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Puritans, Thomas Doane combined in his character the rugged honesty, the tireless industry, the love of religious liberty, and the hatred of sham and pretense, that characterized the men and women who landed upon Plymouth Rock and set about to conquer the wilderness of an unknown hemisphere. His early education was received in an academy established in the Cape Cod district of Massachusetts by his father and others. After completing the course required by this academy he spent five terms at Phillips Academy, Andover. Early in life he conceived a liking for civil engineering, and determined to make that his profession. His father, John Doane, was one of the best known lawyers in the Cape district, but the son had no taste for the law. Upon leaving the academy at Andover he entered the office of Samuel M. Felton, one of the noted civil engineers of his time. Mr. Felton's office was at Charlestown, and here Thomas Doane studied for three years, as was the custom at that time. Immediately after this term of study he entered upon the active pursuit of his profession. His first professional engagement was as engineer of the Windsor, White river division of the Vermont Central railroad, where his work soon attracted wide attention. From 1847 until 1849 he was resident engineer of the Cheshire railroad at Walpole, New Hampshire. In December, 1849, he returned to Charlestown, Massachusetts, and established an office, conducting a civil engineering and surveying business either personally or through capable assistants. He continued this office up to the time of his death. His ability as an engineer was recognized in all engineering circles, and at different times he was connected with all of the railroads running out of Boston, particularly the Boston & Maine.
     "In 1863 the state of Massachusetts assumed the work of building the Hoosac tunnel, and the board of commission-


ers at once engaged Mr. Doane as chief engineer. With characteristic energy he proceeded to relocate the tunnel line and established new grades. The distance to be tunneled was nearly five miles. He pushed the borings on four faces from both sides of the mountain and a central shaft, and so accurate were his measurements and levels that the centers of the borings met with a variation in alignment of only nine-sixteenths of an inch in one case and five-sixteenths of an inch in the other. He was a pioneer in the use of compressed air in this country, and he built a dam across the Deerfield river to furnish power for the turbine wheels to operate his air compressors. The successful use of nitro-glycerine (sic), drilling by machine drills operated by compressed air, and 'simultaneous blasting' by electricity were here established for the first time in the United States. Naturally this attracted universal attention, for at that time the Hoosac tunnel was justly considered one of the engineering marvels of the world. In his book on tunneling, Mr. Henry S. Drinker pays the following deserved tribute to Mr. Doane's ability as an engineer and his energy in exploring the field of compressed air and mechanical contrivance for tunnel work: 'Mr. Doane's connection with the Hoosac tunnel in the early days of that great work is not a matter of especial but of universal interest to the engineering profession in America, for to his persistent energy, far-seeing sagacity, and his able management we in a large measure and, in fact, chiefly owe the development and introduction into this country of the present advanced system of tunneling with machinery and high explosives. It was under his direction as engineer of the commission that the state experiments were made, and the long and disheartening fight carried through which terminated in favor of the new system, the system which has since given us the Burleigh, Ingersoll, and Wood drills, and


which also first showed Americans practically what the potent agency of nitro-glycerine (sic), first applied by Nobel in Europe, actually was.'
     "In 1869 Mr. Doane was called west and became chief engineer and superintendent of the Burlington & Missouri river railroad in Nebraska, an extension of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy system. Though new to the West he gave the men of the West an example in their own push and energy, and in less than four years completed 241 miles of road on the frontier, establishing a steam ferry at Plattsmouth and building and maintaining a telegraph line the full length of the road. And on a rush order he surveyed the branch line from Crete to Beatrice, the distance of thirty miles, and had the road ready for operation in ninety days. He named the towns on the line between Plattsmouth and Kearney, and this will explain the frequent recurrence of New England names--Dorchester, Exeter, Harvard, Lowell, etc. This line was built with a view to economy of operation, and time has proved the soundness of his judgment in constructing the road on the low grades he established.
     "In 1871 Mr. Doane thoroughly identified himself as a citizen of Crete, Nebraska, selecting what is now known as the college section, on which he erected a dwelling-house and occupied it with his family during his connection with the Burlington system. In 1873 Mr. Doane returned to Charlestown and shortly after was reappointed consulting engineer of the Hoosac tunnel and also of the reconstruction of the Troy & Greenfield railway. On February 9, 1875, the Hoosac tunnel was opened and Mr. Doane ran the first train through. He remained in charge of the tunnel work until 1877. In 1879 he was appointed consulting and acting chief engineer of the Northern Pacific railroad and served in this capacity for one year. From that time


on Mr. Doane devoted himself chiefly to office practice as a consulting engineer.
     "While in Nebraska Mr. Doane saw the possibilities of the country and believed that it would soon become a populous and wealthy section of the republic. His first thought was a characteristic one--how best to provide for the educational growth of the young commonwealth.
     "Before the railroad reached Crete he took a prominent part in the effort to establish a college there. Cooperating with the land commissioner, Mr. George S. Harris, and others, he secured from the Burlington railroad company the offer of a beautiful college site just east of Crete, embracing in all 600 acres, and when the Congregational churches of Nebraska in General Association had located their college at this point, he gave liberally of his means to make it a success. In recognition of his services the college was named after him, and for many years he was the efficient chairman of its board of trustees. His interest in the college never waned, and from his eastern home he did much to guide it by wise counsel and tide it over financial difficulties. He was rarely absent from its annual commencements, though his attendance involved a journey of 3,000 miles. He made generous provision for the college in his will, and a large part of his estate has become a permanent college endowment. Doane College is fulfilling the expectation of its founders. From its walls are going forth young men and women who are making their mark in the world and leaving a noble impress upon their generation.
     "Mr. Doane was also one of the founders of the first bank established in Crete in 1872 and its first president. During the years that he was actively engaged in his profession he received many young men into his office as students, and a goodly number of these have carved their names high in the engineering world. For upwards of twenty years he was a


member of the Boston Society of Civil Engineers and for nine years its president. He was greatly interested in various educational and charitable institutions, and took an active part in religious work.
     "November 5, 1850, Mr. Doane was married to Miss Sophia D. Clark, who died December 1, 1868. To this union five children were born, viz. Mrs. David B. Perry, wife of the President of Doane College; Mrs. William O. Weeden, Concord, Massachusetts; Mrs. Henry B. Twombly, Summit, New Jersey; the Rev. John Doane, Fremont, Nebraska; and Thomas who died in infancy. November 19, 1870, Mr. Doane was married a second time to Miss Louisa A. Barber of Brattleboro, Vermont, who was in close sympathy with him in his Nebraska enterprises, taking an active part in the first efforts to establish the college at Crete. October 22, 1897, after a short illness and while on a visit at West Townshend, Vermont, he departed this life. It was fitting that he should pass away among the rock-ribbed hills and amid the trees he loved so well, the maples all aglow with autumn's choicest colors. His grave is in the old family burial ground at Orleans, Massachusetts, a commanding knoll which looks out over a pleasantly diversified landscape and the great sea, an environment rich in ancestral associations. Of him it may be well said that the world was better because of his having lived. Successful in the management of his own business affairs, he took delight in assisting others, and he was never more pleased than when doing something to help those about him to higher and better things. The long line of generations constituting the Doane family contains many illustrious men, but none was more so than Thomas Doane, founder of Doane College. The family is an old one, probably of Norman origin, its history being traceable to the year 1000. There were Doanes with William the Conqueror; Doanes were promi-


nent in English church history; they were conspicuous in the civil life of England. When the good ship Fortune sailed from Wales in the wake of the historic Mayflower a Doane placed his name upon the passenger register and established the family in the new world.
     "From such stock as this sprang the eminent engineer and philanthropist whose monument is the splendid college upon the upland overlooking the beautiful valley of the Big Blue where the river, as seen from college heights, turns sharply to the west to make room for the picturesque little city of Crete, Nebraska. Not marble shaft or polished brass can best perpetuate his memory, but it will live forever in the minds and hearts of thousands who have been, and will yet be made better and more useful citizens by reason of his integrity, his wisdom, his enterprise, his liberality, and his devout Christianity."


     In 1871 Mr. David Brainerd Perry, graduate of Yale College and Theological Seminary, traveler and student in Germany, Italy, and Switzerland, tutor in Yale College, decided to be a missionary on the western frontier, and asked for one of the hardest fields. He was stationed at Aurora, and the same year, 1872, was ordained at Crete to the Gospel ministry.
     Mr. Perry was the man whom the trustees decided to call to take charge of the new college; he accepted the call and began service in the autumn of 1872, being, during the first year, the only teacher in the school. Thirteen students were in attendance, but at the end of the year five young men, examined and approved by the trustees July 1, 1873, entered the freshman class of Doane College, and at the July meeting, 1873, the trustees elected Mr. Perry professor of Greek and Latin, and also Miss Mary W. Merrill as

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