Depauw College

In 1852 the Indiana Methodist Conference founded the Indiana Asbury Female Seminary in New Albany, Indiana. During the Civil War the school suffered financially and lost its property in 1866. The organization of Indiana Methodists then started a fund-raising campaign to buy the property back. A local wealthy businessman, Washington C. Depauw, then contributed an ample amount of money to repurchase and to rebuild the Seminary; In 1867 the Indiana Methodist Conference renamed the school the Depauw College for Young Women in the benefactor’s honor. Its interesting that the Indiana Asbury University in Greencastle, Indiana, also began to admit women to their school in 1867. Indiana Asbury also changed its name in 1884 to Depauw University when he donated a large amount of money to the school.

“At the 36th annual session of the Indiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, begun and held at Welsey Chapel in the city of Indianapolis, County of Marion, State of Indiana, Wednesday September 11, A.D. 1867, … The following among other proceedings were made…On motion of the Revd Kiger it was unanimously Resolved, That the Indiana Conference of the Methodist Church make the following statement and declaration….

First. That it is the intention and immediate determination of said Conference to establish in the City of New Albany Floyd County Indiana an institution of learning for females (for some reason “for females” is crossed out) in the higher walks of literature … Second. That the name and style of said Institution shall be the Depauw College (several words were erased before the new name of the college). Third. That the endowment of said college shall be such as the Conference can provide, or the friends of said College may from time to time donate thereto, not to exceed One Hundred thousand dollars. Fourth. That said endowment when provided shall be so administered as the principal thereof shall remain a perpetual fund alone shall be currently used for the purposes of said college and for the advancement and encouragement of female (“female” crossed out) education. Fifth. That the real estate and College Buildings now owned by said Conference and situated in said city and purchased with funds donated for the purpose, by friends of said institution, is now north about the sum of Forty thousand Dollars.

In testimony whereof the President and Secretary of said Conference hereto submit their names, done at said city on the day of first aforesaid,

F.A. Morris, Bishop of the M.E. Church and President of said Conference

Stephen Bowers, secretary of said Conference”

The church where this conference was held in 1867 was Welsey Chapel, situated on the southwest corner of the Circle, Indianapolis, Indiana. The College was located at East 9th & Main street in New Albany, Floyd County, Indiana. After the College was financially saved it became known as the Depauw College for Young Ladies.  It later became known as the Depauw College for Young Men and Women. Maybe that is the reason for the words “for females” and “female” being later crossed out in the incorporation papers. This College closed in the early 1900s.

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