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The original Old Main building was destroyed by fire on March 23, 1903. Students, however, did not miss one day of school. Officials organized classes in local churches. Within ten days the citizens of Canton raised $15,000 for a new building. This indication of support began a long tradition for the campus community. The college collected $8,000 insurance and salvaged $4,000 worth of stone and brick from the original building. Trustees borrowed $15,000 to complete the new building and paid the debt off by 1906. The design of the first Henderson Hall included a dome, and it was very important to the college community that the new building include one. The replacement dome on the current Henderson Hall continues to be an important symbol for the college. The building was called the Main Building until renamed Henderson Hall in honor of the founder and Board President, D. Pat Henderson. Henderson was a church leader, an editor and publisher of religious publications, and a tireless public servant. He was instrumental in the founding of Eureka College and Columbia College in addition to Culver-Stockton. He served in several governmental social service capacities during and after the Civil War. He was an outspoken advocate of education for women.
Henderson Hall originally housed science laboratories, men's and women's gymnasiums, a museum, a dining room, a "commercial" department, library, administrative offices, classrooms, an assembly hall that seated about 600 with a rolling door at the rear that could be opened to add 400 more spectators, and three meeting rooms for student groups. As educational activities were dispersed to other buildings, Henderson continued to serve, as it does today, as a primary administrative and classroom building. Henderson Hall was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.