North Central College
Old Main
Naperville, Illinois

The History of North Central College
Plainfield College * North-Western College * North Central College

         This  history of the college was started as a personal project .  Born and raised in Georgia, I've always  known that my roots were not all Southern.  My New England families  were among the earliest settlers of Naperville and surrounding towns and counties in 1833.

        Around fifteen years ago my cousins in Charleston, South Carolina, upon the death of their mother, were preparing the family home for sale.  In the attic they found every genealogist's dream - an old trunk filled with family memorabilia.  It had been packed away since 1935, and no one living knew that these things had been saved!

        Among these family treasures saved by my great-grandmother  were the diaries of my great-grandfather, kept during his college years at North Western College.  They begin in early 1871 and proceed through his college days, his courtship and marriage, and the birth of their first child, my grandfather, in 1877.

        The Sabins lived on the outskirts of Naperville, and so much of the writings are about the everyday lives of this family and college life, as seen through the eyes of a young man.    Mary Sabin Floyd transcribed the first diaries (pre-computer), and I'm transferring them to a web page.  The people of early Naperville and North Western College have become like old friends to me!   If you are interested in the early days, literally the first exciting year of the college in Naperville, you can find the work in progress  here:

Guy Ellis Sabin Diaries

        The young east Tennessee girl he met at North Western College and married in 1876 was Nannie L. Sevier.   Her great-uncle was Rev. John Whitfield Cunningham,  the pastor of the Congregational Church in Naperville, and his daughter  was one of the first faculty members of North Western College, Nancy Jane Cunningham.

        I'll be updating this site as time permits and new photographs and information become available, so be sure to check back regularly.  If you have additional information about any of these places, people, or events and want to share it, please let me know and I'll add it to the site!  Pat Sabin


Biographies and Obituaries - Faculty
   Nancy Jane Cunningham (Knickerbocker)
     Pres. Augustine Austin Smith
     Honorable Hiram H. Cody
     H. C. Smith
     H. H. Rassweiler
     Frederick W. Heidner
     Jasper G. Cross

        The 1874 Atlas and History of DuPage County, Illinois
        Published 1874 by Thompson Brothers & Burr, Elgin, Illinois

        North Central College, A Century of Liberal Education 1861-1961
        By Clarence N. Roberts, copyright 1960, North Central College

        Historic Naperville
         by Genevieve Towsley, copyright 1975, Naperville Sun Newspaper

        North Central Now College Publication-1997

        The 1930 North Central College Yearbook

2000-2013 Pat Sabin, All Rights Reserved