La Grange Collegiate Institute opened in the spring of 1849 under the supervision of the Colorado Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Marcus A. Montrose, who was in charge of the school in 1850, was succeeded by Horace Clark, who took charge in January 1851. Clark was succeeded by James Sampson. Tuition for a five-month session varied from ten to fifteen dollars in the academic department and was twenty dollars in the collegiate branch. The school was incorporated on February 14, 1852. Trustees were empowered to confer degrees, grant diplomas, establish a theological professorship, and operate a preparatory as well as a college department. The school closed by 1852, apparently because of denominational jealousies. In January 1853 the two-story building was used by Mary Jane Gregory for La Grange Preparatory School for Females, and Shannon School used the building in 1855 and 1856. The trustees reorganized the institution and operated it as a boys' school taught by R. P. Decherd from 1857 to 1860. On October 10, 1859, the Colorado Presbytery transferred the school to the Colorado Synod, and its name was changed to Ewing College on February 11, 1860.