Southwestern College, located at Winfield, was founded in 1885. At the third session of the Southwest Kansas conference of the Methodist Episcopal church, held at Eldorado, Kan., in March, 1885, the committee on education made the following report: "We believe the time has fully come when an institution of learning under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal church should be established within the bounds of the southwest conference." As a result of this report, 6 members of the conference and 3 laymen were nominated as a board of trustees, and a committee of 7 was appointed to select a suitable location. The trustees appointed were Thomas Andos, C. A. King, B. C. Swartz, B. Kelly, M. L. Gates, J. D. Botkin, A. L. Redden, D. J. Chatfield and V. C. Cartwright, and the locating committee was composed of N. S. Buckner, N. Ascher, W. H. Cline, T. C. Miller, A. P. George, D. D. Atkin and H. Waitt. The city of Winfield offered to give 20 acres of land in the college hill addition; 20 acres in Highland park; donations of stone, lumber and other materials for the buildings; $20,000 in cash, and $20,000 to be paid in ten annual installments of $2,000 each. This offer was accepted and the board of trustees began a four-story building to contain assembly room, library, class rooms and laboratory. On May 11, 1886, John E. Harp was elected president and served until 1889. He was followed by Prof. J. A. Wood as acting president. The college building was not ready for occupancy in Sept., 1886, and a rented building was used until the following spring.
SOUTHWESTERN COLLEGE, WINFIELD.
In 1889 the number of trustees was increased to 15, and in 1901, the charter of the college was changed so that the board of trustees was made to consist of 21 members with the privilege of increasing it to 25, of whom 6 were to be elected from the Oklahoma conference. The trustees also invited the alumni association to nominate 3 persons from its number each year, one for each class of trustees. in 1902, in conformity with the new charter, the board of trustees was increased to 21.
The first name of the college was the Southwestern Kansas Conference College, which was changed on Nov. 5, 1908, to Southwestern College. The college now has an endowment fund of $100,000, of which $26,000 was provided by the citizens of Winfield. An athletic park was purchased in 1905 and opened in the fall of that year; a temporary gymnasium was built in 1908; Richardson Hall, a fine building costing $70,000, was completed in 1910; the institution is well supplied with all equipment for laboratory work; has a fine museum, with collections illustrating natural history, industrial arts, archaeology, ethnology. There are also fine zoölogical specimens and a well equipped library.
The college provides a four-year college course, a four-year academic course; an academic normal course, a school of oratory, a school of art, school of business, and a conservatory of music. One of the strongest departments is that of biblical theology, especially designed for young men fitting themselves for the ministry. In 1910 Frank F. Mossman was president and George E. Platts, dean. They were ably assisted by a faculty of 22 members, and the enrollment was over 700.Pages 718-720 from volume II of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed July 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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