Lee County Biography


Rev. M. McKendree Tooke, along with Rev. S.G. Lathrop, two Methodist minister who came to the Dixon area in 1863 to open the Dixon Seminary. Rev. Tooke served as it's president. Prior to coming to Dixon, Rev. Tooke in September 1858 organized Mount Ida Female College in Davenport, Iowa to promote "the higher educational interests of the Young Ladies of the West." He along with his wife and daughter served on the faculty of that school. Rev. Tooke and Rev. Lathrop established Dixon Seminary in the building originally built by the Dixon Collegiate Institute and was open to both ladies and gentlemen but was "not under the special control of any denomination." During the first 4 years about 1375 students came through their doors. In 1875 when the name was changed to Rock River University, Rev. Tooke served as Regent. In 1877 there were 470 students enrolled in normal, business, classical, scientific and music courses but soon after Mr. Tooke lost the property and title passed to George L.S Schuyler.

Written by Karen Holt from various sources

Transcribed by Karen Holt History of Lee County - Frank E. Stevens 1914


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