Holland Nimmons McTyeire

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Holland Nimmons McTyeire
Holland McTyeire.jpg
Born July 28, 1824
Barnwell County, South Carolina, U.S.
Died February 15, 1889(1889-02-15) (aged 64)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Alma mater Randolph-Macon College
Occupation Preacher, educator
Religion Methodist Episcopal Church, South
Spouse(s) Amelia Townsend

Holland Nimmons McTyeire (July 28, 1824 – February 15, 1889) was an American Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, elected in 1866. He was a co-founder of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Early life[edit]

Holland McTyeire was born on July 28, 1824 in Barnwell County, South Carolina.[1][2][3] His parents were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. His father was "a cotton planter and a slaveholder."[4]

McTyeire 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, McTyeire 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, McTyeire 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]

McTyeire 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][5] This connection led to Vanderbilt giving McTyeire two $500,000 gifts, which the bishop used to found Vanderbilt University.[2][3][5] 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]

McTyeire was married to Amelia Townsend of Mobile, Alabama.[2][3]

Death and legacy[edit]

McTyeire died on February 15, 1889 in Nashville, Tennessee.[1] His portrait, done by Jared Bradley Flagg, hung in Main Hall (later known as Kirkland Hall) until it was destroyed by the 1905 fire.[3] Another portrait, done by Ella Sophonisba Hergesheimer in 1907, is hung in Kirkland Hall.[3]

In the 1940s, the first women's dormitory on the Vanderbilt campus was named McTyeire Hall; it was later renamed McTyeire Intenational House.[3][6] Meanwhile, the McTyeire School for Girls, founded by Young John Allen (1836-1907) in Shanghai, China, is also named in his honor.


Further reading[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 Tennessee Portrait Project
  4. ^ McTyeire, H.N., Sturgis, C.F., Holmes, A.T., Duties of Masters to Servants: Three Premium Essays, Charleston, South Carolina: Southern Baptist Publication Society, 1851, p. 5
  5. ^ a b History of Vanderbilt University
  6. ^ Vanderbilt University: McTyeire International House
  7. ^ McTyeire, H.N.; Sturgis, C.F.; Holmes, A.T. (1851). "Duties of Masters to Servants: Three Premium Essays". Archive.org. Charleston, South Carolina: Southern Baptist Publication Society. Retrieved November 19, 2015. 

 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.