Black College Campus in Tennessee Sold to Real Estate Developers Who Want to Build Condominiums

Morristown Normal and Industrial College was founded in 1881 by the national Freedman’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Its main purpose was to train Negroes for the ministry. One of the original buildings on the college campus had once served as a slave market.

In severe financial difficulty, the historically black college was sold to Knoxville College in 1989 and was renamed Knoxville College-Morristown. Knoxville College, also a historically black institution, subsequently experienced financial problems of its own and in 2001 sold the Morristown campus to a group of investors for $1 million.

Now the 52-acre campus on a hill in the downtown area of Morristown has been auctioned to a real estate company for $776,000. Plans are to turn the site into condominiums and a retail complex. Community leaders hope that the college’s main building will be preserved and converted into a theater.

The main building on the campus of Morristown College in Morristown, Tennessee (c. 1920)