Hamilton College (Kentucky)

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Photos of Hamilton College, 1904

Hamilton College was a private women's college in Lexington, Kentucky, operating from 1869 to 1932. It was taken over in 1903 by Transylvania University and operated as an affiliated junior college until its closing during the Great Depression.


Hamilton was founded by banker James M. Hocker in 1869 as the Hocker Female College. In 1878, a substantial donation by William Hamilton was recognized by the school changing its name to Hamilton College. In 1889, the nearby Kentucky University, which later changed names to Transylvania University, bought a stake in Hamilton, taking total control in 1903. The school became a junior college affiliated with the Transylvania until it was closed in 1932, during the Great Depression, when the number of students declined. The main building was used as a women's dormitory for students at Transylvania until it was demolished in 1962.

The only remaining building from Hamilton College is the Graham Cottage Alumni House, the alumni reception center on the Transylvania campus. Built in 1863 for James M. Hocker, it was acquired by the college in 1869 as a residence for Robert Graham, its first president. Graham took on this role after leaving his previous position as the president of Kentucky University's College of Arts and Sciences.

A notable alumna of Hamilton was Maurine Dallas Watkins, the journalist and playwright who wrote the play Chicago (1926). It served as the basis for the musical of the same name, first produced in 1975.[1] Another notable alumna was actress Isabel Jewell, who played the seamstress in A Tale of Two Cities (1935) and Emmy Slattery in Gone with the Wind (1939).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About People", Transylvania University

External links[edit]