Fulton High School
Northern Illinois College
Hansen Military Academy
This is one of the great features of Fulton. It was first established by Col. De Estynge Cavert, in 1861, as a military school, and was called the Western Union College and Military Academy. Col. Cavert proposed to open his institution if the citizens would take hold and help him, which they did, forming a company and issuing bonds. He secured the Dement House which had been vacant for some years, refitted the building, and extended the grounds so as to have ample room for drill. The war had commenced, and military enthusiasm ran high. He received from the US Government arms and accoutrements for the use of the cadet corps. It was carried on this way for about four years, receiving large numbers of students, and sending out many well drilled cadets to the field.
Col. Cavert desired then to retire from the college, and have the company take it off his hands and rent it as a college. They took it from him, and organized a college under the general laws of the State, securing a special charter. Donations were asked for and received from all parts of the State, and quite a large fund was raised. One of the objects was to take the disabled soldiers from Illinois regiments and educate them to fill civil stations. The same advantages were extended to the children of soldiers. The trustees managed the institution, whith a faculty, of whom Leander H. Potter was Presient. The expenses were defrayed from the donation fund. The institution received from the State during this period about $20,000. Mr. Potter's administration was not satisfactory to the trustees, and they indicated to him that his resignatin would be accepted, and he resigned.
About this period they ceased soliciting aid from the State. The question of changing the name of the college was discussed, and it was finally agreed by the stockholders and trustees to adopt a new name, calling the institution the Northern Illinois College. The trustees then secured Mr. W.D.F. Lummis, who, with other professors, took charge of the institution. They gave him the interest on the fund (which was then $30,000) charging him nothing for the use of the building.
Mr. Lummis did well financially, but did not build the college up, and they disposed of him. They then leased the college to a minister, J.W. Hubbard, whose administration was about as unsatisfactory as the preceding ones. Subsequently, A.A. Griffith took charge of the institution. He was a very good man, but did not advance the college as the trustees desired it to be done. It was during Mr. Griffith's management that Professors A.M. Hansen and W.F. Hansen came in. They were very popular and pleased the Board. They finally disposed of Mr. Griffith, and placed the college in charge of Prof. A.M. Hansen, who reorganized the institution, making a good many changes and improvements. President Hansen had erected on the grounds north of the college a large brick three-story building,f or the accomodation of his family, the female students, and for a dining hall.
The trustees keep up the expenses of the institution, such as repairs, insurance, etc., and give the use of the building. This is done from the interest on the donation fund. President Hansen has become quite popular and he has largely increased the patronage. A business education can be had at this institution that cannot be secured at a graded school or any other college. The student can get his business education and go out, or can go through with a regular classical course. This is one of the best educational institutions in the State, and probably nowhere in the State can a thorough education be procured at so little expense. For health and beauty of location it is unexcelled. The Faculty take every pain with their pupils, and the President looks after them with the care of a parent. The parents who send their children here can rest assured that they will be under the best of influences. The college buildings are heated by steam, and the rooms are large and well-ventilated. The apartments appropriated to the young ladies are really elegant. The college has all the instruments, chemicals and chemical apparatus, geological cabinets and charts necessary for the use of the student. One of the attractive features of this institution is that it is free from sectarian influences, though its government is upon a true Christian basis. Board of Trustees - Edmund R. Allen, President; Leander Smith, Treasurer; James McCoy, Secretary; C.E. Langford, Payson Trask, John Dickson, Bradstreet Robinson, Charles R. Rood, Daniel P. Spears, Wm. P. Culbertson, Charles Spears and A>M. Hansen; Executive Commitee - Bradstreet Robinson, James McCoy, Leader SMith, Payson Trask and Wm. P. Culbertson.
The faculty is - A.M. Hansen, A.M. Ph.D., Metaphysics and ancient languages; W.F. Hansen, mathematics and literature; Miss Mary A. Parker, A.B., natural sciences and German; J.E. Bigginger, B.S., commercial course and assistant in natural sciences; Miss Minnie L. Wilbur, B.S., instrumental and vocal music; N.C. Pratt, B.S., common branches; Miss E.M. Vath, B.S., elocution and reading; Mrs. Lottie Post, oil painting and drawing.
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