Now & Then: 434 S. Union St.


In 1860, a two-story brick building was erected with great sacrifice to house the Union High Academy at 434 S. Union St. The first class sessions were held on Jan. 7, 1861. This was one of the first institutions of secondary education in this area. Here young people were educated in a Christian atmosphere with many of the graduates becoming ministers, teachers, doctors, lawyers and leaders. With the establishment of public schools, the enrollment of Union High Academy began to diminish. It appeared that the doors would have to close after 50 years of operation; however, with the help of William M. Smith Union Bible Seminary was founded in May, 1911. In 1980, Union Bible Seminary was moved to a completely interdenominational basis and officially changed to Union Bible College in June 1989. (Photo by Robert Herrington)