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Wentworth Military Academy & College

Wentworth Military Academy and College is a private four-year college preparatory high school and military junior college. It is located in Lexington, Missouri, part of the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area. Wentworth is the oldest military academy west of the Mississippi River, and the campus is on the National Register of Historic Places.



1880 Washington Ave
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Red Dragons
Crimson And White

College History


Lexington's Civil War Battle of the Hemp Bales was still a recent memory when Stephen G. Wentworth founded Wentworth Military Academy in 1880. By the 1870s, the town had already attained the reputation as the �Athens of the West� for its many academic institutions. Lexington was home to three notable schools for girls. Lexington Baptist Female College was started in 1850 in the old county courthouse that had been abandoned upon the construction of the new Lafayette County Courthouse, built in 1847 and still in use today. In 1869 the Baptist Female College moved its operation to the former home of Pony Express Founder William B. Waddell at the corner of 13th and South Streets. Elizabeth Aull Seminary was opened in the fall of 1860 and operated in a large building on Highland Avenue. Central Female College, later Central College for Women, began in 1868 and, in 1871, took over the old Masonic College on the grounds of the Battlefield. However, Lexington�s educators, business leaders and ministers had made numerous attempts to establish a school for boys and young men. Public schools were not yet widespread and there was a glaring need for a boys' school, but none had been successful. The most visible failed effort was the Masonic College of Missouri, which moved to Lexington in 1847 and operated until 1859. Wentworth Male Academy On May 12, 1879, Wentworth�s 27-year-old son William died. As a memorial, Wentworth focused his attention on finally making a school for boys a reality in Lexington. In the spring of 1880, Mr. Wentworth announced that a new school named Wentworth Male Academy would begin operation in the fall. Mr. Wentworth had a long record of public service to Lexington. A local editorial writer proclaimed that Wentworth was �One of our oldest, most generous and most worthy citizens� and �no nobler name can this community furnish the new school. � On May 24, 1880, Mr. Wentworth bought the �New Presbyterian Church� at the southwest corner of 18th and Main Streets, directed that it be fitted up for the next term, and gave the school solid financial backing. Although his financial involvement was limited to the Academy�s early years of operation, his foresight led to the establishment of the first board of trustees and his generosity provided a firm foundation for the school. Wentworth also announced that 22-year-old Benjamin Lewis Hobson, the son of the local Presbyterian minister who had run a fledgling private boys� school in town the previous year, would be given charge of W.M.A. Young Hobson had graduated from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky with a degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1877, and had spent the next two years as teacher and then principal of Spencer Institute in Taylorsville, Kentucky. In the summer of 1879, he had returned to his hometown of Lexington and started Hobson�s Select School for Boys. Benjamin Hobson knew that he could not operate the new school alone, and he turned to Sandford Sellers, a 26-year-old friend and former classmate at Centre College in Kentucky. Sellers eagerly accepted Hobson�s invitation to join him as co-principal at Wentworth Male Academy. When Hobson left to pursue a career in the ministry at the end of the 1880�81 school year, Sellers took full charge of the academy.

College Specialty


"The mission of Wentworth Military Academy and Junior College is to provide the environment and resources necessary for its students to develop their potential in academics, leadership, physical well-being, moral character, and self-discipline so they become productive citizens in a diverse, global society."



Beals Becker - Major League baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Boston Doves, the New York Giants, the Cincinnati Reds, and the Philadelphia Phillies. Med Park - NBA player for the St. Louis Hawks. Harry Ice - MVP of 1942 Sugar Bowl, member of University of Missouri's all-century football team. Ben A. Jones - Thoroughbred horse trainer, six-time winner of the Kentucky Derby. George E. Rody - Captain of the first national championship basketball team at the University of Kansas,1922. Head basketball and baseball coach at Oklahoma State University, 1929-31. Head basketball coach at Tulane University, 1931-33. Ahmed bin Salman - Owner of 2002 Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem. Saudi royal and former owner of Saudi Research and Marketing Group. Don D. Cadle - Rower at Yale and Balliol College. College rowing coach at Georgetown University and member of the Georgetown Athletic Hall of Fame. Rhodes Scholar, Director of Resources Programming for the NASA Apollo program, and Treasurer and CFO of Chase Manhattan Bank.



137 acres (55.4�ha)