several hours a week in a blacksmith shop. So he transferred to Wake
Forest in 1902, there to be quickly befriended by the college
president, Dr. Charles E. Taylor. It was an association which was to
grow much closer, because Earnshaw courted and wed Edith, the
youngest of Dr. Taylor's six daughters.
All his life Earnshaw was a good athlete. In his student years he
teamed up in tennis with Hubert M. Poteat, and in four years of
intercollegiate play they lost only one match. In 1907 the two went to
the Southern Intercollegiate Tournament in Atlanta and faced some of
the best players in the South, among them teams from Georgia,
Georgia Tech, Alabama, and Tulane. Earnshaw and Poteat won the
doubles competition and then had to play each other for the singles
crown. Poteat won 8-6, 8-6, 6-0, but Wake Forest was assured of both
championships in the tournament.
In 1905 Earnshaw was editor of The Student magazine, and he
graduated magna cum laude in 1906. In the spring term of 1907 he
taught in the Mathematics Department while working toward a
master's degree. He had been appointed acting bursar in 1906, and the
following year he was named to the permanent office, a position he
held until his death. For thirty of his years in office Mrs. Earnshaw
was his
At Earnshaw's death Prof. Jasper L. Memory, in a guest editorial in
Old Gold and Black, said of him:
During the long stretch of the years, through wars and rumors of wars,
depressions and inflations, he kept the ship steady, had a genial smile, and
saw to it that those who entered his office were received courteously and left
with the feeling that they had received a square deal…. An excellent
mathematician, a fine tenor singer, a master of tennis and golf, and a
craftsman at understanding and dealing with people, lie will live on through
the ages and continue to bless the lives that he has touched.
Dean Bryan said:
Mr. Earnshaw was the embodiment of the noblest of Wake Forest College
traditions; in fact, in spirit, and in habits he was a great factor in per-
petuating them. The students, the faculty, and the administrative members of
the college found in him a wise, ready and cordial counselor. His patience
was without limits. He had the imagination that made it possible for him to
put himself in the position of another and was therefore able to accord the
treatment to others that he would wish for himself. A noble life
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