GHOSTS OF THE PRAIRIE
LEWIS & CLARK COLLEGE
THE GHOST OF THE MONTICELLO SEMINARY
Located near Alton, Illinois is the small town of Godfrey. It is here where ghost hunters seek out a small community college known as Lewis and Clark... but that was not always the name of the school. It actually started out as the Monticello Female Seminary and from those years comes the tale of the college's ghost.
Lewis and Clark is a place where "school spirit" is not just a state of mind!
The Monticello Seminary, now known as Lewis and Clark Community College, was founded in 1835 by Captain Benjamin Godfrey. The seminary was opened in 1838 and was granted a charter by the state in 1840 as the Monticello Female Seminary.
Throughout its years as a seminary, the school succeeded in turning out excellent classes of women and in hiring exemplary instructors and administrators. The first head of the college was Dr. Theron Baldwin, a Yale graduate and a native of Connecticut, who gained national attention for the school.
But the most beloved, and best remembered, of the early administrators was Miss Harriet Newell Haskell, a member of a distinguished New England family. She has been described as "an educator who had no superior among ladies in similar positions throughout the land. She was not only an educator, but a vital, uplifting force to the students, and also their tender, sympathetic friend".
Miss Haskell began a reign at Monticello Seminary that would endure for 40 years... and some believe that it has never ended. Her tenure as the head of the college was the schools highest point, both by educational standards and financially. She had a real knack for securing donations for the school and was respected by parents and board members alike. She was also adored by the students and when she died, the "Haskell Girls", as they called themselves, were deeply grieved. Former students from across the country sent flowers and cards and came from great distances to attend her funeral.
In later years, its time as a seminary would come to an end and the school would become known as Lewis and Clark College.
But regardless of name changes, and even her death, many believe that Harriet Haskell has never really left her beloved college. Over the years, she has been blamed for a variety of phenomena here from elevators that operate by themselves; inexplicable footsteps that have been heard in the corridors; strange sounds; cold chills; and a flowery perfume that sometimes seems to descend upon a person as though a spirit is surely making itself known.
Could this ghost really be that of Harriet Haskell....still not content to depart from the school that she loved so much in life? Ill advise you to ask one of the students, visitors or staff members at Lewis and Clark who have had strange encounters here about that. I have a feeling that they will assure you she is still around!
RETURN TO THE GHOSTS OF THE PRAIRIE HOME PAGE
COPYRIGHT 2000 BY TROY TAYLOR. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.