Preparatory Schools Were the Early High Schools

Preparatory Schools

Were the Early High Schools

Vicki’s note – This information about the Beloit Seminary/Preparatory/Academy is quoted from the online Beloit College Archives site. 

Hints:

-We can often find information about the local history of a locality at a college near that community. If you are lucky, the information may be on-line.

-The locations of institutions may change locations  from one building/address to another through it’s history.

-Depending on the time period, you may have to look for alternatives for where your ancestor went to “high” school. “Many preparatory schools were opened across the country due to the lack of public high schools in certain areas. Once high schools were built many preparatory schools closed. “

-There is a lot of information in print that you will not find on-line i.e. “approximately 6 linear feet (10 boxes, including oversize flat boxes, loose documents)”.

-An institution may have it’s origins very early in the history of a community, and it may not have actually been established right away.  I.E.  Beloit was first settled in 1836  – “The origins of the Academy stem from the Beloit Seminary, an institution that itself began life in the form of a charter written in 1837, but did not actually form until 1843.”

– Women may have combined or separate schools; and nearby communities (even across state lines) may have organizational connections.  “…1849. However, after it became the Academy women were no longer allowed to attend. At that time the Rockford Female Seminary (Rockford, Illinois) was opened.”

 

 

“The Beloit Academy, also called the Preparatory Department, evolved from the Beloit Seminary in 1849. However, after it became the Academy women were no longer allowed to attend. At that time the Rockford Female Seminary (Rockford, Illinois) was opened. Classes were held in the basement of a new church nearby until the chapel was completed on campus. The Academy prepared men for entrance into Beloit College or other colleges. Many preparatory schools were opened across the country due to the lack of public high schools in certain areas. Once high schools were built many preparatory schools closed. Until the Academy closed in 1910, enrollment in the Academy usually exceeded the college enrollment.

Beloit College Academy Records (AC 16) Beloit College Archives:

https://www.beloit.edu/archives/documents/archival_collections/beloitacademy/

This collection contains Beloit Academy (also called the Preparatory Department) administrative materials such as student registers, grade books, and catalogues, as well as publications (Junta Climax) and alumni correspondence and other materials created by Academy students.  Additionally, there is a compilation of transcripts of articles and meeting minute excerpts concerning the Academy, gathered by Beloit College Professor Robert K. Richardson.

The Beloit College Academy, at one time called the Preparatory Department, was a preparatory school for Beloit College from around 1848 to 1910. It originally focused on study of the classics, and then grew to also include courses in business, English, and science.

The origins of the Academy stem from the Beloit Seminary, an institution that itself began life in the form of a charter written in 1837, but did not actually form until 1843…”

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