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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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Kittrell College

Kittrell College: An Era of Progress and Promise, 1908-1912. Image courtesy of State Library of North Carolina. Kittrell College was established in 1886 in Vance County by the African Methodist Episcopal Church as a normal and industrial school to train African American male youth. Additional support in its early years came from church groups in Virginia and Pennsylvania. The name of the institution changed three times, becoming Kittrell College in 1901. The original wooden buildings of the campus were destroyed by fires, and support to replace the old structures came from Benjamin N. Duke. Duke provided funds for the old buildings of Trinity College (later Duke University's East Campus) in Durham to be dismantled and moved to the Kittrell campus, where they were reassembled.

From its beginning, Kittrell offered work-study programs to enable students of limited financial means to gain a higher education. The college offered a two-year course in either a terminal vocation or in work that could be credited toward a bachelor's degree. In 1975 its enrollment was 396. Soon thereafter, the school experienced severe economic problems and was forced to close.


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

Additional Resources:

Government and Heritage Library. "Picture of the Week: Kittrell College, Kittrell, N. C." GHL Blog (blog). State Library of North Carolina. March 24, 2010. (accessed April 19, 2013).

"Kittrell College begins new era." Baltimore Afro-American. March 30, 1971. (accessed April 19, 2013).

Associated Press. "Kittrell College alumni talk about reviving school." The Dispatch [Lexington, N.C.]. July 28, 1997. 4A. (accessed April 19, 2013).

Hartshorn, W. N., and George W. Penniman. 1910. An era of progress and promise, 1863-1910: the religious, moral, and educational development of the American Negro since his emancipation. Boston, Mass: Priscilla Pub. Co. (accessed October 20, 2015).

Image Credit:

Kittrell College: An Era of Progress and Promise, 1908-1912. Image courtesy of State Library of North Carolina. Available from!/geo:36.224525,-78.443009/zoom:15/dialog:6862025/tab:details/ (accessed November 5, 2012).

Origin - location: 



Need information on how to obtain a transcript from Kittrell College for Patricia Williams, school year beginning 1973, received two year degree, please reply in kind
Thank You


Dear Patricia,

Thank you for visiting NCpedia and taking the time to post your question.

You may want to start by contacting the State Board of Community Colleges.  They should be able to help you as the state agency that oversses community colleges.

Here is the link to their contact page on the internet  The main number is (919) 807-7100.

Good luck in your search and best wishes,

Kelly Agan, NCpedia Staff



My Great-Great Uncle, Dr. Dock Jackson Jordan, served as President of Kittrell College. One of his children, Alice, was born in 1911 on the campus. His son, Bishop Frederick Douglass Jordan, is a Howard graduate and was well-known in North Carolina.

Do you know who would have a photo of President Dock Jackson Jordan?


Delaitre Jordan Hollinger


Since Dock Jackson Jordan taught at several institutions, a good place to try would be college yearbooks for the institutions where he taught. This biography lists where he taught:

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


I am researching my family history and have come across the obituary for my great grandmother Hazel Karr Wilson and it mentions that she attended Kittrell College, but there is not mention of when or what she studied. I do know that she was born November 8, 1900 in Halifax County, VA and would appreciate any information you can help me in finding out more about her time at Kittrell College.

Thank you,
Kelly Howard


Thanks for writing. Kittrell College was affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church, so try contacting them about school records at: The H. Leslie Perry Memorial Library (252-438-3316) located in Vance County may also have some resources that might help:

You could also try reviewing microfilm of the local paper, the Henderson Daily Dispatch for commencement announcements, although this would take some time, since you don't know the year. Hope this helps!

Mike Childs, Government and Heritage Library, State Library of North Carolina.


My father, Theoore Roosevelt Wright, (valedictorian

My father, Thordore Roosevelt Wright, (Valedictorian) my mother, Sarah Louise Lewis, and uncle, Earl Leonadious Lewis, graduated from Kittrell college High School Class of 1925. I can not find any further informaton as to their eucation at Kittrell, do your records have any information that you can give me,

Thank you,
Charles M. Wright


Thanks for posting a comment in NCpedia! I have forwarded it to Reference Services at the State Library of NC's Government & Heritage Library.

Someone should be in contact with you soon at the email address you supplied.

Good luck in your research!

Emily Horton
Government & Heritage Library

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