University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts

HUGH, BROTHER (James Clark -- Died June 25, 1928)

"Once more Brother Hugh has assembled his braves. The Notre Dame Volunteer Fire Department, can be seen practicing every Thursday morning, drawing the carts to the water plugs and climbing to the dizzy heights of the Dome . . . the crews consist of the hardiest and most dauntless Brownsonites. Well may N.D. sleep in peace with such valiants guarding her safely" SCHOLASTIC, 39:360

"In a small building to the left of the Brownson Hall gym, Brother Hugh has contructed a box bowling -- ally. It is about 40' x 2 1/2'. the game is all the rage now among the Brownsonites" SCHOLASTIC, 39:432, 1906

"Brother Hugh and Tubby, his dog, could be seen always together on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. Brother Hugh, stout and squat, was prefect of Brownson Hall in the 90's, a horse-trader (so-called), a farmer, a philanthropist, a carpenter (when a stable had to be built), and as one at least considered himself as such. Among those who knew horses, however, it was said he didn't know a clydesdale from a Cleveland Bay in respect to breeding, nor the gaskin from the stifle in regard to anatomy. Once he traded a chestnut bay to a horsetrader in South Bend by the name of Abe Goldman; two years later Abe traded the same bay back to Brother Hugh, who thought it was a new horse. (and such was his trading of quadrepeds).

"At one time Brother Hugh had five horses, but the small stable could hold only three. Something had to be done about it, and he did it. In the center of what is known as Cartier Field, he built a rather rude stable from old planks, boards and boxes. The students called it "Rockefeller Hall". (an error. "R.H." stood near when the Huddle now is) Within the walls of this stable lived not only horses, but men -- derelict men. In those days, bums, tramps and hoboes were common, much more so than they are now. These men would share the stable with the horses, or vice versa.

"Brother Hugh never failed to give a meal to a man who wanted one, and to make sure that the man was hungry enough to eat it, he was given an extra appetite by working at some small task about the campus. Brother Hugh, again realized that something had to be done about this. He, therefore, received permission to convert an old rickety building which was located near where the Huddle is, to a makeshift dining room for these men. It was not common for him to feed 50 on an evening. This was also nicknamed by the students, and was commonly known as "The Privy Council."

"Why he ever kept that old houn' dog 'Tubby' was never quite understood by the students. Maybe, it was to keep his vocal cords in condition, for it was a well known fact that he could be heard calling the dog at distances over a half mile. And why the two could never be found apart might be explained by the following story. Tubby was once on a hike with another Brother and as all dogs sniff, so did Tubby. Coming upon a hole in the ground the mongrel stuck his nose into it, only to have been bitten by a ground hog. It is said that Tubby never strayed from his master after this calamity.

"Brother Hugh has been dead some fourteen years now; but he's still living within the hearts of many South Benders and of all those who knew him. He was kind, gentle and generous. As one admirer said, 'An all-around wonderful man.' The poor of South Bend will remember Brother Hugh for his charity, the tramps will remember him for his cooking, and the horsemen will remember him for his trading. Truly, he was an all-around wonderful man'." SCHOLASTIC, October 30, 1942

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›