Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Swift Memorial College 1883~1962

Marker ID: THC 1B 66
Location: on W Kyle St. east of Hasson Street, Rogersville, TN
County: Hawkins
Coordinates: N 36° 24.464    W 083° 00.477
  36.40773333    -83.00795
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM67KE


Dr. William H. Franklin, the founder and President of Swift College, was one of the first black graduates from Maryville College, receiving his degree in 1881. Swift College was named to honor Elijah E. Swift, president of the denomination's National Board of Missions of Freedmen and benefactor and pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, Penn. The private college served African-American students. Sold to Hawkins County in 1956, it became a public school for black students in grades one through twelve. W.E. Blevins served as the last principal before desegregation closed Swift's doors in 1963. The main three-story building was torn down in 1964. Three buildings remain as offices for Hawkins County Schools.

Tennessee Historical Commission


Two sided marker - St. Marks Presbyterian Church / Swift Memorial College