It, however, suspended this Summer. It was impossible for Dr. MORRIS longer to keep up the strain necessary to keep it going, and it accordingly closed its doors. It is believed, however, it will open in another building, the present edifice and grounds being retained as a sanitarium. This suspension has been heard of with extreme regret by the friends of the institution.
During its twenty-eight years of life there have been two hundred and seventy graduates, and some two thousand students from all parts of the United States, and some from foreign lands. The tone of education has always been high.
The building and grounds of the Oxford Female College are admirably situated for educational purposes. the have cost about $100,000, and are not surpassed by similar institutions in the West. The main edifice is of brick and stone, cruciform, three stories above the basement, and built in the best manner. It is one hundred and fifty-five feet in front, by one hundred and seventy-one feet and six inches in depth, exclusive of porches. The number of rooms is about one hundred, and they are neatly and uniformly furnished. They will easily accommodate one hundred boarders, together with the family of the president, assistants, and hired help.
In the care and education of the students the president has been assisted by a large corps of teachers, male and female. The students were governed as if they were at home, to remind them that they were daughters of a common family. The president, teachers, and all, sat at the same table and ate of the same food. Daily work began with the reading of the Scripture, singing, and prayer. Frequent lectures were delivered by the president and others on the subjects of history, morals, manners, and religion.
The course of study was intended to embrace every thing essential to the proper development of the intellectual and moral powers of woman, and to give her the education that she really needs. It was not so much to fill the mind with knowledge as to aid in the formation of those habits of patient thought and investigation that in after years will enable them to add to their own store in every or any department that inclination or duty may suggest. The time necessary to complete the course of study after having gained the rudiments in the preparatory department was four years.
There were connected with the institution two literary societies -- the Calliopean and Philalethean -- with well-furnished halls and libraries adapted to their use. Besides the libraries in the college, the students had access to the library and the mineral cabinet of the Miami University for reference and consultation. Honors were awarded to members of the senior class for superior scholarship in the regular course, and also for marked success in any of the regular branches.
The faculty at the time of suspension consisted of the Rev. Robert D. MORRIS, D. D., president; Mrs. Elizabeth MORRIS, Miss Gertrude E. WALL, Miss Edell ELLIS, Miss Phebe CONOVER, Miss Sallie McKEE; Prof. Karl MERZ, vocal and instrumental music; Prof. A. BEAUGUREAU, French, drawing and painting. The Rev. H. S. OSBORN, LL. D., lectured on chemistry and natural philosophy. The officers of the board are the Rev. W. W. COLMERY, D. D., treasurer, Oxford, Ohio. In 1881 there were seventy-five students.
At sixteen years of age, after completing his preparatory education, to which his father had limited his school, and not wishing to graduate at so early and immature an age, he began to teach. The first year was in Eastern Ohio, and the last two years in Beaver and Washington Counties, Pennsylvania, the last eighteen months as principal of the Beaver Academy. In the Fall of 1821 he entered Washington College as a junior, and was graduated in September, 1823. His intention was to go into Kentucky and make a little money teaching, but as he was about to leave, the venerable Dr. WYLIE, president of the college, came to him and told him that it was his desire that he should prepare himself for the chair of mathematics and natural sciences, in place of Professor REED, the incumbent at that time, who was so feeble that Mr. SCOTT was often employed by the board to give him assistance. Professor REED died in the course of the succeeding Winter. Dr. WYLIE proposed that Mr. SCOTT should proceed at once to Yale, entering as a resident graduate, and prepare himself by taking a course of lectures, more especially in chemistry, under Professor SILLIMAN, who was then at the head of this department in the United States. He accordingly went to Yale, received the necessary aid, and graduated in 1824, with the degree of A. M.; and in 1826 he returned to Washington and entered upon the duties which had been assigned him in his absence.
During his stay at Washington he married Miss Mary P. NEAL, daughter of John NEAL, cashier of the Branch Bank of Philadelphia. These two good people lived happily together until about six months after they had celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their marriage, when Mr. SCOTT died, March 1, 1876.
Dr. SCOTT continued in the professorship for four years and a half, and in the Fall of 1828 received a call to a professorship from the Miami University, the same that he was then occupying in Washington College. He accepted this call, and reached Oxford shortly after the commencement of the Winter term of 1828 and 1829. This position Dr. SCOTT occupied for seventeen years and a half, till the Spring of 1845. In 1830, two years before, the board had created two new professorships, relieving Dr. SCOTT of the lower mathematics, and he was also licensed and ordained to the Gospel ministry, afterwards preaching occasionally.
But the institution in the midst of its prosperity and high promise fell upon evil times. A variety of unworthy causes and motives produced agitation and commotion, resulting finally in the reconstruction of the faculty, in which Drs. BISHOP and SCOTT were displaced from their former positions. Dr. BISHOP was the father of the Miami University; Dr. SCOTT was the next in age, and the injustice done to these worthy teachers was very great. Shortly after Professor BISHOP was called to assist in Cary's Academy, and insisted that Dr. SCOTT should give him his aid. He also gave his attention to the female college, as already stated in the history of that institution, but in 1859, resigned, because of the pecuniary embarrassments of that seat of learning.
The year following his resignation he spent partly in travel and resting, and six months of it in supplying the vacant Church of Honesdale, in Northeastern Pennsylvania. In 1860 he received a call to the professorship of natural sciences in Hanover College, Indiana, which he accepted and entered upon in the Fall of the same year. He filled this position for eight years, until July, 1868. He then accepted an invitation to Springfield, Illinois, to begin and take the superintendency of a Presbyterian academy, which it was proposed by the old Presbytery of Sangamon to found in that city. In two years that project was given up on account of the city establishing and putting in operation a good high school with free tuition. He then returned to Ohio, and for a year or more, till the Spring of 1872, preached to vacant Churches throughout the land.
Now, becoming satisfied that it was time to cease active life, he returned with his wife to Priceton, New Jersey, where he had a widowed daughter, to spend the remainder of his pilgrimage in ease and comfort. But in the Fall of 1874, when on an extended visit in Western Pennsylvania, he happened upon the village of Jefferson, where he found a small Presbyterian Church, unable to support a pastor, and a Baptist college just organized wanting a professor of natural sciences, but unable alone to support one. These two, the college and the Church, joined hands in their common necessity, and Mr. SCOTT remained with them in their common poverty. He was at this point in October, 1880, having been fifty-two years in the Gospel ministry and fifty-six as a teacher in the various grades of school and higher institutions, and shortly, if spared, will be eighty-three years old.
His wife was buried where she was married. An unmarried son, who died in 1877, after twelve years of suffering from the results of hardships and exposure in the late war, lies by her side. Here the father and husband hopes to rest until that final awakening when they shall sleep no more.
Success being assured, a board of trustees was appointed in July, 1853, and the building begun. The enterprise was laid before the principal and teachers of the Mt. Holyoke Seminary. They were asked to assist their young Western daughter, and to select the first corps of teachers from the Holyoke ranks. Miss Helen PEABODY, then of St. Louis, who had been associated with Mary LYON, first as a pupil and then as teacher, was selected as principal, with an efficient corps of teachers. The institution thus begun was dedicated on the 20th of September, 1855. The house was already full of pupils and the outlook most promising.
The seminary continued to prosper until the 14th of January, 1860, when the building was destroyed by fire. The new building was not dedicated until May 21, 1862. The general assembly of the Presbyterian Church was at that time in session in Cincinnati, and attended the exercises by invitation. The dedicatory address was delivered by the Rev. H. H. FIELD, of New York. In June, 1861, the seminary came into possession of a permanent fund of $20,000, the income of which was to be applied to the salaries of teachers. This was the bequest of Gabriel TICHENOR, of Walnut Hills, who himself died before the original building was completed.
On the 16th of June, 1880, a family reunion was held. There were present on that occasion the Rev. Dr. J. P. E. KUMLER, president of the board of trustees, of which his father was one of the first and most faithful members, with his wife; Miss Abbie GOLDING, of the first corps of teachers; the Rev. J. M. BISHOP, and G. Y. ROOTS, of the original as well as the present board of trustees, with their wives; the venerable Dr. LITTLE, of Madison, Indiana, and Dr. PRATT, of Portsmouth, Ohio, whose familiar faces date back to the second anniversary, now trustees; Messrs. Philip HINKLE and Preserved SMITH. These, with other trustees and friends, the teachers, and such pupils and alumnae as were to assist in the exercises, occupied seats upon the platform.
"Our young ladies," says the Memorial, "assembled for the first time, on Wednesday, September 19, 1855. We think them a very fine set of girls from all we have yet seen of them. On Thursday at 2 P. M., the friends and patrons assembled in the seminary hall for the dedicatory services. The distinguished professor, Milton SAYLER, of Cincinnati, made a very interesting address to the teachers and pupils, and Dr. ALLEN, of Lane Seminary, offered the dedicatory prayer. A hymn, composed for the occasion by the Rev. Thomas SPENCER, was sung."
"This young hive," as it calls itself, began to operate upon a system which, as yet, the Western people knew nothing about. The domestic department was kept in busy operation during those first days to provide for one hundred and fifty young ladies, who had almost simultaneously arrived, together with many of their parents, some of whom remained a few days, to see the experiment tried. Many of the young men who were at that time attending the Miami University gave the teachers much trouble by frequent visits. One of them called to see not less than six cousins.
The closing exercises of the first year took place in the pleasant grove in the rear of the seminary, on the 17th of July, 1856. The address was delivered by Dr. Samuel FISHER, who was afterward an honored member of the board of trustees.
Nothing of special note occurred in the year 1857. In 1858 the first mention of their missionaries is made -- Mrs. QUICK, of Ceylon, who was a member of the school in 1856, and Miss Mary SPOONER, now Mrs. WORCESTER, who found her labors among the Cherokees. In 1859 two more were added to the list of missionaries: Mr. WOODIN, formerly Miss UTLEY, a teacher, sailed in the Fall for China, and Mrs. SHEDD, Jenny DAWES, of the class of 1858, for Persia. Dr. PERKINS, of Persia, visited the seminary the same year, and left behind him many pleasant memories.
The new year of 1860 found the family busily engaged in preparing one of the members of the senior class to sail in February for Persia -- Miss Harriet Newell CRAWFORD. A visitor to Miss PEABODY's room would have imagined that she had turned seamstress.
During these early years we find frequent allusions to Christmas gatherings, Thanksgiving festivities, examinations and anniversaries. Interesting lectures are also mentioned. Dr. REA lectured on physiology; Dr. Thomas ARNOLD's life was beautifully portrayed by the Rev. Mr. ROOT; Dr. MUSSEY, of Cincinnati, lectured on hygiene, and there were also lectures by the Rev. Mr. RICE and the Rev. F. S. McCABE.
The school year of 1859 and 1860 was brought to a sudden close by the fire of January 14th. The doors of the Oxford Female College were hospitably opened to receive the homeless family, and, turning away from the burning building, the sorrowful procession made its way thither to seek shelter from the snow and sleet. The appearance of the company was grotesque enough to provoke a smile in the midst of sorrow; the motley garb, the ill-matched suits, table covers, and blankets for wraps, stockingless feet and bare heads.
After the fire it was decided to rent the house of James FISHER in the beautiful grounds next to the seminary, for the use of the senior class the remainder of the year. The class of 1861 also completed its course in this temporary home. The years 1862 and 1863 passed quietly by, with but little to interrupt the school and family life. The Spring of 1864 was another marked era in the history of the school. Before the Spring vacation two girls died. Soon after the opening of the Spring term typhus or spotted fever broke out in the school in a malignant form, and within a few days it was necessary to close temporarily.
During these years the civil war was in progress, and the girls were alive to the needs of the land. At the coming together of the students in the Fall of 1865, it was found that the school had been freed of debt. During the Summer of 1866 Mrs. TENNEY died. She had been a scholar of Mary LYONS, and was, perhaps, the mainspring of the institution at the time of its origin.
On the 29th of February, 1868, a negro robber was shot in the building, after many unsuccessful attempts to capture him previously. The whole pursuit scarcely occupied three minutes, and none but those who took part in the capture knew the cause of the alarm. Some of the girls slept through it all, and heard of it for the first time at breakfast table in the morning.
In 1870 and 1871 there were many important changes. Miss GALB, who for eleven years had filled the position of teacher, was compelled to resign on account of ill health. During the Fall and Winter the supply of water failed and measles made their appearance. On the night of April 6th, 1870, the building was consumed the second time by fire. It is impossible to put in words the horror of these hours. They must be imagined. The new and present building was dedicated on the day before Thanksgiving, 1871.
In the Spring of 1876 members of the first six classes gathered at the seminary for a reunion in honor of the fiftieth birthday of their principal. Many of the alumnae of these years treasure among the most pleasant recollections of their school days the memory of an hour or an evening spent at the house of Mrs. LEWIS, or Mr. McCORD, of Oxford.
The Western Female Seminary has given to the world many noble-minded missionaries.
The whole number of students from 1855 to 1880 has been nineteen hundred and forty-eight; number of graduates, four hundred and six; graduates deceased, thirty-seven; average attendance per year, one hundred and fifty-five; whole number of teachers, eighty-eight; number of teachers who were graduates, thirty-two; deceased, four; number of missionaries, thirty-eight; number of missionaries deceased, two; whole number of trustees, forty-two; trustees deceased, sixteen; number of pupils, not graduates, from Ohio, six hundred and thirty-two; from Indiana, four hundred and ninety; Illinois, one hundred and fifty. A Memorial Volume, containing a history of the seminary, may be obtained by sending $1 to Miss Mary MILLIGAN, of Oxford, Ohio.
In the year 1852 Mr. HALL removed to Huntsville, Alabama, for two reasons: taking charge of the Presbyterian Church and assuming control of the presidency of the North Alabama College, which was about to be located at that place. While here he was elected to the presidency of the Miami University, of Oxford, Ohio. This position was unsought, and Mr. HALL knew nothing of the honor conferred upon him until he received official information of the fact. By the same mail came congratulatory letters from old friends, urging him to accept the situation. After mature deliberation and the advice of his most intimate friends, he removed with his family, in the latter part of 1854, to Oxford, and on the first day of January, 1855, entered upon his duties.
When Dr. HALL took charge of the university he found that the preparatory and normal departments were largely attended by students, but he found that the finances were in a bad condition. He immediately proposed a change, and at the end of his administration, in 1866, there had accumulated a surplus in the treasury of over $10,000.
Notwithstanding the eminently successful presidency of Dr. HALL, a majority of the board of trustees, during 1866, became dissatisfied, and, if possible, would have forced his resignation; but Mr. HALL, hearing of their intentions, refused to allow his name to go before the board as a candidate for election, and Dr. R. L. STANTON was chosen his successor. Previous to this action the board had been presented with a memorial, signed by nearly all the alumni who had graduated in the twelve preceding years, the students of the university at this time, and the leading citizens of the town, protesting against the change. Dr. HALL bade farewell to Old Miami, and has since resided in Covington, Kentucky, honored and respected by all.
On Thursday, July 5, 1866, 3 P. M., the trustees elected a new faculty, all the chairs having been declared vacant at the end of the college year. As soon as the above action was made known the students assembled on the streets and at the depot, when the train was leaving, cheering for Dr. HALL and hooting, yelling, and swearing at the trustees. In the evening Dr. HALL was serenaded by the Oxford brass band.
Dr. CLAYBAUGH was born in 1803, in Maryland, and was of German descent. He was taken to Ohio when a child, and lived near Chillicothe. He graduated at Jefferson College in 1822, and was ordained and installed pastor of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, of Chillicothe, in 1825, and remained pastor until 1839. At Oxford he was both pastor of the Church and professor in the seminary. He was a good scholar, an excellent professor, and eloquent preacher, an accomplished Christian gentleman, and a man of deep piety. He was a diligent student and earnest worker, though an invalid. He died on the 9th of September, 1855, of scrofula, in the fifty-third year of his age. He had labored as professor in Oxford sixteen years.
After his death, Rev. Alexander YOUNG was elected professor of Hebrew and Greek Exegesis, and Rev. William DAVIDSON, pastor of the Hamilton Church, was appointed professor of ecclesiastical history. In view of the increase of population and of the Church in the West, the seminary was removed, in 1858, to Monmouth, in Illinois. Professor Young's connection with the seminary continued after its removal to the West. Partly owing to financial difficulties, the seminary was removed back to Ohio in 1874, and consolidated with the seminary at Xenia.
During the time that it was at Oxford, about nineteen years in all, more than one hundred students received theological instruction in connection with it. Almost all these entered the ministry. Some of them are now prominent in their respective Churches. Among those outside of the United Presbyterian Church may be mentioned Dr. G. L. KALB, of Bellefontaine, Ohio; Dr. J. D. BROOKS, of St Louis, and Rev D. SWING, Chicago.
The following are the names of post-offices and postmasters in Oxford Township:
CONTRERAS. -- John R. HAND, November 14, 1841; Ezra BOURNE, June 3, 1854; John BAKE, October 11, 1864.
COLLEGE CORNER, from Preble County, May 19, 1830 -- John JONES, May 19, 1830; Gideon S. HOWE, February 16, 1833; Christian EBY, June 24, 1839; Joseph L. NYE, September 6, 1841; James McCAW, November 3, 1841; John M. C. HOWE, November 13, 1849; William A. WEIDNER, October 24, 1867; Samuel R. RAMSEY, April 8, 1873; John C. HUSTON, June 8, 1881.
OXFORD. -- John E. IRWIN, April 1, 1817; David MORRIS, January 12, 1818; James M. DORSEY, September 11, 1822; Moses CRUME, March 13, 1827; Joseph HARRIS, October 18, 1833; George G. WHITE, December 11, 1833; William J. MOLLYNEAUX, January 21, 1857; SUTTON C. RICHEY, April 13, 1861; Daniel P. BEATON, July 15, 1870.