The Franklin County Seminary opened in 1831 as part of a mandate in Indiana’s 1816 Constitution for each county to have a seminary. The concept of a publicly supported secondary educational system in the United States under a state-wide program was first conceived in Indiana under this county seminary system. The county seminary was to be the second level of public education, with common schools and a state seminary completing the constitutional requirements. The Franklin County Seminary serves as a physical link to this area of secondary educational history. It closed as a county seminary by mandate of the 1851 Indiana Constitution as emphasis shifted to common schools. The seminary was placed on the National Register in 1974.