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Mary Fisher Floyd Archives and Special Collections: Oberlin Home and School Collection

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

Collection Information

Descriptive Summary
Information for Users
Historical Note
Online Catalog Headings
Organization of Collection
Detailed Description of the Collection
Clippings, 1923-1995. n.d.
Correspondence, 1921-1984. n.d.
Deeds and Wills, 1903. n.d.
Photographs, n.d.
Press Releases, n.d.
Programs, 1963.
Research notes, n.d.
Woman's Home Missionary Society, 1902-1910. n.d.
Writings, 1897-1977, n.d. Bulk not dated.

Guide to the Oberlin Home and School Collection

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...

Descriptive Summary

Pfeiffer University
Oberlin Home and School Collection
Call Number
Mss 19982
1 archival box, .25 linear feet
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Pfeiffer University Archivist.

Information for Users

Restrictions to Access
This collection has restrictions to access. Please contact the Pfeiffer University Archivist for more information.
Acquisitions Information
The materials of the Oberlin Home and School Collection were acquired through donations by former students of the school. Other materials were created by Pfeiffer faculty researching the history of the school. The collection is not yet closed so that new items may be added as acquired.
This is an artificial collection which was originally housed within the subject-based system developed by Dr. Bernard Russell. Most materials are of unknown provenance.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of Item], Oberlin Home and School Collection, Mary Fisher Floyd Archives, Pfeiffer University, Misenheimer , North Carolina.
Copyright Notice
Pfeiffer University owns copyright to this collection. Individuals obtaining materials from the Pfeiffer University Archives are responsible for using the works in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.

Historical Note

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

Oberlin Home and School Collection.
Mary Fisher Floyd Archives.
Pfeiffer University.
Oberlin Home and School.
Mitchell Home School.
Misenheimer--North Carolina.
Caldwell County (NC) History.

Organization of Collection

The collection is divided into 9 series.

Clippings, 1962-1984. n.d.
Correspondence, 1976-1985. n.d.
Deeds and Wills, 1903.
Photographs. n.d.
Press Releases. n.d.
Programs, 1963.
Research Notes, n.d.
Woman's Home Missionary Society, 1902-1910d. Bulk 1904-1910.
Writings, 1897-1977, n.d. Bulk not dated


Detailed Description of the Collection


Clippings, 1962-1984. n.d.
6 folders

- Series consists mainly of photocopies of news articles, arranged alphabetically by heading, title, or subject matter.

Correspondence, 1976-85. n.d.
8 folders

- 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.

Deeds and Wills, 1903.
2 folders

- 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. n.d.
1 folder

- Photographs of building and students, unidentified; Miss Lizzie Kennedy

Press Releases, n.d.
1 folder

- 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.

Programs, 1963
1 folder

- Program detailing Pilgrimage to Hudson, NC to see original site of Oberlin Home and School.

Research Notes, n.d.
2 folders

- Notes compiled by Dr. Bernard Russell and Dr. Mary Fisher Floyd while researching the history of Pfeiffer. Notes are typed as well as handwritten.

Woman's Home Missionary Society, 1902-1910. Bulk 1904-1910.
2 folders

- Excerpts of reports of annual meetings and bureaus. Typed copies and photocopies of originals.

Writings, 1897-1977, n.d. Bulk not dated
11 folders

- 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 North Carolina ECHO, 'Exploring Cultural Heritage Online' Digitization Grant Program."

Contact Information

Pfeiffer University
G.A. Pfeiffer Library
PO Box 960
Misenheimer, North Carolina 28109-0960 USA
Phone: 704-463-3361
Photograph Collection: Oberlin Home and School Photograph Collection
Processed by
Holly A. Mercer, Jonathan C. Hutchinson
Date Completed
March 1998, updated August 2002
Encoded by
Jonathan C. Hutchinson