Guide to the Oberlin Home and School Collection 1897-1991
Collection Number Mss 19982
G.A. Pfeiffer Library, Mary Fisher Floyd Archives & Special Collections
Abstract:The Oberlin Home and School Collection consists primarily of items pertaining to the School which were donated by former students and faculty, including correspondence, memorabilia, photographs, and recorded memories...
Information for Users
Pfeiffer University originated from one of at least fifteen home schools founded by Miss Emily C. Prudden between circa 1885 and 1909. Pfeiffer developed from the Oberlin Home and School, reportedly named in memory of John Oberlin, whose service as a minister and social pioneer in the rural valleys of Alsace, France, inspired Miss Prudden's own interests. The Oberlin Home and School began at Lick Mountain, near Hudson in Caldwell County, North Carolina. In 1903 the Woman's Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church agreed to assume responsibility for the Oberlin property. Following the transfer of 37 acres and two buildings on June 8, 1903, the Oberlin School was renamed the Ebenezer Mitchell Home and School in memory of the stepson of Mrs. Mary A. Mitchell of Dayton, Ohio, whose generosity facilitated completion of improvements to the property. A fire on January 14, 1908 led to a relocation of Mitchell Home and School. The structure which housed faculty and students was destroyed and the school moved to temporary quarters in nearby Lenoir. These quarters, however, soon proved inadequate. The Mitchell Home and School then moved to Misenheimer in Stanly County, North Carolina, in February of 1910, with the acquisition of the property on with Pfeiffer University now resides.
(borrowed heavily from History of Pfeiffer found in the college catalog)
Scope and Content Note
The Oberlin Home and School collection includes news clippings, a press release, photographs, and writings by and about the Oberlin Home and School, its students, and its teachers. Few original materials exist from the earliest years of the school. Items date from 1897; the collection includes materials from as recent as 1985, although many items lack dates. Specifically, the materials concern the mission school known as Oberlin Home and School, later renamed Ebenezer Mitchell Home and School, while said school existed on Lick Mountain near Hudson and Lenoir, in Caldwell County, North Carolina. Items are included up until the time the school moved to Misenheimer, where the school now exists as Pfeiffer University. Much of the materials included are photocopies of articles about the school, transcriptions of newspaper and other published articles, and correspondence to and from former students, written in the 1970s. This is a small collection. Refer to the Mitchell Home School collection for information on Mitchell after it moved to Misenheimer, and also for related material. There is some overlap in dates, and some students and teachers were present at both locations.
Online Catalog Headings
Organization of Collection
The collection is divided into 9 series.
Clippings, 1962-1984. n.d.
Detailed Description of the Collection
- Series consists mainly of photocopies of news articles, arranged alphabetically by heading, title, or subject matter.
- General correspondence between Dr. Bernard Russell and former students of Oberlin Home and School. Also includes a Christmas note card from Mary Abbott Wilson, a principal of the School.
- Photocopy of deed which transferred ownership of Oberlin Home and School property to the WHMS; will of Elizabeth J. Kennedy, former Mitchell School teacher.
- Photographs of building and students, unidentified; Miss Lizzie Kennedy
Press Releases, n.d.
- Press release announcing the establishment of an historical highway marker to commemorate the founding of the forerunner of Pfeiffer on Lick Mountain near Lenior, NC.
- Program detailing Pilgrimage to Hudson, NC to see original site of Oberlin Home and School.
- Notes compiled by Dr. Bernard Russell and Dr. Mary Fisher Floyd while researching the history of Pfeiffer. Notes are typed as well as handwritten.
- Excerpts of reports of annual meetings and bureaus. Typed copies and photocopies of originals.
- Anonymous accounts of people and happenings at Oberlin Home and School; transcribed newspaper editorials and items; several school histories.
"Guide to the Oberlin Home and School collection is supported with federal Library Service and
Technology Act (LSTA) funds made possible through a grant from the Institute
of Museum and Library Services, administered by the State Library of North
Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources through the
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