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Witherspoon College Buckhorn School Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: BCA 0172-SAA 170


  • created: 1900-2013


Conditions Governing Access

Records can be accessed through the Reading Room, Berea College Special Collections and Archives, Hutchins Library, Berea College.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no known restrictions on the collection other than federal copyright regulations. Please cite all references to this collection.

Historical Note

Witherspoon College High School was founded in 1902 by Harvey S. Murdoch, a Presbyterian missionary from New York, and local citizens of Buckhorn, Perry County, Kentucky.  Between 1903 and 1957, over 6,000 mountain boys and girls attended Witherspoon College High School (1,500 students graduated). In 1957 operation of the school transferred to the Perry County Board of Education and the Synod of Kentucky established the Presbyterian Child Welfare Agency of Buckhorn, Kentucky as a successor to Witherspoon College and Orphanage in 1956.  Students in Perry County continue to attend the Buckhorn School, now a K-12 public institution. In 1972, Buckhorn graduate Dr. Mike Duff founded the Buckhorn Alumni Association, Inc. (BAA).  The organization has nearly 1,200 members and holds reunions in Buckhorn every two year. The organization annually awards the Murdoch-Gabbard Scholarship to a graduating senior of the Buckhorn School.


17.00 boxes_(general)

Language of Materials



The collection contains biographical profiles of alumni and founders, written and audio interviews, photographs, yearbooks, audio and video recordings, newspaper and magazine articles, historical essays, books related to the institution, Buckhorn Alumni Association documents and maps of the Buckhorn area.

Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged in five series: Subject Files, Yearbooks, Photographs, Audio and Video Recordings, and Maps.

Related Materials

Buckhorn School Oral History Collection

Buckhorn Children’s Center Records

Settlement Institutions of Appalachia Records

Related Publications

Almetta of Gabriel Run by Louisa S. Murdoch. 1918

Buckhorn by Elmer E. Gabbard. 1937

Murdoch of Buckhorn by G. Gordon Mahy, Jr. 1946

Pictorial History of Witherspoon College by James D. Moore. 2006

Broken Shoestrings by Lester Huff (Class of 1934), 1997.

The Last Soul of Witherspoon by Alex Browning. 2013

Tangled Roots by Hayes Lewis (Class of 1934), 1990. (Leslie County Genealogy.)

Perry County Men in WWH - Stories from the Heart by Paul David Taulbee, 1998

Musings After Midnight (poetry) by T.M. Cunningham. 1970

Annville Institute 1909 - 1978 by Annville Institute Alumni Association, 1998.

Dawn Comes to the Mountains by Samuel W. Thomas (editor), 1981.

Carcassonne- People, Places & Events by Clifton Caudill, 1994.

Other Descriptive Information

Some materials in this collection have been digitized and can be located here:

BCA 0172 SAA 170

Processing Information

Materials in this collection were collected and arranged by Buckhorn alumni Dr. Mike Duff, Dr. James D. Moore and the BAA History Committee (James D. Moore, William B. Napier and H.C. Sparks, Jr.) between 1972 and 2006.

The collection was further processed in November 2014 by Samuel Gleaves, Archives Processing Assistant.  The finding aid was created by Sam Gleaves and Lori Myers-Steele, Collections Archivist in 2014.

The collection was open for research in 2014.

Archon Finding Aid Title
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Berea College Special Collections and Archives Repository

Hutchins Library
100 Campus Drive
Berea Kentucky 40404 US