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 sho uld name his son after the Whig candidate for the presidency,
William Henry Harrison, then in the heat of the wonderf ul "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
and a 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 --- Walter L.,
Henry Harrison, Jr., Edwin R., Bertram B., Knight K., and 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, c ulminating 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 sho uld 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
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 pop ular, 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 usef ul. It is soft, elastic and ductile; is
most diffic ult 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 and drain it, and before X was done I had put twenty-two
miles of drainpipe 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 military academy, 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
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 successf ully 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 three years. 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 beautif ul 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 beautif ul 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 J uly, 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 successf ul summer school eventually to exceed in numbers and
pop ularity the great winter school which it had taken ten years -to build up: The reg ular 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
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 fac ulties, 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 G ulf 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 $1,000,000.
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
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
Most of this cottage on the lake, and whenever he was well enough, he wo uld pass many hours each day on the porch, looking across at the beautif ul
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 diffic ult 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
wo uld be hard to name a sphere of action in which he co uld not have attained success. He was first of all a wonderf ully acute and successf ul man of
affairs. He left property which placed him high in the millionaire class of his city, and all accum ulated 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, oil 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
diffic ulties 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 wo uld move me, first be moved your self." His words came straight from his heart, and he talked to convince and persuade. Nothing
co uld 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 wo uld apply with admirable skill to the subject in hand. Nor less admirable
were those pithy sentences, f ull of practical wisdom, with which he wo uld "point a moral or adorn a tale." Among his favorite thoughts, to which he wo uld
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
wo uld 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 tr uly 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
healthf ul recreation; it considered the purity of the atmosphere, the absence of temptation, and the beautif ul 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
for utility 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
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 wonderf ul 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 co uld 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
p ulley 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 restf ul
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 f ull 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 successf ul
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 successf ul 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. C uler had a summer home, and to it he was wont to repair to rest from the cares of business.
He was large-hearted, large brained, and he conceived the idea that on this beautif ul 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 sho uld 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,
In the late 1880s, retired businessmen living in Webster Groves began to subdivide their estates and build large, _ame Queen Anne houses for their
children or as lec ulative ventures to airact other successf ul businessmen to Webster Groves. Webster Groves was becoming a suburb. Commuter trains made it
possible to work in St.Louis, yet escape the dust, smoke and cholera epidemics that plagued the city each summer. 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 co uld raise their children in the country...
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