Kemper Military School & College 1844-2002 - Boonville, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 58.259 W 092° 44.749
15S E 522018 N 4313586
This marker (plaque) is pole mounted near the original entrance to the school.
Waymark Code: WM16ATW
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 06/17/2022
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Geo Ferret
Views: 0

County of marker: Cooper County
Location of marker: 3rd St., just N of Spruce St., Entrance columns, Boonville

Marker Text:

& COLLEGE 1844-2002
On this site stood one of America's premiere military schools. Founded in 1884 by Professor Frederick T. Kemper, the school became known as the "Oldest Military School west of the Mississippi" and was regarded as the "West Point of the West". The school's graduates went on to serve in all the professions and have been represented in every war the United States has fought from the Civil War to Operation Enduring Freedom.

Cadets who attended Kemper came from every state in the Union and from nearly every country in the world. Will Rogers, a noted American actor and humorist attended Kemper as a young man. The school's "Gold Star" Alumni Roll of Honor denoting those who had fallen in time of war is one of the largest for a school this size.

Founded as a male boarding school, Kemper used peer leadership and a system of voluntary compliance called the Standard of Honor for instilling and maintaining order and discipline. Professor Kemper's creed for his beloved school, "The object is to develop in harmony the physical, mental, and moral abilities, not to create mere scholars but to make men." became so copied it has been used by most institutions of higher learning and even some of the Armed Forces of the United States.

At the school's peak from about 1920 through 1970, the school annually enrolled nearly 500 cadets. The orderly conduct and day to day routine of the Corps of Cadets was administered by the students themselves. Today the Eternal Corps of Cadets through four of the original founders of Echo Company, Kemper Military School, present you with a portion of out heritage -- Nunquam Non Paratus or never unprepared. Be prepared for whatever may come, the future is yet to be written.

History of Mark:
"Boonville Boarding School was founded by Frederick T. Kemper in 1844, enrolling 50 students in the first year. The first building was begun in 1845, the school continuing with 50 or so students until 1856, when it closed while Kemper taught at Westminster College. In 1861 the school resumed, surviving the Civil War by becoming co-educational, but at the war’s end, it reverted to its all-male state. After Kemper’s death in 1881, Thomas Johnson became head of the school, converting Kemper to a military school, which by 1889 was called the “West Point of the West.” Enrollment at Kemper reached 100 by 1900, and by the end of World War I, it had peaked at 502. The junior college was added in 1923. Before World War II a building phase had resulted in a new stadium (1937) and Academic Hall (1939)

"The school began to decline in enrollment and focus after 1956. In the 1970’s inflation and a general anti-military sentiment brought on by the Vietnam War hampered recruitment and fund raising. In an attempt to boost enrollment, Kemper returned to co-ed status, but by 2000 the junior college was dropped, and by 2002 the high school also closed." ~ Lost Colleges

Several of the buildings, including the administration building, have been razed since the school closing.
The State Fair Community College is in the old Science building and Math Building, the YMCA is in the old field house and pool buildings.
Most buildings out back, like the stables and power plants have been razed by the city to create a city park.

Web link: Not listed

Additional point: Not Listed

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