Hot Stove and Other Incidents

Heating stoves are involved in two notable events at the Albany Street campus. In February, 1909, while on an extended (and frustrating) fund raising trip on the east coast, Dr. Boone received word from Miss Finney that there had been a fire at the dormitory building. The message must have been too cryptic, because his diary entry was, "Too wretchedly bad. We are poor enough already and this just about wrecks us." It turned out that no one was injured, and though the damage was severe enough, it was quickly repaired and insurance covered the expense. The other event (dutifully recounted by H.H. Hayman as "the Incident of the Hot Stove") also involved Miss Finney but was not covered by insurance.

The IHS may not have caused the dorm to burn down, but evidently it caused Dr. Boone to nearly melt down. It is not mentioned in the diaries, and Hayman's is the only account. This incident is remarkable for two reasons. It is the only record of Dr. Boone's temper getting the better of him (although he frequently admonishes himself in his diaries for wrath and other perceived shortcomings) , but more importantly, it reveals Miss Finney as having the courage of her own convictions. True, she has Professor Mae Franklin along for support, but she still beards the lion in his den. And her point is irrefutable: the building did not catch on fire. A mere close call does not justify rude behavior; and adequate winter garments are a matter of opinion, thank you very much, Dr. William Judson Boone.

Two years later Miss Finney again bearded the lion, this time not in his den, but during the daily chapel service. This, the chapel episode, does make it intothe diary. February 2, 1910: "Miss Finney calls me down in chapel for referring to her singing. Good for me, no business joking." Caught out before God and Man alike, the lion elects to retreat to the den for a little wound licking. In the preacher's kid, the preacher has met his match.