During the period of the Institute, 1834-1838, the institution
furnished board for all students. This was reckoned, the first year, at
$4.50 a month, the entire cost for the year being $60. At this price the
amount received did not pay the cost.1 Accordingly at the close of the
first year, with the table three hundred dollars in debt, the Trustees
found it necessary to increase the price of bed and board to $6, $5.50
for board and 50 cents for bed, per month.2 This action, however,
caused loud complaints. The duty of providing board was at first
incumbent on the principal; we have already seen something of the
shifts he and his wife made, to furnish meals to the students whose
numbers were so much greater than they expected ; at first in a room
of the residence, the largest being eighteen feet square, in which only
one-third of the students could eat at a time, making it necessary to set
the table nine times a day; and then in a tent, nearly 70 feet long
constructed especially for the purpose.3 In this he had the assistance
of his wife, whose faithful services were mentioned with appreciation
by the Board of Trustees.4
At the close of the first year Charles B. Merriam, a brother of Mrs.
Wait, was formally appointed steward, some of the duties of which
place he had already been performing while overseer of the farm. He
was given the general duties of providing the students with meals,
wood, washing, and the care of rooms.5 Though a dining room large
enough to accommodate all the students was found in one of the
temporary buildings, if not by the close of
1 Wake Forest Student, II, 53.
2 Proceedings, p. 12, December 22-25, 1835.
3 Wait, Wake Forest Student, II, 54.
4 Proceedings, p. 14, December, 1834. "Inasmuch as Sister Wait has with
unremitting perseverence afforded such valuable services in the management of the
stewardship the past year, Therefore be it Resolved, That we tender her our grateful
5 Ibid., pp. 13, 14, 15.
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