William Alfred Millis,
The History of Hanover College
From 1827 to 1927

(Hanover, Indiana: Hanover College, 1927).

Hanover Historical Texts Project

Scanned and proofread by Sadiye Amcaoglu, Nida Khan,
Julie Merkel, Jonathan Perry, Faiza Shah, and Cory Sims in November 2000.

Chapter V
The College and the Church

[Page 79] HANOVER COLLEGE owes much to the Hanover Presbyterian Church. The founder was pastor of the Church and the officers and members of the congregation supported him loyally in his efforts to establish the new school. The population of the vicinity was of Scotch-Irish extraction, which is evidence that the people took their religion seriously and believed in education. They were ready to support any movement with their means as well as their voices, which promised to foster deeper spirituality and greater intelligence. Judge Williamson Dunn, the most prominent elder of the congregation, promptly met challenge after challenge of his friend and pastor, giving freely of time, land and money. He gave the campus, that is the first campus comprising the grounds now occupied with the church house and the residence to the east, and fifty acres of land for a college farm. He had previously given the congregation ground for its house of worship, the lot now occupied by the township public school building. He also donated to Wabash College the land on which its first buildings were located, and for many years owned the farm that is now the campus of Indiana University. Judge Dunn served as a trustee of the College twenty years, and for a part of the time its treasurer and financial adviser. His prominence in the state at large enabled him to secure valuable support for the College in a [Page 80] number of emergencies. Mr. George Logan, Dr. Andrew Spear, and many other men of ability, added their services to those of Dr. Crowe and Judge Dunn. The Maxwell family, which has made its influence for good so conspicuous throughout the state, was originally of this community, Dr. David H. Maxwell moving from Hanover to Bloomington, Indiana, in 1819. He was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1816, and he and his wife two of the twelve members of the little group who were organized in 1819 into the Bloomington Presbyterian Church. He at once put himself at the head of the movement, which secured the founding of Indiana University at Bloomington and the issue of its first charter in 1820. Many other families, which have become equally prominent in the state and nation, then were a part of the new but quite superior population, which fostered the new College, among them the Wileys, Matthews, and the Bryans whose gifted grandson is now President of Indiana University.

In his manuscript Dr. Crowe relates that upon a suggestion emanating from "the Teacher," Judge Dunn laid off that portion of his farm contiguous to the churchyard "in lots for a village which might grow with the institution." He also "donated to the Academy a beautiful lot of two acres for a campus, together with six improved lots in the village." Dr. Crowe then goes on to say:

"Encouraged by the smiles of Divine Providence, vouchsafed to the plans and efforts of the Presbytery in providing for the education of young men for the ministry; the Teacher, now Agent of the Presbytery, felt that the time had come to make an effort to erect a building on the Campus. He suggested the subject to several of the Trustees, but they seemed to regard the suggestion as visionary. Where could the necessary [Page 81] funds be secured was an unanswerable argument against the undertaking. But the Teacher could not get rid of the conviction that a building was necessary to the success of the enterprise, and if so, not impracticable. He, therefore, after mature deliberation, resolved to try. And believing that all hearts are really in the Lord's hands as is the heart of the King, he felt a confidence of success. Having decided in his own mind that a two-story brick building, 25 by 40 feet, was needed he opened the following subscription:

'For the purpose of erecting a suitable building for Hanover Academy, we whose names are hereunto subscribed do promise to have performed the jobs of work taken by us severally, against the times, specified,' viz:

First job. To throw up sufficient quantity of earth to make 70,000 bricks.
Second job. To furnish attendance for making the bricks.
Third job. To mold and burn 70,000 bricks.
Fourth job. To board the hands while making and burning and also to furnish the wood.
Fifth job. To furnish stocks at the sawmill sufficient to make all the lumber needed.
Sixth job. To deliver all the lumber at the building.
Seventh job. To furnish rock on the ground sufficient for the foundation.
Eighth job. To build the foundation two feet above the surface all around.
Ninth job. To furnish shingles to cover the building.
(Note: These jobs were all taken except the third and the ninth by persons in the neighborhood. Job one, by the students; second, by Samuel Hanna; fourth, by the Teacher; fifth, by Colonel Smock; sixth, John Seburn; seventh, George Logan; eighth, by James Park and James Corry.)

[Page 82] The cost of construction of the first College building not covered by these, subscriptions in work and materials made by the "persons of the neighborhood," which means, the members of Dr. Crowe's church, amounted to $400 in money, of which Dr. Crowe gave the first $100, and Judge Dunn the second hundred. Of the remaining $200 only $20 had not been secured when the Board met "to inaugurate the Academy in the New Edifice," upon announcement of which "this sum was advanced by four brethren present." The erection of a second Buildings a resilience for the new theological professor, is told Dr. Crowe in the following language:

"When the resolution of the Board to erect the log building was made public, the citizens of Hanover and the students of the Academy displayed the lively interest which they felt in having the Doctor added to their community, by pledging themselves to erect the building. Some of the students were accustomed to the use of the broad axe, all of them to that of the narrow axe, and having furnished themselves with tools, they went into the adjoining forest and in two days had the logs all hewed for the building. A number of the citizens of the village and vicinity had joined in the frolic and the logs were put up as fast as they were prepared.

"The resolution of the Board to erect this building was passed on the fifteenth day of March, 1830, and by the last of May there was, with but little expense to the Board, completed a respectable hewed log house, with shingle roof, brick chimneys and four rooms. The promptness displayed in this enterprise, is the more remarkable, as it followed immediately after finishing, by the same agency, in a neat and substantial manner the Public edifice":

It was currently reported in the public press of the county on the morning of the sixth of July 1837, [Page 83] that Hanover College and the village of Hanover had been utterly destroyed by a cyclone the afternoon before, with the prediction that neither would likely be restored. Again we quote Dr. Crowe, with emphasis on the contribution made by the Church:

"On the fifth day of July a tornado of great violence swept over the village prostrating everything in its track. The college edifice and two professor's houses were left in ruins. And that there were no lives lost is attributed to the fact that the disaster occurred providentially, when the students, some seventy of whom roomed in the building, were at supper at the Refectory, which was out of its range. The tornado was followed by tremendous rain, which continued until after night.

"The dawn of July 6th, though the 'rain was over and gone,' revealed the sad ravages the storm. The main building of the College edifice was unroofed; the eastern wall of the third story thrown down, and the wing, a brick building, 40 by 25 feet two stories high, demolished to the foundation. Professor Nile's house, a new frame building, was not only demolished, but the materials, together with a nice and valuable library, scattered like chaff before the wind. Two or three other dwelling houses were demolished and many unroofed.

"The destruction of most of the dormitories and all the recitation rooms led necessarily to a dispersion of the students until repairs could be made. Some forty or fifty, mostly of the higher classes, remained and had their recitations in a schoolhouse of those who left entered other colleges and returned.

"But the effects of the tornado were most seriously felt in the finances of the College. Repairs must be made and it required a large sum to make them; the reduced number of students left a large deficit in the contingent list. In this emergency an immediate [Page 84] supply of necessary means for making repairs, was providentially provided.

"Early in the preceding spring, the Hanover church, finding their house of worship too small for the congregation, resolved to pull down the old house and build a greater. And is much of the material in the old house could be used in the construction of the new, they made an arrangement with the College authorities to have the use of their chapel until the new church should be finished. This arrangement having been made, they pulled down their stone house and worshiped in the College chapel. The foundation of the new house was laid, the materials for making it all on the ground, and the workmen just about to commence laying the brick, when the tornado in its destructive fury swept over, leaving the College edifice, as has been described.

"As the interests of the College required that the building should, as speedily as possible, be repaired, the Executive Committee proposed to the Trustees of the Church, that if they would transfer to them their cash subscription for the building of the church, and permit them to use their building materials then on the ground in making repairs on the College, the Church should have the use of the chapel on Sabbath days, and on all other days when it was not in use, until they should again wish to build. And that they would then repay the cash, replace the materials or their value in cash.

"The deep interest which the church felt in the prosperity of the College led them without hesitancy to agree to the proposition, transferring not only their materials, but the cash subscription of about $1,000 to the Executive Committee."

When the Philalathean Literary Society moved the College back from Madison to Hanover, the members of the Hanover Church and others in its vicinity subscribed the salaries of the Facility for two years, "two [Page 85] gentlemen in the immediate vicinity of Hanover" appending $400 to each of their names, no small subscription in a country church in 1844.

The congregation continued to worship in the chapel of "the College edifice" until the building was deeded to them in 1859 and reconstructed along the present lines.

The College is also indebted to the church for its name. First in order came the church, then the College and the village. In July, l8l9, the Rev. Thomas C. Searle, a young Dartmouth graduate, declined election to the Chair of Logic in his Alma Mater, and with his young wife, a Hanover, New Hampshire girl, came to Madison as pastor of the Presbyterian Church of that city. The Scotch-Irish settlers on the tableland west and south of Madison were divided in their church membership between the Associated Presbyterian Church at Carmel and the regular Presbyterian Church of Madison. On March 4 of the following year Mr. Searle organized that portion of his flock that lived in the "Dunn Settlement" into a new congregation, which proceeded to erect a stone meetinghouse on the lot that Judge Dunn gave for that purpose. Mrs. Searle was popular with the new congregation and out of compliment to that estimable lady, the new house, and, later by habit, the congregation, was called "Hanover Church, after her birthplace. The resolution of Presbytery locating the proposed academy at Hanover referred to the church, not to the village, which did not then exist. The school took the name of the old stone meeting house, and the village, which sprang up about school and church, took the name of South Hanover in order to distinguish the place from the then Hanover, Shelby County, Indiana.

In October, 1821, Mr. Searle died of a fever prevalent in the new state during the summer and fall months. At the time of his death he was by appoint- [Page 86] ment of the Legislature, a member of a committee to devise a system of public schools for Indiana. One wonders what our story might be today if Mr. Searle had lived.

The official relations of the Presbytery and Synod to the institution at Hanover have been related in our second chapter in sufficient detail. The story of the "Theological Department," later the Indiana Theological Seminary, deserves more space. Even a casual reading of the Crowe manuscript and the early publications makes it obvious that in the mind of Dr. Crowe and his associates of the first ten years the theological branch of the school was considered of first importance. They were primarily interested in educating a supply of western men for the Presbyterian ministry. They had in mind a system of schools beginning with Mr. Cheever's Grammar School and leading through the Academy and College to the Seminary. Dr. Crowe says:

"At the first, the great and ultimate object of the founders of Hanover College was the education of young men for the Gospel Ministry; the Theological Department of the Institution was of course, in their estimation, its most important part.

"The removal of the Seminary from Hanover was felt, both by the College and the citizens, to be a sore bereavement, yet they bore it without a murmur. They had cheerfully made many pecuniary sacrifices in building it up, because they supposed that the interests of the Redeemer's Kingdom required it. And now, as in the opinion of a respectable convention of the Ministers and Elders of the Church, the same interests demanded its removal, they felt prepared to make the greater sacrifice."

At first the theological school was regarded as a part of the Academy, the important department, but [Page 87] shortly a contract made between the Synod and the Trustees of the Academy made it an independent institution, but closely affiliated with the Academy, under the name of the Indiana Theological Seminary, and governed by its own Board of Directors, one-half of whom were elected by Synod, and one-half by the Trustees of the Academy, later the College. The Board of Directors assigned the actual management of the Seminary to the College Board and officials. Synod obligated itself to support the Seminary Faculty, but as a matter of fact, the buildings, professors' residences and all funds, used by the Seminary during its location at Hanover, were found or provided by the College. With the founding of other colleges contributing to the Indiana Seminary, some jealousy developed due to the supposition that Hanover College exercised too much control over its affairs. This agitation eventuated in the removal of the Seminary to New Albany, Indiana, in 1840. Again, in 1857, it was moved to Chicago and renamed "The Presbyterian Theological Seminary of the North-west," and later, the "McCormick Theological Seminary."

To show the scope and general character of instruction provided by the Seminary while at Hanover, we quote the "General Remarks," from the 1836-37 catalogue of "Indiana Theological Seminary and Hanover College":

"The Board of Directors are appointed annually, one-half by the Trustees of the College, and the other half by the Synod of Indiana, and such other Synods and Presbyteries as may hereafter Adopt the Plan of Union. The Board meets annually, at the close of the term, or oftener, by special call. The term consists of eight months commencing with the first Monday in November and ending the last day in June, making the vacation four months. A public examination of all [Page 88] students is held at the close of each term. Those belonging to the two lower classes are examined on those subjects which have engaged their attention during the term; the Senior Class, on the entire course.

"The course of studies is adopted to the plan of the Seminary, which requires three professors, each of whom attends to the same class on different davs of the week, or at different hours of the same day. It is also adapted to the time of continuance in the Seminary, viz. three years. The students are divided into three classes, the Junior, Middle, and Senior. One year is spent in the studies of each of these classes.

"With the Professor of Biblical Literature the students attend to the original languages of the Scriptures, Biblical Literature, Archeology, and Hermeneutics. With the Professor of Ecclesiastical History, to Sacred Chronology, Biblical History, Church Government, and the Composition and Delivery of Sermons. With the Professor of Theology, to a short course of Mental and Moral Philosophy, Natural and Revealed Religion, didactic, Polemic, and Pastoral Theology.

"During the first year the Junior Class attends the Professor of Biblical Literature five days in the week; the Professors of Theology and History, each one day in the week. The second year the Middle Class attends the Professor of Theology three days in each week; the Professor of History, two, and of Biblical Literature, two. The third year, the Senior Class attends the Professor of History three days in each week; the Professor of Theology, two and of Biblical Literature, one. Though the Chair of History is still vacant, none of the studies belonging to that department are omitted. They are divided between the other Professors, and pursued in regular order.

"Lectures are delivered more or less frequently, as is deemed expedient, and such books as may be useful on the different subjects, are recommended. The students are required to illustrate, prove, and defend all doctrines, and explain, and enforce all duties, by ex- [Page 89] plicit and appropriate passages from the Holy Scriptures. The Bible is admitted and studied as the supreme authority. In whatever order the different topics in theology may be considered, the doctrines inculcated, as nearly as can possibly be ascertained, are those of the Holy Scriptures. So far as any other textbook than the Bible is used, it is the Confession of Faith. This book is to be adopted with all the solemnity of vows to God, by all who are to be licensed and ordained to the ministry in the Presbyterian Church, and ought to be well understood. It is, therefore, to be analyzed and compared, in all its details, with the Sacred Scriptures."

The removal of the Seminary from Hanover created certain financial difficulties, which for a time endangered the amicable relations of the two institutions. The Trustees of the College had acted as fiduciary agent of the Seminary. Their representatives had procured the funds necessary for the building and dwellings used by the Seminary classes and professors, and for the entire maintenance of the institution. When funds could not be collected the Trustees borrowed the necessary amounts. Agents of the new Board of Directors intimated that the College had hypothecated Seminary funds, and for many years partisans of Hanover asserted that the Seminary had wronged the College in the amount of several thousand dollars. The facts seem to be that the Seminary, at the removal, was indebted to the College to the amount of approximately $4,000, not including any portion of the indebtedness which had accrued in the mutual support of the two institutions, which obligations were subsequently by mutual consent adjusted by the transfer by the Seminary to the College of its interest in and claims to the entire estate of Appleton Ballard of Kentucky. At the time of the location of the Seminary at New Albany, Mr. Elias Ayres, a [Page 90] prominent citizen of that place, gave the Seminary $15,000 on certain conditions, one of which was the express stipulation that the sum should revert to his estate in the event that the institution should be moved from New Albany. Upon the relocation of the Semiliary in Chicago in 1857 the widow claimed the principal of the Ayres fund as forfeited and gave her equity to the College. A friendly suit was instituted, resulting in an equal division of the amount between the two institutions.

As stated in the second chapter, the College is not subject to ecclesiastical control. It is not legally the property of the Presbyterian Church, nor bound by any actions of the Presbytery, Synod or General Assembly. Yet, as a matter of fact, it has clung closely to the church, and at all times all but a small minority of its trustees and professors have been active members of the Presbyterian Church, and leaning rather to the conservative wing. Hanover frankly acknowledges that it is a denominational college. The officials report annually to Synod, Presbytery, and the General Assembly's Board. By mutual agreement, the Board of Trustees elect eight of their number from nominations submitted by Synod. Through all the years there has been a small but steady flow of graduates into the ministry and other forms of church work. The number is increasing toward the end of the century. The large contributions of Presbytery and Synod in recent years to the permanent endowment of the College have served greatly to increase the intimacy of their relations. For four years Synod's Committee on Education has held a Presbyterian Young People's Conference here for a week each year. These conferences have grown in numbers and in their contribution to the activities of the churches of the south half of the Synod.

[Page 91] This chapter should not close without reference to the great contribution which the College has made to the Kingdom through the labors of her alumni. It has been said that "when the story of the rise of democracy in the Orient is written it will turn about the work of Moffett and Baird in Korea." With equal justice some claim may be made with reference to the work of Hanover men and women in China, Japan, the Philippines, India, Africa, and the mission fields of the Western World. Hanover men have rendered distinguished service in the councils and courts of our church. Hanover has supplied an army of ministers to churches large and small throughout our country, from one to eight pastors to each of nearly two hundred Presbyterian churches in Indiana alone.

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