Saturday, May 11, 2019

Yanceyville Academy (Yanceyville, NC)

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Yanceyville Academy (Yanceyville, NC), 1923. Final year.

In 1924 Yanceyville students attended the new Bartlett Yancey School. The old Yanceyville Academy building for a while was used as a teacherage (boarding house for teachers) and at some time as overflow classrooms.

Based upon the 1930 United States Federal Census it appears that the building was used as a "teacherage" when that census was taken. The Bartlett Yancey School built in 1924 soon was inadequate physically and plans were adopted for a separate high school building (built 1935/1936). Thus, it apparently was during 1930-1935/36 that the old Yanceyville Academy building was used for overflow classrooms.

Note: While the name "Yanceyville Academy" was retained, the school had been converted to a public facility around 1910 (but possibly earlier; see below).

The exact location of the Yanceyville Academy building is not known. However, it has been described as being near the "new" Bartlett Yancey School (opened in 1924), serving as a "teacherage" (boarding house for teachers) therefor, and at one time providing space for overflow classrooms. Thus, the Yanceyville Academy apparently was near what today is the Bartlett Yancey Elementary School in Yanceyville, NC.

Caswell County had a long history of private academies, beginning with the Caswell Academy, chartered in 1802. What connection, if any, is there between any of the early private academies and what became the public Yanceyville Academy (immediate successor to the Bartlett Yancey School)? Here is a possible scenario:

The Yanceyville Female Academy, which was located on property that today is the Yanceyville United Methodist Church cemetery, was sold and the proceeds used to either establish or improve the Dan River Institute. One researcher states that the Dan River Institute was located on the property that eventually was the site of the Bartlett Yancey School. Did the building shown above once house the Dan River Institute and that school transition to become the Yanceyville Academy?

"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.

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Yanceyville Academy: Last Graduating Class (1923)

1. Robert Glenn Reagan (1905-1992)

2. Earmine Lee Poteat (1898-1979)

3. Tom Jones: possibly Thomas Oldham Jones, Jr. (1903-1935)

4. John Alfred Bradner (1905-1964)

5. Laura Oliver: possibly Laura Mabel Oliver (1909-1977)

6. Hansford Bradner (1904-1987)

7. James Mitchell: possibly James Masten Mitchell (1899-1965)

8. Ernest Frederick Upchurch, Jr. (1907-1954)

9. Erastus Ralph Massey (1907-1976)

10. James Slade: possibly James Nathaniel Slade (1902-1968)

1. Laura Oliver: possibly Laura Mabel Oliver (1909-1977)

2. Ruth Gwyn/Gwynn: possibly Ruth Gwynn (1909-2002), sister of Henry Wiggins Gwynn (1906-1960)

"Miss Lena Walser of Atlanta, who has been visiting her uncle, F. T. Walser, in Woolsey, left this morning for Yanceyville, N. C., where she will take up her work as teacher of music in Yanceyville academy."

Source: Asheville Citizen-Times (Asheville, North Carolina), 1 October 1898, Saturday, Page 4.

Katherine May (Katie) Compton (1887-1976) taught in the Caswell County schools and at the Yanceyville Academy. She was a graduate of UNC-G and did graduate work at the New York School of Music and Art. She taught piano at Mitchell College and at the orphanage at Barium Springs.

Source: The High Point Enterprise (High Point, North Carolina), 11 September 1976, Saturday, Page 2.

"The Yanceyville Academy ended itw work for the session Friday, and the children and patrons had a picnic on the campus. A nice dinner was served, and the occasion seems to have been thoroughly enjoyed."

Source: Yanceyville Sentinel in The Twice-A-Week Dispatch (Burlington, NC), 14 April 1909, Wednesday, Page 3.

"Prof. J. W. Bennett, of Yanceyville Academy, spent the past few days with his people near town."

Source: The Reidsville Review (Reidsville, NC), 2 February 1909, Tuesday, Page 3.

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