Category Archive: Education

Description of Creswell Follow-up (1889)

Taneya | March 23, 2014 | COMMENTS:2 Comments »

Excerpt from the “Our Creswell Letter” column:

We notice an article in your last issue copied from the Washington Gazette, in which the writer in his description of Creswell, seems to give Mr. Alfred ALEXANDER of our town credit for being the prime mover in the building of our Academy.  Now, while Mr. ALEXANDER has done his part in the matter, many others have done equally as well, and if any one man deserves special mention in connection with the organization and building of said academy, it is our worthy President of the Board of Trustees, Mr. D. SPRUILL, ex-Sheriff.

But for his efforts and untiring zeal, we would have had no Academy built yet.  He is on hand promptly at each weekly meeting of the stock holders, and takes an active part in all measures pertaining to the school.  We cannot say as much for Mr. ALEXANDER.  He came promptly until he took unto himself a “better half.”  Since then he has been present at the meetings only once or twice, but we presume he is excusable as he has lived the life of a batchelor for 48 years, until very recently, and of course can’t leave his bride long enough to attend to Academies. We fear that our President would also be found lacking at some of our meetings were he to follow Mr. ALEXANDER’s example – in taking a “better half.”


Source: Roanoke Beacon, 26 July 1889.  Available online at digitalnc.org.

Category: Education TAG: ,

Plymouth Academy – 1900 Commencement

Taneya | May 29, 2012 | COMMENTS:No Comments »

A larger number of people never assembled in the Town Hall than was there on Wednesday night to witness the closing exercises of the Plymouth Academy.

A more entertaining program was never arranged or more perfectly rendered than on this occasion. That Prof. HASSELL has done his full duty as a teacher, together with his assistants, was fully demonstrated by the manner in which the students discharged their duties.  This night was devoted to the advanced classes, and a medal offered on oratory, and so equally matched were the contestants that the judges could not agree as a whole, having halted between five of the contestants, Mises Emily FAGAN and Eva CHESSON, and Mess. Richard LUCAS, Cleveland BEASLEY and Louis GAYLORD.  After remaining out some time, the judges returned a decision, two to one, in favor of Louis GAYLORD, and the medal was fittingly presented by Mr. W. Fletcher AUSBON.

Last night the Junior, or Primary department, had its exercises, and was a most pleasing event.  We may say more of this later.

The names of those receiving medals or prizes will appear next week.

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 8 Jun 1900. 

Category: Education TAG: , , , , , ,

Plymouth State Normal School – Moving with Unprecedented Success

Taneya | | COMMENTS:No Comments »

The Plymouth Normal School under the superintendency of Prof. J.W. MCDONALD is meeting with unprecedented success.  Thus far he has proven himself fully competent to manage a school of such proportions.  He not only holds the highest place in the hearts of his own people, but the adjacent counties look upon him as the right man in the right place.  Among the many improvements which have been made for the good of the school none will bring richer reward than the sewing department in which the girls receive instructing in the <…> art of dressmaking.  Parents desiring to send their children to school where they can be best prepared, would be more than repaid by sending their sons and daughters to Plymouth State Normal where the Head, Hand, and Heart are trained.

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 14 Jan 1898.

Category: African-American, Education TAG:

College Grads from Washington County

Taneya | June 10, 2010 | COMMENTS:No Comments »

A new resource for the NCGenWeb project is an index of students from North Carolina colleges & universities.  Yearbooks are wonderful sources for learning more about your ancestors and their activities during their college years.

The NC Yearbook Index is a searchable database of students (mostly graduating seniors) from schools across the state.  The index currently includes more than 16,000 names and focuses largely on the yearbooks from 1930 and earlier.  In each case, the yearbooks are available in their entirety online via the efforts of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center.

I’ve found relatives so far in the yearbooks, maybe you’ll find some too! To see the list of students explicitly identified as coming from Washington County, go here.  Surnames include Ayers, Blount, Brinkley, Chesson, Latham,  Norman, Spurill, Swain, Walker and more.

For example, here is the entry for Alice Walker Phelps,  daughter of former Washington County sheriff John L. Phelps and granddaughter of Augustus Gambol Walker.  She graduated from UNC-Greensboro in 1913  (then known as the North Carolina College for Women).  She was a member of several organizations including the YWCA, Chorus, the Athletic Association, and was active in student government.  Her description reads

Here is a normal girl who knows how to dress.  And thereby hangs a tale: she has numerous suitors and is always generous with candy.  A member in good standing of all clubs musical, for Alice sings as well as she plays.   In addition she has charming manners, and quite a distinguished air.  We predict for her a matrimonial career with a title attached.

What a great treasure for her current family & descendants to have!  The NC Yearbook Index will grow over time.  A link has been added to the Education page that will always reflect the most updated listings.

Category: Education TAG: , , , , , , , ,

New Education Page

A new page has been added to the site for capturing information of genealogical & historical interest about education in Washington County.   The first two documents on the page include information about commencement in 1899 at Plymouth Academy and another article about the re-election of John McDonald as principal of the Plymouth State Normal School (an African-American school).

Please let me know if you have additional information you’d like to share.   You can find the page here and linked from the drop-down menu in the sidebar.

Category: Education