Ellen G. White Writings

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A Place Called Oakwood, Page vi

Oakwood Timeline

The Early Years: 1891-1915

This chronological outline of key events pertaining to Oakwood covers the 25-year period from 1891 to 1915, the year of Ellen White's death (July 16, 1915).


Ellen White delivers historic address “Our Duty to the Colored People” to the General Conference session in Battle Creek, Michigan, in 1891 in which she urges the church to develop the work in the South.


Edson White reads Our Duty to the Colored People for the first time in tract form and dedicates his life to the black work in the South.


Edson White and Will Palmer via the Morning Star steamship begin to educate and evangelize Southern Blacks and found mission schools that later became feeder schools for Oakwood.


Premier black SDA pioneer Charles M. Kinney recommends the Beasley estate as the site for Oakwood.

Southern Missionary Society, devoted to working for Blacks in the South, is begun, headed by Edson White. This organization is the precursor to the Southern Union Conference and was a strong supporter of Oakwood.

Ellen White encourages General Conference leaders to move forward with the Oakwood School.

Autumn 1895

The General Conference sends Ole A. Olsen, George A. Irwin, and Harmon Lindsay to assess the Beasley estate.

January 23, 1896

The Huntsville property is purchased by the General Conference.

April 3, 1896

Solon Jacobs arrives to become the first principal of the Oakwood Industrial School.

November 16, 1896

Oakwood Industrial School opens.

Boys’ dormitory opens.


Henry H. Shaw becomes principal of Oakwood.


Chapel/Study Hall built.

Benjamin E. Nicola begins as principal.

Colporteur work begun in earnest by Oakwood students.


Oakwood's agricultural sales pay all of school's expenses and net a profit.


West Hall is finished.

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