Skip to main content

Beloit Seminary records

Identifier: AC 120

Scope and Contents

In addition to the below listed folders and bound volumes, a list of alumni of the Beloit Seminary (Male and Females Departments) from 1846-1849 is available in the Beloit College Archives. The list is arranged chronologically by year and term.


  • Majority of material found within 1845-1906, 1941

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research; however, certain materials are fragile and require Archives staff for handling, or use may be restricted altogether.

Biographical / Historical

The Beloit Seminary began life in the form of a charter written in 1837, but did not actually form until 1843, when Dr. Horace White led efforts to construct a church building for a new settlement on the Rock River known as Beloit, Wisconsin. The Seminary, which predates the founding of Beloit College, held its classes for men and women in the basement of the new Beloit Congregational Church, located on the northwest corner of Broad and Prospect Streets.

Around the same time that the Beloit College charter became official in 1846, Sereno T. Merrill was asked to take over as principal for the Seminary. Mr. Merrill would quickly expand the Seminary into the College’s Preparatory Department (which in turn became the Beloit Academy) for the simple reason that there were no public high schools in the area able to meet the rigorous classical requirements for admission to Beloit College.

The first catalogue for the College registers the year 1849-1850. Listed were eight College students, 50 preparatory students, and 144 in the Seminary, including 59 women. A Female Department in the Beloit Seminary, led by Mr. Merrill’s wife Anna, educated young women until 1850, when the Beloit College Board of Trustees established a permanent female seminary in Rockford, Illinois.

More detailed histories of the Beloit Seminary can be found in Edward Dwight Eaton’s Historical Sketches of Beloit College, and Robert K. Richardson’s subsequent unpublished work, History of Beloit College, 1844-1942, both available in the Beloit College Digital Collections.


0.21 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



This small collection contains record books and other documents created by or about the Beloit Seminary, including a constitution, by-laws, student lists and records, catalogs, event programs, and meeting minutes.

Related Materials

Beloit Academy records (AC 16)

Rockford Female Seminary records (AC 94)
Michelle Tom
June, 2012
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Beloit College Archives and Special Collections Repository

700 College St.
Beloit WI 53511 USA