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Scio College

Scio, Ohio



Scio College came under the aegis of the East Ohio Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  The minutes of the conference contains news of and advertisements for Scio College like that above.  At the time of the school’s merger, the Cleveland Plain Dealer provided an extended history of the school’s relationship with the town.


Scio College began as Rural Seminary at Harlem Springs, Ohio in 1857.  Residents of New Market, OH, (population 800) raised $10,000 to bring the school to their town.  There it took the name New Market College and also One Study University, because students took only one course at a time, a plan dropped in 1878.  When the town changed its name to Scio in 1878, so did the college.   

1902 advertisements for the school show seven departments:  collegiate, preparatory, pharmacy, business, music, oratory and physical culture, and typewriting and shorthand.  The preparatory course of study was for three years while the collegiate course for either scientific, classical or philosophical degrees was four year. 


Advertisements boast of up-to-date teaching methods with no “slipshod” instruction.  They note that students receive individual contact with their teachers, that “opportunities for special work” exist, and that “special teachers” were available.


The Plain Dealer notes that Scio College was able to exist through the generous support of the town, and that the East Ohio Conference provided only $2,000 toward its support.  The Scio College women workers—nearly every woman in town—not only provided a house for the president but paid the salary of one of the professors, and they regularly held fund raising activities for the upkeep of college buildings. 


In 1908 Scio College lost its school of Pharmacy, the students moving to Pittsburgh.  And when the East Ohio Conference determined that it could support only those colleges with $100,000 in endowments, Scio College merged with Mount Union College at Alliance, OH.

Bricks and Mortar

Scio, OH was a village of around 800.  School advertisements praised the town for healthful atmosphere—only one student death in 33 years—and for its moral atmosphere—There had never been a saloon in town. 


Main Building, a brick structure described by the Plain Dealer as resembling a grade school in a county seat town, was built in 1887.  It was located on College Street in Scio.  


After the college closed, buildings sat empty until 1921 when the main building and the dormitory were purchased as housing for workers in the local pottery plant.  Those buildings were razed in 1939-40.

(Above) 1899 panorama map of Scio Ohio in the midst of the oil boom.  The college building (marked A) is in the center.  (Library of Congress, Geography and Maps Division)


       Colors: Purple and Gold (Songs of                the Western Colleges lists the school              song as “The Purple and the Gold”


Scio College played both football and baseball.  World Series profiles of the 1917 New York Giants, carried in many newspapers, list catcher Jack Onslow as a former football and baseball player at Scio College.  According to the Plain Dealer, The 1896 Scio College team was undefeated in 18 games.  The pitcher for that team was six-foot, six-inch Charles “Cy” Swain, who went on to an extended minor league career on the West Coast.  The Scio catcher was Lon Young, brother of Hall of Fame pitcher “Cy” Young.  


College Football Data Warehouse shows games for Scio between 1895 and the merger.  Teams played several games with Mt. Union and Muskingum.  The school’s location near the West Virginia border allowed them games against Bethany and West Virginia Wesleyan.  In 1910 Scio won three games—all against high school competition.


The 1910 Scio College football team.  Jack Donley is the player under the arrow. (

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