north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program



Marker Text:

      Mitchell College was officially authorized by the Concord Presbytery in 1852-1853 as a Presbyterian female academy in Statesville. However the first school building was destroyed by a storm while still incomplete and construction was halted for nearly three years due to a lack of funds. The college officially opened in 1856 as the Concord Female College.

      Following the Civil War, the academy was purchased by R. F. Simonton, who changed the name from Concord Female College to Simonton Female College. In the late 1870s the school came into the hands of Eliza Mitchell Grant and Margaret Eliot Mitchell, the daughters of Elisha Mitchell, for whom Mount Mitchell is named. Under their leadership the school made considerable progress, expanding both the size of the campus and the curriculum. In honor of them, the school board of trustees named the college after them in 1917.

      During the next two decades, major work was done remodeling the campus buildings and constructing new facilities. In 1932, men were first admitted and in 1959 the college became an independent community college recognized by the State of North Carolina. Today the school offers over 20 associate degree programs, as well as numerous certificate and diploma options for those pursuing post-secondary education.

William S. Powell, Higher Education in North Carolina (1964)
William Moose, A History of Mitchell Community College (2006)
Mitchell Community College website:
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north carolina highway historical marker program

© 2008 North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources