Today in Milligan History, 4/13

Today in Milligan History

an ongoing project of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society

Good day, Milligan!

Proverbs 13:15 – Good judgment wins favor, but the way of the unfaithful leads to their destruction.

This is Monday, April 13, 2015, and on this day in Milligan history . . . 

1829    The famous eight-day “Campbell-Owen Debate” began, the exchange that pitted Alexander Campbell (1788-1866) against the famous British utopian socialist, manufacturer and philosopher Robert Owen. Campbell, whose Bethany College was a model for the establishment of institutions like Milligan College, was a co-worker with Robert Milligan (1814-1875) in Bethany, WV, 1854-1859. When Josephus Hopwood started offering college-level work at the old Buffalo Male and Female Institute, he renamed the institution in honor of his teacher Robert Milligan.

1928    A party of 750 invited guests honored ex-Tennessee-governor Alfred A. Taylor in a foxhunt sponsored by the Elizabethton Hunting Club. Speakers included Tennessee governor Henry Horton, and United States Senators Kenneth McKeller and Lawrence Tyson. Ole Limber, Governor Taylor’s celebrated fox dog, led 500 hounds in the chase. One hundred waiters from the John Sevier Hotel in Johnson City served dinner.  Happy Valley natives Taylor and his brother Robert Love “Our Bob” Taylor (three-term governor, United States senator), were two of the most illustrious alumni of the Buffalo Male and Female Institute, out of which Milligan College emerged in 1881. Ole Limber’s paw prints are preserved on the Milligan College campus in concrete at the base of the Tennessee Historical Marker in front of the Phillips-Taylor House.   Frank Merritt (1947), Later History of Carter County, 1865-1980: Homecoming ’86 Heritage Project (Kingsport, TN: Arcata Graphics, 1986)

1941    The Buffalo Creek Christian Church, after extensive remodeling during the ministry of Dr. Charles E. Burns (Milligan College president 1941-1944), took a new name: Hopwood Memorial Christian Church. On this Easter Sunday the building was renamed in commemoration of Josephus Hopwood, Milligan College’s visionary founder and president for more than thirty years. In addition to Dr. Burns, who spoke on “The Five Years of Building,” other speakers included J. J. Musick, former Milligan College president Henry J. Derthick (president 1917-1940), W. R. Hendrix, and J. N. Shepherd. A plaque on the front of the present structure commemorates the inspiration and guidance that Mrs. Florence Burns (1888-1963), Milligan’s First Lady, gave to the building’s renovation.  Information compiled by Billie Oakes (1958), published at; also The Stampede, Vol 6, No. 10, May 21, 1941.

2008    The women’s softball team lost the game 24-0, but what an opponent! Team USA was “Bound 4 Beijing” and had chosen Milligan College as one of only 42 teams in the nation to face as a warm-up to the real thing. The Lady Buffs were the first-ever NAIA school to host an Olympic team. Team USA’s Alicia Hollowell pitched a no hitter, but first baseman Jessica Blevins (2010) and catcher Leah White did manage to get the bat on the ball with 4-3 ground outs in the first and second innings. Pitcher Sidney Burns forced Team USA’s most recognized player, Jennie Finch, to ground out in the first inning and hurled two strikes past her in two other at-bats. And Blevins handled a tough grounder to throw Finch out at first base. The balance of the Milligan team included Alicia Engle,  Hannah Cunningham, Holly Napier (2008), Heather Poindexter (2008), Jessica Russel (2010), Lydia Sharpe, Sarah Smith, Laken Stewart, Melanie Strickler, Mallory Tincher (2009), Kayla Walker (2010), statistician Molly Wilson, and Coach Wes Holly (Milligan since 1988). A crowd of 3,476 endured cold, wet weather at Cardinals Park for the game. Heather Richardson and Jeff Birchfield, Johnson City Press, April 14, 2008

2011    It had been cold and rainy the day before, but the weather cleared for Wonderful Wednesday.  The theme was “Come Sail Away.” Activities planned by the Campus Activities Board filled the day: campus-wide brunch at 10:00, a faculty hunt at 11:30, lazy river inner tube excursions on Buffalo Creek, go-kart races, putt-putt, a rock-climbing adventure and Euro bungee jumping on Derthick Lawn. Competitive events throughout the afternoon included limbo, dodgeball, volleyball, ultimate Frisbee and soccer. At noon runners raced against the chapel bells on Sword Commons. The day concluded with a Caribbean dinner featuring Pan Jive, a live steel drum band, followed by a drive-in movie.  Milligan College Public Relations Department

Birthdays:. In 1743 Thomas Jefferson in Shadwell, VA . . . in 1891 Nella Larsen in Chicago . . . in 1906 Samuel Beckett in Dublin, Ireland . . . in 1909 Eudora Welty in Jackson, MS . . . in 1945 Tony “Wally Cleaver” Dow in Hollywood, CA. . . . and in 1995 Milligan College freshman Bradley Scott Harvey.



In 1598 King Henry IV promulgated the Edict of Nantes, promising religious freedom to French Protestants.

In 1829 the English Emancipation Act guaranteed religious freedom to Roman Catholics.

In 1861 Fort Sumter, SC, surrendered to Confederate forces.

In 1943 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt dedicated the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC.

In 1945 Allied forces occupied Vienna, Austria.

In 1970 the beleaguered Apollo XIII announced “Houston, we’ve got a problem!” on its way to the Moon.


Do you know something that happened on this day in Milligan history?  Is this the birthday of a Milligan personality?  The anniversary of a Milligan event?  If so, send it to Phi Alpha Theta at