Clinton Institute Building

** Information transcribed from an original informational circular of the
Clinton Liberal Institute, issued June, 1891, prior to the entrance of the
first class of cadets at the Ft. Plain Military School. **

Clinton Liberal Institute,   Fort Plain, N.Y.

Seminary, Fitting School, School of Fine Arts,
Porter School of Business Training,
Fort Plain Military School

The CLINTON LIBERAL INSTITUTE holds a foremost place among educational institutions below university and college rank. In its range, spirit, equipment and staff of instructors it possesses the essentials of a great institution. Destined by its increasing endowments to be permanent it has a special attraction for young men and women who care for the thought that the school in which they are trained will live. Its object is, to provide exceptional educational advantages, and the best home surroundings, at moderate cost. Binding itself to maintain a high moral and religious tone and not to bring to bear sectarian influences it is open to and invites students irrespective of their Church affiliations.

It is seldom that all vacancies in the Faculty are filled before commencement, and this year is no exception to the rule. At the date of this writing, June 3, the heads of some important departments have not been elected, but our patrons are assured that none will be engaged about whose superior qualification there is question.

The Faculty,


Charles V. Parsell, A. M.       President
Anna C. Marston, B. L.         Lady Principal

Academic Department.

Charles V. Parsell, A. M.,
English and American Literature, and Philosophy

Anna C. Marston, B. L.,
Rhetoric and French

Advanced Mathematics.

Tracy E. Clark, B. S.,
Sciences and German

Annie Florence Moon, A. B.,
Latin and Greek

Jennie A. Van Vliet,
History, Grammar, and Composition

_________ (open faculty position)
Geography, Spelling, and Arithmetic

Daisy E. Lounsbery,

School of Fine Arts.

Carl Bodell, (Stockholm, Paris and Leipsic,)
Piano and Harmony

Mrs. C. V. Parsell, (Paris and New York,)
Singing and History of Music

Daisy E. Lounsbury, (C. L. L. and Boston School of Oratory,)


Hanna Bodell, (Stockholm,)
Piano and Pipe Organ

Lena A. Brandow, (C. L. L.) Piano

George Hermann Koepping, (Conservatory of Music, Leipsic,Germany,)

Porter School of Business Training.

G. Edward Snyder,
Director and Teacher of Book-Keeping, Penmanship and Commercial Law

_________ (open faculty position)
Business Practice and Book-Keeping

_________ (open faculty position)
Commercial Arithmetic

George W. Mead,
Phonography and Type-Writing

Charles V. Parsell, A. M.,
Civics and Economics

The Fort Plain Military Institute.

Harry L. Hawthorne, 2d Artillery, U.S.A., Commandant,
Military Science and Tactics

Tracy E. Clark, B. S.,
Gymnasium Director and Tactics

(All Departments of C. L. L. open to Cadets.)

The Academic Departments.

This section generally describes the five major courses of concentration - engineering, science, literary, language, and common English. A description of teaching equipment states they had a well appointed chemical laboratory and physical apparatus; a large collection of specimens for zoological, geological, anatomical, histological studies, maps, globes, library, etc.

The School of Fine Arts.

The members of the Faculty of the School of Fine Arts represent high culture. Four have been trained by celebrated European masters, and all excel in their respective arts. The marked success of each as a teacher is a guarantee of ability to apply principles and methods. By tolerating no sham work the Institute is winning a reputation as an art centre.

Brief Personal Words Concerning the Fine Arts Faculty.

PROFESSOR BODELL was graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Stockholm, Sweden, in 1870, and afterwards continued his studies in Paris and Leipsic. He has few equals as performer and instructor. He inspires his pupils to work with the true art spirit; many of them have become performers whose interpretations bear the stamp of genuine artists.

PROFESSOR KOEPPING was graduated from the Conservatory of Music, Leipsic, Germany, and has met with great success as a solo player and as a teacher. His pupils make rapid advancement and in the right direction. The opportunity for studying the violin, which is now offered at the Institute, has never been excelled in Central New York.

MRS. PARSELL, first graduated in vocal music at the Institute, and after continued post graduate work, studied abroad in London and Paris. During the past year she has studied in New YOrk. Recognizing the fact that training the sining voice is one of the most difficult things to do, her efforts have been directed to attaining the best methods in use. Her successful experience as a teacher of voice justify on the part of the management a recommendation of her instruction as safe and inspiring.

MISS BODELL came to America on our invitation, to occupy the position of first piano assistant and teacher of the pipe organ. Her success has been very great, and our patrons are highly pleased with the progress made by their children while under her care.

MISS BRANDOW is a graduate of the Institute in the Artists' Piano Course. Her record as a pupil was brilliant. As a teacher in her position of second piano assistant, she is doing work the quality of which meets the exacting requirements of the school.

MISS LOUNSBERY is also a graduate of the Institute, having completed two courses, the Scientific and that in Elocution. After considerable experience in union school work she returned to the Institute for post-graduate instruction in elocution, and later took a diploma at the Boston School of Oratory. During the past year she has been at the head of the department of Elocution at Georgetown College, where her teaching has been the means of exciting great interest in the subject which is her specialty. Knowing her attainments, we have full confidence in her ability to maintain the high standards that have prevailed in this department here.

The booklet continues with general descriptions of programs in history of music, history of art, public recitals, and equipment and facilities available for students in music, elocution, and art.

The Porter School of Business Training.

In the Porter School of Business Training young men and women have an excellent opportunity to acquire a business education The Porter School is admirably equipped. It has spacious rooms, and all the appointments in the way of offices, desks, business practice cards, currency, business paper, etc.

The full Rochester Business University Course is offered. It includes Single and Double Entry, Banking, Business Practice, Penmanship, Commercial Law, Commercial Arithmetic, etc. company of the methods and success of the Porter School with those of Business Colleges is solicited.

The system of Short-hand taught is the Haven. It is considered one of the best now in use. The Remington machine is used in the type-writing department.

Clinton Institute Building

The Institute as a Home.

The buildings are among the finest of their kind. The main building has less than half a dozen equals among structures of its class. Its size may be inferred from the fact that it has nearly 200 rooms. In its furnishings it is as complete as a fine hotel. It is provided with a passenger elevator, steam and gas in all the rooms and halls, bath rooms on every floor, large and ample rooms for pupils and teachers, dining hall with table room for 200 persons, spacious and beautiful reception room, large library, reading parlors, etc. It is admirably planned. It really consists of three great parallel buildings, with connecting sections. Of these the middle one is longer than the other two, and completely conceals them from each other. It contains the ladies' gymnasium, chapel, parlor, Lady Principal's rooms, Porter School of Business Training, &c. The two outside buildings or wings are occupied, the one by the lady teachers and students, the other by the gentleman teachers and students. We urge parents to visit and personally inspect the Institute, confident that they will agree with us that a more safe and delightful home for students could hardly be devised.

All the members of the faculty and all students from abroad reside in the Institute. The home life is pure and refining, and parents invariably acknowledge their high sense of its value. We invite parents to acquaint themselves with it, confident that the more they know about it the better pleased they will be to place their children with us. An important consideration, and one that should be carefully weighed, is this, that in such a systematized household pupils find their time far less infringed upon by social and other distractions than at home.

Briefly Mentioned but Important.

The frequent receptions of the faculty; the flourishing literary societies; the elegant society halls; the unrivaled location, overlooking one of the most charming portions of the famous Mohawk valley; the extensive campus laid out in lawns, groves and drives; the provisions for outdoor exercise in the tennis courts, the base ball and foot ball grounds; the provisions for indoor exercise in the two gymnasiums, that of the boys being a two-story brick building 70x35, and that of the girls being a room 50x30 in the main building; the physical training under competent instructors; the two completely isolated hospitals; the postal delivery, three times daily; the office with full stock of school supplies; the accessibility, Fort Plain being upon the two great trunk lines, the New York Central and West Shore, and only 50 miles west of Albany.

Other Considerations.

1. The Clinton Liberal Institute is an endowed seminary. It is a permanent institution and its reputation is a part of its enduring property. It cannot afford to do less than it promises.

2. It is not a private school and its pupils connect themselves with no transient or individual enterprises. Every dollar of its income must be used to further the interests of the school as a permanent institution.


Arrangements have been made by which several scholarships can be granted young men and women of limited means. The conditions upon which they are granted can be obtained by writing for this information. Good moral character and earnestness of purpose will be among the requisites.


The charge to a lady boarding pupil in the Academic Departments, or in the Porter School of Business Training, for a year of 39 weeks is $217.50.

NOTE 1. The bill of a boarding student is for the following items: table board; tuition in all branches except Music, Art, Elocution, Stenography and Type-Writing; furnished rooms; heat; lights; washing; church sitting; library; reading-room.

French and Grammar are extra, $6 a term, when not made part of a course.

NOTE 2. To five day pupils a deduction is made of $1 a week.

NOTE 3. Rates are invariably as above. All patrons are treated alike. The charge to day pupils is $8, $10, $12, or $15, according as they are pursuing common English, higher English, Classics, or Commercial studies.

For expenses of Cadets see heading, "Cost to Cadets."


The fall term of 15 weeks opens September 15, 1891; the winter term of 12 weeks, January 5, 1892; the spring term of 12 weeks, April 5, 1892.

Clinton Institute Building

A New Departure.

The Boys' Department to Constitute a Military Institute.


Detailed by the Government as Professor of Military Science and Tactics.

Before the close of the winter term the students were informed in chapel that it was under advisement to place the boys' department on a military basis. An expression of sentiment was asked. The votes were all, heartily, "Aye!" An announcement that the government would be asked to detail an officer of the U.S. Army was received with enthusiasm.

Reasons for Introducing the Military System.

a. The boys will all have regular exercise. The military system cultivates certain desirable habits, as of order, promptness, and gentlemanly bearing. b. A Military Institute of the highest grade, where the expenses are only half what they are at other such institutions, is what is wanted. The C. L. I. can afford to provide one because it is not a private affair, the object of which is to make money. c. Young men find the Military system attractive and seek schools that have it. The Institute does not despise the influence upon its patronage of this attractiveness. It appreciates it and values it accordingly. It desires thepresence of as many young men as it can accommodate.

The Purpose.

This is, briefly stated, to make the Military Department a model of its kind, inferior only to the U. S. M. A. The new departure will necessitate no change in the general system of instruction, the departments, courses, etc. The Military feature is simply added to what is already here. As the commandant is an officer of the U. S. A. our Military Department will be on the same basis as that at Cornell University and the University of Minnesota. Desirable features of the best military academies will be utilized.

The Law Relating to the Detail of Army Officers.

This allows but five to educational institutions in the State of New York. The five institutions have been designated. They are, Cornell University, St. John's College, The Cathedral School of St. Paul, The Manlius Military Academy, and the Clinton Liberal Institute.

Copy of the Notification by the War Department.

                          {  ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE,
No. 115               {      Washington, May 20, 1891.

3. The following has been received from the War Department:

                           WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, May 19, 1891.

    By direction of the President, and in accordance with section 1225, Revised Statutes, as amended by the acts of Congress approved September 26, 1888, and January 13, 1891, 2d Lieutenant Harry L. Hawthorne, 2d Artillery, is detailed as professor of military science and tactics at the Clinton LIberal Institute, Fort Plain, New York, to take effect September 1, 1891, and will report in person for duty accordingly.

                Secretary of War.

The travel enjoined is necessary for the public service.

            J. C. KELTON,
                Adjutant General.


            J. E. Gilmore,
                Assistant Adjutant General.

Pres. Clinton Liberal Institute,
              Fort Plain, N.Y.

Arms and Equipment.

During the summer vacation of 1891, the following arms and equipment will be furnished to the Institute by the Ordnance Department of the United States Army:
      150 Springfield cadet breech-loading rifles, calibre 45.
      150 Springfield cadet steel bayonet scabbards.
      150 Springfield cadet cartridge-boxes, calibre 45.
      150 Springfield cadet waistbelts and plates.
      Four cannon and caissons for artillery practice.
      The department also supplies the Corps each year with:
      1,000 metallic full cartridges, calibre 45.
      1,000 metallic blank-cartridges, calibre 45 for practice firing, and 200 rounds blank cartridges for the cannon.

The Armory and Drill Hall.

This will be erected during the summer and will be large enough for three companies of fifty to drill at a time. It will be located directly in the rear of the boys' gymnasium.

The Parade Ground.

That portion of the campus which lies back of the main building was graded last year for the purpose of improving the base-ball and foot-ball field. It will make as admirable a parade ground as could be desired.

The Gymnasium.

This is a two-story brick building 70x35 feet. In the lower story are four bowling alleys, trapezes,etc.; in the upper, ladders, parallel and horizontal bars, chest weights, etc., etc. We believe that no other seminary in the STate makes equal provision in this line. Professor Tracy Clark, B. S., will be the director during the year 1891-92.

Cost to Cadets.

The charge for board and tuition will be $250 a year, hardly one-half that at military schools where the advantages are decidedly inferior. The Institute can make the expense thus low because it already has "the plant." It has unsurpassed buildings, extensive grounds, and a large and able faculty. It is endowed, and its object is education, not money-making. "It will take from students only what they cost it. It will need to incur some additional expenses on account of the new departure, the chief of which will be caused by the erection of the Armory, but these will not be, comparatively speaking, great. It can afford to - and will - give boys all the advantages of a Military school of the firs rank, and at the same time keep the cost low.


These will be purchased of one firm, one of the largest in the State. Pupils will not need to fit themselves out with different suits of clothes before leaving home. Their uniforms will be ordered immediately after arriving at the school, and these will be worn during term time. Students will be given the benefit of the low price secured by the terms of the school's understanding with the manufacturers. Bills for uniforms will not be paid by the school to be repaid by parents, but must be met by parents as soon as the suits are delivered.

Items Relating to the Military Institute.

1. All the gentlemen students will wear the uniform, and all capable of performing military duty will be required to attend the prescribed military exercises.

2. Rules and orders relating to the organization and government of cadets, appointments, promotions, and changes of officers, will be made by the Commandant.

3. The course of instruction will be both theoretical and practical. The theoretical will be by recitations and lectures. The practical course in infantry will embrace small arm-target practice and, as far as possible, all the movements prescribed by the drill regulations of the U.S. Army applicable to a battalion. Instruction in artillery will embrace, as far as practicable, such portions of the United States drill regulations as pertain to the formation of detachments, manual of the piece, mechanical maneuvers, aiming drill, saber exercise, and target practice. Instruction will also include the duty of sentinels.

4. The military department will be subject to inspection under the authority of the President of the United States.

5. Although the Military Institute will be under Government patronage, the boys will not be subject to any call from the Government any more than they have been heretofore.

6. Ninety Seven cadets were registered before June 1st, for the opening in September, 1891. The number is limited to 150. The rooms of the cadets will all be refitted with new Brussels carpets, during the summer.

Clinton Institute Building

Clinton Institute Building

Clinton Institute Building

Clinton Institute Building

Further information elsewhere on line: Clinton Liberal Institute, 1879-1900

Scans of the 1884 catalog and early pamphlets


An advertisement in The Ladies' Repository, Volume 20, 1852, page 319

CLINTON LIBERAL INSTITUTUTE, annual Catalogue. 1851. This catalogue presents a large array of students for the year,- 131 gentlemen, 155 ladies, total 286. It still continues under the successful administration of Rev. T. J. Sawyer, D. D., principal of the Male department, and of Miss Louisa M. Barker, principal of the Female department. Able and efficient assistants are connected with both departments, forming a Faculty to whom the education of any student may be confidently committed. Clinton is a very pleasant spot for such an institution. It is eight miles south-west from Utica, N. Y.. with which city there is communication three times a day by omnibus. The Male department is in the eastern portion of the village, and the rooms occupied by the students are airy and sightly. The Female department is on an eminence in the southern part of the village, and is a fine edifice. Students will find there every arrangement that can promote the comfort of reasonable beings. We commend this Institution to the attention of all our friends interested in such matters.

The site coordinators have no further information about this school, nor access to information about it. We thank you in advance for not emailing us with questions, but directing ALL inquiries to historical societies and libraries in Montgomery County NY, or using a search engine.

Back to Town of Minden

Back to Montgomery County NYGenWeb

Created: 3/20/09
Last Updated: 8/14/10
Copyright © 2009 M. Magill
All Rights Reserved.