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Preserving and recording our history is an essential element in building the future of Antioch College. Antiochiana began as a collection of historical artifacts gathered by College librarian Bessie Totten, Class of 1900, who served the College for 41 years. Among its impressive collection, Antiochiana includes the papers of Horace Mann and Arthur Morgan, used for academic research by scholars from around the world.

After more than a century, Antioch College remains committed to careful stewardship of this critical College resource. If you have questions regarding the archive or wish to support its preservation with the pledge of a capital or planned gift, please contact us at 937-286-5534.

Songs from the Stacks  News from Scott Sanders, Archivist

11.29.2012   Inspiration for this installment comes from the second Tuesday in November: Election Day. While the nation voted for President of the United States and Ohio decided on State Issues 1 and 2, Antioch College held its first elections in years to regenerate Community Government. The College held this election in the East Gym, which holds the very coolest thing Antioch College owns: the Gilbert Wilson Mural. A long article in the May 1937 issue of Scribner’s magazine about the Indiana muralist likely placed him on the radar of the Antioch College Class of 1938 at a time when they were considering a class gift to their school.   › MORE

Segment of Gilbert Wilson mural

10.25.2012   Feeling in an electoral mood, “Stacks” ventures into politics this month, though true to form into the politics of 1848. That year, the first in American history to have a single Election Day, saw an electorate certainly as polarized as the one heading into the Election of 2012, and perhaps even more so, due to a single monumental issue, namely the extension of slavery into territory acquired in the Mexican War, known euphemistically as “the sectional crisis.” It meant nothing less than the proliferation of slavery or its destruction, members of Congress squared off in a contest that challenged loyalties and tempers alike.   › MORE

Segment of pro-Taylor/Fillmore advertisement

09.27.2012   Among the many founders of Antioch College, none had more far reaching impact on its subsequent history than the Reverend Eli Fay (1822–1899). Fay came from Cazenovia, New York, near Syracuse, appears to have been largely self-educated, and joined the Christian denomination in the 1840s. A leading delegate to the Marion Convention of 1850 where the idea of Antioch College was formally put to paper, Fay advanced the twin founding principles of nonsectarianism and coeducation that made the College famous even before ground was broken for its campus.   › MORE

Cover of the Christian Palladium

08.31.2012   Among the momentous events of 1914, which include the outbreak of the First World War, the establishment of Mother’s Day as an official holiday in the United States, and the film debut of Charlie Chaplin, was the most remarkable season in the history of Antioch College football. As incongruous as the terms “Antioch College” and “football” may sound, the College known for not playing sports maintained intercollegiate athletics for more than 50 years. Outside of ten seasons where no games were scheduled, from 1889 to 1928, a football team took the field in the name of Antioch College, usually in a losing effort. A compilation of the known results says that Antioch football won 37, lost 66, and tied three. Six of those 37 wins, over 16% of the total number of victories in school history, were achieved in the magical year 1914, not so coincidentally the only season the Antioch College men’s football team finished over .500.   › MORE

The Antioch football club

07.26.2012   Eero Saarinen (1910–1961) was not yet the celebrated, controversial architect he would become when Antioch College engaged his firm to put together its first campus master plan in 1944. That year a fledgling Campus Planning Committee had concluded that the College required the services of an experienced reputable architect to help merge the many physical needs of a campus barely changed since its inception almost a century before into a viable plan for the future.   › MORE

Architect Eero Saarinen

06.28.2012   The centerpiece of just about every Antioch College Reunion has been an evening meal usually accompanied by a speech. When Algo Henderson delivered the following address at the 1935 Alumni Dinner, he was concluding his second year as interim president—filling in for Arthur Morgan, who was away building dams for the Tennessee Valley Authority. Here one of the more articulate commentators ever on Antioch College addresses, among other subjects, the College as a sailing vessel, perhaps a natural metaphor for institutions of higher learning.   › MORE

President Algo Henderson

05.31.2012   Credited directly to Danish pastor and philosopher Nikolaj Frederik Severin Grundtvig (1783–1872), the folk school model of adult education grew out of the French Revolution. Grundtvig was inspired by a report on public education written by the Marquis de Condorcet in 1792 that first advanced the concept of popular education, a movement that was part political and part pedagogical.   › MORE

American Peoples School

04.27.2012   Ohio’s own Aaron Burt Champion (1842–1895) entered the Preparatory Department of Antioch College in 1856 when Horace Mann was still its president. Champion’s meteoric rise in the legal world led to a life in baseball, by that time fast developing into the national game.   › MORE

Van Loon

03.29.2012   In 1892, Arthur met a young woman of culture involved in the state Republican Party named Anne Maddison Bradley. The two developed a friendship that by 1900 had become a torrid romance, much to the pain and humiliation of Isabel Cameron Brown, Arthur’s second wife.   › MORE

Van Loon

02.23.2012   Written nearly three months after H.L. Mencken penned a screed to him about Antioch College, Professor of History Hendrik Van Loon’s letter to his famously acerbic friend may not be in direct response, but it is the closest thing to it in the Antioch College Archives.   › MORE

Van Loon

01.26.2012   Among the first hires in the Arthur Morgan era, Professor Hendrik Willem Van Loon came to Antioch College to teach history in 1921. Despite his academic credentials, Van Loon's career in higher education would prove all too brief.   › MORE

Van Loon

11.17.2011   Helen French Greene worked at Antioch College, mostly securing co-op jobs for women in the 1920s. She reflected on how co-op enhances the classroom, and vice versa.   › MORE

Helen F. Greene

11.03.2011   Thomas and Mary Gove Nichols had managed to defeat Horace Mann at his own game—the war of words—and by early 1857 he represented a distinct minority opinion on the subject of whether they should be permitted to remain in Yellow Springs or not. Despite their victory, however, before the season was out they would suspend operation of the Memnonia Institute, renounce their long held belief in free love, leave town and, ultimately, the country, never to return.   › MORE

Mrs. Nichols

10.23.2011   Following the withdrawal of William Hambleton from Antioch College in March 1856 over his association with Thomas and Mary Gove Nichols, reformer proprietors of the Memnonia Institute, and the subsequent dismissal of his classmate Jared Gage a few weeks later, Horace Mann's war with the Nichols' entered a new stage.   › MORE

Antioch Hall in the 1800s

10.07.2011   William Neal Hambleton of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, was already 32 years old when he entered the Antioch Preparatory Department in 1855. Prior to entering school, he'd been a farmer, cabinetmaker, and teacher. He was already a physician, a graduate of the American Hydropathic Institute that Thomas and Mary Gove Nichols had operated in Cincinnati previous to the establishment of the Memnonia Institute of Yellow Springs. As an adherent to the Nichols' already unpopular ways, at least as far as the president and faculty of Antioch College were concerned, it would not take Hambelton long to run afoul of them both. In his statement to the faculty he writes: "I cant conceive of your right to dictate to young men, who's beards indicate mature manhood, what sciences they may study, what fountains of truth they may drink from, and facts and philosophy they may not investigate." (Photograph: male classmates of Hambleton's vintage)   › MORE


09.25.2011   Thomas and Mary Gove Nichols were already notorious for their reform activities when they issued the following prospectus in 1856 announcing their proprietorship of the Yellow Springs Water Cure. Water cure, also known as hydropathy, was a popular form of alternative medicine that employed techniques known today as homeopathic and followed regimens modern observers would recognize as wellness.   › MORE

Yellow Springs Water Cure

09.10.2011   Horace Mann was so enamored of phrenology that he tells his schoolteacher sister, Lydia, to study it, as it would be the basis for education reform.   › MORE

George Combe

08.25.2011   Though long since discredited as pseudoscience and worse, in the mid-19th century phrenology was all the rage among the learned, with Mann among its greatest adherents. Here, two of Antioch College's first graduates get their head bumps "read."   › MORE

Phrenology head map

08.11.2011   Paid government witness Harvey Matusow had yet to admit his perjuries when a subcommittee of three from the the US House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities conducted hearings in downtown Dayton in September 1954. Within a year his revelations would become public, which probably should have ended HUAC's interest in Antioch College right then and there. Due to a variety of other voices calling for its investigation such as The Yellow Springs American, HUAC sent a special investigator to Antioch, who uncovered an informal Marxist discussion group on the College's faculty during the mid 1940s. Despite the fact that Antioch's educational philosophy of free inquiry had been explained rather plainly in similar hearing by two of its presidents, this was deemed enough evidence to call Professor of Art and Aesthetics Robert Metcalf, a reknowned stained glass artist, to appear as a witness. His testimony, reprinted here, is exemplary of the kind of reasoned, principled resistance to the pressures of the Red Scare that ultimately contributed to its end. Metcalf refuses to name the names of any of his associates, and along with his expert counsel Telford Taylor, a staunch opponent of McCarthyism who had served as Counsel for the Prosecution at the Nuremberg Trials, successfully fought a contempt of Congress charge for that refusal.   › MORE

Robert Metcalf pic

07.28.2011   For about three years in the early 1950s, the name ‘Harvey Matusow’ was of the household variety. Beginning in the late 1940s, Harvey went from Army veteran to Communist party member to FBI informant to special investigator on youth communism for Senator Joseph McCarthy. In that capacity he managed to ruin around 200 lives by lying under oath about peoples’ ties to the Communist Party of the USA. For instance, Matusow’s testimony against Pete Seeger got the legendary folk singer blacklisted, even as his band the Weavers’ recording of “Wimoweh” climbed to the Billboard top ten list. No one was safe from the smear of Harvey’s broad brush, and Antioch College was no exception.   › MORE

Douglas McGregor

07.14.2011   Douglas McGregor of Detroit, Michigan, became the 12th president of Antioch College in 1948. One of the first ever industrial psychologists and a theorist of business management, he applied his training in psychology toward creating the most collaborative workplace possible. He inherited a college under fire from forces of anticommunism at a time when they were perhaps at their most powerful. By the early 1950s, investigation of so called Un-American activities by federal legislators was well established, having been in place since the HUAC led by Martin Dies in the late 1930s. In the age of McCarthyism state legislatures began to conduct their own investigations, and in 1951 the Ohio House formed its own committee to ferret out Un-American activities in its own backyard. In 1952, McGregor appeared before the Ohio House Un-American Activities Committee.   › MORE

Douglas McGregor

06.30.2011   Once again “Songs” features the dulcet tones of Algo Henderson, 12th president of Antioch College. Here he defends the College against accusations that it promotes Communism. By 1946, when this statement was made in a joint session of the College Board of Trustees and the policy making body of its faculty called Administrative Council, he had become well practiced at it. Henderson first had to publicly refute these criticisms in 1940 when a local judge took exception to student members of the Young Communists League circulating a petition signed by Antioch College faculty in favor of civil liberties for “any minority group,” including Communists. Henderson rebuked the judge’s statements by public letter in the local newspapers, and the debate soon died down.   › MORE

Algo Henderson

06.16.2011   Meet Ralph Shupe, for most of his career a West Virginia radio newscaster, but for a brief time in 1954 the editor of a local weekly called The Yellow Springs American. The American was a reaction to liberalism in general and Antioch College in particular that began in 1953 under the auspices of a civic improvement organization to counter the progressive reputation of the Antioch College community. For most of its brief existence it reported the facts of daily life, avoiding controversy in a way common to small town newspapers. But having heard that an Antioch faculty member with ties to Henry Wallace’s Progressive Party was a Boy Scout Troop leader, he saw the need for an exposé. The College had charges of communism levied against it since the early 1940s, but during the McCarthy era, the accusations gained a particular momentum, and Shupe’s is just one of the voices calling loudly for a Congressional investigation of its alleged activities.   › MORE

Antioch Hall towers

06.02.2011   A memorial to Antiochian Lucy Doolittle by a fellow Antiochian Jennie Scudder.   › MORE

Lucy Doolittle

05.23.2011   The story of the marble tablet that memorializes the Antioch College alumni who died in the Civil War.   › MORE

05.06.2011   Judge Hosea remembers two fellow Antioch College classmates who died in the Civil War.   › MORE

04.21.2011   More on "The Great American Literary Association" and how Weston and the faculty responded to the fraud.   › MORE

04.07.2011   Former professor G. Stanley Hall recounts in his memoirs breaking up a term paper writing scam and his meetings with Rebecca Rice, class of 1860.   › MORE

G. Stanley Hall

03.24.2011   Jane Cape, the second curator of Antiochiana, reminisces in a letter about her stint in Bagdad as a Fulbright Award recipient.   › MORE

Jane Cape

03.10.2011   Bessie Ladley Totten, class of 1900, gives a speech at her retirement as the librarian of Antioch College that sounds more than a little prescient.   › MORE

Bessie Ladley Totten