The Richmond Register

October 8, 2012

Eastern history: Strong Bodies

By Fred Engle
Register Columnist

RICHMOND — Although Eastern opened in 1906, special attention to strong bodied students only came in June 1919 when two doctors were sent from the Kentucky State Board of Health to vaccinate for pneumonia any student willing to take the injection.  In August 1919 Miss Bertha Conway came to the campus as a full time nurse. In 1923 Miss Margaret McCrystal took over the nursing duties. In 1927 a physician was hired full time – Dr. J.W. Scudder.

How about health education?  First classes were offered by Anna Davis of the Home Economics Department and A.B. Carter of the Agriculture Department (Sanitary Science).  Dr. J.D. Farris, whom I knew well, joined the staff in 1928. When he moved on to U.K. Dr. Herman L. Donovan took Dr. Farris with him.  The beautiful Weaver Health Building opened in 1931 with its indoor pool.  The faculty member associated with the health program at Eastern was Miss Marie Roberts.

Teachers in the area of Physical Education included Miss Jean Hurst, Charles Miller, Miss Annita Hardin, Anna Davis, Miss Mary Ann McMullin, Miss Katherine Hammond, George Hembree, Miss Lorna Bressie, Miss Ruth Perry, Miss Hortence Lewis, Miss Edna Hughes, Miss Helen Russell, Thomas MacDonough and Miss Gertrude Hood.  Many of you will recognize these last two names.

Eastern’s earliest athletic contests were played by women. Basketball began in 1907.  Football began in 1910. Coaches I remember from earlier days – George Hembree, George Gumbert, Charles Hughes, Tom Samuels and Rome Rankin.  Roy Kidd is too young to on this list, but he was arguably the most famous coach Eastern were had.  And if you want to talk baseball – there is Earle Combs.

Readers are reminded that a compilation of some 60 Richmond Register articles from over the last 40 years by Dr. Grise and myself are now available in the paperback book “Madison’s Heritage Rediscovered.”  Combined with relevant photographs selected from Eastern’s Archives by my granddaughter, Kathryn Engle, who edited the volume, this book is available for $19.99 plus tax. Autographed copies may be found at the Richmond tourism office (Irvinton) on Lancaster Avenue, Clearsight Optometry and Baldwin C.P.A.s on Main Street in Richmond.  Autographed copies are also available by calling Kathryn Engle at 859 893 0947 or 623 1150.  These books make excellent birthday or Christmas presents for family or friends.