Danville, created in 1824 as the county seat of Hendricks County, was the hub of government, commerce, and agriculture. Farmers sold their crops in town and shopped there. As the agricultural economy diminished, Danville became home to workers commuting to Indianapolis. Danville residents have always valued education. On May 10, 1878, at the instigation of Prof. W. F. Harper of the Central Normal School of Ladoga, 50 farm wagons from Danville arrived at Ladoga and stole the whole school, including equipment, students, faculty, and baggage. Central Normal College was then installed in the facility previously housing the Hendricks County Seminary and the Danville Academy. From 1878 to 1951, Central Normal College was a Danville institution, turning out more than 75,000 graduates destined for leadership roles in education, business, law, and politics.
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