Henderson Female Institute

On March 6, 1854, the Kentucky General Assembly passed an act to incorporate the Henderson Female Institute at Danville, as "a seminary of learning for the education of females." It was named in honor of Charles Henderson, a prominent Danville merchant and Presbyterian, and was to be under the management of John R. Ford, James S. Hopkins, Ormond Beatty, George F. Lee, George W. Welsh, John Lyle, Robert Russel, Joseph McDowell, and Samuel McDowell, all elders of the First and Second Presbyterian Churches. A prospectus stated that the institute would open September 22, 1854, in what was formerly St. Patrick's Catholic Church. The seminary was to be under the control of Samuel A. Muchmore and Mary B. Muchmore. Samuel Muchmore had just graduated from Centre College (Class of 1854), while Mary Muchmore was probably either his aunt or sister. In 1859 the trustees began to construct a four-story building on Lexington Avenue, across the street from today's Danville High School. Before the building was completed, A.E. Sloane became president, Samuel Muchmore having entered the Danville Theological Seminary. By 1860 the name had changed to Caldwell Institute for Young Ladies. Henderson not being as generous as originally hoped, the trustees had turned to another wealthy Danvillian, Charles Caldwell, for support. The institute underwent other name changes, from Caldwell Institute to Caldwell College, and then to Kentucky College for Women, before merging with Centre College in the 1920's.