I. M. E. (Isabella Margaret Elizabeth) Blandin.

History of higher education of women in the South prior to 1860. online

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school. Believing that thoroughness is necessary to
the formation of Christian character, we endeavor to
do thorough preparatory work to make a home school
where the best formative influences are to be found,
where the education is sound, and the moral and spirit-
ual culture is uplifting and helpful."

Hozvard College, Gallatin, Tennessee, 1837-1908

Howard College was established in 1837. It be-
came the property of the Odd Fellows and was char-
tered in 1856. It has had a number of prominent
educators as its presidents and members of its facul-
ties. One of the most successful presidents was Prof.
A. M. Burney, who took charge of the College in
1882, and administered its affairs until his death in
1895, leaving it in a flourishing condition.

The course of study is divided into primary, inter-
mediate, and collegiate. In addition to the regular
course, there will be offered a normal course, includ-
ing school law and theory and practice of teaching".
The equipment provides for the departments of art,
music, elocution, and physical culture.

The degrees conferred are Bachelor of Science and
Bachelor of Arts. Appropriate degrees will be con-
ferred upon students who complete the course of study
in the music, elocution, and art departments, provided
they are good English scholars and have met the other
requirements of the school.


The College buildings and grounds belong to
Howard Lodge, No. 13, I. O. O. F., at Gallatin,
Tennessee, and the College is conducted under the
auspices of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee. The re-
lation of the order to the College is, therefore, that of a
fostering patron; but it extends the same advantages
and privilege to all students, regardless of church re-
lations or section. Free tuition in the literary depart-
ment is offered to all worthy orphans of the order.

(This sketch was taken from the catalogue for 1901-

Clarksville Female Academy, Clarksville } Tennessee,

The first exclusively girls' school in Clarksville was
" Mrs. Killebrew's boarding and day school for young
ladies." Mrs. Killebrew was the daughter of Rosanna
and Daniel Barry of Bardstown, Kentucky, where
Mr. -Barry was a famous teacher of the classics. Many
most elegant women were educated at this school,
which continued until 1835.

In 1833 Dr. L. D. Ring taught a high school for
girls at the Masonic Hall. It was called " high " be-
cause he taught the classics, including French. Dr.
Ring deserves credit for the amount of solid instruc-
tion he gave the young people who attended his school.

In 1835 Rev. Mr. Russell and wife taught success-
fully a female academy in Masonic Hall. This school
continued a year or two, when Mrs. Whitman taught
there " The Masonic Female Institute." In 1842
Mrs. Eugenia Poston, one of the most impressive and
characteristic educators of Clarksville, taught a
" school for young ladies." She certainly laid the
solid foundation of many excellent educations.

White Hall, a select boarding and literary school
for young women, six miles in the country, was estab-
lished and managed by Miss Mollie Ward, with pro-
ficient assistants. For years she collected and faith-
fully taught, not only pupils from this, but all Southern


States. Wherever her pupils entered, after being
trained for any length of time under the White Hall
discipline, they took high standing. There were
teachers of music, Professors Wendle and Herblin, and
French Professors, Guillet and Manton,'all graduates
from the old country.

Clarksville was advancing in material wealth,
pioneer days had passed, and there arose a general
clamor for more permanent and advanced schools. The
representative people seriously discussed the matter,
and declared, " We must have improved home schools
for young people." Under the leadership of Rev.
Henry Beaumont, a local Methodist preacher, measures
were taken to establish an academy for girls. The re-
sult was the Clarksville Female Academy, as a char-
tered institution of learning, was organized in 1846,
the charter having been granted by the Tennessee
Legislature of that year.

The necessary funds were raised by a stock company,
chiefly by the efforts of the Methodists of the town
and vicinity, liberally aided by other denominations,
and many of no denominational proclivities. The
Tennessee Annual Conference of the Methodist Epis-
copal Church South took thirty-two shares of stock
$800 in the institution. The Academy opened
auspiciously, and was satisfactorily conducted with
constantly increasing attendance until 1852, when the
charter was amended, and the institution reorganized.
In 1854 a new board of directors was elected and the
capital stock largely increased, and the trustees were
enabled to enlarge the building.

During the first decade of its existence the Acad-
emy had three presidents, and began the second decade
under the management of Rev. A. L. Hamilton of
Alabama. From 1856 to 1861 the Academy enjoyed
great prosperity. The annual enrollment was between
three and four hundred, between two and three hun-
dred of whom were boarders. During this period, lec-
tures, " soirees musicale," and literary evenings with


social features added, were in order, and the week of
examinations at the end of the long term was con-
cluded with a grand " reception."

The school was closed by the war and the building
was used as a hospital for Federal troops. In 1866
the building was repaired, and school opened October,
1866, with very good prospects, with Rev. J. B. West,
D. D., principal.

In 1882 the old building was replaced by a commo-
dious modern building, furnished with suitable appli-
ances for teaching. The course of study is divided
into primary, including kindergarten; intermediate,
two years ; academic, two years ; collegiate, four years,
and post-graduate courses. To these courses are
added the schools of music, art, elocution, and voice
culture. When Mrs. Buford took charge of the school
in 1884 she introduced the university course of Bible
study. She also raised the standard to suit modern

The literary society of the Academy in ante bellum
days was called The Irving, in honor of Washington
Irving. The literary societies of the present time are,
the Philolethian motto, " The beaten track is the safe
one " ; the Hypatian motto, " To be is better than to
seem." These societies edit The Academian, a period-
ical that would do credit to any college class.

The original charter granted the Academy power to
confer honors, certificates, diplomas, and degrees upon
all worthy students of the school. The curriculum
adopted was the curriculum required to obtain the de-
gree of A. B. The degree of A. M. is conferred upon
post-graduates. The degree of B. M. (Bachelor of
Music) is conferred upon those who finish the course
in music on the piano; the degree of B. P. (Bachelor
of Painting) is conferred upon those who finish the
course in painting : the degree of M. E. L. upon those
who finish an English course. Although not so called,
the Academy has always been a college.

("History of Clarksville Academy," by Mrs.


Nannie H. William. Catalogues and correspond-
ence. )

Rogersville Synodical College, Rogersville, Tennessee,

Rogersville Synodical College is a corporation, char-
tered under the laws of the State of Tennessee, and is
authorized to confer degrees, diplomas, and other hon-
orary testimonials, and the possessors of these honors
shall be entitled to all of the privileges and immunities
allowed by statute and usage to the recipients of
like testimonials from other colleges of the State. The
College is the property of the Synod of Nashville
(Presbyterian), and is under direct control of a board
of trustees appointed by the Synod, whose object is
the maintenance of a first-class college for girls in the
interest of Christian education. (Catalogue for 1901-

This school was organized in 1849 by the Odd Fel-
lows, whose purpose was to establish a non-denomina-
tional school of collegiate grade for girls. Although
the school was very successful, the cost of the buildings
far exceeded the expectation of the founders and they
determined to sell the property. It was purchased by
a joint stock company composed of the membership
of the Old and New School Presbyterians of the town,
and continued to prosper until the Federal troops oc-
cupied East Tennessee. After the war the property
was sold several times before it came into the posses-
sion of its present owners.

The school was in a languishing condition until the
incumbency of Rev. J. W. Bachman, D. D., in 1871-74,
but since that time its growth has been rapid but
steady. The buildings have been remodeled and sup-
plied with modern conveniences. The property is
valued at $6o,coo and is free from debt. The school
has had almost uninterrupted prosperity, having never
been closed since its commencement in 1849. I* nas


had a long line of presidents, the first of whom was
Rev. Wm. D. Jones, D. D., and the thirteenth Rev.
T. P. Walton, the present incumbent all of them,
except Prof. H. B. Todd and Mrs. F. A. Ross, minis-
ters of the Gospel. The school now has prospects for
greater usefulness and success than ever.

(Sources of information are Merriam's "Higher
Education in Tennessee," catalogues, and letters from
Rev. T. P. Walton.)

Mary Sharp College, Winchester, Tennessee, 1850-


This college was established under the name of The
Tennessee and Alabama Institute, in Winchester,
Tennessee, in 1850. Dr. Z. C. Graves was the first
president. He began under very discouraging circum-
stances, as the building was not finished for three years
after the opening of the school, it owned no apparatus
or " helps " of any kind, and had no funds. After a
time Mrs. Mary Sharp, a wealthy widow, made a gift
to the school, and its name was changed to Mary Sharp

This college claims to be a real college, having the
same curriculum and requiring the same amount of
work for the degrees of A. B. and A. M. as is required
in colleges for men. The standard of scholarship has
always been high, the courses of study comprehensive
and advanced, the training careful and thorough. The
course in mathematics is quite severe. The high
standard and the success of the school is mainly due to
Dr. Graves, who had great gifts as a teacher; how-
ever, he had able colleagues, who contributed much to
the success of the school. Mary Sharp claims that she
was the first college that made Greek a requisite for
graduation. She appealed to Hon. John Eaton, Com-
missioner of Education, to sustain her claim, and he
answered that no college that had communicated with


his office had made Latin and Greek a sine qua non for
the degree of A. B. prior to 1853.

While the standard of literary excellence has been
high, comparatively little attention has been paid to
music and art ; and so far as the writer could ascertain,
Mary Sharp has not extended her curriculum so as to
embrace practical or commercial courses of study.
Mary Sharp has had three presidents. Dr. Z. C.
Graves, who was president thirty-nine years, was suc-
ceeded by Rev. John L. Johnson, D. D., LL. D. ; Dr.
Johnson resigned in 1891 and was succeeded by Rev.
Otis Malvin Sutton. Mary Sharp is a Baptist insti-
tution. It sustains no official relation to the church,
but two-thirds of its twenty-five trustees must be Bap-
tists. The College is sustained entirely by tuition fees,
never having had an endowment fund.

.(The writer has had a knowledge of the require-
ments of Mary Sharp for some years, having prepared
pupils for entrance to the College. For a more de-
tailed account see Merriam's " History of Higher Edu-
cation in Tennessee.")

Cumberland Female College, McMinnville, Tennessee,

Cumberland College was organized in 1850 and
placed under the management and control of the Mid-
dle Tennessee Synod of the Cumberland Presbyterian
Church. It was located in the town of McMinnville,
in Middle Tennessee, at the foot of the Cumberland
range, which is in full view east and south. The war
forced the school to close and left of its building noth-
ing but naked walls. Despite the disheartening pros-
pect, the building was refitted and the school reopened,
and it is now on a firmer basis than ever. In 1888
the board of trustees leased the property and trans-
ferred the financial management to the Cumberland
Female College Association for a term of years, re-
taining for themselves only such duties as the char-


ter renders obligatory. The College has in all depart-
ments twelve teachers. It has had five presidents.
(From catalogue.)

Brownsville College, Brownsville, Tennessee, 1851

In 1850 the Baptist Church in Brownsville sub-
scribed $io,oco for the purpose of securing the loca-
tion of a college for girls in or near Brownsville.
What action the Baptist General Convention took in
this matter is not now known. However, the Browns-
ville school obtained a charter in 1852 under the legal
name of West Tennessee Baptist Female College.

The members of the first board of trustees were ap-
pointed by the West Tennessee Baptist Convention.
Thereafter the board was self-perpetuating. The
school remained the property of the West Tennessee
Baptist Convention until the latter was merged in the
Baptist General Convention of Tennessee in 1874.
Since that time it has been owned by the Brownsville
Baptist Church, although controlled by the self-per-
petuating board of trustees.

The College was opened in September, 1851, with
Rev. Harvey Ball, professor of languages, in charge.
Rev. John B. White, A. M., president of Wake For-
est College, North Carolina, was called to the presi-
dency, but owing to sickness in his family did not
definitely enter upon his duties until September, 1853.
Rev. Dr. William Shelton was president from 1856 to
1866. During the war the college was suspended and
Dr. Shelton taught a private school in the buildings.
Brownsville College was fortunate enough not to
suffer any loss to her grounds and buildings from war.

The most elementary instruction is given, at the
same time calculus, Greek, astronomy, and Anglo-
Saxon are taught. For Mistress of Arts, the highest
degree of the institution, successful examinations must
be passed in the schools of English, Latin, French,
German, natural science, mental and moral science,


mathematics, history, political economy, and civics.
Greek, calculus, Anglo-Saxon, and Spanish are offered
as optional studies.

(Merriam's " Higher Education in Tennessee.")

Tennessee Female College, Franklin, Tennessee

Tennessee Female College was established chiefly
through the efforts of John Marshall, a gifted lawyer
of Franklin. The school was placed under the patron-
age of the Tennessee Annual Conference of the Metho-
dist Episcopal Church South. "The ownership of the
property was vested in a stock company. The school
was chartered in 1856 and opened in 1857. John M.
Sharp was the first president and a Mr. Callendar the
second. After the fall of Fort Donelson the school
was closed, and after the battle of Franklin the college
buildings were used as a hospital for wounded soldiers.

The school was opened again in 1865, but did not
prosper under the management of Mr. Callaghan, and
in 1868 the property was sold to Dr. R. K. Hargrove
for $10,000, the amount of its indebtedness. The
school remained under the management of Dr. Har-
grove and Professor William J. Vaughn, now of Van-
derbilt University, for twelve years. They raised the
standard of the institution above the ordinary schools
for girls in Tennessee. In 1880 Mrs. M. E. Clark
leased the property for five years and at the expiration
of her lease it was purchased by Mr. Thomas Edger-
ton. In 1886 the buildings were burned. It was re-
built by a stock company and the school continued
under the management of Mr. Edgerton. In 1893 the
school was leased by Rev. Wilbur F. Wilson, under
whose management it still remains.

The course of instruction includes primary, inter-
mediate, and collegiate departments. It also has facili-
ties for instruction in music and art.

(Merriam's " Higher Education in Tennessee.")


Soule College, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1852-1908

The predecessor of this college was " The Old Acad-
emy " on the hill. It was chartered in 1830. (See
Records of Rutherford County.)

In 1852 the charter of this academy was amended
so as to grant the power of conferring degrees and all
the privileges usually granted to colleges, and Soule
College was established. The buildings were not com-
pleted until 1853. About the middle of the session of
1852-53 the school was transferred to the new build-
ing. The presidents were: Prof. J. R. Finley, 1852-
1853; Rev. S. D. Baldwin, 1853-1856; Prof. C. W.
Callendar, 1856-1858; Rev. George E. Naff, 1858
Feb., 1862. The war suspended the exercises from
February, 1862, to January, 1866. Rev. J. R. Plum-
mer, 1866-1868; Rev. D. D. Moore, 1868-1874; Rev.
J. D. West, 1874-1877; Rev. B. R. Thomson, 1877-
1889; Rev. Z. C. Graves, 1889-1892; Miss O. V.
Wardlaw, A. M., 1892

Mr. Baldwin was the author of " Armageddon."
Dr. Graves had made a reputation for building up
schools at Mary Sharp, and the management secured
his services to restore Soule College to its former
flourishing state. Thus for a time the school passed
into the hands of the Baptists; but it was not in the
nature of human events that a school named Soule
and baptized in that name, could be merged and sub-
merged, and after a while it emerged and found its
proper place under the management of Miss Wardlaw.

The first graduating class, 1853, consisted of Miss
Josephine Plummer and Miss Sallie Higgins. Mrs.
Sue F. Mooney in a letter to the author says of Miss
Wardlaw's management, " It would be impossible to
say too much in praise of this administration, both as
to regime, religion, home life of students and financial
management. I think it in all these respects a model
school, and I know whereof I speak." Mrs. Mooney


was a member of the second graduating class, a teacher
in the institution, and has always had much interest in
the school.

Preparatory and academic schools are conducted in
connection with Soule College; and in addition to the
regular college curriculum there are the departments
of music, art, and elocution. The degrees conferred
are A. B. and B. S. and the course in art, music, and
vocal music leads to a diploma.

The school again became the property of the M. E.
Church South in 1904.

(The information contained in this sketch was ob-
tained from a letter from Mrs. Mooney, one from Mr.
De Jarnatt, and a catalogue sent by Miss Wardlaw.)

Columbia Athenaeum, Columbia, Tennessee, 1852-


The Columbia Athenaeum was opened on September
i, 1852. Its founder, Rev. Franklin G. Smith, a
graduate of Princeton College, and his no less accom-
plished wife, Sarah Ann Smith, had previous to this
time achieved enviable reputation as teachers not only
in Columbia, but in Lynchburg, Virginia.

In 1858 the Legislature of the State granted a char-
ter to the Columbia Athenaeum, giving full university
privileges, with power to confer degrees.

In August, 1866, Rev. Franklin G. Smith closed his
earthly labors, leaving to his wife the direction of the
school, which trust was successfully administered until
her decease in January, 1871, when the Athenaeum
passed under the personal direction of their eldest son,
Robert D. Smith. The Athenaeum of to-day, there-
fore, fairly represents and embodies the accumulated
experience of more than half a century in the care and
training of the young. While it keeps abreast with
the progressive tendency of the times, it is pervaded,
nevertheless, by the traditions of an honorable past
that renders its policy conservative, as befits the alma


mater of our daughters, now numbered by the thou-
sands, and widely scattered both in this and foreign
lands. The Athenaeum grounds, comprising about
sixteen acres of high rolling land, are located at the
western edge of Columbia, the county-seat of Maury
County, Tennessee.

The school buildings occupy a broad eminence com-
manding an extensive view of the town and surround-
ing country. They consist of Study Hall, a Doric
structure; Davis Hall, the boarding department;
rotunda, pavilion, gymnasium, and rectory. The
grounds and buildings are valued at $100,000. Be-
sides the gymnasium building and its numerous appli-
ances, there are a tennis court and croquet grounds.
The library contains 10,000 volumes, and is one of the
appointed depositories of the United States Govern-
ment publications. The museum contains specimens
in all departments of natural history. It is a very
valuable collection, properly classified and labelled.
Chemical, physical and astronomical apparatus, costing
$6,000, include all that is necessary for experiments in
the department of physical science. The art depart-
ment contains a fine collection of the finest paintings.
The music department is well equipped. The commer-
cial and industrial departments are supplied with all
necessary material for conducting and illustrating
actual business.

The course of instruction is divided into a primary
course of three years, a preparatory course of four
years, and a collegiate course of four years. The de-
grees granted are B. A., B. S., and B. Lt.

The annual enrollment during the fifty years of the
Athenaeum's history has varied from 125 to 30. In-
cluding the president the Athenaeum employs twenty-
three officers and teachers.


Early Schools in Texas

FOR a time both Spaniards and the French claimed
Texas, but the Spaniards succeeded in establishing
their claim, and they rapidly increased settlements not
only in the southern part of Texas, but established
some settlements in the northern and eastern parts of
the State. These settlements were called sometimes
" Presidios " and sometimes " Missions " ; in reality
they were both. No settlement could be made without
a " presidio " or garrison for soldiers ; and usually
wherever a presidio was located a church was built
near by, and in connection with the church a monastery
for the priests; the whole, including many acres of
land, was enclosed by a wall. At each of these " pre-
sidios " there was a school ; not a literary school, but a
school to teach the tenets of the Roman Catholic faith ;
a school for the conversion of the Indians to that faith.
Church and state were firmly united in Mexico at that
time, and the church allowed no schools to exist save
those taught by priests, and if any attempt was made
to violate the law, the teacher and patrons were liable
to heavy fine or imprisonment or both. Therefore,
schoolhouses were seldom if ever built, and schools
were taught in private residences, or under the trees.

The first American school in Texas was taught
under four large oaks which grew near a residence in
the vicinity of Victoria.

The text-books were just what any pupil happened
to have; some of the books were Pike's Arithmetic,
Murray's Grammar, Smith's Grammar, Peter Parley's
History, and the Bible; there were a few slates, but no
blackboard ; however, everybody had a " blue-back
speller." With this slender equipment the pioneer


children were prepared for the stern realities that
awaited them, and judging from the results obtained,
they were well prepared.

After Texas gained her independence schools multi-
plied rapidly; of course all primary schools were co-
educational, and the schools of higher grade were co-
educational or not, according to the views of the sec-
tion of the State in which they were located.

The American population usually settled in colonies,
and when single families immigrated to Texas they
drifted to the colonies that had emigrated from their
own section of the country. These colonies retained
the opinions and practices of the home section on edu-
cational methods, politics, and religion. Hence in dif-
ferent sections of Texas widely different views on
these subjects were entertained. This was particularly
noticeable in regard to schools. In some sections all
schools were co-educational, in others separate schools

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Online LibraryI. M. E. (Isabella Margaret Elizabeth) BlandinHistory of higher education of women in the South prior to 1860. → online text (page 21 of 24)