230 History of Wake Forest College
For ten years, 1895-1905, he was general manager of the Baptist
Orphanage at Thomasville. With his intimate acquaintance with men
and affairs and with the Baptists of the State, he was a wise judge of
policies. He died, June 17, 1908. C. Durham was a very Boanerges. In
the Board meetings, but especially in the field he was powerfully
aggressive in promoting those policies which he believed were helpful
to the College. "He feared not the faces nor the opinions of men," said
President C. E.
Taylor.4
In this same period several who were not ministers of the Gospel
began their services as trustees. Among these were William H. Avera,
1870-81, a prominent and successful merchant of Smithfield, whose
fine business sense was highly prized by his fellow trustees; he gave
liberally both of his time and means to the College. Another was
George W. Blount of Wilson, 1870-95, a lawyer who for a quarter of
a century lent the support of his wise counsel and moral and social
qualities to the Board and the College. Another was Charles M.
Cooke of Louisburg, 1871-1919, who for forty-eight years was the
trusted counsellor of the Board; few knew as well as he how to
evaluate policies; he could not be hurried into hasty and ill-considered
action; every member of the faculty from the president down knew
that he had a warm-hearted friend in Judge Cooke. He was Superior
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4
Wake Forest Student, XV, 258ff. An excellent analysis of Durham's character.
It should serve as an antidote for the published estimate of Durham by Dr. Josephus
Daniels. I give a brief extract or two, from Dr. Taylor's article: "There was nothing
sluggish in his mental constitution. From sheer necessity, being what it was, his
mind was perpetually on the alert.... Whatever subject was brought up, it soon
became evident that he had thought over the whole ground, at least on the practical
side. As one result of this fertility and knowledge of details he was ready to take the
initiative, to open discussion, to offer resolutions, to project new subjects into the
arena of debate.
"Dr. Durham was not a man of the cloister; he was a man of affairs. He knew
men even better than he knew books. I do not think he was unerring in his
judgments of them, but I believe that in most cases his estimates were correct. As an
organizer he was peculiarly gifted. This was in part because he knew what each man
could best do. With red tape and circumlocutions he had no patience. For him the
nearest way was always the straight line. This impatience with policy and with all
manner of indirectness was a necessary outcome of the inmost nature of the man. It
was the outward expression of deep convictions, love of truth, and high moral
courage."
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