Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Percy Earle Hunter's 1895 Commencement - 52 Ancestors #22

For this week's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from blogger Amy Crow Johnson of No Story Too Small, the theme is Commencement.

I want to use this opportunity to share my new favorite resource: Now, as has been pointed out (by Susan Petersen of, among others), which newspaper website is best for you depends on what newspapers the website carries. It just so happens that carries many years of several newspapers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Percy Earle Hunter (1873-1937) is my great-grandfather. He graduated from Western University of Pennsylvania (W. U. P.) in June 1895.

"W. U. P. - 1895. Engineering School"
Percy Earle Hunter is at far right

I just found some newspaper articles from the Pittsburgh Daily Post and the Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette in June 1895 that tell me a lot more about the excitement of that month for these young men (and yes, they were all men...).

On the evening of Thursday, June 13, there was a reception at the home of the Chancellor of the University.

The Pittsburg Post, June 13, 1895, page 2, col. 8.

A busy week: On the 16th, the baccalaureate sermon was delivered; on the 17th, the reading of the engineering thesis took place; on the 18th, the class day exercises were held; on the 19th, the alumni meeting was held, and finally on the 20th, the "commencement exercises proper" were held at Carnegie Hall in Allegheny (Allegheny City, later merged into Pittsburgh).

The day after the commencement exercises (June 21, 1895), there was an article on page 2 of the Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette. I include parts of it below:

1895 was the 72nd Commencement of the University

I have not included the section that has a description of the meeting of the University's Alumni Association.

Percy Earle Hunter received a degree in mechanical engineering.

I have not included the listing of remaining graduates and honorary degree recipients.

The commencement speaker "spoke in favor of establishing a law school in connection with the Western university"
which, according to Wikipedia, occurred the following year.

The Western University of Pennsylvania became the University of Pittsburgh in 1908.

Percy went on to become a successful mechanical engineer, building many bridges in Pittsburgh, and receiving a few patents. I wrote about his life here. I shared a series of photographs of him here.

I descend from Percy Earle Hunter as follows:
Percy Earle Hunter
Helen Lysle Hunter
My mother

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