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  • Monticello College Collection

Monticello College first began as the Monticello Female Seminary in 1838. Founded by Captain Benjamin Godfrey to provide education for women, the school offered two years of classes for attendees based on the idea that “if you educate a man you educate an individual; educate a woman and you educate a whole family.”

Godfrey selected Reverend Theron Baldwin to serve as the first head of the Monticello Female Seminary. In 1867 Harriet Haskell became principal, a position she held until her death in 1907. 

On November 4, 1888, a fire broke out in the building and consumed the entire structure. Ms. Haskell and the school's Board of Trustees successfully fundraised for a new building and rebuilt the school in two years.

The school's leadership made the decision to close the school in 1970 with the final class graduating in 1971. Lewis and Clark Community College completed the purchase of the Monticello College campus in 1972.

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