STORY OF THE QUILT SQUARE THE KIVETT BUILDING BY FRIENDLY
EXTENSION HOMEMAKERS CLUB FOR HARNETT COUNTY HISTORICAL QUILT, 1989
The Kivett Building, School of Law Campbell University Buies
Creek, N. C.
102 year history of Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina,
contains many dramatic incidents but none of them is as fascinating as
the story of its first brick building.
Archibald Campbell began his school in a one room church house in 1887.
Thirteen years later his Buies Creek Academy was housed in a large two
story building and enrolled almost 400 students. Then, tragedy struck!
On December 20, 1900, a fire completely consumed the building. Mr.
Campbell, who had worked day and night for thirteen years was
distraught. He had no money and could see no way to rebuild the
Zachary Taylor Kivett had encouraged Campbell to open the school, had
helped to build a "Tabernacle" on campus, and had enrolled
some of his children in the Academy. On the day of the fire
"Z.T." found Campbell lying in his bed, completely convinced
that the Buies Creek Academy would close its doors forever. Holding
James Archibald Campbell's hand, Zachary Taylor Kivett pledged himself,
his family, and his plantation, if so required, to rebuild, in brick, a
more suitable building.
T. and his three eldest sons, Stewart, Herndon, and Hendricks, with the
help of some student volunteers, remodeled the Tabernacle so that
classes could be held there. With little money, but tremendous courage
and faith, Z. T. designed a two story stone and brick building 92 by 70
feet, with a 50 by 32 foot wing. On the front was a 20 by 20 bell tower
of four stories containing rooms for telegraphy, band music, etc. On the
rear was a similar tower of three stories.
of people helped to build this remarkable building that will be used
well into the 22nd century. Students cut 25 cords of wood, one boy sold
his gun for $7 and contributed it to the building fund. Mr. Campbell
worked hard to raise construction funds. Money was raised and labor was
contributed but the building could not have been built without one man,
Mr. Zachary Taylor Kivett.
T. and his three oldest sons built a one room "shack" on the
site and the four of them and sister Virginia, 14 years old, moved in.
Virginia cooked, cleaned, and attended classes at the Academy while Z.
T. and the boys worked on the building. Z. T. never charged for his
architectural or engineering work or for the first 25 days that he and
his three sons worked on the building. It is a matter of record that
money was seldom available when it was needed and Z. T. often used his
own funds to purchase construction supplies. Before the building was
completed he had sold 100 acres of his farm, and three crops had gone
unplanted. For the 28 months he and his sons lived in the
"shanty" they received less than $1,000.
brick machine (including a kiln) and a sawmill were needed to build the
large building Kivett had designed. In February, 1901, Z. T. ordered a
brick machine, but the price was $380 and no money was available so he
canceled the order.
a brick making machine was acquired the three boys were put in charge.
The kilns had to be tended day and night. The work was hot, dirty, and
perpetual. In the meantime, Z. T. was supervising the work of the masons
and the carpenters. Whenever help was needed he pitched in.
handsome building that now houses the Campbell University Law School was
completed on November 2, 1903. It is, above all, a monument to Zachary
Taylor Kivett, an unusual man, with an unusual family. He had a large
dream and he possessed the ability, tenacity, and courage to make that
Written By: Glen
For: The Friendly Extension Homemakers Club Buies Creek, North Carolina
Quilt Square: The
only square on quilt in counted cross stitches Row 5, Number 28
Applique by: Jane McKinney
Member of Friends of The Library