Skip to Main Content

Encyclopedia of Baldwin Wallace University History: 1840s

An Index of Historical Content and Their Sources

1842: Berea Seminary Goes Bankrupt

Citation: "Glories of Other Years Mellow Quarries, Unopened This Year," The Berea Enterprise (Berea, OH) March 31, 1936.

It was in June, 1842, that the Seminary, backed by Baldwin and others, went bankrupt, and Baldwin assumed the responsibilities.

1845: Baldwin Institute Founded

Source: University Archives, Ritter

Library. Click on the image to enlarge.

Citation: Bette Lou Higgins, The Past We Inherit: A history of Baldwin-Wallace College 1835 - 1974 (printed by the author, 1974), 15-16.

…the by-laws of the Institute. The catalogue of 1848, lists them as follows:

1. The students will rise in the morning at the ringing of the bell and put their rooms in order

2. About nine hours each day will be devoted to study and recitation as the Faculty may direct, during which time, each student is desired to keep his room (sic) except while at recitation, and avoid all unnecessary noise, in and around the buildings.

3. No students, rooming in the Seminary, will be allowed to leave the seminary yard during the hours of study, or after nine o’clock in the evening without permission.

4. No one will throw dirt, ashes, or other material from the Seminary windows, nor sweep dirt from his room into the halls after the commencement of study hours in the morning.

5. The students will not receive company into their rooms during study hours, or after nine o’clock in the evening; will retire before ten, and have their lights and fires extinguished. No one will sleep out of his or her room without permission.

6. The students’ rooms shall be considered as their homes; nor shall anyone change his or her room without permission from the Principal. The occupants shall be responsible for any improper conduct in their rooms, as well as for all injury done to them or the furniture, unless they designate the aggressor; the rooms being at all times accessible to the members of the Faculty.

7. No students shall in any way injure the Seminary buildings, or anything else, in any way connected with the Institution. Nor will any be permitted to intrude upon the lands of property of the inhabitants, or meddle with their fruit without permission of the owner.

8. All students are required to cherish a respectful deference for the authority of the faculty; and in all their intercourse with each other to preserve a gentlemanly and ladylike deportment. Rude and indecent language, calling each other by improper names, boisterous talking, and laughing, whistling, running jumping or making any other disturbance in the rooms or halls of the Seminary, will at all times be considered as breaches of good order.

9. Cleanliness of person and, decency in apparel, are ever to be observed.

10. Smoking or chewing tobacco in any part of the house, or on the premises, playing at games of chance, in the Seminary, or elsewhere, and all other practices that are calculated to injure the morals, or disturb the good order of the School, are totally forbidden.

11. The students are expressly prohibited frequenting any tavern or grocery store where intoxicating liquors are sold; nor shall any one be permitted to lounge about any store or public place, or remain in them longer than business requires.

12. The two sexes will not associate together in walking or riding, nor stand conversing in the halls or public rooms of the Institution.

13. No student may attend mixed assemblages or parties of any kind, without permission 14. No lady may receive calls from gentlemen at her own room, or elsewhere, than the designated room at her boarding place, and not there, during study hours or at unreasonable hours.

15. Students, boarding in the vicinity, will not be allowed to frequent the halls or rooms appropriated exclusively to those residing in the Seminary.

16. A strict observance of the Sabbath, and regular attendance at Church, will be expected of all students, and in no case may they go abroad into the fields, or collect in groups in the streets, or in each other’s rooms, on the Sabbath.

17. For the violation of the above and other prudential regulations for the government of the school, students shall be liable to private or public reproof, suspension or expulsion, at the discretion of the Faculty.

Citation: Kieth A. Peppers, 2020.

The Methodist Seminary was John Baldwin’s first attempt at establishing an educational institution here in Berea. Failing to find its footing, a new school was sought. Baldwin Institute, a preparatory school was granted a charter by the state of Ohio in December, 1845. The school was not intended as a place where all people, regardless of gender, race, or financial means could receive and education. At the end of the first term (July, 1846) the student body consisted of sixty-one male and thirty-nine female students. By the following year, the number of students grew to one-hundred and eighty-nine. Rooms were $2.70 per term and could accommodate two students. Per the first printed catalogue, “The Institute is located in a healthy section of the State in the midst of a moral and religious community. We have no grog shops or rum selling taverns near us. The usual haunts of vice and the temptations to dissipation, common in cities and larger villages, are unknown in this vicinity.”


Citation: Ryan Cross and Debby Vespoli, "Through the Years...," Pursuit, Fall, 1995, vol. 27, no. 1, pg. 1.

In 1845 John Baldwin donated a "five-acre campus, 30 village lots and 50 acres of land" to the Northern Ohio Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church for an institution of learning. The Conference granted a charter for Baldwin Institute, a preparatory school, to open in April 1846 with "a male and female department, the premises free from debt and the settled policy of the Board of Trustees not to run into debt."

1849: First Graduate of Baldwin University

Citation: Ryan Cross and Debby Vespoli, "Through the Years...," Pursuit, Fall, 1995, vol. 27, no. 1, pg. 1.

The first graduate of Baldwin University (and only graduate in the class of 1849) was Maria Poe.