"Professor Macnie came to the university in the trying times and remained faithful during its darkest hours. He was loved and honored by all who knew him. He was a scholar of no mean ability. For years his geometry was used as a text at the university and many other leading schools of the state. His theory of algebraic equations was used at West Point and Yale. It is said that Edward Bellamy got the idea of his ‘Looking Backward’ from a book Professor Macnie wrote. He was a frequent contributor of verse to the student and is the author of the university song ‘Alma Mater.’ He was very partial to the young ladies. All the young ladies of the University well remember his annual treats in honor of his son’s birthday and later of his grandson’s birthday.
Prof. Macnie was born in Scotland in 1841. He received his education from the various schools of England and the continent and graduated from the University of Glasgow. He came to the United States in 1867. He taught Latin and Greek in a well-known preparation school at Newburg for years and afterward principal of an endowed academy in Connecticut. In 1885 he came to the University where he remained until 1907, twenty-one years of service.
The funeral will be held this afternoon from the residence in Minneapolis at 2:30pm today.
Upon the arrival of the news of Prof Macnie’s death, the university flag was lowered to half-mast. This afternoon at 2:30pm all classes will be dismissed and memorial services will be held."
Source: "John Macnie Passes Away" Grand Forks Herald, 2 November 1909