A Photographic History of Oregon State University

OSU's Early Years, 1858 - 1889

"Let us flee from debt as from the grave," wrote President Arnold in his 1873 annual report to trustees, given at a meeting in which they sought to consolidate the college’s debts. Indebtedness continued as trustees placed a series of mortgages on the original thirty-five-acre college farm, and much of it was often leased out, leaving little room for agricultural experiments.  Despite periodic reports to the legislature that the college was free of debt, trustee minutes suggest that the college was in debt to Arnold and others throughout much of its period of church control.

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