College of Wooster

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  • College of Wooster
Educational Services
  • Colleges / Universities / and Professional Schools
  • 1866
Key Persons
    • 1189 Beall Ave., Wooster, 44691, Ohio, United States
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  • 1884. Wooster City and Wayne County Business Directory, 1884-1885. Shives, Merz & Shives, Compilers, Editors and Publishing Industries, Wayne County Herald, Wooster, Ohio, 1884. R 917.71 W88 1884-1885


  • Independent Minds Working Together


Quick Facts

  • 1865 - September, Rev. James Reed, minister of First Presbyterian Church in Wooster
  • 1865 - December 18, The Presbyterian Synod incorporated the University and named its first Board of Trustees
  • 1866 - December 18, Founded
  • 1868-1869 - Constructed a five-story building which housed a chapel, recitation rooms, literary societies, library rooms, a museum, three offices, eight coatrooms, and a laboratory. Unofficially named "the Bitters Bottle" by the students, and today remembered as "Old Main," it towered over the trees and surrounded landscape. Because of plans to include a medical school and graduate departments, the early institution was called The University of Wooster
  • 1870 - September 7, Wooster's first president, Dr. Willis Lord, was inaugurated, the University was dedicated, and the College's 34 students were introduced to their five professors
  • 1871 - June 28, The six students who had been admitted as seniors graduated
  • 1873 - Bad health, worry over the inability of the school's financial endowment to keep pace with its growth, prompted President Lord to resign.
  • 1873 - Oct. 7, Dr. Archibald Alexander Edward Taylor, a Presbyterian minister from Cincinnati, was inaugurated
  • 1874 - Emily Noyes, the College's first female graduate, closely followed by four women the following year, and within approximately six years there were about 80 more-- 40 enrolled in traditional courses and 40 in the preparatory department
  • 1874 - Due to the students request, Westminister Presbyterian Church was established on campus
  • 1874 - The class of 1874 gave their senior class gift as a huge boulder originally positioned south of Old Main where it remained until 1971 and then moved near McGraw Chapel
  • 1881 - At age 24, Annie B. Irish accepted President Taylor's invitation to teach the German language and become the first female faculty member. Before joining the faculty she completed her studies and became the first student to be awarded a Ph.D. at Wooster. By 1886, she died of scarlet fever.
  • 1883 - President Taylor resigned, during his tenure the campus grew to include the observatory and Severance Gymnasium. He enlarged the preparatory department, added summer school and the departs of music and graduate studies. After a short leave, he returned as professor of logic and political science and director of the post-graduate department, and editor of the Post Graduate and Wooster Quarterly (predecessor to the alumni magazine).
  • 1883 - President Sylvestor Fithian Scovel was a Presbyterian minister coming to Wooster from Pittsburgh
  • 1890 - The Wooster Voice is one of the oldest student-run newspapers in the United States.
  • 1892 - Clarence B. Allen, the first African American graduated
  • 1896 - The Hoover Cottage, the college's first dormitory for women and a goal of the late Annie Irish
  • 1896 - The Medical school closed down
  • 1899 - Following the death of his wife, President Scovel became ill and Rev. Louis Holden of Beloit College in Wisconsin was appointed president. He was also an ordained Presbyterian minister and businessman. During President's Scoval's tenure, the post-graduate courses leading to the doctorate of philosophy were discontinued. Additions added to Old Main, construction began of the library.
  • 1901 - December 11, during the early morning the West wing of the chapel started fire. By mid-day the entire buildings was engulfed and "Old Main" was destroyed
  • 1902 - By year's end the College had replaced Old Main with Kauke Hall and dedicated Taylor, Severance, and Scovel Halls. Surviving the fire was the College's first pipe organ which was not yet installed in destroyed building.
  • Within two years, Old Main was replaced by several new buildings which (after substantial renovations within the last 30 years) remain the primary structures for the classes, labs, and faculty offices. These include Kauke Hall (the iconic center of campus), Scovel, Severance (which together form a large courtyard in front of Kauke Hall), and Taylor Hall.[citation needed]
  • 1920s - William Jennings Bryan, a prominent Presbyterian layman, attacked the college for its teaching of evolution, which had been championed by president Charles F. Wishart, and called for the General Assembly of the church to cut off funding to the college. But Wishart defeated Bryan for the position of Moderator of the General Assembly, and the college continued to teach evolution.[citation needed]

Administration, Faculty & Staff


  • 1884 - Rev. S. F. Scovel


Musical Department

  • 1884 - Under the direction of Karl Merz




Newspaper articles


  1. Wooster Republican. Wooster, Ohio, 1917-09-19, p. 5.
  2. Wooster Daily News. Wooster, Ohio, 1918-06-28, p. 3.
  3. Wooster Republican. Wooster, Ohio, 1919-01-02, p. 6.