Arkansas Historic Preservation Program
Morrow Hall
Morrow Hall

MORROW HALL, BATESVILLE, INDEPENDENCE COUNTY

ELABORATION

Education was a major concern of the residents of Batesville, Arkansas, as long ago as the year of statehood.  In 1836 the Batesville Academy was chartered, and in 1854 the school became the Batesville Male and Female Academy.  A reorganization occurred in 1866, and the institution became a school for smaller boys and girls.

In the spring of 1867, the Reverend Isaac Long was sent to Independence County from South Carolina by the committee of domestic missions of the Southern Presbyterian Church.  This young pastor, in addition to his regular duties, was persuaded to become the principal of the academy.  It was he who initiated a movement with other Presbyterian ministers to develop a college.

Several Batesville citizens of differing religious persuasions committed themselves to this endeavor by pledging to raise one-half of the cost of constructing a school building.  The structure was begun in 1872 and finished in the spring of 1873.  In 1876 the college graduated its first class of eight students.  It is interesting to note that when the college was opened, the lower grades were not dropped, but continued to function.

Morrow Hall served the college first as a classroom-administration building and later as a music and fine arts building.  It also provided meeting places for some of the college's social and literary clubs.

In 1955, the building was acquired by the First Presbyterian Church of Batesville - along with all the property of the college - when that institution moved to a new campus.  It was restored to its original condition through the generosity of the Morrow family and was named "Morrow Hall."  The building is presently used by the church in various capacities.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Arkansas Gazette (Little Rock), August 22, 1880; March 28, 1971.

Jeffrey, Virginia.  "Arkansas College,” Independence County Chronicle, Vol. I, No. 2.

Long, Eugene R.  “Arkansas College,” Publication of the Arkansas Historical Association, Vol. II.