Life of Patrick Hues Mell





    At the meeting of the Board of Trustees of the University of Georgia in 1882, Chancellor Mell, in his annual report, urged the completion of the Technological School as a Department of the University of Georgia, in order to finish the organization of the State College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts. He pointed out to them that they had already four departments of the Technological School at Athens, well equipped with laboratories for practical instruction. All that was needed to make the college comply with the United States law, therefore, was a Mechanical Department, where practical work in wood and iron could be carried on under the direction of a master mechanic.

    The Trustees heartily approved of the plans submitted by the Chancellor, and they instructed him to bring the subject before the Governor and the Legislature and ask for a sufficient appropriation with which to purchase the necessary machinery and outfit for the Mechanical Laboratory. In compliance with this request he addressed a communication to Governor Colquitt and petitioned him to urge the Legislature to make the appropriation. This the Governor did in his annual report; but the State Treasury not being in a condition to warrant the outlay that year, the Legislature failed to act favorably on the bill. In July, 1883, the subject was again introduced before the Board of Trustees in the annual report of the Chancellor, and, on motion of Col. Billups, it was


    “Resolved, That so much of the Chancellor’s report as relates to the School of Technology, and such elaboration of that subject as he may deem advisable, be furnished the Atlanta Constitution for publication at once.”


    This was done and the extract appeared in the paper the next day.

    Again, in July, 1884, he brought the subject before the Board and urged them to take decided steps in getting the Legislature to supply the money needed to enable them to establish the School of Technology. In response to this they passed the following:


    “In relation to the School of Technology we can only repeat the recommendation of the Board, and urge the committee appointed to wait on the General Assembly, to present to that body the advantages possessed by this University as a location for the School, and urge the appropriation of such amount as will establish and equip such a school as a part of the University where the State has buildings.”


    It will be noticed from all these facts thus related, that Dr. Mell was the first to agitate the opening of workshops in connection with the University, some years even, before the Harris bill was introduced in the Legislature. After the passage of Mr. Harris’ bill, Dr. Mell used every legitimate influence to have the Technological School located at Athens. And when he failed to accomplish this purpose he said to the writer, “the University has been given a mortal wound.” lie asserted that the effort would be made very soon to remove the Agricultural and Chemical Departments from Athens, and the noble old Institution would then be remanded back to Franklin College, as it was in 1857. He did not live to see the fulfillment of this prediction, but part of it has come to pass in the location of the Experiment Station at Griffin.


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