Carolina Female College
Carolina Female College was established in Anson County by an act of the North Carolina legislature in 1850. At the time of its founding, it was one of 13 schools for young women in the state. Women ages 10 to 20, described mostly as "preacher's daughters," were enrolled. Course offerings emphasized the classics, including Latin and ancient history.
The school was first owned by a local village stock company that gave money and political support for its establishment and funded the erection of the original three-story school building. Its promoters included Joel Tyson, John McLendon, Joseph Medley, W. A. Smith, Christopher Watkins, and David Carpenter. The first president of the college was the Reverend Alexander Smith, and the first president of the Board of Trustees was Col. Wm. G. Smith. While the college began as a privately owned enterprise, it was offered in 1861 to the South Carolina Methodist Conference on obligation of a $10,000 debt.
An outbreak of typhoid fever and the ongoing Civil War combined to close the school in 1862. It enjoyed a brief comeback from 1864 to 1868, but the burden of Reconstruction and a lack of enrollment were too much for the small, struggling operation. The original 13-room school building stood for about 100 years and was finally demolished in the 1950s. The president's home remained nearby as a private residence.
Mary Medley, History of Anson County, N.C., 1760-1976 (1976).
W. A. Smith, "Old Carolina College," North Carolina Booklet 22 (1922).
NC Historical Marker for Carolina Female College: http://www.ncmarkers.com/Markers.aspx?ct=ddl&sp=search&k=Markers&sv=K-29%20-%20CAROLINA%20FEMALE%20COLLEGE,%201850-67
1 January 2006 | Kilmon, Deena Deese