Henry Harrison Culver
History Of Marshall County
(1907) Daniel Mc Donald
Chapter: LXVI. pages 349-357/8
||Henry Harrison Culver the youngest child of John
Milton Culver and Lydia E. Howard, was born near London, Madison County, Ohio, August 9, 1840. |
The other children of the family were Lutellus, killed in the civil war; Wallace W., Lucius L., Ruth, and Lucetta.
The father was evidently a Whig in politics; and what was more natural than that he should name his son after the Whig
candidate for the presidency, William Henry Harrison, then in the heat of the wonderful "Log Cabin and Hard Cider"
campaign, which swept the country like wild-fire, and at the November elections lauded, by an overwhelming majority, the
famous old Indian fighter in the White House at Washington?
John Milton Culver was of Scotch descent
native of Ohio. He was a farmer and later became a railroad contractor in the rapidly developing new country in which he
lived. But in the early '50s he met with financial reverses, then so common in the west, and with his large family to support
he doubtless encouraged his sons to strike out early for them-selves and begin their lives on their own responsibility. It is
not surprising therefore, that we find Henry, at the age of fifteen, with only a meager common school education of less '
than twelve months, accompanied by his older brother Wallace, in St. Louis, Missouri.
After varied experiences of a few months in St. Louis and western Illinois, working at anything that came to hand, they
met in Springfield, Illinois, John McCreary, who, with his brother Joseph, was engaged in a general hardware business.
The two Culver s were at once engaged by the McCreary brothers, and were put to work at selling cast-iron stoves to the
farmers throughout the country.
|In the course of his travels in northern Indiana Henry met at the home of her father Miss Emily Jane,
the daughter of William J. Hand , a well-known and
unusually intelligent farmer of Marshall county, and Sabrina Chapman, his wife, and in September of 1864 they were
married at her home near Wolf creek, a hamlet some eight miles east of Lake Maxinkuckee.
This was a most important event in the life of H. H. Culver , for by the marriage he gained a wife of remarkable judgment
and sound sense, to whom he always turned for counsel in every important step he took in life, and one who was ever
ready to cooperate with him in all plans of philanthropy and benevolence; and it was naturally through this connection with
Marshall county that the idea first originated of doing something to help the county in which his wife had been reared and
where her people were still living.
Of the children born to this marriage there are now living five sons ---
Henry Harrison, Jr.
one daughter, Ida Lucille
, now Mrs. Dr. George P. Wintermute,
of San Francisco.
Soon after his marriage Mr. H. H. Culver joined his two brothers, W. W. and L. L., in business, and from Shawneetown, Illinois,
as their base, they engaged extensively in the business of selling direct to the farmers at their homes a line of cast-iron stoves,
which they purchased from Ball & Co., of Cincinnati. This plan made it necessary to move frequently from place to place, and
during the five years in which they were thus engaged their operations covered quite thoroughly some ten or twelve of the
central and southern states. But finding a large expense accruing, and much dissatisfaction from their customers on account of
the frequent breakage of the cast-iron stoves, the three brothers decided to give up their stove business and get into another
line. They therefore, in 1869, shipped all their property to Kansas City, Missouri, then in the beginning of a great boom, and
disposing of their stock, they invested their total working capital of about $100,000, and opened a general house-furnishing '
store. This venture, however, did not prove a success, and by it their capital was considerably depleted.
Disposing of their goods in Kansas City, the brothers went south in 1870 and began arrangements to engage again in the stove
business. But the old question of the breakage of the cast-iron stoves and the consequent dissatisfaction among their customers,
together with the unsettled financial condition of the country, culminating in the panic of 1873, compelled them temporarily to
drop business again. They returned to Kansas City, where H. H. Culver owned a farm, and began as they had done in their early
days in Ohio, expecting doubtless simply to make a living at farming until business should begin to improve. But a severe drought
during the summer and an invasion of grasshoppers from Kansas following it practically ruined the prospects of a crop in that
section of the country, so that in complete disgust at the condition they disposed of their property there and shipped their
household goods to St. Louis, January 1874.
They had hardly reached St. Louis before they were approached by many of their old stove employees, asking for employment
with them in some sort of business.
Finding a field for a new line of business, they organized with head- quarters at St. Louis, in. 1875, "The Southern Calendar Clock
Company." The country was recovering, and the business prospered. During the year 1875 each of the brothers built homes in St.
Louis and became permanently located there.
But the longing for their old business was strong, and their men were all insistent in urging them to handle stoves again. Their past
experience had demonstrated to them the disadvantage of trying to sell the old style cast-iron stoves. So in 1881 they organized
a company for the manufacture of a family range, to be built of wrought, not of cast iron; the first of its kind ever made, and
named the new organization the "Wrought Iron Range Company."
The range became at once very popular, and the business was on a paying basis from the start. But the new range was not yet
entirely satisfactory, and there came in numerous letters from customers still complaining of breakage in the cast-iron parts. After
many tedious and costly experiments the company adopted in 1883 malleable iron for the parts exposed to rough usage.
[Malleable iron is intermediate between cast and wrought iron in those qualities and properties most generally useful. It is soft,
elastic and ductile; is most difficult to melt, and, compared with cast iron, is very slow to enter into chemical combinations. Its
tenacity is enormous. Cast iron is hard, brittle, melts with comparative ease, and combines with oxygen, s ulphur, etc., with
much more ease than does malleable iron.]
The range thus perfected found a ready sale, and the business increased to such proportions that greater manufacturing space
was required, The capital was increased, and a new factory, four stories high and covering an entire block, was erected.
Mr. H. H. Culver had been for many years an active officer and a tire-less worker. But he had worked too hard, and in 1881 there
were indications of heart trouble, followed by a slight stroke of paralysis., He retired from active business, and with Mrs. Culver
he traveled for two years, visiting California and Mexico. His health, however, had not materially improved, and in 1883, induced
doubtless by the advice of his wife, his steps were led to her old home near the shores of Maxinkuckee.
"I spent the whole summer," to use Mr. Culver 's own language in an interview held ten years later, "by the side of the lake. I
fished nearly all the day, and lived in a tent. When fall came I was a different man, It had such a glorious effect on my health that
I determined to acquire property here. I bought ninety-eight acres on the northeast corner of the lake. The following year I
bought 208 acres at the north end of the lake. A good deal of this land was low and damp. I employed a number of men to ditch a
nd drain it, and before X was done I had put twenty-two miles of drain pipe in the 300 acres. It reclaimed the land and I started to
have it farmed. On a part I raised corn, and part of it I devoted to meadow for hay. In 1889 I built a tabernacle, a hotel, and some
cottages, and arranged for a big series of religious meetings. I secured T. DeWitt Talmage, of New York; Rev. Sam Jones, of Georgia,
and Dr. John Matthews, of St. Louis, and had great crowds to hear them. I had revival meetings and lectures for the whole of that
summer, but since that time there have been no public meetings of any consequence."
In the fall of 1896, after he had entered upon the work of building up the
, he added this reminiscence, as indicating a single incident which had attached him to the lake: "While fishing
one day near the Indiana boathouse. I caught a fine seven-pound bass, and, sir, that bass has cost me $250,000!”
Soon after he acquired this property, Mr. Culver offered to the citizens of Marshall county, now become his neighbors and many of
them his personal friends, an indefinite leasehold on thirty or forty acres of land to be used for the purpose of holding an annual fair.
He graded and laid off a half-mile track, planted trees, and largely assisted in erecting a grand stand and necessary buildings, and for
several years a fair was successfully held on the grounds; but, doubtless because of the location so far from the center of the
county, this enterprise was gradually abandoned, and finally the land reverted to the estate, after the failure to hold a meeting for
In October 1895, the citizens of Marmont, by a unanimous vote, approved the proposition to change the name of the town to Culver
City, in recognition of what had been accomplished for them by Mr. Culver , and to signify thereby their appreciation of that fact.
After some diffic ulties and delays, on April 1, 1897, the postmaster general at Washington changed the name of the post office to
Culver , dropping the "City," as the double name had been forbidden by the department. And later still the Vandalia railroad changed
the name of its station to Culver on all its official maps and publications, and thus it will doubtless remain for all time, a tribute to Mr.
Culver 's memory.
In 1886 Mr. Culver built upon a beautiful location on the east side of the lake, what was at that time by far the handsomest and most
finished summer home
in this part of the state.
Indeed, it is still the largest and most beautiful of the many fine cottages that have since been built upon the shores of Maxinkuckee,
and with its extensive and tastef ully laid off grounds, shaded by handsome trees, it is an ideal summer home for Mrs. Culver , and there
she spends the time from early spring till late in the autumn. It commands a beautif ul view of the academy buildings and grounds, and
it was of this view across the sunlit waters of the lake that Mr. Culver said further:
"In all these thirty years since I have known the lake a hobby of mine has been to start a school. It has been one of my 'castles in the
air.' The hobby first took definite shape in 1888. I saw in my mind's eye where the school wo uld have to be, and I began to prepare
ground for its location. For a number of years I was in correspondence with teachers everywhere, trying to get a suitable person to
take charge of the school. I co uld find no one who saw promise in my plan. I then went to California, and upon my return, in March
1894, I found a letter awaiting me from an Indianapolis friend, who suggested that a summer school be located on my grounds, and
that Dr. J. R. McKenzie, of the Ohio military academy, near Cincinnati, be selected as the head of the school. I agreed to this, and in
April 1894, set aside the forty acres on the north shore of the lake for school purposes, and put up some additional buildings, The
success of the summer school I consider assured, and I propose now to have the academy a permanent institution. The buildings are of
a temporary character. I propose to have buildings of brick and stone, that will be as fine as the buildings belonging to any educational
institution in the state." And thus was opened, with sixteen boys under Dr. McKenzie, in July, 1894-, the first summer session of the
Culver academy, Mr. Culver 's prophetic eye seeing at that early date the advantages afforded by Maxinkuckee for a successful summer
school eventually to exceed in numbers and popularity the great winter school which it had taken ten years - to build up: The regular
nine months' session opened on September 25th, under Dr. McKenzie and two assistants, with thirty-two boys, Mr. Culver and Dr.
McKenzie acting as the regents or governing body.
All went quietly until February 24, 1895, when at noon the frame hotel which had been used as temporary barracks, suddenly took fire
and was burned to the ground.
Mr. Culver was a man of dauntless courage, and often said that he had never failed in anything he had undertaken, and even before
the embers from this building had ceased to glow; he was on the spot with architects, measuring the ground and planning for an
elaborate fireproof barracks. The material to be used was to be brick, steel, stone, and iron, with no wood work except the floors,
window frames and doors, and the floors were to be laid on a bed of concrete nine inches thick, so that it wo uld be impossible for
the building to be injured by fire.
The cornerstone of the new building was laid on the sixteenth of May 1895, and it was completed and ready for the fa11 term. Dr.
McKenzie had resigned during the summer and was succeeded by Maj. C. H. Tebbetts, who opened the Academy September 24,
1895, with thirty-two cadets, and continued till June 11, 1896, without special note.
The school re-opened September 16, 1896, with twenty-nine boys, under Maj. Tebbetts and three assistants, and was progressing
quietly when an event occurred which at once changed the current of affairs at the academy, and caused them to flow in a channel
quite different from the course of the two previous years.
The Missouri military academy at Mexico, Missouri, had been founded in 1890 by Col. A. F. Fleet, who had resigned from the chair of
Greek, which he had held in the University of Missouri for eleven years, and it at once sprung to the front as the leading secondary
school in the state. For six years it had moved forward with unparalleled success, when on the night of September 24, 1896, the
splendid building which had held over 100 boys was burned to the ground. It was Mrs. Culver who first heard of the calamity and
suggested to her husband to telegraph the superintendent to visit him in St. Louis and discuss the plan of uniting the two schools
at Culver .
Mr. Culver 's proposition was generous and was promptly accepted, and on October 5, 1896, seventy-two Missouri military academy
boys, with their teachers, were collected from Denver to Pittsburgh, and were brought to Culver , where they were warmly
welcomed, and in a short time the two schools, with their respective faculties, were perfectly united. Maj. Tebbetts resigned,
and Col. Fleet was put in command, at the head of 100 cadets.
And now Mr. Culver began to realize the dream of thirty years before, and really saw the beginning of a great school, the fame of
which was to extend from ocean to ocean, and from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.
The new cadets filled the fireproof barracks and overflowed into a frame building nearby, and Mr. Culver without delay began an
additional barracks to hold forty more cadets.
The catalogue of 1896-97, published in June 1897, the first catalogue with roster of cadets theretofore published, showed 122
cadets, and a graduating class of seven.
But we must go back again for a few years before continuing our history of the school.
In 1888 Mr. Culver again took up the reins in the Wrought Iron Range Company, and upon the retirement of his brother, L. L., there
were thrust upon him greater responsibilities and duties. His reappearance at the office with health much improved and f ull of energy,
gave a great impetus to the business, and a few years later, in 1894, the capital invested in the manufacture of ranges was over
It was about this period of prosperity that the republican party of his district offered to Mr. Culver the nomination to congress, and for
a short time he considered the matter rather favorably, but later concluded that he co uld not accept the nomination without seriously
neglecting his engrossing business engagements, and he declined the honor. It was in keeping with Mr. Culver 's character that he made
no mention of this incident except to his closest friends.
His sons were now engaged with him in business, and, entrusting many of the details to them, it was possible for Mr. Culver to spend
much of his time at Maxinkuckee in the years 1895 and 1896.
But in the latter part of 1896 his health began again to fail, and with some fluctuations it soon became apparent that it was steadily
growing worse, until during the summer of 1897 his condition caused his friends the gravest anxiety.
Mr. Culver had lived at such a high pressure and with such extraordinary calls on his mental and physical activity that he seemed at the
age of fifty-seven to have drained the powers of an exceptionally vigorous constitution, and, despite the efforts of physicians, to have
possessed no capacity for recuperation. But his life, though by comparison not a long one, had in virtue of its achievements, a rounded
completeness such as the lives of few men present.
Most of this cottage on the lake, and whenever he was well enough, he would pass many hours each day on the porch, looking across
at the beautiful buildings and grounds of the academy, and was always delighted to hear reports of the progress of the work in filling
the now enlarged barracks with new and enthusiastic cadets. He lived to see the school opened in September with every room filled
and with ample promise of the rapid and substantial growth, which has since been attained.
About the middle of September he was removed to his home in St. Louis, where he died Sunday, September 26, 1897.
It is difficult to give an adequate picture of so many-sided a man as H. H. Culver . It has been said of him that with his wide range of
mental powers it would be hard to name a sphere of action in which he co uld not have attained success. He was first of all a
wonderfully acute and successful man of affairs. He left property which placed him high in the millionaire class of his city, and all
accumulated by his own efforts; but he was much more than a mere business man; he was an idealist and a philanthropist. This is
illustrated most strikingly in his relations with his employees.
At the time of Mr. Culver 's death the Wrought Iron Range Company had in its employment about 400 salesmen, and the same number
of workmen in its factories, and at the malleable and grey iron foundries, engaged in preparing material for their ranges, about 300 more,
or 1,100 men employed in their various industries in St. Louis, Denver and Toronto, Canada. Mr. Culver was not content with merely
winning success for himself; he aimed at encouraging and assisting others to do the same. Few heads of large business enterprises have
done as much for their employees in the way of pushing them forward and urging them to win success for themselves by strenuous
effort. His relation with his employees was marked by the greatest kindliness on his part, and by hearty respect and genuine affection on
theirs, and when he gave his confidence he gave it without reserve. One instance of his dealings with his men will suffice to show the
spirit, which always animated him:
During the panic of 1893 the employees of the Wrought Iron Range Company agreed to a Reduction of wages in order to enable the
company to run continuously through this period of depression without laying off any of their men. After the crisis was passed, and the
payday before Christmas, there was placed in the envelope of each employee a note of friendly greeting and an amount of gold equal
to the entire reduction of their pay during the panic through which they had passed. It was such generous acts as these that bound
to Mr. Culver as by hooks of steel the loyal employees of the company.
Mr. Culver 's benevolences were varied and extensive. It was his pleasure to forward every worthy object; but to help young men
struggling to rise under difficulties and to gain an education, always appealed to him most strongly, and it will never be known how
many of these received assistance from him. It may easily be imagined that his first conception of a school for the education of boys
came to him when he realized how great was the demand for such help by worthy young men.
Mr. Culver was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church of St. Louis, and was always a liberal and generous contributor to its
support He was also a Knight Templar and a Thirty-second Degree Scottish Rite Mason. Mr. Culver was also a charter member of the
Masonic lodge at Culver , whose name was changed to the Henry H. Culver Lodge after his death, in compliment to him.
In coming in contact with Mr. Culver personally, one realized most clearly what is meant by the often-used phrase "personal magnetism”;
nor in his case was it hard to discover the sources of that power of attracting and holding the attention. There was in him a natural
flow of eloquent speech, a vivid imagination, and a generous heartiness of manner of which everyone felt the fascination. No one who
met him co uld forget the sincerity and noble simplicity that characterized all his words and actions, the quick response to every emotion,
the spontaneous humor and ready wit. Striking as were his powers of intellect, it was above all his large-hearted- ness and sympathetic
kindliness that one most admired and was attracted by.
He was a most impressive talker; brimf ul of eloquence, by turns fiery and impassioned, again humorous or pathetic. He seemed
unconsciously to follow the poet's advice: "If you would move me, first be moved your self." His words came straight from his heart, and
he talked to convince and persuade. Nothing could be more picturesque and vivid than the language he employed, entirely free from
conventional or artificial phrases, simple, direct, original.
Mr. Culver had at his command an inexhaustible stock of reminiscences, which he would apply with admirable skill to the subject in hand.
Nor less admirable were those pithy sentences, full of practical wisdom, with which he wo uld "point a moral or adorn a tale." Among his
favorite thoughts, to which he would return again and again, were two which were most characteristic of the man, and furnished the
keynote of his success. These were: growth as the test of health in business; and character, and the heart as being a more important
factor of success in life than the intellect. "Keep on growing, expanding," he would say, with that emphatic sweep of the arms, "growth,
no matter how little, that's the main thing." And again, "I believe that though a man were as eloquent as Webster, and as great a
general as Grant, he will come to nothing if his heart is not right."
The Wrought Iron Range Company, after the retirement of Mr. W. W. Culver passed entirely into the hands of Mr. H. H. Culver 's family.
It has continued to grow and prosper under their management, as they have continued to build wisely upon the foundation laid for
them in the past. The five sons, W. L. Culver , H. H. Culver , Jr., E. R. Culver , B. B. Culver , and K. K. Culver , with their mother, are also
the trustees of the Culver Military Academy, and most liberally and loyally have they followed their mother's inspiration to build in the
school which he loved, the greatest and most enduring monument to his memory.
In twelve years, from a corps of thirty cadets, quartered in a frame building, and scarcely known within its own state, to an enrollment within
the year 1907-08 (winter and summer) of 677 cadets, over double the number receiving military instruction in any other private school in the
United States, with four splendid fireproof barracks, a superb riding hall, gymnasium, and hospital, all built and equipped at a cost of half a
million, and officially designated by the war department as one of the six distinguished institutions of the country, and recognized the world
over as the highest type of private military school such in brief is the truly remarkable history of the growth of the Culver Military Academy. In
all the annals of school history there is no other record such as this.
This great phalanx of turret red buildings that has sprung up as if by magic along the shores of Lake Maxinkuckee is but the housing for
executive and educational experience gained through half a century under great divergence of place and circumstances, and brought together
by Providence for concrete expression in the erection of a great school. The philanthropic plan of the founder was not the imp ulse of a
moment, but was the outgrowth of a desire that had been born of his own youthf ul struggles against adversity, and the yearning of his
magnanimous heart to assist others in the pursuit of knowledge. The wisdom that chose so advantageous a site was gained through many
years of successf ul business experience. This wisdom saw the gushing fountains of pure artesian water, and realized their relation to the health
of the student body; it took into account the exquisite lake and its resources for healthful recreation; it considered the purity of the atmosphere,
the absence of temptation, and the beautiful surroundings with their unconscious influence upon impressionable youth.
The knowledge of men that selected the educator under whose guidance the internal machinery of the school was put in motion and perfected
was gained through half a century's experience with many men in many walks of life. The prudent business sagacity that guided the great material
growth, building forutility only, but building for all time the best and the fittest buildings counted a model of their kind, was an inheritance to young,
enthusiastic, capable business men, building a great monument to their father, its founder, stim ulated by filial loyalty and affection, and proceeding
with judgment and foresight.
Behind the success of every school must lie the same simple causes, the excellence of its training, and the adequacy of its equipment.
The original main barracks was built complete in itself, with quarters, class rooms, and mess hall, to accommodate about the number to which a
school in the ordinary rtm of things wo uld grow in the first ten years of its existence. With the absorption of Col. Fleet's school from Missouri,
this building at once became inadequate, and Mr. Culver , without even waiting for the snow and ice of winter to pass, at once constructed the
west barracks to accommodate forty-four cadets and two officers, and containing six section rooms, one physical laboratory and one chemical
laboratory. This was in 1897. This enlarged plant did not meet the entire demand for admittance for even one year, and two years later, in 1899,
another building was added, the east barracks, to accommodate sixty cadets and two officers, with hospital of four rooms, two laboratories, and
library. The latter room made an important addition to the academic equipment of the school. This has since been increased by adding the adjoining
laboratory, which was converted into a stack room, the original library being now furnished as a comfortable and attractive reading room. The library
contains over 4,000 volumes.
In the year intervening between the construction of the west and the east barracks, a building was erected which marked an epoch in the school's
development, and was an unmistakable indication of the unusually broad and comprehensive lines" along which it was the intention of the trustees to
develop the school. Many people wondered at the time, and doubtless questioned the policy that erected as subsidiary equipment to a comparatively
small school, a riding hall which was finer than those built by the national government for its cavalry posts or at West Point, and probably without a
superior in the world. This remarkable building, one hundred and four by twohundred and twelve feet, of brick and stone, with great steel trussed
roof, of ornate architecture and incorporating every essential of the complete riding arena, was erected at a cost of $50,000. Indeed it was a
wonderful building for a private school of 122 cadets; but time ha~ justified the policy that built it. No school investment ever paid bigger dividends
of benefit to its students. There are strong-bodied, virile young men effectively fighting the battle of life today who went into this laboratory of
muscle and energy as spindling youngsters and who came out of it strong and vigorous, with abounding energy stored in their fibres that never could
have been acquired throughout an ordinary school course.
So even in the infancy of the school the trustees gave it this wonderf ul source of physical development, a splendidly equipped cavalry department,
at once an assurance of a broad policy, and an emphatic evidence of their confidence in the future, of the school.
The additional barracks necessitated greater capacity for the heating and lighting plant, and between January and May of 1899 the boiler room was
enlarged, two additional tub ular boilers installed, and six rooms for employees were built over the engine room, a brick stack one hundred feet high
being also constructed. A powder magazine, covered gallery for formations, and new walks in the grounds were other improvements of that year.
Notwithstanding the addition of the east barracks to the school's capacity in 1899, the fall of 1900 found the school again f ull to overflowing, and so
large a waiting list of disappointed applicants that it was decided to build immediately a third story to the north wing of the main barracks. This was
pushed as rapidly as possible, and rooms to accommodate twenty- two cadets and two officers were added to the school's capacity and at once filled.
Between the years of 1900 and 1904, despite a waiting list each fall, no additional barracks were built, but an important addition was made to the
academic facilities of the school. In 1903 a fourth story was added to the large main barracks, this being solely for academic purposes, and containing
a drafting room, physical laboratory, chemical laboratory, biological laboratory, Y. M. C. A. room, chemical and physical lecture rooms, dentist's office,
barber shop, and dark room for amateur photographers.
This addition to the school's academic facilities made it possible to instruct effectively an increased number of cadets, and opened the way for the
construction of new barracks. Consequently in 1904 the south barracks was built, with capacity for ninety cadets and three officers.
During 1903-04 a splendid gymnasium was constructed. In its relation to the physical training of the cadets this was as important and complete an
addition to the school's equipment as was the riding hall, erected some years previous, and was again a demonstration of the school's policy to build
only the best and fittest, and to afford its cadets unequalled facilities in every department. This building was destroyed by fire June 1, 1906, but was
immediately rebuilt. This is the largest and most complete private school gymnasium in existence. It is constructed in the Tudor Gothic style of
architecture. The main gymnasium hall is seventy-five by one hundred and forty feet. It has walls of white, enamel brick, capped by a heavy oak rail,
to which are fastened pulley weights and other wall apparatus. The floor is of polished hard maple. A suspended running track-seventeen laps to the
mile-and gallery, skirt the four walls. The roof is supported by steel trusses, and no pillar or post mars the ample floor space. Opening into the main
hall are apparatus room, measuring room, filled with the best anthropometric apparatus, director's room, locker room, drying room, and baths. In
connection with the latter is a system of showers designed, or it might be said, invented, especially for this building. The class, after exercising,
marches around the shower room, and on completion of the circuit has received a scientifically reg ulated shower bath, warm on entrance and
gradually, by an ingenious arrangement, decreasing in temperature so that the water at the end is of an invigorating coolness.
In 1907 a separate hospital building was erected, of strictly fireproof construction, and equipped with the latest sanitary appliances. It is two stories
high, has a diet kitchen, independent heating and lighting systems, and accommodations for twenty-five patients. The style of architecture is the
Tudor Gothic, which admits of highly ornate trimmings and is pec uliarly adapted to buildings for this purpose. The architectural treatment combines
the restful and quiet effect essential to hospitals, with the massive and dignified appearance appropriate to military buildings. A reception hall divides
the first story longitudinally; this hall also serves as a waiting room. On the left of the reception hall are located the surgeon's office and chambers also
the operating, sterilizing, and emergency rooms. On the right of the reception hall is the contagion ward, with separate baths, nurse's quarters,
kitchen, etc. This portion of the building is absolutely isolated from the other rooms for the purpose of safe quarantine in case of contagion.
And so from year to year the remarkable growth of the school has steadily continued, until today an imposing group of eight large buildings " and
numerous smaller structures, with beautif ul grounds and athletic fields, has stands as a monument to Mr. Culver , perpetuating his name in
connection has with the highest type of complete mental, moral, and physical training that can be afforded to youth.
The following table shows the attendance of the school from year to year:
|Year ||Cadets ||Year ||Cadets |
|1896-97 ||122 ||1902-03 ||279 |
|1897-98 ||158 ||1903-04 ||327 |
|1898-99 ||171 ||1904-05 ||386 |
|1899-00 || 242 ||1905-06 ||529 |
|1900-01 || 260 ||1906-07 ||514 |
|1901-02 || 49 ||1907-08 ||677 |
The school has been from the first distinctly a: military school. Its uniform has been no mere idle sham to tickle the fancy, but has stood for the
highest standard of honor and discipline. The fact that this twelve year-old school, out of the hundreds of military schools in this country, is today
designated by the war department as one of the six distinguished institutions of the United States indicates at once the superiority of its methods.
The school has appreciated from the start that the best res ults co uld be obtained from a military system that was as real and as thorough as if
the making of soldiers were its chief and only aim. Such a system enlists at once the boy's pride and interest, and impresses him with its force and
reality. It strips him of every artificial garnishment of parental wealth or social or political prominence, puts him absolutely on his own merits; garbs
him in the same uniform, locates him in the same sort of room, and affords him exactly the same opportunities as his fellows; places him in an
atmosphere where he learns to know and respect true merit for its own - sake, and where he will make the best of himself.
The school has realized also that interest and variety must furnish the incentive in a military course in a private school, and has provided facilities
for a range of military instruction, which approximates in the scope and extent of its practical features the course at West Point, and is equaled by
that of no other private school.Infantry, cavalry, artillery, signaling, first aid, and military engineering, all contribute their quota to the training
of the Culver cadet.
The cavalry school was added in 1898, and was at once provided with the splendid riding hall, already described. The first mounts for the cavalry
department were purchased from the famous Troop A, of Cleveland, and were the handsome blacks on which the troop rode when they acted
as President McKinley's escort at his first inauguration. This is a department that makes a powerf ul appeal to a boy's interest,and every facility
has been provided to contribute to his full enjoyment and benefit. The res ult has been that the cadets have acquired a proficiency in their riding
that has given the Culver cavalry department a world-wide reputation. They have distinguished themselves as the official escort of Gov. Mount
and a Gov. Durbin, of Indiana, as Admiral Dewey's escort in the Dewey parade in St. Louis; in the jubilee parade in Chicago; and on various other
public occasions. At the World's Fair in St. Louis they attracted especial attention, and many foreign correspondents gave them prominence through
the periodicals of their various countries. The stim ulus to the esprit de corps of such widespread praise is easily imagined, and has furnished an
incentive to continued and even greater excellence.
The infantry battalion also has gained an enviable reputation for the precision of its drill, and for the splendid set up and military bearing of its
cadets. Various officers from the war department who have inspected the battalion have accorded it the highest praise. Maj. John S. Mallory, in his
report of May 13 and 14, 1906, states: "It is in fact a splendidly equipped up-to-date military school, and shows what can be accomplished at a private
military institution when supplied with abundant capital." And Capt. J. A. Penn, in a report dated May 9 and 10, 1907, says that, the cadets at the
Culver Military Academy "wo uld compare most favorably with the cadets at the United States Military Academy."
Returning to Mr. Culver 's original idea and in order to afford an opportunity for an organized vacation, and to avoid the undesirable effects of a
summer aimlessly spent, the school in 1902 started its summer naval school. Through the efforts of the Indiana delegation in congress, a law was
passed authorizing the loan to the academy of man-of-war cutters for the practical instruction of cadets, in a course of boat drills similar to those
given to the fourth class at Annapolis.
The naval course, with its wholesome, open-air exercises, its picturesqueness, and its touch of romance, has proved an ideal solution of the summer
problem, giving boys a change of thought and action, a coat of an tan and the hardened muscles that every boy considers a necessary part of a
successful vacation. At the same time, the school has retained during the summer its experienced staff of teachers, and has afforded to those
cadets who desire it an opportunity for caref ul tutoring in their studies. The summer school has grown rapidly, and in five years has increased from
an attendance of twenty-two cadets to 345.
In 1907, the summer cavalry school was also started, in order to afford every, boy who were fond of riding an opportunity of taking the cavalry course
during the summer months. This bids fair to be as successf ul as the naval feature.
During the summer session of 1907, the cadets of both the naval and the cavalry schools made an extended excursion to the east, visiting the
Jamestown Exposition, Washington, and Annapolis. Their work was highly, complimented by distinguished officers of both the army and the navy.
It has been thought proper, in connection with the sketch of Mr. Culver 's life, to insert this much of the history of the Culver Military Academy, which
was his gift primarily to Marshall county and the state of Indiana, and because its success has been largely due to his wisdom in its location and to the
plans laid by him for itsfuture development.
H. H. Culver
Although, in the broad sense of the word Mr. Culver was not a citizen of Indiana, his name must hereafter be linked with Indiana history, and he be
given a place among her philanthropists. Mr. Culver was born new New London, Ohio, in 1840. He received a common school education, and upon
arriving at his maturity entered into business at Springfield, Illinois.
He afterwards went to Mattoon and then to Kansas City, and from there, in 1873, to St. Louis. He was a most successful business man, and rapidly
accum ulated money. He was one of those who believed that education is the best start in good citizenship, and his help in this direction was freely
extended. It is said he assited more than a score of young men to a collegiate course.
He married and Indiana lady, and this became indentified with this state. Her home had been on Lake Maxinkuckee, the beautif ul lake in Northern
Indiana, where the Culver Military Academy is now situated. On this lake Mr. Culver had a summer home, and to it he was went to repair to rest
from the cares of business.
He was large-hearted, large brained, and he conceived the idea that on this beautiful lake was the ideal spot for an academy for young boys. He
was also a believer in discipline, and that discipline was the actual foundation of character, and his mind turned to making the school he contemplated
one to be conducted on the same theoried and practice as the great military school of the Government.
In 1894 the new shool was opened, but the first buildings were destoryed by fire, and newer ones had to be erected. Thes he determined should
be as near fire proof as it was possible to make them, and that they sho uld be fitted up with every convenience to make school life not only
comfortable but attractive in the highest degree. Such buildings were at once erected, and the new school began its career under the finest of
auspices. The United States Government has fitted the Academy out with the finest and most improved arms and military science is now taught in
every branch. Mr. Culver only lived to see his great scheme get fairly underway, when death came to him. He died at St. Louis, September 26, 1897.
The history of the state of Indiana : from the earliest explorations by the French to the present time : containing an account of the principal civil,
political, and military events, from 1763 to 1897 Indianapolis: B.L. Blair Co., 1897,
||H. H. Culver's Building, Southeast Cor., Twelfth and Locust Streets|
Webster Groves is an inner-ring suburb of St. Louis in St. Louis County, Missouri
As a suburban municipality, Webster Groves has its origins as five separate communities along adjacent railroad lines. Webster, Old Orchard, Webster
Park, Tuxedo Park, and Selma merged in 1896 to implement public services and develop a unified city government
Webster Groves is approximately 2 miles west of the St. Louis city limits, and 10 miles southwest of downtown St. Louis, in an area
known to fur trappers and Missouri, Osage and Dakota indigenous people, until 1802, as the "Dry Ridge"
In the late 1880s, retired businessmen living in Webster Groves began to subdivide their estates and build large, frame Queen Anne houses for
their children or as leculative ventures to attract other successful businessmen to Webster Groves. Webster Groves was becoming a suburb.
In the 1890s, other St. Louis businessmen bought lots in Webster Groves subdivisions and hired Webster Groves carpenters like John Prehn and
John Berg to build Queen Anne and American Foursquare houses for them so they could raise their children in the country.
In 1892 the developers of Webster Park, an early housing subdivision, promoted the new community as the "Queen of the Suburbs", offering
residents superb housing options in a country-like atmosphere, as well as a swift commute to downtown St. Louis jobs
Commuter trains made it possible to work in St.Louis, yet escape the dust, smoke and cholera epidemics that plagued the city each summer.
|131 South Gore Ave.
Henry H. Culver House (1896, Queen Anne)
This house was built for H. H. and W. W. Culver , who founded the Wrought Iron Range Company in 1881 with their brother L. L. Culver .
Henry H. Culver developed the land around Lake Maxinkuckee in Indiana and founded the Culver Military Institute there. Culver , Ind.,
was named for him. W. W. Culver became a millionaire as president of the W. W. Culver Real Estate and Investment Company.
The Culver's sold the house in 1899 to Charles Clear. Clear was a department manager of the Wrought Iron Range Company
found in the Logansport Pharos Tribune Sep 28, 1897
Expired Sunday Evenlng at His Home in St. Louis
Something of the Great Military Academy He Fonuded at Lake Macinkuckee
Mr. W. W. Culver , founder of the military academy at Lake Maxinkruckee, which bears his name, died
Sunday evening at his home in St. Louis.
The deceased made a fortune as a manufacturer of stoves at St. Louis, and expended $185,000 on the
Culver military school. There are two large buildings, constructed of stone, steel and concrete. The frame,
buildings having been detroyed by fire two years ago, he determined to have buildings as absoutely fire
proof as human skill co uld make them, and he evidently suceeded.
These buildings are equipped with all the modern appliances, heated by steam, lighted oy electricity and
laving hot and cold water on every floor. The outlay on buildings and grounds, there befog forty acres in
the school grounds, has been nearly $165,000.
n order that the scholars might have thorough cavalry instruction, he purchased the famous -'Troop A"
McKlnlijy escort of Cleveland, Ohio, of fa ultlessly black horses, said to be the handsomest lot of horses of
one color ever collected in this country.
Mr. Culver built a handsome cotage surrounded by a tract of twenty-five acres of land, beautified by nature
and by himself, and is by far the most attractive of all the beautif ul on the shores of Lake Maxnakuckee
Mr. Culver was the head of the Wrought Iron Range company, of St. Louis, a Company in which there is
over six hundred thousand dollars invested, and which he founded
Mr. Culver was in reality a self-made man, commencing his business life fifty years ago as an itinerant
vender of stoves, driving a wagon loaded with them and kitchen utensils, replenishing his stock from
shipments made to. him from the east by water.
He was a native of Vermont and came west over half a century ago, wben a young man.
A man of indomitable will, endowed with a vigorous frame, he fought life's battle to a success.
Within his seeming rough exterior there beat a warm and gentle heart, f ull of the best Imp ulses and his
charities will be long remembered by all those benefitted.
He had many friends among the Logansport people who summer at Lake Maxinkuckee
It was while on a tour of Indiana as a vender of stoves that he met and afterwards married Miss Emily Hand
at Plymouth, who, with five sons and a daughter survive him.
He was a 32d degree Mason, and a member of the Culver M. E. church.
The funeral was held at 2 p. m. today from the family residence in St. Louis
found in the Logansport Pharos Tribune Oct 6, 1897
Culver 'S Fortune
He Left an Estate valued at $715,000
To His Wife and Six Children—The Former will Qualify as Administratix
Mrs. Emily J. Culver , widow of Henry H. Culver , founder of the Culver Military Academy at Lafce
Maxinkuckee, appeared in the probate court at St. Louis, Saturday, accompanied yj Seneca N.
Taylor, her legal adviser, and one of her sons, to claim the estate of deceased, who left no will.
The heirs are Emily J. Culver , Walter L., Henry H., jr., Edwin R, Bert B., Ida L. and Knight K. Culver ,
all of whom are residents of St. Louis.
The estate consists of real estate in that city valued at $225,000. which yields an annual income of
$12,000, and stock In the Wrought Iron Range company and other personal property valued at
Mrs. Culver will qualify as administraorix of the estate. A bond of $1,000,000 will be required