Saturday, June 9, 2018

Walking Tour of Columbia University

Columbia University offers a self-guided walking tour in New York City that features 25 sites along with information about the surrounding Morningside Heights neighborhood.  The tour web page includes links for a tour podcast in a variety of formats by Andrew Dolkart, a popular architectural historian and professor of architectural history at Columbia's School of Architecture.  There is also a 16-page .pdf with map and information on the various sites.

Walking Tour of Historic Buildings at Colorado College

Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO developed a self-guided walking tour of the campus that features a dozen historically significant buildings.  The sites on the tour are all listed on the National Register of Historic Places or the State Register of Historic Properties.  The initial web page includes a helpful map with hot links to pages for each of the respective buildings.  You can also find a 20-page .pdf, "Colorado College Historic Building Walking Tour," with information on the institution and each building included in the tour.  Colorado College was founded in 1874.

Friday, June 8, 2018

St. John's College Alumni Gather Three Decades after Closure

The Wellington (KS) Daily News published an article on June 6, 2018 by Adam Catlin, "Thirty-two years after its closure, St. John's College still brings back its alumni."  St. John's College operated in Winfield, Kansas from 1893 to 1986 and Catlin reports on a recent successful gathering of St. John's alumni.  His article includes comments from a number of alumni he interviewed and also provides information on the institution and several historical images.

The city of Winfield maintains the campus as Baden Square and has successfully repurposed a number of the building for other community activities.  You can read an earlier College History Garden post from several years ago that includes links to a couple of alumni web sites.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

King's College in Charlotte Announces Closure

King's College, a small for-profit institution in Charlotte, North Caroline announced that it will be closing.  The institution was founded in 1901 in Raleigh, NC.  Courses were offered in Charlotte the following year in 1902.  Current enrollment is roughly 350 students.

If you are interested in recent trends for closures, mergers,and acquisitions access College Closures since 2009 in the index at the right of any College History Garden page.  There are separate tabs for non-profit closures, for-profit closures, and one for mergers and acquisitions.  Each tab includes basic information for the institutions, i.e., Carnegie Classification, sector, accrediting agency, and the IPEDS unitid.
advertisement for King's Business College from 
The Progressive Farmer (Winston-Salem, NC) on January 26, 1904
Postcard King's Business College in Raleigh, NC
King's College, Charlotte, NC

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Central Business College Featured

The Sedalia (MO) Democrat published a couple of articles on Central Business College, "Life at Central Business College in 1932," and "Central Business College alums praise education."

The proprietary institution was founded by C.W. Robbins in 1883 and closed in 1968. Robbins also operated the Sedalia Telegraph School as division of Central Business College. Robbins purchased the Missouri School of Telegraphy in 1907. He then purchased the Western Telegraph Institute of Sedalia the following year. He combined all three schools as Sedalia Telegraph School until closing out the program in 1917. The telegraph school enrolled both women and men and offered courses besides telegraphy in railway bookkeeping, spelling, penmanship, and station management. 

 Advertisement for Central Business College from the Sedalia Weekly Bazoo, June 11, 1898.

Advertisement from the Sedalia Weekly Bazoo on April 13, 1886.

Advertisement for Missouri School of Telegraphy from the Guthrie Daily Leader, January 19, 1904.

Historical Sketches for Southern Female University and Florence University for Women

The Florence-Lauderdale Public Library Digital Archive posted a couple of historical sketches on Facebook for Southern Female University and Florence University for Women.

Text from the posts follows for those without access to Facebook:
Florence’s Southern Female University.
In its Friday, July 11, 1890 issue, the newly-founded *Florence Times* stated: “Florence already has buildings of which she may feel justly proud, but when the Baptist University is completed it will be the most magnificent structure in the city.” The *Times* was referring to the Southern Female University, under the auspices of the Baptist Church, which was then under construction near the water tower on Seymour Avenue, which in 1890 was a mile or two outside town.
The Southern Female University was created in 1889 by the Alabama Baptists led by Rev. Dr. JB Hawthorne and the Hon. William B. Wood and the Florence Educational, Land and Development Co. The building was designed by the architectural firm of Rousseau & Brechin, which, among other buildings in Florence also designed the Patton School and Florence’s City Hall building, both also constructed in 1890.
The SFU campus comprised 8 acres. The building, which cost $80,000, was 210 feet long, 121 feet wide, five stories high, and contained accommodations for 400 boarders. The building contained 125 rooms, including 38 class rooms, 16 recitation rooms, 50 bedrooms for students, a gymnasium, and a two-story chapel that could seat 750 people. These rooms were heated by steam, lit by electricity, and contained the latest sanitary improvements available in 1890. Among all their other comforts, all the rooms and hallways were carpeted. The brick walls were trimmed in sandstone and the building boasted a mansard (or French) roof with occasional gables. The *Florence Herald* reported that the SFU building was “the largest and best appointed building of its kind in the State.” Towering over the university building, just to the rear stood the Florence Water-Works tower, some 120 feet tall, which still stands to this day.
Rev. LD Bass, DD, was the president of the school. According to the *Florence Times* Mrs. Kate Donegan was the matron (the woman in charge of the girls boarding at the school, what we would call a dorm mother), and one of the students worked off her tuition by serving as housekeeper—one of the first things her fellow-students did was to take up a collection to buy her a nice uniform. According to the *Florence Herald* the uniforms of the students were black, and the *Herald* stated that the girls looked “neat and pretty” in them.
School opened in the university chapel at at 9:30 am on September 15, 1891, with some sixty-three students in attendance. The young ladies came from just about every Southern state in the US and according to the *Herald* from as far north as New York and as far south as Nicaragua. According to the *Florence Times* sixty-three girls were present for that opening assembly, and seventy-five girls were registered boarders at the school, with more expected soon. Many of the girls were students of other universities taking postgraduate courses at SFU.
The school had nineteen faculty members and offered five academic courses of study, three of which led to degrees and two to certificates, one course offered being a business course. According to advertisements for the school, boarding, lights, fuel, servants attendance, etc., for five months was $64.50 and tuition was $25.
As it was a Christian university, the girls attended chapel on Sundays and though it was officially a Baptist school, the university was non-denominational in outlook, hence the first sermon preached was by Rev. TR McCarty of the Methodist Church.
Despite a successful first year, SFU started off its second year with serious problems, which included its location nearly a mile outside the city limits, with no sidewalks, streetcar, or paved roads. Nevertheless, Florence residents were shocked to discover on October 14, 1892 that Dr. Bass had been in negotiations with the Elyton Land Co. of Birmingham to relocate the school to Birmingham. Indeed, the very next day, Saturday, October 15, 1892, the students left Florence for Birmingham at 10 am on the Birmingham, Sheffield and Tennessee River Railroad. Their destination was the large Lakeview Hotel near Birmingham. Dr. Bass had secured this building and the surrounding seven-acre park for five years rent free. The hotel was fully furnished and carpeted. According to the *Florence Times* they were to be met in Birmingham by a brass band, a procession of school children, and city officials welcoming them to Lakeview.
Thus the Southern Female University of Florence relocated from Florence to Birmingham. The building in Florence sat empty for 16 years—until 1908. In the spring of that year the building was reopened as the Florence University for Women. In the next article we’ll look at the history of that university.
L, The Southern Female University building from the 1910-1911 catalog of the Florence University for Women, which succeeded the SFU in 1908. R, A newspaper “card” or advertisement, for the Southern Female University from the *Florence Herald* of Wednesday, September 16, 1891, p. 1.

The Florence University for Women, Successor to the Southern Female University, 1908-1911.
In our last article we looked at the Southern Female University, founded in 1890 on Seymour Avenue in Florence, next to the water-tower, which was and is the highest elevation in Florence. As we noted though, the school, run under the auspices of the Baptist Church, only operated for two years, opening in September of 1891 and closing suddenly in October of 1892 when it relocated to Birmingham. The building sat empty and idle for sixteen years, until April of 1908.
In its Wednesday, April 20, 1908 issue, the *Florence Herald* stated that “Mr. M. W. Hatton, President of the Southern Female College of LaGrange, Ga., has bought from the Florence Land Company the building known as the Baptist University and will open a college for girls and young women September 1st next.”
Prof. M. Wesley Hatton had been President of the Southern Female College of LaGrange, since 1902, and intended to operate that school and the new school in Florence along similar lines. The Professor had an extensive background in education, having graduated from Missouri State University and Harvard University, and having held teaching positions at McGee College (professor of English and Anglo-Saxon), Grand River College (professor of German), and President of Virginia Institute, not to mention Superintendent of Instruction in Missouri. Prof. Hatton made two trips to Florence, the second in April, accompanied by his wife, and was pleased by what he saw.
The one condition was that Florence raise $2,500. This was done, largely through the efforts of Mr. Nial C. Elting and the Florence Commercial Club, assisted by generous donations from the public, with the result that the required sum was raised in only three days. On May 13, the *Herald* reported the school’s opening in September of that year as certain, and stated that Prof. Hatton was already having catalogues for the school printed.
By July, Prof. Hatton and his assistant, OW Anderton were back in Florence. The *Florence Times* reported that several contracts for renovating the building had been awarded. Recall from the last article that the building was 210 feet long, 121 feet wide, and was five stories high (counting the basement). It contained 125 rooms, including 38 class rooms, 16 recitation rooms, 50 bedrooms for students, and a two-story chapel that could seat 750 people. These rooms were heated by steam, and lit by electricity, and contained the latest sanitary improvements available in 1890. All the rooms and hallways were carpeted. The brick walls were trimmed in sandstone and the building boasted a mansard (French) style roof with occasional gables. The original cost of the building was $80,000 and the campus encompassed eight acres of land. The *Times* reported that the contract for the furnace was awarded to the Moncrief Furnace Co. of Atlanta, Ga.; the contract for the slate roof was given to George F. Baggott of Florence, while Donald White of Florence had the contract for the plumbing.
According to the school’s 1910-1911 catalogue, in addition to its normal academic courses, which consisted of science, literature, language, Bible, philosophy, art, elocution, normal (teacher training), business, and domestic (what we’d call home-economics), the Florence University for Women also boasted a music conservatory that was said to be second to none. At the end of the 1909-1910 school year President Hatton awarded a $550 piano to the best graduate in music, whether vocal or instrumental. There were 16 faculty and staff members including Prof. and Mrs. Hatton (he taught higher English and Anglo-Saxon and she taught mathematics and astronomy).
The trustees in 1911 were John T. Ashcraft; MW Camper; MW Hatton; R L Glenn; HC Gilbert; CM Southall; former Florence Mayor AE Walker; OW Anderson; and Frank Jackson, with Ashcraft, Camper, Hatton, Anderson and Glenn comprising the executive committee.
Tuition each year was $190 for a full year, or $97.50 for a half-year. Girls whose fathers were pastors received free tuition in the Literary Department.
The school yearbook was called *The Varsity* and it described the various clubs and associations the girls could belong to, which included the Young Womens’ Christian Association (YWCA), the Tennis Club, the Kodak (photography) Club, the Georgia Club and the Fudge Club. The University had both a tennis and basketball club. There were a couple of literary societies and the school had an excellent library. On Mondays and holidays the girls were allowed to go horseback riding, accompanied by their instructor. On Sundays the students attended church, accompanied by faculty. Annually the students took a three-day trip to Mammoth Cave via the L&N Railroad, which cost each girl $14. Also each year the Sheffield Electric and Railway Company provided a trolley car ride and outing to the students. Every year a two-day trip to Shiloh Battlefield was also taken. JW Hall ran a horse-drawn bus line to the school with the first bus leaving Florence at 8 a.m. and others meeting the incoming cars (presumably the streetcars which began operation in 1904). The fare each way was five cents.
Uniforms were worn by the girls to church on Sundays, on the street, and on public occasions. For every day the girls were allowed to dress as they pleased, as long as it was neat. The winter uniforms were a black coat and suit and black Oxford cap, while the spring uniforms were a white linen suit and coat with Oxford cap.
On Wednesday, September 9, 1908, the Florence University for Women opened its doors for the first time, for a student orientation and reception with approximately fifty students present. The *Times* reported that more students were expected each day for several weeks.
Unfortunately, disaster struck the university at 3 a.m., Thursday, March 2, 1911, when a fire broke out at the University. This was ironic because the Southern Female College in LaGrange, Georgia, the sister school to the Female University in Florence, burned to the ground in July of 1908.
Prof. Hatton was awakened around 3 a. m. by the sounds of screaming girls, and, rushing outside of his room, he saw that the eastern part of the building was on fire. While Mrs. Hatton called the Florence Fire Dept. Prof. Hatton heroically attempted to put out the fire, with the school’s fire-hose, but it was no use. The building quickly burned to the ground. Fortunately, no one was injured, save a sprained ankle suffered by Prof. Hatton. Though the students and faculty lost only what was in their rooms, Prof. CW Best lost all of his worldly possessions, which were in his room. The girls were housed with neighbors of the university while plans were made for them to be boarded, and for school to continue, at the Jefferson Hotel in Florence however on March 9 the *Florence Herald* reported that the school would not reopen.
The total loss on the building was $100,000. The university was insured for $16,000--$12,000 on the building and $4,000 on furnishings. The *Florence Times* speculated that as there was no fire burning in the furnace, faulty wiring was the cause of the fire.
Friday, May 5, the *Florence Times* reported that Prof. CW Best, director of music at the former Florence University for Women, along with Mrs. Best, Miss Gabriella Knight and Miss Helen Katz had just founded the Florence Conservatory of Music. How long this institution was in operation isn’t known.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Early Colleges Featured on Alabama Pioneers Website

The Alabama Pioneers website offers a number of posts on higher education institutions that include historical sketches written by Donna R. Causey.  Each post includes photographs and notes on sources for the information.