2012, Volume 23, Issue 1

Albert A. Johnson and the Agricultural School at Farmingdale

Frank J. Cavaioli

Abstract: Albert A. Johnson was the first director (1913-1923) of the New York State School of Agriculture on Long Island, which has evolved over the past century as a baccalaureate-granting institution within the State University of New York. The school’s original mission was to train boys and girls from New York City and surrounding counties in agricultural science. Johnson laid the foundation of the school’s physical and educational system. Widely respected, he nevertheless was confronted with issues that led to his resignation. This article analyzes Johnson's leadership and the events leading to his resignation.

Keywords: Albert A. Johnson, Country Life Program, Governor Alfred E. Smith, Hal Fullerton, Halsey B. Knapp, Hilda Ward, Horticultural Teaching Gardens, Jeffersonian Ideal, John Dewey, Long Island Railroad, Mott House, Progressive Era, Soviet Union, William James, Zimmer Report

Founded in April 1912 to train high school students to become farmers, the New York State School of Agriculture on Long Island at Farmingdale (now Farmingdale State College) has gone through a series of changes during its 100 years of history. Albert Aaron Johnson served as the school’s first Director from 1913 to 1923, setting many significant precedents during its formative years.[1] He guided the school in developing its curriculum, laying out its campus physical configuration, and constructing its first buildings. The school has experienced ten different name changes. Its first title was changed to the State Institute of Applied Agriculture on Long Island as early as 1920 during Johnson’s tenure. Nearly a century later, the agricultural curriculum ended in 1987 at the State University of New York at Farmingdale, as it was called then. As the new millennium emerged, the college created programs in advanced technology and applied sciences. In 2002 it adopted its present official name, Farmingdale State College, a campus of the State University of New York, and it has evolved into a comprehensive baccalaureate-granting institution. It is the oldest public college on Long Island.[2]

Figure 1: An historical marker on Melville Road identifies the year the college was chartered and as the oldest public college on Long Island. (Courtesy of Frank J. Cavaioli)

The establishment of an agricultural school on Long Island, then primarily a rural region, took place during the climate of the Progressive Era in early twentieth century America. The Progressive Era is generally viewed as a period of reform with efforts to ameliorate conditions stemming from industrialization, urbanization, and the dramatic increase in immigration toward the end of the nineteenth century. Farm groups, civic leaders, educators, and reformers called for such an agricultural school. Placing boys and girls in an agrarian setting, it was believed, would help relieve urban congestion, increase food production, advance agricultural science, and protect the environment, while emphasizing practical hands-on education. The traditional Jeffersonian Ideal also contributed to this philosophy. This concept rested on the belief that agriculture and country life produced virtue and freedom because farmers were closer to God and the land. The city and industrialization, it was argued, were associated with a corrupt society.[3]

The philosophy of William James (1842-1910) and John Dewey (1859-1952) greatly influenced the development of the school and its philosophy. James believed that the validity of an idea or action was in its practical results. Ideas were changeable and could be validated by their consequences. Dewey taught that education was more than just acquiring a body of information; students “learned by doing.” Progressive education, as it was identified, advanced the idea that individuals could transform society and improve their status as constructive citizens. Progress was paramount.

The new farm school at Farmingdale reflected this promise by providing students with a practical education through the benefits of a healthy learning and working environment removed from the negative effects of urban life. To make access more affordable, students would pay no tuition and education would be within the reach of all. Even though private elite institutions of higher education predominated at the turn of the twentieth century, there were proponents in New York and elsewhere who advocated an educational system funded by the people and open to all. Horace Mann (1796-1859) and his successors provided a rationale for public education in an emerging industrial age. This revolutionary movement, coupled with a sense of egalitarianism, contributed to the forces leading to the establishment of the Long Island agricultural school.

When Johnson was hired, he agreed to an annual salary of $5,000 plus housing, utilities, and food produced on the campus farm. He was highly regarded as a leader in agricultural education. Johnson received a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Agriculture at the University of Wisconsin, and was Professor at North Georgia Agricultural College, Principal of the La Crosse County School of Agriculture, and Superintendent of the Milwaukee School of Agriculture. Upon his arrival at Farmingdale, he worked with the New York State Architect to design the campus and guided the construction of the first buildings: Agronomy (Cutler Hall), Horticulture (Hicks Hall), Director’s Cottage, Powerhouse (Conklin Hall) with smoke stack, and dormitories. These Georgian-style buildings still stand.[4]

Figure 2:  Albert A. Johnson, at left, the first director of the New York State School of Agriculture on Long Island, poses with his family on campus in 1915. (Courtesy of Farmingdale State College)

Figure 3: A worker examines a road under construction on the campus. The horticultural and agronomy buildings, left to right, can be seen in the background. (Courtesy of Farmingdale State College)

The first students, 60 in number, arrived in March 1916. They resided in dormitories, took formal classes, and worked on the school’s 300 acres to gain hands-on experience. The students ranged in age from 15 to 45. More than two-thirds came from New York City, the rest from Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Seventeen-year old Nellie Buff was the only girl in attendance; her mother resided in Huntington while her father remained in their native Switzerland. She planned to return to Switzerland to practice farming, but for some unexplained reason withdrew from the school.

The 1916 Bulletin specified the minimum requirements for admission: an eighth grade education, but allowed students with a high school education, including unconventional students regardless of age, to enroll. The Bulletin stated that while books offered much knowledge about farming, basic to the school’s educational philosophy was the belief that the best way to learn was through hands-on experience. It was not to be a preparatory school for traditional collegiate education. Johnson rejected the kind of elitism that characterized traditional colleges. Women were expected to learn actual housekeeping, gardening, and farming, among other skills. “Learn by doing” also applied to male students. The original plan was for the school to operate for twelve months, and the course of study would vary by the changing seasons. Narrow specialization was to be avoided and the focus centered on modern agricultural life.[5]

Military drill and discipline played an important role during the time of World War I (1914-1918), even before the United States entered the conflict in April 1917. The 1916 Bulletin stressed the value of “military preparedness, and every citizen should experience the rudiments of military training.” During 1917 and 1918 students, dressed in uniform, could be seen performing military drill near the Agronomy and Horticulture buildings. Reveille, mess call, inspection of quarters, retreat, and tattoo were procedures interspersed with class, lab, and farm work. After the war, in 1919, military drill was no longer popular, nor necessary, and was dropped.[6]

The Bulletins of 1916 and 1917 made special reference to women’s roles at the school. In an age of male hegemony, women soon proved they could apply themselves as effectively as male students. The Women’s Land Army organization in New York City recruited women for farm work during wartime summer months at Farmingdale. They resided at Dormitory 2 and Mott House, the converted farmhouse that was part of the original farm. Women and minorities were represented on campus since 1916 and in the first graduating class from 1919 on. Kathryn Freeman was the first woman to graduate in that year and was also class salutatorian. “The courses of the school are open to men and women on equal terms,” stated the 1917 Bulletin.[7]

Director Johnson presided over other significant developments. A memorial white oak tree was planted on campus with combined soil from all the Allied nations and American states on June 4, 1921 honoring those who fought in the war. This stately tree stands today between Hale Hall and Thompson Hall. The annual Farm and Home Equipment Show, later called Country Life Program (Open House) started in March 1920 and opened the campus to the public to learn about the school’s educational programs, and to increase enrollments. Beginning in 1920 the Poultry Department administered the New York State Egg Laying and Poultry Breeding Contest, its purpose being to eliminate unprofitable and non-producing hens. In December 1921, a group of “Aggies met in New York City to recommend the formation of an Alumni Association, which was officially organized the following year. All these events occurred under Johnson’s leadership.[8]

Figure 4:  The Memorial Oak Tree, planted in 1921 to honor those who fought on the Allied side in World War I, stands proudly today on campus. Thompson Hall is at the right in the background. Soil from the American states and the Allied nations was combined and planted at the tree’s base. (Courtesy of Frank J. Cavaioli)

In less than a decade Johnson had established himself as a respected educational leader but he would soon divide the school’s community between heated critics and supporters, thereby bringing controversy to the campus. The school was off to a successful beginning: hundreds of boys, girls, and adults were being trained to be farmers, and extension services reached thousands of people. Arthur Brisbane (1864-1936), the influential journalist and editor, praised Johnson in a 1920 New York American editorial saying he “deserves his reputation as one of the best executives and one of the best teachers in the country.”[9] The Oyster Bay Guardian extolled Johnson’s leadership and work at Farmingdale.[10] Another supporter of Johnson was the Long Island Press Association. Hal Fullerton, of the Long Island Railroad experimental farm in Suffolk County and booster of Long Island, following an inspection of the Farmingdale School with LIPA members, stated that “everything seen at the school and farm is directly due to Prof. Johnson and it is without equal anywhere in the United States.”[11]

Despite such praise, issues emerged that challenged Director Johnson’s management style and even the viability of the agricultural institution itself. At the beginning of 1918, New York State Senator Murphy of Brooklyn introduced a resolution “to investigate the school” and to examine the “expense of its maintenance.” The legislative probe was inconclusive, but doubts continued to swirl over whether educational goals were being pursued, let alone being enforced.[12]

In the midst of these developments, Hilda Ward (1876-1950) enrolled at the school in January 1918, residing at the Mott House dormitory on campus. She would soon play a major role during this critical period as student, alumna, and member of the Board of Trustees (also referred to as Board of Visitors or College Council) in the history of the institution. A resident of Roslyn, she was the daughter of Annie Cairns Willis and Rear Admiral Aaron Ward, a graduate of the US Naval Academy. Three ships were named in honor of Admiral Ward and his daughter christened the second one in November 1941.

Why Hilda Ward, from a prominent family, entered Farmingdale at the age of 42 is not known. She might have been influenced by her parents’ dedication to cultivating more than 3,000 varieties of roses on their Roslyn estate, Willowmere, and a dedication to public service. Earlier, she had established an enviable reputation as an artist and writer, exhibiting her paintings at the famous 1913 Armory Show in New York City and at the Art Institute in Chicago. She was described as a homegrown expressionist. Her paintings continue to trade today on the open market. Hilda Ward also wrote an illustrated book, The Girl and the Motor, featuring the delightful experiences of a young girl managing the complexities of motor engines in a boat and automobiles.[13]

Ward’s long relationship with Farmingdale lasted through the mid-1940s. As a student she made friends with classmates and faculty alike. She became aware of conditions on campus she believed needed immediate improvement. In these years the school struggled to realize its true mission: to train high school students in New York City and surrounding counties to become farmers. In April 1919 the first graduation (of fifteen students) took place, with the second graduation, in May 1920, consisting of twenty-two men and one woman. Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., son of President Theodore Roosevelt of Oyster Bay, presented the commencement address. Ward was concerned about the small number of students graduating, along with other issues regarding academic standards. She sought an appointment as an interested citizen to the Board of Trustees, and she received it in August 1920. Her lineage, student status, maturity, and Roslyn residence were factors in her appointment.[14]

She was not the only one to be concerned about the controversial issues surrounding the school. A series of investigative articles published in the New York Evening Post that ran from May to December 1922 presented charges against Director Johnson that attracted the attention of public officials and the general public. Allegations of fraud and incompetence were carefully documented in the newspaper series, written by Harold A. Littledale, who had acquired New York State documents, records of the Board of Trustees’ meetings, and information based on interviews. The articles were devastating as each succeeding one added more allegations and repeated earlier ones that provided clarification and emphasis. The result was an official investigation, a flurry of charges and counter charges, a student strike, and Johnson’s eventual resignation. Worse, the school’s reputation had suffered so much damage that soon after, in 1926, Governor Alfred E. Smith demanded the school be closed permanently. However, because of the efforts of new Director Halsey B. Knapp (1923-1956), a dedicated faculty, and community support, Governor Smith lost the battle and the school was saved.[15]

The exhaustive list of charges against Johnson and the State Institute of Applied Agriculture on Long Island can be summarized as mismanagement, wastefulness, and misuse of money. Some of the most glaring allegations follow: few students had graduated through 1922 and not one member of the original faculty remained. Surplus money was not being sent to the New York State Treasury, out-of-state and foreign students were not paying tuition, and federal money earmarked to train disable veterans was being diverted to ineligible employees. It was also alleged that Director Johnson disregarded advice offered by agricultural associations, and that the Board of Trustees rubber-stamped Johnson’s decisions. In summary, the Institute was no longer able to deliver effective educational service. In its May 2, 1922 issue, the New York Evening Post reported that “although correct methods are supposed to be taught at Farmingdale, the farm school there is a tragic failure.”[16]

Attacks continued. At the meeting of the influential New York State Federation of Farm Bureaus in Syracuse, July 1922, a resolution was adopted that reflected this negative sentiment. The resolution declared “the belief that the expenditures of State moneys on the New York State School of Applied Agriculture at Farmingdale, L. I. have been and will continue to be a waste of Public Money.” The Federation called for a change in management.[17]

The situation involving World War I veterans led Colonel C. R. Forbes, Director of the Veterans Bureau, to demand that Governor Nathan L. Miller (1921-1922) have New York State conduct an investigation. Forbes also insisted payments to the Institute be withdrawn and placed at other institutions “for the best interests of the boys.”[18]

Hilda Ward, witnessing these events as student and trustee, entered the controversy. She expressed her concern to board members, especially William A. Niles, whom she thought would help, but she failed to get support from him and his colleagues. She then wrote to the New York State Education Department in Albany, which at the time had jurisdiction over the agricultural schools. She demanded to know why Farmingdale failed to achieve high standards and why the state allowed such a situation to continue. On December 20, 1920 she received a three-page response from L. A. Wilson, Director of the Education Department, Division of Vocational and Extension Education. Wilson offered a thorough explanation. He reviewed the background of all schools of agriculture and concluded that the work at Farmingdale “has been less than college grade,” compared to the agricultural colleges at Cornell and Syracuse. The courses at the schools of applied agriculture at Morrisville, Cobleskill, and Farmingdale had set up “entrance requirements considerably less than college.” He went on to say that in “most instances, these requirements have been the completion of the eighth grade or sixteen years of age.” The agricultural colleges required specific high school subjects for students to receive an academic diploma even with vocational subjects, allowing them to enroll in the colleges of agriculture. Wilson concluded that Farmingdale was performing excellent agricultural education, but less was expected because less was required. Trustee Ward was not satisfied with this explanation.[19]

Not to be silenced, she continued to register her concern with the Board, citing the “deplorable educational conditions.” She focused on student failures, pointing out that nine deficient students were allowed to graduate. She attempted to prevent the graduation of other deficient students, to raise entrance requirements, to seek transparent financial reports, and to create new courses in bacteriology and commercial farming. Director Johnson disapproved of the proposals, but she persisted. She alleged that educational matters were never brought up at board meetings, unless she initiated them. She said members listened politely while Johnson raised objections, whereupon the trustees voted down her suggestions. The meetings were “cut and dried” with seldom more than five of the nine trustees in attendance. Ward considered the Institute poorly managed financially. She believed Johnson’s attempt to make Farmingdale a college was “absolutely preposterous.” As a result of her attitude, the board censured her. President William M. Baldwin informed her she was undermining the Director’s authority. She protested that she had written three letters to Johnson, but they were ignored. Baldwin had instructed Johnson to ignore them. She was told that she could not do anything without the cooperation of the board. Fully aware of her situation, she forwarded a resignation letter to Governor Miller on May 24, 1922 but she was reappointed soon after.[20]

The New York State Comptroller had already conducted an investigation in February 1922 and found nothing wrong in its audit of the Institute’s finances. Critics insisted the audit was not thorough enough. The Veterans Bureau called for a new investigation in late April, as did the New York Evening Post in May. Governor Miller agreed and appointed Deputy State Comptroller Edward G. Zimmer to investigate allegations of padding the payroll, mismanagement of funds, and the behavior of Johnson and the board of trustees.[21]

The Zimmer investigation released its report in August with a strong condemnation of the actions of Director Johnson and the board of trustees. It concluded that a new director should be appointed and that the trustees lacked educational and supervisory skills. “Your care and management of said Institute has been and is inefficient and improper.” Further, morale was low; improper expenditures were made of federal money, and Johnson had added $2,500.00 of veterans’ allowance to his salary. The report stated that the board was blind to Johnson’s shortcomings and that non-New York State students were not paying the required tuition fee. Finally, Zimmer praised Hilda Ward for exercising “independent judgment” and “being a woman of ability and understanding” for opposing the board majority in her effort to reform the system.[22]

Board President Baldwin, who had opposed Ward’s actions, disagreed with the Zimmer Report, pointing out he had been deeply “connected” to the school’s affairs even before the first students arrived in 1916, and he and the board majority had effectively implemented policies based on “state law and official advice of the supervising state departments.” Regarding the use of funds, he stated that the opinions of the Attorney General and the legal advisor of the Education Department guided him and that no fraud was committed. Baldwin concluded, “I have always found Director Johnson scrupulously honest and a tireless and efficient worker.”[23]

Nevertheless, the pivotal event that determined the future of the Institute occurred on October 19, 1922 when 113 students went on strike demanding the resignation of Director Johnson. In an era when established authority prevailed, decades before student strikes and student activism became more frequent, it was a bold assault on Johnson’s ability to lead the campus. The striking students, 84 percent of the campus total, sent a telegram and a copy of the signed petition to Trustee Ward, who was residing at the Hotel Wellington, New York City, calling for the “removal of Director Johnson.” The petition was also released to the press. It stated the strike would continue until his resignation took effect. It summarized the charges and resolved, “That we believe full cooperation and complete harmony between students and faculty will never be possible until the services of Director A. A. Johnson are completely dispensed with.” Harry J. Fisher, Chairman of the Student Executive Committee, led the list of signatories. By singling out Ward, the students had placed their trust in her to resolve the impasse.[24]

A special faculty meeting met November 11, 1922 to discuss how to react to the strike. At the close of the discussion, a resolution was adopted to expel the militant student leaders and those guilty of action “subversive of discipline and detrimental to the best interests of the school and the cause of education.” Further, the striking students were barred from dormitories and cafeteria until they relented. On November 22 Director Johnson presented the faculty resolution to the board of trustees who voted to support it. With the exception of two students, all others relented and were re-admitted. Ward was generally pleased with these developments and she would be completely satisfied with what followed.[25]

Johnson realized he was in a tenuous position. He believed his dedication and hard work had accomplished the goal of establishing a farm school on Long Island, and that it was successful in carrying out its mission. The student strike, however, struck at the heart of his leadership. Thus, in the middle of December 1922 he submitted his resignation. It was accepted by the board of trustees in executive session at the Manhattan office of President Baldwin. Johnson’s resignation became effective March 1, 1923 and his salary would continue to June 1. In the open meeting that followed, Baldwin read the Long Island Press Association’s commendation of Johnson’s record. The board expressed its gratitude to State Senator George L. Thompson and Assemblyman Thomas A. McWhinney for their support. The board then passed a motion made by Trustee Winthrop Taylor to audit the federal funds at the Institute.[26]

When news of Johnson’s resignation was released, a crowd of more than one hundred local citizens joined students to express their approval. They all gathered outside Johnson’s campus cottage using automobile horns and other noisemakers to celebrate the event. He did not respond to the demonstration.[27]

The board of trustees appointed H. A. Dodge, Chairman of the Animal Husbandry Department, to serve as acting director until a permanent replacement could be found. After an intensive search, the board then appointed Garland A. Bricker, Professor of Agricultural Education at Ohio State University, as the new permanent director. He assumed the position May 1. After realizing the mounting problems of the Institute and not wanting to confront the challenges that lay ahead, Bricker suddenly resigned in late August. Dodge was re-appointed to serve as acting director.[28]

Despite the controversy surrounding Johnson’s role as director, he exerted a lasting influence on the Institute by setting many precedents. He was committed to agricultural education and recognized its importance to the region. He opened the campus to the public, bringing the school as close as possible to the community. He laid out the physical configuration of the campus. He guided the design and construction of the first buildings, some of which still stand. Through trial and error he experimented with agricultural and academic programs. He encouraged women, minorities, and non-traditional students to become a part of the educational system. He had his supporters and detractors as he nurtured the school’s development.

Johnson distinguished himself beyond Farmingdale. Following World War I, in 1921, taking a leave of absence, he visited devastated areas of France, Turkey, Near East, and the Soviet Union. He urged President Herbert Hoover to send millions of tons of food and seeds to famine-stricken areas. Working in the Soviet Union he gained the respect of government officials. Russian students were sent to Farmingdale. Soviet officials were so impressed with the agricultural school’s programs that seven similar schools were built in the Soviet Union on the Farmingdale model. Johnson published books and articles and lectured on the Soviet economy. He made a total of twelve trips between 1921 and 1936 to this communist country. Later in life he formed his own consulting company.[29]

In 1962 Farmingdale Vice President for Administration Locke James invited Johnson to attend the presidential installation ceremony of Dr. Charles W. Laffin, Jr. Because of his business commitments he sent regrets and thanked James for the invitation.[30]

Johnson retired to South Dakota where he died on May 31, 1963. College President Laffin received a request from the Johnson family to have the ashes of the former director and his favorite cat buried in the Horticultural Teaching Gardens on the Farmingdale campus. The request was granted, and in a brief ceremony, the ashes were deposited in the soil. Fred Harrison, College Plant Manager, assisted in this unique event. An historical marker identifies the spot where the ashes lie in the Horticultural Teaching Gardens. Soon after, the ashes of Johnson’s first wife were also buried at the campus Gardens. Thus, Johnson’s only visit to the campus since his resignation in 1923 was a permanent one.[31]

Figures 5 and 6: Located in the College’s Ornamental Gardens, this site contains Albert A. Johnson’s ashes. The identifying plaque is shown in close up.  (Courtesy of Frank J. Cavaioli)

For her service to the Farmingdale School, Hilda Ward received many honors. The 1925 NYSSA Yearbook was dedicated to her for being “Our respected trustee, esteemed fellow student, and sincerely loved friend.” The Hilda Ward Valedictorian Award continues to be given to the graduating student who has achieved the highest cumulative average. One of the original structures, Dormitory One, completed in 1916 at a cost of $43,379.00, was named Ward Hall after its renovation in 1962 to house facilities for the Dental Hygiene and Nursing Departments. In 1983 these two curriculums moved to a new building, Gleeson Hall. Later, Ward Hall was remodeled a second time and today serves as the University Club and remains one of the most attractive buildings on campus, a constant reminder of the long history of Farmingdale State History. Hilda Ward died on July 23, 1950. A Requiem Mass was celebrated in her memory at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City and interment was in the family plot in Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn.[32]

Figures 7 and 8: Dormitory No. 1 (now Ward Hall) shown as it was completed in 1916 and as it looks today. In 1962 it was named to honor Hilda Ward, a student and a trustee. The building is a reminder of the early history of the College and now serves as the University Club. (Figure 7 Courtesy of Farmingdale State College; Figure 8 courtesy of Frank J. Cavaioli)

Both Albert A. Johnson and Hilda Ward were important players in the New York State School of Agriculture on Long Island’s early history, a chronicle of constant change involving curriculum development, faculty turnover, questionable standards, a student strike, and a challenge to its very existence. Following the Johnson years, the school has evolved into the oldest public college on Long Island to offer a comprehensive base of programs in applied sciences and technology. Its establishment and development, initially a reflection of progressive education, has also mirrored the growth of Long Island from rural to suburban and from agrarian to post industrial. After 100 years, Farmingdale State College, as it is now named, has become one of the fastest growing educational institutions on Long Island and the State University of New York.

Figure 9: A contemporary sign announces Farmingdale State College at the campus entrance on Meville Road. (Courtesy of Frank J. Cavaioli)


Notes

[1] The title of “Director” was changed permanently to “President” in 1961.

[2] The names of the institution are derived from the catalogs in the Farmingdale State College Archives.

[3] Leroy Douglas, “Serving Community and Country: The New York State School of Agriculture at Farmingdale, 1914-1919” Nassau County Historical Journal 6 (2001): 13-27; Frank J. Cavaioli, “The State University of New York at Farmingdale: The Foundation Years,” Long Island Forum 64 (Winter 2001): 22-33; Frank J. Cavaioli, “Chartering the New York State School of Agriculture on Long Island,” Long Island History Journal 21 (Fall 2009): 1-19; Sean Kass, “The Long Island Railroad and Its Promotion of Long Island, 1900-1930.” Long Island Historical Journal 17 (Fall 2004/Spring 2005): 82, 89-90; Lawrence A. Cremin, The Transformation of the School: Progressivism in American Education, 1876-1957,  (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1961), 46-48.

[4] L. Douglas, “Serving Community and Country: The New York State School of Agriculture at Farmingdale, 1914-1919,” 13-27; Frank J. Cavaioli, “The State University of New York at Farmingdale: The Foundation Years,” Long Island Forum 64 (Winter 2001):  pp. 22-33.

[5] NYSSA, Bulletin, February 1916, pp. 7-11, 31. Farmingdale State College Archives, hereafter FSC Archives; NYSSA, Bulletin, October 1917, pp. 17-18. FSC Archives; “Farm School Ready,” Suffolk County News, 28 January 1916; “City Boys Will Become Farmers,” Amityville Record, 28 January 1916; “L. I. Farm School Begin Its Work,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 1 March 1916.

[6] NYSSA, Bulletin, October 1917, pp. 8-16. FSC Archives.

[7] NYSSA, Bulletin, October 1917, p. 16. FSC Archives; C. Dick Thomson, “From Idea to Reality,” n. d., unpublished document by faculty member. FSC Archives; “The Institute in War Time,” n. d., unsigned, unpublished document. FSC Archives; NYSSA Yearbook, 1919; “Farmers Fifteen in First Class, State Has Initial Graduation Exercise for Its First Pupils,” Amityville Record, 4 April 1919.

[8] “Heroes’ Oak Planted in Battlefield Soil,” New York Times, 5 June 1921; Frank J. Cavaioli, The Memorial Oak Tree in Farmingdale,” Long Island Forum 66 (Winter 2003): 18-23; “The Country Life Program,” n. d., unsigned. FSC Archives; “A Boost for Long Island Poultry Men,” Suffolk County News, 14 May 1920; “New York State Egg Laying Contest,” n. d., unsigned. FSC Archives; “History of the Alumni Association, 1921-1955,” 1955, unsigned. FSC Archives; “Twenty-five years of Progress,” n. d., unsigned. FSC Archives.

[9] Arthur Brisbane, “A School That Creates Farmers and a First-Class Teacher of Farming, Albert A. Johnson of Farmingdale, Long Island, New York,” New York American, 20 July 1920.

[10] “Another Fiasco,” Oyster Bay Guardian, 23 June 1922.

[11] “L. I. Press Association Want Director Johnson as Farm School Head,” New York Evening Post, 6 December 1922.

[12] “Legislative Probe for Farm School,” Suffolk County News, 1 March 1918.

[13] Charlotte Scharf, “Ward Hall: A Look Back,” The Campus Times, Winter 1998, 4. FSC Archives; “Hilda Ward, Auction Images and Prices,” www.askart.com, 2011; Hilda Ward, The Girl and the Motor, (Cincinnati: Gas Engine Publishing, 1908); “Rear Admiral Ward Is Dead At Roslyn,” New York Times, 6 July 1918; “Mrs. Ward, Widow of Admiral, Dead,” New York Times, 13 January 1926.

[14] “Farmers Fifteen in First Class, State School Has Initial Graduation Exercise For Its First Pupils,” Amityville Record, 4 April 1919; The Furrow, November-December 1921. FSC Archives; C. D. Thomson, “From Idea to Reality.” FSC Archives.

[15] New York Evening Post, 22-29 May 1922; Frank J. Cavaioli, “Mid-20s Crisis at Farmingdale,” Long Island Forum 50 (February 1987): 38-42.

[16] New York Evening Post, 22-29 May 1922.

[17] Resolution Passed by the N. Y. State Federation of Farm Bureaus at a Regular Meeting Held at Syracuse, 7 July 1922. FSC Archives.

[18] “Col. Forbes Asks Miller for Inquiry at Farmingdale,” New York Evening Post, 27 April 1922, 1-5 May 1922; “Soldier Students To Go,” New York Times, 7 November 1922.

[19] William A. Niles, “Letter to Hilda Ward,” 14 October 1920. FSC Archives; L. A. Wilson, “Letter to Miss Hilda Ward,” 6 December 1920. FSC Archives.

[20] Hilda Ward, “Statement of Hilda Ward,” 24 1922. FSC Archives.

[21] New York Evening Post, 7 April 1922, 26-29 April 1922, 1-5 May 1922.

[22] Investigation of the Management of Affairs of the State Institute of Applied Agriculture at Farmingdale, L. I. Before Special Commissioner Edward G. Zimmer, 1922. FSC Archives; “State Farm School Shake-Up Is Advised,” New York Times, 1 September 1922.

[23] William M. Baldwin, “ Statement to the Press, With Reference To the Farmingdale Matter,” September 1922. FSC Archives; “Trustees Make Answer,” Suffolk County News, 15 September 1922.

[24] “Student Petition,” 19 October 1922. FSC Archives; Harry J. Fisher, “Telegram to Miss Hilda Ward,” 31 October 1922. FSC Archives.

[25] “Faculty Meeting,” 11 November 1922. FSC Archives.

[26] “Farm School Head Quits, Ending Four Years of Criticism,” New York Tribune, 19 December 1922; “Johnson Resigns Post as Director of Farm School,” Brooklyn Eagle, 19 December 1922; “Resigns Under Fire From Farm School,” New York Times, 19 December 1922.

[27] “Johnson Is Hooted After Resignation,” The Standard Union, 19 December 1922.

[28] “Bricker Quits Farm School,” New York Times, 24 August 1924.

[29] “Albert A. Johnson,” New York Times, 1 June 1924; “Albert Aaron Johnson,” The National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Vol. A (New York: James T. White and Company, 1924), pp 483-484; The Albert Aaron Johnson Papers (Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin, 2009).

[30] Albert A. Johnson, “Letter to Locke James,” April 1922. FSC Archives.

[31] “Albert A. Johnson,” New York Times, 1 June 1963; Frank A. Cipriani, letter to the author, 17 September 2009; Karen Gelles, interview with Fred Harrison, 30 September 2009. FSC Archives.

[32] C. Scharf, “Ward Hall: A Look Back,” 4; “Hilda Ward Obituary,” New York Times, 25 July 1950.