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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

LaGrange in Colbert County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

LaGrange College

1830-1855

 
 
LaGrange College 1830-1855 "West Point of the South" image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, October 27, 2019
1. LaGrange College 1830-1855 "West Point of the South"
Inscription.  In the early 1820s, wealthy landowners in the Leighton, Alabama, area established a village on the crest of the mountain to the southwest of this site. This community eventually had about 400 inhabitants and became known as LaGrange. In the 1820s, the Tennessee Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church solicited proposals for a site and contributions for a college in the Southeast. The citizens around LaGrange offered a site and subscription of $10,000. On December 4, 1828, the Methodist Church accepted the LaGrange proposition. Later that month, the Mississippi Conference joined in the efforts to establish a college. Representatives from the two conferences met at LaGrange on January 10, 1829, and selected a site for the college. On January 11, 1830, “La Grange College” opened with an enrollment of 70 students. Eight days later the college became the first state chartered college in Alabama. Rev. Robert Paine was the president (1830-1846).
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Rev. Turner Saunders was the first president of the LaGrange Board of Trustees.
LaGrange College 1830-1855 "West Point of the South" image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, October 27, 2019
2. LaGrange College 1830-1855 "West Point of the South"
The enrollment peaked at 139 in 1845 but the average was about 106. Dr. Paine continued as president until he became a bishop in the Methodist Church in 1846. When Dr. Richard H. Rivers became president in 1854, the college faced serious financial problems. In response to an offer of better support, Rivers moved the college to Florence, Alabama, on January 1855. Over 150 graduates received A. B. degrees during its 25-year history, and the influence of LaGrange College was far reaching. The establishment of LaGrange College in 1830 might well be considered the birth of collegiate education in Alabama. The move was controversial, some students and faculty remained on the old campus, and the Florence institution was denied permission to use the name of LaGrange College. It was chartered as Florence Wesleyan University on February 14, 1856, and is known today as the University of North Alabama. Listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage in 1976.
 
Erected 2012 by Sponsored by LaGrange Living Historical Assn., Colbert County Historical Landmarks Foundation, Benefactors and the Lawrence W. McGregor Family.
 
Location. 34° 39.84′ N, 87° 33.029′ W. Marker is in LaGrange, Alabama, in Colbert County. Memorial is on LaGrange College Road south of Alabama
LaGrange College 1830-1855 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, October 27, 2019
3. LaGrange College 1830-1855 Marker
Route 157, on the right when traveling north. This marker can be seen from Hwy 157 & LaGrange Rd. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2195 LaGrange College Road, Leighton AL 35646, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named LaGrange College (approx. 0.6 miles away); LaGrange Military Academy (approx. mile away); William Leigh (approx. 4.2 miles away); Belle Mont (approx. 6.7 miles away); Howell & Graves School (approx. 6.8 miles away); History of Muscle Shoals, Alabama (approx. 7.6 miles away); The Singing River Sculpture (approx. 7.7 miles away); History of Littleville, Alabama (approx. 8.9 miles away).
 
Categories. EducationSettlements & SettlersWar, US Civil
 

More. Search the internet for LaGrange College.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 27, 2019. This page originally submitted on October 27, 2019, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Alabama, USA. This page has been viewed 57 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 27, 2019, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Alabama, USA. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.
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