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The Seneca Institute (later Seneca Junior College) educated African American children of the region from 1899 to 1939. It was founded and sponsored by the Seneca River Baptist Association, which in 1898 acquired eight acres here.
The first home of Seneca Institute, a frame three-room building, was built in 1899. Its first principal, Dr. John Jacob Starks (d. 1944), served here 1899-1912 before serving as president of Morris College and then Benedict College.