Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Baird College

Baird College
Baird College

Location: Clinton, Missouri, USA

Opened: 1885

Closed: 1898

Baird College was founded by Mr. and Mrs. Homer T. Baird in 1885 as a nonsectarian college for women. Classes began in 1890. The school was established on the scholarship plan, and the building was considered one of the best of its kind in the State of Missouri. For twelve years Baird College was regarded as one of the leading schools for young ladies in the West, the average enrollment being about 150. For reasons that are not identified, Baird College closed in 1898.

The school reopened in 1902 as the Clinton College for Young Ladies. But this school only lasted for a few years too. With the end of Clinton College came the end of this location as a womyn's space. The buildings were soon acquired by the Seventh Day Adventists, who set up the Clinton Theological Seminary (German Seminary). This existed from 1910 to 1925.

Despite the credit given to Mr. Baird in the official histories, Mrs. Baird was apparently the real moving force behind this school. In a 1904 obituary which does not provide her first name, we learn a bit about her life and the network of girl's schools and women's colleges that sustained her. We also learn that this woman was very experienced and accomplished as a professional educator and administrator. She was not a mere wife tagging along after a "Great Man." These are themes we've often seen here at Lost Womyn's Space.

She was a lifelong teacher of young women....Kentucky was her native state. The most famous school for young women in Kentucky when Mrs. Baird was a girl was that of Mrs. Tevis, at Shelbyville. In this school, she was educated. Missouri became her home. During the civil war she conducted a school at Springfield, Ill. After her return to adopted state she served four years as principal of Clay seminary, at Liberty. For six years she was president of Ingleside college, at Palmyra, and for a like period of time she served Hardin college, Mexico, Mo, as its chief executive officer. Baird College, Clinton, Mo, is so called in honor of this great woman.

Read more about Hardin College, another lost women's college, here.

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