There are some collections here in the Archives that have the ability to transport you to another time. A couple of weeks ago we had an art class in the Archives really digging around. Among the things that they brought to light was a diary kept by Ralph D. “Hoggie” Mount, Wabash class of 1922. Beginning with January 02, 1921 and continuing through the end of the school year in June – Mount with his clever sketches of student life –really takes us back in time.
This first image is the front page of his diary to which he has added two drawings – self-portraits, these figures represent Mount in the diary.
So who was Ralph DeWitt Mount? He came to Wabash as one of the Student Army Training Corps fellows during the first World War. After the SATC came to an end, Mount did what a number of other men did and stayed at Wabash. He was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity and President of the Pan-Hellenic Council. He worked on the yearbook, he managed the football team, but his primary sport was baseball.
The next page starts his story and establishes the format for the rest of the book. Each day is one page. In the upper left corner he gives us the weather for the day. Some terribly clever little weather drawings and commentary.
In this drawing for Sunday, January 2, 1921 we see Mount boarding a train for Indianapolis, the first leg of his trip back to school.
Student life in the Kappa Sigma house in 1921 – and so finely drawn. In this sketch we see Mount sleeping in and having a late breakfast.
Pledging, intramurals, house activities, weather and sports scores – a tidy little package.
Mount was a very talented cartoonist and here are a couple of great cartoons. With all of this talent I wondered if Mount ever used these talents professionally – he did not, but clearly art was a passion his entire life.
From a letter back to the college in 1978 signed Ralph D. “Hoggie” Mount 1922, “Nothing of interest to report. 78th birthday coming up on Sept. 16th, ’78…I ‘eat-up’ with interest any and all information from and about Wabash! I’m doing quite a bit of oil painting, as a pleasant hobby, and TRY to play golf three or four times a week. Keep the news coming in any shape or form!”
What a gift he left behind and what fun to page through it nearly 90 years later…Best, Beth Swift Archivist Wabash College