President's House (Site Of), West Virginia Wesleyan College
When President Bennett Hutchinson arrived as the first president of the new school, there was no place on the campus for him to live. He had a house constructed on the campus in 1892 at his own expense. His stipulated that when he left the school that the trustees would purchase it from him. Located on the edge of campus, from 1892-1922 it was home to presidents Hutchinson, Boyers, Wier, Doney, and Fleming. It was razed in 1952.
Backstory and Context
The only indication a former visionary had ever once resided on the grounds of the institution are the original steps that once lead to his home. The house was built in 1892 and was considered an example of great self-sacrifice from President Bennett W. Hutchinson (Miller, 15). He served as the very first President of West Virginia Wesleyan College from 1890 until mid-February 1898 when he resigned to perform his duties as the new President of Genesee Wesleyan College in New York. (Miller, 11, 16) (The First 50 Years, 68).
The home was established at the intersection of Sedgwick Street and College Avenue. President Hutchinson’s only condition was that the Board of Trustees purchase the property from him once his relationship with the college had been terminated. The Trustees upheld their agreement and the residence was inhabited by Hutchinson’s successors from the time of his departure to the end of President Fleming’s reign in 1922 (The Sixth Decade, 42). It was converted into a housing for female students the same year, and later demolished in the Spring of 1952 (Miller, 16).
It was located just across the street from the present-day Upshur Parish House. If you go out the front door of the Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library and go straight down that sidewalk, it would have been on your right just before crossing College Avenue.
Miller, Brett T. Our Home Among the Hills: West
Virginia Wesleyan Colleges First 125 Years. The Donning Company Publishers,
Haught, Thomas M. West Virginia Wesleyan College: The Sixth Decade. Buckhannon, W.Va. : West Virginia Wesleyan College, 1950. Retrieved from: https://archive.org/details/westVirginiawesleyan00haug
Haught, Thomas M. West Virginia Wesleyan College : First Fifty Years, 1890-1940. Buckhannon, W.Va. : West Virginia Wesleyan College, 1940. Retrieved from: https://archive.org/details/westVirginiawesl00haug/page/68