LaGrange College

LaGrange College (HM2MB2)

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N 34° 39.84', W 87° 33.029'

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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.
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.
HM NumberHM2MB2
Year Placed2012
Placed BySponsored by LaGrange Living Historical Assn., Colbert County Historical Landmarks Foundation, Benefactors and the Lawrence W. McGregor Family
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 27th, 2019 at 5:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 449562 N 3835920
Decimal Degrees34.66400000, -87.55048333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 39.84', W 87° 33.029'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 39' 50.4" N, 87° 33' 1.7400000000002" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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