Mount Morris College

A brief history...

Mount Morris College, in Mount Morris, Illinois, had its beginnings in 1839 as Rock River Seminary, a Methodist school. After closing in 1878 due to lack of funds, the property was purchased by the Brethren and reopened as Mount Morris Seminary and Collegiate Institute. The college gradually evolved and began to enjoy steady progress. The campus expanded to include several buildings, and numerous student organizations were formed.

On January 15, 1912, fire destroyed one of the campus's main buildings, "Old Sandstone." Efforts to rebuild began immediately, and funds were quickly raised.

"New Sandstone" housed the library and the science labs and classrooms. A men's dormitory was built at the same time. Meanwhile, the college began to suffer from declining enrollments and financial problems, and the future seemed bleak until C. Ernest Davis became president in 1929. Enrollments increased and by 1931 things seemed more optimistic for Mt. Morris College.

A second fire, which destroyed the Ladies' Dormitory and the Gymnasium and heavily damaged New Sandstone and College Hall, occurred on April 12, 1931. Supreme effort was made to continue the college. However, after the financial strain became too much, the decision was made on May 5, 1932 by the trustees to merge with Manchester University. Mt. Morris College closed its doors.

Comments on Mt. Morris College publications...

Our Young People, a publication focused on "character moulding [sic]," was published from the late 1890's until 1903. The College Campus, which was more of a student newspaper, began publication in 1903. After the 1912 fire, publication lapsed until it began again in October 1916 and continued until 192?. Mountaineer, another student newspaper, began publication in 1926 and continued until Mt. Morris merged with Manchester University in 1932. The Archive's holdings of all three publications have been indexed.