Union Academy of Southern Illinois, one of the leading educational institutions of this section, which is fully accredited with the State University at ChampaignUrbana and with the leading colleges of the Central West, is located amid picturesque surroundings, on the divide between Anna and Jonesboro, and about one-half mile distant from the business center of each place. It was founded in 1883, on September 17th of which year it was opened with an enrollment of forty-seven pupils. Each year has seen new buildings erected, numerous improvements made and an increase in attendance, and the latter has been especially marked during the last seven years, during which time the Rev. Frederick William McClusky has acted as senior principal.

Rev. McClusky was born at Alder Creek, New York, June 27, 1866, and when four years of age was taken to Forestport, where his father was engaged as a merchant and lumber dealer until Frederick was fifteen years old. He was educated in the graded schools of Forestport, and then attended Holland Patent Academy, Clinton Grammar School, School Park College, Missouri, and the Union and Auburn Seminaries, graduating from the latter in 1894, at which time he became principal's assistant at the Evening High School, Brooklyn, New York, which had an attendance of from fifteen hundred to eighteen hundred students. In the same year Ee became Presbyterian minister at Forestport, and from 1895 until 1899 had the charge at the Memorial church of that faith in Brooklyn. While still in the seminaries, Rev. McClusky was stenographer for the student volunteer movement for foreign missions, as well as precentor of the Sunday-schools of Olivet Chapel, with upwards of one thousand members. For nine years he was a member of the Second Battery of the National Guard, and during the summers of 1891 and 1892 served as orderly and stenographer on the staff of Adjutant General Josiah Porter, at Peekskill State Camp. Also, while at Auburn Seminary, Rev. McClusky was baritone of the seminary male quartette. From 1899 until 1902 Rev. McClusky filled the charge at Whitesboro, New York, and for nineteen months was pastor of the Presbyterian church at Unionville, Missouri, at the end of that time coming to Union Academy as principal, in which capacity he has served to the present time, a wise and unbroken administration of more than seven years. From the first the large colleges have recognized the indispensability of preparatory schools. The earliest efforts at realizations were crude and ineffective; but they have paved the way to the marked success of later years. It is impossible and unnecessary to trace in detail the advance in pedagogical thought; it has been gradual, never revolutionary, and more discernable in the present result than in the stages of its progress. It would be invidious and inaccurate to attribute leadership in this advance to one school or another, all have contributed to it in a greater or less degree; but no one will take exception to the assertion that great credit is due, in the general reckoning, to the wisdom, insight and persistence of the principal of Union Academy. Rev. McClusky is a man of remarkable mental attainments, and it is rare to find a man who has a grasp of more of the facts that constitute human knowledge than he. Since coming to Union Academy he has taught literature, history and elocution, and it has been the subject of universal remark that he is familiar with all the innumerable facts throughout the whole realm of his departments. He has, furthermore the faculty of apt illustration and is always able to apply the principles under consideration. Rev. McClusky has been blessed by a spirit of generous toleration, and although he is. a man of strong convictions, those convictions have never led him to intolerance of the opinions of others, nor have his convictions ever led him to personal prejudice against those who have held opposing views. Since he has been in charge of the fortunes of Union Academy, the attendance has nearly tripled and twenty thousand dollars of new buildings have been erected. Rev. McClusky is very popular with the students, as well as those who have met him ,in a social or business way.

In 1894 Dr. McClusky was married to Miss Lillian B. Dean, who was born at Salem, Ohio, and four children have been born to this union, aged as follows: Frederick D., fifteen years; Howard Y., eleven; Margaret E., nine; and William Kenneth, who died at the age of two days. Mrs. McClusky moved to Kansas with her parents when she was still in young girlhood and at the age of fourteen years entered Park College, Parkville, Missouri, having received her preliminary training in the public schools of Clinton, Kansas. In 1888 she received the degree of A. B. from Park College, and then studied music under a private teacher, Mrs. Agnes Lockhart Richards. Eventually she took a course in Frank Herbert Tubbs' private school, went to the musical department of the Pierce City (Miss.) Baptist College for less than one year, and the two years following were spent at Fort Smith. Arkansas, where she maintained a private vocal studio. She has taught music ever since, and has engaged in concert and lecture work. While engaged in pursuing her musical studies Mrs. McClusky taught for two years at Park College having the classes in history, mathematics and Latin, then became superintendent of public schools of Parkville for one year, and for some time was a teacher in the grammar schools of Eureka Springs. She is a lady of culture and refinement, and has been an admirable assistant to her husband in his arduous work.

Extracted 13 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 3, pages 1291-1293.

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