Historical.--The charter of Lincoln University was granted by the Illinois Legislature in 1865, and the institution was opened for the work of instruction in the autumn of 1866. Its first president was Azel Freeman, D.D., and his successors have been J.C. Bowden, D.D., A. J. McGlumphy, D.D., LL.D., and A. E. Turner, A.M. Prior to its establishment there had been several academies and seminaries, operated and controlled by the Church, in Illinois and Indiana. Mt. Zion and Virginia, Ill., had maintained such schools, and both were hopeful of securing the new and larger institution. After careful investigation of sites offered, however, the commission selected Lincoln as the most promising location. The citizens of Lincoln donated several acres of ground and a building, costing at that time sixty thousand dollars.
The Work Accomplished.--During the thirty-four years of its operation Lincoln University has educated about five thousand young people, over three hundred of whom have graduated. It has always maintained a high standard of instruction, and its courses of study have been strong and progressive. Of the alumni, fourteen have been college presidents and professors, seven have been missionaries, and thirty-five are active pastors. Throughout its patronizing territory the leaders in church and Sunday school work are persons who have at some time been students at Lincoln. Altogether the achievements of the past have been most gratifying to friends of education in the denomination, and particularly to those who have directed the policy and shaped the destiny of the institution.
The Future.--No one familiar with the spirit and work of the university would desire to minimize what has already been done; but its friends are now agreed that the time has come when there must be considerable expansion in the way of facilities and equipment. A handsome new building, furnishing ample facilities in every way, has been planned, and a committee of citizens is now engaged in soliciting funds for its erection. The cost will approximate $30,000, and in connection with a remodeling of the present building, we shall be able to furnish facilities unsurpassed by those of any college in Illinois. Funds are also being raised in the city of Decatur for the establishment of an industrial school under the control of the trustees of Lincoln University. When this school is organized the Cumberland Presbyterian Church will be able to offer to her young people unequaled privileges in the choice of courses of study and facilities for their prosecution. An unusual number of inquiries from prospective students points to an increase in the enrollment for next year. Two new features will be introduced, which, it is believed, will be of decided advantage in the prosecution of college work. The weekly holiday will be changed from Saturday to Monday, and a limited amount of gymnasium practice will be required of each student daily, under the direction of Mr. J. N. Ashmore, who is now at Lake Geneva, Wis., preparing for carrying on this work.
Our Finances.--The present available endowment of Lincoln
University is $66,000; the present building and grounds are valued
at $30,000; bequests and notes payable after death of donors equal
$10,500. Total assets, $106,500. Indebtedness about $5,000; additions
to the endowment during the past year, $6,000.
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, August 9, 1900, page 128]
The Emancipator. Annual, yearbook of Lincoln University.
Lynxite. Annual, yearbook of Lincoln University.
1955-1956 [1 copy in archives]