Peoria County, Illinois Genealogy Trails
Photos by: Peggy Carey
Data by: Steve Slaughter©
Bishop Philander Chase (1775 - 1852) established Jubilee College primarily to train missionary priests for the newly established Episcopal Diocese of Illinois.
Quoting from the Illinois State Historic Preservation Agency:
"Bishop Philander Chase had a vision that extended far beyond [simply training missionary priests]. In 1838, with funds raised from English supporters, Chase purchased 2500 acres of wilderness land 15 miles west of Peoria. He planned to create an economically self-sufficient educational community that would train young men and women. Unlike many college founders of his day, Chase preferred the economic and social advantages of a rural setting. The isolated location, he believed, would promote the college's financial independence and enable him to better control students and shape their character.
"In 1850, Jubilee College covered nearly 4000 acres. Its buildings included several faculty homes, a 2 story frame boarding house, a store, a print shop, and the L-shaped stone building that still stands today. Its cornerstone was laid at a Sunday afternoon ceremony on April 3, 1839. The South wing was completed in 1840, and the west wing was constructed between 1842 and 1844. Bishop Chase intended to build 2 more wings, creating a quadrangle, but fell short on funds and had to abandoned plans for the remaining 2 wings along with a more elaborate main building."
Inside College Tour
Timeline concerning Bishop Philander Chase and this Historic Site
Jubilee College State Historic Site is open daily 9am to 5pm except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's days. The museum and restrooms are handicapped accessible. Jubilee College State Historic Site is adjacent to Jubilee College State Park, a 3500 acre recreation area with facilities for camping, horseback riding, fishing, hiking, picnicking and winter sports.
Annual special events at Jubilee College include the Olde English Faire held each June, and the Jubilee Autumn Harvestfest held each September. A Christmas program is presented the first Sunday in December.
† Directions †
Exit Interstate 74 at the JUBILEE STATE PARK/Kickapoo exit.
Go to stop sign & turn right. Go to stop sign in Kickapoo and turn left onto Illinois Route 40.
Drive approx 3/4 mile to the Princeville Jubilee Road (Illinois Route 40) & turn right. (Fussner Rd.)
Drive approx 1 mile to entrance of Jubilee College State Park.
Additional information can be obtained by writing to:
Jubilee College State Historic Site
RR#2, Box 72
Brimfield, IL 61517
Calling: 309-243-9489 or E-Mailing: Jubilee College
Data and photos (unless noted) provided by: Steve Slaughter, © 2004
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