Mountain Home College
Mountain Home, Arkansas
From a sleepy little town in the Ozark Mountains, Mountain Home has seen its population more than double in recent years. There is still a College Street in town, on which the old Mountain Home College was located. The local library has a genealogy section containing Mountain Home College yearbooks and catalogs.
Mountain Home College was founded by the White River Baptist Association, with classes beginning in the fall of 1893. In 1916 the Home Board of the Southern Baptist Convention adopted the school as one to be supported by annual appropriations. In 1922 the Arkansas Baptist State Convention voted to maintain Mountain Home as a standard junior college.
The 1927-28 catalog notes that Mountain Home College was founded “to make and send out into our homes, churches, schools and country, men and women of Christian ideals.” To do this, the school would “give its pupils a true vision of the world, of God and of the mission of man.”
The catalog calls Mountain Home College “The Gem of the Ozarks” and points out that the “pure air, pure water, inspiring natural scenery, and wholesome surroundings enable students to do the highest type of work,” being “removed from…temptations, noises and vices.” In fact, the San Mateo Times reported that many students from the mountains paid part of their tuition with sorghum molasses; home-cured, hickory-smoked bacon; ham; butter; and eggs.
The organization of Mountain Home College included two years of college and four years of preparatory work with special courses in teacher training and religious leadership. But like many colleges at the time, it offered programs in business, expression, and industrial education. The four-year music program led to a bachelor’s degree.
The catalog shows a school with 158 students supported by a faculty/staff of 14. The graduation lists show 10 junior college students, 5 normal students, 12 high school students, with 2 each in banking, stenography and expression. The commercial course had 61 students enrolled; expression had 26; piano, 21; industrial science, 11; home economics, 7; and practical arts, 11. A number of students were enrolled in more than one course of study.
Promised funds from the Baptist Associations were seldom delivered. While the school peaked in enrollment in the mid- and late- 1920’s, the Great Depression brought the school to a close in 1933.
Bricks and Mortar
The 1928 catalog shows a 10-acre campus with a 27-acre college farm on the east. The farm furnished much of the fruits and vegetables, meat, milk and cream for the dormitories. The campus consisted of 12 buildings. The Administration Building was a two-story brick building shown upper right.
After the college closed, the Administration Building was rented out to schools and was last used as a housing unit for workers building Norfolk Dam. It was condemned in 1945 and razed in 1964. Main Hall (1920) housed female students. It was used as a funeral parlor and still stands today.
Main Hall in 2011 (Image Courtesy of Gale Wooten)
Mountain Home College fielded teams in both men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and football. The 1924 Mountaineer refers to the basketball team as the “Giants”; the 1926 Mountaineer refers to the football team as the “Yellow Jackets.” The Arkansas Gazette says that the team wore yellow uniforms in 1925.
The 1926 Mountaineer notes that football was instituted at Mountain Home College in the fall of 1925 and that few of the players on the team had ever played football before. College Football Data Warehouse shows that the 1925 team lost to Little Rock College 133-0. The yearbook says that while the team “lost a majority of games it played,” the “prospects for a winning team next year are bright.” The school played at least until 1928.
Women's Basketball Team (1919 Mountaineer, Courtesy of Donald W. Reynolds/Baxter County Public Library)