1904-1907 Faculty Minutes: Mr. Knapp was charged with the crime of “Sodomy”

Below you will find extracts of the faculty meeting minutes of the Pennsylvania State Normal School of the Second District (now known as Millersville University). These extracts are from the volume covering 1904-1907. A digitized copy will soon be available at the Keystone Library Network’s Digital Collection. When it is uploaded, you will find it at http://digital.klnpa.org/cdm/search/collection/mvsminutes.

September 14, 1904
No student rooming alone can occupy an outside room. To students using cots in inside rooms mattresses will be furnished but to no others.

Sept. 29, 1904
The Prin. stated that there was a poor family in the village by the name of [?]- and designated Mr. Lansinger to receive all contributions for them, and Mr. Hull was appointed to see that it was judiciously applied.

Oct. 20, 1904
Three girls went to the York County Fair and did not return until the late car. They were seen in Lancaster on the streets and were not behaving themselves properly. The com. of ladies on discipline will meet.

Oct. 26, 1904
The Prin. stated that Miss Anna Bowman ran hastily up to Miss Maud Felty this evening. She will remain on the campus for the present.

Nov. 14, 1904
Students think they are neglected.

January 9, 1905
It was reported that a boy is selling pretzels in the gentleman’s building. This should not be.
How is Julia Snavely doing in class? She is discontented and wants to leave school. She is doing well.

Mar. 27, 1905
All the members were present except those who were absent.

May 29, 1905
Miss Anna Bowman was reported for going to Mr. Longenecker’s on the Blue Rock Road to rest and returned [sic] Hoak’s Hotel where she took the 12 o’clock car for Lanc. returning to her home sometime in the evening. It was not clear that we had jurisdiction over this offense.

Dec. 4, 1905
The Cubans do not keep their rooms clean.

Mar. 8, 1906
Mr. Hastings reported Mr. Markel for taking his cuff buttons. Father will be written to

May 14, 1906
It was stated that Mr. Knapp was charged with the crime of “Sodomy,” and the boys were shunning his society.
Mr. Hosler was called before the com. since he had advised Mr. Knapp to leave the school. Mr. Hosler said he believed that Mr. Knapp was guilty, as he did not deny the charge. Mr. Breimer, who was Mr. Knapp’s chum for two years, prepared the charge.
Mr. Breimer was called in and said he knew what the charge meant and knew that Mr. Knapp was guilty. Some of the com. thought that Mr. Breimer was not clear in his statement and he was called back. Mr. Bitner put the question plain before him and he said Mr. Knapp was guilty of the charge.
Mr. Knapp was to be advised to leave school, without the com. taking any formal action on his case.
Mr. Knapp went to Lanc. and had not returned when the com. adjourned.

June 11, 1906
Miss Elizabeth Myers asked to come out into the village to visit friends, instead of doing so she went to Lanc. and from there to Rocky Springs where she took part in a dance and returned to Lanc. too late for either the car to Mountville or Millersville, and they walked out to Millersville with Miss Longenecker.
It was moved and the motion prevailed, that she be required to leave school after the Final Ex. and not be allowed to return. Her diploma will be sent to her.

June 28, ’06
The Prin. said that there is to be no promiscuous dancing at any time on our grounds or building.

Sept. 3, 1906
It is thought that the students spend too much money at the confectionary stores. The[y] asked how this could be corrected. No satisfactory remedy was suggested. Miss Gilbert thought that if the supper were served later, it would diminish the practice.

Sept. 4, 1906
The following students may need watching:
Mr. Fred. Lan.
”    Hoops.
Miss Louise Sproul.
The Cubans.

Sept. 6, 1906
Students (Cuban) attending the Model school will attend chapel exercises in the Normal.

Sept. 24, 1906
Mr. Fassnacht and others took some new students out after apples to scare them.

Oct. 8, 1906
Principle’s address to Faculty,
…As you may know, the authorities are trying to improve one Method of conducting our business, especially in the household department. From the fact that our Business Manager must transact his business in this office, great care must be exercised by every one not to make the business of the school a public matter…The point I want to make is, the business of the office should not be a public matter. Teachers should so far as possible refrain from becoming acquainted with the business of the school that is not their business. Effort should be made to keep from others and from ourselves knowledge of the business affairs of the school that do not directly concern us. The numbers of students in attendance, the salaries paid, the wages paid our working people, and the students who are working, the price paid for goods &c, &c. Are matters that should not concern us.

Oct. 22, 1906
On Saturday Oct. 13, about 11.15 in the morning Miss Alice Pletcher was called to the telephone by some one in Lanc., who said he was her brother. She was anxious to go to Lanc. to meet him; but the Prin. told her he should come to see her as he did not want her to go to Lanc. alone. The young man came, and in the early afternoon, she obtained permission from Miss Lyle to go to Lanc. with him. Mr. Lyte was told on Wednesday that the young man was not Miss Pletcher’s brother. Miss Pletcher told Mr. Lyte that he young man was brother John. The principal called Miss Pletcher’s mother on the telephone who said that her daughter has no brother and that this young man gave her a great deal of uneasiness, and that her word could not be taken. I advised her to come to Millersville to see about taking her away; but she wrote instead (letter on file with reply). The young man telephoned Miss Pletcher on Thursday morning, and on Friday the Principal telephoned her mother to come to school. On Thursday evening Alice wrote to the young man, whose name is John K. Jones (address 21 South 4th st. Harrisburg); but did not stamp the envelope, so it was returned. When her mother came, I handed the mother the letter without protest from Alice. The mother read parts of the letter aloud – In one place Alice begged the young man to come and marry her or she would make an end of herself. Her mother was directed to take her daughter with her, and they left about 8:30 on Friday evening.

Oct. 30, 1906
The Prin. presented the following resolution: –
Resolved. – “That it is the judgment of the faculty that none of the teachers of the school take any public part in any political meetings or in any meetings held for the presentation or the discussion of the issues or the policy of any political party.”
After some discussion the motion was laid on the table by the vote of the faculty.
The Prin. stated “That in his judgment none of the teachers of the school should take any public part in any political meetings during the present campaign.

Nov. 12, 1906
It was stated that on Fri. Nov. 9, fifteen sugar bowls were emptied in the dining room and their contents carried away. Miss Laura Shaub was reported for taking sugar from the dining room and Miss Eva Menno for taking butter.

Feb. 18, 1907
The following questions were proposed for debate: –
4. Res. That the attitude of the U. S. regarding the San Fransisco trouble with the Japanese is cringing[?].
[See https://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/harp/1110.html]

June 10, 1907
Frank Gemmill –
Earl Bates – } Each 10 dem[erits]. Talking on pavement and disobedience to teacher.
Carlos Ceparo – 10 dem. Riding bicycle on Sunday and disobedience to teacher.