The Students and Alumni, 1866-70 31
Wheeler, while W. R. Ferguson became a Methodist minister in the
North Carolina Conference. Two of the five Rowland brothers
became wealthy bankers in Texas, while the others became successful
J. P. Poteat was a planter and editor of the Caswell
News. S. H. Gavin and J. Ross White and others had been soldiers in
the Confederate States Army.
The above list is chosen from the total of 151 who matriculated at
Wake Forest from January, 1866, to June, 1870, who with the 55
others who continued their work after the scholastic year 1869-70,
206 in all, constitute the total registration in the College in that period.
Of these 151 more than one-half were preparatory students and many
did not remain for more than one year. And yet a reckoning of the
service to church and state and the world of the seventeen graduates
and of the others named above shows that it was no little work that
the College did in these hectic years.
In 1866 and 1867 as there were no commencements at the College,
the annual meeting of the Board of Trustees for 1866 was held in
Raleigh in the latter days of May, and that for 1867 in Wilmington,
also in the latter half of May. The honorary degrees of those years
seem to have been conferred by notification and publication.
The first commencement after the War was in 1868. It had all the
regular features of commencements of the time. The same was true of
the commencements of 1869 and 1870. The alumni address in 1868
was by Archibald McDowell, then President of Chowan College; that
of 1869 was by B. W. Justice, and that of 1870 by John Mitchell. The
sermon for 1868 was to have been preached by Dr. William Hooper,
but as he was late in arriving it was preached by Dr. T. H. Pritchard;
that of 1869 was preached by Rev. J. B. Jeter; that of 1870 by
"North of the campus, the first house was that now used for the postoffice,
which has been turned around and greatly altered. It was then [1866-7] occupied by
the five Rowland brothers from Henderson, who did their own cooking and much
studying, and laid the foundation of the thrift which has made them all prosperous
business men, two of them wealthy bankers in Texas." G. W. Green, Wake Forest
Student, X, 420.