May 6, 1907 brought to a close the end of an era, for on this day Harriet Newell Haskell passed away.
Her accomplishments during her tenure at Monticello College were numerous and endure today. Education was her life, and through her determination, she sought to provide to it to as many young ladies as the school could accommodate.
Perhaps her most significant accomplishment, however, is the school itself. Had she not seen to its rebuilding after a fire gutted the original structure in 1888, Lewis and Clark Community College would not be where it is today. And while her body may be at rest in her hometown of Waldboro, Maine, her spirit lives on — both literally and figuratively — within Monticello’s friendly confines… still welcoming all who pass through its doors and roam its halls.
Back in the day, those who attended Monticello Seminary had their choice of either living “on-campus” or off – and tuition, room and board and expenses were adjusted accordingly. Frequently, these days, we overhear students lament that there isn’t on-campus housing, and the fact that many of today’s classrooms were the rooms the young ladies once called home during the school year intrigues them.
Below is a brief comparison of expenses in 1843 versus now.
- If you lived on-campus in 1843, tuition, room and board, and expenses were $110 for the equivalent of a fall and spring semester combined. That would be $2,672.09 today.
- If you lived off-campus in 1843, tuition and expenses were $40—or $971.67 today.
- Just for the sake of further comparison, a course that costs $374 today would have cost $16.27 back in 1843.
“Wherefore, Be it Resolved, as the sense of this Board, that considering her connexion with this Institution from its origin, her intimate acquaintance with the present system, and with the whole routine of studies, her pre-eminent qualifications for maintaining and perfecting this system, and for directing this routine, of study, as evidenced from her character and standing both at home and abroad, among all who have left, as well as among all who remain, there is no one known to this Board to whom the destinies of Monticello Seminary can be so safely confided as to Ms. Philena Fobes;
Resolved, therefore, that the appointment of Principal of Monticello Seminary be, and the same is hereby conferred upon Ms. Philena Fobes, with the fullest latitude of discretion as to its internal management, warranted by the Deed of Trust, and the fundamental laws of the institution.” Twenty years later, almost to the day and on March 21, 1865, Ms. Fobes “presented her resignation of the office of Principal of the Institution to take affect at the close of the present term…and based solely upon the conviction that she needs entire and permanent freedom from the anxieties and responsibilities of the position she has held for so long a period.”
–from the Board Minutes, March 4, 1845 and March 21, 1865
“Whereas, I, Benjamin Godfrey of Alton, in the County of Madison and state of Illinois…to devote to the cause of Female Education, the building erected at my charge, known as Monticello Seminary; and some portion of the grounds at, and adjacent thereto…I, with Rebecca Emeline, my wife…appoint in conformity with the principles and prescriptions herein after recited…the following described lots and parcels of land, lying and being in the County of Madison…in the city of Alton…this 4 day of February, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and forty.”
–Original Deed of Trust from Benjamin Godfrey to the Trustees of Monticello Female Seminary, February 4, 1840
R. E. Godfrey