Ohio History Journal

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Of all the groups that had their part in the early educational

life of the Ohio Valley none more completely ran the gamut of

pioneer experiences than the founders and builders of the denom-

inational colleges. They were hewers of wood and drawers of

water; in their persons they combined the functions of builder.

janitor, teacher, business manager, and president, together with

whatever other odds and ends presented themselves for atten-

tion. It was a time and a country in which individual vision and

initiative seized the opportunities and met the needs for which

denominational policy was unprepared or incapable of supplying.

In the rise of the denominational college, therefore, no more

potent factors existed than the personalities in whose thought

they were conceived and in whose activities they were realized.

The scope of denominational activity in the founding of

collegiate institutions is realized more fully when the discovery

is made that almost ninety per cent of the institutions founded

before 1840 and which survive to the present time had their

origin in or were connected with some denomination. Practically

all institutions, whether of state or denominational origin, had

back of them the influence of some minister of the gospel. From

the valley of the Tennessee to the Great Lakes and from the

crest of the Alleghenies to the Mississippi denominational col-

leges were planted.

The Presbyterians were the most active in the making of

collegiate history in the early days of the Ohio valley. There

was scarcely an institution, even those of distinctly non-denomi-

national origin, that did not feel the impress of their power and

influence. Of the denominational colleges founded in the Ohio

valley before 1840, nine of them had their origin in the wisdom

and energy of those who subscribed to the Presbyterian faith

and in all cases except one, that of Transylvania, the Presbyte-

rians maintained their control throughout this period. The