your work in extension was changed from the, um...

Segment Synopsis: Bryant describes how World War II impacted UK's extension services, and the importance of food production to the war. Because so many young men were fighting the war, the extension service turned to women for help.

Keywords: "food will win the war"; World War I; extension services; farmers; food preservation; military; military service; production; soldiers; wartime; women

Subjects: University of Kentucky.; World War, 1939-1945.

01:25:53 - Frank Welch

Play segment

Partial Transcript: And then, following the war, as we mentioned just a... briefly a few minutes ago...

Segment Synopsis: He talks about Frank Welch, who replaced Thomas Poe Cooper as UK's Dean of the College of Agriculture. He talks about the need for and acquisition of land during Welch's administration. The interview is concluded abruptly.

Keywords: Cold Stream Farm; Commonwealth Stadium; Frank James Welch; Kentucky Utilities; Thomas Poe Cooper; college farm; dean of the College of Agriculture; experiment station; extension services; farmland; land

Subjects: Donovan, Herman Lee, 1887-1964.; University of Kentucky.