Temple University Weekly President Conwell Memorial Issue

Dublin Core


Temple University Weekly President Conwell Memorial Issue


Temple University Libraries



Text Item Type Metadata


President Conwell Memorial Issue.
Temple University Weekly.
Vol. 5 No. 12 temple University, Philadelphia, PA. Friday December 11, 1925.
Price 5 Cents.

Dr. Conwell, Mourned By Thousands, Died Peacefully Last Sunday Morning.
Daughter and Closest Associates at Bedside When End Came—Resumed Youth in Final Sleep, Says Dr. Carnell.

Temple’s Beloved Founder Passes.

Russell Herman Conwell.
[A Sketch of Doctor Conwell’s life and work will be found on pages 6 and 7.]

Mourned by thousands whom he had benefitted and by tens of thousands who also loved, admired and respected him, Dr. Russell Herman Conwell, Founder and President of Temple University, died at his home, at 2020 North Broad street, on Sunday morning, December 6, shortly after 2 o’clock. Doctor Conwell was in his eighty-third year.
His daughter, Mrs. Nima C. Tuttle, was beside him when he died. His son, Leon M. Conwell, editor of the Somerville Journal, founded by his father, and mayor-elect of Sommerville, Mass., was summoned Saturday night, when it was realized that the end was near, but was unable to reach here until 10 o’clock Sunday Morning.
Death came as a relief after long suffering. Until last Spring, all who knew him had marveled at Doctor Conwell for the resilience of his mind, his vigor, his imagination, his indomitable spirit. But, last May, he was obliged by illness to forgo the preaching which, up to then, had known no lessening in eloquence, sympathy, charm and power.
He went to Atlantic City in the hope of recuperation. But as the months passed it was realized that he was seriously ill. On September 20 he was operated upon in the Samaritan Hospital. It was found that only a Palliative operation was possible—that the disease had reached a stage which was beyond hope. Months of illness followed.
AS the great man approached the dividing curtain last Saturday night, he wandered back in his thoughts to his boyhood fishing days. Then a calm, and, while he slept, breath became more measured, until it gradually faded into the last sigh.

Surrounded by Friends.
At the bedside of the dying President were his daughter, Mrs. Tuttle; Dr. Laura H. Carnell, Associate President of Temple University; Dr. Wilmer Krusen, vice-president of the University and Director of Public Health; Dr. William D. McCurdy, Dr=octor Conwell’s associate pastor of Grace Baptist Temple, and Dr. W. H. Thomas, the family physician.
Delirium and reality, the present, the [Continued on Page 12]

Temple Deluged With Messages Of Sympathy.
Hundreds of Letters and Telegrams Expressing Sorrow and Condolence Arrive at University.
Friends Deeply Shocked.

Hundreds of messages of sorrow and Condolence have been received in the offices of the University from friends, admirers, former students, and colleagues of Doctor Conwell.
The first telegram arrived on Sunday, immediately after the news of Doctor Conwell’s death had been published, from Dr. Henry Isaiah Dorr, of Winchester, Mass., benefactor of the University and old associate and friend of the late President, who is eighty-one years old. Doctor Dorr wired, “I grieve and sympathize with you all in the death of President Conwell.”
From J. Hampton Moore, former Mayor of Philadelphia, came the following letter to Dr. Laura H. Carnell, Associate President of the University: “The death of Doctor Conwell removes from this earth one of the great men of our time. He did so much for others and did it so effectively and so unostentatiously, that untold thousands must mourn his death. It will take time to reveal fully the magnitude of his work.”

Colleges Express Grief.
Messages came also from other colleges, honoring the memory of Doctor Conwell, the educator and Doctor Conwell, the man. R.H. Smith, of State College, telegraphed: “The educational world suffers a distinct loss in the passing of Doctor Conwell. The Pennsylvania State College sends profound sympathy to his family, friends and associates.”
Dr. Jessie Gray, of the Philadelphia Normal School, wrote “The loss of an inspiring friend is a great challenge to be more zealous to the thing for which he gave vision and hope.”
“The President and faculty of LA [continued on Page 12]

All Creeds Unite In Mourning Dr. Conwell.
Episcopal and Methodist Bishops Express Sorrow—Dr. Tomkins Broadcasts Sad News.

Doctor Conwell’s passing has been mourned by all creeds alike. The Rev. Dr. Floyd W. Tomkins, Rector of Holy Trinity Protestant Episcopal Church, at Nineteenth and Walnut streets, learned of his death on Sunday morning, and announced the sad news to his congregation. His voice was broadcast over the radio and it was by this means that thousands of temple students and Alumni first heard of the death of President Conwell.
“Doctor Conwell’s death is a great shock to me,” Bishop Thomas J. Garland, of the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of Philadelphia, said Monday. “His greatest achievement was his conception of Temple University. He was fervent and sincere in religion.”
“No language can adequately express the loss felt by the city,” Bishop Joseph F. Berry, of the Methodist Episcopal Church declared. “He was known in every part of our land for his devotion to human welfare.”
At the memorial services held by the Philadelphia Lodge of Elks on Sunday, the Rev. William L. McCormick announced the death of Doctor Conwell.

All Temple Grieves At Doctor Conwell’s Bier.
Thousands Take Leave of Beloved Leader—Governor and Mayor Pall-Bearers.
Entire City Mourns Him.

Through streets dark with reverent and silent people, the body of Doctor Russell H. Conwell was taken to its temporary resting place in Monument Cemetery, at Broad and Berks streets, shortly after noon on Wednesday. Permanent interment will be made either in the Conwell family vault at Worthington, Massachusetts, or in Philadelphia.
As the cortege, followed by one hundred honorary pallbearers, headed by Governor Pinchot and Mayor Kendrick, crossed to the cemetery, it was evident from the faces of the watchers that although some of them had never known and a few, perhaps, never even seen Doctor Conwell, the fame of his extraordinary high-mindedness and unselfish public devotion had reached them all. The streets were paroled by squads of policemen. From Berks street to Montgomery avenue, Broad street, usually noisy and bustling, was gray and silent. Only the far-away sound of traffic, and the subdued voices of the mourners broke the stillness.

Doctor Dager Represents Temple.
The funeral services were conducted in the Temple Auditorium at 11 o’clock in the morning by Reverend Dr. William D. McCurdy, associate pastor of the Baptist Temple. The speakers were the Reverend Dr. Forrest E. Dager, member of the faculty of the Temple School of Theology, who represented the University; the Reverend Dr. Floyd W. Tomkins, rector of Holy Trinity Protestant Episcopal Church, at Nineteenth and Walnut streets, and the Reverend Dr. C. H. Wollston, pastor of the East Baptist Church, and the dean of the Baptist clergy in Philadelphia.
Because of the nation-wide sympathy [Continued on Page 12]

Memorial Services To Be Held Next Week.
Board of Trustees Decides to Stage Public Ceremony in Temple Auditorium.

Since it was not possible to make arrangements to accommodate the thousands of students and friends of Temple University who wished to attend the funeral services for Doctor Conwell last Wednesday, it was decided by the Board of Trustees to have a public memorial service on Sunday, December 20. At that time, the students, the Faculty, and outside friends will be invited to pay their last tribute to the universally mourned President of Temple Univerity.
The service will be held in the Temple Auditorium, at Broad and Berks streets. It will take the form of a vesper service, at 4 o’clock. There will be music and prayers.
The committee of Trustees selected to make arrangements for the service consists of Charles E. Buery, chairman; Thomas F. Armstrong, Edwin J. Lafferty, Albert C. Oehrle, Conrad N. Lauer, and Dr. Laura H. Carnell, Associate President of the University, and Dr; Wilmer Krusen, vice-president, ex-officio.

[end page]

All Temple University Grieves At President Conwell’s Bier

And the great public loss felt over the passing of so widely known and loved a man, the entire service was broadcast from the WOO station. In this way the last words spoken by Doctor Conwell’s associates over his body were heard by friends who were too far away to attend the funeral.

All day Tuesday, when Doctor Conwell’s body lay in state from 3 o’clock in the afternoon until 10 o’clock at night in the Baptist Temple which he had founded, and all day Wednesday, when funeral services were held, scholastic activity at Temple University was suspended. The buildings on Broad street, were draped in black, and for the first time since the death of the late President Wilson, the flag on the Conwell Hall tower was at half-mast.

Mourners Wait for Blocks

For hours before the doors of the Temple Auditorium were opened to the public on Tuesday, the streets were crowded with waiting folk. The line reached for blocks down Berks street. When the doors were opened, the mourners, with bowed, bared heads, began to move slowly past the casket which stood under the pulpit where, for more than forty years, Doctor Conwell had preached. The casket was banked with flowers. From the fan-shaped stained glass window at the back of the Auditorium, a feeble light stretched across the red-plush balcony seats. The room was dimly lit. The carpet deadened the measured tread of the mourners, and in the silence, the rich toned organ muted yet majestic, filled what had now become a sanctuary, with the beautiful, broad measures of Handel’s “Largo.” Many old people who had stood for hours in line cried softly as they passed. One white-haired old lady tremulously touched the mahogany casket, as if with this pathetic, little gesture, she could get a bit closer to the man whom in her youth she had known.

Doctor Conwell lay as if in sleep, with the Johnnie Ring sword in his arms and across his heart. In death, too, he clasped the emblem of his soul’s awakening years before, when, as a young captain in the Civil War, he had pledged himself to a life of double service, one for himself and one for the boy who had loved him. There was a calm in his face that seemed to take twenty years away from him; there was a serenity upon his noble brow that bespoke peace with God and with man.

Students Send Floral Tributes

To the right of the casket stood a five-foot floral emblem sent by the three schools at Broad and Montgomery. The letters T. U. were brilliant in red and white carnations, and glowed warmly against the bank of flowers that made a soft kaleidoscope of color of the pulpit and the choir loft. This tribute, however, is only a temporary one. In the near future a permanent memorial from the students will be decided on. On the left of the casket, on a white heart thick with carnations, were the simple words, “Greatheart Hospital” in gold letters on white ribbon. There were countless bouquets, wreaths, emblems and baskets from the separate schools of the University, the faculties of those schools, and from organizations and friends. The Board of Trustees sent a huge basket of tiger-lilies, Doctor Conwell’s favorite flower, and the City Council of Philadelphia sent a basket of white chrysanthemums. In the group of honorary pallbearers, beside Governor Pinchot and Mayor Kendrick, were the members of the Board of Trustees of the University, the Trustees of the Baptist Temple, the Board of Deacons of the Temple, the Temple University Council of Deans and heads of departments, together with representatives of the Student Council. The Student Council also provided several ushers to assist the ushers at the church. Announcement of the permanent place of burial will be made at a later date.

Temple Deluged With Messages of Sympathy

Continued from Page 1

Salle College extended to you their profound sympathy on the death of your venerable and deeply distinguished President,” wrote Brother Dorotheus, President of the College.

William Dick, secretary of the Board of Education, sent the following message for the Board: “In common with all Philadelphia and more especially those engaged in the field of education, I wish to express the sorrow we all feel at the great loss you have sustained in the death of the much-beloved Doctor Conwell.

“It was never my privilege to have close and intimate association with him, as indeed it was a privilege, but his worth was so universally recognized that I doubly prize acquaintanceship, limited as it was chiefly to official correspondence. He was a great leader, a man of broad views and clear vision, as well as a deep thinker and I can, to a limited measure only, appreciate the personal loss that is yours by reason of his passing away.”

Other Messages

Telegrams and letters were also received from the Pennsylvania Military College, the Crozer Theological Seminary, the Norristown Business Men’s Association, Edmonds and Obermayer, George De B. Keim, Jacob Schorr, P. M. Chandler, Samuel Wolfe, Israel S. Feldman, and many other educators and business men.

Doctor Conwell Died Last Sunday Morning

Continued from Page 1

future and the past mingled in the mind of the dying President, who had stood as the comforter at the bedside of many a dying man and woman.

Sees Scenes of His Youth

Snatches of his conversation showed that, in thought, he was wandering back at times to the old homestead of South Worthington, Mass. Then there came a calm, deep sleep. Again hours afterward, he still seemed to be wandering about the old farm as a boy. His daughter at his bedside held his hand.

Mrs. Tuttle felt a slight squeeze of her hand and the eminent educator lapsed into his last long sleep. He never spoke again. There was a prayer by the silent watchers and the long vigil was over.

“Age fell away from his features the moment he had passed,” said Doctor Carnell, “and his face was that of a young man again.”

Doctor Conwell is survived by his daughter, Mrs. Nima C. Tuttle, who lived with him at the time of his death; a son, Leon M. Conwell, of Somerville, Mass.; four grandchildren, Peter and Jane Tuttle; Agnes E. and Charles B. Conwell, of Somerville, and two great-grandchildren, the children of the late Melson S. Tuttle.

[end article]

Original Format





“Temple University Weekly President Conwell Memorial Issue,” Digital Exhibits, accessed May 26, 2019, http://gamma.library.temple.edu/exhibits/items/show/633.

Social Bookmarking