Celebration of MMI's 175 year legacy.

1817-07-01 00:00:00

Marion, Alabama was Established

First called Muckle Ridge, the town was later renamed “Marion” in honor of Francis Marion (1732-1795). Francis Marion was known as the “Swamp Fox” for his cunning and resourcefulness in fighting the British in the American Revolutionary War.

1819-12-14 20:23:41

Alabama Becomes the 22nd State

On December 14, 1819, James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States, signed into law the resolution admitting Alabama as the 22nd state into the union. The state experienced an early boom known as “Alabama Fever” where its population grew from 10,000 in 1810 to over 300,000 in 1830. Mobile and Huntsville were early population centers, but Marion as well as Selma and Montgomery were growing wealthy on cotton grown in the Black Belt of central Alabama. Howard College was founded only 23 years after Alabama became a state.

1823-07-01 00:00:00

The Perry County Seat Relocated to Marion

Perry County’s first courthouse located at Perry Ridge (seven miles southeast of Marion) was nothing more than a one story log cabin. A more centrally located county seat was needed, and in 1823 it was relocated to Marion. The original courthouse in Marion was a two-story log cabin erected on the same site of the present-day courthouse.

1829-07-01 00:00:00

Nicola Marschall (1829-1917)

Nicola Marschall, originally from Prussia, emigrated to America in 1849 landing first in New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1851, Marschall relocated from Mobile to Marion, where he opened a portrait studio and taught at the Marion Female Seminary. Marschall taught art, languages, and also instructed and performed on guitar, violin, piano, and harp. With the coming Civil War in 1861, Nicola Marschall was approached by Mary Clay Lockett and Fannie Lockett Moore, daughter-in-law of Alabama Governor Andrew B. Moore of Marion, to design the first official flag of the Confederate States of America (C.S.A.). Primarily a portrait artist, Marschall painted hundreds of subjects including Jefferson Davis, Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon, Nathon Bedford Forrest, and Otto von Bismarck. Marschall was awarded a medal for his portraits at the Centennial International Exposition in Philadelphia, PA, in 1876. In 1883, Marschall and his family moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where he continued to support his family as a portrait artist until his death on February 24, 1917.

1838-12-01 00:00:00

Judson Female Institute was incorporated by an Act of the Alabama Legislature

In 1835, shortly after the failure of the two local manual labor institutes to provide education for men, the Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists of Marion founded the Marion Female Seminary for the education of young women. Although the Seminary was successful, in 1838, the Baptists elected to withdraw from that institution, and they formed Judson Female Institute, a new Baptist school for women in Marion.

1841-11-01 00:00:00

The Alabama Baptist State Convention passed a resolution to establish a college for men

Following the successful establishment of Judson Female Institute, the Alabama Baptist State Convention passed a resolution to establish a college in Marion, Perry County, Alabama, in a building and lot offered by the “brethren of Marion.” The resolution approved the establishment of a Theological Institution to be connected with the college. The college was to have a board of thirteen trustees, who would hold all property belonging to the college. It also approved the opening of a classical school in the building until the sum of $50,000 was raised.

1841-12-03 18:36:59

Samuel Sterling Sherman was employed as President of the newly approved college

After the Convention authorized the establishment of a new college, the pastor of Siloam Baptist Church and the President of Judson Female Institute, on the recommendation of the President of the University of Alabama, secured a president for the new college – Samuel Sterling Sherman. Born in Vermont, Sherman had moved south for health reasons and opened a private school for a short time until he was offered employment at the University of Alabama as a tutor in foreign languages and as a librarian.

1841-12-29 22:41:21

Howard College was incorporated by an Act of the Alabama Legislature

Howard College was incorporated on December 29, 1841, by an act of the Alabama legislature (Act No. 65). Unfortunately, due to communication difficulties, the bill as drafted did not follow the directives of the Convention in many respects – one being that the act provided for a self-perpetuating board of trustees, while the Convention intended to elect trustees with terms limited to two years. In 1845, the act was amended to provide that the Convention would elect trustees for terms limited to six years.

1842-01-03 10:39:37

Howard College opened its doors

Just 27 years old at the time of his appointment late in December, 1841, Samuel Sherman discovered that the first students to inquire about registering were not qualified for college level study. He hastily cancelled an advertisement boldly calling the new school “Howard University” and called it “Howard English and classical School”. Nine students enrolled on January 3, 1842. Eight were local Marion residents and one came from Montgomery. Enrollment continued to increase during the school year, which ended with thirty-one students. During the new institutions first years it was known as The Howard University, Howard English and Classical School, Howard Literary and Theological Institute and Howard College.

1844-05-10 02:15:14

A fire destroyed the first building that housed Howard College

The frame building occupied by the new institution caught fire in midday. Students and citizens of Marion saved the library books and most of the scientific apparatus. No one was injured. Citizens of Marion took in students and school lessons were continued in Siloam Baptist Church. Money was quickly raised to construct a new building. An additional lot was purchased so the new building would face Judson Female Institute’s new building three blocks east of the new Howard College building.

1846-01-01 11:37:26

Howard College’s new four-story brick building was placed in operation and Howard College assumed the status of a full-fledged college

Howard College’s new four-story brick building was placed in operation on January 1, 1846. The lower two floors contained offices, a laboratory and class rooms. Along with opening of its new building, Howard College announced that the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science would be awarded.

1847-07-01 00:00:00

Green Springs School

The Famed Green Springs School was Dr. Henry Tutwiler’s private boarding academy from 1847 until his death in 1884. Called the “Rugby of the South,” the school was so popular in Alabama and throughout the South that students had to apply for the few openings a year in advance. Located in the middle of nowhere then as now, the school was three miles from Havana and six miles from the nearest railroad depot. Enrollment was usually around 75 and included some day female students, including Tutwiler’s own daughters. There is a massive granite stone marking the site of the school which was placed by the Hale County Historical Society in 1947. To learn more about Green Springs School, click the link below.

1848-07-27 22:16:33

Howard College graduated its first class, consisting of seven men

Seven students graduated from Howard College at its first commencement on July 27, 1848. The enrollment that school year was 136 students. Four students were awarded the Bachelor of Arts and three were awarded the Bachelor of Science.

1852-07-01 00:56:52

Henry Talbird succeeded Samuel Sherman and became the second president of Howard College

Following commencement activities in July, 1852, Professor Henry Talbird, who had served as professor of theology at Howard College, was elected President of Howard College. He was born in South Carolina and educated at Madison University in New York.

1853-07-01 00:00:00

James Thomas Murfee: The Early Years

James Thomas Murfee (1833-1912), the first President of MMI, was born in Southampton County, Virginia. Col. Murfee graduated from the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in 1853 in civil engineering. As a cadet, he served as the First Captain (the highest ranking cadet) and graduated first in his class without a single demerit.

1854-07-01 00:00:00

Perry County Courthouse

In 1854, construction began on a new marble-and-brick Greek Revival courthouse. Two-story porticos flanked each end of the building, with six Ionic columns supporting the massive pediments. The building was completed in 1856 and underwent renovation in 1954 and 2012. It continues to serve as the county courthouse today.

1854-10-15 00:00:00

A Second Fire Destroyed Second Howard College Building

About midnight on October 15, 1854, a fire broke out on the staircase on either the basement or first floor of the building. Harry, a servant of President Talbird, was awakened from sleep on one of the lower floors and told to escape. He replied, “Not till I wake up the boys.” He went up the staircase yelling loudly and banging on each door. When he reached the last door on the fourth floor, the only staircase was totally inflamed and he could not return by the stairs. He jumped from the fourth floor and was fatally injured. His funeral was held in Siloam Baptist Church and, he was buried in the Marion City Cemetery. A marble obelisk stands in the cemetery as a public dedication to the heroism of Harry. One student died from injuries a few days later. On October 18, 1854, college classes were resumed in the basement of Siloam Baptist Church on Washington Street. Marion citizens subscribed $12,000 towards a new building.

1855-11-01 14:32:22

The Alabama Baptist State Convention resolved to build a main building and a dormitory at a new site which had been donated by one of the first graduates of Howard College

Dr. John Barron, a member of the first graduating class, donated the lot where the MMI Chapel and its two oldest dormitories now stand. A contract was awarded to Young Tarrant of Marion for $27,000 to build the main college building and one dormitory. The buildings were designed by Noah K. Davis, a member of the Howard College faculty. Complete plans for the campus called for two barrack-like dorms facing a quadrangle from opposite sides with the main building between the two. The main building was to contain the chapel, library, president’s office, Philosophical and Society halls, cabinet and classrooms. One of the dormitory buildings was completed in April, 1856. The main building completion was delayed due to bad weather. It was already evident that the second dormitory would be needed.

1859-07-01 00:00:00

Six Mile Academy became a valuable feeder school to Howard College and later MMI

Captain Richard Hopkins Pratt, headmaster of Six Mile Academy, and his wife, Arvezena, staunch members of the Six Mile Baptist Church, transformed Six Mile Academy into one of the finest schools in the region. Howard College and MMI reaped the benefits of the many excellent graduates from the Academy who enrolled in Howard and MMI from 1858 until the Academy burned in 1897. Six Mile Academy was located in Bibb County between Centreville and Montevallo on Highway 25.

1861-01-01 16:55:08

Colonel J.T. Murfee became Commandant of the University of Alabama Cadet Corps

COL J.T. Murfee taught in Pennsylvania and Virginia before joining the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa as a mathematics professor. With the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, the University of Alabama was militarized and the all-male student body became the Alabama Corps of Cadets (ACC). Murfee was originally second in command, but rose to become commandant of the ACC when his predecessor joined the Confederate forces. J. T. Murfee, himself, rose to the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the 41st Alabama Infantry. He later became president of Howard College and founder and president of Marion Military Institute. (Pictured is a University of Alabama cadet)

1861-04-01 00:18:48

Howard College faculty and students joined Confederate companies

In April, 1861, in response to President Lincoln calling seventy-five thousand men to arms, Howard’s president Henry Talbird became Captain Talbird of the “Independent Volunteers”, a Confederate company composed of Howard students others in the vicinity. Howard College students also joined the Marion Rifles, Marion Light Infantry, and several other volunteer Confederate units. The "Independent Volunteers" went to Virginia. Because of poor health, however, Dr. Talbird resigned his command and returned to Marion. Before he returned, Howard’s trustees had resolved to introduce military drill at the beginning of the session beginning October, 1861. When that session began, Dr. Talbird began teaching military tactics. During that scholastic year the enrollment reached only 68.

1861-07-01 00:00:00

General Isham Warren Garrott

Isham Warren Garrott (1816-1863) practiced law in Marion. Active in the community, Garrott was a member of the Whig political party, a Mason, a member of the Siloam Baptist Church, an incorporator of the Marion and Alabama River Transportation Company, and President of the Board of Trustees of Howard College in Marion. With the outbreak of war in 1861, Isham Garrott formed the 20th Alabama Infantry Regiment, serving as its Colonel. After his brigade commander was killed at Port Gibson, Mississippi, Garrott took command of Tracy’s Brigade in the defense of Vicksburg. To read more, click the link below

1863-04-01 01:14:25

Howard College without a president

After returning from Virginia in 1861 due to poor health, Dr. Talbird, president of Howard College, gave daily instruction in military tactics until the spring of 1863. Having regained his health, he raised a regiment and entered Confederate service at that time as a colonel. Howard College had no president from 1863 to 1865.

1863-04-01 04:29:54

Breckinridge Military Hospital on the Howard College campus

In the Spring of 1863, Dr. William Augustus Evans was sent by the Confederate Medical Department to Marion to locate a suitable site near the railroad for a medical facility. After first looking at Judson College, which was in session with some 250 students, Evans recommended that Howard College be secured as the hospital site. At that time, Howard had only one professor and 27 students, mostly of academy age, 24 of whom were from the town of Marion. The majority of Howard’s students and alumni were serving in various Confederate units fighting in the war. The Board of Trustees of Howard College reluctantly agreed in August, 1863, to allow the Confederate government to establish Breckinridge Division Hospital (Breckinridge Military Hospital) on its campus. The College Chapel was converted into a major wing of the hospital, the pews being used by the more seriously ill patients, with the other rooms serving as administrative offices and operating rooms. The two dormitories were named Wards A and C, and were utilized by the less seriously ill soldiers. A tent encampment for the overflow of patients dotted the front campus. Drs. William Augustus Evans and James McCown Greene were placed in charge of Breckinridge Hospital. However, one Willie Banks, an African American slave woman who served as the night nurse at the hospital, claimed that Dr. John Thomas Barron of Marion (a member of the first graduating class at Howard College), was actually the medical officer in charge. Most of the hospital records were lost or destroyed. However, one existing volume (now at Samford University) from August, 1863, to December, 1864, indicates that there were 406 patients at the hospital. The number of soldiers who died is unknown (many remains were sent back to their homes), but 102 graves were once located in a pine grove behind the College Chapel. Following the Civil War, these graves, including the unknowns, were re-interred in the cemetery of St. Wilfrid’s Episcopal Church in Marion. To read more about the Military Hospital, click the link below

1865-04-03 01:27:34

Colonel J. T. Murfee and University of Alabama Cadets confronted Federal Cavalry in Tuscaloosa and withdrew to Marion.

April 3, 1865 – Colonel J.T. Murfee commanding University of Alabama Cadets, encountered a brigade of Federal cavalry. After a short exchange of gunshots, the outnumbered Alabama cadets withdrew and marched to Marion, Alabama, to await orders. The war ended a few days later and the Alabama cadets were disbanded and sent home. Colonel Murfee was to return to Marion in the summer of 1871, as the president of Howard College.

1865-05-02 06:20:25

Federal troops seized Howard College buildings

In the spring of 1865, Alabama was overrun by Federal forces and Marion, as well as other important towns, was occupied. Federal troops seized Howard’s buildings and held them under libel by the Federal Government. Professor Goodhue ceased to give instruction and from March to June, 1865, Howard College was closed.

1865-10-01 23:46:33

Howard College re-opened after the end of the Civil War

After the Civil War ended, Howard’s Board of Trustees committed to reopening the college on October 1, 1865. Although Henry Talbird was requested to resume his duties as president, he declined. During the entire scholastic year of 1865-1866 the total enrollment reached only 41.

1867-07-01 00:00:00

Lincoln Normal School

Lincoln Normal School was incorporated in 1867 as "The Lincoln School of Marion" by recently freed African Americans in Perry County. In 1870, the school expanded to include teacher training. In 1887, a fire destroyed many campus buildings and as a result, the teacher training function was move to Montgomery where it became Alabama State University. Lincoln Normal School was noted for its high percentage of graduates over the years, and for the remarkable number of its alumni who went on to complete advanced degrees. Among its many graduates who have distinguished themselves in all walks of life, perhaps their most famous graduate is the late Coretta Scott King (1927-2006), wife of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. The school closed in 1970, when it was consolidated with the Francis Marion High School.

1868-07-01 00:00:00

James Thomas Murfee Designs Woods Hall

After the Civil War, James T. Murfee worked as an architect in Tuscaloosa. As such, he was hired to help rebuild the University of Alabama. The first major structure built, what became Woods Hall, was designed by Murfee and was patterned after the barracks at his alma mater, the Virginia Military Institute. The building was to form part of a proposed quadrangle (modeled after VMI) which was never built. The Alabama Corps of Cadets continued as the mainstay of the student body during Reconstruction and beyond. Woods Hall, built in 1868, was the principal University building until 1886.

1871-07-01 00:00:00

James Thomas Murfee: Howard President 1871-1887; MMI Superintendent 1887-1906; MMI Superintendent Emeritus 1906-1912

In 1871 COL James Thomas Murfee was appointed president of Howard College, a position he held until Howard moved to Birmingham. From 1887 until his death in 1912, COL Murfee helped to transform Marion Military Institute into one of the premier educational institutions in the South. He also involved himself with the fortunes of Howard College, Judson College, Marion Female Seminary, and the Siloam Baptist Church in Marion.

1872-04-01 05:35:27

Colonel Murfee began recruiting students by emphasizing Howard College’s merit and superiority

Beginning in 1872, Colonel Murfee traveled through different parts of Alabama and Mississippi recruiting students by presenting the following points of Howard College’s merit and superiority: 1.It’s able and experience faculty 2.The exceeding cheapness of tuition, board, etc. and uniform 3.Its system of class instruction by which every student was reached in every recitation 4.Its plan of rewards and punishment, encouraging rivalry among good students and stimulating students who were idle and indifferent 5.Its “kind but firm and inflexible, semi-military discipline, from where there was no escape but in a faithful, manly discharge of scholastic duties, and which perforce develops everything in the boy that goes to make up the man.”

1876-12-01 07:53:25

Col. J.T. Murfee established a School of Military Art and Science at Howard College

In 1876, Col. Murfee established a School of Military Art and Science at Howard College, with Col. Murfee as Professor of Strategy and Military Fortifications, and Lieutenant Colonel W. D. Fonville as Commandant of Cadets and instructor in Tactics. The military school, however, was nothing more than an hour’s drill on the campus in the later afternoon.

1880-04-01 16:32:25

The Alabama Baptist Newspaper reported on the military features of Howard College

“We visited Howard College last week and found all as busy as usual. The recitations for the day were over, but the cadet corps had gone out on drill, in which they spend one hour every afternoon. This department of the college is unusually thorough, including both artillery and infantry tactics taught theoretically and practically. Week before last the students displayed their efficiency in a sham battle, which of course was full of adventure and amusing incidents. Last week they were having experience in camp life, doing duty in the field, marching like an army, carrying their shelter tents on their backs, pitching and striking encampments, etc. While the military feature of the college is very thorough, it is not allowed to interfere with studies. No military duty is done, except during one hour at the close of the afternoon recitation.”

1884-04-05 00:07:01

Alabama Supreme Court Ruled Against Howard College in a lawsuit by Matthew Turner lawsuit over Scholarship Program and Howard College was sold by the Perry County Sheriff

In December, 1859, Matthew Turner executed five promissory notes each payable to the Trustees of Howard College, in the sum of one hundred dollars in exchange for five permanent scholarships. Turner paid the notes in Confederate currency on the 23rd of January, 1863. The Trustees declared all the old scholarship certificates canceled on the ground that Confederate currency was not legal tender and that the Treasurer of the Board was not authorized to accept it payment of the notes. Turner filed a lawsuit for breach of the agreement for a permanent scholarship. After eight years of litigation, including two appeals to the Alabama Supreme Court, a final judgment of rendered against Howard College in favor of Turner. On April 5, 1884, Howard College was sold by the Perry County sheriff to satisfy the judgment in favor of Matthew Turner. Acting entirely in their capacity of private citizens, Dr. W. W. Wilkerson and Mr. J. B. Lovelace (who were Howard College trustees) bid for the college and won. They now had full and unencumbered title to the property, with no old debts to worry over. In 1886, with the public spirit and unselfish purpose, characteristic of them, they dedicated the property to the Alabama Baptist State Convention, which meant that that particular property could never again be mortgaged or sold for debt or used for other than educational purposes. In return for their outlay of money, the donors asked for and received nothing except the thanks of the Convention. The Baptists of Alabama were free now to endow the college without any fear that old scholarships or other indebtedness would come to light and sweep the endowment away.

1884-06-01 05:53:18

Dispute about exempting ministerial students from military drill

In 1884 a member of the Alabama Baptist State Convention Ministerial Board asked Colonel Murfee to exempt ministerial students from military drill and to favor them in other ways. Colonel Murfee was not pleased with this request. It appeared to be an interference with the internal administration of the college and should have been a matter for the College Board of Trustees. In July, 1886, the Ministerial Board resigned en masse over this and other issues. Another Ministerial Board was appointed with limited jurisdiction as to matters pertaining to Howard College.

1887-04-01 08:21:12

Before the Alabama Baptist Convention voted to move Howard College, it appointed the Committee of Thirteen to determine what to do with the Marion campus

As requested by the Convention, the Committee of Thirteen answered the question about the Marion campus in the following resolution: “Resolved, That brethren Wilkerson and Lovelace are hereby authorized, for the current year, beginning October 1st, next in case said college is removed from Marion, to make such use of the property described in said deed, for educational purposes, as may seem proper and beneficial to the community at Marion.” When the Convention voted to move Howard College to East Lake (a suburb of Birmingham), it followed the recommendation of the Convention in appreciation of the generosity of Wilkerson and Lovelace, and deeded the campus back to Wilkerson and Lovelace.

1887-06-01 00:18:43

Colonel J.T. Murfee Declined to Move with Howard College and Opted Instead to Remain in Marion

COL Murfee was so attached to Marion, and was so beholden to W.W. Wilkerson and J.B. Lovelace for saving the campus, that he resigned as President of Howard College and stayed in Marion. Wilkerson and Lovelace, now the owners of a college campus with no college, engaged in discussions with J.T. Murfee, a college president with no college and no campus. The result of their meetings was a new vision of a new educational institution in Marion, Alabama. Wilkerson and Lovelace leased the Marion campus to J.T. Murfee to form a new educational institution.

1887-08-05 01:45:07

“I shall continue in [the old Howard buildings] the same system of discipline and methods of instruction which I introduced in 1871.”

On August 5, 1887, COL Murfee posted the following letter in the local Marion newspaper: “Marion Military Institute” In Old Howard Buildings Marion, Alabama, Aug. 5, 1887 To My Old Student Friends: These halls so dear to us all have been turned over to me for educational purposes: and I shall continue in them the same system of discipline and methods of instruction which I introduced in 1871. I shall aim to train other young men as you were trained, and to make them like you in character, popularity and usefulness. The memory of your good deeds shall be preserved, and your worthy examples held up as models for your successors. The hearts of the good people of Marion will ever be with you; and we hope you may often be inclined to revisit the old college home – the scenes amid which you developed those elements of character which have been the foundation of your success and happiness. You will find here open doors and a warm welcome – in the town and at the school. Whenever an opportunity occurs, I shall rejoice to assist in extending your influence and promoting your welfare. Ever your friend, J.T. Murfee

1887-10-04 14:11:52

Marion Military Institute opened its doors for the enrollment of new students in the old Howard College buildings

When school started on October 4, 1887, a casual observer would scarcely have noticed any difference in the operation of a school on the campus vacated by Howard College and now controlled by Marion Military Institute. Military uniforms were prominent both before and after Howard College moved away. Howard College, however, continued to be a military school in its new location in East Lake (a suburb of Birmingham) until 1913.

1888-09-05 19:09:48

Wilkerson and Lovelace deeded the old Howard College buildings to COL J.T. Murfee in trust to form a self-perpetuating board of seven trustees

As a result of the successful operation of Marion Military Institute in the leased buildings formerly used by Howard College, W.W. Wilkerson and J.B. Lovelace (and their respective wives) deeded the former Howard College campus to James T. Murfee “to have and to hold and to deliver the possession of the said property to be had and held for educational purposes and use as follows: The said [J.T. Murfee] shall appoint six persons who with himself shall constitute a Board of Trustees consisting of seven members, which appointment he shall make so that four members of the Board shall also be members of the Baptist Church in Marion called Siloam Baptist Church. . . . The school which is now being carried on and conducted on said lots of lands and in said buildings shall be styled The Marion Military Institute. . . . .”

1889-02-20 00:00:00

MMI is incorporated into Perry County

On February 20, 1889, an Act was passed to incorporate Marion Military Institute in Marion, Perry County, Alabama.

1889-07-01 00:00:00

Booker T. Washington of Tuskegee Institute speaks in Marion

Booker T. Washington of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama spoke to a crowd of some 3,000 people at the Perry County Fairgrounds in Marion, Alabama on Saturday October 26, 1913. Washington was introduced by H.O. Murfee, President of MMI at the time, who mentioned that his father COL James T. Murfee was instrumental in bringing Booker T. Washington to Alabama and Tusckegee Institute.

1889-07-01 00:00:00

James Wilson Murfee (1808-1889) Father of J.T. Murfee

The father of James Thomas Murfee, MMI’s founder and first president, is buried in this Hale County cemetery just off Alabama/County Route 21 not far from Havana and the site of the Green Springs School, Henry and Julia Tutwiler’s famed institution. Coming from Virginia, James Wilson Murfee (1808-1889), a long-time school teacher in Hale County, is buried next to his fourth wife, Elizabeth S. Edwards Murfee, who died in 1906. Our James T. Murfee was born to his second wife, Ann Parker Murfee.

1889-07-01 00:00:00

William C. Crumpton: MMI 1889

William C. Crumpton attended MMI, serving as a cadet company commander in 1889. He then went to Howard College in Birmingham, and finally graduated from Cornell University in 1896. Crumpton married T. C. Carter’s sister, Mamie, a 1893 graduate of Judson College in Marion. A prominent lawyer, staunch prohibitionist, State Senator, member of the State Democratic Executive Committee, and Governor B. B. Comer’s Judge Advocate General, Will Crumpton and Mamie Carter Crumpton lived out their lives together in Evergreen, Alabama. Will died of a heart attack at age 43 in 1915, and Mamie lived to be 102 as a matriarch of the Carter-Crumpton Families, passing in 1978. Will Crumpton is buried with the Crumpton family in the Marion City Cemetery across from Judson College, and Mamie is buried with the Carters in Magnolia Cemetery in Meridian, Mississippi.

1890-07-01 00:00:00

Miller Reese Hutchison: MMI Class of 1890

Described in his obituary as “one of the nation’s greatest inventors and scientists,” Dr. Miller Reese Hutchison, MMI Class of 1890, served as Thomas Edison’s right-hand man (Edison called his assistants “muckers”) for a number of years in the Edison Laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey. An electrical and acoustical engineer who was born, raised, and largely educated in Alabama, Dr. Hutchison had several hundred inventions to his credit. He worked as Chief Engineer for all of Thomas Edison’s interests and representations during his tenure. To learn more about Miller Hutchison, click the link below

1892-07-01 00:00:00

Edward Mallory Almond: Fighting in Two World Wars

A Virginian and a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, Class of 1915, Edward Mallory Almond (1892-1979) taught at MMI before World War I and returned thereafter as Professor of Military Science and Tactics from 1919-1923. A troop commander in World War I, he had been wounded in the Aisne-Marne offensive. During World War II he commanded the 92nd Infantry Division in Italy. Assigned to General Douglas MacArthur’s Tokyo staff in 1946, he was selected as his Chief of Staff in 1949. General Almond led the successful Inchon invasion of Korea in 1950, and commanded the famed X Corps throughout the Korean conflict. He later served as commandant of the Army War College, rising to the rank of lieutenant general. His military decorations from three wars included the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with “V,” and the Purple Heart. To learn more about Edward Almond, click the link below.

1903-07-01 00:00:00

H.O. Murfee's Letter to E.O. Lovett

In 1903, Hopson Owen Murfee sent a two paged letter to Professor E. O. Lovett at Princeton University. In addition to trying to secure Henry Van Dyke to speak at MMI, Murfee is also looking for a new mathematics professor/coach for MMI. In the letter, he is hoping that Lovett will help him find the right candidate. The letter is interesting as Murfee is beginning to formulate ideas for his “Eton of the South” concept for MMI. In addition to the $700 salary for the first year offered to the new professor, Murfee wants a young unmarried man who is not only competent in his field and who is a graduate of one of the leading universities, but who is also athletic and who wants to make the teaching of young men his profession. Scholarship (publications) is less desired to excellent teaching in the classroom and on the playing field.

1905-05-01 00:00:00

Hobson Owen Murfee: MMI Class of 1889: MMI Superintendent 1905-1919

Hopson Owen Murfee, who succeeded his father, James Thomas Murfee, as the second superintendent of Marion Military Institute, began developing a broader scope and purpose for the Institute during the early 1900s. His plan would establish Marion Institute (dropping Military from the name) as the “Eton of the South,” an American version of Eton College, one of the great public schools in England along with Harrow, Rugby, Winchester, etc. Murfee wanted to establish in the American Lower South a unique school of high culture, learning, service, and refinement. The Institute received prominent national attention under H. O. Murfee’s leadership. U. S. President William Howard Taft was persuaded to join the new Board of Directors (a Board filled with talent and influence), and Woodrow Wilson, then president of Princeton University, gave the Government Day Oration at MI in 1905. Following Wilson’s appearance, MI’s school colors were changed to orange and black and the athletic teams became the “Tigers”` in tribute to Wilson and Princeton University. H. O. Murfee’s plan for an “Eton of the South” came to a halt with the outbreak of World War I. The military aspect of the Institute was again emphasized and a ROTC program was established in 1916, paving the way for the Early Commissioning and Service Academy Prep programs. Under H. O. Murfee’s leadership, Institute graduates were highly sought by some of the best colleges and universities in the country.

1905-09-01 00:00:00

Outbreak of "fever" in 1905

During September 1905, there was an outbreak of “fever” in Louisiana and Mississippi, and with those two areas locked down under quarantine, MMI released this appeal for college students in those states to come study at the Institute in Alabama. However, these students would first need to gather at the Piedmont Hotel in Atlanta (“The Marion Military Institute Headquarters”) where COL James T. Murfee, the “Superintendent,” would greet them, and provide them with room and board at the hotel while observing a seven- day observation period required under quarantine law. However, the students would be matriculated and assigned classes, and educational tours would be given in Atlanta (presumably, for only those seemingly uninfected) until the seven-day period expired. Then, they would be taken to MMI and processed as students. To learn more about the quarantine, click the link below.

1906-07-01 00:00:00

James Thomas Murfee Recognized for his Contribution to American Education

President Benjamin Harrison appointed COL James T. Murfee to the Board of Visitors at the United States Military Academy at West Point. In 1906, Murfee received one of the first annuities established by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to American education. COL Murfee was elected in 1997 to the Alabama Men’s Hall of Fame at Samford University in Birmingham.


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