North Carolina Education - Iredell County

Year County Established

County Webpage Herein

County Seat Webpage Herein


Iredell County


In 1778, Presbyterian minister James Hall of Fourth Creek Meeting House organized Clio’s Nursery, a Presbyterian academy. While Hall participated in the American Revolution, the school was under the supervision of his brother-in-law James McEwen who died shortly after the appointment. After McEwen’s death, Francis Cummins, who later became a Presbyterian minister, was placed in charge.

Clio’s Nursery closed during the British invasion of South Carolina and North Carolina extending from May 1780 to August 1782, when it re-opened under the supervision of John Newton. The school’s last teacher was Charles Caldwell, who left the academy in 1787 to establish Crowfield Academy near Centre Presbyterian Church. The school closed shortly thereafter.

Although only open for nearly a decade, the school boasted an impressive list of alumni. Former students included George Campbell, who served as secretary of the treasury in the James Madison administration, and Moses Waddell, who became president of the University of Georgia. E. F. Rockwell wrote in 1858 that a Congressman, three judges, and eight ministers also were graduates.

All during its existence, Clio's Nursery was in Rowan County. If it were open today, it would exist in Iredell County.

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

In 1822, Presbyterian leaders in Iredell County founded Ebenezer Academy, a preparatory school. The institution was modeled on Clio’s Nursery, founded by Presbyterian leader James Hall in 1778. After the closing of Clio’s Nursery in 1787, a void had been left in the educational opportunities offered to young men in the community. Largely at the Hall family’s urgings, the North Carolina General Assembly chartered Ebenezer Academy and several nephews of James Hall acted as the first principals and teachers.

The academy offered a liberal education focused on English, grammar, and geography. The school consisted of at least one main classroom building and an associated dormitory. An 1823 newspaper advertisement for the school stated “all branches of education required for admission into college, will here be taught.” As if to calm parents’ fears, the paper also noted “the Academy is in a rural situation, six miles from Statesville, so that students will be measurably free from temptations to vice.” Students from across North Carolina, as well as several other states soon began arriving. Among the pupils were Thomas L. Clingman and Joseph P. Caldwell.

The school closed in 1856 as a result of the death of its principal, James Crawford, and a subsequent lack of funds. After the conclusion of the American Civil War, the academy re-opened as a subscription school. It remained in operation as such until the first decade of the twentieth century, when it was replaced by the construction of public schools in Iredell County.

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


Mitchell College was officially authorized by the Concord Presbytery in 1852-1853 as a Presbyterian female academy in Statesville. However the first school building was destroyed by a storm while still incomplete and construction was halted for nearly three years due to a lack of funds. The college officially opened in 1856 as the Concord Female College.

Following the American Civil War, the academy was purchased by R. F. Simonton, who changed the name from Concord Female College to Simonton Female College. In the late 1870s, the school came into the hands of Eliza Mitchell Grant and Margaret Eliot Mitchell, the daughters of Elisha Mitchell, for whom Mount Mitchell is named. Under their leadership the school made considerable progress, expanding both the size of the campus and the curriculum. In honor of them, the school board of trustees named the college after them in 1917.

During the next two decades, major work was done remodeling the campus buildings and constructing new facilities. In 1932, men were first admitted and in 1959 the college became an independent community college recognized by the State of North Carolina. Today the school offers over 20 associate degree programs, as well as numerous certificate and diploma options for those pursuing post-secondary education.

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


© 2016 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved