Governor’s Office Records re: Alabama Polytechnic Institute, 1920-1932


Citation:  Alabama.  Governor's Office, Administrative Records, Box SG 22134 (Governor Kilby), ADAH.

As president of the alumni association, Bragg advised William F. Feagin, who sought the presidency, that he was not the man for the job. The new president should have "different and larger training" than Feagin, an API alum. Thomas Bragg to William F. Feagin, December 24, 1919.
As president of the alumni association, Bragg has written to William F. Feagin telling him why he should not be president. Thomas Bragg to Kilby, December 24, 1919.

Ross was appointed acting president when Thach went into the hospital. The governor feared "very much" that the election of a president "may become necessary." Kilby to C.M. Sherrod, December 27, 1919.

A group of API alumni protested the replacement of Thach and urged the board not to fill the post with any of their own relatives. API Alumni to Board of Trustees, n.d.
The Jefferson County alumni complained that "a quiet but a most active political effort" was being made to replace Thach and urged that it be stopped. Jefferson County Alumni to Kilby, January 10, 1920.
It has been rumored among alumni in the DC area that Thach has resigned and that the trustees are looking for a replacement. Do not select William F. Feagin of Montgomery, who wants the job but is not qualified. He would introduce politics into the administration of the school. LeRoy S. Boyd to Kilby, January 16, 1920.
President Thach has not resigned, although the board did recently give him a three-month leave of absence. At that time, the papers began to refer to a move to replace him, but that matter has not been discussed in any board meeting. Governor’s Secretary to LeRoy S. Boyd, January 19, 1920.
The president of the state normal school at Florence urged the governor not to appoint his relative William F. Feagin to the API presidency. Henry J. Willingham to Kilby, February 16, 1920.
Bradford Knapp is mentioned as a possible replacement for Thach. C.E. Thomas to Kilby, June 7, 1920.
The writer was pleased with Dowell’s selection. Lloyd M. Hooper to Kilby, June 8, 1920.
Dowell’s selection was "the wisest thing the trustees could have done." Kilby to Lloyd M. Hooper, June 15, 1920.

Citation:  Alabama.  Governor's Office, Administrative Records, Box SG 21314 (Governor Brandon), ADAH

Dowell has been accepted as president with "a sense of uncertainty." He had no "innate love of boys." Birmingham Alumni Resolution, December 4, 1924.
"Last night" API alumni in B’ham endorsed a resolution calling for Dowell’s removal. The writer enclosed a Birmingham News editorial of December 5, which charged that the mass meeting was motivated by an unsuccessful football season. Victor Hansen to Brandon, December 5, 1924.
The president of the state normal college at Jacksonville said that the opposition to Dowell centered around his efforts to promote "clean" athletics. He insisted that football players make their grades and would not allow the school to use semi-professional ringers on the team. C.W. Daugette to Brandon, December 6, 1924.
The writer enclosed a Birmingham News editorial on December 8 which noted that the faculty had voted their confidence in Dowell; a committee of the senior class had denied the charges of the alumni who opposed the president; and the full student body had voted their confidence in him. Victor Hansen to Brandon, December 8, 1924.
The associate counsel for a group of Jefferson County Alumni claimed that the matter of Dowell would be "tried before the board of trustees" on January 25. Joel Webb to Brandon, December 13, 1924.
Joel Webb enclosed an editorial in "today’s" Birmingham Post regarding the qualifications of trustees to judge Dowell. He claimed that Victor Hanson was not qualified because his paper, the Birmingham News supported Dowell. Webb to Brandon, December 19, 1924.
The superintendent of the Montgomery County Board of Education contended that a small group of alumni with "sinister" motives wanted to remove Dowell. A.F. Harman to Brandon, December 26, 1924.
Joel Webb had summoned all faculty and students, except freshmen, to appear as witnesses against Dowell before the board. Only the board had the power to do this. T.D. Samford to Brandon, December 26. 1924.
Webb will not be allowed to summon all faculty and students. They should continue with the normal routines, unless requested to appear by the board. Brandon to Dowell, December 28, 1924.
The writer believed that the efforts to remove Dowell had to do with a lack of football success and his efforts "to have clean athletics." W.G. Harrison to Brandon, January 5, 1925.
The president of the Alabama Farm Bureau supported Dowell. E.A. O’Neal to Brandon, January 6, 1925.
The business and professional men of Auburn assured the governor of their support for Dowell. Business and Professional Men of Auburn to Brandon, January 6, 1925.
"…it may be true that stronger men could be had from several standpoints, however I feel it is a dangerous time to make any change [in the API presidency] on account of petty grievances." Charles T. Lunsford to Brandon, January 7, 1925.
Dowell’s opponents are "a small handful of Auburn men who have petty grievances." L.J. Howell to Brandon, January 10, 1925.
Opponents of Dowell include long term faculty with entrenched interests and bootleggers who oppose his efforts to keep whiskey out of student hands. Thomas E. Bonner to Brandon, January 13, 1925.
Certain API alumni are not in sympathy with the effort to remove Dowell. W.H. Bruce to Brandon, January 26, 1925.

Citation:  Alabama.  Governor's Office, Administrative Records, Box SG 21170 (Governor Graves), ADAH

Coach Morey resigned because he could not get along with Dowell. Boston Traveler, October 22, 1927.
"These boys who went off on a wild rampage the other night…should be punished and made to know their place." C. Kirkpatrick to Graves, October 18, 1927.
L.N. Duncan and his brother-in-law, Buford Hobdy, are both opposed to C.L. Hare and have been telling Dowell that he’s disloyal. Hobdy’s son is one of the students who "testified" against Dowell and mentioned Hare as one of the faculty members disloyal to the president. Hare had opposed some of Dowell’s policies, but claimed not to be disloyal. C.L. Hare to Francis W. Hare, October 19, 1927.
Some said that Dowell was too public school minded and didn’t have a "college" attitude. O.J. Semmes to Graves, October 25, 1927.
Dowell may be the victim of unrelated events, but he needs to be replaced. John A. Rogers to Joel F. Webb, October 25, 1927.
API needs someone who can cope as President Denny at Alabama has done. Dowell’s not the man. Auburn should have an outstanding southern educator at the helm. Charles McDowell to Joel F. Webb, October 25, 1927.
Dowell has been "fighting whiskey and immorality" since he came to API. That’s why he’s unpopular. Leland Cooper to Graves, November 4, 1927.
Graves was the only one of three governors who showed any desire to resolve the Auburn problem. The author urged the governor not to appoint Victor Hansen to the presidential search committee. Hansen was doing all he could to agitate Dowell supporters. "Everything [Hansen] does is for his own glorification." Charles F. DeBardeleben to Graves, November 7, 1927.
The author had led an effort to move API to Montgomery, where the school was offered 3,000 acres "of the best land in the country." He claimed that there was too much overlap between API and the University of Alabama. Alabama should have one state university, as in the "progressive" western states. Jack Thorington to Graves, November 8, 1927.
The author claimed to be well acquainted with "the vast--& sinister—political organization" of ACES. The appointment of L.N. Duncan as president "would be an utter calamity." Anne Dillard Myers to Graves, November 10, 1927.
The author regretted that Victor Hansen’s newspapers had criticized the board’s acceptance of Dowell’s resignation. Henry F. DeBardeleben to Graves, November 10, 1927.

Citation:  Alabama.  Governor's Office, Administrative Records, Box SG 21171 (Governor Graves), ADAH

Graves offered Knapp the presidency. Graves to Knapp, March 16, 1928.

Knapp accepted the presidency. Knapp to Graves, March 17, 1928.

The governor believed that API was "qualified and fitted" to give teacher training in agriculture, but that the University of Alabama was "better qualified to do graduate teacher training work." Graves to Knapp, April 19, 1928.
The legislature recently passed the Unified Education Act (House Bill 318). It included $200,000 for a Teacher-Training Equalization Fund. Alabama received $65,000 and API $20,000 out of this fund for the coming year, which was decided by the Board of Education. The state board claimed that the University of Alabama had a smaller per student income than API, that the state needed one standard school of education, and that it was necessary to eliminate duplication. API, The Teacher-Training Equalization Fund, (June 1928).

Citation:  Alabama.  Governor's Office, Administrative Records, Box SG 21170 (Governor Graves), ADAH

Finances were "greatly exhausted" because of an overdraft in the building fund. Knapp to Graves, February 28, 1930.
Auburn didn’t have funds to meet the May 1 payroll. Knapp to Graves, April 19, 1930.

Citation:  Alabama.  Governor's Office, Administrative Records, Box SG 19948 (Governor Miller), ADAH

API, Alabama, and Montevallo were all hurting financially, but some had received more of the funds due them than had API. Knapp to Miller, January 22, 1931.
The general fund was overdrawn by $30,000. Miller to Knapp, January 24, 1931.
Knapp had been "in the dark" regarding the condition of the state treasury "for a long, long time." Knapp to Miller, January 26, 1931.
ACES has as much responsibility to promote sound economic practices as sound production practices. Knapp to Edmund Pettus, April 23, 1931.
The law under consideration by the legislature as not so much anti-ACES as it was anti-cooperation among farmers, who had a right to buy and sell cooperatively. Knapp to Board of Trustees, April 24, 1931.
API received only 42% of it’s quarterly appropriation, while the University of Alabama received 65% and Montevallo 55%. In making this decision, the state had failed to factor in API’s fixed obligations to ACES and the Experiment Station. Knapp to Miller, October 22, 1931.
The president complained to the editor of the Montgomery Advertiser regarding an article in the issue of this date, which charged that the college was borrowing from credit balances in the ACES and Experiment Station accounts. True, the college did borrow "temporarily" when the state failed to meet its obligations. The money would be repaid when the state provided API with the funds that had been appropriated for the school. Knapp to Grover C. Hall, October 27, 1931.
A group of "old professors…who have not been able to save any money" informed the board that "Dr. Knapp cannot handle the institution" and urged him to "save us…before it is too late." Anon, n.d.
Petrie had nothing to do with the unsigned, undated letter from "old professors" to the board. He believed that Knapp was doing all he could do. George Petrie to Board of Trustees, November 20, 1931.
Trustee Samford urged the governor to call a board meeting. "Something must be done and done quickly if the institution is to be saved from a disastrous experience." T.D. Samford to Miller, December 5, 1931.
The Clarke County alumni urged the board to vote their approval of Knapp in the wake of the recent newspaper publicity. Earl L. Tucker to Miller, February 25, 1932.
The writer praised Knapp and hoped the board would not replace him. Charles F. DeBardeleben to Miller, February 26, 1932.
B.L. Shi—executive secretary and secretary to the board—had suffered "somewhat of a nervous collapse." He was a valuable man, overworked, and "let our present situation worry him entirely too much." Knapp to Miller, March 9, 1932.
It rumored that Knapp thinks $50,000 to $60,000 in Athletic Department money had gone into the college fund under Dowell. S.J.T. Price to Miller, March 11, 1932.
The secretary of the Alabama Independent Merchants Association says that Farm Bureau cooperatives have an unfair advantage because they have public support through the Extension Service. B.C. Apperson to Miller, May 24, 1932.
The board needed to meet before July 1 to adopt, at least, a tentative budget. "We are almost at sea." Knapp might have some plans, "but I am frank to say that I don’t see how he is going to met the situation." T.D. Samford to Miller, June 18, 1932.