North Carolina Education - Randolph County

Year County Established

County Webpage Herein

County Seat Webpage Herein

1779

Randolph County

Asheboro
This Author has not found the legislative Acts and Resolutions from 1791 to 1816. If they are ever located then they will be appropriately included herein.
On November 20, 1819, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the New Salem Library Society in the village of New Salem in Randolph County.
On December 24, 1820, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Carraway Library Society in Randolph County.
On December 31, 1824, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to establish New Hope Academy in Randolph County. Seven trustees were named in the Act. The village of New Hope Academy sprang up around the school and received its first Post Office on October 10, 1859.
On February 12, 1827, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Ebenezer Library Society in Randolph County.
On January 10, 1829, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to establish Sandy Creek Academy in Randolph County. Seven (7) trustees were named in the Act. The village of Sandy Creek sprang up around the school and received its first Post Office on April 25, 1837.
On January 8, 1839, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Randolph Female Academy in Randolph County. Eleven (11) trustees were named in the ACt.
On January 12, 1841, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Union Institute Academy in Randolph County. Seven (7) trustees were named in the Act.

Sometime in the early to mid-1830s, John Brown built a one-room log schoolhouse on his property in Randolph County. Teachers worked by subscription at the school until Brantley York was hired in 1838. In the summer of that year, York and members of the community constructed a larger schoolhouse. So popular was the new school that there were sixty-nine (69) pupils enrolled for the inaugural session. In 1839, York proposed to establish a permanent academy that would be supported by an educational society. The group, composed largely of local Methodists and Quakers, raised money to fund a new facility. York, with a nod to the joint venture, named the school as the Union Institute Academy. As other educational opportunities opened for Quaker children, the members of that sect began to withdraw from Union and the school was primarily a Methodist one by the time it was incorporated in 1841.

Braxton Craven, then nineteen years old, began the 1841-1842 school year at the academy as a student. His abilities were such that he was soon hired as an assistant teacher. When York resigned during the year to accept a position elsewhere, Craven was selected to be the next principal of Union Institute Academy. Under Craven, attendance at the academy increased sharply. When he learned that there were boys from the community who could not attend school due to farm work, Craven opened a free night school. In 1848, he instituted an innovative teacher training program. In 1851, Union Institute was incorporated as Normal College, dedicated to the education of teachers for the state’s common schools. Normal College was re-incorporated the following year, with the charter accepted by the trustees in 1853. This time, the college received funding from the state and was empowered to grant other, more general, college degrees. Courses of study offered in the 1850s included preparatory, classical collegiate, and English.

In 1856, Normal College established an official affiliation with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, not having garnered sufficient state support. The college, no longer emphasizing teacher training, expanded its liberal arts curriculum. One of the trustees, R. T. Heflin, suggested that the college’s name be changed to Caswell, in honor of Governor Richard Caswell, a Revolutionary War hero and devout Methodist. However, when the charter was amended in 1859, the institution was renamed Trinity College, in honor of the school of the same name at Cambridge, England. Braxton Craven was named first president of the nascent Trinity. Craven resigned his post, effective January 1, 1864, amid controversy in the Methodist Conference. W. T. Gannaway led Trinity through the close of the American Civil War, but in April of 1865, with General W. T. Hardee’s troops camped on the grounds, Trinity suspended operation. In October of 1865, Braxton Craven was returned by unanimous vote to the college presidency and he re-opened the school in January of 1866. Craven remained at Trinity until his death in November of 1882.

John F. Crowell, an enthusiastic twenty-nine year-old Yankee, was appointed president of Trinity in 1887. The early years of his presidency were marked by financial shortcomings and pleas for support. Considering his options and hoping to stir interest in an endowment, Crowell entertained the idea of moving Trinity to a more urban area. In 1889, Raleigh leaders offered Crowell a plot of land (now part of North Carolina State University) and pledged $35,000 for a building. Although the Methodist Conference voted to approve the Raleigh move, in early 1890, Methodist ministers in Durham met secretly in Durham with Washington Duke and secured an $85,000 pledge to move Trinity to their community. Julian S. Carr, a long-time friend of the college, offered to donate a site that he owned on the western edge of town. In 1891 the North Carolina General Assembly enacted a new charter for Trinity College “at or near the town of Durham.” The college opened at its new location on September 1, 1892.

In 1924, James B. Duke designated $40 million to establish the Duke Endowment. The annual income of the trust fund was to be disbursed among institutions in the Carolinas, principally hospitals, orphanages, the Methodist Church, three colleges, and a university that was intended to be built around Trinity College. For the proposed university, Duke donated an additional $19 million for rehabilitation of Durham’s Trinity campus and construction a new campus. Aware of the opportunity to establish a new identity, President William Preston Few recommended that the school be called Duke University. James B. Duke approved with the stipulation that the name be a memorial to his father and family.

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


Duke University began as a small, rural school in Randolph County. First known as Brown’s Schoolhouse, the school grew and in 1838 was re-organized by local families as Union Institute under principal Brantley York. The institute received its charter in 1841 and was again re-organized in 1851 as a normal school to train teachers and, the following year, the General Assembly authorized the institution to grant degrees. In 1859, the name of the school was changed to Trinity College after the Methodist Church became involved in operating the school. It continued to prosper with the first masters degree awarded in 1877 and the first female graduates receiving degrees the following year. In 1887, John Crowell became president and under his guidance the school was transformed from a rural college to an urban campus in the town of Durham. Crowell persuaded the trustees that a move to an urban setting would encourage greater enrollment. To promote the move, land in Durham was donated by Julian S. Carr and Washington Duke. The latter initiated the first of a series of donations, laying the groundwork for future collaboration between his family and the institution.

Two years after the move to Durham in 1892, John Kilgo became president. Kilgo nurtured Washington Duke’s affinity for the school and his desire to fund the needs of the urban campus. Over the next few years, Duke contributed heavily to the school. The school emerged as one of the leading liberal arts colleges in the south, priding itself on allowing open debate and discussion on sensitive topics, inviting speakers such as Booker T. Washington to campus and supporting controversial professors. By 1924, the trustees had decided to transform the college into a university. William Few, who became president of Trinity College in 1910, facilitated the change from a college into a complex research university, helped by the financial support of the Duke family. In 1924, James B. Duke established the Duke Endowment to benefit the university. During the creation of the endowment and restructuring of the school, it was decided that Trinity College should be re-named Duke University in honor of Washington Duke. Quickly following on its new name and financial stability, the new university began a building campaign, laying the first cornerstone of its Gothic style campus in 1928. The first buildings were occupied in 1930 and the chapel was first used for baccalaureate services in 1932.

As Trinity College grew, it developed its own identity, using Yale blue as its color, honoring a past president’s alma mater. The school’s “Blue Devil” mascot was chosen by the school newspaper in 1922 as an homage to a regiment of French troops during World War I. The mascot and school colors are still maintained by the University.

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 January 25, 1843, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Asheborough Male Academy in the town of Asheborough in Randolph County. Six (6) trustees were named in the Act.
On January 28, 1851, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate Union Institute, a Normal College in Randolph County. Eighteen (18) trustees were named in the Act. All students must become teachers in the Common Schools. This Act was amended on November 21, 1852; see below.
Also on January 28, 1851, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Franklinsville Academy in the town of Franklinsville in Randolph County. Six (6) trustees were named in the Act.
On November 21, 1852, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the earlier Act of January 28, 1851 (above) concerning Union Institute, a Normal College in Randolph County. Thirty-five (35) new trustees were named in the Act. The State Literary Fund is authorized to loan $10,000 to the College, with interest due semi-annually.
On January 20, 1855, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate two academies in the town of Asheborough in Randolph County. Twelve (12) new trustees were named in the Act. Old charters are repealed. New charter is for thirty (30) years. This Act was amended on March 4, 1891; see below.
On January 24, 1857, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate Mount Olivet Academy in Randolph County. Seven (7) trustees were named in the Act.
On February 17, 1859, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the charter of the Normal College in Randolph County. The named was changed again - back to Trinity College. No spirituous liquors within two (2) miles of said college.
On February 11, 1874, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to authorize the Randolph County Board of Education to establish a Teacher's Institute in said county. This institute was to instruct and examine teachers for ten days in various subjects.
On March 13, 1879, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to establish four (4) Normal Schools, including one at Trinity College in Randolph County.
On March 2, 1883, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to prohibit the sale of spirituous liquors within one (1) mile of the Promise Land Academy in New Hope Township, among other places in Randolph County.
On March 2, 1887, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to authorize the trustees of Asheboro Male and Female Academies to sell or convey certain town lots in the town of Asheboro in Randolph County. If these are not occupied within three (3) years, then the lots revert back to the academy.
On March 1, 1889, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to authorize the trustees to sell and convey Oak Forest School House and Site in Randolph County. Proceeds were to be turned over to School District No. 2 for use in the public schools.
In the Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the scholastic years of 1889 and 1890, it was reported that there were six (6) private schools for white children and two (2) private schools for colored children in Randolph County. The private schools for white children were:

Private School

Town/Village

Principal

No. of Students

Trinity College

Trinity College

John F. Crowell, PhD

124 males

Primary School

Randleman

Miss Essie Coltrain

15

Primary School

Asheboro

Miss Mamie Bulla

20

Private School

New Salem

W.F. Tolley

30

Asheboro High School

Asheboro

Emmet Moffitt

40

Liberty Academy

Liberty

J.M. Weatherly

95
The private schools for colored children were:

Private School

Town/Village

Principal

No. of Students

Strieby Normal School

Lassiter Mills

Elmira W. Walden

34

Asheboro Normal School

Asheboro

W. Elmore Meade

58
On March 4, 1891, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to re-enact and amend the earlier Act of January 20, 1855 (above) pertaining to two academies in the town of Asheboro in Randolph County. Ten (10) new trustees were named, plus three (3) members of the Randolph County Agricultural Society as trustees for the male academy were named in the Act. The trustees were authorized to sell the female academy lot
On February 13, 1895, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to allow the trustees of Why Not Academy in Randolph County to sell a lot to J.P. Burroughs for a new high school in said academy.
On March 6, 1895, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to allow the trustees of Salisbury Cross-Roads Academy in Randolph County to sell and make title. Five (5) trustees were named in the Act.
On March 7, 1899, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate Liberty Normal College in the town of Liberty in Randolph County. Three (3) corporators were named in the Act.
On March 8, 1899, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to charter Farmer's Institute in the town of Farmer in Randolph County. Seven (7) trustees were named in the Act.
In the Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the scholastic years of 1899 and 1900, it was reported that there were seven (7) private schools in Randolph County:

Private School

Town/Village

Principal

No. of Students

Farmer Institute

Farmer

J.L & W.C. Bost

75

Ramseur High School

Ramseur

D.M. Weatherly

150

Liberty Normal College

Liberty

L.C. Amick

175

Shiloh Academy

Moffitt

J.R. Miller

50

Mount Olivet Academy

Erect

W.H. Mann

60

Why Not Academy

Why Not

J.P. Burroughs

80

Trinity High School

Trinity

J.F. Heitman

100
 
 
 
 


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