Alabama judge attended Ansonville Male Academy

By: Steve Bailey - Contributing Columnist

I imagine Anson County residents — and in particular the citizens of Ansonville — will be surprised to know that two old-timey colleges existed in Ansonville before the Civil War. Everyone has heard of Carolina Female College because of the historical marker at Ansonville, and a written history about the female college was written years ago, but nothing has been discovered about the Ansonville Male Academy until I made this discovery. Here are a few brief notes found in the old newspapers:

NC Argus issue of August 7, 1852, page 3 — “Anson Male Academy – This institution, about a half mile from the Carolina Female College, promises to be an acquisition to the community much desired, accommodating not only the citizens in and near the village, but parents at a distance who may desire to send their sons, as well as their daughters, to a boarding school.”

NC Argus October 7, 1858 page 3 — “Ansonville Male Academy – The next session will commence on Monday the 11th of October and will continue for 21 weeks. Board and tuition fees range from $54 to $62 per session – S.L. Farr is principal.”

While searching online for information regarding Ansonville Male Academy that was in existence in the 1850s, I located the following of a former student:

Dale County Alabama History — “John W. Parker was born in Georgia, December 5, 1831. At the age of two months, he was stolen from his cradle by Indians while his mother was attending household duties. He was taken to a swamp nearby where he was found the next morning by a search party. He was reared and educated on the farm, and at the age of twelve, his parents brought him to Russell County, Alabama, where he lived until 1848, when they moved to Dale. He attended the Ansonville Male Academy in North Carolina for eight months. In the fall of 1858, he entered the Primitive Baptist Church, and became a minister of that denomination. In connection with both farm and church, he opened a stock of general merchandise at Swain’s Mill. In 1886, he was elected to the office of probate judge. In March 1854, he married Miss Mary Ann McDonald. He died February 3, 1909, and he and his wife are buried at Union Cemetery in Dale County, Alabama.”

Steve Bailey is employed with the Anson County Historical Society and has specialized in local African-American family history for 20 years.

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Steve Bailey

Contributing Columnist