Monticello College Collection


Monticello College Collection


Women's colleges
Universities and colleges
Monticello College
Monticello Female Seminary
Haskell, Harriet, 1835-1907
Godfrey, Benjamin, 1794-1862


Monticello College first began as the Monticello Female Seminary in 1838. Founded by Captain Benjamin Godfrey to provide education for women, the school offered two years of classes for attendees based on the idea that “if you educate a man you educate an individual; educate a woman and you educate a whole family.”

Godfrey selected Reverend Theron Baldwin to serve as the first head of the Monticello Female Seminary. In 1867 Harriet Haskell became principal, a position she held until her death in 1907. 

On November 4, 1888, a fire broke out in the building and consumed the entire structure. Ms. Haskell and the school's Board of Trustees successfully fundraised for a new building and rebuilt the school in two years.

The school's leadership made the decision to close the school in 1970 with the final class graduating in 1971. Lewis and Clark Community College completed the purchase of the Monticello College campus in 1972.

Items in the Monticello College Collection Collection

Several Monticello Female Seminary students pose for a group photo with school principal, Harriet Haskell. All alumnae are identified on verso, and include: Crete Orcutt (top left); May Burnett (top middle); Clara Martin, Valedictory (top right);…

Mary Gilman, a member of the Class of 1904 from Monticello Female Seminary, sits in a chair for a portrait.

Several women fill a student and faculty recreation room at Monticello College that also doubles as a greenhouse.

Samuel Snedeker, a farmer from Jerseyville, sits for a portrait. Snedeker was the father of Catherine Elizabeth Snedeker Hill, an alumnae of the Monticello Female Seminary.

Harriet M. Sunderland Snedeker, of Jerseyville, sits for a portrait wearing a dark dress and glasses. She was the mother of Catherine Elizabeth Snedeker Hill, an alumnae of the Monticello Female Seminary.

Collection Tree

  • Illinois Photographic Collection
    • Monticello College Collection