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Samuel Whipple, a native New Englander who settled in Illinois during the 19th century, provided $10,000 to establish the Whipple Preparatory Academy in 1869. The original building was located in Jacksonville's downtown square. Dr. Whipple was a prominent abolitionist who reportedly assisted freedom-seeking slaves who traveled the Underground Railroad. The preparatory academy was relocated to the Illinois College campus in 1882 when Whipple Hall was constructed. The structure was used primarily for classrooms and faculty offices for much of the following century. It also housed a physics laboratory for a brief time. Today, Whipple Hall houses the Pi Pi Rho Literary Society and Alpha Phi Omega national service fraternity.