Because the College’s recitation room for Classics adjoined the faculty apartment at the south end of South College, for many years this residence was awarded to a professor of Classics. Thus, during the time frame of the Perkins letters, the apartment was occupied by Henry Whitehorne, distinguished Professor of Greek Language and Literature, who moved in around 1873 and remained there until his death in 1901. Mrs. Perkins lived nearby and sometimes commented on the trees and plants outside the Whitehorne residence. Although he was a respected faculty member, Mrs. Perkins also noted that some people were impatient for the long-lived Whitehorne to leave: “[John Ira Bennett, Union College Class of 1890 and Professor of Greek from 1895 to 1920] has been on the steps of the throne like the Prince of Wales so long (waiting for Whitehorne) that it has been a bit demoralizing” (March 12, 1901). In a break with tradition, after Whitehorne’s death the apartment was offered to the new Chemistry Professor, Richard Curtis. “Dr Curtis is to have the Whitehorne’s just as it is… no steam, all out of repair. They have no money, and no furniture and a new baby so I am wondering what they will do in that great barrack in our cold winters” (October 11, 1901). Perhaps understandably, Curtis only stayed at Union until 1904.

The residence passed to other professors until it was converted to offices and later a dormitory. It is now part of the Green Minerva House.


One of these images is from the Union College Postcard collection. You can view both front and back of this postcard and more information in our digital collections database on New York Heritage below.


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