Okolona Industrial School

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Okolona Industrial School

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Founded in 1902 by Wallace A. Battle, Okolona Industrial School (Okolona, Mississippi) did not become affiliated with The Episcopal Church until 1920 when the Diocese of Mississippi and the American Church Institute (ACI) assumed oversight. When Battle became Field Secretary for ACI in 1927, his wife Effie T. Battle took over as administrative head of the school and remained until the arrival of A.M. Strange in 1933.

The school had been renamed Okolona College in 1932. Strange is credited with most of the modernization of Okolona’s physical plant and equipment. In 1965 the Diocese of Mississippi decided to transfer its funding from Okolona College to areas of the state it considered having greater need. The school closed that same year. The campus remained unused until 1990 when the National Council of Negro Women purchased the site with plans of reinstating educational and other support programs for the African American community. The Okolona College site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.

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