xt71rn30317m https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt71rn30317m/data/mets.xml Stephenson, Martha. 19  books b92-109-27905206 English Harrodsburg Herald, : Harrodsburg, Ky. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Education Kentucky Harrodsburg History. Mercer County (Ky.) History. Education in Harrodsburg and neighborhood since 1775  / by Miss Martha Stephenson. text Education in Harrodsburg and neighborhood since 1775  / by Miss Martha Stephenson. 19 2002 true xt71rn30317m section xt71rn30317m 

Harrodsburg and Neighborhood
            Since 1775

      By Miss Martha Stephenson

              Press of
            Harrodsburg, Ky.

 This page in the original text is blank.


    Education In Harrodsburg and Neighborhood

                             Since 1775

                    MISS MARTHA STEPHENSON.
       Read before the Harrodsburg Historical Society, May, 1910.

                              CHAPTER I
Fellow members and friends:
    Pardon me for presuming that a preface is necessary, but I fear there
are more than a few people in and out of Harrodsburg who regard lightly
the work and aims of the Historical Society. Some of these sneer good-
naturedly at the foolishness of searching among the records of bygone gen-
erations and holding in reverence historical memorials. These are vaunted
up-to-date people. Another class talk much about practical work and doing
good, as the only worthy objects for organized endeavor. They feel a sort
of tolerant contempt for what they consider a mere culture club, and they
can see nothing else in the Historical Society. I would make reply to the
first, that the very recent meeting in the City of New York of the American
Historical Association, including in its membership the most practical and
enlightened men of the nation-President Taft and Roosevelt being among
them-is significant of the spirit of the present time. Daniel Webster, in
a letter to a friend, referring to certain historical spots, said: "I never
knew a man yet, nor woman either with sound head and good heart who was
not more or less under the power which those local associations exercise. I
have a pair f silver sleeve-buttons, the materials of which my father picked
up and brought away from Bennington. If I thought either of the boys
would not value them fifty years hence (if he should live so long) I believe
I should begin to flog him now." To the second class I quote from a promi-
nent literary man and critic, these words: "Whatever makes the past, the
distant or the future predominate over the present advances us in the dignity
of thinking beings." Furthermore there is other obvious practical vaiue in the
study of our memrrable past. History has been defined as "philosophy
learned from examples." Turning the thought into other words, "we are
looking forward to posterity with knowledge gained by looking back to an-
cestry." In this day of Kentucky's educational awakening, we can find no
stronger stimulant to us to press for better schools and to cultivae a keener
appreciation of their value than by searching out and reflecting on our past
educational history. In the study of Kentucky history nothing has impressed
me more than the notable list of educated men who were leaders in the
founding and building up of our commonwealth. "Knowledge is power, and
ignorance is weakness," found its exemplification in them and its acceptance
as a fact by them. This being true of the state as a whole, is first of all true
of Harrodsburg and neighborhood. The great leaders who laid the founda-
tions of the institutions that made for permanent government, settled here



first and began the working out of their plans at this place. Then there need
be no surprise that there has been a succession of interesting schools in or
near Harrodsburg since the founding of the fort. Concurrent with the com-
ing of the women and children to Kentucky in the spring of 1775, was the
presence among them of a teacher for children. She was Mrs. Jane Coomes,
wife of William Coemes, and she has two large credits to her account in
early Kentucky annuals. First, with the aid of some men or boys in the
party who could be spared from sterner duties, she manufactured the first
salt that was made in Kentucky. This was during a stop for a few weeks
of the party journeying to Harrod's Station at Drennon's Springs located
near the present site of Frankfort. Second, she was the first teacher who
kept school in the State. She and her husband and sons were good Roman
Catholics and remained in the fort nine years, during which time Wm. Coomes
took an honorable part in the hardships and defense of the station, and
one of his sons was in the battle of Blue Licks. The history throws a side
light on the influence of the wife and mother and therefore on the teacher.
Is it a freak of the imagination to connect the fact of her being the first to
make salt-a saving element-with the other fact of her being the first to
save the mental life of the children of the fort Bishop Spalding in his
Sketches is authority for the brief history of this family, and he obtained
his information from Wm. Coomes, the son, a lad of sixteen when he came
to Kentucky and an old man when Bishop Spalding talked with him. No
description is given of the Coomes school, but the fact that it was kept des-
pite the hardships and irregularities of pioneer life and Indians skulking
about the fort, proves the estimate put on education by the founders of our
    The second school opened in the State was also a Mercer county institu-
tion. It was at McAfee Station, and so far as I have read, historians are
unanimous in giving the date 1777; but I can not make this tally with the
fact that the McAfees did not bring their families and settle permanently un-
til 1779. Here is a nut to crack! It is a testimony to the superior ambition
of the McAfees that John May was the teacher, for he must have had both
scholarship and executive ability. He must have been a young man, just
testing his powers when he taught the McAfee children; for later, we find him
one of the four representatives from Kentucky in the Virginia Legislature,
commissioned to name the District Attorney and the Judges of the Supreme
Court of the District of Kentucky, which met first at Harrodsburg in March
1783. He was also one of the twenty-five men, "selected for their prominence
in the District" in 1783, to be Trustees of Transylvania Seminary. That he
was a man of enterprise is established by the fact that he and Simon Kenton
founded Maysville in 1787, and from him it derives its name. He was led by
the treachery of two white men into an ambuscade of Indians and killed in
1790, while descending the Ohio River with a cargo of merchandise. A fact
of local interest to us is that he was a great uncle on the maternal side of
our ex-townsmen, Paul, Rodney a-id May Jones, of Cincinnati, New York,
and Tulsa, Okla., respectively. Thi. last statement is in an obituary of Mrs.
Augustus Jones published in the Harrodsburg Enterprise of        1883.
    Until 1781, Harrodstown, because of its strong fort and its brave, en-
ergetic, capable leaders, was the center or converging point of men and
measures; but about that time the siege that had been almost continuous
since 1777, became intermittent and less fierce, the Indians seeming to rea-
lize the hopelessness of trying to drive out the settlers. Ten there began
to be a moving-out of the fort and dispersion into the wide areas inviting
home building. Everywhere that a settlement was made, a school was
started. The educational spirit of this time was vital. A great educational




system was conceived in the minds of some believers in the benefits of learn-
ing, which was intended to reach a higher need than could be met by the
temporary, elementary, schools that prevailed in the infant commonwealth.
    The third school organized in Mercer county was the infant Transyl-
vania University, whose history is unparalled in interest in the educational
annals of the State. It may seem far fetched for me to claim it as a part of
our local educational history; but its beginning was so closely connected with
Harrodsburg at several points that I believe I will be justified in doing so.
Until 1,83 most of the important movements of the State originated at Har-
rodsburg, then Danville secured the District Court and became the meeting
place of the Conventions, hence the center of political discussion and intel-
lectual thought. But Danville was then, and until 1842, in Mercer county.
The life of Harrodsburg and of Danville was very closely interwoven. Some
of the ablest men who made history for Danville lived in Harrodsburg. The
same men in several instances were Trustees for both places. There were
intellectual giants then building the future civilization of this western wil-
derness. As a foundation for it Transylvania University was conceived in
the most liberal spirit to meet the needs of a people distant from the estab-
lished institutions of learning.
    Its interesting and checkered career is too familiar and lengthy. to be
repeated now, especially as I treated it somewhat in detail in a former paper
on "Education in Kentucky." My present purpose is to show that this first
institution of higher learningf established west of the Appalachian Mount-
ains was cradled in Mercer county. It had its inception in 1780 in the noble
mind and patriotic soal of the Rev. John Todd, of Louisa county, Virginia,
and that of his nephew, Col. John Todd, who left the fort at Harrodsburg
to help found Lexington. Owing to the difficult conditions of living in this
far-away western county of Virginia, it did not have its birth until 1785. It
was then only a little one, a little school fostered in the house of the Rev.
David Rice, who lived on the farm owned then by Hon. John Bowman, and
the same owned now by Mr. Wm. T. Robinson. At that time it was all in
Mercer county; now it is very near the dividing line between Mercer and
Boyle counties. The present house is on the site of the old one-perchance
has incorporated it. It may be well to recall to you that in 1780 through
the advice and influence of the Rev. John Todd and the efforts and ability of
his nephew, Col. John Todd, delegate from Kentucky county to the Virginia
Legislature, an act was passed by the Virginia Legislature authorizing the
confiscation of eight thousand acres of land in Kentucky belonging to British
subjects, "as a free gift for the purpose of a public school or a seminary of
learning to be erected in the said county as soon as the circumstances of the
county and the state of its funds will admit, and for not other use or pur-
pose whatever." For obvious reasons already noted, no steps were taken
to apply the gift until 1783, when the Hon. Cabel Wallace, representative
from Lincoln county in the District of Kentucky to the Virginia Legislature,
took the initiative, and by great effort and ability and personal influence
secured the passage of a second act incorporating the seminary under the
name Transylvania with an additional endowment of 12,000 acres of land,
and twenty-five instead of thirteen trustees. But the lands remaining un-
sold and the appeal for supplementary funds from private sources, being but
little heeded, it was Feb. 1, 1785, before Transylvania Seminary had its na-
tal day. Its still limited financial resources admitted of only a grammar
school conducted in the house of Rev. David Rice and taught by Rev. James
Mitche'il, his son-in-law. Rev. David Rice, known as "Father Rice," not only
because of his character as a spiritual leader, but because he has been until
now, generally credited with having preached the first Presbyterian sermon




in Kentucky. An error by one historian is too apt to be picked up by others
and handed on. This is a case in point. We have it on the authority of Dr.
Whitsett, who refers to the records of the Hanover Presbytery that Rev.
James Mitchell, and not his more illustrious father-in-law, was the first
Presbyterian minister to preach in Kentucky, and there are circumstances
that lend an interest of probability that Cane Run was the place. Mr.
Mitchell for teaching the Transylvania grammar school received a salary of
pound;30 a quarter, or 400 a year. (In early Kentucky the value of the pound
was 3.33 1-3). It may be he was too large a personality for so humble a
position; for he seems to have taught less than two years when he went to
North Carolina, and here we lose trail of his later history. Hb had been a
tutor in Hampden and Sidney, Virginia, before he came to Kentucky, as far
back as 1781. It is most probable that he induced his father-in-law to come
to this western country. Whether the school was conducted at all after his
departure until 1788, I have no records to tell. It was then moved to Lex-
Ington for a more favorable financial environment and in 1798 was merged
with its sometime rival, Kentucky Academy, and was reorganized as Tran-
sylvania University. How intimately its career again becomes associated
with Harrodsburg will appear later when I come to write of Bacon College.
    Thus far I have been following the path already made by historians,
with Just a glint of new light flashed at a few points, but now I enter a field
scarcely penetrated by the historian, and the trail of history must be pur-
sued through musty records in the county archives, through research in old
books, long out of print, and through interviews with men and women whose
memories reach back into the misty past. Thlis field has remained too long
neglected. Much that would be of interest and value, if it had been pre-
served for us out of the life that is gone, has been forever lost. Much more
is slipping now into oblivion, records being lost and worn out, old writings
growing scarcer, and our old people, too, are wearing out and slipping into
the beyond. This pricks me to my task, and ennobles it.
    For the interval between 1788 and 1798, there is nothing on printed
page or of clear tradition that I have found concerning the organization of
any school in Harrodsburg or neighborhood. That there were schools I do
not doubt. Mrs. Coomes remained in the fort until 1784, and probably kept
school during all the nine years, and the high character of the leaders of the
pioneer settlement leaves no doubt that provision was still made for the edu-
cation of their children. At all events we see the educational trend exhi-
bited in that same year, Dec. 1798, when a (Mercer county) seminary was
organized under the act of the Virginia Legislature to "Establish and endow
certain academies," and a notable list of men were vested trustees of the
public lands donated under the general act of February of the same year, as
follows: "Samuel Taylor- John Adair, Gabriel Slaughter, George Thomp-
son, John Thomas, Phil Bush, Mathias rush, George Bohannon. Peter Casey,
Samuel P. Duval, Peter Bonta and Augustine Passmore, shall be and are
hereby constituted a body politic and incorporate and shall be known by the
name of the trustees of the Harrodsburg Academy."    "the permanent
site of the academy shall be established on the public square in t1ie town of
Harrodsburg, containing fifteen acres, which is hereby vested in the trus-
tees thereof and their successors, who are empowered to sell any part thereof
not exceeding thirteen acres, and appropriate the money arising therefrom
towards erecting buildings for said academy on the remaining part." This
fifteen acres consisted of four blocks or' squares. The "Old Fort Hill" is
one of them. Miss Irene Moore's home embraces two of them, and the
fourth one is between "Old Fort Hill" and Warwick street. We pursue this




trail and find that on March 9, 1905, at a meeting of the trustees of Har-
rodsburg it was resolved that the trustees of Harrodsburg Seminary be per-
mitted to fence in the Public Square. Again at a meeting of the trustees,
October 24, 1914, it was provided that whereas information had been re-
ceived that several persons were proceeding to erect works of different de-
scriptions upon the public square belonging to the academy without the per-
mission of the trustees and were otherwise trespassing on said property
that a committee be appointed to inquire into the facts. Later the result
of the investigation disclosed that a Presbyterian church was being erected
and had proceeded from the foundation up to the first window sills. Some
brick kilns were the other works, but we pass them. The trustees or agents
of the Presbyterian church are named as Garrett Darland, L. Reese! Samuel
McDowell, Cornelius Demaree, William  Nourse.  Some at least of them
we know to have been men of dominant influence. No other minutes of
what was done about the matter being extant, we satisfy our speculation
completely by putting two and two together and we reach the other end of
the equation. We have had description by several people, viz.: Mr. Mullins,
Mr. James Moberly, Mr. Hieronyymous, of Mercer county; Mr. William
Askew, of Georgetown, etc., of a two-roomed old brick building with a bel-
fry that stood on "Old Seminary Hill," and was used for a school house until
in the sixties, I think. The point of interest about it, is that every one of
them says that it had the tradition of being a very old building when he
vent to school in it, but not one of them could make a guess at the time of its
building. Mr. Askew replied to the query concerning its age, ."I am some
old, but I am not old enough to date that building. When I was a boy at
school there, we thought it had been used as a defense against the Indians,
and were rather sorry that it was not then used for that purpose." Our
conclusion is that a compromise was struck between the town trustees, the
guardians of the Public Square belonging to the seminary, and the trustees
of the Presbyterian church, whose building had progressed from foundation
up to the first window sills, and that the building was used for a church and
a seminary. This was not an infrequent partnership in those days, as we
shall note further on. This accounts for a belfry on a school house. This
answers the question when Harrodsburg Seminary, which had been endowed
and furnished with trustees in 1798, began to have a visible place of opera-
tion. It is referred to in later records as an existing institution.

                              CHAPTER II
    Four years later, January, 1818, the County Court of Mercer county was
directed to. appoint three Commissioners to sell half of the Public Square In
the town and to apply 2,000 of the proceeds of the sale towards building the
Court House in the town, and pay over the balance to the trustees of the
Hariodsburg Seminary, to be applied by them to the use of the Seminary.
By act of November 26, 1822, it was provided that "the trustees of the Har-
rodsburg Seminary are authorized to sell not exceeding five hundred acres
of the lands belonging to the said Seminary." The trustees were given dis-
cretionary power as to the manner and terms of the sale, and were author-
ized "to apply the whole of the proceeds of sale to the payment of their
debts in the first place, and the balance (if any) in repairs to the house or
in the purchase of books or philosophical apparatus." The individual char-
acter of this Seminary was lost in 1828. By an act approved February 9,
1928, "Thomas Cleland, Thomas P. Moore, John B. Thompson, William Rob-
inson, Sr., Beriah Magoffin, Benj. Pleasants, Christopher Graham, William
Hord, Joel P. Williams, Madison S. Worthington, John L Smedley and their




successors shall be and are constituted a body corporate under the name
'The trustees of the Harrodsburg Female Academy.' Sec. 3. 'It shall be
lawful for the trustees of the Mercer County Seminary, two-thirds agreeing
thereto, to transfer to the corporation hereby created all the estate and
property belonging to said Seminary, to be used, held, possessed for the use
and purpose herein provided, etc."' Page 118, Acts of 1828. In the history
of the Presbyterian Church, written by Robert H. Bishop, in 1828, there is
incidental allusion to a Seminary. He received his information from Rev.
Thomas Cleland. About 1818 the Presbyterian Church at Cane Run, which,
since 1813, as also the New Providence Church, had been under the pastoral
care of Rev. Thomas Cleland, was moved to Harrodsburg and the name
of the congregation changed. The first house which they occupied in Har-
rodsburg was built by them in conjunction with others on the republican
plan (joint privilege of two or more denominations to use the same house
for worship) and was also to serve the double purpose of a meeting house
and a seminary. The arrangement did not prove very satisfactory, but an
embarrassment was removed when in less than two years a hurricane lev-
eled the building with the ground. It is interesting to note that the Repub-
lican Church and Seminary was on the site of the old Baptist Church, now
used as the "Harrodsburg Republican" printing office.
    A side light thrown on the status of education in Harrodsburg during
the period we have been considering is an act of Dec 29, 1823. It recites
that "Priestly H. McBride, William Pauling, James H. Humphries, Joseph
Haskins, Jacob H. Sutfield, John Hanna, Grant Allin, Ellis Corn, George L.
Waugh, Archibald Woods, David Sutton and Samuel Hart, and the rest of
the subscribers who have subscribed or who may hereafter subscribe to the
Harrodsburg Library Company shall be body politic and incorporate by the
name of 'The Harrodsburg Library Company, etc.' 'The shareholders of the
Harrodsburg Library shall meet at the Library room in the town of Har-
rodsburg on the first Saturday in April next and every succeeding Saturday
in April at such place or places as they may appoint, for the purpose of
electing nine directors, all of whom shall be shareholders and continue in
office one year, who shall take an oath faithfully and impartially to do their
duties, etc." Page 368, Acts 1824.
    Thanks to a versatile and accomplished woman, Mrs. Maria T. Daviess,
who wrote "Desultory Chapters about Harrodsburg," for the Harrodsburg
Enterprise, we get from the issue, January 5, 1882, an interesting glimpse
of several early schools; which, but for her interest in preserving history,
would be now among the things forgotten. Mrs. Daviess was peculiarly
competent for the work, both by reason of her culture and her nearness to
the times when the history was in the making. She throws a light on the
period "so far back as the beginning of the last century," when a superior
boarding school for girls was kept by Dr. Essex, an Englishman, assisted by
his wife, in the house on the southeast corner of Lexington and Chiles
streets, known still as the Harris-McMordie Place. A very illuminating
comment is the following: "Upon the basis of a substantial education there
was raised a superstructure of accomplishments. I have a specimen of em-
broidery of which cloth and floss are home-made, snow-white and a work
of a variety of stitches." It was a part of the social standard of that era
to regard the ornamental accomplishment as very essential to a girl's edu-
cation. It is remarkable that such a school as Mrs. Daviess gives us war-
rant to picture, should have been here so early; for Dr. Alvin Lewis in his
monograph on "Higher Education in Kentucky," says: "There were for a
long time few schools at all for girls in the State, and those usually of the




The Old Seminary on Old Fort Hill




poorest and most primitive kind. Girls were excluded entirely from the
early academies and the only schools to which they had access, with few ex-
ceptions, were the 'old field type.' For a considerable period the only schools
in the State claiming to give an ordinary gramman school education were
those of Rev. John Lyle, of Paris, and Mrs. Keats, at Washington, Mason
county." These opened in the years 1806-7, respectively.
     Mrs. Daviess mentions, without date or comment, a school taught in
Harrodsburg by Mrs. Holcomb.
    It i;, an observed fact that a large majority of the early teachers were
foreigners. "'The first teachers for boys that I recall," slys Mrs. Daviess,
"were foreign. Mr. Gorin, French, taught the men of the late James Tay-
lor's day." Having knowledge that Maj. Taylor was born in 1798 and would
be about sixteen in 1814, may we not think it probable that Mr. Gorin taught
in the Seminary on "Old Fort Hill."
    The next school described by Mrs. Daviess must have been somewhere
about 1830, counting back to the years of Mrs. Daviess' childhood. She nar-
rated her own experience in the following manner: "My first experience
was in a low dingy room where long rows of girls and boys on backless
benches, sat kicking their bare feet on dusty floors, and murmuring every
one of them more than audibly, their elementary lessons. From almost early
dawn till dewy eve, the good man heard lessons, beginning at his desk and
going around and around again. We little ones would give him our hand
and spring lightly into his lap, read on in our primers until our time was
out. A good lesson was often rewarded with a bit of candy or ginger cake,
and when we wanted to get a holiday we barred doors and windows, and
he capitulated."
    Praise to the memory of and peace to the ashes of good Nathan Harris!
    This pictures a typical "old fie'id" school, and I hope with further effort
to be able yet to find its precise location. Resuming Mrs. Daviess' narra-
tive: "The next teacher shall be nameless, so poor, so ignorant, so humbly
asking pardon for it in his very demeanor, I cannot hold him up to ridicule.
The next teacher added a good maiiy things to our list of studies, but em-
ployed himself chiefly in talking infidelity to a great strapping boy he cadled
Socrates. Under this administration I committed a hard grammar to mem-
ory, parsed even in Milton's Paradise Lost, and never had an idea that what
I was learning had the silghtest application to my own tongue or pen.
    "In old times there was a favorite method of utilizing all professional
failures by making teachers cut of them.
    "Another experience I had was unaer an aborted lawyer. I lived in
such dread of this knight of the birch, lest he should cut off my ink-stained
fingers, across which he was wont to draw his jack-knife, that I have no
recollection of his educational procedure, save that every evening the whole
school stood up in a semi-circle and spelled and that a gallant fellow ended
head nearly every evening and gave me his place; which I took as tri-
umphantly as if won by my own merits. That choolman believed in sub-
stitution. There was a nearly simple chi'd, the daughter of a hard mother
who herself kept a school close by. The pedagogue stood that trembling
child before him for the third time that day, for chastisement, and throw-
ing up his hand exclaimed, 'I'm tired of whipping this girl, will no one be
whipped for her' Up rose a strong boy of fourteen, red-headed and
freckled but with dauntless eyes; stepping before the gim'i he drew off his
coat and received the thrashing. Oh! great hearted Vance Noel, where are
you now If you live, the world is better for your presence. The girl
bounded out of the window with a scream, and with a heroism, unaccounta-




ble to myself, I threw her bonnet after her." The foregoing picture con-
firms what Dr. Alvin Lewis says about the early schools for girls.
    Capt. Philip B. Thompson, brother of Mrs. Daviess, told of having at-
tended school in 1828 in the one remaining block house of the fort. Later,
Dr. Trapnali imported Mr. Daly, under whom his own sons, the Thompsons.
the Daviess, Tom Marshall and some of his brothers received their educa-
tion. Then followed Dr. Pollin, an Irish graduate of Dublin University, and
some other well educated men who afforded educational advantages for the
boys of Harrodsburg and neighborhood until Bacon College was located
here in 1839.
    The name Bacn College cailed to an old Harrodsburgan brings instantly
a dart in the eyes and a little quiver of the tell-tale muscles about the mouth,
because it evokes disquieting memories. Its coming brought aspiration and
uplift to the town and its removal left a vacuum and bitterness with a tank
of resentment. It had its genesis in religious partizanship in 1835 at George-
town, Kentucky. Georgetown College was the fifth in order among the Bap-
tist Colleges established in the United States, and the first west of the Aile-
ghenies. Bacon College, an off-sihoot from it, is the earliest collegiate insti-
tute of the Christian Church. Religious differences drove Prof. Thornton F.
Johnson, S. G. Mullins and another teacher in Georgetown College, to resign
from its faculty in 1836, and to organize a rival school in the town, to be
under the auspices of the new eaitth, known by its opponents as the Camp-
bel'iite, and by its membership, as the Christian Church. This school was
chartered in 1837 under the name of Bacon College; so called for Sir Francis
Bacon, the father of modern science. Georgetown being a stronghold of the
new church under the leadership of Alexander Campbell, Bacon College had
two hundred and three matriculates its first year. Among the eariy names
enrolled, some are familiar to us ain, because they won honor and reputation
in their several ways. They are John B. Bowman, John Aug. Williams,
Henry H. White, A. J. Alexander, Andrew Steele, John R. Viley, etc. The
department of civil engineering attracted much the largest number of stu-
dents. Railroad building had reached high-tide and there was ready em-
ployment with good pay for civil engineers., Henry H. White, a boy of six-
teen, employed in New Jersey, chanceu to see on a piece of wrapping paper
the advertisement, "A schooi for engineers at Georgctown, Kentucky." It
seemed to offer an answer to a desire he had been cherishing and his name
was enrolled in the matriculation register of 1838.
    Even with a large patronage a college can hardly flourish on 20. 30
and 50 for primary, preparatory and collegiate pupils respectively, without
biuldings and endowment. Therefore, it became necessary to raise funds
for Bacon College. The plan adopted was to raise 50,000 in scholarships
of 500 each. Georgetown not being able to meet this demand, the perma-
nent location of the college was offered to the place that would do so.
Through the efforts and influence mainly of Maj. Taylor-not a member of
the Christian Church, but animated by civic pride and interest in educa-
tion-Mercer county subscribed one hundred scholarships at 500 each, and
10,000 for buildings. Therefore the trustees voted on May 2, 1839, to re-
move Bacon College to Harrodsburg. On July 29, Maj. Taylor and three
other gentlemen bought for a thousand dollars (1,000) a tract of ten acres
which they deeded in 1846 for the same price to the Board of Trustees, of
which they were themselves members. This campus was situated in the
angle made by College street and the Cornishville pike opposite "Diamond
Point," now the home of James L. Nea'i. A building was begun at once on
the campus for the preparatory department, but it was several years before




the handsome "College Building adequate to the accommodation of several
hundred students," was completed. Meanwhile the College found a tempor-
ary home in the house that formerly belonged to the late James Curry, and
which occupied the present site of Mr. John Lafon's house. Bacon College
opened in Harrodsburg in 1839, with Dr. Sampel Hatch, president, and
Henry H. White, who had proved his worth as a tutor while studying civil
engineering, Professor of Mathematics; S. G. Mu'llins, Professor of Ancient
Languages, and George W. Matthews, Principal of the Preparatory. In
1841 S. G. Mullins resigned, and Mr. Hatch, who had been only provisional
president, took the chair of Chemistry and Natural Philosophy, and James
H. Shannon became President; George W. Matthews, Professor of Ancient
Languages, and Mr. E. Askew, Principal of the Preparatory. This was the
permanent and able faculty and the standards of the institution were high.
It had two fraternities, known as "The Franklin," and "