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1860s History1860s History


A drawing of a young Abraham Lincoln cutting down a treeApril 9, 1860 - J.C. Gilchrist appointed as new principal, effective Sept. 5.

1864 - Stock sold to raise money for new land and buildings; ten acres of land purchased from Edward Riggs for $133.44. The stockholders petition the Governor of Pennsylvania to be incorporated as a private normal college, the South-Western Normal College.

March 16, 1865 - Governor Andrew Curtin granted the charter to incorporate as the South-Western Normal College of Pennsylvania. The charter reserved the normal school privilege for California.

April 12, 1865 - Job Johnson turns the charter and keys over to J.C. Gilchrist, making him the first principal of the normal college.

March 19, 1867 - Building and Grounds Committee estimates the new building to cost between $40,000 and $45,000. Despite having nowhere near this much money, the Board of Trustees decides to go ahead.

April 1867 - Barr and Moser of Pittsburgh retained as architects for the sum of $75.

A photo of a man from the 1800sApril 1868 - Board of Trustees decides to help raise money through a mortgage.

May 29, 1868 - Powell and Meredith chosen as low bidders and given the general contract.

July 6, 1868 - Excavation is completed.

Aug. 1868 - Governor John W Geary arrives on campus for the laying of the cornerstone.

Sept. 6, 1868 - Job Johnson dies.

Dec. 1868 - Lower story of Main Hall completed.

A photo of civil war soldiers standing next to a cannon

April 10, 1869 - Governor Geary signs "An Act to Aid the South-Western Normal College of Pennsylvania;" provides $15,000 in three payments of $5,000 each.