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Narrator: Frank Shaw of Kidder, Mo.

The plan for a College at the New England village of Kidder came from George S. Harris Superintendent of the Kidder Land Company, as he came there 1860. Nathaniel Thayer of Boston negotiated a provisional land grant of over six hundred acres from the above company. But the Civil War and the consequent depression deferred action. In 1868, the matter was again taken up. By 1869, the building was started and the outside completed but no money was left for the inside. In 1870, the people were determined to start their College, building or no building. There was a vacant store on Front Street. They rented this room and installed Mr. Van Collen, a German from Iowa, a capable teacher, as head. That year they had about thirty pupils. He lived north of town. The next year, the newly elected President Dr. S.D. Cochran of Grinnell Iowa came on. He and Van Collen did not get along well and the latter left for Iowa where he became well known as an Educator.

It was while the College was on Front Street that Frank Shaw first became a pupil. The Shaw family lived above that store and they coaxed Frank to be janitor for his tuition. He also went to the new building "Thayer College" as it was called from the early friend Nathaniel Thayer. The course of study was largely preparatory, although the school was called a College. Most of the pupils were resident pupils; a few out of town boys stayed in the upper floor of the College building. Latin and Greek were stressed, but few were advanced enough to take these subjects.

Some of Frank Shaw's schoolmates were H. Huson, Joe Townsend, Leslie Allen (son of Edmund Allen, the agent for the Land Co. who had an office on the site of the old Kidder Bank), James Temple, Minnie Lacy, Cassius M. Hoyt. There were two graduates of old Thayer - one was Carrie L. Smith (Mrs. Utter) and the other was Levi Chubbuck who died August 1934.

The School lasted four years under Dr. Cochran and then the doors were closed under foreclosure and the building on the hill was given to bats and birds. It was reopened in 1884 as Kidder Insitiute under Principal G.S. Ramsey.

Interviewed August 1, 1934.

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