Peru State College, originally incorporated as Mount Vernon Seminary, became Nebraska’s first state-supported college on June 20, 1867. The school was initially organized and largely financed by local residents, then offered to the Methodist Conference. When the Conference refused, the school was offered to the state.

Called the Nebraska State Normal School, Peru was one of the first of its kind west of the Missouri River. Its first classes as a state school were held on October 24, 1867, with thirty-two students enrolled in the normal department. The campus at that time contained sixty acres of land and one building, Mount Vernon Hall.

The school’s purpose as outlined in the Legislative bill was to "instruct young people in the art of teaching and in the various branches that pertain to the good common school education, in mechanic arts, in the arts of husbandry and agricultural chemistry, in the fundamental laws of the United States, and in good citizenship."

During its first one hundred years, Peru State College expanded to a campus of one hundred acres dotted with twenty academic buildings and housing complexes to accommodate an enrollment of more than 1,100 students.

Historical Land Mark Council
Peru State College, Peru
Nemaha County
Marker 80