Lewisburg Female Institute

Articles From
The Greenbrier Independent

May 30, 1874

More About Schools!

Again we desire to call the attention of our people to the importance of establishing a first-class school at this point. We dwell upon this subject, not because we desire to weary the patience of our readers, but because we want to arouse the people of this community to a proper appreciation of the exigencies of the case. We have the ability, and lack nothing but the determination to establish, at once, a female school of a very high order. A suitable building can be procured on reasonable terms, which is amply large for present purposes, and can be enlarged as occasion may require. We see no reason why Lewisburg may not have a female school, equal, in every respect, to any school in the city of Staunton. We have a refined, cultivated community, where religious and social qualities are of as high order as can be found anywhere. We have a healthy climate, unsurpassed by any in the world. An institution of this character will prove a great advantage to the whole county, and not only to this but the adjoining counties of Pocahontas, Nicholas, Fayette, Raliegh [sic], Monroe and Summers. The people of these counties would certainly prefer sending their daughters to a good school at this point, to sending them to Staunton or Richmond.

Then, it will be a great advantage to all classes of persons in our community. Independent of affording an opportunity to educate our children at home, it will open a home market and prove a source of revenue. Let a large boarding school of one hundred or a hundred and fifty ladies start, and our farmer friends, in this vicinity, will at once find a good market for their potatoes, butter, cheese, eggs, &c., &c. Our merchants will be extensively benefitted; money will become plentiful, and, in fact, everybody will realize some benefit. With these prospects, can we longer remain idle. The question is not "can we afford to do it," but it is, "can we afford to do without it." Can we afford to let the community suffer for want of such enterprise as is necessary. Let the school, of course, be disconnected from the Free School system - not to interfere, however, with the public schools. The public schools are necessary, and will serve the purpose for which they are intended, but this school, as a matter of course, if established, must be for the benefit of those who desire to give their children the advantage of a better education than can be taught in the Free Schools. And those persons who desire to provide these advantages for their children should take a deep interest in the matter.

A public meeting was held in the Courthouse on Thursday evening last, having for its object the consideration of the scheme to establish a Female Seminary, of a high grade, in Lewisburg. It was numerously attended and much interest was manifested. Pointed and forcible speeches were made by Capt. R. F. Dennis, Rev. M. L. Lacy, Rev. P. B. Smith, Hon. Samuel Price and Col. J. W. Davis. We are encouraged to believe that the matter has now assumed a shape that will lead to a proper solution of the subject. The speeches were warm and earnest and the interest manifested by all present, both from town and country, gave evidence that the right feeling has been awakened. Let those having the matter in charge press the advantage gained.

May 30, 1874

Lewisburg Female College.

At a meeting of the citizens of Lewisburg, W. Va., and vicinity, held in the Court-house on Thursday, May 28th, for the purpose of devising ways and means for establishing a Female College amongst us, Mr. J. E. Bell nominated Mr. Jas. Withrow as Chairman and F. M. Frazier, Secretary. Upon motion of Col. James W. Davis, Capt. R. F. Dennis was requested to explain the object of the meeting. Upon motion of Mr. Price the Committee heretofore appointed, were requested to make their report of the scheme by which funds were to be raised for the purpose of buying property and building suitable rooms for founding a first class Female College in the town, which report was made by the Rev. M. L. Lacy.

Mr. Samuel Price, Rev. Mr. Smith and Col. Jas. Davis having been called upon, followed in remarks upon the same subject. It was the desire of the Committee and Speakers to raise from 15,000 to 20,000 to be paid in installments.

A list for subscriptions was opened and a number of gentlemen subscribed $500 each. Upon motion of Mr. Price the meeting adjourned.

James Withrow, President.
F. M. Frazier, Secretary.

June 6, 1874

The Committee appointed to solicit subscriptions for the Lewisburg Female College report slow progress. The situation seems to be that many are waiting for a few to do the whole work. We would be rejoiced to see the scheme made a success, but we are afraid that there are too many indifferent officers in the camp. There is General Apathy, Major General Indifference, Col. Debility, Major Hard Times, Captian [sic] Sore Head, Lieut. Do Nothing, and Sergeants, Corporals and High Privates who are waiting, Micauber-like, for something good to turn up in their favor without exertion or effort on their part. We trust, however, that there are enough men and women in the community who have energy, enterprise and nerve enough to keep this ball in motion.

July 11, 1874

Our Female Institute.
Hay Seed Hollow, July 8th, 1874.

What progress can you report, Mr. Editor? I mean, how many thousand have been subscribed? What are our wealthy Farmers and Lawyers doing? Are they coming up like men? Or, do they, (as is generally the case and as they generally do,) rely upon the poor, and the liberal few, to build up this Institute or Academy? I would most modestly and deferentially suggest, (merely suggest,) that if this Academy or Institute is to succeed, there should be a Professor of the culinary art. Each girl or young lady should be required to learn the roasting, baking frying, boiling art, and to make good pastry, should be placed in the curriculum above French, needle-work, letter-writing or love-making. Lessons at the wash-tub should be placed upon an equality with Mathematics, Geology and Astronomy. Experiments upon the sewing machine should take equal rank with the harp, piano-forte and guitar. House-keeping should be classed among the fine arts, far outranking drawing, painting, (whether upon canvass or upon the cheeks,) etching letter writing, or any eteostic composition.

Endiometry should be practically taught, by raising cabbage, beets, flowers, &c., in the garden; or, at least by practical exercise in the open air. Now, if these useful and practical branches are harmoniously blended and taught with the usual branches of a first class Female Academy can any man with children and money fail to subscribe to this enterprise liberally? If so, he is ______, well, anything you may call him.


August 1, 1874

Lewisburg Female Seminary.

A meeting of the Stock-holders of the proposed Seminary for the education of females, to be located in Lewisburg, was held in the Presbyterian Lecture Room, in this place, on Saturday evening last. The meeting was organized by calling James Withrow, Esq., to the Chair and the election of Mr. James N. Montgomery, Secretary. The object of the meeting was explained by the Chairman to be to adopt measures to secure a Charter for the Company and to devise plans for future active operations in order to make the scheme a success. It was ascertained that upwards of seven thousand dollars of solvent subscriptions to the Stock of the Company had beed [sic] obtained, and on motion Capt. R. F. Dennis was appointed to collect the ten per cent to secure the Charter, and to prepare the necessary papers for that purpose. An extended discussion, pro and con, was indulged in by a number of gentleman present as to the character of the building to be erected - whether it should be a wooden or a brick structure. It was finally agreed that a Committee should be appointed to report upon the subject to the Stockholders at a period as early as possible. The Committee thus appointed, consisting of R. F. Dennis, Austin Handly, John J. Echols, James Withrow and B. F. Harlow, met on Monday, pursuant to agreement and were engaged during the greater portion of the day in attempting to agree upon a plan for a building and a suitable point for the location of the same. The Committee agreed upon a plan for a brick structure, but came to no definite conclusion as to the point at which it should be located. Another meeting will be held at the Lecture Room this (Saturday,) evening, at 3 o'clock, at which time the Committee will report and further action will be taken by the Stockholders in order to make the enterprise a complete success. We trust that no untoward event may occur to thwart the purposes of those who now have this matter so deeply at heart. We are encouraged in the belief that there is but little now to prevent the consummation of a work which we have long felt a deep interest in, and in which the future welfare of this whole community and section is deeply involved. Let those having the enterprise in charge leave no stone unturned until the success of the scheme, in every particular, is secured beyond a peradventure.

October 2, 1875

Female School.

The first session of the Lewisburg Female Institute will open on Monday, October 18th, 1875.

The Board of Directors have chosen, as Principal, Mrs. C. H. Tipping, of Staunton, Virginia. Mrs. T. comes to us with very high reputation as a teacher. She has had many years' experience and eminent success. She has proved herself possessed of excellent powers of management and control. It is her chosen purpose of life to build up just such a school as we desire, and she is, therefore, determined, if possible, to make the Institution a success.

And now it only remains to be seen how earnest our people are in desiring a first-class Female school.

In order to its ultimate success, it is of great importance that there should be as large and liberal a patronage in the beginning, as possible. We, therefore, earnestly appeal to all the friends of this good cause, to do all in their power to sustain the Directors and this most excellent lady in this laudable enterprise.

January 29, 1876

Lewisburg Female Institute.

By reference to another column it will be seen that the Board of Directors of the Lewisburg Female Institute have advertised for bids for the construction of a brick building for the Lewisburg Female Institute, to which we invite the attention of contractors. We have examined the plan and specifications prepared for the Board by Capt. W. Irving, an experienced Architect, and have no hesitation in expressing the opinion that a building constructed after the order of the scheme proposed, will meet the wants and wishes of the Stockholders and all interested in the enterprise.

The success of the present session of the Institute has exceeded the most sanguine expectations of its friends. Beginning late in the season, under the most unfavorable circumstances, the school now has a regular attendance of more than forty scholars. This being the situation now, it does not require much though to conjecture what this Institution is destined to become, at no distant day, when the proposed plan, (with a full corps of teachers,) are completed and the school opened for the reception of scholars from far and near.

All that is required now, in order to make the scheme a perfect success, is a little "push" on the part of its friends. Now is the opportune time to throw a little spirit into the enterprise in order to give it that "vinegar in its system" which will secure for it that stand which will place its future successful career beyond a doubt or a peradventure.

As to the importance of the enterprise to the community, and to this entire section, it unnecessary for us now to discuss. We have elaborated upon this point time and again. The time has come for work - real earnest, determined action!

June 3, 1876

Build Up Your Female School.

Now, that a few of the gentlemen of Lewisburg and vicinity have undertaken, in good earnest, to build a house worthy the name, for a first-class Female Boarding School, and the work is progressing and the prospect brightening, we think it a proper time to do something to excite more general interest in this important work. The Board of Directors have been very fortunate in the selection of a Principal to conduct said school in the person of Mrs. C. H. Tipping. She undertook the responsible duty late in October, 1875, under most unfavorable auspices, being a stranger to most of the patrons, the Board of Directors, after canvassing town and country, not being able to promise her more than twenty pupils, and they mostly primary. But, through her indomitable energy and superior tact in teaching, (notwithstanding the small beginning,) the school numbered about forty pupils at the end of the first quarter. At a meeting of the Board a few days ago, Mrs. Tipping was unanimously re-elected Principal, with bright prospects of a large increase of boarding and day scholars. In order to enliven things in this direction, at the suggestion and promised cooperation of some of our faithful ladies, it is proposed to place a neat marble Corner-stone (from our Lewisburg quarry) in the building. We propose having suitable ceremonies under the management of the Masons and Odd-Fellows, with the Lewisburg Cornet Band in attendance, and, we hope, speeches from several of our many eloquent speakers.

The 24th of June is suggested as an appropriate time. Can our county fail to respond or to give this long promised ball a roll? Now is the time to help your county and State, for whatever helps the cause of education is a public benefit. In the next issue of the INDEPENDENT we hope to have a report from the ladies as to plans, &c. Until then, work and talk for this cause.

June 17, 1876

The Lewisburg Female Institute closed on Friday, the 9th of the present month. In consideration of the late start of the school. and of its being yet in its infancy, the Principal, Mrs. C. H. Tipping, concluded not to attempt an examination and exhibition, as much time and labor would have been taken that she deemed of more importance in the steady pursuit of the studies of the scholars under her control. Two prizes, however, were offered to classes in Map Drawing - one to the larger class of girls, contending for a prize for drawing a map of the United States of America, and to a smaller class for a map of North and South America. The larger class was composed of nine scholars, and the smaller one of twelve. A committee of four gentlemen was selected to decide on the merits of the work, viz: Mr. Thos. Mathews, Mr. John A. Preston, Mr. John Withrow and Prof Wm. H. Parrott. The prize for the map of the United States was awarded to Miss Josie Lacy, and the one for the map of North and South America to Rose B. Harlow. The maps were all very well drawn, and it was, we believe, a difficult matter to decide.

July 1, 1876

Laying of the Corner Stone of
the Lewisburg Female Institute.

The Corner-stone of the Lewisburg Female Institute was laid on last Saturday, the 24th ult., by the Masonic order, according to previous arrangement. The town of Lewisburg was crowded to overflowing by the time the services at the Presbyterian Church commenced. Seldom have we seen here such a large assembly of people, of all ages and sizes. We take the indication as a favorable one to the new enterprise, and are glad to be able to say that, from all the outward manifestations of interest shown in the matter, we will soon see a completed Institute, in a flourishing condition.

The exercises were opened with prayer by Rev. A. Poe Boude, of the M. E. Church, South, of this place, and continued by John W. Harris, Esq., in an able address, bearing more particularly on Masonry and morality. His address was listened to with marked attention, was happily conceived, delivered with his usual animation, and was much to the point. Mr. Lacy next called on our townsman, Capt. R. F. Dennis, who promptly responded in his own spirited style. His remarks were very practical, as he intended, and a more striking appeal to a people for aid in a good cause we have rarely listened to, which appeal went home to the peoples' hearts, judging from the strict attention given the speaker, and the response in subscription to the object. $105.00, we believe, were raised towards furnishing the building for use. Dr. Thomas Creigh, it seems, had prepared his address to be delivered on the grounds at the Institute on the laying of the Corner-stone, but being requested to address the audience in the church was forced to "change his base," which he did with much grace and ease. Every one enjoyed Dr. Creigh's effort, much mirth being occasioned in the outset by his attempt at displeasure at having to change the tenor of his remarks and his threat to tell the "Great Masonic Secret" through revenge. The Rev. A. P. Boude next entreated the people to be liberal, and carry out the work commenced, to completion, it being a necessary addition to the town and county. Music from the Lewisburg Band was thrown in between the speeches, and altogether it was an enjoyable day to all in attendance. The usual form of laying the Corner-stone was gone through with, a most feeling prayer from Mr. Lacy for the future usefulness of the school, &c., more music from the Band and a big dinner by the Masons at the lodge, closed the exercises.


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