Strode Presidential Records

Summary Information

Clemson University Libraries Special Collections
Clemson University. Office of the President.
Strode Presidential Records
Date [inclusive]
0.165 cubic feet

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Biographical Note:

Henry Aubrey Strode was born 6 February 1844, in Fredricksburg, Virginia. He enlisted in the Confederate army at age 17 and served throughout the war. Afterward, he studied mathematics and chemistry at the University of Virginia.

In 1872, he purchased property in Amherst County, Virginia and opened Kenmore University High School, a preparatory school for the University of Virginia. While president of the Kenmore school, Strode married Millie Ellis, the daughter of Colonel J.T. Ellis; they had eight children. Under Strode’s leadership, the preparatory school was soon acknowledged as foremost in Virginia. In 1889, he closed the school to become the head of department of mathematics at the University of Mississippi.

In July 1890, following the decline of the offer from General Stephen D. Lee, the Board of Trustees elected Strode the first President of Clemson College. Strode spent most of his presidency planning and supervising the physical construction of a campus, hiring faculty, and creating curriculum and regulations. Priority in construction was given to facilities for the Experiment Station farms and the lab for fertilizer analysis to which existing state programs would be transferred. In addition, Strode oversaw the creation of classroom buildings, shops, and residential as well as support facilities for a faculty and a class estimated at three hundred. The failure of the General Assembly to appropriate funds as well as problems with contractors hindered the building program delayed the opening of the school until 1893. Strode resigned in November 1892 but remained at Clemson as a professor of Mathematics until 1896 when, for reasons of poor health, he was asked to resign. Strode returned to Amherst, Virginia and died there in 1898.

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This series contains three folders of material related to Henry Aubrey Strode, President of Clemson College, 1890-1892. The folders contain a small amount of correspondence between Strode and Richard W. Simpson, the attorney who probated the Thomas Green Clemson estate and the first president of the Board of Trustees, about the operation of the college. Also included is biographical information about Strode’s interest in mathematics and academia; Confederate Army records which catalog Strode’s military career in the Army of Northern Virginia; Certificates of Distinction awarded to students who attended the Kenmore University High School, which Strode opened as a preparatory school at a time when few public schools existed in Virginia. The biographical information contains a summary and analysis of the Southern school system covering all of the former Confederate states, transcripts from the minutes of the meetings of the Board of Trustees of Clemson College,1888-1896, and a register of the class of 1893.

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The series is arranged alphabetically by type of material. For a complete list of subjects, see the “Container List” that follows.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Clemson University Libraries Special Collections


Issues of copyright must be cleared with the Alderman Library at the University of Virginia.


The bulk of this material has been copied from originals housed in the manuscripts department of the University of Virginia.


E. Matthew West, student assistant

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Clemson University. Board of Trustees.
  • Clemson University. Office of the President.
  • Clemson University. -- History
  • Clemson University. -- Presidents
  • Kenmore University High School.
  • Norwood School (Nelson County, Va.).

Personal Name(s)

  • Simpson, R.W., (Richard Wright), 1840-1912
  • Strode, Henry Aubrey, 1844-1898

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Collected Biographical Material 

1 1

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Letters copied from Simpson Papers 

1 2

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Register of the Class of 1893 1893 

1 3

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Advertisement for the Norwood School, Nelson County, Virginia 1870-1871 


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Certificates of distinction from the Kenmore University High School 1887 

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