Monday, June 01, 2015

Whiskers of horror

In the recent resurgence of whiskery wonderment that has overswept the Maine hipster crowd, here is a piece of Maine's less kind whisker history, found in the November 5, 1874 issues of the Daily Kennebec Journal:
An aggravated case of hazing occurred at Bates College Friday night, when a party of sophomores broke into the room of C. E. Hussey, a freshman from Farmington, their purpose being to cut off his whiskers. He screamed for help and to smother his cries they held the bed clothes about his head.

Having accomplished their object and fearing discovery by reason of his outcries, they struck and beat him in a cowardly manner, cutting several deep gashes in his head and maltreating him to such an extent that a physician had to be summoned, and Hussey is now confined to his bed. The faculty have instituted a searching examination.

Even with this inauspicious start to his college career, Charles Edwin Hussey went on to graduate from Bates College in 1878. The May 1879 issue of Bates' Scarab newsletter had this to say about the recent graduate's upswing in career: "'78. — C. E. Hussey, who has during the past year been teaching the High School at Milton Mills, N. H., has been appointed Principal of the High School at Rochester, N. H." In 1881 he received an MA degree, and expanded his career into Massachusetts.

Seen here in a portrait circa 1896, Hussey seems to have toned down his whiskers as a professional adult. I would love to see what they looked like before the attack -- how epic had they become? This photo is from a page-long entry in a town history of Redding, MA.

According to a Hussey genealogy site at, here is a capsule history of his life:
Charles Edwin Hussey (H3/2.2), son of Charles William Hussey (H4/4.2) and Nancy Bickford Davis Hussey (D4/1.1), was born June 16, 1856 in Rochester. He was graduated from Bates College in 1878 with an AB degree and received an MA degree in 1881. He was employed as a school superintendent in New Hampshire and also in Newton, Natick, Wakefield and Reading, Massachusetts. He was married December 25, 1884 to Carrie H. Wallace (W3/1.1), daughter of E. G. Wallace (W4/1.1) of Rochester. She was born February 26, 1862. Charles Edwin Hussey (H3/2.2) became an officer in the U. S. Army during the Spanish-American War. He died October 17, 1915 at Rochester.
So hey -- even if you experience whisker-oriented assault, you can still go on to live a productive life. C.E. Hussey is proof of that!

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