North Carolina Education - Burke County

Year County Established

County Webpage Herein

County Seat Webpage Herein

1777

Burke County

Morganton
In 1783, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act - Chapter XLIV - to incorporate two Academical Schools in the Morgan District. The first was Morgan Academy to be established in Burke County. The second was Martin Academy to be established in Washington County, which was later ceded to the new state of Tennessee.
On December 31, 1823, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Morganton Academy in the town of Morganton in Burke County. Twelve (12) trustees were named in the Act.
Also on December 31, 1823, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a supplemental Act to authorize the trustees of Morganton Academy to lay off as many streets, lanes, alleys as they deem necessary on their lands, and their lands are now part of the town of Morganton.
Also on December 31, 1823, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a second supplemental Act for the Morganton Academy to have five (5) more trustees and authorized them to build a home for the tutor and tutoress on their lot.
On February 12, 1827, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the charter of the Morganton Academy to allow five (5) trustees to be a quorum to make decisions for said academy.
On January 7, 1845, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Morganton Academy in the town of Morganton in Burke County. Sixteen (16) trustees were named in the Act.

Robert L. Abernathy founded a co-educational private school, Owl Hollow Schoolhouse, in Burke County in 1853. Reverend Abernathy established the tradition that “None Shall Ever Be Turned Away for Want of Means.” As many as four thousand (4,000) students attended the college under Abernathy’s presidency and fifteen hundred (1,500) of those did not have to pay tuition. John Rutherford provided the six hundred (600) acres of land on which the school was built. His name was given to the school in 1858, when it was chartered as Rutherford Academy. In 1861, the year it was given the power to grant degrees, the school was renamed Rutherford Seminary and in 1870 the institution became Rutherford College. The site of the school was incorporated as the village of Excelsior in 1872, but in 1881 the village became the town of Rutherford College.

In 1900, the Western North Carolina Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South acquired the college. In 1932, Rutherford College merged with Weaver College. The combined school moved to Brevard, in Transylvania County, and was renamed Brevard College. With the school gone, the town of Rutherford College’s charter was repealed in 1933. However, in June 1977, the town of Rutherford College was re-incorporated.

The above write-up (with edits) was provided by the North Carolina Highway Marker program. Click Here to read and to view their sources.

On February 17, 1859, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate Rutherford Academy in Burke County. Five (5) trustees were named and the school was authorized assets up to $100,000.
On February 26, 1867, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Table Rock Seminary in Burke County. Five (5) trustees were named in the Act. Incorporated again on January 31, 1891; see below.
On April 12, 1869, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to prohibit the sale of spirituous liquors within five (5) miles of Rutherford Seminary in Burke County.
On February 13, 1871, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to change the name of Rutherford Seminary to Rutherford College in Burke County.
On April 6, 1871, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Newtonian Society at Rutherford College in Burke County.
On January 28, 1873, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to prohibit the sale of spirituous liquors within two (2) miles of Excelsior College in Burke County.
On March 20, 1875, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appoint five (5) commissioners to select a suitable site at or near Morganton in Burke County for a second state insane asylum.
On March 22, 1875, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Wilberforce School, a planned college for colored students at Morganton in Burke County. This school was never built due to insufficient funding.
On March 3, 1881, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate funds to the three (3) insane asylums in North Carolina, including one at Morganton in Burke County. $40,000 for the next two years to finish construction in Morganton, plus $20,000 for equipment.
On March 10, 1881, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Western Insane Asylum at Morganton in Burke County.
On February 28, 1883, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Platonic Literary Society of Rutherford College in Burke County. Five (5) members were named in the Act.
On March 8, 1883, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to prohibit the sale of spirituous liquors within one (1) mile of Rutherford College in Burke County.
On March 12, 1883, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate funds to the three (3) insane asylums in North Carolina, including one at Morganton in Burke County. $40,000 for each of the next two years for Morganton, plus an additional $35,000 to complete the north wing.
On March 6, 1885, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate funds for the three (3) insane asylums in North Carolina, including one at Morganton in Burke County. $51,000 for each of the next two years for Morganton, plus an additional $80,000 to complete the north wing.
On March 7, 1887, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate funds for the three (3) insane asylums in North Carolina, including one at Morganton in Burke County. $65,000 for 1887 and $85,000 for 1888 appropriated for Morganton.
On March 11, 1889, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate funds for the three (3) insane asylums in North Carolina, including one at Morganton in Burke County. $85,000 for 1889 and $90,000 for 1890 appropriate for Morganton.
On January 31, 1891, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Table Rock Academy in Burke County. Five (5) trustees were named in the Act. This academy had been incorporated in 1867; see above.
March 7, 1891, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to establish a second school for white deaf and dumb children at or near Morganton in Burke County.

A state-supported school for the deaf and blind was first proposed in 1816 by Archibald D. Murphey. Despite his recommendation no provision was made for such an institution until the 1840s when Governor John Motley Morehead took up the cause. In 1844, the state legislature appropriated $5,000 for such a school and in 1845, W. D. Cooke was hired to teach the deaf, dumb, and blind in Raleigh, establishing what is now known as the Governor Morehead School. By 1890, a movement was afoot to create a separate school for the deaf to alleviate the overcrowding at the Raleigh campus.

Morganton civic leaders organized by Samuel McDowell Tate sought the new school, offering the state $5,000 and one hundred (100) acres on “Spa Hill,” a picturesque hilltop setting on the outskirts of town. Construction began in 1891 on the monumental Main Building, which still dominates the campus. The architect was Adolphus Gustavus Bauer, an associate of Samuel Sloan, the two of them also being responsible for the Executive Mansion and other Victorian-era public buildings in the state. The North Carolina School for the Deaf (NCSD) opened on October 2, 1894, with one hudred and four (104) students and eight (8) teachers. The first superintendent was Edward McKee Goodwin, who served in that position until his death in 1937. The school received national acclaim and in 1895 was visited by Edward Gallaudet, founder of Gallaudet College in Washington, DC.

Today the NCSD campus has nineteen (19) buildings with students in grades K-12. The Morganton and Raleigh schools are no longer the only state-supported schools for the deaf; institutions having been founded in Wilson and in Greensboro in recent years.

The above write-up (with edits) was provided by the North Carolina Highway Marker program. Click Here to read and to view their sources.

On March 2, 1893, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate Amherst Academy in Burke County. Seven (7) trustees were named in the Act.
Also on March 2, 1893, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate funds for the three (3) insane asylums in North Carolina, including one at Morganton in Burke County. $12,000 appropriated to build a new male dining room at Morganton.
On March 4, 1893, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the charter of Rutherford College in Burke County. Six (6) "Literary Trustees" were named in the Act, with the purpose of identifying those who qualify for honorary degrees.
Also on March 4, 1893, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate funds for the North Carolina School for the Deaf and Dumb at Morganton in Burke County. $35,000 appropriate for each of 1893 and 1894.
On March 9, 1895, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate funds for the North Carolina School for the Deaf and Dumb at Morganton in Burke County. $18,850 appropriated to pay off debt. $30,000 appropriated for annual support and improvements. $3,500 appropriated to fund an Industrial Department.
Also on March 9, 1895, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate funds for the State Hospital at Morganton in Burke County, including necessary repairs and improvements of the buildings. $100,000 appropriated annually.
On March 9, 1897, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to create an independent school district using part of Mitchell, Burke, and McDowell counties in the Linville Falls vicinity. Boundaries were defined.
Also on March 9, 1897, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate funds for the three (3) insane asylums of North Carolina, including one at Morganton, Burke County. $90,000 appropriated annually for Morganton.
On February 15, 1899, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a Resolution to elect new directors for the Deaf and Dumb school at Morganton in Burke County.
On February 27, 1899, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to authorize qualified voters in the town of Morganton in Burke County to decide whether to levy a special tax to establish graded schools in the town of Morganton. Eight (8) trustees were named in the Act.
On March 8, 1899, the North Carolina General Assembly pased an Act to appropriate funds for the three (3) insane asylums in North Carolina, including one at Morganton in Burke County. $90,000 appropriated annually for Morganton.
Also on March 8, 1899, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate funds for the North Carolina School for the Deaf and Dumb at Morganton in Burke County. $40,000 appropriated annually, plus an additional $7,000 for an addition to the industrial department, steam heating, plumbing, electric lighting, and cold storage apparatus.
 
 
 
 
 
 


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