I’ve had a lifelong obsession with an old zoologist at my alma mater, Winterton C. Curtis (1875-1966), who happens to have been my first real landlord: my parents rented rooms in his home soon after my birth, while my Dad was finishing his veterinary degree at Mizzou.
I remember him visiting our family in the years just prior to his death. He pulled dollars from my ear.
Later I’d learn of his historical importance, as one of the expert witnesses not allowed to testify at the infamous 1925 trial of John Scopes in Dayton TN.
Well, during our recent visit to Columbia, MO, Older Daughter and I rode by the place with my old roomie RD (still a Columbia resident).
And that’s what got me hunting for the little offprint of the memoir Dr. Curtis published in the Columbia Missourian in 1957, that belonged to my Dad. Found it yesterday. And, found it again this morning online: “A Damned-Yankee Professor in Little Dixie.” (The house is pictured on p.37.)
And check out the last page, where he talks about how the former university president “admitted publicly” that faculty positions were rotated among “the various Protestant denominations…” What a different world it was, not so long ago.
Tags: Columbia MO