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Oxford Female Institute

Oxford Female Institute was chartered Feb. 23, 1849. Its incorporators were Herman B. Mayo, Alfred Luce, Robert H. Bishop Jr., Peter D. Matson, Samuel R. Mollyneaux, Peter Sutton, William H. Smith, William A. Irwin and Francis H. Peyton. OFI operated under the leadership of the Rev. John Witherspoon Scott, its president until 1855. Scott -- the father of a future First Lady, Caroline Scott Harrison -- joined the Miami University faculty in 1828 and remained until he was forced to leave in 1845. Scott -- who was ordained in 1830 by the Presbytery of Oxford -- directed the Oxford Female Institute for six years (1849-1855) and was president of the Oxford Female College for four years (1855-1859). In 1881, at 81, he retired after 56 years in teaching and 53 years in the ministry. Caroline Scott Harrison completed her education at the Oxford Female Institute in 1853. In June 1867, Oxford Female College and Oxford Female Institute united under the name Oxford Female College. April 29, 1890, the name was changed to Oxford College. June 6, 1906, a new corporation was formed as the Oxford College for Women. The school property and debts were assumed by Miami University in an agreement signed Dec. 8, 1928.

The Oxford College building -- originally used by the Oxford Female Institute -- at the southwest corner of High Street and College Avenue became known as "Ox College" for 70 years while a Miami women's residence hall. It was believed to be the oldest surviving women's college building in the United States in the 1990s. It was a residence hall until 1998. In December 2000, Miami University trustees authorized a long term lease with the Oxford Community Arts Center to convert the building into the Oxford Community Arts Center as the home of a community theater, art gallery and other uses.

Renovation began in 2002. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

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