Monadnock Moments No. 56: Tiffin's Business Institute

Tiffin’s Business School

For twenty-six years at the beginning at the 20th century Keene was the home of a business college.  The Bliss Business College opened on September 20, 1897 in the Cheshire House Block in Keene.  Forty-four students were enrolled at that time.  Keene’s Bliss Business College was one of a chain of such schools throughout New England with headquarters in Boston.

The name was soon changed to Keene Business College with Harry C. Tiffin as proprietor and principal.  Tiffin soon changed the name to Tiffin’s Business Institute and moved the school into the Buffum Block on Main Street.  Tiffin was a native of Ohio, but came to Keene from Ontario, Canada where he worked as a school principal.  He served as a Keene city councilman and was a member of local service organizations.
The school offered a shorthand course and a commercial course.  The commercial course offered instruction in bookkeeping, business practice, arithmetic, commercial law, banking, wholesaling, retailing, real estate, commission, spelling, business letter writing, rapid calculation, and business forms.
A 1908 advertisement stated that the school had seventy students at that time and hundreds of successful graduates working in stores, offices and banks.  The ad claimed that positions were secured for all graduates.  Keene’s business college was a familiar fixture on Main Street for many years.  Tiffin’s Business Institute closed its doors in 1923 when Harry Tiffin left Keene and removed to Boston.