Let's turn the Battle Creek Way-Back Machine to January 10, 1898....

Charles Argubright took over Krug Business College.  John B. Krug started it in 1893.  C.J. Argubright was a traveling salesman and became an educational supervisor for Ellis Publishing Company.  He took over Krug Business College and changed name to Michigan Business and Normal School.  The school prospered. One of his students won the world’s championship for shorthand writing speed.  In 1910, the name of school changed again, this time to Argubright College of Business Administration.

Eventually, the college moved to the  so-called "Capital Building" that stood at 37 N.E. Capital Avenue, built in 1905. It was a hub of business activity in Battle Creek before its demolition in 1987. When it was built, the "Ward Skyscraper," named for Joseph M. Ward, was the first fire-resistant steel and concrete structure between Detroit and Chicago. For the first 25 years, the top three floors of the building, the city's tallest until the 1930s, were home to the Athelstan Club, which housed a gym, poolroom and ballroom. The city razed the building to develop the area along the Battle Creek River between Northeast Capital and West Michigan avenues, turning it into a park landscaped with trees.

Argubright Business College-Capital Building c1970-Willard Library Archive

At the time of the photo above, tenants included Mid-Counties Employment and Training Consortium, the Legal Aid Society of Calhoun County, Argubright Business College, the Battle Creek Area Urban League and Conrail Transportation.

The school finally closed in the 1990's.

Former Battle Creek State Representative and State Senator Harry DeMaso was an instructor there after serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War I.   Jim LaParl was the owner and president in the school's later years.

A 1976 newspaper ad for the school showed both C.J. Argubright and Jim LaParl's pictures and stated "Names and faces have changed at Argubright Business college during the past 94 years...but our platform remains the same.  The ad featured this from the 1910 catalog:

"To deal honorably, justly, and liberally with parents and pupils who patronize our school.  Never to claim more for the merits of the school and our facilities than the appointment, capabilities of the instructors, and our work will justify.  To be up on the times, always progressive, and in the front rank of Business Training Institutions.  To devote our best energies to the one object of making this the best Business and Shorthand Training School to be found anywhere in this broad land.  To charge all alike, to welcome all alike; whether rich or poor; backward or well educated; to instruct honestly; and to be judged by the work we do.  To act fairly and honestly; to deal justly and impartially; and to work faithfully for the best interests of every pupil placed in our school.  Never to claim what we can not fulfill, nor to promise substantial and material results to pupils unless they make honest and direct efforts themselves."


Argubright Business College postcard c1898-Willard Library Archive