324 History of Wake Forest College
it seems the hotel keeper in that town kept in a back room for certain
of his guests, but which he refused to serve to the college students.
Probably not all the students drank, but the hotel keeper reported the
matter to President Taylor, with the result that all but two, who were
freshmen, were required by the faculty to leave college. There is
sufficient evidence that this firm and impartial exercise of discipline
caused some feeling on the part of the parents and other relations of
the students affected, which made itself felt in the Board of Trustees,
though no issue was made of it. President Taylor met it boldly and
was on this and every other occasion sustained by that body. Thus
early in his administration he came to be regarded by all, and
especially by the students, as a firm and just disciplinarian and
commanded their respect. They knew that a master hand was on the
helm; according to a phrase current at the time he had a "grip on
Later towards the close of his presidency he seemed to members of
the faculty to mellow somewhat, and to appear somewhat more
sympathetic, not with disobedience, but with the unfortunate students
led into wrong doing by their youthful spirits rather than by immoral
proclivities. At all times those who went to his office to answer
charges were received with the urbanity and consideration accorded
only to gentlemen, and came away with a realization of the nature of
their offense, and ready to accept whatever punishment the faculty
might think they deserved, and often with a sense of responsibility
and challenge for cheerful conformity with the regulations of the
It was when matters of serious import were at issue that President
Taylor was revealed in his true native majesty and greatness. An
example of this occurred in September, 1901. A group of students,
some of whom prided themselves on their families, sought to mete out
discipline of their own to a fellow student who had acted wholly in his
rights but not in conformity with their sense of propriety. They sent a
committee to him with the order that he leave college before a given
time. His friends, however, rallied to him, and surrounded him day
and night with
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