1860s Students

Albert James Barr, after taking his degree at WUP, worked for the Artisans Deposit Bank in Pittsburgh, later as Secretary and then President of the Artisans Insurance Company. In 1886, following his father’s death, he became president of the Pittsburgh Post Printing and Publishing Company and held that position until 1911. He was an Associated Press director from 1892 until his death in 1912. Barr was appointed as the Pennsylvania state representative and commissioner to the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893 and was a standing member of the Carnegie Museums committee, as well as the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Institute.

David Riddle Breed began his studies at WUP but graduated from Hamilton College (1867). He became a Presbyterian clergyman and educator at the Western Theological Seminary. He wrote a number of tracts and works on hymnody, notably More Light, History and Use of Hymns and Hymn Tunes, and Preparing to Preach, all of which still enjoy wide circulation.

William D. Brickell worked at the Pittsburgh Post after leaving the university, learning the trade and serving in each of the paper’s various departments. He left Pittsburgh to work with newspapers in St. Louis and Indianapolis, returning to Pittsburgh to serve as Assistant Managing Editor of the Pittsburgh Leader. In 1876, Brickell became part owner of the Columbus Evening Dispatch and, in 1882, its sole proprieter until he sold the paper in 1910. He served as a director of the Associated Press for ten years.

Charles Romyn Dake was a homeopathic physician and writer. He became the editor of Homeopathic News in 1893 and published a number of works of fiction. These included two short stories and a novel, A Strange Discovery (New York: H. Ingalls Kimball, 1899), which serves as a sequel to Edgar Allan Poe’s The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket.

George Wilkins Guthrie graduated in 1866 and earned a degree in law at Columbian University (now George Washington University). After his admission to the bar in 1869, he became increasingly involved with reform issues. Guthrie first ran for mayor of Pittsburgh in 1896 and was elected to the position in 1906, upon which he immediately implemented city policies to stem corruption. His legacy is profound; with D.T. Watson, he authored the legislation that merged Pittsburgh with Allegheny City, making Pittsburgh the sixth largest city in the United States. He also implemented a water filtration system that dramatically reduced the typhoid death rate in the area. After leaving office, Guthrie was appointed United States Ambassador to Japan and died in that post in 1917. At the 1869 Commencement ceremonies for the Western University of Pennsylvania, Guthrie delivered his Masters oration on "American Literature."

John Nicholas Neeb, a native of Pittsburgh, left the university after his junior year to begin work as a compositor for Freiheits Freund, a local German-language paper. He ultimately became its managing editor and held that position until his death. Neeb was a major organizer of the Pittsburgh Press Club; he entered city politics at twenty-one. He was elected to the Pennsylvania state senate in 1890, a position which he held until his death in 1893.


Student Writing 

In 1869, students began to publish essays and stories (and the occasional poem) in the new student magazine, College Journal. It is certainly possible that these compositions were prepared as part of course work. If not, they still show the influence of an education in the literary and rhetorical arts at the Western University of Pennyslvania. Below are some examples:

“The Merry Eyes, ” by Beauchamp     

“Student Life” 

“The Origin of Life”

“The Secret of National Prosperity,” by Sigma   

“Enthusiastical,” by Soph

 “Western University of Pennsylvania,” by Kappa