Holland Nimmons McTyeire

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Holland Nimmons McTyeire
Holland McTyeire.jpg
Born July 28, 1824
Barnwell County, South Carolina
Died February 15, 1889(1889-02-15) (aged 64)
Occupation Methodist Bishop

Holland Nimmons McTyeire (July 28, 1824 – February 15, 1889) was an American Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, elected in 1866. Among his many accomplishments, he was instrumental in the founding and funding of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.


Early life[edit]

Holland McTyeire was born on July 28, 1824 in Barnwell County, South Carolina, the son of Methodist parents.[1][2][3] He professed his faith in Christianity at the early age of thirteen. He attended the higher schools available at the time: first at Cokesbury, South Carolina, then Collinsworth Institute in Georgia. He graduated from Randolph-Macon College in Virginia (A.B. degree, 1844).[1][2][3]


Already licensed to preach, he was admitted on trial into the Virginia Annual Conference in November 1845. He was appointed to Williamsburg, Virginia.[1] After one year's service, he was transferred to the Alabama Conference, admitted into full connection at the first of 1848.[3] In Alabama, he pastored at Mobile and Demopolis.[1] He also pastored in Columbus, Mississippi, transferring to the Louisiana Conference, where he was ordained elder in 1849.[1] He also was a pastor in New Orleans.[1]

In 1854, he was elected editor of the New Orleans Christian Advocate, serving in this position until 1858. He was then elected editor of the Nashville Christian Advocate, the central organ of the M.E. Church, South.[1][3] Interrupted in his editorial career by the American Civil War of 1861-1865, he entered the pastorate again in the Alabama Conference, serving in the city of Montgomery, from which he was elected to the episcopacy in 1866 at the General Conference meeting that year in New Orleans.[1]

He led a movement within the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, to establish "an institution of learning of the highest order."[2] In 1872, a charter for a "Central University" was issued to the bishop and fellow petitioners, who represented the nine M.E. Church, South Annual Conferences of the mid-south.[2] Their efforts failed, however, for lack of financial resources. Early in 1873, he went to New York for medical treatment.[3] His wife, Amelia Townsend, was a cousin to Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt's second wife, Frank Armstrong Crawford Vanderbilt (1839-1885).[3][4] This connection led to Vanderbilt giving McTyeire two $500,000 gifts, which the bishop used to found Vanderbilt University.[2][3][4] The Commodore's gift was given with the understanding that McTyeire would serve as chairman of the university's Board of Trust for life. He was appointed President of Vanderbilt University in 1873.[1]

McTyeire School for Girls in Shanghai, China

Personal life[edit]

He was married to Amelia Townsend of Mobile, Alabama.[2][3] He died on February 15, 1889 in Nashville, Tennessee.[1]


  • McTyeire International House on the campus of Vanderbilt University is named in his honor.[3][5] It was built as the first women's dormitory on campus in the 1940s.[3]
  • His 1907 portrait by Ella Sophonisba Hergesheimer (1873-1943) hangs in Kirkland Hall on the campus of Vanderbilt University.[3] An early portrait by Jared Bradley Flagg (1820-1899), was destroyed by a fire in 1905.[3]
  • The McTyeire School for Girls, founded by Young John Allen (1836-1907) in Shanghai, China, is also named in his honor.


Primary sources[edit]

  • A Catechism on Church Government (1869)
  • A Catechism on Bible History (1869)
  • Manual of the Discipline (1870)
  • History of Methodism (1884)
  • Passing Through the Gates (1889)
  • Duties of Masters

Secondary sources[edit]

  • Fitzgerald, O.P., Holland N. McTyeire. Nashville, 1896.
  • Bishop McTyeire's "Memorial Sketch" in the Conference Minutes of the M.E. Church, South General Conference of 1890, pp. 76–78.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "McTyeire, Holland Nimmons", in The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. Samuel Macauley Jackson, ed. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1954, p. 120 [1]
  2. ^ a b c d e f [tennesseeencyclopedia.net/entry.php?rec=880 The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture: Holland N. McTyeire]
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Tennessee Portrait Project
  4. ^ a b History of Vanderbilt University
  5. ^ Vanderbilt University: McTyeire International House

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainJackson, Samuel Macauley, ed. (1914). "article name needed". New Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (third ed.). London and New York: Funk and Wagnalls.