I did not expect to go to college as Dartmouth, eleven miles from my home, did not admit girls. But after I graduated from Kimball Union Academy and attended a year at Mt. Holyoke, Prof. Lewis Austin (who had been a former teacher of mine at Meriden, N.H.) wrote my mother that Middlebury had opened its doors to women and that he wished I would enter. They wanted some in the freshman class.
When I entered college in the fall of 1883 Dr. Cyrus Hamlin was President. He had been at the head of Robert College in Constantinople and we enjoyed getting him to talk of the Crimean War, instead of sticking to our French recitation. He told many interesting things, I remember he had ovens made, and baked bread for the English soldiers.
The boys of our class on completing the course in “Analytics,” hung “Anna Lyt” in effigy one morning in the chapel. Dr. Hamlin thot it was to ridicule the girls, and we three had to explain that it was simply a joke. He was always kind and fair, but I had a feeling that he did not really care to have us there.
The faculty were not going to require us to do the regular Rhetorical work that the boys had, but we three insisted that we ought to do it just the same. At the end of my freshman year I much pleased to receive the $5.00 gold piece offered by Prof. Eaton for the highest rank in Greek. That winter he had taught me to skate on Otter Creek, and no matter how wildly my skates moved, he was never tripped. I still treasure a little pebble he have me which he picked up in Greece, on the shore at Marathon. The following letter was with it.
It was great fun for us three girls of the Freshman class to furnish a study room in the old chapel building. Our friends gave us twenty five dollars, some chairs and a mirror. We made twenty five by a Dickens entertainment. We atoned for our high priced wallpaper.