The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 430
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Robert Henri, not an inmate but an eccentric who frequented
B Hall, thought himself a prophet. He would set up his stool plat-
form, attach his white flag, and preach about the end of the
world. Some honest B Hall inmate took his flag one day, and
Henri rushed into Dean Battle's office with his woes. Battle
pointed to the B Hall flag pole-the flag was "still there."84
Edward Belsterling of Dallas had heard of B Hall, so he
equipped himself for self defense before coming to the University.
He bought a .45 and five boxes of ammunition. As a resident of
the Hall he spent his spare time cleaning his gun. No one ever
bothered him.8r He did not "believe in hanging," he said.
In 1912 the student body grew to 1,807.
On March 19, 1912, the University architect, George Endress,
reported to the Regents that the Hall was in a "hopelessly bad
condition"-estimating that it would cost $21,6oo for remodeling.
The amount was deemed "a considerable expenditure ... and
out of the question." The minutes of the Regents record that
there were too many students (12o) under one roof and that
this was the "plague spot of student life."86
At the next meeting of the Regents on June io, 1912, Pres-
ident Mezes reported to the Regents that University Hall had a
deficit of $1,xoo for the year, while Harvard University "had
a mess hall debt of over $1oo,ooo." His comment is interesting,
slightly amusing, but factual. Ie said: "This Hall was intended
for students satisfied with frugal fare."
The minutes interpret this statement by revealing that the
"rich boys" came to the Hall and demanded much finer food
than was on the menu. These demands caused trouble as well as
additional cost in operation. The auditor was instructed to
borrow $1,1oo from the Medical Fund to pay the $1,1oo deficit.
There is some doubt that this $1,1oo was paid back to the Med-
ical Fund. Perhaps the doctor got short-potted as usual."
seSplawn, The University of Texas: Its Origin and Growth to 1928 (typescript,
University of Texas Library), lo6-107; Minutes of the University of Texas Board
of Regents, March 19g, 1912 (MSS., Office of the Board of Regents, University of
Texas), D, 241.
8TSplawn, The University of Texas: Its Origin and Growth to g928 (typescript,
University of Texas Library), lo8.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/525/: accessed March 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.