Many thanks to the readers who did so much heavy lifting in the comment section to help us understand more about the memorial plaques I wrote about yesterday. I don’t always have enough time to run things down and it means a lot to me that you care enough to lend a hand. In this case especially I don’t want these people and their stories to get lost again.
Commenter Bill Visinsky points to the Thresher article dated November 1, 1916 that describes the sad circumstances of Goss’s death. Here’s that piece:
There are a couple clues in here that are worth running down and I will do that tomorrow. I’m sad to say that I don’t have a photograph of Warren Goss–in the early years of the Campanile only the pictures of seniors and juniors were included.
Your dedication to the ephemera of the lives of those who have traveled the path before us is greatly appreciated, for there is our collective immorality. Thank you for your sacred work.
Small world. The summer before I came to Rice from Abilene, one of my buddies had a summer job working on a ranch in the Abilene area. My friend’s employer was a Rice alum and wanted to meet me. At some point during the summer, Greg introduced me to the gentleman, and as I recall, he said he was in the first graduating class at Rice and had worked his way through school by planting oak trees on campus. Turns out the gentleman was Mr. Henry Tillett.
Prior to meeting Mr. Tillett, I had been to Houston (and campus) twice in my life and wondered what freakish act of nature had caused those trees to grow so evenly spaced and in such nice, orderly rows. Then I realized A-hah! – planted by Mr. Tillett, you dummy!
Great story, Mark! In what year did you graduate?
Searching the Threshers, I see that Mr. Tillett was responsible for the creation of another Melissa Kean favorite: the Engineering Show.
A front page article in the Nov. 29, 1929, Thresher told of the history of the Engineering Shows:
“… The Engineering Show had its beginning in 1920 when Henry Tillett, then a senior M. E. and now manager of the Tillett Machine Company at Abilene, conceived the notion of having an exhibition of the engineering apparatus in the laboratories and of the work done by the engineering students. At the very outset, in spite of strong discouragement, Tillett put his heart and soul into the Show and after a long hard fight emerged triumphant in the end. … ”
He identifies with the Class of 1918, however. He wrote this biography prior to that classes’ 40th reunion (on p. 11 of this pdf: https://scholarship.rice.edu/bitstream/handle/1911/61434/wrc00364.pdf)
“I volunteered back into the Navy in 1942 as a Reservist and have kept that status up. Just recently I received my orders for a cruise to Hawaii leaving Long Beach November second. I have been looking forward to this 1958 reunion of the 1918 class for several years and am keenly disappointed that I shall not be in attendance. This is my last cruise and my retirement becomes effective in February ’59 so I can ill afford to let this cruise go by.
“A few years back I visited Rice and the steps that were so fresh and new were deeply worn. The trees, many of which I helped to plant, overlap the driveways. Those whom I had known looked so OLD and the students so very youthful that I decided I had better get my crutches before returning again lest I fall from shock. Of course, I know I am much younger than I look.
“Three of our four children are married, and we have seven wonderful grandchildren. They are so far removed that we seldom get to see them being spread from New Orleans to Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
“We now live in Abilene, Texas.”
Also, the “Our Ex-Studes” column in the Jan. 21, 1921, Thresher had this update on Henry’s career: “Henry A. Tillett, ’18, is working for the Texas Power and Light Co., in the Diesel maintenance department, and his headquarters are at Waco, where the general shops are located.”
Melissa – as usual, I don’t say it enough (I usually just lurk) – thanks for all you do! These little things you discover are what enrich life…
Thanks for this interesting post on an early Rice student. This is one of the few instances when I have seen the name Eldridge appear in connection with Rice (other than related to myself). John Rolfe Eldridge, Lovett ’75