Saturday, April 18, 2020

Haish Manual Training School - Lincoln, NE

A drawing of the Lincoln Haish Manual Training School, as seen in the Nebraska Wesleyan Catalog 1891-92.

The Haish Manual Training School was built in Lincoln, Nebraska, after a monetary donation from Jacob Haish, much like the training school he donated in Denver, Colorado.

The purpose of these schools was to teach students hands-on education, such as iron work, wood carving and foundry, typewriting and more. Money for a building was to be raised through barbed wire sales, with one half of gross receipts going toward the building until $50,000 was raised.

The Somonauk Reveille newspaper in Illinois called the idea "A good big advertising scheme for Mr. Haish, as all the Wesleyan ministers, church people and students will preach and talk Haish wire until the required sum has been raised."

And did they ever talk....

Advertisement for Haish's barbed wire plan in Lincoln, NE, as seen in the Nebraska Wesleyan Catalog 1891-92.

From an advertisement of Haish's plan: 
"Haish Barb Wire! Is a Perfect Wire. An Economical Wire. The Best! And at prices that compete with the World. Our boys have invented a COLLEGE YELL! 'You Try 'Er, You Buy 'Er, Haish Wire! Haish Wire!

This is uttered under fifty pounds pressure and on tiptoe. If there is no Agent in your town write to Mr. Jacob Haish, DeKalb, Illinois. Tell your Hardware Man what Mr. Haish has done for Colorado and Nebraska Methodists. We put a Barb Wire Cane in the Corner Store, and we are going to put a Barb Wire Lightning Rod on the MANUAL TRAINING BUILDING, and we want Nebraska Methodists FENCED IN with Barb Wire!"

Jacob Haish's successful donation was documented in the Nebraska Wesleyan University catalog for the school year 1891-92, which can be viewed on Google Books.
A listing of the faculty of the Haish Mechanical Institute, as published in the Nebraska Wesleyan Catalog 1891-92.
From the catalog:

"Mr. Jacob Haish of DeKalb, Ill., whose munificence erected the Haish Manual Training School of Denver University, agreed to erect and endow a similar one for the Nebraska Wesleyan University and on the same terms. One half the gross receipts from the sale of barb wire was to be devoted to this department until the sum of $50,000 was secured. ... Mr. Haish has exceeded his promise, both in the matter of time and the amount to be expended. Wire sales were not up to the measure of a building, but he authorized us to go ahead. ... It is the finest Manual Training building in the United States."

Semester pricing per the Nebraska Wesleyan Catalog 1891-92.

While the school was enjoyed for a few years, unfortunately, on January 29, 1894, an arsonist set fire to the building. It was never rebuilt. Below is a photo of the damage.

"Ruins of the Haish building" | Photo from the Nebraska Wesleyan University Archives, Cochrane-Woods Library

Thank you to Martha A. Tanner, M.S.L.I.S., Ph.D, head of research services and archives/asst. professor at the Cochrane-Woods Library at Nebraska Wesleyan University, for her assistance with this post.

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