Mary Mcleod Bethune

Topics: African American, Mary McLeod Bethune, Volusia County, Florida Pages: 2 (482 words) Published: August 18, 2014
Mary McLeod Bethune was born on July 10, 1875 in Mayesville, South Carolina. Her parents,Samuel and Patsy McLeod were former slaves, and she was the youngest of seventeen children. She was the only child in her family to be born in freedom. Her mother worked for her former owner, and her family raised enough money to get five acres of land. Her father grew cotton on that land.

From an early age, she worked in the fields with her parents and siblings.When she was 9, she could carry 250 pounds of cotton per day and that was amazing for a child. When a school for black children opened nearby, her family only had enough money to send one child, and Mary Mcleod was the one. She quickly went to the top of her class and her teacher suggested her to Scotia Seminary in North Carolina. Her parents could not pay for her to go, but a teacher in Colorado who had heard of hear paid for her to go.

Mary Graduated in 1894 and she went to Dwight Moody’s Institute for Home and Foreign Missions in Chicago. She later moved back home and went to the Haines Institute in Augusta, Georgia. There she met and married Albertus Bethune in 1898, and had their only son Albertus McLeod Bethune, Jr on February 3,1899. Her marriage soon failed , so in 1904 she left her husband. She was only 29 years old and she had a young son to support so, Mary McLeod Bethune opened the Daytona Beach Literary and Industrial School for Training Negro Girls. She originally had five students in a rented old house, but enrollment soon rose because the area had a good economy.

Over time, the school dropped its elementary curriculum, and in 1923 Mary changed it into a college. She wanted to have co-education,so she brought the male student body of the Cookman Institute of Jacksonville to Daytona. The school was renamed Bethune-Cookman College in 1929. The school ended its high-school program in 1936 and started its first college degrees in 1943. Mary Mcleod Bethune served as president of the...
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