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Martha Schofield photograph collection


Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Martha Fell Schofield was born Feb. 1, 1839, near Newtown, Bucks County, PA. She was the daughter of Oliver W. Schofield and Mary (Jackson) Schofield who were married at Darby Meeting in 1834. Both her parents were involved in a number of reform activities, including abolition, temperance, women's rights, and improved education. The family included twin older sisters, Sarah Jane and Lydia, born 1835, a brother, Benjamin, born 1837, and Eliza, a younger sister born in 1840. Of the four sisters, only Sarah Jane married, to Samuel Shinn Ash.


Martha was educated at the schools at Newtown and Byberry and the Sharon Female Seminary in Darby, Pa., which was operated by their mother's brother, John Jackson, and his wife, Rachel. Martha began her own career in teaching at age eighteen at Bayside, Long Island, N.Y., where her aunt, Eliza (Jackson) Bell, lived. She also taught in Harrison, Westchester Co., N.Y., in a school connected with Purchase Monthly Meeting.


In 1865 Martha Schofield went to the islands off the coast of South Carolina to help educate the newly freed African Americans. She found the malarial conditions devastating to her health and moved inland to Aiken, South Carolina, where she founded what became the Schofield Normal and Industrial School in 1868.


The School was partially supported by the Pennsylvania Friends Relief Association, headquartered in Germantown, Pa., and was headed by Sarah Fisher Corlies (sister of Deborah F. Wharton) and Elizabeth Dorsey. The School received some state aid for a number of years. By 1882 there were over 200 pupils, and in that year, the School was incorporated.


Need for financial aid were constant through the years, and a number of people from the Hicksite branch of Philadelphia and New York Yearly Meetings supported the school. By 1883 there were over 400 pupils who, in addition to their education, were taught a trade. In 1884 a boarding department was opened, as well as a student aid fund. In 1887 Edward Hicks Magill and Howard M. Jenkins of Swarthmore College were among those serving on the Board of Managers, and the school house was partitioned into a dormitory for boys. In 1890, the Deborah F. Wharton Industrial Hall, with half of the cost donated with by her sons, was completed.


By 1910 the school occupied two entire blocks of the town of Aiken, with three large brick buildings, two large frame buildings, and various other improvements. In addition, the school owned a 280 acre farm three miles outside of Aiken with its buildings. The running expenses were principally made up by annual gifts from voluntary subscribers. With the exception of the headmaster or headmistress and Martha Schofield, who served as Business Manager, all departments heads and teachers were black graduates of the School.


The night before the School was to celebrate the 77th birthday of its founder, Martha Schofield died in her sleep. She died in February 1, 1916 in Aiken, S. C., and is buried in the Darby Friends burial ground in Darby, Pa.. The Schofield School was absorbed into the public school system in 1952.

This collection contains a number of portraits of Martha Schofield, as well as some family pictures and photographs of the Schofield school.

Gift of Eleanor Jenkins Zendt and James L. and Herbert Dresser, 1980, 1985. Part of Martha Schofield papers, RG5/134.

The collection was preserved by Martha Schofield's niece, Mary Schofield Ash who married George H. Jenkins. It was given to Friends Historical Library by her daughter Eleanor Jenkins Zendt and the family of her daughter, Elizabeth Jenkins Dresser.

This collection was removed from RG5/134: Martha Schofield papers.

Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Finding Aid Author
Zoe Peyton Jones
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

This collection is available for research use.

Use Restrictions

Some of the items in this collection may be protected by copyright. The user is solely responsible for making a final determination of copyright status. If copyright protection applies, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns to reuse, publish, or reproduce relevant items beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to the law. See

Collection Inventory

1. Portrait of Martha Schofield, 1908.
2. Portrait of Martha Schofield, 1883.
3. Portrait of Martha Schofield (2 copies)., 1865.
4. Small portrait of Martha Schofield, age 8, 1847.
5. Small portrait of Martha Schofield, 1878.
6. Small portrait of Martha Schofield, n.d. (2 copies).
7. Martha Schofield in Aiken, S.C., 1913.
8. Portrait of Martha Schofield, 1888.
9. Martha Schofield by a gate, n.d.
10. Portrait of Martha Schofield, 1908.
11. Martha Schofield greeting family in carriage in front of Oakwald, 1879.
Scope and Contents

Front row: Eliza Schofield, William Rodenbach. Back row: Samuel Ash, Samuel Earl Ash Jr., Sarah Schofield Ash, Mary Ash with doll. Martha's butler Warren Smallwood leads the horses (3 copies).

12. Small tin photo.
Scope and Contents

Left to right: Jennie Satterthwaite, Martha Schofield, Mary Jacobs, Aunt Amy in Aiken, S.C., n.d.

13. Schofield school students & teachers in front of first building (with negative)., 1869.
14. Schofield school students & teachers, 1880.
15. Schofield school students & teachers in front of new building, (with negative)., 1882.
16. Schofield school students & teachers, 1900.
17. Stone marker dedicated to Martha Schofield, n.d.
18. Oakwald, Aiken S.C.: Martha Schofield in window of her bedroom, Samuel J. Entrikin and other teachers and guests., 1888.
19. Belfry of first school building, n.d.
20. Original belfry, now in courtyard of Schofield Middle School, Aiken S.C., 1984.
21. Original belfry, now in courtyard of Schofield Middle School, Aiken S.C., 1984.
22. Schofield Middle School sign, Aiken S.C., 1984.

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