List of defunct colleges and universities in Kansas

The following is a List of defunct universities and colleges in Kansas. This list includes accredited, degree-granting institutions and bona fide institutions of higher learning that operated before accreditation existed. All have hosted their primary campus within the state of Kansas, and all have since discontinued operations or their operations were taken over by another similar institution of higher learning.

List detailsEdit

Time of operationEdit

Length of operationEdit

Six of the schools operated for more than 50 years. One was able to function for 120 years before closing. The shortest length of operation was less than two years by Bethel Bible College (1900–1901), followed by three years for Concordia Normal School (1874–1876). At least four of the schools began operations before Kansas was admitted into the union (January 29, 1861).

Records for several of the schools have yet to be located and verified at this time of this writing to accurately determine how long the schools operated.

One school, Garfield University, actually opened and closed its doors twice.

Earliest and latestEdit

The earliest verified to open was St. Mary's College in 1848, while the most recent to open was The Way College of Emporia in 1975. The earliest on record to close was Blue Mont Central College in 1863, where the most recent closure was St. Mary of the Plains College in 1992.

University vs college/schoolEdit

Of the 64 institutes on the list, each chose a different method of naming itself:

  • 45 took the name "college"
  • 6 claimed "university" in their title
  • 6 named themselves a "school"
  • 2 were called a "seminary"
  • 2 were "conservatories"
  • 1 was an "institute"
  • 1 did not have any such name in its title (Mount St. Scholastica) but was considered a "college"

Name considerations and locationsEdit

Three of the schools have some variation of "Saint Mary" in the name of the school: St. Mary's College, St. Mary of the Plains College, and Marymount. This can become even more confusing because there are two active colleges/universities in Kansas that have some variation of "Saint Mary" in their names: University of Saint Mary (Leavenworth) and St. Mary's College (St. Marys), the latter which is at the same location of one of the previous "Saint Mary" colleges.

Also in the same location and with similar names were The College of Emporia and The Way College of Emporia. The first school ceased operations and then sold the grounds to The Way International, which operated a school afterward. Critics accused the second school of attempting to use the history of the first to give a perception of value and credibility on the second.

Other colleges with similar names include the several normal schools and business colleges. The College of the Sisters of Bethany is somewhat similar in name but otherwise unrelated to Bethany College in Lindsborg.

Aside from the two Emporia colleges, schools that shared locations were the former Kansas Technical Institute and the current Kansas State University – Salina; the site for Garfield University later became Friends University; and St. John's College was located just a few blocks from Southwestern College. Other schools may also have shared property/buildings during location and relocation efforts during closing of the schools.

One school relocated outside of the state: Midland College originated in Atchison and then relocated to Wahoo, Nebraska where it eventually merged with other schools.

Included exceptionsEdit

There are a few inclusions in the list that are exceptions to the inclusion rule—most noticeably Utopia College. Utopia did not grant "degrees" but operated as a "college" for an extended period of time. Also, there are multiple business colleges that may not have been considered degree-granting institutions. In the interest of being as complete as possible, such schools are listed.

Defunct colleges and universities in KansasEdit

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1909 Advertisement in Topeka State Journal for the Bissing Conservatory of Music
"Presbie Pete" mascot of the College of Emporia
Davis Hall at Friends University, original site of Garfield University
George Washington Carver applied to and was accepted by Highland University, but upon arrival they turned him away because of his race.[1]
Lane University and territorial capital museum
Miltonvale Wesleyan College, main building 1915
College of the Sisters of Bethany postcard showing Wolfe Hall and Holmes Hall
College/University Location Opened Closed Notes
Atchison Business College Atchison 1885 ?? Listing found[2] The school fielded a college football team for at least two years (1892 and 1902).[3]
Bethel Bible College Topeka 1900 1901 Sometimes called "Parham School of Tongues" - founded by evangelist Charles Fox Parham.[4]
Bissing's Conservatory of Music Hays
1901 ?? Established by violinist Petrowitsch Bissing, shown operating as of 1918.[5] Began in Hays and relocated later in Topeka.[6]
Blue Mont Central College Manhattan 1858 1863 Kansas State University named Bluemont Hall to honor the College[7]
Bresee Theological College Hutchinson 1905 1940 Closed in 1940 to merge with Bethany-Peniel College.[8]
Campbell College Holton 1880 1913 Merged with Kansas City University which later also closed[9]
Central Normal College Great Bend ?? ?? Independent normal school[10]
College of Emporia Emporia 1882 1974 Nationally known for its College football team's innovative play and success: see College of Emporia Fighting Presbies football
College of the Sisters of Bethany Topeka 1861 1928 Chartered before Kansas became a state. Was originally named Episcopal Female Seminary of Topeka but changed name around the time the school re-chartered in 1870.[11]
Concordia Normal School Concordia 1874 1876 Lost state funding and did not survive. State normal schools were consolidated to what is now Emporia State University[12]
Conway Springs Normal and Business College Conway Springs ?? ?? Listing found[2]
Draughon's Practical Business College ?? ?? ?? Listing found[2]
Emporia Business College Emporia ?? ?? Listing found[2]
Fort Scott Normal School Fort Scott 1878[13] ?? Sometimes called Kansas Normal School or Kansas Normal School of Fort Scott[14] One student that studied there was born in 1867.[15] Listed as closed in 1905[16]
Garfield University Wichita 1888 1890 Named for United States President James A. Garfield. The school struggled financially from the beginning. Closed once and then re-opened in 1892 officially chartered as "Central Memorial University" but still maintained the name "Garfield"—and closed again.[17] In 1898, passed property to what would become Friends University.[18]
G.A.R. Memorial National College Oberlin 1891 ?? Established by five women of the Women's Relief Corps and endorsed by the Grand Army of the Republic posts of Kansas for the free education of soldiers' and sailors' children. It was said to have been the only such college of its kind in the United States.[19]
Great Western Business and Normal College Concordia 1889 ?? Founded by L. H. Hausam, sometimes called "Concordia Business College" or "Concordia Normal and Business College"—Private, different than the state operated "Concordia Normal School"[20]
Harper Normal and Business College Harper ?? ?? Listed closed as of 1905[21]
Highland University Highland 1856 ?? established for the Sac and Fox Nation under the Presbyterian church[22] Highland Community College claims that its roots date back to this university, and thus claim to be "the first College in Kansas."[23]
Iola Business College Iola 1899 ?? Listing found[2]
Kansas Christian College Lincoln 1882 1913 Listing found[2]
Kansas City Baptist Theological Seminary Kansas City 1901 ?? Later became a part of Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Kansas City.
Kansas City College of Physicians and Surgeons Kansas City ?? 1905 Merged with what is now the University of Kansas to become KU Med Center[21]
Kansas City University Kansas City 1896[24] 1933 This school, located in Kansas City, Kansas should not be confused with UMKC, which was also sometimes historically called "Kansas City University" and is located across the state line in Kansas City, Missouri.[25]
Kansas Technical Institute Salina 1965 1991 Merged with Kansas State University to form Kansas State University – Salina College of Technology and Aviation[26]
Lane University Lecompton 1865 1902 Merged with Campbell College which later also closed[27]
Lawrence Business College Lawrence 1869 ?? Listing found[2]
Leavenworth Business College Leavenworth 1887 ?? Listing found[2]
Leavenworth Normal School Leavenworth 1870 1876 Lost state funding and did not survive, state normal schools were consolidated to what is now Emporia State University[28]
Manhattan Business College Manhattan 1908 1924 [2]
Marymount College (Kansas) Salina 1922 1989 Records sent to St. Mary of the Plains College which also closed (see below)
Midland College Atchison[29] 1887[30] 1962 In 1919, the College moved to Fremont, Nebraska to the site of the former Fremont Normal School and Business College. In 1962, Midland merged with Luther Junior College founded in Wahoo, Nebraska, in 1883. Midland College then became Midland Lutheran College.[31]
Miltonvale Wesleyan College Miltonvale 1909 1972 Ceased operation in 1972 when the school merged with Bartlesville Wesleyan College—later to become a part of Oklahoma Wesleyan University.[32]
Modern Normal School Marysville ?? ?? Listed in a directory published in 1905 [33]
Moline College Moline ?? ?? Listing found[2]
Mount St. Scholastica Atchison 1923 1971 Merged with St. Benedict's College to form Benedictine College
National Business College Coffeyville ?? ?? Listing found[2]
National Business College Hiawatha ?? ?? Listing found[2]
National Business College Kansas City ?? ?? Listing found[2]
Nemaha Commercial College Seneca 1900 ?? Listing found[2]
Nickerson Normal School Nickerson 1898 ?? Independent normal school[10]
Oswego College for Young Women Oswego 1883 ?? Sometimes referred to as Oswego College or Oswego College for Young Ladies[34]
Ottawa Business College Ottawa ?? ?? Listing found[2]
Ottumwa College Ottumwa 1864 1872 Organized by the Methodist Episcopal Church, later under control of the Christian Church. Only building burned to the ground on July 24, 1872.
Parsons Business College Parsons 1892 ?? Listing found[2]
Pittsburg Business College Pittsburg 1894 ?? Listing found[2] The school had a football team in 1908, losing one game to local college team Pittsburg State University.[35]
Salina Normal University Salina 1884 1904 Destroyed by fire in 1904 and was not rebuilt[36]
Salt City Business College Hutchinson 1897 ?? Listing found[2] The school had a football team in 1907 and 1908.[37]
Skelton's School of Telegraphy and Railway Business Salina 1887 1909 Early adopter of teaching both telegraph and typewriter skills to students.[38] Became a Union Pacific Railroad school in 1909 and turned over to Kansas Wesleyan Business College.
Soule College Dodge City 1894 ?? Advertised board for $2 per week and tuition for $24 per year.[16]
St. Benedict's College Atchison 1859[39] 1971 Merged with Mount St. Scholastica to form Benedictine College
St. John's College Winfield 1893 1986 Maintains an active alumni association[40]
St. Mary of the Plains College Dodge City 1913 1992 Maintains an active alumni association[41]
St. Mary's College St. Marys 1848 1968 A second College presently exists at the same location also named St. Mary's College"
The Way College of Emporia Emporia 1975 1989 Same location as College of Emporia. Attempted a legal battle to gain the endowment of the previous college and lost.[42] Enrollment dwindled around 90 students.[43]
Topeka Business College Topeka ?? ?? Listing found[2]
Utopia College Eureka 1946 1970s Granted only "certificates"
Western Musical Conservatory Emporia 1871 ?? Listing found[2]
Western Theological Seminary Atchison 1893 ?? Evangelical Lutheran college, listed as operational as of 1902.[44]
Western University Quindaro 1864 1943 Earliest historically black college or university west of the Mississippi River
Wichita Business College Wichita 1901 ?? Listing found[2] The school had a football team in 1901 and 1902.[45]
Wichita Commercial College Wichita 1893 ?? Listing found[2]
Windsor Commercial College Fort Scott 1897 ?? Listing found[2]
Winfield Business and Academic College Winfield 1894 ?? Listing found[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ George Washington Carver: Scientist, Scholar, and Educator Archived 2009-02-12 at the Wayback Machine from the "Blue Skyways" website of the Kansas State Library
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Homer, Patterson (1905). Patterson's American education, Volume 2. Chicago: American Educational Company. pp. 73–76.
  3. ^ DeLassus, David. "Atchison Business College (KS) Records by Year". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  4. ^ Balmer, Randall Herbert (2002). Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 62. ISBN 0-664-22409-1.
  5. ^ Saerchinger, César (1918). International who's who in music and musical gazetteer, Volume 5. New York: Current Literature Publishing Company. p. 807.
  6. ^ "PRAISE THE STRICH & ZEIDLER PIANO" (PDF). THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW. 1908. p. 17. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
  7. ^ "Campus Tour Bluemont Hall". Kansas State University. Archived from the original on 2010-05-30. Retrieved 2010-05-18.
  8. ^ Willis, Garry (1990). Under God: Religion and American Politics. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-4165-4335-0.
  9. ^ Blackmar, Frank; Carolyn Ward (1912). "Transcribed from volume I of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc". Chicago: Standard Publishing Company. Archived from the original on 4 May 2011. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
  10. ^ a b Appletons' annual cyclopaedia and register of important events page 699
  11. ^ Higher Education in, Kansas, p128
  12. ^ A Standard History of, Kansas and Kansans Archived 2013-10-19 at the Wayback Machine "State Normal School, Concordia" by William E. Connelley, transcribed by Carolyn Ward
  13. ^ Higher Education in, Kansas By Frank Wilson Blackmar, p165
  14. ^ A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, v5 By William Elsey Connelley
  15. ^ A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans Volume 5 By William Elsey Connelley p2422
  16. ^ a b Patterson's American education, Volume 2 by Homer L. Patterson, published 1905, American Educational Company (Chicago) pages 73-76
  17. ^ Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. (Vol 1) "Garfield University" Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
  18. ^ New York Times "Garfield University Sold" March 24, 1898
  19. ^ Correll, Charles M., "Some Aspects of the History of the G. A. R. in Kansas", Kansas Historical Quarterly, vol. 19, 1951: p. 68.
  20. ^ Hollibaugh, E.F. "THE GREAT WESTERN BUSINESS AND NORMAL COLLEGE". Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas. Kansas Skyways. Archived from the original on October 14, 2012. Retrieved November 23, 2010.
  21. ^ a b Patterson's American education, Volume 2 by Homer L. Patterson, published 1905, American Educational Company (Chicago) pages 73-76
  22. ^ Higher Education in Kansas, p126
  23. ^ Highland Community College Archived 2010-08-17 at the Wayback Machine Mission and History
  24. ^ Patterson's American education, Volume 2 by Homer L. Patterson, published 1905, American Educational Company (Chicago) pages 73-76
  25. ^ Missouri Valley Special Collections Archived 2016-03-07 at the Wayback Machine "Kansas City University"
  26. ^ The Salina Journal Archived 2010-05-07 at the Wayback Machine "Changing Times" by Michael Strand, March 7, 2010
  27. ^ Volume II of Kansas-a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. Archived 2011-05-04 at the Wayback Machine Standard Pub. Co. Chicago, 1912. 3 v. in 4., front., ill., ports. 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed July 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
  28. ^ A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans Archived 2013-10-19 at the Wayback Machine "State Normal School, Leavenworth" by William E. Connelley, transcribed by Carolyn Ward, 2000
  29. ^ Lutheran almanac and year-book By United Lutheran Church in America, 1904
  30. ^ Higher Education in Kansas p151
  31. ^ Midland Lutheran College[permanent dead link] history
  32. ^ Oklahoma Wesleyan University Miltonvale Weslyan College
  33. ^ Patterson's American education, Volume 2 by Homer L. Patterson, published 1905, page 290
  34. ^ Center for Research Libraries "College Catalogs: O"
  35. ^ DeLassus, David. "1908 - Pittsburg Business College (KS)". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  36. ^ Erin Mathews, "Saving Lives & Property: A Fire Department Grows Up, Archived 2011-09-27 at the Wayback Machine Salina Journal, April 16, 2009, accessed December 12, 2009.
  37. ^ DeLassus, David. "Salt City Business College (KS) Records by Year". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  38. ^ Combined Kansas reports State of Kansas, published 1901-1902, page 84
  39. ^ Higher Education in Kansas p127
  40. ^ St. John's College Alumni Association Archived 2011-07-28 at the Wayback Machine home page
  41. ^ St. Mary of the Plains College Archived 2011-07-24 at the Wayback Machine Alumni Association
  42. ^ International Cultic Studies Archived 2012-06-12 at the Wayback Machine "The Collegiate ADVISOR Controversy Embroils WAY International"
  43. ^ The Emporia Gazette Archived 2010-02-07 at the Wayback Machine "Will Kenyon Fall?" By Scott Rochat, September 7, 2006
  44. ^ College and private school directory of the United States, Volume 2 Educational Aid Society, New York, 1902, page 119
  45. ^ DeLassus, David. "Wichita Business College (KS) Records by Year". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved January 6, 2016.