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Ridgeville College collection

Identifier: L425

Scope and Contents

This collection includes the following Ridgeville College items ranging from 1871 to 1896: colleges catalogs, announcement pamphlets, commencement programs, anniversary and reunion programs, Epsilon Rho Literary Society anniversary programs, Musical Department programs and the school publications, The Elucidator and The College Cycle. Other items in the collection include two circa 1890 photographs of the school building, a print of a circa 1899 photograph of school instructor Miss Wilhelmina C. Westrater, a 1905 newspaper clipping of a picture of former college president J.M. Davis, and a history of the college written by G.L. (George Leo) Bailey in 1920.


  • 1871-1920


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Historical Note

The founding of Ridgeville College in Ridgeville, Randolph County, Indiana was the result of a movement that originated with the Free Will Baptist denomination. A committee was established to locate a site on which to erect a college and its members met on December 16, 1866 and opened a subscription for the citizens of Ridgeville and vicinity to make “free donations to a first-class institution of learning.” Arthur McKew donated ten acres of land for the site along with five hundred dollars, and many other locals pledged donations that amounted to eleven thousand five hundred dollars. Though a promising start, over the years the college was crippled and weakened by a lack of funds and was heading toward closure before the Congregational Church of Indiana took over the college in 1892. The Congregational societies supported the school for several more years, but by 1900, much of their support had been withdrawn and the school was closed after the spring term in May 1901.


Information found within collection.

Marshall, Chris. "Scholarship, Experience and Christian Character: Ridgeville College." Indiana State Library. May 24, 2018.


0.3 Cubic Feet (1 manuscript box)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a records transfer from the Indiana Division on 2018/08/08.


No further additions are expected.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital reproductions of the Ridgeville College collection are available electronically in the Indiana State Library Digital Collections (

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2021/09/20 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2021/09/20 by Laura Eliason.


Ridgeville College collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.