Wingate 155
and would have risen to eminence in any profession. "He was a man
of mighty intellect. His mind was bold in its reach of thought,
vigorous and comprehensive in its grasp, original in its researches,
clear in its power of discrimination, and sound and judicious in an
unusual degree in its deductions."
Of like purport is the statement of Dr. H. A. Brown, in the paper
mentioned above: "What impressed me greatly was his wonderful
personality. None ever saw him and knew him long who was not
impressed by it. . . . He had a colossal intellect, capable of grasping
and dealing with the most intricate lines of thought."
Though the greater part of Wingate's presidency was in the evil
days of the Civil War and Reconstruction, the College did not fail to
make marked progress during that time. In the years before the Civil
War, 1854-61, largely through his plans and labors, Wake Forest
College had freed itself from debt and had become one of the best
endowed colleges of the Baptists in the South. After the ravages of the
war had swept away nearly all this endowment, progress in getting
new endowment was necessarily slow, yet no other institution in the
South did much better; in the twelve years from 1867 to 1879 what
was salvaged from the ruins of war, $13,000, was increased to
$40,000, and one new building was in process of erection and another
was projected .7
T. H. Pritchard, Biblical Recorder, March 5, 1879. See also Dr. Huffham's
statement in the same paper a week later.
How much Wingate was interested in these buildings may be seen from the
statements of Professor Mills in the article cited above. P. 201. "In the spring of
1878, Col. J. M. Heck and Bro. John G. Williams of Raleigh decided to put up the
Library Building. The corner stone was laid the following June. Dr. Wingate
seemed to feel that God had at last answered his prayer, and that the College was
getting on a firm foundation, and would be some day what he had so long desired it
to be. Time and again, as I sat on the walls with the contractor, Bro. J. S. Allen, Dr.
Wingate would come and walk around the building slowly, gazing at it. And then he
would get off in different positions and stand five or ten minutes, as if trying to get a
conception of how the building would look when it was finished. Brother Allen
would say to me, `Just look at him; he is the happiest man in the world'." P. 202. "In
January, 1879, after a thorough discussion of the matter by the faculty, it was
thought to be necessary to take steps at once looking to the putting up of a chapel
building. They asked Dr. Wingate and me to go out to Raleigh and lay the matter
before the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees. On the way
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