A Look into the Start of Emory & Henry



Wiley Hall, which still stands in the center of the Emory & Henry campus.

Emory & Henry College was founded and constructed in 1836, opening their doors to students two years later in 1838. At the start of the school’s opening, there was only one building in use that was named “The College.” It is now known as Wiley Hall today.
There were four individuals credited for founding Emory & Henry College. There was Tobias Smith: a local farmer in the Emory area and an avid member of the Methodist church, which Emory & Henry has connections with to this day. Next was Colonel William Byars, a political and military leader who served during the War of 1812. The third founder was Reverend Creed Fulton, a Methodist preacher who helped establish the bond between the Methodist church and Emory & Henry College. The last person credited for founding Emory & Henry College was Alexander Findley, a businessman from the city of Abingdon.
The college had operated as normal for about 23 years, and in 1861 when the Civil War broke out, Emory & Henry College had to temporarily close its doors to students and became a hospital for the Confederate army titled the Emory Confederate States Hospital. However, after the Civil War had ended in 1865, Emory & Henry College was able to resume operation once again and has continued to provide education since.