This history of Southern Illinois University was authored by Daniel B. Parkinson, one of the university's original faculty and later the fourth President from 1897-1913. It discusses the university's establishment, the Old Normal fire, the construction of early campus buildings, university administration and structure, enrollment, a history of the training school (Allyn Building), the university's involvement in world's fairs and expositions, and campus organizations. It also contains rosters of all who served on the Board of Trustees, faculty, and alumni, with historical sketches of early university faculty.