Franklin Academy (Franklin, Neb.) [RG3272.AM]


RG3272.AM:  Franklin Academy (Franklin, Neb.)

Records:  1881-1926, 1962

Franklin, Franklin County, Neb.: Educational Institution, Congregationalist Church

Size:  5.0 cu. ft.; 2 reels microfilm


In August of 1879, Rev. C.S. Harrison made plans to create a Christian academy to service western Nebraska. Harrison chose the town of Franklin because there were no saloons or other secondary schools in the area. The following year Rev. Amos Dresser was appointed financial agent, and with the help of others money, erected the first academy building in 1880. Franklin Academy was finally opened on February 9, 1881 as one of several Congregationalist church academies in the Midwest.

In 1884 Harrison was chosen to be the pastor of the academy and was responsible for getting a second academy building, a three story girlsí dormitory, built. A small building was also built for a boyís dormitory, but it burned down in 1901. Later, a third building known as the music hall was added along with the enlargement of the original academy building.

During its years of service, Franklin Academy had several principals, the first being Rev. W. S. Hampton and the longest serving being Prof. Alexis C. Hart. Most of the instructors at Franklin Academy were fresh out of college and many on their first teaching assignments. Franklin Academy offered programs in piano, voice expression, and business, along with a regular high school curriculum. Athletics were also a very important part of life at Franklin Academy with team sports in football and basketball, along with track and field. During the academyís 41 years of service, thousands of students attended, and the academy grew to a student body of 158 in 1921.

Franklin Academy attempted to keep tuition low so that a Christian education could be available to anyone who sought it. This forced the academy to become reliant on donations to operate, which each successive year became more difficult to obtain. The early 20th century also saw the rise of the state secondary school program, which forced Franklin Academy to decide whether or not continuing operations was fiscally possible. The administration deemed it was not, and Franklin Academy operated until June of 1922 when it, like many other Congregationalist academies, was shut down due to lack of funds.


These materials relate to the founding, operation, and activities of Franklin Academy. The collection consists of material arranged in three series: 1) Administrative and Student Materials; 2) Printed Academy Materials; and 3) Miscellaneous.

Series 1 – Administrative and Student Materials, includes correspondence to and from Franklin Academy administrators and faculty. It also includes minutes of meetings for the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee, financial records for the Academy, enrollment information, and information regarding academic departments and student organizations. Additional items in this series are contained only on microfilm. See inventory for more details.

Series 2 – Printed Academy Materials, consists of materials printed by Franklin Academy on a monthly to yearly basis. Items include catalogs, bulletins, the Franklin Academy Mirror and Franklin Academy Quarterly.

Series 3 – Miscellaneous, includes biographical materials about various faculty members and former students as well as some newspaper clippings about the academy.

Note:  The photo component [RG3272.PH] consists of photographic prints related to several aspects of Academy life. Portraits of individuals and groups, such as graduating classes, YWCA athletic teams, and cadets are included. Campus views and buildings and student activities are also documented. The photographs correspond to the span of the Academy’s operation, 1881-1922, although some are undated. Most of the dated photographs are from 1900-1910.


Series 1 – Administrative and Student Materials

Box 1


    1. Correspondence, 1881-1893

    1. Correspondence, 1902-1913

    1. Correspondence, 1916-1925, n.d.

    1. Constitution and articles of Association of the Franklin Academy

    1. Papers relating to the founding of the Nebraska Congregational Education Commission

    1. Two reports of Franklin Academy, 1886-1887, n.d.

    1. Records of meetings – Board of Trustees, 1880-1893

    1. Records of meetings – Executive Committee, 1881-1894

    1. Records of meetings – Board of Trustees, 1894-1911; Executive Committee, 1894-1911

    1. Records of meetings – Executive Committee, 1896-1897

Box 2


    1. Records of meetings – Board of Trustees, 1912-1922; Executive Committee, 1911-1924

    1. Financial ledger, 1896-1899

    1. Financial ledger, 1896-1905

Box 3


    1. Financial ledger, 1896-1908

    1. Financial ledger, 1908-1911

    1. Financial ledger, 1913-1922 (see oversize v. 1)

    1. Financial ledger, 1918-1921

Box 4


    1. Financial ledger, 1918-1922

    1. Financial ledger, 1921-1922

    1. Financial ledger – Franklin Academy Mirror, 1898-1899

    1. Account book 1882-1894 (see oversize v. 2)

    1. Student accounts, 1889-1894 (see oversize v. 3)

    1. Student accounts, 1896-1898

Box 5


    1. Student accounts, 1908-1909

    1. Misc. financial papers, 1901-1926

    1. Attendance register, 1889-1894 (see oversize v. 4)

    1. Examinations and grade record, partial roll; Class record book, 1907-1919 (see microfilm); Class record book, 1907-1921 (see microfilm)

    1. Faculty meetings, 1888-1919 (see oversize v. 5)

    1. Franklin Academy Business Department, 1917-1918

    1. Franklin Academy School of Music, misc. (see also OB006)

    1. Franklin Academy Library Club, constitution

    1. Franklin Academy Athletic Association, records and constitution, 1903-1922

    1. Franklin Academy Athletic Association, treasurerís book, 1903-1917

    1. Track and Field records

    1. Logotechnean Society, records of meetings, 1900-1902; Logotechnean Society, records of meetings, 1904-1910 (see microfilm); Philogian Society, records of meetings, 1886-1888 (see microfilm); Eclectic Society, records of meetings, 1889-1900 (see microfilm)

    1. Notes and papers written by academy instructors and students

    1. Event programs (commencement, concerts, etc.), 1891-1902

Box 6


    1. Event programs (commencement, concerts, etc.), 1903-1922, n.d.

    1. Anniversary materials, 1901, 1921

    1. General information about Franklin Academy (see also OB006)

    1. Blank academy documents

    1. Miscellaneous

Series 2 – Printed Academy Materials

    1. Catalogs of Franklin Academy, 1881/82-1895, July

    1. Catalogs of Franklin Academy, 1896, July-1905

    1. Catalogs of Franklin Academy, 1906-1914

    1. Bulletins of Franklin Academy, 1915, Jan.- 1921, May

    1. Franklin Academy Mirror, 1887, May- 1892, Nov.

Box 7


    1. Franklin Academy Mirror, 1893, Sept./Oct.- 1894, June

    1. Franklin Academy Mirror, 1894, Sept./Oct.- 1895, Oct.

    1. Franklin Academy Mirror, 1895, Nov.- 1897, July

    1. Franklin Academy Mirror, 1912, Sept.- 1914, Jan.

    1. Franklin Academy Mirror, 1914, Feb.-1915, May

    1. Franklin Academy Mirror, 1917, Jan./Feb.-1922, May

Box 8


    1. Franklin Academy Quarterly, 1898, Nov.-1917, June

    1. Franklin Academy Quarterly, 1917, July-1920, June

Series 3 – Miscellaneous

    1. Franklin Academy Memorial Service, 1962

    1. Cole, Alice E. – funeral service

    1. Harrison, Rev. C. S. – biographical material (see also OB006)

    1. Harrison, Paul W. – biographical material

    1. Hart, Alexis C. – biographical material

    1. Price, Richard – biographical material

    1. Clippings about Franklin Academy

    1. Miscellaneous clippings



Aller, George Henry, 1871-1954

Congregational Church — Nebraska

Education — Nebraska — Franklin County

Franklin, Nebraska. History

Franklin Academy (Franklin, Neb.)

Harrison, Charles Simmons, 1832-1919

Harrison, Paul W.

Hart, Alexis C., 1846-

Price, Richard

Ross, John Elliot, 1883-1925

Schools — Nebraska — Franklin County


12-28-2004   CFF/tmm

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