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Milligan Clock

The Milligan Clock at it was installed. In 2000 the Clock was moved to the south end of Center Hall to make way for the construction of Hays Hall.

So often it happens that as I am working along I come across a story, an item or a photograph that stops me in my tracks. This little bit from The Bachelor of 1920 is just such a story….

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The Bachelor NOVEMBER 6, 1920

MEMORIAL CLOCK TOWER COMPLETED The clock tower given to the college by Mrs. Harry J. Milligan is at last completed. The tower proper was finished some time ago, but it was not until Wednesday afternoon at three o’clock that the first tick of the clock and stroke of the bell took place. The clock is arranged to strike hours and half-hours and is equipped with a Seth Thomas movement. The works are set in the lower part of the tower and the hands are moved by a system of shafts. At present the four faces of the clock are exactly in accord, all of them telling the same time of day. A novel feature of the clock is that it is illuminated and time may be told at night from a considerable distance away.

The clock tower was erected by Mrs. Milligan in memory of her husband, who, throughout his whole life, was a firm friend of the college and one of the most loyal alumni that Wabash has ever had.

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Harry J. Milligan was from Waveland, a town in southern Montgomery County, Indiana founded by his family. He was a member of the Class of 1873 and, following Wabash, he went to New York where he graduated from Columbia Law School. Milligan practiced law and engaged in business enterprises in Indianapolis. He served as a trustee of Wabash College from 1902 until his death in 1916 and  for ten years of that time he was the president of the board of trustees. That Milligan was a success in his career is evidenced by his many and generous donations to Wabash. Just prior to his death in 1916, it was noted in a college magazine that the total Milligan donations to the college amounted to more than $300,000. He also gave the land for Milligan Park on the eastside of Crawfordsville, named in honor of his father, Joseph Milligan.

As it was in his lifetime, so it was in death as Milligan left another $150,000 to Wabash in his will. His widow, Carrie Fishback Milligan continued his work for Wabash by donating this beautiful clock, the “Milligan Memorial Clock” which has kept the time for thousands of students over the years. When the campaign to build the Pioneer Chapel was started, Carrie Milligan again gave graciously and was one of the major donors to the fund. In short, whenever there was an appeal, the Milligans were on board. It is through gifts like these, steady and dependable that Wabash College has flourished.

 

All best,
Beth Swift
Archivist
Wabash College