A Little More History

by Dr. James D. Long
(From Biology Department Newsletter, 1991)


The last issue of the Department Newsletter contained a few notes on the early history of the Biology program at Sam Houston, citing I. R. Dean and Walter M. Coleman as the first to teach this subject on our campus. Mr. Coleman left Huntsville at the end of the 1907-08 school year and was replaced by Robert L. Marquis who taught here one academic year. His position was replaced in 1909 by Carl G. Hartman who remained on the faculty through 1911. Both of these men must have been exceptional people. They went from teaching at Sam Houston to accumulate very impressive records during their professional careers.

Robert Marquis was born in 1880 at Goliad, Texas. The fact that his middle name was Lincoln and that his birth was only fifteen years after the end of the Civil War suggests that his parents, Alexander and Ammo Webster Marquis, may not have been long-time Texas residents. He attended Add-Ran Christian College at Waco, Texas, receiving the A.B. degree in 1901. This school had been established in 1873 by J. A. Clark and his sons, Adderson and Randolph, at Thorp Springs in Hood County, Texas, and moved to Waco in 1895. In 1909, this college was moved again, this time to Fort Worth, Texas, and renamed Texas Christian University. Mr. Marquis later earned a B.S. degree from the University of Texas (1902) and the M.S. degree from the University of Chicago (1903).

Mr. Marquis' first teaching position was at the Add-Ran College where he taught "science" (1903-04). He held a similar position at John Tarleton College, Stephenville, Texas, from 1904 until employed as a biologist at Sam Houston (1908-09). On leaving Sam Houston, he enrolled in graduate studies at the University of Texas (there were no doctoral programs there at that time) and after a year, accepted a faculty post at West Texas Normal Institute in Canyon, Texas, remaining there until 19] 8. He next taught at North Texas Normal in Denton, Texas, leaving this position in 1920 to become the principal (i.e., president) at Sul Ross Normal in Alpine, Texas, the year this school was first organized. In 1923, at the time the Texas Legislature was changing the name of all Normal Institutes to State Teachers Colleges, Mr. Marquis became the "first" president of the newly renamed North Texas State Teachers College at Denton. He continued in his position until his death, April 15, 1934.

During his career, Mr. Marquis was very active in professional education organizations. He was a life member of both the Texas State Teachers and the National Educational Associations and served a term as President of the Southern Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges in 1929. In recognition of his professional accomplishments, Austin College at Sherman, Texas, awarded him an LL.D. in 1925. Dr. Marquis married Lulu Mae Parkey of Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, June 2, 1907, and was the father of twin sons, Robed and Richard.

Carl G. Hartman was the fourth biology teacher to grace these hallowed halls. He was born June 3, 1879, in Reinbeck, Iowa, the son of Ossian and Sophia Lemwigh Hartman. After attending the State University of Iowa briefly (1896-97), he completed requirements for the B.A. degree in 1902 and the M.A. degree in 1904 at the University of Texas, majoring in zoology. Before coming to Sam Houston, he was County Superintendent of Schools for Travis County, Texas, in Austin from 1904 until 1909. When he left Huntsville in 1911, he returned to the University of Texas to teach zoology and work on a Ph.D. program in embryology under J. T. Patterson. He completed his studies in 1915 and was awarded the first doctoral degree to be granted by that institution. He married Eva Rettenmeyer from Meriden, Connecticut, June 23, 1919. They became the parents of three sons, Carl Frederick, Philip Emil, and Paul Arthur and one daughter, Bertha Grace.

Dr. Hartman remained on the zoology faculty at the University of Texas for a number of years, helping to establish many of the research programs still in existence at the institution. He accepted a position in 1925 as Research Assistant in Embryology with the Carnegie Institute. In 1941, he became Professor of Zoology and Chairman of the Zoology and Physiology Department at the University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois. Dr. Hartman left Illinois in 1947 to become Director of the Physiology Department at the Ortho Research Foundation in Raritan, New Jersey, where he remained until his retirement in 1958 at the age of seventy-nine. After his retirement, he retained an active interest in research, holding the titles of Emeritus Research Director at the Ortho Foundation and Research Consultant at the Margaret Sanger Research Bureau in New York City until his death in 1966.

Dr. Hartman's Ph.D. thesis dealt with studies of opossum embryology and most of his later research was concerned with topics of a similar nature. His work with the opossum is considered to be a classic in the field of animal development, serving as a model for similar studies for a number of years and earning him the unofficial title of Father of modern embryology. His many honors include his election as a Fellow, Wistar Institute (1917), the Squibb Award (1946), the Lasker Award (1949), the Barren Metal (1963), and the First Marshal Metal, British Society for the Study of Fertility (1965). He was elected a member of the National Academy of Science in the early 1920's and served as President of the Society of Zoology in 1948 and as Honorary Vice President of the Society for the Study of Sterility in 1959. In the international area, he was a delegate to the International Physiology Congress in Russia (1935) and to the Signer-Pilignac Colloquium at Paris, France (1937), and was elected an honorary member of the Brazil Society for the Study of Sterility.

In 1963, Dr. Hartman returned to Texas briefly to deliver the introductory address at the Conference on Delayed Implantation sponsored by Rice University as a part of its semi-centennial year celebration. He was recognized as the guest of honor at this conference for his many research accomplishments. There seems little doubt that he ranks first in prestige among those who have taught biology at Sam Houston.

(Next Issue, the Early Warner Years)