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Littleton College

by Grady L. E. Carroll Sr., 2006Students and faculty at Littleton Female College, 1892. North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library.

Littleton College, a Methodist institution of higher learning in Littleton, opened in 1882. Founded as Central Institute and subsequently renamed Littleton Female College and, finally, Littleton College, the school was housed in several substantial three-story buildings. In 1905 it claimed 22 teachers. Though privately owned, Littleton was regarded as a Methodist college. Accounts of its progress were included in the church's annual North Carolina Conference Journal. The college offered courses in chemistry, physics, physiology, and psychology, among other disciplines. More then 200 students were enrolled yearly. In 1907 enrollment stood at 274 students.

Methodist minister and educator James Manly Rhodes (1850-1941) was, except for a two-year period, Littleton's president throughout its existence. The school operated until 1919 when a fire destroyed its buildings; it was never reopened.


Michael Hill, Guide to North Carolina Highway Historical Markers (1990).

O. Kelly Ingram, Methodism Alive in North Carolina (1976).

William S. Powell, Higher Education in North Carolina (1970).

Additional Resources:

UNC Libraries:

Origin - location: 



Many of the records of the Littleton Female College are housed at NC Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.


It is my understanding that my Fraternal Grandmother, Florence Emma Walters, born in 1884, Perquimans Co. N.C. attended Littleton Female College, but I cannot find a record of her attendance. Do you have any information that you can provide? Thank you


The Littleton Female College yearbooks for 1905, 1906, and 1907 (titled The Pansy) have been digitized and made available online here:

Littleton College also had a newspaper, The Visitor; some issues are available from the North Carolina Collection at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and some from the State Archives of North Carolina.

UNC-CH also has a collection of Littleton College Memorabilia, circa 1887-1900:

Good luck!

T. Mike Childs, NCpedia, N.C. Government & Heritage Library.

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Copyright notice

This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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