Presbyterians of the Past

Chicora College for Women

chicora-college-c1907-greenvill-cty-library-9-28-2016Up until roughly the end of the nineteenth century, the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (PCUSA), the Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS), and other Presbyterian and Reformed denominations opened and operated many educational institutions. Chicora College was one of several Presbyterian schools operated in South Carolina that has either closed or been absorbed by other entities. Some of these instituions were Laurensville Female Seminary, Mt. Zion College, Yorkville Female Seminary, and Adger College. Other educational organizations such as Presbyterian College in Clinton, and Columbia Theological Seminary, which has moved from Columbia to Decatur, Georgia, continue their work of teaching. For a lengthy list of the many schools in South Carolina both past and present, see pages 174-176 of Guide to Presbyterian Ecclesiastical Names and Places in South Carolina 1685-1985, which was compiled by Joseph B. Martin, III, and published as a double issue of South Carolina Historical Magazine, 90:1-2, which was corrected and updated by the article, “More Presbyterian Ecclesiastical Names and Places,” in vol. 95 , issue no. 1. Added to the schools already mentioned were several classical curriculum preparatory academies and high schools that were often associated with a local church or operated independently by the minister of a particular congregation. Also, the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church has both Erskine College, founded 1835, and Seminary, founded 1837, which are both currently in Due West as they approach their 200th anniversaries.

As preparatory public education and colleges increased in number and more rapid daily transportation came to the fore, the local community academies and colleges suffered dwindling enrollment leading to inadequate funding and either closing or absorption by a more stable school. Chicora College’s history followed the paradigm in that it enjoyed several years of success, but then it was moved because of its financial strength to merge with another college that was suffering a shortage of funds to stabilize its program, but as the dollars and students dwindled in the new location it had to be absorbed by another college in a different state.

To obtain a PDF copy of the “Genetic History of Chicora College,” which provides a brief account of the school’s history and is illustrated, click Download Now!

It was necessary to compose the document on an 11 x17 page size due to formatting problems on a standard page. Note that a revised version of this document was posted on September 29, 2016 to correct editing oversights and include additional information.

Also, for a free PDF copy of the publication, Bulletin: Chicora College for Women, Series 2, July 1916, No. 1, Book of Views, Columbia, South Carolina, which has been scanned from the author of this site’s copy, click Download Now! It is a large file, be patient.


Finally, for a copy of this panorama photograph  which shows the campus and is from the center of Bulletin: Chicora College for Women, click Download Now! When the image page comes up, right click and save it to your file.


Source–The color postcard image is from the digital collection of the Greenville County Library System.

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