Entries - Entry Category: Campuses and Schools

Crowley’s Ridge Technical Institute

The Crowley’s Ridge Technical Institute (CRTI) was a technical college in Forrest City (St. Francis County) that provided skilled workers for local industries. It operated from 1967 to 2017, when it was merged with the nearby East Arkansas Community College (EACC). In 1966, the CRTI building on Newcastle Road was approved for construction by the State Board of Vocational Education; the building site was donated by the Forrest City Chamber of Commerce. Before it was completed, however, CRTI operated one welding class started by the Manpower Development and Training Act program with approval from the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, which provided $90,860 to finance the thirty-two-week program, covering both student costs and the salary for two instructors. This …

Draughon School of Business (Little Rock)

aka: Draughon Business College (Little Rock)
Draughon’s Practical Business College opened in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on February 5, 1900. During its more than ninety years of operation, it offered a variety of courses ranging from typing and shorthand to courses in servicing television and radio equipment. The first Draughon School of Business was founded by John F. Draughon in eastern Tennessee in 1879. At the age of sixteen, Draughon would transport books and materials by cart from town to town, offering classes in basic business skills. His first non-mobile instruction was offered in Nashville, Tennessee, a few years later. By the time he died in 1921, thirty-eight such schools had been established in southern and western states from Georgia to Texas, including schools in Savannah, …

Dwight Mission

Dwight Mission near Russellville (Pope County) was the first formal Protestant effort directed at the education and conversion of Native Americans in Arkansas and was one of the first Protestant missions established west of the Mississippi. The mission was established in 1820 and operated in Arkansas until 1829. The mission had been requested by Western Cherokee Principal Chief Tahlonteskee in 1818, when he visited Brainerd Mission in Georgia, sponsored by the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions (ABCFM), a Presbyterian organization. The Western Cherokee was a diverse group whose previous generation had migrated into Arkansas while fleeing troubles in the Cherokee homeland at the southern end of the Appalachians, and some of the members thought it useful for their …

East Arkansas Community College

East Arkansas Community College (EACC) is a comprehensive two-year college dedicated to meeting the educational needs of its service area in eastern Arkansas. The college has served as a leader for social and economic improvement and continued growth in the region. Citizens of St. Francis County created a college committee in 1968 out of a desire and need for a community college. At the time, there was no access to higher education in the area, with the exception of Memphis, Tennessee, and Jonesboro (Craighead County). Students who were unable to relocate had no other options. In June 1969, the committee—named the Crowley’s Ridge Community College Corporation—received approval for its initial charter. In 1971, Betty Jo Hodges donated $25,000 to the …

Ecclesia College

Ecclesia College describes itself as a Christian “work learning” college located in Springdale (Washington and Benton counties). Founded in 1975 by Oren Paris II as a training center for young missionaries, Ecclesia was accredited as a four-year college in 2005, with a strong emphasis in Christian faith and character, work ethic, mentoring, and service. In 2017, the college became embroiled in a scandal regarding the redirection of General Improvement Fund (GIF) money by state legislators to the small college. Ecclesia College is a branch of the “Ecclesia Network.” Ecclesia, the parent organization, was incorporated in 1976 and has participated in Christian service worldwide through ministries such as Youth With a Mission (a one-year training program), Twila Paris Productions, Bibles for the …

El Dorado Junior College

El Dorado Junior College was a public junior college open from 1928 to 1942 in El Dorado (Union County). Operating on the campus of El Dorado High School, it was established as a preparatory school by the El Dorado School District for students hoping to enter universities. The high school and El Dorado Junior College often shared equipment, instructors, laboratories, the gymnasium, and other facilities, but the two institutions remained separate in many respects. In particular, the high school mostly used the newer auditorium building for lectures, while the college mostly used the adjacent classroom building. This red brick, three-story classroom building had actually been constructed in 1905 as the high school for El Dorado. Because of its use as …

Episcopal Collegiate School

Episcopal Collegiate School is an independent college-preparatory school in the Episcopal tradition located on thirty-four gated acres near downtown Little Rock (Pulaski County). Founded in 1998, it teaches students in grades Pre-K through the twelfth grade, with a total enrollment of 780 students in 2015. In 1996, a small group of parents sought to establish a new middle school in Little Rock with a similar Episcopal educational experience as the Cathedral School, an established Little Rock K–6 school. As a result of this effort, the Cathedral Middle School was established in 1997 and began operations in 1998 as an independent and separately incorporated educational institution. In the fall of 1998, the new Cathedral Middle School began teaching its first students …

Eros School Building

The Eros School Building was constructed around 1935, probably by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a Depression-era federal relief agency. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 4, 1992. Eros (Marion County), located in Prairie Township in southwestern Marion County, received its first white settlers around 1854 and had a post office by the late 1880s. The community had one of the five schools in the township in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. By the mid-1930s, the community received funding from one of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal agencies to build a new school. The funding likely came from the Works Progress Administration, which conducted a number of projects in the county; …

Fair View School

The Fair View School at 2367 Mill Creek Road in Russellville (Pope County) is a single-story, T-shaped building veneered in fieldstone and designed in the Craftsman style of architecture. It was constructed in 1938 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a Depression-era federal public relief program, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 4, 2000. In the late 1920s, the Ball Hill and Rachel school districts in Pope County were consolidated as Ball Hill School District No. 10, and in September 1929, the new district purchased property in the Orchard community to hold a centrally located school. It would be another eight years, though, before funding for a new building would be available, thanks to …

Far West Seminary

In the mid-1840s, the Far West Seminary, a planned collegiate-level educational institution in northwest Arkansas, failed due to political and religious factionalism, economic hard times, and a major fire. However, the effort proved to be a seedbed for other northwest Arkansas educational endeavors prior to the Civil War that helped Fayetteville (Washington County) earn the nickname “the Athens of Arkansas.” After the state failed to use its federal seminary grant to create a state university, northwest Arkansas educators and promoters in 1840 began discussing the need for a facility for higher education. On August 12, 1843, a group of interested citizens gathered at the Mount Comfort Meeting House, located three miles northwest of Fayetteville. This meeting resulted in the creation …

Fargo Agricultural School

Before the state of Arkansas made public funds available for segregated schools for black children, Floyd Brown, a graduate of Tuskegee Institute, founded and operated the Fargo Agricultural School (FAS) outside Brinkley (Monroe County). From 1920 to 1949, the private residential school offered “training for the head, hands and heart” and high school educations for hundreds of black youth at a time when the United States’ black population averaged five years or less of formal schooling. In early twentieth-century Arkansas, African-American children were seldom educated beyond the primary grades. In the 1920s and 1930s, most black Southerners were sharecroppers indebted to white landowners to whom they gave a share of their crops for rent. To supplement the family income, women …

Fayetteville Female Seminary

One of the most influential institutions in early Arkansas was the Fayetteville Female Seminary in Fayetteville (Washington County), which provided a quality education for girls throughout the region in a time when most women received little, if any, schooling. It also accepted both Cherokee and white students in an era when the “mixing of the races” was discouraged. Though it was only in existence from 1839 through 1862, the Fayetteville Female Seminary is often cited as one of the factors leading to the location of the state’s land-grant university, the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville. The Fayetteville Female Seminary was created by Sophia Sawyer of Rindge, New Hampshire. She went to Georgia 1823 as a missionary to the Cherokee through …

Fishback School

Fishback School was established in 1885 as Washington County School District 68. At that time, the school was about two miles southeast of Springdale (Washington and Benton counties), in an area known for its fruit orchards. Two families, the Grahams and the Boyds, donated one-half acre each from their adjoining orchards as a location for the schoolhouse, a one-room wood-frame building. According to former Fishback student Truman Stamps, the school was named for William Meade Fishback, a prominent Fort Smith (Sebastian County) attorney and legislator who served as governor of Arkansas from 1893 to 1895. As was the case with most rural schools, grades one through eight were offered at Fishback. By 1915, enrollment at Fishback had grown to the …

Freedmen’s Schools

Freedmen’s schools in Arkansas were created as early as 1863 in areas occupied by Union forces to provide for the education of newly freed slaves during the Civil War and in the Reconstruction period that followed. These schools were first run by teachers from the American Missionary Association (AMA) and the Quakers—particularly the Indiana Yearly Meeting of Friends. Early schools existed in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), Little Rock (Pulaski County), and Helena (Phillips County), all areas with large populations of freed slaves. The federal government soon became involved in providing education for the freed slaves, and in 1865 the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (known as the Freedmen’s Bureau) assumed responsibility for educating former slaves. AMA and Quaker …

Galloway Women’s College

aka: Galloway Female College
Galloway Women’s College in Searcy (White County) was one of the longest survivors from among the schools established in the 1800s by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in Arkansas. Dedicated in honor of Bishop Charles Betts Galloway on April 18, 1889, the school endured until its final merger with Hendrix College in Conway (Faulkner County) in 1933. Methodist Church leaders realized by the latter part of the nineteenth century that their resources could not support the numerous small schools they had established around the state and decided to concentrate efforts on fewer institutions to provide better facilities and sounder education. Under the leadership of Bishop Galloway, leaders decided to focus on one institution primarily for men and Galloway Female College, …

Harding University

Harding University, a private Christian university associated with the Churches of Christ, is located in Searcy (White County), occupying some 200 acres just east of the center of the city. It is the largest private educational institution in Arkansas. The motto of Harding University is “Developing Christian Servants.” The school was founded in Morrilton (Conway County). In April 1924, the boards of two struggling Christian junior colleges, Arkansas Christian College of Morrilton and Harper College of Harper, Kansas, agreed to combine their assets and create a single four-year institution. Adlai S. Croom was president and founder of Arkansas Christian College (1922), which had a faculty of ten, while John N. Armstrong was president of Harper College with a faculty of …

Haygood Seminary

Haygood Seminary in Washington (Hempstead County) was established in 1883 as one of the first schools for African Americans funded by the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church (CME) in Arkansas. Its mission was to prepare preachers and teachers for their vocation so that they could help with the education and development of other African Americans. Haygood Seminary was one of the first five educational institutions in the South supported by the CME Church in the late nineteenth century. Haygood Seminary, also known as Haygood Academy, was organized in March 1883 by former slave John Williamson in Washington. His former master was the Reverend Samuel Williamson of the Presbyterian Church in Washington. John Williamson was a member of the CME congregation in …

Helen Dunlap School for Mountain Girls

aka: Helen Dunlap Memorial School for Mountain Girls
The Helen Dunlap School for Mountain Girls, later known as the Helen Dunlap Memorial School for Mountain Girls, is considered one of the best early examples of a Mountain Mission School in Arkansas, according to historian Brooks Blevins. These schools were supported by churches of various denominations in northern states, and their purpose was to provide secondary academic and vocational education to children living in isolated mountain communities. The Helen Dunlap School for Mountain Girls was established around 1905 in Winslow (Washington County), a small mountain town on the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway. The building, known as “Boston Heights” and built by the original owners as a family residence, was donated to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Winslow by Dr. Albert Dunlap, …

Henderson State University (HSU)

Henderson State University (HSU) is a public, co-educational university located in Arkadelphia (Clark County). HSU is Arkansas’s only public liberal-arts school and is one of the oldest publicly funded universities in Arkansas. HSU was founded in 1890 as Arkadelphia Methodist College. The name was changed in 1904 to Henderson College to honor Charles Christopher Henderson and to Henderson-Brown College to honor Walter William Brown in 1911. After thirty-nine years of Methodist control of the institution, the state convention decided to close the institution and combine it with Hendrix College in Conway (Faulkner County). The student body of Henderson-Brown strongly opposed the idea, as did most of the administration and local citizens. After negotiations with state lawmakers, it was decided to …

Henderson-Brown College

Henderson-Brown College (HBC) was a private, co-educational college located in Arkadelphia (Clark County). HBC served as a Methodist institution of higher learning in the southern part of the state. It exists today as Henderson State University. HBC was founded in 1890 as Arkadelphia Methodist College. Local members of the Methodist state convention had decided to start a college to serve students in southern Arkansas and to compete with Ouachita Baptist College (now Ouachita Baptist University), also located in Arkadelphia. The school was the third Methodist college in the state, joining male-only Hendrix College in Conway (Faulkner County) and Galloway Female College in Searcy (White County). Arkadelphia Methodist College was the first co-educational school in the Methodist state convention. Methodist citizens …

Hendrix College

Hendrix College is an independent, liberal arts college located in Conway (Faulkner County) and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. In its 2007 “America’s Best Colleges” guide, U.S. News & World Report included Hendrix in the top tier of the nation’s liberal arts colleges; it was the only college or university in Arkansas to be listed. The Reverend Isham Lafayette Burrow established a school in 1876, then known as Central Institute, in Altus (Franklin County) with an initial enrollment of twenty students. In the 1881–82 school year, the name was changed to Central Collegiate Institute. In 1884, Burrow appealed to the Methodist Church for financial help. The following year, the conferences raised funds to purchase the school and elected Burrow …

Hinemon University School

Hinemon University School was established in 1890 at Monticello (Drew County) by an organization of local community and business leaders known as the Monticello Educational Society. As a semi-private and non-sectarian preparatory boarding school, Hinemon offered white boys and girls from across the Delta region an opportunity to obtain a quality secondary-level education. The school’s stated purpose was to “prepare pupils for university” and to give them “sufficient knowledge for good educational work as teachers or in other professions.” Students at the Hinemon University School were immersed in the study of English, mathematics, Latin, science, Greek, music, and the visual arts. They were introduced to the discipline of philosophy and to languages such as German and French. Some courses were …

Horace Mann School Historic District

The Horace Mann School Historic District at Norfork (Baxter County) is a complex of four buildings constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and National Youth Administration (NYA) during the Great Depression. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 29, 2007. The first school at Norfork was established in 1908, two years before the town was incorporated, but by the 1930s, the wood-frame school was no longer adequate for the area’s educational needs. The community turned to the WPA, one of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal agencies, for assistance. Construction of the Main School Building started in 1936 under the direction of WPA supervisor Tom Collier, with the federal agency supplying $18,564 and the community …

Hot Springs Normal and Industrial Institute

aka: Mebane Academy
The Board of Missions for Freedmen of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (PCUSA), or the “Northern” Presbyterian Church, began opening schools for freed slaves in the South as early as the 1860s. However, no schools were started in Arkansas until 1889, when a new presbytery was established and significant numbers of African Americans from the eastern states were resettling in the state. During the early 1890s, the Reverend A. E. Torrence, pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church, opened a parochial school for black students in Hot Springs (Garland County). He conducted it independently but did receive some aid from the Board of Missions. By 1895, there were 100 students in attendance. According to Inez Parker, while the school was …

John Brown University (JBU)

Founded in 1919 in Siloam Springs (Benton County), John Brown University (JBU) is a private comprehensive university known for its Christian identity, academic emphasis, and professionally oriented programs. The university began as a high school and junior college that emphasized vocational training for poor young people. It evolved into a four-year liberal arts university and later developed graduate programs in business and counseling. Throughout its history, the university has forged close ties with the churches and industries of northwest Arkansas and business leaders such as Sam Walton and John Tyson. JBU was founded by John Elward Brown, a self-educated evangelist, publisher, and radio entrepreneur who grew up in rural poverty in late-nineteenth-century Iowa. In July 1919, Brown, at that time …

Jonesboro Baptist College

Jonesboro Baptist College was a Christian junior college located in Jonesboro (Craighead County) from 1924 to 1934; after Woodland College, this was the second attempt at establishing a Baptist college in Jonesboro. Ten of the ninety-two acres of the campus were located in the Jonesboro city limits. The college was founded as part of an ongoing Baptist commitment to education. Arkansas Baptists had previously opened multiple schools in the state such as Judson University at Judsonia (White County), Shiloh Institute at Springdale (Washington and Benton counties), Red River Academy near Arkadelphia (Clark County), Ouachita Baptist College (now Ouachita Baptist University—OBU) in Arkadelphia, and Buckner College in Witcherville (Sebastian County). Of these early Baptist educational efforts, only what is now OBU, …

Judson University

Judson University was a short-lived institution of higher education in Prospect Bluff—present-day Judsonia (White County). The institution stimulated the migration of Northern families to the area, thereby significantly increasing the population and refining the social atmosphere of this typical, mid-nineteenth-century river town. Judson University began as the dream of Professor Martin R. Forey of Chicago, Illinois. Forey was a professor at Chicago University and had established Chowan Female Institute in Murfreesboro, North Carolina. He believed it was his calling to establish Christian schools and, in 1869, traveled to Arkansas to found a Baptist college in the South. His first stop in Prairie County was met with hostility, but he received a lukewarm welcome in White County. Forey returned to Chicago …

King Schoolhouse

The King Schoolhouse is located approximately one mile east of U.S. Highway 71 near the community of King (Sevier County). Built in 1915, the two-story structure is significant for being one of the few surviving school buildings of Colonial Revival style for a railroad community in the county. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 20, 1996. In the late 1880s, the settlement that would become the town of King was established. It was not until after 1897, when the Kansas City Southern Railway laid tracks, that the settlement was promoted to town status. King was named after the King Ryder Lumber Company, which operated a company general store and made King a thriving lumber …

Kingston School

The Kingston (Madison County) school district was established on January 25, 1869. As with most districts following the Civil War, the school operated only six to eight weeks a year, due to lack of funding and the children being needed for farm work. In 1916, the Reverend Elmer J. Bouher was granted permission by the Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. to take charge of the abandoned church mission at Kingston. Bouher arrived later that year ready to put his “Kings Plan” into action. The plan was to (1) unite the church and school; (2) create a community building program; (3) teach health and hygiene to the entire community; and (4) improve farming methods and local roads. …

LaCrosse Collegiate Institute

The LaCrosse Collegiate Institute was established in 1868 by Michael Shelby Kennard, under the name LaCrosse Male and Female Academy, in the community of LaCrosse (Izard County), which then boasted of five businesses, three churches, a Masonic hall, two physicians, and one druggist. A year later, Kennard changed the name of the school to the LaCrosse Collegiate Institute, which better described the curriculum offered to students. His son, writing in 1917, said that an average of 100 or more boarding students attended the institute yearly. According to an article in the Sharp County Record newspaper, the institute educated more than 3,000 young men and women, both local and boarding students, during its existence. A native of Sumter County, Alabama, and …

Lincoln High School (Star City)

Lincoln High School was a school for African Americans located on the northwestern side of Star City (Lincoln County) at 507 Pine Street. The school, which took its name from the county, was established in 1949 following the consolidation of black schools in the communities of Cornerville, Cole Spur, Star City, Bright Star, Sneed, Richardson, Bethlehem, Mount Olive, Saint Olive, and Sweet Home. None of these schools went beyond the eighth grade, leaving a large segment of Lincoln County’s African-American students with no local high school to attend. Charles R. Teeter was the superintendent, and Ruth Teal was hired as Lincoln’s first principal. In the first school year of Lincoln’s existence (1949–50), only grades one through nine were offered. Each …

Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site

Situated at the intersection of Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive (formerly 14th Street) and Park Street in Little Rock (Pulaski County), the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service (NPS) since 1998, stands as one of the most significant landmarks of the civil rights movement. In 1957, during the desegregation of Central High School, nine African-American students—the Little Rock Nine—attended classes under federal protection amid internationally publicized protests, violence, and staunch opposition from Governor Orval Faubus and other segregationists. Originally known as Little Rock High School, the building was completed in 1927, replacing the outgrown all-white high school located at 14th and Cumberland streets. Classes for African-Americans were held at Dunbar High …

Little Rock College

Little Rock College was the second attempt by the Diocese of Little Rock to establish an institution of higher education. Andrew Byrne, Arkansas’s first Roman Catholic prelate, began St. Andrew’s College near Fort Smith (Sebastian County) in 1849, but it closed in 1861 due to the Civil War. John B. Morris, Arkansas’s third Catholic bishop, established Little Rock College using the wealth accumulated by his predecessor, Edward M. Fitzgerald, who died in 1907. Fitzgerald left so much to his successor that, in addition to the college, Morris eventually founded St. Joseph’s Orphanage in North Little Rock (Pulaski County), a diocesan newspaper, and a seminary. Little Rock College opened in September 1908, situated between 25th and 26th streets, and Gaines and State …

Little Rock University

Little Rock University, founded in 1882, was the second college founded in Little Rock (Pulaski County) and the first of four colleges with “Little Rock” in the name. It was a four-year, liberal arts, coeducational school for white students. According to an Arkansas Gazette article, “The Little Rock University was built by the Freedman’s [sic] Aid Society, by the Arkansas Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, north, and the citizens of Little Rock who contributed $10,000 towards it.” The school closed in 1894. The Freedmen’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, was formed in 1866. Its original purpose was “the relief and education of the Freedmen and people of color in general,” but the mission was …

Lyon College

Lyon College was founded in Batesville (Independence County) in 1872 as Arkansas College. Affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, it is the state’s oldest independent college still operating under its original charter. When Batesville lost to Fayetteville (Washington County) in the bid for the state university in November 1871, Reverend Isaac J. Long and other ministers in the Arkansas Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in the United States led the effort to establish a denominational college there. Located on the eastern edge of town, Arkansas College opened its doors in September 1872 with Long as president and only one other college-level faculty member. Typical of nineteenth-century denominational institutions, Arkansas College maintained a grammar school (which was phased out in the 1890s) …

Makemie College

Makemie College, a Presbyterian institution chartered by the Arkansas General Assembly on January 7, 1853, was named for the Reverend Francis Makemie, considered by many to be the father of American Presbyterianism. The “Act to Incorporate Makemic [sic] College” is remarkably vague. It notes that the institution will be under the control of the Synod of Arkansas and allows trustees Samuel J. Baird, Thomas W. Newton, Joshua F. Green, Edwin R. McGuire, D. C. Montgomery, and William L. McGuire to locate the college “at such point within this State as they may select,” and to “establish in it departments for instruction in the arts and sciences, and any of the learned professions.” The trustees, who had yet to hold their …

Maness Schoolhouse

The Maness Schoolhouse, located at 8801 Wells Lake Road near Barling (Sebastian County), is a 1937 structure built with the assistance of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a Depression-era federal relief program. It features a porch and amenities constructed in 1943 by German prisoners of war (POWs) held at Camp Chaffee. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 29, 2003. In 2015, the building was rehabilitated to become a restaurant. The first school in the area south of Fort Smith (Sebastian County) near Barling known as Massard Prairie consisted of a log building, which was later replaced by a wood-frame structure, known as the Massard Schoolhouse, all around the mid-to-late nineteenth century. Another school building …

Maynard Baptist Academy

aka: Abbott Institute
aka: Ouachita Baptist Academy
The Maynard Baptist Academy—first known as the Abbott Institute and then as the Ouachita Baptist Academy—was a boarding school founded in 1894 in Maynard (Randolph County). At the time, most schools typically had only one room and went only as far as the eighth grade. The Abbott Institute was founded in 1894 by the Abbott (or Abbot) family from the Maynard area. While they themselves lacked much education, they saw great value in educating the young people of the area and surrounding areas. Eli Abbott had been very successful in land speculation in the Fourche River and Current River bottomland while also farming. The institute drew students from a wide area of Arkansas and from other states. The school had …

Missionary Baptist College

In the decade before the Great Depression, Missionary Baptist College opened its doors in Sheridan (Grant County). This small denominational educational institution brought the advantages of higher education to what was then a rural area, and though it operated only briefly, it exerted profound influence upon Missionary Baptist education in the state. The churches of the State Association of Missionary Baptist Churches of Arkansas, organized in 1902, have long maintained a commitment to Christian education, especially the training of student ministers. Three years after its founding, the association took over the operation of Buckner College at Witcherville (Sebastian County) in western Arkansas. However, its location far from the center of the Landmark Baptist movement in the state hindered its support, …

Missionary Baptist Seminary

The Missionary Baptist Seminary and Institute serves as the oldest educational institution among Missionary Baptists in the state of Arkansas. The school fulfills the role of training pastors in the Bible and the foundational principles of pastoral work. The Missionary Baptist Seminary and Institute was started on April 1, 1934, when Antioch Baptist Church, located at 22nd and Brown streets in Little Rock (Pulaski County), passed a motion during a regular business meeting to start the school. The Great Depression led to the closing of the Missionary Baptist College of Sheridan (Grant County), and the new seminary was started in response. Conceived by pastor Benjamin Marcus Bogard and two other men, J. Louis Guthrie of Oklahoma and Conrad Nathan Glover, …

Monticello Academy

Monticello Academy in Drew County was under the sponsorship of the Board of Missions for Freedmen of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (PCUSA), or the “Northern” Presbyterian Church, which first began opening schools for freed slaves in the South in the 1860s. However, it was not until the 1880s, when a new presbytery had been established in the state and numbers of African Americans from the eastern states were resettling there, that the board felt confident enough to begin its work in Arkansas. The academy was started in 1891 by the Reverend C. S. Mebane, who had come to Monticello (Drew County) in 1888 as the pastor of Second Presbyterian Church there. He was closely aided in his work …

Moorefield School

The Moorefield School in Moorefield (Independence County) was constructed around 1939 by the National Youth Administration (NYA), a Depression-era federal relief agency. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 4, 1992. Located four miles east of Batesville (Independence County), Moorefield had a school system separate from that of its larger neighbor, and in early 1939, the district received funding from the NYA for construction of a new school building. The project started in the spring of 1939 and apparently continued into 1940, as the 1938–39 NYA annual report for Arkansas listed it as an active project. The completed building is a rectangular, single-story structure that includes features of the Craftsman style of architecture. The building …

Morrilton Male and Female College

In the spring of 1889, the residents of Morrilton (Conway County) put together a fund of $15,000 to build a college in the area. While a site was being selected, there arose the possibility of Hendrix College in Altus (Franklin County) moving to Morrilton, and the original plan to found a new college was abandoned. However, Morrilton failed to acquire Hendrix. Therefore, a stock company with a capital of $25,000 was organized with the intent to carry out the initial plan of building a college. A committee selected a site in the eastern part of Morrilton for the venture. A two-and-a-half-story stone building with arcaded windows and a ninety-one-foot tower was completed in March 1890. Morrilton Male and Female College …

Mount Pleasant Academy

The Mount Pleasant Academy was established in 1878 at Barren Fork (now Mount Pleasant) in Izard County. The two-story frame structure was situated on a hilltop overlooking the little community of about 100 people. Built with donated funds, materials, and labor, it operated under a board of directors. The area was settled during the 1850s, mostly by pioneer farmers from Tennessee and Kentucky with Scots-Irish ancestry. They established a church before building the village of Barren Fork, which was named for a creek that flows nearby and joins Poke (or Polk) Bayou in Independence County. The academy was named for the hill where it was located. It always had close ties to the two local Cumberland Presbyterian churches because most …

Mount St. Mary Academy

Mount St. Mary Academy in Little Rock (Pulaski County), a Catholic school established in 1851, is Arkansas’s oldest educational institution still teaching today. The academy is the state’s only all-girl secondary school. Today, Mount St. Mary educates about 550 high school students. In late 1850, Bishop Andrew Byrne went to Ireland in search of an order of sisters to promote Catholic education in Arkansas. Upon contacting the Sisters of Mercy, Byrne was granted twelve members of the order. The women arrived in Little Rock on February 5, 1851, a date now known as “Founders Day.” The sisters lived in Byrne’s house on 2nd Street and then in a meeting house on Markham Street. Their “official” convent at 6th and Louisiana streets …

Mountain Crest Academy

Mountain Crest Academy was located seven miles south of Combs (Franklin County), just one mile from the Madison County line. The academy was one of a large number of schools founded by the Presbyterian Church to serve the “backward classes” of the rural mountain South. The church became interested in this home mission work around 1910 and established a large number of such schools, many of them in the Appalachian Mountains. By 1917, the Southern branch of the Presbyterian Church (the Presbyterian Church in the United States, or PCUS) was supporting forty-two such schools, which served more than 2,000 students. Some of the schools also emphasized local mountain crafts. Mountain Crest was apparently the brainchild of the Reverend John W. …

Mountain Home (Baptist) College

Mountain Home College (MHC)—known also as Mountain Home Baptist College—operated from 1892 to 1933 in Baxter County. Despite a troubled history, the school played an important role in education in the upper White River valley. As education became more important in the late nineteenth century, Baptists sought to improve not only the educational level of the clergy but also of the laity. In 1889, the White River Baptist Association resolved that since so many public schools were “under the influence of infidel and worldly sentiments,” there should be a Baptist college in their region. The Baptists also noted that the Methodists had established the Yellville Institute in Marion County. The school was located in Mountain Home (Baxter County), which subscribed …

Mountain Mission Schools

The term “mountain mission school” refers to a specific kind of private school or college of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Most often focusing on secondary education for white children in the highland South, mountain mission schools were one of several kinds of mission schools that developed from the efforts of northern religious denominations to found schools for the children of former slaves during and after the Civil War. At least seven different denominations established and maintained mountain mission schools in Arkansas. They varied widely in academic, religious, and cultural emphasis and were differentiated from other denominational schools either by their conscious designation as “mountain mission” schools or by their motives and rhetoric suggesting cultural assumptions and goals …

Mulberry Home Economics Building

The Mulberry Home Economics Building, located on Church Avenue in Mulberry (Crawford County), was built between 1937 and 1939 with assistance from the National Youth Administration (NYA), a Depression-era federal relief agency. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 10, 1992. Mulberry Campground housed one of the first schools in Crawford County in the late 1820s, and a formal school was established in the town of Mulberry in 1878, two years before the community incorporated. In 1931, Mulberry Public Schools consolidated with the Vine Prairie and Pleasant Hill school districts as part of a wave of 591 consolidations around the state, and a $45,000 brick school building was built shortly afterward. In 1937, the school …

National Park College

National Park College (NPC), formerly National Park Community College (NPCC), is located in Mid-America Park just west of Hot Springs (Garland County). It offers associate degrees, technical certificates, continuing education, community services, workforce training, and adult basic education. NPC is the fourth-largest community college in Arkansas. National Park College resulted from Act 678 of the 2003 Arkansas General Assembly, which merged Garland County Community College (GCCC) and Quapaw Technical Institute (QTI). The act went into effect on July 1, 2003. GCCC had been established as a two-year college in 1973 to provide post-secondary higher education opportunities to the citizens of Garland County and the surrounding areas. QTI was first established as Quapaw Vocational Technical School, a branch campus of the Ouachita …