Yadkin College opened in October 1856 as Yadkin Institute, a high school for young men, having been chartered by the General Assembly the previous year. Henry Walser, the individual most responsible for Yadkin College’s success, donated the land for the institute and bore the expense of constructing the first classroom facilities and dormitory. One of three institutes of higher education sponsored by the Methodist Church in North Carolina, the school was rechartered as Yadkin College by the legislature in February 1861.
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Shortly afterwards, the college closed as nearly all of its pupils enlisted in Confederate service with the opening shots of the Civil War. When classes resumed in 1867, the school operated as a high school once more, returning to collegiate courses in 1873 under the tutelage of president Shadrach Simpson. Five years later the first female students were allowed to attend classes. In 1883, the legislature changed the name to Yadkin Collegiate Institute. In 1924, the institute, suffering from low attendance as a result of the establishment of public schools in the state, consolidated with what is now High Point University, and the campus was abandoned.
Olin B. Michael, Yadkin College, 1856-1924 (1939)
William S. Powell, Higher Education in North Carolina (1964)
William S. Powell, ed., Encyclopedia of North Carolina (2006)
Stained glass window depicting the surviving Yadkin College building. (Window is at the West Davidson Public Library, Tyro)