Written by: Patrick Cash
January 25, 1941: In January of 1941, Edward J Carter, the grandson of Mars Hill University founder Edward Carter, gifted the institution a copy of his Master’s thesis, A History of Mars Hill College. Mr. Carter, who at the time was serving as the principal of schools in Almond, North Carolina, wrote his thesis as part of his masters studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Mr. Carter’s thesis totals 110 pages and breaks the different eras of the institutions history into chapters that provide an in-depth examination of a particular parts of the school’s history. Carter’s first chapter focuses on the community of Mars Hill and life in the surrounding areas at the time of the schools founding. His second chapter addresses the actual founding of the institution and attempts to separate fact from fiction when it relates to this event. The third and fourth chapters both focus on the early years of the college when it faced times of struggle as well as periods of growth and accomplishment. The third chapter focuses on the early years of Mars Hill leading up to its closing due to the American Civil War while the fourth chapter looks at the year following the American Civil War up until the inauguration of President Dr. R. L. Moore in 1897. Carter’s fifth chapter focuses on the years following Dr. Moore’s arrival up until the 1940s, a time that school historians have labeled as the second founding of Mars Hill. Perhaps most importantly for historians who use Mr. Carter’s thesis is the number of valuable appendices with included reproductions of important historical documents, photographs, and other priceless data that tells the history of our institution.
Today, A History of Mars Hill College can be seen in Southern Appalachian Archives which are found in the Liston B. Ramsey Center for Regional Studies on the campus of the Mars Hill University. If you are interested in seeing this item please contact the Southern Appalachian Archives here.