Dennison S. Harroun, 1818
First Student of Wesleyan Seminary
The first man to sign his name to a ticket certifying that he was a student of the Albion Wesleyan Seminary, was Dennison S. Harroun. At the time he enrolled the classes of the institution met in the Methodist church as the Seminary buildings were not yet completed. The studies given were of a general nature at first and until the Seminary building was ready for occupation the instructors did not exceed two in number. Dennison Harroun attended the school in the church for some time but was obliged to leave before graduation owing to financial difficulties.
Mr. Harroun was born in Lima, N.Y., January 16, 1818, and died at his home in Albion, Michigan, January 27, 1909, aged 91 years and 11 days. His early life was spent on a farm in the east and at the age of eighteen he came to this state with his parents and settled on a farm in the township of Parma. The journey was made in a covered wagon, the family consisting of father, mother, two sons, and a daughter, and they arrived in this section 1 July 1836. Dennison was given little education in the country school but when the Wesleyan Seminary opened up in 1840 he was the first student to enter for a course. After leaving school he became a teacher and for years was a prominent figure in the schools of the county. In later years his time was devoted mostly to farming.
In church affiliations Dennison Harroun was a Methodist. In politics he was first a Whig and was later a Republican. He was one of the organizers of “under the oakes” at Jackson in 1854, and was also present at the Jubilee in 1904. He always showed a keen interest in Albion College and up to his death watched the growth of the institution with delight.
Source: Gildart, Robert. Albion College, 1835-1960, A History. Chicago: Donnelley Lakeside Press, 1961.