The following information was extracted from
the book, History of Perry County Pennsylvania; H. H. Hain; Hain-Moore Co.;
Harrisburg, Pa.; 1922. Chapter XVIII.
This institution began in the basement of Lebanon Church, at Loysville, in the
fall of 1853, with Josiah R. Titzel as principal, and J. T. Ross as assistant,
concluding its first term on Friday, March 31, 1854, with an examination during
the day and an "exhibition" in the evening, not unlike the graduating
and class day exercises of latter days. B. F. Frey was principal in
1856-57. The success of the academy from the beginning caused Col.
John Tressler, who was a prominent citizen interested in education, to build an
academy in 1855. It was a three-story brick building with an immense
schoolroom on the first floor and with twenty rooms for students on the
others. It completion and dedication occurred the following year.
The first principal in the new building was John A. Kunkelman, who was succeeded
by David L. Tressler, a son of the founder, who in after years became the first
president of Carthage College in Illinois--the first native Perry Countian to
attain so great an honor in the educational world. In 1862, when disunion
was threatened, Mr. Tressler became captain of Company H, 133d Penna.
Volunteers, in the United States Army, and with his company went many boys from
the institution. In 1865 it became a Soldiers' Orphan School, one of the
first in the United States, with Capt. David L. Tressler as principal.
That action destined it to become a perpetual home for orphans, for the
attention of the Lutheran Church was thereby attracted to it as a home for
orphan children, which it is to this day, being fully described in the following
pages under the title, The Tressler Orphans'