Using Education Records for Genealogy Research: 1900 N.C. College Alumni List

13 May 2014

Originally built in 1855, this site was once home to North Carolina College, a Lutheran College for men that closed in 1902 and later became Mt. Pleasant Collegiate Institute. Courtesy of the Eastern Cabarrus Historical Society.

Graduation season is upon us. Here we look at how school catalogs can be a valuable resource.

North Carolina College, Mount Pleasant, grew out of Western Carolina Male Academy, founded by the Lutheran North Carolina Synod in March 1855. By January 1859, the Academy had expanded and become North Carolina College. First year enrollment in the new college totaled 62 students.

Like may Southern schools, the college closed during the Civil War, reopening around 1867. By 1873, enrollment had climbed, but so had the operating deficit. By 1875, North Carolina College had begun a long, slow decline. In 1903, it became Mount Pleasant Collegiate Institute (MPCI) and began operation as a secondary school and junior college. By 1933, MPCI ceased operation. Two of its buildings have been preserved as a museum and genealogy repository by the Eastern Cabarrus Historical Society and are open limited hours for tours.

College catalogs are a gold mine for researchers interested in educational curricula of the period. These catalogs list course offerings and texts, current students and faculty and provide a list of graduates. The 1899-1900 catalog lists 63 alumni (nine of whom were deceased) and includes:

Reverend R. L Bame, 1891 of Floyd, VA
Dr. Charles H. Barnhardt, 1892, of Mt. Pleasant, NC
James P. Cook, 1885, of Concord, NC
Rev. J. L. Deaton, 1888, of China Grove, NC
Edward Fulenwider, 1899, of Mt. Pleasant, NC
Charles A. Misenheimer, 1879, of Charlotte, NC
Pleasant E. Monroe, 1898, of Chicago, IL
Dr. J. W. Moose, 1877, of Agnes, TX
Victor C. Ridenhour, 1899, of Mt. Pleasant, NC
Professor L. H. Rothrock, 1884, of Gold Hill, NC
Rev. C. W. Sifferd, 1874, of Newark, OH
Rev. H. E. H. Sloop, 1891, of Trenton, MS
Rev. R. A. Yoder, 1877, of Hickory, NC
Rev. A. L. Yount, 1876, of Greensburg, PA

Four North Carolina catalogs (1894-1895, 1895-1896, 1897-1898 and 1899-1900) are available in the Lore Local History Room collection at the Concord Library. Additional catalogs, as well as additional information about North Carolina College, may be found by contacting the Eastern Cabarrus Historical Society .

Courtesy of the Cabarrus County Public Library, Lore Local History Room