Yadkin College was founded in 1856 by the Methodist Protestant Church. The school
was located in Davidson County, on land donated by Henry W. Walser. Initially,
and sporadically throughout its existence, Yadkin was a preparatory school. The
first president was George W. Hege.
Yadkin College Logo.
To see more Yadkin College ephemera preserved at the North Carolina Collection, click on the picture.
Yadkin reached collegiate status briefly in 1861, but the Civil War forced
the school to close. It reopened again in 1865 as a preparatory school. H.T.
Phillips and F.T. Walser reorganized Yadkin as a secondary school in 1867 and
it remained as such until the early 1870s.
In the 1870s and 1880s the school blossomed. Shadrach Simpson became president
in 1873 and his charisma and energy transformed the school again into a collegiate
institution. Yadkin College began admitting women, and a new three-story building
Simpson left Yadkin in favor of a West Maryland College professorship in 1883,
and the school began a slow decline. It was downgraded to a junior college.
The Rev. A. R. Morgan took over the school as a high school, which was later
run by George W. Holmes. Under a new legislative charter, Holmes resumed Yadkin’s
function as a college, and it became known as the Yadkin Collegiate Institute.
William T. Totten, an 1883 graduate, became its last director at the turn of
the century. He managed to enroll more than 100 students, but economic pressures
eventually forced the school to close. Yadkin ceased to operate as a school
Source for image on this page: Image from Yadkin College Commencement program,
25 May 1876, in the Yadkin College Ephemera Collection, North Carolina Collection,
Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. VC378.9
Battle, Kemp Plummer. “Old or Extinct Schools of North Carolina, Supplemental.”
Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of North Carolina,
for the Scholastic Years 1898-’99 and 1899-1900. Raleigh, N.C.: Edwards
& Broughton, 1900. 624-625 pp.
Hill, Michael, ed. Guide to North Carolina Highway Historical Markers.
Raleigh, N.C.: Division of Archives and History, 2001. 74 p.
McCaslin, Richard B. “Yadkin College.” In Encyclopedia of North
Carolina, ed. by William S. Powell. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North
Carolina Press, 2006. 1238 p.
For further information:
Items available in the North
Carolina State Archives
Roster of Officers of the Militia of North Carolina, in the North Carolina
State Archives. Call number: AG 129.
School Records (Yadkin College), 1888, in the North Carolina State Archives
Miscellaneous County Records. Call number: C.R. 033.928.6.
Items available in the North
Michael, Olin Bain. Yadkin College, 1856-1924: A Historic Sketch. Salisbury,
N.C.: Rowan Print. Co., 1939. Call number: C378 Y12E.
Catalogue of Yadkin College, North Carolina. Franklin, VA: Printed at Harrell's
Cheap Book & Job Office, 1877/1878. Call number: VCp378 Y12H.
Fick, Virginia G. Country College on the Yadkin: A Historical Narrative. Winston-Salem,
N.C.: Hunter Pub. Co., 1984. Call number: C378 Y12E1.