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Chronology of the Department of Economics

The list below chronicles the history of the Economics Program at OSU.
The Economics wishes to thank Dr. Richard Towey for providing us with this information (1873-1966).


In the early years of Corvallis State Agricultural College one course in Political Economy was offered in the School of Moral Science. Until 1908 the course was always taught by the president of the college. From 1873-1890 President B. L. Arnold instructed.


President John M. Bloss, Professor of Mental and Moral Science, offered Political Economy as a third year course. The catalogue lists J. Laurence Laughlin's book as the text.

1892 picture of Fairbanks Hall

Rise and Shine, 1892. Oregon Agricultural College cadets lined up for morning inspection as the early morning sun illuminated the new men's dormitory. Now known as Fairbanks Hall, this building was constructed in 1892 as a men's dormitory and was originally named Cauthorn Hall. Women lived in the dormitory from 1912 until the early 1930s, when it was converted into a classroom building. The building is now home to the Art Department. [OSU Archives #43]


President Thomas M. Gatch, Professor of Mental and Moral Science, offered Political Economy. He used Richard T. Ely's Textbook. The course description in the catalogue indicates that the first half of the term was devoted "to familiarizing students with the principles of the science." The last half of the term was devoted "to debates, discussion, and thesis work." Such topics as "the labor question, socialism, taxation, money, and tariffs” receive attention.