Truax
Truax
Truax Residence (enclosed entrance on left),
North College, early 1900s

Union College Robert N. Michaelson,
UC 1972, Postcard Collection

During the period covered by Mrs. Perkins’ letters, the faculty apartment at the north end of North College was occupied by James Truax, then Professor of English Language and Literature. Professor Truax’s professional rivalry with the Perkins’ son-in-law Edward Everett Hale (Jack), Professor of Rhetoric and Logic and later of English, caused considerable tension between their families. Additionally, shortly after Maurice Perkins died in 1901, the Perkins/Hale family became anxious about its future at Union; due to the College’s immediate financial troubles, it seemed impossible to keep both professors at a decent salary. The Board of Trustees appeared to prefer Hale, and President Raymond fought to keep him, but “Jimmy” Truax was a Union alumnus who had served on the faculty for eighteen years. In the end, although the Board decided to keep both professors, Truax suddenly decided to give up the fight. “Jack is in very good spirits as Professor Truax has resigned and his work comes to Jack,” Mrs. Perkins wrote.  “Jack will have more work and no more pay, but his position will be settled, and it will be a sort of compensation for many unpleasant things” (July 6, 1903).

Various other faculty members lived in the apartment until 1966. It then served as a dormitory, offices, and meeting rooms. It is now part of the Wold Minerva House.