Who Is Isaac Bear?
“The original Isaac Bear Building, located at Market and 13th Streets, served as the first home of Wilmington College, outside the public school system. Classes were first held there in 1947."
Constructed in 1912, the name of the first building was given by Samuel Bear, Jr. (1854-1916) as a memorial to his brother, Isaac Bear. The Bear family, owners of an intrastate wholesale dry goods firm located on Front Street, made a number of large donations to better the community such as a wing to James Walker Memorial Hospital.
Isaac Bear was known as "one of Wilmington's most capable and highly esteemed businessmen." He was a member of North State Lodge of B'Nai Brith, past Grand President of District Grand Lodge, and B.P.O.E Elks #532. Upon his death, the Isaac Bear Memorial School served to remember "the close friendship and devotion between the brothers and their interest in public welfare."
The Order of the Isaac Bear is an honorary organization composed of faculty members that taught at the site of the original Wilmington College. Once the college built the new campus off of College Road, the Isaac Bear Building was torn down (1961).