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Mary Fisher Floyd Archives and Special Collections: Photo Collections

The Mary Fisher Floyd Archives and Special Collections house the University Archives, the official repository of historically significant records of the University.

Photograph Collections

Photograph Collections Information

The overall photograph collection consists of images dating from the early 1900's to the present. Most photographs are black and white and many of the early images of the school are reproductions. The collection documents the development of Pfeiffer University from its founding as Oberlin Home and School to the present. Images in the collection include the buildings, people and activities of the University and Stanly County. Photographs are also located in the University Archives' vertical files and in some manuscript collections.

A Brief History of Oberlin Home and School

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(s) which housed faculty and students were 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 which Pfeiffer University now resides.

(Borrowed heavily from History of Pfeiffer found in the college catalog)

"The Oberlin Home and School Photograph 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 North Carolina ECHO, 'Exploring Cultural Heritage Online' Digitization Grant Program. For more information concerning North Carolina history please see: North Carolina Digital Collections of the State of North Carolina Archives

A Brief History of Mitchell Home School

Mitchell Home School was a mission school of the Woman's Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. It had its origins in a school founded by Miss Emily C. Prudden between 1885 and 1903. It was called Oberlin Home and School, and was located near Hudson, North Carolina.On June 8, 1903 Miss Prudden deeded the Oberlin property to the Woman's Home Missionary Society.  The offer had been made on the condition "that we contribute to its support $200 annually, and if it grows so as to require another teacher, an additional $100" (Woman's Home Missions, July 1903 p.128). In honor of her late step-son, Ebenezer W. Mitchell, Mrs. Mary A. Mitchell of Dayton, Ohio gave $1000 to the school. The institution took the name "Ebenezer Mitchell Home and School" under the Society.

The school was plagued by problems, including a fire which destroyed the building, and in 1909 the decision was made by Society executives to accept an offer of land at Misenheimer, North Carolina, as the site of the new Mitchell Home School. The construction of a $15,000 building was begun in the summer of 1909. On February 2, 1910, the Southern Railway moved students and teachers, twenty-two in all, plus their freight, free of charge to Misenheimer. Southern Railway even delivered a load of coal from Tennessee to the new School. Classes began in April, serving forty-five boarding students, and thirty day students.

The Mitchell School building was an omnibus-type structure, caring for all needs - classrooms, offices, dormitories, laundry, dining facilities. Fire plagued Mitchell on June 29, 1914 and all but one boys' dormitory (Old Cline Hall) was destroyed . The educational program adjusted to the reduced resources but still the school flourished.

The first secondary school graduation was held in 1913, and was accredited by the NC Department of Public Instruction in 1922. The lower grades at Mitchell were slowly phased out as public county schools expanded and improved to fill those needs. Junior College curriculum was added in 1928 and by 1932 only high school courses and junior college courses were offered the same year Mitchell graduated its first junior college class. The high school classes were phased out in 1934 when the Junior College became accredited by the North Carolina Department of Education. Mitchell Junior College would change its name to Pfeiffer Junior College in the summer of 1935.

 

Students, teachers and faculty- Photographs of students, teachers and faculty of Mitchell Home School.
Majority of photographs taken from 1920 through the mid 1930s.

Buildings- Photographs of the buildings that made up the campus of Mitchell Home School,
predecessor of Pfeiffer University.

Special Events- Photographs of students and teachers dressed for Special Events.

 

"The Mitchell Home School Photograph Collectionis 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 North Carolina ECHO, 'Exploring Cultural Heritage Online' Digitization Grant Program.  For more information concerning North Carolina history please see: North Carolina Digital Collections of the State of North Carolina Archives