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The Asbury Seminary was chartered under the auspices of the Methodist Church in 1843. The imposing two story building topped with a cupola was built on Philomethian St. L. D. Williams, who came to Chagrin Falls in 1838 to teach in the district schools, was the first principal of the Seminary. Asbury was a private school which served up to 100 students teaching courses in Geography, Arithmetic, Grammar, Astronomy, Algebra and Philosophy.

Williams left Chagrin a few short years after opening the Seminary but the school persisted in educating scholars into the 1850s. The Chagrin Falls Board of Education purchased the decaying building in 1858 for $1,300, renovated it, and reopened it as the new Chagrin Falls High School that same year.

As with many pioneer communities, education beyond the grammar school level was considered more a luxury than a necessity. The first high school diploma was awarded in 1879. The building was demolished in 1893.

Photo for Asbury Seminary
Henry Church, Jr. drawing of Asbury Seminary.
Photo for Asbury Seminary
Ohio Act to Incorporate the Asbury Seminary at Chagrin Falls dated March 5, 1839.
Photo for Asbury Seminary
Engraving by Moss Engraving Company of NY of Asbury Seminary in Chagrin Falls.
Photo for Asbury Seminary
Photo of Lorenzo D. Williams provided by Allegheny College Archives. He was the first principal of Asbury Seminary and also served as postmaster.

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