top of page

Campbell College

Vicksburg and Jackson, Mississippi



HathiTrust has the 1908-09 catalog for Campbell College.

Ministerial students, all with Bibles.


Campbell College, named for Bishop J. P. Campbell,  was founded in 1890 by the Mississippi and North Mississippi conferences of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.  Its purpose was "to give students a thorough education--preparatory, collegiate, theological and industrial--together with such instruction in the art of expression, music, industry, business, and all prerequisites which will contribute to their efficiency in the home, the state and the nation." 


As a church-supported school, "its sole object was the development of the Christian character Christian citizenship  and patriotism."  To achieve this object, it imposed strict standards of behavior on its students, forbidding "everything of an immoral nature."  Attendance at church services and Sunday school as well as daily morning and class prayers was required.  The Bible was used in every classroom.


Female students in particular had prescribed clothing--plain hats with bands but no other trimming, navy blue serge suits with plain white shirtwaists and dark underskirts.  Any shoes with high heels were especially forbidden.


Students could have membership in the Lampton-Tyree Literary Society, the Allen Christian Endeavor League, the Young Men's Christian Association, and the Campbell College Athletic Association.


188 of 358 total students in 1908 were below high school level.   84 were Primary students (grades 1-3), 126 were Intermediate students (grades 4-6), and 78 were Grammar students  (grades 7-8).   The 1908 normal college course drew 23 students; the Theology college course drew 12; and the Academic college course drew 9.  In the Industrial Department, 66 students were enrolled in sewing and 9 in nurse training.  There were 22 music students and 27 students enrolled by correspondence.  The faculty totaled 13.


Campbell College played a role in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's.  The Mississippi Civil Rights Project notes that "several administrators and students openly participated in movement activities." shows that the area high school students who had been arrested for peaceful protests and who had subsequently been expelled by their local schools were welcomed by Campbell College and allowed to continue their studies.


Financially strapped,  Campbell College graduated its last class in 1964.


Bricks and Mortar

Campbell College opened on a 28-acre plot overlooking The Mississippi River in Vicksburg.  Described as "a very beautiful place indeed," it was "sufficiently far from the city to be free of contaminating influences."  In 1898 the school moved to a site outside Jackson, "the best school locality in Mississippi."  The catalog notes that the location was "free from the immoral taint of much of the life of a large city."   


By 1908 Campbell College was a two-building campus.  Ellen Tyree Hall (1903), a four-story brick structure, housed the girls, the president, and the music and sewing departments.  Moses Salter Hall (1906), a similar structure, housed the boys, the chapel and the recitation rooms.  In addition, the college owned 1,000 acres of Delta farmland, which it hoped would support the school.


After the college closed, the campus was seized by eminent domain and turned over to Jackson State University.  The original buildings are gone.

Moses Salter Hall.  Image from the 1908-09 catalog (;view=1up;seq=15;size=150) accessed 2-16-2017


        Colors: Blue and Gold


There is little newspaper coverage of  Campbell College sports.  College Football Data Warehouse shows an incomplete record of games between 1927 and 1950.  For the most part, other HBCU schools in Mississippi furnished the opposition.  These included Tougaloo, Rust, Alcorn, Jackson State, Okolona Industrial, and Mississippi Industrial.


Apparently Campbell fielded a baseball team, and a 1940's entry shows a basketball result.

Campbell College baseball team.  Image from the 1908-09 catalog (;view=1up;seq=38;size=150) accessed 2-17-2017

Note: Images are used in accordance with their “terms of use” as I understand those terms.  Recopying or republishing these images may be restricted or forbidden.

bottom of page