Schools in Knox County


The information furnished on this page [text and black & white photos], submitted by Janine Crandell, came from the History of Knox County, published in 1912, unless otherwise noted.  There are also a few postcard pictures and present-day photographs.

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Abingdon College was opened by P. H. Murphy in 1853 and charter obtained in 1855. Some of the prominent incorporators were Wm. Maxwell, P. H. Murphy, J. C. Latimer, John Miller. George Price, S. H. Richey, Jesse Purdue and others.  This was a private enterprise at first.  It was afterwards taken up by the Christian church and carried forward successfully for about twenty-five years.  At one time it had three hundred or four hundred students, but owing to some local dissensions, it succumbed and the influence of the church took the educational center to Eureka, Illinois.

Bateman SchoolBateman School: In Galesburg, located on West Losey Street, between Clark Street and Maple Avenue. A nine-room building, with auditorium. Remodeled in 1899. Value $25,000. Named in honor of Dr. Newton Bateman, President of Knox College.

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Brush Creek School: Tillie Lundgren, unknown. Submitted by Lowell Griffith.


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Central and Churchill Schools Central & Churchill Schools: In Galesburg, located on South Broad Street, between Simmons and Tompkins. Central, a twelve-room building, erected in 1903.   Value $40,000. Churchill, a twelve-room building. Erected in 1866. Partially remodeled in 1896. Value $63,000.  Named in honor of Prof. George Churchill of Knox College.  [Churchill School was used until 1904, when it was destroyed by fire...source: The Best of Galesburg by Andrea Vitale]

Cooke School Cooke School: In Galesburg, located on the corner of South Academy and Second Streets. Partially remodeled in 1897.  Value $15,000. Named in honor of Milo D. Cooke, director for many years from the Fifth Ward.

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Corpus Christi LyceumCorpus Christi Lyceum & University was located on the southeast corner of Prairie and Tompkins Streets.  It was erected in 1894 and razed in 1966, according to the marker pictured to the left. It was built and staffed by the Institute of Charity from 1894-1945 and staffed by the Sisters of Providence from 1945-1964. [It was after the construction of Costa High School in 1964 when Corpus was closed.]

Delong Grade School: In the town of Delong (Orange Township) on County Highway 5.


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Douglas SchoolDouglas School: In Galesburg, located on the corner of South Seminary and Third Street.  A six-room building with auditorium.  Remodeled in 1902.  Value $20,000.  Named in honor of Stephen A. Douglas.

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Farnham SchoolFarnham School: In Galesburg, located on the corner of Farnham & Summit Streets.  A four-room building with auditorium and office.  Built in 1911.  Cost of plant, $25,000.

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Fruit Hill was established in 1882. For more information, please visit this website.


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Galesburg High SchoolGalesburg High School: In Galesburg, situated on the corner of Broad & Tompkins Streets. Built in 1906. Cost, approximately $125,000. [It was vacated in 1959 when a new building was completed on West Fremont Street.  The old building was destroyed by fire in 1965. Source: The Best of Galesburg by Andrea Vitale]

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Gilson School: Formerly Haw Creek Township High School and Gilson Grade School


Inside of Gilson School
Please support of the restoration of this wonderful old school...

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GlissonGlisson School: On Route 150. Built in 1874.


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Harper School (original): date picture taken unknown; submitted by Harriet Stairs



Harper School class picture circa 1893: submitted by Harriet Stairs


Starting from the left...standing: Teacher, Charles Scott, a Civil War veteran, Pearl Burnside Swanson, Effie Hendel, Hattie Keys Bragg, Edith Wainright, Nellie Brown Lane, Roberta Harper Shumaker, Harry Eugene Bragg, Arthur Wainright, Roy Burnside, Ray Smith, Myrtle Fulmer Edwards, Bertha Wainright Sweborg.

Sitting: Louis Cramer, Nellie Smith, Nettie Smith, George Brown, Orpha Burnside Hebard, Grace Keys Hartman, Mildred Wainright, Nellie Fulmer Holland, Lacy Smith, Fay Barr Darling, Myrtle Barr.

Harper School (current): On County Highway 20, across the street from the Harper Cemetery; 5 miles west of Maquon.
The school is now a private permitted by current owners....thank you!


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Hedding College: This institution was chartered in 1857 under the name of Hedding Female College. It received its name from Bishop Hedding of the Methodist Episcopal Church. It was suggested by Mr. J. B. F. Chesney and heartily endorsed by other interested parties. The name was afterwards changed to Hedding College, and both boys and girls were admitted to its halls upon equal terms.

The college has, in common with all other colleges of the country, had its successes and reverses, but it has steadily maintained a high purpose and determination to reach a final success. At the present time it has an attendance of about two hundred, and there is a strong movement for a greater endowment and larger attendance. The outlook is brighter than ever before. There is a determination on the part of the denomination which is behind it, and the people of Abingdon, to bring it to the front and place it upon an enduring basis.

President Walter D. Agnew has undertaken this work with a spirit that will surely win. He has accomplished his first point, the raising of $50,000 toward the endowment. This added to $50,000 heretofore raised completes the $100,000 required to be held before the end of the year 1912. Rev. Agnew will raise another $100,000 before the end of the year 1916, which, when accomplished, places Hedding upon the basis of a college authorized to confer degrees and claim all rights belonging to a fully equipped college and without which it would have to work upon the grade of an academy. (History of Knox County, published in 1912, submitted by Janine Crandell)

Hitchcock School Hitchcock School : In Galesburg, located on the corner of North Cherry and Selden Streets. A nine-room building. Remodeled in 1890. Value $25,000. Named in honor of Henry Hitchcock, Supt. C., B. & Q. Ry.

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Knox CollegeKnox College: Among the colleges of Illinois, Knox college ranks fourth in point of age, having received its charter from the state in 1837. Shurtleff, Illinois college and McKendree were all chartered in 1835, although instruction was begun at Shurtleff in 1831, at Illinois college in 1829 and at McKendree in 1828. The early history of Knox college is identified with that of the city in which it stands, for both city and college were the realization of one idea.

In 1827 Rev. George W. Gale established a school upon a fertile farm adjoining the village of Whitesboro, three miles from the city of Utica, New York. Here he remained for seven years, erecting buildings for instruction, for lodging and for manual labor. The course of study was made equivalent to a college course. Of the teachers whom he associated with him, two, Innes Grant and Nehemiah Losey, were afterward members of the Knox college faculty. The peculiar feature of Mr. Gale's idea was this: He believed that in a college located on a farm and with workshops attached young men could secure their education and at the same time be self-supporting. All should be required to labor on the farm or in the shops three hours a day. Thus they could provide the means of support and secure the exercise essential to their health and yet have sufficient time for study and recitation. Upwards of a hundred students attended the school during this period. Those who had trades were put to work in the shops; they paid their board, which was charged at cost, and received the proceeds of their labor. Some were able to pay their entire expenses by their work. The rest were told off into classes of half a dozen, each under direction of one of their number called a monitor, and set at work on the farm or at market gardening. A farm superintendent arranged the work in concert with the monitors. The boarding establishment was supported from the profits of the farm and labor of the students without a deficit. The funds necessary to establish the institution and the professorships were contributed by benevolent persons living in the vicinity who had confidence in the management and appreciated the design. Such was Oneida institute in 1834, when Mr. Gale resigned his connection with it. These facts are preserved in a sketch of the founder by his son, William Selden Gale, from whose narrative they are taken. From this statement we see how the idea that was embodied in the Knox Manual Labor college was conceived.

In the cheap government land of the fertile central west, then to be purchased at one dollar and a quarter per acre, Mr. Gale saw a great opportunity for the development of his idea on a larger scale. He would buy a township of land, reserve a town site and a large farm for the use of the college, then he would lay off the remainder of the land in farms, place on the land, a price averaging five dollars an acre and with the proceeds of the farms and the town lots endow the college. The project met with favor and subscribers to the plan were found. In 1835 the committee appointed to make the purchase came to Illinois, inspected the land available and completed the bargain. Returning to Whitesboro, the purchase was reported, a plat of the land was made, the village and farm reservation marked, an appraisal of from three to eight dollars an acre placed on each tract and the distribution made.

January 7, 1836, in the old academy building in Whitesboro (now Whitestown), New York, the original circular which led directly to the founding of Galesburg and of Knox college was adopted. This circular clearly indicates the serious moral purpose in the minds of the founders. Their plan comprehended something very different from a mere investment in western land for personal profit, and something, too, broader and deeper than merely the experiment of establishing such a school. Their enterprise was inspired by a definite missionary purpose and was characterized by religious zeal—although the material advantages to follow were by no means lost sight of. Rehearsing the obligations imposed on Christian people to devise and execute plans for the promotion of religion throughout the world and to provide for that purpose an educated and devoted ministry, the circular proceeds to show the advantages of the manual labor system as furnishing the opportunity to secure an education by "hundreds of youth of talent and piety and enterprise (who) stand ready to enter upon the work of preparation whenever a 'wide and effectual door is opened' for them." The following paragraph, the phraseology of which strikes oddly on the modern ear, is of interest as indicating the thought of the founders regarding the education of women:

"It is beginning to be believed, and not without good reason, that females are to act a much more important part in the conversion of the world than has been generally supposed: not as preachers of the gospel, but as helpmeets of those who are, and as instructors and guides of the rising generations, not only in the nursery, but in the public school. It should therefore be an object of special aim with all who pray and labor for the conversion of the world to provide for the thorough and well-directed education of females. Experiment has already proved that manual labor may be successfully introduced into female seminaries, and that it is highly conducive to health and piety and adapted to reduce the expenses of education sufficiently to encourage many young ladies to qualify themselves in such seminaries for fields of usefulness, who, without that encouragement, would never have put forth such efforts."

The circular closes with these sagacious words: "It is perfectly in the power of a few families of moderate property to rear up such institutions, at this time, in the valley of the Mississippi, on a permanent basis, with a great part of the endowment required and on a liberal and extensive scale with a great advantage to themselves and families. Such a plan is here proposed, with the design, if it may please the Lord, to carry it into effect."

There were forty-six subscribers to the plan. They voted that the proposed institution should receive the name Prairie college, but as this name was afterward thought not properly distinctive it was changed to Knox Manual Labor college; and it was under that title that the new institution was incorporated in 1837. There was a twofold appropriateness in thus adopting the name of Knox, for it would designate the location of the school and would also immediately suggest the relation of the founders to Presbyterianism — although not especially selected on that account.

Five of the original colonists were named as incorporators ; these were George W. Gale, John Waters, Nehemiah West, Thomas Simmons and Nehemiah H. Losey. To these were added Matthew Chambers and Erastus Swift, of the Vermont accession, Parnach Owen and John G. Sanborn of Knoxville, George H. Wright, a Monmouth physician, and Ralph H. Hurlburt, a leading merchant and landholder at Mount Sterling; these two gentlemen were former residents of Oneida county, N. Y. The first meeting of the trustees was held in Knoxville. August 9, 1837. The board organized with Rev. John Waters, president; Nehemiah H. Losey, clerk, and John G. Sanborn, treasurer. By the terms of the charter the board was made self-perpetuating, with power to increase the number to twenty-four in addition to the president of the college, ex-officio a member. William Holyoke. Peter Butler and Sylvanus Ferris were at this time added. It was voted by the newly organized board to erect an academy building as soon as possible. In order to make a college it was necessary to prepare material to fill it.

By the fall of 1838 the academy was ready for students and the formal opening took place. There were forty pupils. This building stood on the northeast corner of Main and Cherry streets and was afterward moved a few rods to the north, where, at this date, it still stands, in use as a boarding-house. Nehemiah H. Losey, who, since the spring of 1837, had conducted a school at the temporary settlement of Log City, was the principal and Hiram Marsh was his assistant. It was not until 1841 that the college was fully organized. Rev. Hiram H. Kellogg was its first president. The faculty included Rev. George W. Gale, professor of belles lettres and acting-professor of ancient languages, with Nehemiah H. Losey, professor of mathematics. In the following year Innes Grant was added as professor of languages. The first catalogue, published in 1842, names ten freshmen and 147 preparatory students. The preparatory department in the college must be distinguished from the academy, which was a separate institution.

In 1841 a ladies' seminary had been built on Seminary street, opposite the beginning of Tompkins street, at a cost of $5,000. This building was destroyed by fire in 1843. The household effects and library of President Kellogg had been stored in the building for some time, and it had also furnished lodging for a number of the students. Its destruction at this time led directly to the erection of the first building on the Knox campus, a brick building of moderate size, afterward enlarged, known as East college. This was built in 1844; it remained, in a rather dilapidated condition at the last, until torn down in 1900. In the following year a companion structure, named West college, was built on the Cedar street side of the campus. It was afterward given the name of Williston hall; it remained standing until its removal became necessary in 1890. The old distinctive names of these two earlier buildings had passed from use long before their demolition, and they were popularly known as the "East Bricks" and the "West Bricks"—designations which not inaptly emphasized the contrast between them and later more pretentious structures. They, however, served well their generation. Not only did they contain recitation rooms, offices and society halls, they also supplied quarters for about forty students. Apparently the young ladies, dispossessed of their quarters by the burning of the seminary, sought shelter elsewhere. In 1846 a new academy building was erected on the public square. It was a substantial brick structure of two stories, the upper story, according to the annual catalogue, being "appropriated to the female branch." For the next twelve years it continued to serve this purpose and then was leased to the recently organized board of education, to be used for the new high school. The academy was then transferred to the new college building, and the "female branch" was transplanted to the seminary, where it has flourished ever since. The academy building was afterward demolished to make room for the Union hotel. In 1843 there were 175 students in the college. On account of failing health, President Kellogg resigned in 1845, and Rev. Jonathan Blanchard was chosen his successor. There were 201 students then enrolled.

The period of President Blanchard's administration forms an important epoch in the history of the college. During this period the foundations were strengthened, the enterprise took on the aspect of permanent success; and then there came a crisis in the affairs of the institution which, for a time, threatened disaster. In June, 1846, the first class was graduated. Of its nine members five entered the ministry, two of whom became missionaries; one became a lawyer, one a physician, one an editor and one a professor of mathematics. The material growth of the college was noteworthy.

Mr. J. P. Williston of Northampton. Mass., who through the influence of President Blanchard had become interested in the college, had given it in successive donations about $10,000. Another liberal benefactor of the college in this early period of its history was Mr. Charles Phelps of Cincinnati, a relative of President Blanchard, who, in 1853, turned over to the trustees the titles to eighteen quarter sections of Illinois land, at an estimated value of $30,000. The names of these philanthropists and their notable gifts should not be forgotten in the annals of the institution.

During the college year of 1849-50 the question of admitting women to collegiate courses in the institution was evidently settled in their favor. With the sanction of the executive committee a special department was conducted for their benefit and additional teachers were employed. The names of fourteen young women are listed in the catalogue published at the close of that year as members of this department, and the records of the trustees show that in June, 1850, they voted that a female collegiate department should be organized with a three years' course of study. The school year was to begin regularly on the first Wednesday in February and to terminate on the third Wednesday in January. But the principle of co-education had not yet been adopted. In January, 1851, three voting women were graduated from this department — the first Knox alumnae.

The advent of the railroad in 1854 greatly enlarged the resources of the college. A part of its land was selected as the site of depots, shops and yards, and the valuation of adjoining property increased accordingly. There was a ready sale for the city lots and the farm was sold advantageously. It had become evident long before this that the manual labor feature of the original plan, although successful at the school in Whitesboro, was impracticable under college management in Galesburg, and it had been abandoned. The name, Knox Manual Labor college, having now become misleading, the phrase manual labor was, on petition of the trustees, in 1857, stricken from the title by act of legislature. It was estimated in 1855 that the property of the college was worth $400,000. In 1856 two important buildings were begun, and in the following year these were completed at a cost of nearly $100,000. The central college building, as it was then called, now affectionately known as Old Main, a splendid example of the Tudor Gothic style, thus found its place on the campus between East college and Williston hall. The other building, known as the seminary, stood on Tompkins street—and still stands, the central portion of Whiting hall. It accommodated between eighty and ninety young women. This was not the first building provided for the use of the female collegiate department: an earlier seminary had been built, at a cost of $5,000, in 1841, which was burned in 1843. There had been a steady increase in the attendance, which in 1857 reached 446, counting all departments : of these fifty-one were in the college classes. The growth of the town had been very notable. The following figures are significant:

In 1840 the population was 272 (thirty-nine families).

In 1850 the population was less than 800.

In 1853 the population was less than 1,400.

In 1855 the population was 2,916.

In 1857 the population was 5,455.

In 1856 there were 304 new buildings raised with a combined valuation of $551,060; most of the dwellings costing from $3,000 to $12,000 each. As many more were built in 1857.

Notwithstanding the financial prosperity of the college at this point in its history, a serious crisis now occurred. A bitter controversy had already developed over the question of denominational control. Presbyterians and Congregationalists had been intimately associated in the social and religious life of the community. For more than a decade they had worshipped harmoniously together in that broadly built and spacious meeting house on the square, the historic First church of Galesburg. The official head of the college had served at times as minister to the congregation. President Kellogg had been installed as pastor in 1846 and Doctor Blanchard had followed him in the pulpit when he succeeded him in the presidency, serving the church thus for two years. But with the expansion of the community jealousies had arisen and the quarrel grew so fierce that it threatened to disrupt the college. This is the period of what has been sometimes called "the Blanchard war.'' Jonathan Blanchard was a man of strong convictions, combative and fearless. During his pastorate in Cincinnati he had been a vigorous and outspoken abolitionist. After his removal to Illinois he had dared to meet Stephen A. Douglas in public debate and was thought by his friends to have issued from that encounter with the honors of the field. His position on the great issue of the time could not have been obnoxious in Galesburg. but his views on other matters had aroused strong opposition among some of the prominent citizens; at the same time he had a large and ardent following. The core of the quarrel was the denominational issue in Knox college, and the two parties, the Presbyterians headed by Rev. George W. Gale and the Congregationalists led by President Blanchard, were intensely stirred.

The situation became acute and at its annual meeting in June, 1857, the board of trustees, by resolution, respectfully requested both Doctor Blanchard and Mr. Gale to resign their places on the faculty. Both gentlemen immediately complied. When this action was announced there was great excitement. The student body, which was devoted to President Blanchard, assembled on the steps of the college building and passed resolutions of regret at his departure. Many of the undergraduates asked for dismission. The Adelphi and Gnothautii literary societies disbanded, placing their effects in the hands of trustees. Only one of the ten members of the graduating class appeared on the commencement platform to deliver his address. The "war" continued for many weeks in pulpit, on platform and in the columns of the local press. It became more than a local issue: letters discussing the situation appeared in the Congregationalist Herald and in the New York Independent. Some prominent people were drawn into the controversy. Pamphlets were printed and tables compiled to show what financial support had been given the institution by the two denominations. As late as in May, 1859, the general association of the Congregational church in Illinois adopted and printed a report reflecting severely on Knox college and the Presbyterians. Into the merits of this controversy it is altogether unnecessary to go ; for many years it has been a matter of ancient history and all bitterness of feeling has long since vanished. The final result was that Knox college was made independent of all denominational control and, happily, thus remains to this day. (History of Knox County, published in 1912, submitted by Janine Crandell)


Newspaper article about Knox College as Underground Railroad "Station"

Knoxville Grade School: submitted by Harriet Stairs


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Lincoln SchoolLincoln School: In Galesburg, located on the corner of North and Pearl Streets.  A nine-room building with auditorium.   Remodeled in 1901.  Value $30,000.  Named in honor of Abraham Lincoln.

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                     Lombard College
Lombard University : an institution at Galesburg, under the control of the Universalist denomination, founded in 1851.  It has preparatory, collegiate and theological departments.  The collegiate department includes both classical and scientific courses with a specially arranged course of three years for young women, who constitute nearly half the number of students.  The University has an endowment of $200,000 and owns additional property, real and personal, of the value of $100,000.   In 1898 it reported a faculty of thirteen professors with an attendance of 191 students. (1920 Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois, submitted by Janine Crandell)


The movement inaugurated in 1850 looking toward the establishment of an institution of learning in which religious pressure, distasteful to those who were not classed as Evangelical Christians, would not be brought to bear upon their children, had in view no such ambitious end as a college. On the part of these earnest souls there was a strong feeling that the denominational control of the institutions above the grade of common schools, practically all in the state being thus controlled, was detrimental to free inquiry after truth. Release was most eagerly desired, also, from the well meant, but unwelcome interference with their children on the ground of religious belief. It came about, therefore, when Reverend Charles P. West, a pioneer preacher of universalism in Illinois, suggested that a non-sectarian "seminary of learning" be established by the Universalists of Illinois he found an encouraging reception of his idea.

On the 19th of May, 1850, the Spoon River Association of Universalists convened at Greenbush, Warren county. To the association Mr. West presented his plea for the founding of an academy, having been urged to do so at a meeting held shortly before at the home of Mr. Amos Pierce of Greenbush, for the discussion of the project. The association resolved that such a school ought to be established at Galesburg by the Universalists of the state. Soon after this the Henderson River association, meeting in Oquaka, and the Universalist State convention, meeting in Toulon, commended the idea, the latter pledging itself to do all possible to put the plan into execution.

A canvass for the raising of funds was started, the plan being to organize a joint stock company with a capital of $5,000, shares $25, when half the amount was subscribed, Mr. West proved himself a man of action as well as of words, being able to announce in October that the required sum had been pledged. On the 24th of that month the subscribers met in Galesburg and organized under the name "The Universalist Literary Society of the State of Illinois." They elected fifteen trustees, whose officers were Honorable Alfred Brown, president; Lorentus E. Conger, treasurer, and Reverend C. P. West, secretary. A building committee was appointed and Mr. West again went into the field as general agent to make collections and solicit further subscriptions. A charter was secured from the state February 15, 1851, for "The Illinois Liberal Institute," that name having been selected at a meeting held November 29, 1850. The object of the incorporation was stated to be the establishment and support of education, it being stipulated that property beyond the value at any one time of more than $20,000 could not be held.

On the northwest corner of Seminary and Tompkins streets, near the Burlington depot, the first building was erected. It was of brick and was begun in the spring of 1851, but owing to the lack of means at the disposal of the committee it was not ready for occupancy until the first of September, 1852. The institute was then opened with Reverend P. Raymond Kendall as principal and Miss Caroline S. Woodbury in charge of the female department, these teachers having been appointed the previous March. The courses offered were in three departments—academic, scientific and collegiate, the total enrollment for the first year being 134.

The choice of Professor Kendall meant much for the future of the young institution. He soon became ambitious to make it something more than the academy first planned and fully satisfied the original promoters. He urged the need of a college in addition to the work done by the institute; but he found the trustees unwilling to further his ambition. His strong personality and his enterprise were such that finally a reluctant consent was wrung from the board to undertake the establishment of a college. However, they made the seemingly impossible condition, the raising of $50,000, doubtless believing that this would put an end to the importunities to which they had been so opposed. The charter was amended January 26, 1853, granting the right to hold property to the amount of $50,000, and to confer degrees for collegiate honors. In the fall of 1854, among other additions to the faculty, were two teachers destined to render the institution many years of devoted service. They were Miss H. A. Kendall, afterward Mrs. Standish, and Professor J. V. N. Standish, both of them most excellent and commanding teachers, sketches of whose busy and useful lives appear elsewhere in this work. To Professor Standish, prior to his coming, his friend and classmate, Professor Kendall, had confided his plans to make of the institute a college, relying on his co-operation. In furtherance of the plans Professor Kendall shortly after the arrival of Professor Standish took the field to canvass for the necessary funds, the latter becoming acting president and remaining such until the fall of 1857.

On the afternoon of April 27, 1855, the building burned, the loss being total, as there was no insurance. The blow was a serious one, but the friends of the institute and its loyal and self-sacrificing teachers would not brook any suggestion of failure. On learning of the calamity. Professor Kendall hastened home from Wisconsin to find that without an intermission recitations had been continued in rooms temporarily secured in various parts of the city through the energy of Professor Standish. Professor Kendall now continued to press his plans for a college, and with the aid of a corps of assistants, Messrs. J. H. Chapin, W. S. Ballou and other Universalist clergymen, he pushed the canvass for funds with renewed zeal. As a result a total of about $60,000 was subscribed, the larger part of it being secured by the sale of scholarships, which yielded twice their cost in tuition.

It was in 1855 that Benjamin Lombard, then living in Henry, Illinois, bestowed his liberal gift of $20,000 on the institution, and in recognition of his generous aid the name was changed to Lombard University. A new building costing $40,000 was erected on a site selected in an eighty acre tract in the south-east part of the city purchased from L. E. Conger. It is built of brick, 80x66 feet, three stories high and of modified gothic architecture. Then it stood on the barren prairie; now on its fourteen acre campus it is surrounded by spacious lawns, attractive shrubbery and a glory of magnificent trees of about forty choice varieties, the most glorious of all being the two rows of noble elms on the north and west. This building was not completed without many discouragements. Several times work was suspended because the treasury was empty, but at last the roof was on and late in the fall of 1856 recitations were held under its shelter. Several years elapsed before the building was fully completed, and now it stands a monument to the faithful souls who put so much of themselves into its walls.(History of Knox County, published in 1912, submitted by Janine Crandell)

Maquon Frame Schoolhouse: pre-1903....restored and submitted by Max Latimer



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Maquon High SchoolMaquon High School: the school was built in 1903 and the gym was added in 1931...Max Latimer



Picture submitted by Max Latimer


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Newman School: Originally located on Lake Bracken Road south of Knoxville.  Then in 1976, it was moved to James Knox Park on Market Street in Knoxville. The Knox County Retired Teachers Association has furnished the school museum with many authentic items... a must see!



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Oneida High School

1878 History of Knox County Illinois Page 315

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Open Air School: Located on South Cedar Street in Galesburg, this school operated from 1922 through 1934 and served students in grades four through seven.  After the flu epidemic of 1918-1919, people began to believe that fresh air could make even the most sickly children strong again.  As a result of this belief, an open-air school was opened.  No heating was allowed in these schools during the whole school year.  Coats (with hoods) had to be worn in class during the winter months. (Information gleaned from The Best of Galesburg by Andrea Vitale, pages 86-87)

Sparta Township High School Sparta Township High School, located in Sparta, Illinois.


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St. Alban's Academy St. Alban's Academy: A boys' and young men's school at Knoxville, Ill., incorporated in 1896 under the auspices of the Episcopal Church; in 1898 had a faculty of 7 teachers, with 45 pupils, and property valued at $61,100, of which $54,000 was real estate.  Instruction is given in the classical and scientific branches, besides music and preparatory studies. (1920 Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois, submitted by Janine Crandell)


St. Alban's school for boys, Knoxville, was founded in 1890 by the Rev. Dr. C. W . Leffingwell. and for several years was conducted under his supervision. The property of Ansgari college, having reverted to the city, by the discontinuance of the Swedish school there, was transferred to Dr. Leffingwell, and by him was greatly enlarged and improved. Towards the erection of the main building the Hon. James Knox had given $10,000. The building and equipment are valued at $6o,ooo. The school is widely and favorably known, and many of its graduates hold high positions in the church, in the army and in the business world. Mr. Lucien F. Sennett is the present headmaster and lessee of the school, and under his capable management the institution has steadily advanced in numbers and in efficiency. The maximum number of students in residence is now sixty and there are some day scholars. (History of Knox County, published in 1912, submitted by Janine Crandell)

St. Augustine School: In St. Augustine, on the corner of Church and East Streets. The school is no longer in operation.


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St. Martha's School for younger girls was opened in Knoxville in September, 1911, by Miss Emma Pease Howard. The building was designed and contracted expressly for this work and is located upon a beautiful campus adjacent to St. Mary's school, with which institution St. Martha's is affiliated. The school is entirely distinct from St. Mary's, being complete in equipment and especially adapted in methods and management to the care and training of young children. The official visitors are the Rt. Rev. M. E. Eawcett. D. D., Ph. D., Bishop of Quincy, and the Rev. C. W. Leffingwell, D. D., rector of St. Mary's school. A fine corps of officers and teachers is provided, and everything possible is done to promote the physical, mental and moral welfare of the little girls. Healthful recreation is a prominent feature of the curriculum. The course of study includes all branches taught in the best public schools preparatory to the eighth grade, with instruction also in French and German, drawing, music, dancing, arts and industries.

Though St. Martha's school may not yet claim a place in history, it is a unique and interesting development in educational enterprise, being the only school of high grade, so far as we knew, which is completely organized and equipped for the care of little girls exclusively. Only those under thirteen years of age are received. (History of Knox County, published in 1912, submitted by Janine Crandell)

St. Mary's SchoolSt. Mary's school , Knoxville, was opened in April, 1868, in the building of the Ewing Female University, erected about ten years before. For lack of endowment, that institution had been compelled to discontinue its work, and the property was transferred to the Episcopal diocese of Illinois. Of the fifteen trustees, ten are appointed to represent the diocese of Illinois and five to represent Knox county. The Rev. Charles W. Leffingwell became the founder and rector of St. Mary's. Mrs. Leffingwell being the matron and Miss Nancy Menedy Hitchcock the vice-principal. Dr. Leffingwell continues to this day (1912) rector of the school; Mrs. Leffingwell was matron for forty years; Miss Hitchcock was vice-principal for over twenty-five years.

The school soon outgrew its limited accommodations, and at a cost of about $25,000 it was greatly improved and enlarged. The Hon. James Knox contributed nearly one-half the required amount.

On January 4th, 1883, the building and contents were destroyed by fire. Within a month the school was reopened in the building of Ansgari College, in Knoxville, the few college students finding homes in private houses and reciting in the rooms of the old court house.

The cost of the new school building, the new stone chapel and the improvement of the ground was about $100,000, of which nearly one-half was provided by the legacy of Mr. Knox. Additions and improvements have been made from time to time. In 1901 a recreation annex was built and furnished at a cost of nearly $10,000.

Succeeding Miss Hitchcock as principal, Miss Emma Pease Howard has continued in office to the date of this writing and for some years has successfully managed the business as well as the academical work of the institution. The maximum of one hundred students in residence, with twenty officers and teachers, has been reported during most of the time for a quarter of a century.

St. Mary's is a school for young women who desire to continue their work two or three years beyond the course of the high school. It is a school home where girls become better daughters; where they are systematically trained for the duties of wifehood and motherhood; where they are encouraged to recognize, and where they are required to prepare for, their present and future obligations. There is a thorough preparatory course for younger girls and an affiliated school, St. Martha's, for little girls.

More than twenty states are represented by the teachers and students in attendance. The alumnae are resident in nearly every country of the world—in Alaska, in Mexico, in Canada, on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, in Europe, Australia, Hawaii, the Philippines, Guam, Japan, China, Ceylon and the West Indies. (History of Knox County, published in 1912, submitted by Janine Crandell)

Weston School Weston School : In Galesburg, located on the corner of Mulberry Street and Allen Avenue.  A thirteen-room building, with auditorium.  Remodeled in 1895.  Value $40,000,  Named in honor of Dr. Weston, President of Lombard College.

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Yates City Grade School: 1910
submitted by Rose Marie Bantz


Yates City Grade School: circa 1928
submitted by Rose Marie Bantz


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