Maryville College was founded in 1819. It was born of the moral and spiritual needs of the earliest settlers of East Tennessee — chiefly Scotch-Irish Presbyterians — and was designed to educate for the ministry men who should be native to the soil. The grand motive of the founder may be stated in his own words: “Let the Directors and Managers of THIS Sacred Institution propose the glory of God and the advancement OF that kingdom purchased by the blood of His only begotten Son as their sole object.” Inspired by such a motive, Rev. Isaac Anderson, D.D., gathered a class of five in the fall of 1819. and in prayer and faith began the work of his life. In forty-two years the institution put one hundred and fifty men into the ministry. Its endowment, gathered by littles through all these years, was only sixteen thousand dollars.
Then came the Civil War, and suspended the work of the institution for five years, and the College came out of the general wreck with little save its good name and precious history.
After the war the Synod of Tennessee, moved by the spirit of self-preservation, and by a desire to promote Christian education in the Central South, resolved to revive Maryville College. The institution was reopened in 1866. New grounds and new buildings were an imperative necessity. To meet this need, sixty-five thousand dollars were secured, and the College was saved from extinction. In 1881 a few generous friends contributed an endowment fund of one hundred thousand dollars. In 1891, Daniel Fayerweather bequeathed to the College the sum of one hundred thousand dollars. The College was also made one of twenty equal participants in the residuary estate, and has received the greater part of the two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to which it is entitled by the provisions of the will. This magnificent donation has enabled the institution to enlarge its work and to enter upon a new era of usefulness and influence. About seventy of the post-bellum Alumni have entered the ministry, while twenty-one Alumni and undergraduates have been or are missionaries in Japan, China, Siam, Korea, India, Persia, Syria, Africa, and Mexico. Several are laboring in missions on the Western frontier. All the Alumni are engaged in honorable pursuits. Students who have gone from the College to the theological, medical, and legal schools have usually attained a high rank in their classes. A goodly number of the Alumni are now studying in theological seminaries.
The necessary expenses are so phenomenally low as to give the institution a special adaptation to the middle class and to the struggling poor — the great mass of the surrounding population.
The privileges of the institution are open alike to all denominations cf Christians.
Maryville is a pleasant and thriving town of about two thousand five hundred inhabitants There is no saloon in Blount county. Maryville is widely known as “the town of schools and churches.” It is the present terminus of the Knoxville and Augusta Railroad, and is sixteen miles distant from Knoxville. There are two trains a day, each way, on the Knoxville and Augusta Railroad. Knoxville is approached from the South and West via Chattanooga, or Dalton, or Marietta; from the North and Northwest via Junction City (Danville) and Jellico, or via Harriman Junction, or via Cumberland Gap; from the Southeast via Asheville: from the Northeast via Lynchburg and Bristol. Chandler, a station on the Atlanta, Knoxville and Northern Railroad, is six miles distant from Maryville.
Grounds and Buildings
The College grounds consist of two hundred and fifty acres, and for beautiful scenery are not surpassed by any in the country. They are elevated and undulating, covered with a beautiful growth of evergreens and with a noble forest, and command a splendid view of the Cumberland Mountains on the north, and of the Smoky Mountains on the south.
The location is as remarkable for its healthfulness as it is for its beauty. The campus affords the choicest facilities for the development of athletics.
On these grounds there are nine buildings, which were erected at a cost of about one hundred thousand dollars.
The central building is adapted to college purposes, and is used exclusively for them. In honor of the founder of the institution it is called Anderson Hall. The large addition to the Hall, The Fayerweather Annex, forty by ninety feet in size, is occupied by the Preparatory Department, and has added greatly to its success. Baldwin Hall, named in honor of the late John C. Baldwin, of New Jersey, is occupied by the young ladies. In this Hall accommodations for board are provided by the Co-operative Boarding Club for all the members of the institution who choose to board there. A few years ago an Annex was added to this Hall. The size of the Annex is forty by seventy-five feet, with a dining-room large enough for two hundred boarders, and with rooms on the second and third floors for occupancy by the young ladies. Memorial Hall is occupied by the young men. Last vacation it was completely renovated, and is a very attractive home for the young men. These halls are large and convenient, well lighted and ventilated, and will accommodate one hundred and thirty students. The College buildings are lighted by the College electric light plant. The College owns two Professors’ Houses and the Janitor’s House. The President’s Residence was provided in 1890 by a magnificent gift of Mrs. Jane F. Willard. It adorns College Hill, and is a valuable property. It bears the following inscription :
ERECTED AS A MEMORIAL OF HER HUSBAND,
SYLVESTER WILLARD. M.D.,
MRS. JANE F. WILLARD,
Maryville College. Maryville College Bulletin [Catalog], 1901-1902, pp. 35-37, 1902.