Roland Webb Photographs

Summary Information

Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives
Webb, Roland.
Roland Webb Photographs
1914, circa 1940-1949
0.25 Linear feet
Photographs of the Kansas State Normal School’s 1914 football team and the Emporia State Teachers College sunken garden.

Preferred Citation note

Roland Webb Photographs, Emporia State University Archives, Emporia State University.

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Biographical/Historical note

1914 Football Team

Coach Homer Woodson (Bill) Hargiss began coaching all sports at the Kansas State Normal School during the summer of 1914. The announcement of his employment resulted in more than 100 young men reporting for the football squad, many of whom had never played the game. A freshman, Francis George Welch, was chosen as the starting quarterback. The season was a successful one: 5 victories, 1 loss, and 1 tie game. The only loss of the season came during the first game of the season against the Haskell Indians with the winning play only at the end of a hard-fought game. Haskell was also the only team that season to score any points against the Kansas State Normal School players.

One of Coach Hargiss’s successes in 1914 was the readmission of the school into the Kansas College Athletic Conference. This allowed them to play their freshmen students, a privilege which had been denied previously based upon the school’s total enrollment. The rule was that freshmen were not allowed to play in schools whose enrollment was greater than 500, and the Kansas State Normal School boasted 674 students. Almost 80 percent of those were women, however, leaving only 165 male students, 86 of whom were freshmen. A new rule soon allowed schools having an enrollment of fewer than 200 men to play the freshmen. An interesting twist on this affected the 1914 game against the College of Emporia. They insisted that, because of Kansas State Normal’s larger enrollment, no freshmen be allowed to play during the game. Among others, this effectively benched the team’s starting quarterback. Despite this measure, the College of Emporia was defeated 19 to 0.

Bill Hargiss served as a coach and in the department of physical education from 1914-1918 and from 1920-1928. Fran Welch coached, taught, and served as director of athletics during his 45 year tenure with the school (summer school 1919, 1920-1965). On September 16, 1960, Fran Welch Stadium was dedicated in his honor.

Sunken Garden

In 1918 the Kansas Normal School’s Administration Building was razed. Rather than just filling and leveling the building’s basement area, Dr. Charles R. Phipps, professor of agriculture, suggested the creation of a sunken garden. Opened in the summer of 1918, the sunken garden was 3 feet deep and 150 feet long. A sundial and monument donated by the class of 1918 was mounted in the center of the area, and gravel pathways led through the garden’s flower beds and shrubbery. A drinking fountain was built just north of the garden on the site of the first Normal School building, with stones from that building’s foundation being used in the construction. Over the years many changes occurred in the sunken garden area. In 1935 a pool 20 feet in diameter and 2½ feet deep was built to house water lilies and goldfish. The classes of 1930, 1934, and 1935 donated a lighted fountain in 1936. Three years later, 640 hybrid tea roses were added. The area was renovated in 1977 and the fountain rebuilt. Three flag poles were added to display the United States, Kansas, and Emporia State University flags. 20 trees were added to the area, along with light poles, shrubbery, benches, and a water and rock display.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection contains a photograph representing the beginning of the Coach Hargiss era in Kansas State Normal School football and of Fran Welch’s association with the team. The photograph of the sunken garden is from circa 1940-1949 and includes a personal note on the back about the “rose garden.”

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Arrangement note

Chronological in folder.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives November 2005

1200 Commercial St
Campus Box 4051
Emporia, KS, 66801
(620) 341-6431

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

The 1915 Sunflower has a section on the 1914 football season, the players, and even a cartoon about the freshmen players issue.  Football: For the Sport of It by Fred A. Markowitz includes a recap of the 1914 football season and contains additional information on Bill Hargiss and Fran Welch.  Bulletin articles also provide information about football and the 1914 team.

The Normaliana collection contains photographs of the sunken garden and several Bulletin articles have been written about the area.   Changing Landscape: Historical Tour of E.K.S.C. by Kathleen Statts and Connie Hamner, and  The Buildings and Memorials of Emporia State University compiled by Clint Corby each contain sections on the garden. Dr. Charles R. Phipps is featured in volume 1 of  Qualities of Greatness.

Separated Materials note


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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Kansas State Normal School.


  • Football -- Kansas -- Emporia.

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Collection Inventory


2 Photographs: Kansas State Normal School 1914 football team and Emporia State Teachers College sunken garden, n.d.