Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction 1898
North Carolina. Dept. of Public Instruction
Caswell County (Formed 1777 from Orange County)
Incorporated Schools.—Caswell Academy, chartered 1802; Hico Academy, chartered 1804; Milton Female Academy, chartered 1818; Milton Female Institute, chartered 1844; Dan River Institute, chartered 1846; Milton Male Institute, chartered 1849; Yanceyville Seminary, chartered 1864.
CASWELL ACADEMY was located in Yanceyville. Rev. Hugh Shaw and Bartlett Yancey were the teachers tor the first two years. It then languished until 1808, when it was made prosperous by John W. Caldwell, son of Rev. Dr. David Caldwell. Yancey was afterwards a speaker of the senate for ten terms, and member of the Federal House of Representatives. He drew the act for the creation of the Literary Fund in 1825. James Kerr assisted Mr. Caldwell in 1811. In 1818 John H. Hinton, who had been tutor in the University, was principal. Dabney Rainey also taught here, highly respected.
HICO ACADEMY was near the "Red House," in the southeast part of the county. Rev. Hugh Shaw was the first teacher. In 1813 Abel Graham was in charge, assisted by Holbrook. In 1820 Mahlon Kenyon, a "graduate of Northern College," advertised to teach the classics, preparator to entering the State University.
Bartlett Yancey especially praised Robert H. Childers for his skill in teaching reading, arithmetic and penmanship.
In 1840 a Miss Spencer was principal of Calm Retreat Academy, in this county, and Lorenzo Lea was in charge of the Leasburg Academy, on the road from Henderson to Danville.
In 1856 there were Dan River Institute, at Yanceyville, A. C. Lindsay being principal; Female Institute at Yanceyville: Male School at Milton, T. R. Mclver, principal; Female School at Milton, W. Presson, M. D., principal.
For many years Miss Margaret Smith, a Northern lady, called by the citizens "Queen Bess," had an excellent school in Milton. The academy was in a beautiful grove, and was in the hands of trustees, now all dead. The building is no longer used as a school.
Rev. John H. Pickard, a Presbyterian clergyman, established a female school, with Miss Forbis and other assistants, about twelve miles east of Reidsville. It had large influence for good.
In the neighborhood of Locust Hill there was a good female, school- taught by Miss Balantyne, a Northern lady.
Rev. Solomon Lea, about the middle of the century, had a very fine school in Leasburg, He was a graduate of the State University, and at one time was principal of the Greensboro Methodist Female College, a local preacher and a most useful and pious citizen.
Dan River Institute
The Dan River Institute in Yanceyville was incorporated in 1847 under the leadership of James Mebane, George Williamson, Thomas D. Johnston, Littleton A. Gwynn, Nicholas M. Lewis, N. H. Harding, Mitchell Curie, Nathaniel M. Roan, Robert B. Watt, and John H. Richard. The Institute was in operation to the spring of 1850, as the Milton Chronicle on June 6 announced that the "next session" would begin on July 8. The advertisement of this fact was signed by A. C. Lindsey and B. Gould, the latter undoubtedly the Benjamin Gould, graduate of the University of Vermont, who had joined the faculty of the Milton Male Academy in 1837. An 1867 directory lists 30-year-old Joseph Venable as principal of the Institute. Venable, a native of Oxford, was graduated from the University in 1857.
In 1872 Archibald E. Henderson was principal; he had attended the University in 1859-1861, but left to serve in the Confederate Army. He was superintendent of Caswell County schools during the period 1897-1905. In 1909 or soon afterwards, by act of the General Assembly, proceeds from the sale of the Yanceyville Female Academy were turned over to F. W. Brown, N. C. Brandon, and T. J. Florance to be used in repairing and improving the Dan River Institute which had been used as a public school since 1897. The original Dan River Institute was located on the grounds of the later Bartlett Yancey School.
Source: Powell, William S. When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County North Carolina 1777-1977. Durham (North Carolina): Moore Publishing Company, 1977. pp.369-370. Print. [Paragraphs added.]
People Mentioned (in order of appearance):
Thomas D. Johnston
Littleton A. Gwynn
Nicholas M. Lewis
N. H. Harding
Nathaniel M. Roan
Robert B. Watt
John H. Richard
A. C. Lindsey
Archibald E. Henderson
F. W. Brown
N. C. Brandon
T. J. Florance