Shiloh College in Randolph County was granted a charter on Jan. 8, 1840 to promote education and literature and to be open to all religious denominations.
On Jan. 1, 1836, trustees met at the home of John B. Burke, near the present-day village of Shiloh Hill, just west of Campbell Hill. They met for the purpose of drawing up articles of agreement for a school and meeting house.
In April of 1839, the residents around Shiloh Hill agreed to purchase 80 acres for a school. By November of that year, they had met with and petitioned the legislature to incorporate an institution known as Shiloh College.
A notable fact is that Civil War General John A. Logan and his brother Tom received a part of their early education at Shiloh College. They arrived at the school when they were 16 and 14. They spent three years studying spelling, arithmetic, grammar and Latin.
The first building was 26 feet by 20 feet, a one story building, with walls of well hewn timber.
Both the college and school prospered and another building was constructed in 1842.
But financial problems began to plague the college and the trustees sold off the land in lots. The village of Shiloh Hill, formerly called Steuben, grew around the schools.
College trustees remained optimistic, however. In 1881, they built a two-story brick building covered with stucco for $3,500, but it never opened. The college was so financially strapped, the trustees decided to lease the building to the Shiloh Hill school district.
The days of higher education at Shiloh College were over.
Community grade school classes were held in the Shiloh College building until 1954 when the grade school was consolidated into the Trico School District.
The original log structure was torn down in 1933, after serving as a store and then as a storage barn.
The Shiloh College Trustees continued to keep the current building available for community events but by 1964 only one person remained active on the board.
In 1998 the Randolph County Historical Society agreed to assume ownership and in April of 2004 the Shiloh College Foundation was created to work to restore and preserve this piece of history.
Currently Shiloh College is being restored for use as both a museum and community center. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on Nov. 15, 2005.
According to Shiloh College Foundation Secretary Anna Gross, as of October 2011, work has been completed on the main schoolroom's flooring and the front foyer. Future plans include work on the stairwell and roof as well as additions for restroom facilities and other upgrades.
- Reprinted from The Southern's Legacies of Little Egypt