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From the Hyde Park Historical Society newsletter -- Spring 2001
Over the years, the Harvard (later Harvard-St. George) School Yearbook has published the reminiscences of several former students. We reprint one below...

 When Tarzan Went to Harvard
By Edgar Rice Burrroughs

Because I attended Harvard School sometime between the Pliocene and Pleistocene eras, Miss Schobinger has suggested that I write a little article for the School Annual and call it Before the Birth of Tarzan.... It was in 1888 that I entered the old Harvard School at 21st Street and Indiana Avenue, where my brother, Coleman, had been a student for a year. I was never a student-I just went to school there.

I lived over on the West Side where everybody made his money in those days and then moved to the South Side to show off. I kept my pony in a livery stable on Madison Street west of Robey Street... and in good weather I rode to school. In inclement weather, I took the Madison Street horse-cars to Wabash, a cable-car to 18th Street, and another horse-car to school. Sometimes, returning from school, I used to run down Madison Street from State Street to Lincoln Street, a matter of some three miles, to see how many horse-cars I could beat in that direction. It tires me all out even to think of it now. I must have been long on energy, if a trifle short on brains.

I cannot recall much about my classmates. Mancel Clark, Bennie Marshall, and I came over to Harvard together from Miss Coolie's Maplehurst School for Girls on the West Side-and were we glad to escape that blot on our escutcheons! There had been a diphtheria epidemic in the public schools the previous year, and our fond parents had prevailed upon Miss Coolie to take us in...

Bennie Marshall and I used to sneak down to the breakwater and smoke cubeb cigarettes and feel real devilish. I imagine we even chewed gum too. He> became a very famous Chicago architect (with Charles Eli Fox, he designed the Drake Hotel-Ed.) I can see him now sitting at his desk drawing pictures and chewing his tongue when he should have been studying.

At Harvard School I studied Greek and Latin because someone believed that they should be taught before English grammar was taken up; then I went to Andover and studied Greek and Latin all over again. So, having never studied English, I conceived the brilliant idea of taking up writing as my profession. Perhaps, had I studied English grammar, I would have known better, but then there would have been no Tarzan... There should be a moral to this. Perhaps it is that one should not smoke Cubeb cigarettes.



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