The Chronicle -

By Finn J.D. John
Chronicle Columnist 

Eugene's first university died when college president started a gunfight


August 29, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDE/Oregon Historical Society

The fireproof stone building which was under construction throughout the short life of the college.

The University of Oregon, as most alumni can tell you, was founded in 1876 as the flagship of Oregon's university system.

But the channels the university project flowed through, with the enthusiastic support of the Eugene community, had already been cut years before by a short-lived institution called Columbia College.

Columbia College collapsed a few months before the Civil War broke out, after the college president, a staunch pro-slavery man, tried to murder the editor of a local Abolitionist newspaper, and then jumped bail and went on the lam.

But while it lasted, the college made up a h...

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