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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

FOLSOM'S MERCANTILE COLLEGE

FOLSOM'S MERCANTILE COLLEGE

FOLSOM'S MERCANTILE COLLEGE was the first college founded in Cleveland. R. C. Bacon opened the college on W. 3rd St. in 1848, and Ezekiel G. Folsom, who had taught penmanship in common school in Cleveland, became sole owner a few months later. In 1850 it became known as E. G. Folsom's Commercial College. Folsom was instrumental in obtaining support for the college from prominent business and professional leaders in Cleveland. A visiting committee of 12 men made the initial investment in the college, and its original purpose was to provide young men with rudimentary training in business skills in order to fill positions in Cleveland's rapidly growing business community. Among the courses offered at Folsom's were penmanship, bookkeeping, and drawing. Night classes were offered for those who worked during the day. Schooling lasted only 2-3 months. In 1854 the college moved into the 4th floor of the new Rouse Block, and the name was changed to Folsom's Mercantile College. JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER graduated from Folsom's in 1855. Soon after, the school became known as Bryant, Lusk & Stratton Business College, serving as a model for the chain of Bryant & Stratton business schools established throughout the country. After successive changes in ownership, it became Spencerian Business College in the 1870s. Spencerian later merged with another school to form DYKE COLLEGE.