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Buchanan College
Troy, Missouri


The St. Louis Republic covered some school events—especially football.  Buchanan College also made the Spalding's Official Football Guide for 1902.  The image of Harvey S. McKay is from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.



Faculty numbered five or six.  At age 26, Lewis P. Siceloff became president in 1902; The Republic reported that he was the youngest college president in the nation at the time.  Siceloff had joined the faculty in 1900 as a professor of mathematics; he went on to earn a Ph.D from Columbia University and authored a widely used textbook in calculus.  The school’s literature teacher was listed as part of the Kirksville Normal faculty for summer school.


The commencement of 1896 would give some indication of the academic emphasis of the Buchanan College.  Prizes were awarded to the top students in oratory, declamation, didactics, music, history and composition.  The students had a Philomathic Society chapter.


In 1905 the school was sold to the Troy Public School District and became known as Buchanan High school to preserve the Buchanan name.  Since 1997 Troy Buchanan High School has been its official name.


Buchanan College is named for Alexander S. Buchanan, a local merchant, who put up $1,500 and a parcel of land in 1893 to help start the school.  His obituary states that he also served as a trustee until his death in July of 1893.  Buchanan College is listed as a nondenominational school.


In 1898 total enrollment reached 151.  Report of the Public Schools of the State of Missouri lists enrollment as 117 in 1902; 93 in 1903; 98 in 1904, and 102 in 1905.  Classified as a preparatory school, Buchanan College had only seven or eight college-level students each year.  Harvey S. McKay (right) won academic honors in 1898.

Buchanan honors_edited.jpg

Bricks and Mortar

According to the Sanborn Fire Insurance map, Buchanan College was located 1/3 mile west of the Lincoln County Court House in Troy.  The Queen Anne revival building was brick over a stone basement.  The southwest corner featured a hexagon tower.  Each of the two main floors contained four large rooms.  A third floor with a mansard roof and dormer windows may have originally served as a dormitory. 


In 1905 the city purchased the school, and the building continued as Buchanan High school. The 1916 yearbook shows the basement housing domestic science classes. Since the school had a basketball team, one of the classrooms became the gymnasium/assembly hall.


With the building of a new high school in 1997, the Buchanan building became an auditorium and was still in use in 2016,


Buchanan College building as it appeared in the 1916 Seige.  Image from


Buchanan College played football at least as early as 1900 with games against Louisiana and Elsberry high schools.  Newspapers show five games for the 1901 team.  President Siceloff coached the 1902 team to a 5-1-2 record, shutting out six opponents.  Buchanan twice defeated neighboring Pike College 21-0 and 89-0, Shurtleff College 16-0, St. Charles Military Academy 40-0, and St. Louis Manual Training School 5-0.  The team played a scoreless draw with Westminster College and a 6-6 tie with St. Louis University against a 5-0 loss to St. Louis High School. 


The only game shown for 1903 was a 38-0 loss to Westminster. 


Buchanan College sent a lone participant to the track and field meet in Columbia in 1903; Reed won both the mile and the half mile runs. Also in 1903 a team represented the school lost a women’s basketball game to undefeated St. Louis High School.

The 1902 Buchanan College football team.  President Siceloff is to the far left in the photo.;view=1up;seq=391 accessed 1-20-2018

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