Bourbon Sesquicentennial


Bourbon College & School of Music

In June of 1902, there were 3 young people in the graduating class at the Bourbon College and School of Music: Miss Nell Garn of Culver, Miss Letta Listenfelt of Inwood and Mr. Otto Stahl of Culver. Their talents were obvious according to the glowing comments that described the musical presentations of each at the graduation ceremonies.

That same year Prof. Daniel Hahn resigned as director of the Musical Department, and the Board of Directors voted to place the school under the leadership of one person, Prof. J. E. Newell. It seems that the music department was doing well but the stockholders determined that both the musical and literary departments could flourish under a single director.

In June of 1903, Prof. Newell, who had come to Bourbon two years earlier, closed the educational institution with regret. The college was struggling when he came with determination to make it successful. At no time during his tenure was the income sufficient to keep the college on a paying basis though the attendance continued to increase each year. Indicative of the success of the school, it was Miss Garn, a former student, who was the piano instructor at the time the school closed. She continued to teach during the following summer.

The college building stood on the south side of what is now Douglas street near the south end of Washington street. A leather embossing company from Chicago immediately showed an interest in converting the college for their use, but their main interest seemed to be in getting the building from the stockholders at very little cost. Eventually, it housed a furniture manufacturing company until the building was needed to replace the old south side elementary school in 1907.

Judy McCollough

Bourbon Sesquicentennial History Committee


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