Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Professor C.H. Hale

"A grand old man of Erath County education", Charles Haynes Hale was born November 14, 1869 in Corinth, Arkansas. He was the son of James Thomas Hale and Elizabeth Watson Hale. After coming to Texas in 1883 with his parents in a covered wagon and living in Bell County two years, the family settled in Flatwoods, now Huckabay, in 1885. He attended rural schools, Add Ran College (now TCU), and earned three degrees, BS, BA, and MA. He was conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by TCU in 1953.

C.H.Hale watched the growth of Tarleton College from one wood building to a fine institution! In 1920, after the barracks had been built to house male students, the beds failed to arrive. Students slept on the floor without complaint. Dean Davis sent a bed to the faculty adviser, Charley Hale, but he declined it, stating that "if the boys can sleep on the floor, so can I."

Another incident Professor Hale was involved in was perhaps the first hazing incident in the dormitory. Upon hearing a noise outside his room, he went to see what it was and found two football players at each door. Other seniors had marched freshmen barefooted to the cemetery. He convinced the students to confess to Dean Davis. The students fully expected to be punished, but Dean Davis just insisted that each student sign a pledge that he would not participate in such hazing practices again.

Professor C.H. Hale taught in a classroom for 55 years and lectured an hour a day for several years after retirement. He stated that Tarleton is the finest college in Texas, with the greatest faculty he had ever had the fortune to meet and that the people of Stephenville and of Tarleton made his every day a full and happy one.

Charley Hale died February 3, 1969, just 9 months shy of his 100th birthday! If you went to Tarleton in the 1960's you will remember seeing Professor Hale walk to the campus post office every morning. In the winter he always wore a long dark overcoat and was very distinguishable on campus!

The J-TAC article above tells about the large birthday celebration that was held in honor of Professor Hale's 90th birthday....50 years ago this month!

(Stephenville Empire Tribune, February 7, 1969)
(J-TAC, November 24, 1959)
(King, Golden Days of Purple & White, p.134)

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