Saturday, May 18, 2024
Business and Commerce, Education

Gutchess College

A recent gift to the Bridgeport Public Library Historical Collections was this small wooden ruler, only six inches in length. The ruler had the name “Gutchess College” engraved on the side, with the addess 46 to 54 Cannon Street. What was Gutchess College?

The Bridgeport City Directory for 1911 gives us the answer. S.D. Gutchess was the properietor of the Gutchess College at 46 Cannon Street. The ad in the 1911 City Directory says that Stephen D. Gutchess took over as the properietor of the college from Brown’s Business College. Brown had started this school in 1896 teaching young men and women about the business trade.

Port Byron Academy, of Port Byron, New York where Stephen D. Gutchess attended school, said Mr.Gutchess was a “Notable” graduate who also started a school in Detroit, Michigan.  Recently a scholar, Dawn Roe contacted me about information from our Bridgeport City Directories.  She produced YouTube site:

Long before computers, instructors taught stenography, typewriting, telegraphy and bookkeeping. The school boasted that they filled “had 500 positions annually.” The 1911 city directory said that they had thirty typewriters at the school, and “up-to-date” instruction.

Mary Witkowski
Mary K. Witkowski is the former Bridgeport City Historian and the Department Head of the Bridgeport History Center, Emeritus. She is the author of Bridgeport at Work, and the co-author with Bruce Williams of Bridgeport on the Sound. Mary has had a newspaper column in the Bridgeport News, a blog for the Connecticut Post, and a weekly spot on WICC. She continues to be involved in many community based activities and initiatives on local history and historic preservation.