1858 - 1870

Ellen Medora Plimpton Hired as Wheaton’s First Gymnastics Teacher

Ellen Medora Plimpton was hired as Wheaton’s first full-time teacher of gymnastics and calisthenics by her aunt, Caroline Cutler Metcalf, who threatened to resign if Miss Plimpton was not hired. Previously, teachers had led physical exercises in addition to their other duties. In 1858, Plimpton began taking classes while teaching at the Seminary and continued to do so until 1866, but she never graduated. She continued to teach, off and on, until 1870.