When Hanover College Moved to Madison

Did you know that Hanover College was formerly relocated to Madison almost 170 years ago? Here is the story as compiled by Bob Thomas for the Jefferson County Historical Society.

Madison merchants offered Hanover College a better home, a pledge of ten thousand dollars, and necessary buildings on the hilltop. Hanover students at that time depended on part-time work in the area to augment expenses. Farmers, due to a money shortage could offer little help, so the college moved to Madison into four rooms at Lower Seminary School, as a temporary home of Madison University. By June, they were disenchanted and returned to Hanover.

This interesting chapter also made the Hanover College article on Wikipedia.

In 1843 both the College’s president and its trustees accepted a proposal from Madison city leaders to move Hanover College. The trustees dissolved the Hanover charter and established Madison University. However, John Finley Crowe purchased the College property and established the Hanover Classical and Mathematical School. Only four months after Madison University was founded, its president had resigned and its students began to return to Crowe’s school. By May 1844, all of Madison’s students and faculty had made the trip five miles (8 km) to the west.

The population of incorporated Madison in 1850 had only reached 8,000 compared with the county’s census of 23,916.

The Lower Seminary School opened for classes in September 1843. It was located on the north side of Main Cross, just west of the alley below Mill Street. The building was demolished in 1923 to make room for Lydia Middleton Elementary School.

For more interesting facts, pickup A Chronology of Events in the History of Madison, Indiana from the Jefferson County Historical Society.

Photo Citation: Harry Lemen, photographer , “Lower Seminary-714 West Main Street,” in Harry Lemen Historic Photo Collection, Item #202, http://www.mjcpl.org/photos/items/show/202 (accessed December 4, 2012).