History

 

ohm000372snydeThe Oxford Female Institute was chartered in 1849. Its original building dates to 1850 with significant additions in 1856, 1884, and 1888.  The ballroom was added by Miami University in 1929 with monies raised by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in honor of First Lady Caroline Scott  Harrison.

Caroline Scott graduated from the Oxford Female Institute where her father, The Reverend John Witherspoon Scott, was the first President.  She met Benjamin Harrison while he was a college student in Cincinnati. He transferred to Miami in the 1850s and they married in 1853, one year after their graduations. Benjamin Harrison was elected President of the United States in 1888.  Caroline Scott Harrison served as the first national DAR President while living in Washington, D.C.

The Oxford Female Institute and the Oxford Female College merged in 1867 and re-chartered as the Oxford College for Women in 1906.  After closing in 1928, its main building was acquired by Miami and remodeled as a women's dormitory.  It was during this renovation that the building’s exterior was altered to its current Georgian style .For many years, the local chapter of the DAR met in the ballroom, and that tradition has been recently revived.

In addition to the Oxford Female Institute and the Oxford Female College, there was the Western Female Seminary, which became Western College for Women before closing in 1974.

The restoration of this building not only preserves an historical landmark, but also provides Oxford and the surrounding area a theater, ballroom, meeting and classroom facilities as well as studios for area artists.