The students coming to Wake Forest in January, 1866, did not see a
building that is now on the Campus. The College Building, erected in
1835-37 and burned on May 5, 1933, of which an account has been
given in the first volume of this work, was amply large to house all
the students and furnish recitation rooms and laboratories and halls
for the Literary Societies and their libraries. In fact, only one person, a
one-legged student, William R. Ferguson of Wilkes, afterwards a
Methodist minister, occupied a room on the first floor; the others had
room and to spare in the stories above. The recitation rooms were
reached first by climbing one of the stairways at either end of the
building to the corridor of the third story and then along the corridor
to a descent of three steps to the central portion which was only three
stories high; in this "dip," as it was called, was the domain of the
faculty. There were three rooms on each side of the hall. The central
room on each side was occupied by Professor W. G. Simmons; in that
to the east he taught mathematics, while in that to the west he had his
scientific implements and taught science. When Professor Mills came
in January, 1867, he took the room to the south of the science room,
across the hall from that of Professor W. B. Royall. The central rooms
on both sides of the hall continued to serve as classrooms until June,
1900, that to the east being occupied by the Assistant Professor of
Mathematics and that to the west by the Assistant Professor of Latin
and Greek. The only other building on the Campus was a little
wooden house about twenty yards from the northeast corner of the
College Building, in which at this time Tutor W. B. Royall kept the
small boys of the Preparatory Department under his eye, and heard
their recitations in Greene's English Grammar and Greene's Analysis.
After a year this building was removed.1
G. W. Greene, "A Quarter of a Century at Wake Forest," Wake Forest Student,
X, 422.
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