THE MONMOUTH COLLEGE ,

Originated with the members of the Second Associate Reformed Presbytery of Illinois, in a desire to provide means for affording a Christian education to the youth of the church in the West, and to raise up properly qualified candidates for the ministry. Hence this Presbytery organized an academy at Monmouth. In 1855, it determined to raise it to the rank of a college, and appointed a board of trustees, who elected a president and two professors, and arranged for the opening of the college in September, 1856. In this movement Rev. J. C. Porter and Rev. R. Ross were among the most active. At the date fixed for opening, the building then in process of erection not being ready, the college was opened in the public school house, which is now occupied as a residence bv Mr. Cowen, and stands on "West avenue, east side, the third house from "Broadway.

At a meeting of the Associate Reformed 'Synod of Illinois, held in Keokuk, Iowa, October, 1856, the college was transferred to that Synod by the Presbytery. The Synod, in a series of resolutions, affirmed the princi- pies according to which it intended the college to be conducted, and ap pointed trustees. After the consummation of the union constituting the United Presbyterian Church, the care and supervision of the college passed to the Synod of Illinois of that body. In 1868, the Synod of Iowa united with the Synod of Illinois in the maintenance and control of the college. When the Synod of Kansas was organized out of the Synod of Illinois, it continued to share with the Synod of Illinois its responsibilities to the col lege. In 1874 a plan of union was agreed upon by the synods above named with the Second Synod of the West, in accordance with which it also became a part of the constituency of the college. The synods now comprised in this union are the Second Synod of the West, and the Synods of Illinois, Iowa and Kansas. These synods contain 244 ministers, 317 churches, and over 20,000 communicants.

The original act of incorporation was approved Feb. 16,1857. It created the board of trustees, a body corporate and politic by the name and style of "The Monmouth College," and gave them customary powers. It vested in the Associate Reformed Synod of Illinois the power of appointing three-fourths of the trustees, and in the trustees themselves one-fourth. An act was signed Feb. 18, 1859, so amending the original act as to give to the " United " Presbyterian Synod of Illinois the powers before vesied in the Associate Reformed Synod. The charter was further amended in 1869, after the union of the Synod of Iowa with the Synod of Illinois in the man­ agement of the college. The charter, as amended, adjusted the government of the college to its new relations, and provided for the admission of other bodies to its constituency.

The first college building was erected on the block of land donated by Hon. A. C. Harding, located in the northwest section of the city of Mon- mouth. It was about 40x60 feet, two stories, and contained a chapel and eight rooms. In 1860, Messrs. A. Y. and D. Graham donated to the college ten acres situated on Broadway, in the eastern part of the city, together with one-sixth of the remainder of the quarter of which it was a part. The board immediately took measures to erect on the proffered sife a new build­ ing suited to the growing wants of the college. The work commenced in 1861, and on the 12th day of May, 1863, the professors and students took possession of the building. It is 50x80 feet, three stories high above the basement, and contains eighteen rooms. It cost, including furniture and fences, about $20,000. In 1875 it was found that this building was too small for the wants of the college, and steps were taken for the erection of an addition, 50x60, on the north side of the old building, at a cost of about $14,000. It is now finished. It is three stories high above the base­ ment, of the same style of architecture as the old, and will contain a chapel and eight other rooms in addition to those in the basement. The enlarged structure will furnish ample accommodations for the wants of the college.

The preparatory classes below the sub-Freshman are heard in the original college building known as the academy.

The first attempt to endow the college was made on the Scholarship system. The original scholarship entitled the purchaser to the perpetual tuition of one student. It cost $100. The purchaser could pay cash for it or give his note bearing 6 per cent, interest per annum. Afterwards the sale of this class of scholarships was stopped, and a new one offered, enti­ tling to 20 years tuition, for $100 in cash, or for a note bearing interst at the rate of ten per cent, per annum. Subsequently it was determined to sell no more scholarships at this rate. In lieu thereof, for every one hundred dollars, scrip was issued entitling to tuition, at current rates, to the amount of $200, payable one-tenth annually. Again this plan was modified by giving scrip for the sum donated, dollar for dollar, entitling to tuition to the amount of the face of it, at the rates current at the time of the sale. Many thousands of dollars were thus secured. Finally, however, all these schemes were abandoned, because the education promised by the college cost it more than the principal and interest of the money paid for the scholarship amounted to. Endowment on this principle was found to be impossible! In 1871, it was determined to solicit donations, without any tuition in turn, for the Endowment fund. On this plan over $75,000 have been secured, which is being collected and invested in bonds secured by mortgage or real estate, and bearing interest at the rate of ten per cent, per annum. A few thousand dollars have also been secured by the sale of a perpetual scholarship for $1,000.

The first President of the College was Rev. David A.Wallace, who still holds the place. The following have been connected with it as Professors and Instructors

Rev. M. Morrison, | Original

Eev. J. R. Brown, j Professors.

J. B. McCartnay, M. D.

Miss M. J. Hutchison

Rev. A. Young*

Rev. R. Ross

Rev. J. C. Hutchison

John H. Wilson *

George Jforcross

Rev. A. M. Black

Rev. J. C. Webber

Thos. H. Rodgers*

Mrs. T. II. Rogers

Miss Eliza B. Wallace*

Mfe Mary Pressly

Miss E. J. Young

Rev. J. A. P. McGow

The number of students in all departments, each year from the begining, has been as follows

 

1856 & 7,

99

1861 & 2,

191

1S66 & 7,

367 1871 & 2,

372

1857 & 8,

151

1862 & 3,

159

1867 & 8,

380

1872 & 3,

377

1858 & 9,

172

1863 & 4,

225

1868 & 9,

368

1873 & 4,

378

1859 & 60,

182

1864 & 5,

276

1869 & 70,

370

1874 & 5,

447

1860 & 1.

220

1865 & 6,

360

1870 & 1,

368

1875 & 6,

397

Of these, 155 are in the college proper.

Those at present connected with the college are marked (*).

Monmouth College Website

Past Faculty

 

History of Warren County

Submitted by the webmaster