Returning to the Garden of Eden: Humboldt Academy

Immense native stone rise was once the site of the Humboldt Academy for Boy. Wealthy parents from eastern states sent their boys out west to escape the depravities of the city, but they found plenty of other temptations in Humboldt.

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November 30, 2020 - 9:43 AM

Imposing in size, Quackenbos Hill (or Zeig’s Hill) looms large against the Kansas prairie. Photo by Trevor Hoag / Iola Register

Near the southern tip of the Allen-Woodson border, is an immense native stone rise that’s known by many as Zeig’s Hill, and before that, Quackenbos Hill.

The name comes from Professor George Quackenbos, a nineteenth century schoolmaster from Connecticut who had the idea of pioneering a place of higher learning, one he would christen the Humboldt Academy for Boys.

Indeed, the distance between Zeig’s Hill and Humboldt is only a few miles, though this turned out to be more of a detriment to the school than a benefit.

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