Creal Springs Seminary
Image courtesy of Mark Motsinger
The marker is located in Creal Springs at 206 N. Line Street a few blocks north of Rt. 166 on the grounds of the United Methodist Church.
Williamson County Historical Society, the Family of Mary Delilah Murrah Hulett, and the Illinois State Historical Society.
Creal Springs Seminary stood 350 feet east southeast of this marker and opened on September 22, 1884. It was built on a five-acre tract purchased from Edward Creal by Gertrude Brown Murrah and her husband, Henry Clay Murrah, in March 1884. The school was built as a three-story frame structure with a basement and attic and was chartered in August 1888 by the State of Illinois. The school was headed by principal Gertrude Brown Murrah, a graduate of Mt. Carroll Seminary in Mt. Carroll, Illinois, and was originally planned for female students only. Due to high demand from male students, it opened as co-educational. There were 59 students enrolled in the first 12-week term. The faculty had six members including the Murrahs. The program was divided into primary, preparatory, college-level, and music departments.
In January 1894, the school became a Baptist institution and the chartered name was changed to Creal Springs College and Conservatory of Music, where both bachelor's and master's degrees were offered. The faculty at this time numbered 15, with approximately 100 students enrolled. The college became an important part of community life with its many activities and social functions. Gertrude Murrah served as a teacher and principal of the school for 32 years until it closed on December 24, 1916. Mrs. Murrah continually struggled to reopen the school until her death in 1929. The building was demolished in 1943.
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