By Morgan Cook
Leicester – This week the Leader looks back on a forgotten college right here in the area. On October 10, 1859, where Little Sandy Mush Methodist Church now stands was Transmontane College. This college housed students from all over the state. It did that until the Civil War broke out and it was dissolved.
The principal of the school was Reverend W. F. Parker with Mrs. M. M. Parker, his wife we assume, over the female department. Wm. B. Ferguson served as a professor as well.
Semesters were five months long and the tuition ranged anywhere from $4 to $10. Boy wouldn’t it be nice to have that kind of tuition now. Boarding, lights and fuel were an extra $1 per week. Amongst the courses were a minor English, higher English, Latin, Civil Law preparatory C.C. and S.C. as well as orthography.
For things such as the use of chemical apparatuses, terrestrial and celestial globes and Johnson’s Ten Philosophical Charts on Rollers had a “small extra charge” for students, but there was no extra charge for lectures on English and Latin grammar as well as for lectures on mental, moral and natural philosophy.
Because of the ties to religion within the school, sons and daughters of preachers of every denomination were given a one-third deduction on their bills. It was also mandatory to have a copy of the Bible.
If students struggled to pay their tuition, they were allowed to attend for a session as long as they paid it back when the student was able to and they had to have a proper recommendation.
The institution boasted keeping students above the “fashionable vices of the age,” the best and most recent books, the best inducements and facilities and a quicker and cheaper business education.
Students could be admitted at any point in the school year and would not receive any deductions from the time of entrance to the close of the session unless they had a “protracted sickness.”