From Ohio History Central
Originally called the Granville Literary and Theological Institution, Denison University was founded by the Ohio Baptist Education Society in 1831. The school met at two different locations in its early years, before moving to a hill overlooking the community of Granville in 1854. At this point, the institution was renamed Denison University after William S. Denison, who had made a significant donation to the school.
Denison only admitted male students in the nineteenth century, like many other colleges during this era. Granville also offered educational opportunities for young women. In 1832, Granville resident Charles Sawyer founded the Granville Female Seminary, which became known as the Young Ladies' Institute in 1861. The Institute was also associated with the Baptist Church. This school once again changed names in 1886, becoming known as Shepardson College for Women, before finally uniting with Denison University in 1900.