Downer College

  • In March 1854 a college for young people was created in Fox Lake, Wisconsin.  The Fox Lake site was accepted for a college for young women.  A man named Thomas G. Eggleston held the contract to build at a cost of $6,000 on a 5 acre plot of land in the heart of Fox Lake .  The building was three stories and made of quarry from the town the town of Trenton .  The college was opened in October 1856 to 58 students for 3 terms per year with tuition from $14.50 to $25.00 .  Room and board, which means being able to live at the college , was $80.00 .  This included fuel and a stove. Staff grew and so did the tuition and scholarships .  Jason Downer , a lawyer and member of supreme Court was a devout, or serious, Congregationalist .  He was interested in education for women and became very interested in the college.  In 1866 he gave $9,500 of the $12,000  needed for a new building to be added.  This included housing , a chapel and several classrooms.  It was dedicated to Jason Downer as Downer Hall on May 5, 1970 . The entire college eventually was named Downer College. In 1889 renovation took place .  Bathrooms were installed , new rooms were finished and refurbished , porches were added and steam heat replaced the stoves.  The college moved to Milwaukee in 1894.

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