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Thursday, October 30, 2014 | Last updated: 7:23am

Retired professor tells story of UA's creation



A descendant of a member from the 13th Arizona Territorial Legislature spoke on the creation of UA at a lecture at the UA Main Library Tuesday evening.

Christopher Carroll, a retired University of Arizona distinguished professor of more than 40 years and grandson of Selim M. Franklin, who helped create the UA in 1885, spoke about his grandfather’s life and role in the creation of the university.

Franklin, who was the youngest member of the Territorial Legislature, according to Carroll, spoke to the Legislature and convinced them to pass a bill that created the UA.

In 1885, representatives from Tucson went to Prescott, Ariz., with a proposed bill to construct a university, Carroll said. Meanwhile, Tucson residents raised $4,000 to persuade the Legislature to make Tucson the capital of the territory again, as it was Prescott at the time.

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Briana Sanchez / Arizona Daily Wildcat Christopher Carroll gives a presentation about the creation of the University of Arizona in 1885 at the UA Main Library on Tuesday.

The Legislature passed the proposal for the UA’s construction but decided against the change of capital.

Carroll read from his grandfather’s speech that he gave to the 13th Arizona Territorial Legislature.

“‘Let us establish an institution of learning, let us pass this bill creating an university where for all time to come the youth of this land may have opportunities of education,‘” Carroll said, “‘where they may learn to be better citizens than we are.‘”

Once the bill was passed, the Legislature approved $25,000 for construction and Franklin was the driving force in convincing Tucson residents to donate the land, Carroll said.

Roger Myers, a UA associate librarian and archivist, said he hoped the audience got a sense of how the university started.


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