The fine building occupied by the Henry High Sohool owns its
existence to Rev. Mr. Fowler, of the Protestant Methodist
Church, who conceived the plan of founding a first-class
educational institution under the auspices of that denomination.
He traveled and lectured extensively,
meeting with success.
It was finished in 1854 at a cost of $28,000, and opened the same season under the name of the "North Illinois University." Rev. G. B. McElroy was the first principal, with Goff and Fox assistants.
For a time it was quite successful, but the hard times of 1857 came and its-patronage fell off. After several attempts to revive it, the building was sold to the city of Henry and devoted to public school purposes.
Extracted from Records of the Olden Time, authored by Spencer Ellsworth, 1880, page 380