History

In 1879 Wyman Institute opened on a fifty acre tract known at Bostwick Place on Seminary Street in Upper Alton. Edward Wyman was a leading St. Louis educator. After Wyman’s death in 1888, his primary assistant,  A.M. Jackson, took over running the school and Col. Willis Brown purchased the school in 1892 and changed the name to Western Military Academy

In 1896 Col. A.M. Jackson and Major George D. Eaton bought the school from Col. Brown and ultimately the Jackson family took full control.  Col. A.M. Jackson was succeeded as superintendent by his assistant, Col. George D. Eaton, and he in turn by Col. A.M. Jackson’s son, Ralph Leroy Jackson.  For three generations the Jackson family owned and operated Western Military Academy with Ralph B. Jackson taking over in 1952 and remaining superintendent until the end. 

In 1892 Western Military Academy became the school name and the institution continued under that name until 1971.  Since the closing of Western Military Academy the campus has seen a major decline in its physical plant with only one of  the five barracks remaining.  Only "C" Barracks, the Administration Building and the lower gym of the field house remain. Before the last remnants of the bricks and mortar are gone it is hoped that this proud and distinguished history may help to once more breathe life into what was once Western Military Academy.

During its 92 year existence nearly 4,000 cadets graduated from Western and over forty are known to have given their lives in the service of their country. At least ten general officers came from our ranks and more than 500 served in World War I and 1000 served in World War II.   The exact number serving in Korea, Vietnam and beyond is unknown.  For a small academy, the fame of many of its graduates is significant. 

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