Albion Academy and Normal Institute, chartered in 1853 and opened in 1854, on land donated by Jesse Saunders, was founded and operated by Northwestern Seventh Day Baptist Association until 1894; by Peter Hendrickson, former Beloit College professor, until 1901; and by The Synod of the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church of America until 1918. Among its founders were Dr. C.R. Head, Board President for forty years, and A.B. Cornwall, beloved principal during its golden era. Its objective was to afford education so inexpensive that no one need forego it. Albion Academy graduated many outstanding students, including Alva Adams, Governor of Colorado; Knute Nelson, U.S. Senator from Minnesota, and Edwin L. Greene, world famous botanist. Among its faculty were Prof. Thure Kumlien, world famous naturalist, and Prof. Rasmus B. Anderson, later U.S. Minister to Denmark. In 1928 the Town of Albion purchased the buildings and campus for a park and in 1959 conveyed the remaining building, Kumlien Hall, to the Albion Academy Historical Society for preservation as a museum.