Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Stetson University: Hulley Tower

Chaudion Hall and
Hulley Tower
Stetson University is the oldest private run college in Florida. It was originally named DeLand Academy after its’ founder, Henry DeLand in 1883. He also founded the town of DeLand where this university is located.

Within a few years of its’ founding the school experienced financial hardship when Henry DeLand’s citrus crops were destroyed in a freeze. He brought in partners to keep his academy afloat.

One of these partners was a hat-maker from Philadelphia named John B. Stetson. In 1889, the school was renamed “Stetson” after this benefactor.

Stetson University was given the money for a bell tower in 1934 by one of the college’s professors. Dr. Lincoln Hulley was a graduate of Harvard. He taught mathematics and engineering at Stetson and later became the Universities’ longest running president from 1902 till his death in 1934 from a heart attack.

During his tenure he was an exceptional teacher and a brilliant scholar who was a prolific author of books and plays. He was a popular president who put Stetson on the map. Under his guidance the university gained both students and accreditation.

Dr. Hulley was also an ordained minister.

Dr. Lincoln Hulley
Stetson's second president

Hulley Tower with
double door leading
to crypt.
Hulley Tower not only holds the school’s eleven chimes that announce special events on campus it has a large room at its base that contains a crypt. 

This elegant mausoleum is the final resting place for Dr. Hulley and his wife Eloise who died in 1959, 25 years after her husband.

A well-known story that is told on the Stetson campus is about Dr. Hulley and Eloise’s ghosts.

These two are seen taking nocturnal walks.

They are spotted walking arm in arm on the grass that surrounds the bell tower. Their little white terrier is seen accompanying them.

Students and professors also report seeing this elusive couple near the campus gym and fountain at night. There are many stories of witnesses pursuing this couple only to find them gone.

Stetson University's fountain
Residents of the town also report seeing this ghostly couple on their lawns across the street from Stetson.

One resident of DeLand while walking his dog late one night spotted an elderly couple peering into a large fountain near a popular campus restaurant directly across from the school.

As he approached them his dog pulled on his leash. His pet tried to head in the opposite direction. It took him only moments to settle his dog down but when he looked back up to say “hello” the couple by the fountain was gone.

He scanned the area but he saw no other people within blocks.

Ghost hunters that have investigated these reports have had their own experiences. A strong scent of flowers is noticed on the sidewalk near the tower and they have felt someone watching them.

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