Publication Date

December 1, 1995

Editor's Note: Because of space limitations we were not able to publish in the November issue of Perspectives all of the obituaries we received. In the future, this column will runin November, February, and April issues of Perspectives.

Roy Lubove

Roy Lubove, professor of social history and social welfare at the University of Pittsburgh, died of respiratory failure on February 17, 1995, at the age of 61. He graduated from Columbia University in 1956 with a B.A. and received the Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1960. His doctoral dissertation, “The Progressives and the Slums," supervised by David B. Davis, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 1963. In 1960, he moved to Oscar Handlin's Center for the Study of Liberty in America at Harvard University and served as an instructor in the history department for three years. In 1963, he accepted a joint appointment in the School of Social Work and the Department of History at the University of Pittsburgh, where his intellectually demanding courses on social welfare were a mainstay of the school's doctoral program.

In the 1960s six of Roy Lubove's original books were published: The Progressives and the Slums (Pittsburgh, 1963), Community Planning in the 19205 (Pittsburgh, 1964), The Professional Altruist (Harvard, 1965), The Struggle forSocial Security (Harvard, 1968), and Twentieth-Century Pittsburgh (Wiley, 1969). In the same decade he edited four books on landscape architecture, on the urban reformer Jacob A. Riis, on English documents on social welfare, and on housing and planning in the Progressive Era. Between 1967 and 1989 he contributed chapters to edited volumes on urban planning, on the progressives, on planning and housing, on the Pittsburgh Renaissance, on radicalism and reform, and on the uses of social welfare history. From the mid-1950s through the early 1990s, Lubove wrote over 25 major articles and at least 11 book review essays on such themes as social reform, social welfare and social security, public policy, the urban environment, and landscape architecture. In the 1970s and 1980s Lubove edited three books on poverty and social welfare, on Pittsburgh, and on the steel workers. He completed a major revision and substantial expansion of Twentieth Century Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, 1996) two months before his death.

According to Edward K. Muller (University of Pittsburgh), Roy Lubove was "a formative influence in the work of a generation of younger social historians.” Toward the end of his life, Roy Lubove became active in the historical preservation movement and was a founding member of Preservation Pittsburgh. He was, in his personal life, a skilled photographer, gourmet cook, movie buff, devotee of the arts, and proud father. He believed in the paramount importance of individual liberty and the role of individual merit for the future of a democratic society.

Arden E. Melzer
School of Social Work
University of Pittsburgh

James Mercer Merrill

The Department of History of the University of Delaware regrets to announce the death of James Mercer Merrill, professor emeritus. He died on Wednesday, March 22, 1995.

Professor Merrill was born in Los Angeles on April 25, 1920, graduated from Pomona College, and received his Ph.D. from UCLA in 1954. He first taught at Whittier College and joined the University of Delaware in 1966. A former Guggenheim Fellow and Mershon National Security Research Fellow, Dr. Merrill's teaching and research were centered on American military and naval history. These interests grew out of his wartime service in the Pacific. His lecture courses and seminars on the Civil War and on maritime history were especially popular. Professor Merrill was a stimulating lecturer, with a fine sense of humor and a caring attitude toward his students. During his tenure at Delaware from 1966 to 1985 he turned into a prolific writer and is also well remembered as editor of the University of Delaware Press. Among his many books, crafted to satisfy academia as well as a wider reading public, are The Rebel Shore: Union Sea Power in the Civil War; Battle Flags South: The Civil War on Western Rivers; The Story of the U.S. Navy; Target Tokyo: The Halsey-Doolittle Raid; and biographies of William Tecumseh Sherman, Admiral William F. Halsey, and Admiral Samuel Francis DuPont. He also published well over 25 articles in leading journals in American and naval history.

His colleagues in the department and his friends in the profession will remember Professor Merrill as a friendly, witty, outgoing, and yet private individual. To his wife Ann, his children James McIntosh Merrill and Eugenia Merrill Coggin, and to his grandchildren we express our deepest sorrow.

Willard Allen Fletcher
Professor Emeritus of History
University of Delaware

Ralph J. Roske

Ralph J. Roske, an emeritus professor of history at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV), who taught college history for 40 years and wrote several books and articles on his favorite specialties, the Civil War era and western local and state history, died at his home in Las Vegas on December 15, 1994. He was 73.

Ralph Joseph Roske was born on August 28, 1921, in Chicago, Illinois. He was a veteran of World War II, in which he served as a first lieutenant. In 1943, he graduated cum laude with his B.A. from DePaul University, where he was valedictorian. He earned his M.A. in 1947 and his Ph.D. in 1949 at the University of Illinois, where he was one of the last doctoral students and research assistants of James G. Randall. Roske wrote his dissertation on the post-Civil War career of Senator Lyman Trumbull of Illinois.

Roske's first teaching job was at St. Mary's College in northern California from 1949 to 1955. He then moved to what is now Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, and taught there until 1967. He chaired the Division of Social Science from 1960 to 1967. In 1967, Roske left Humboldt State for an administrative position at Nevada Southern University, which became the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNL V). Roske served as director of the School of Social Science for c.me year, and dean of the College of Social Science from 1968 to 1971, when he returned to full-time teaching. He remained on the faculty until he retired to emeritus status on December 31, 1988.

Roske was a prolific scholar. In 1957, he published his first book, coauthored with Charles Van Doren, Lincoln's Commando, a biography of Civil War naval officer William Cushing. Roske’s “The Seven Martyrs?” appeared in the American Historical Review in 1959 and debunked the historical legend that the Republicans who voted to acquit President Andrew Johnson in 1868 were victims of partisan retribution. Roske also published articles in Abraham Lincoln Quarterly, Mid-America, Tennessee Historical Quarterly, Northwest Ohio Quarterly, Arizona and the West, and Lincoln Images, a book of essays.

During and after his administrative tour, Roske was active as a scholar. In 1968, Macmillan published Everyman's Eden: A History of California, that year’s Commonwealth Club of California’s Sliver Medal recipient for best book about the state. In 1979, the University of Nevada Press brought out His Own Counsel: The Life and Times of Lyman Trumbull, based on his dissertation. Roske also wrote many articles and reviews for popular and scholarly publications.

Roske was an active public historian, and served on the boards of several local organizations, including the Southern Nevada Historical Society, which he helped to found.

Roske received numerous honors for his efforts. In 1988, UNLV's Alumni Association gave him its Outstanding Faculty Award, and in 1992, the Nevada Humanities Committee presented him with one of its annual awards for his achievements in and contributions to the humanities. In addition to these many scholarly and community activities, Roske was a popular, effective and respected teacher. As an adviser, he was responsible for UNLV's social science and prelaw programs. He supervised numerous master's theses, seminar papers, oral interviews, and building surveys in graduate and undergraduate classes on western and Nevada history.

Roske is survived by his wife of 46 years, Rosemary; sons Mark and Randall; daughter Amy Seadore; sister Virginia Larson; and eight grandchildren. He also is survived by the many students and colleagues whom he influenced and affected, and who respected and loved him in return. I am one of them. He taught his students to respect the facts, to follow the sources rather than to make them follow any preconceptions, and to understand that history is serious, but need not be taken too seriously.

Michael S. Green
Ph.D. candidate, Columbia University Professor of History, Community College of Southern Nevada

Franklin D. Scott

Franklin D. Scott, a member of the history department of Northwestern University from 1935 to 1969, died on August 30, 1994, in Claremont, California, where he had resided for 25 years. More than anyone, he represented continuity, serving from the retirement of James Alton James to the arrival of Thomas William Heyck. He played a major role after 1945 in rebuilding a department decimated by resignations and retirements. He witnessed a growth from 7 full-time members in 1935 to 22 in 1969.

Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on July 4, 1901, Scott moved two months later to South Dakota where his father taught at Yankton College. His education was often interrupted—first by his father's appointments in Benzonia, Michigan; Crete, Nebraska; and Jacksonville, Illinois—and second by his own need to teach school to make ends meet. In March 1923 he received a bachelor's in philosophy from the University of Chicago and in August 1924 an M.A. From 1925 to 1928 Scott was an assistant professor at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. There his interests shifted to European history; he decided to pursue a doctorate at Harvard University. He obtained a second M.A. in 1929 and a Ph.D. in 1932. His research mentors were William L. Langer and Charles K. Webster. In the latter's seminar, members had to draw slips to determine the course paper. Franklin drew the name of a Swedish general. Thus by chance began the career of a leading American scholar on Scandinavia. Teaching himself Swedish, he spent 15 months abroad on a small grant from the American Scandinavian Foundation and produced a 551-page dissertation entitled "Bernadotte and the Fan of Napoleon."

In September 1932 Scott began a three year stint as professor at Wisconsin State Teachers' College at Superior. A promising publishing and teaching record won him assistant professor rank at Northwestern University. He was promoted to associate professor in 1938. Eager to aid the war effort, he spent the summer of 1942 as a Scandinavian specialist with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in Washington, D.C. He advanced to professor at Northwestern in June 1943 but had to forgo an even larger role in the OSS because the department was down to four regular members.

Although brought to Evanston to cover Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries, he soon displayed a versatility and breadth of teaching skills that characterized his Northwestern years. For years he introduced countless graduate students to bibliography and methods of research; between 1942 and 1970 he supervised 32 doctoral dissertations. Not the least of his contributions was his participation in Northwestern's pioneer interdisciplinary Program of African Studies, launched in 1948-49. He was an active member of the all-University Committee, formed in 1952, that oversaw the program.

He was also a prolific author. By his own count he wrote (or edited and contributed to) 17 books, 31 major articles, 150 encyclopedia essays, 15 brief notes, and over 150 reviews. He is best remembered for Bernadotte and the Fall of Napoleon (1935), The United States and Scandinavia (1950), Scandinavia (1975), and Sweden: The Nation's History (1977). Although he published no major books in his other lasting interest—the migration of peoples—he took justifiable pride in two pamphlets on the subject he wrote for the American Historical Association (1963, 1967) and in an edited anthology, World Migration in Modern Times (1968). His concern for bibliography led him to prepare a Guide tothe American Historical Review, 1895-1945 (1945) and to compile, between 1938 and 1963 with the aid of graduate students, 12 editions of The Twentieth Century World: a Reading Guide.

He was equally active in his profession. For the American Historical Association he served on several committees and as program chairman for the 1959 meeting. In the days when the Association gathered in Chicago every three years he helped with local arrangements and in 1941 presided at the annual dinner. He participated in several sessions of the Mississippi Valley Historical Association and, later, of the Society for Advancement of Scandinavian Studies. But as time passed, he devoted most of his efforts to the Swedish-American Historical Society. As president, board member, and editor from 1967 to 1974 of the Swedish Pioneer Historical Quarterly, he did much to bridge the gap between academic scholars and amateurs concerned with their cultural heritage.

In 1969 Scott accepted a challenge to survey two collections of Scandinavian materials in the Honnold Library of the Claremont Colleges and to devise a program for their use. He spent over 20 productive years in Claremont, making his home there, as it had been in Evanston, a magnet for Scandinavian scholars and statesmen. While at Northwestern he had received many outside awards: honorary degrees from Illinois College (1958) and Doane College (1964) Sweden's Knight of the Order of the North Star (1952), and Finland's Order of the White Rose (1967). While in California he was awarded in 1970 an honorary degree from Uppsala University, in 1978 Commander of the Order of the North Star from Sweden, and in 1981 the Carl Sandburg Medal from the Swedish Pioneer Historical Society. Franklin's wife of 61 years, Helen Giddings Scott, died in 1986. He is survived by a daughter, Karin Scott Gunn, a sister, and two granddaughters. The family has established the Franklin D. Scott Fund for Migration Research for graduate students in the history departments at Northwestern University and Claremont McKenna College.

Richard W. Leopold
William Smith Mason Professor of American History Emeritus
Northwestern University

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