President's House (Faculty House)

1903 - Present

In its 105 years, the President's House has been home to the Glenns, the Ellises and dozens of Cottey students and faculty. it has been the home of Cottey presidents and a bank president. Located a couple blocks east of the college at 738 West Cherry Street, the President's House is currently where Dr. Judy Rogers resides.

F.H. Glenn house, c. 1907
F.H. Glenn house, c. 1907.
President's House, 2008
The President's House looks much the same a century later, 2008.

Home of French & Lena Glenn

In the building's beginning, it was the home of French Humbolt Glenn, a prominent Nevada banker, and his wife Lena Briggs. F.H. Glenn had started as the co-owner of a haberdashery on the south side of Nevada's square in 1887.8 He helped organize the Farm and Home Loan Association in 1893, and worked his way up to president of that institution by 1900. At that time, the mule-led streetcars of Nevada were being converted into electric trolleys. The trolleys drove right past the Glenn household at 611 West Austin Street. Mr. Glenn couldn't stand the noise, so he decided it was time to move — but not too far, because despite their clanging, the streetcars were still convenient.

A piece of land on West Cherry Street was being sold by former Governor William Joel Stone.8 The lot extended all the way through the block to Walnut Street. F.H. Glenn bought it for a mere $3,000, and by 1903 he had built a fine (but not grandiose) home. The prism-glass windows on either side of the front door reflected a rainbow of colors to passersby, clusters of indigo grapes were painted on the dining room ceiling in rococo style, and round stained-glass windows were set above the stairway landing.

F.H. Glenn had several connections to Cottey College. He was a member of the board of trustees that took control of Cottey in 1907,10 and his twin girls attended the school.8 Betty Sterret of the Nevada Daily Mail writes, "As was the custom for many children of prominent families, Beatrice and Beryl started their education at Cottey in the first grade and finished there."8 In 1911, Glenn purchased $200-worth of Cottey scholarships, which helped Cottey raise funds to extend the North Annex of Main Hall.10

In 1909, F.H. Glenn left the Farm and Home to become president of the First National Bank of Nevada, where he had been a stockholder and director since its founding in 1889. He remained president until his death in 1936.

After graduating from Cottey, the Glenn girls attended Lindenwood College in St. Charles, where Beatrice came down with tuberculosis in 1912. She and her sister soon came home to recuperate. An enclosed sleeping porch was built on the second story of the house in an attempt to save Beatrice's life, but she died less than a year later, at age 20. Within three years, Beryl also succumbed to the disease.

In 1934, Lena Briggs Glenn had a heart attack while ascending the staircase and died in the house.2 Two years later, on February 8th, 1936, Glenn himself died in the house of a cerebral hemorrhage.3 All of his assets were left to his son, Kem, who quickly exhausted them.8 He was forced to sell the home in 1938.

Ellis House

Businessman Homer A. Ellis and his wife Lillie bought the home from Kem Glenn for $5,400.8 The untimely death of Homer in 1940 prompted Lillie to accept Cottey College's offer to rent the house for student overflow.

Cottey faculty house, 1947
Cottey faculty house, with the Glenn sleeping porch still intact, 1947.5
President's House, c. 1959
Another view, c. 1959.11
Dr. Dow in front of President's House, 1965
Cottey President Dr. Dow and dog Lucky in front of the President's House, 1965.6

Cottey Faculty and President's House

Cottey began renting "Ellis House" as a student dorm in 1940. After Missouri Hall was destroyed by fire in December of 1940, Ellis House "was converted into a faculty residence hall, and the students who had lived there were placed in dormitory rooms that had been vacated by withdrawals or that had not been filled."7 In 1941 the college purchased Ellis House for $10,500.

In 1953 it became the Cottey President's home, and Dr. Blanche H. Dow was the first to move in.4 Five other Cottey presidents have resided there over the past 55 years: Dr. Ted McCarrel, Dr. Jon Olaf Hondrum, Dr. Evelyn L. Milam, Dr. Helen Washburn, and Dr. Judy Rogers.

As part of December's Hanging of the Greens tradition, Cottey students deliver a wreath to the President's House, caroling as they walk down West Cherry Street. After regaling the president with a few songs on her front porch, the students are invited inside for wassail and cookies.

Santa visits the President's House, 1975
An encounter with Santa at the President's House, 1975.12
Dr. Roger's Hanging of the Greens wreath, 2005
Dr. Rogers with her Hanging of the Greens wreath on the President's House, 2005.9
Wassail a the President's House, 2005
Brittney and Allison at the President's House during Hanging of the Greens, 2005.9

Works Cited:

  1. "Nevada Souvenir." DamonWaring.com. c. 1910. Web.
  2. "Wife of Banker Dies." Jefferson City Post-Tribune Jefferson City, MO. 18 June 1934. Print.
  3. "Missouri Death Certificates, 1910-1957." Missouri Digital Heritage. Web.
  4. "President's House." Cottey.edu. Web.
  5. Sphinx, The. Yearbook. Nevada, MO: Cottey College, 1947. Print.
  6. Sphinx, The. Yearbook. Nevada, MO: Cottey College, 1965. Print.
  7. Stockard, Orpha. Cottey College: The First 75 Years. Joplin, MO: Joplin Printing Co., 1961. Print.
  8. Sterett, Betty. "70-Year-Old Mansion, Cottey's Pride." Scenes From the Past (of Nevada, Missouri). Ed. Donna Logan. DGL InfoWrite: Boulder, CO, 1985. 110-114. Print.
  9. Sphinx, The. Yearbook. Nevada, MO: Cottey College, 2006. Print.
  10. Troesch, Helen DeRusha. The Life of Virginia Alice Cottey Stockard. Wayside Press, Inc., 1955. Print.
  11. Sphinx, The. Yearbook. Nevada, MO: Cottey College, 1959. Print.
  12. Sphinx, The. Yearbook. Nevada, MO: Cottey College, 1976. Print.
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