North Carolina Education - Wake County

Year County Established

County Webpage Herein

County Seat Webpage Herein

1771

Wake County

Raleigh
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 17, 1818, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to establish Forest Hill Academy in Wake County. Nine (9) trustees were named in the Act.
On December 26, 1821, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Raleigh Female Benevolent Society in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. The society was authorized to build a school house for poor children.
On December 31, 1824, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Wake Union Academy in Wake County. Eight (8) trustees were named in the Act.
On February 12, 1827, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate Pomona Academy on the lands of Seth Jones in Wake County. Seven (7) trustees were named in the Act. The village of Pomona sprang up around the academy and received its first Post Office on December 17, 1831. However, the Post Office was permanently closed in 1836.
On January 7, 1828, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to establish Wake Forest Pleasant Grove Academy in the village of Wake Forest in Wake County. Nine (9) trustees were named in the Act.
Also on January 7, 1828, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to officially incorporate the already-existing North Carolina Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb in the town of Raleigh in Wake County.
On January 7, 1830, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to establish Woodville Academy in Wake County. Six (6) trustees were named in the Act.
On January 4, 1831, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to establish Spring Field Academy in Wake County. Nine (9) trustees were named in the Act.
On January 9, 1833, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate Rolesville Academy in the village known as Roles Store in Wake County. Nine (9) trustees were named in the Act. The village was renamed to Rolesville and received its Post Office with this name on February 19, 1835.
On January 13, 1834, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to establish Wake Forest Institute, a literary and manual labor institution in the village of Wake Forest in Wake County. Thirty-nine (39) trustees from twenty-five (25) different counties were named in the Act, and the school was chartered for twenty (20) years. This Act was amended on December 28, 1838 and on March 11, 1875; see below.

In 1832, the Baptist State Convention purchased the 600-acre plantation of Calvin Jones, a physician and trustee of the University of North Carolina. Two years later, Wake Forest Institute, as it was called until 1838, opened in the plantation buildings with an enrollment of sixteen students. The dwelling house, which became the home of the first president Samuel Wait, is now known as the Wake Forest College Birthplace. At the conclusion of the first academic year, seventy-two students were in attendance. Designed to teach Baptist ministers and laymen, the school required students to spend half their day performing manual labor on the plantation.

In 1838, the school was renamed Wake Forest College, and the provision for manual labor was abandoned in favor of rigorous academic training. The village in Wake County that developed around the college became known as Wake Forest. The college closed in 1862, as a large portion of the faculty and student body enlisted in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War.

Wake Forest College reopened in 1866 at the conclusion of the Civil War. The school prospered over the next four decades and expanded considerably under the leadership of presidents Washington Wingate, Thomas Pritchard, and Charles Taylor. The School of Law opened in 1894, followed by the School of Medicine in 1902.

In 1905, William L. Poteat, known as “Doctor Billy,” a professor of natural sciences and Wake Forest alumnus, was elected president. Poteat caused great consternation for his support of the teaching of evolution and Darwinian concepts, but eventually won support from the Baptist State Convention for academic freedom.

The School of Medicine moved in 1941 to Winston-Salem and became Bowman-Gray School of Medicine. Wake Forest admitted its first female students the following year, as many male students enlisted for service in World War II. By 1949, the student body consisted of nearly 2,000 students.

In the 1950s, with the promise of major financial contributions by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, college trustees and the Baptist State Convention agreed to move the school to its present site north of Winston-Salem. Charles and Mary Babcock, the daughter of R. J. Reynolds, granted the school 350 acres near Reynolda House.

The old campus was sold to the newly formed Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 1967, Wake Forest College became Wake Forest University. In recent years, the ties with the Baptist Church have been loosened. In 1979, the institution relinquished funding from the Baptist Convention and received more flexibility in the selection of trustees.

By the early 2000s, Wake Forest University had an enrollment of nearly 6,500 students and offered thirty-four academic majors. The University includes a school of medicine, school of law, school of business and accounting, graduate school in arts and sciences, and a school of divinity.

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 December 22, 1835, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to oficially incorporate the already-existing Episcopal School of North Carolina in the town of Raleigh in North Carolina. Thirteen trustees were named in the act. Click Here for more information on this short-lived school.
On December 28, 1838, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the earlier Act of January 13, 1834 (above) concerning Wake Forest Institute in the village of Wake Forest in Wake County. The name was changed to Wake Forest College, the school was authorized assets up to $200,000, and up to 500 acres will be tax exempt.
On January 11, 1841, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a Resolution directing the State Literary Board to loan $10,000 to Wake Forest College in the village of Wake Forest in Wake County. The loan is due in four (4) years.

Established in 1842 through the vision and fundraising efforts of Episcopalian minister Aldert Smedes and his wife, the school for women was converted from a similar institution for young men, which had opened in 1834. According to school tradition, the first class at St. Mary’s School, arriving in 1842, was comprised of thirteen women. The Reverend Smedes and his wife, Sarah, greeted the new students at the door, and from then on the couple acted more like family than faculty to the students. The rise of colleges and universities around the state eventually drew candidates away from St. Mary’s, and in 1897, the Carolina Diocese appointed a board of trustees and relinquished control of day-to-day operations.

By the early twentieth century, prominent families in both North and South Carolina sent their daughters to attend. Wealth was not always a pre-requisite for attendance, however, as the later rectors followed Smedes’s example. The Reverend personally interviewed each student for acceptance, and often would grant scholarships to girls whose families were unable to provide tuition. Smedes understood the education of young women, as well as the confidence and skills it confers, was essential for coming generations. In what he deemed the “true mission of women,” Smedes said: "If she will do what she can . . . she can do almost what she will for the moral and spiritual welfare of the world. But to accomplish this, she must understand her high and heavenly mission.” That mission, as interpreted by others since Smedes’s death in 1877, led to changes at St. Mary’s throughout the years. In 1997, the board of trustees decided to terminate the junior college program in order to focus on high school and college preparatory classes beginning in the fall of 1998.

While the entire twenty-three acre campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, of special interest is the campus chapel, designed in Gothic Revival style by architect Richard Upjohn in 1857. While St. Mary’s School remains dedicated to the changing landscape of women’s education in the twenty-first century, the goal of St. Mary’s—the same as in 1842—is the education of young women today to empower the generations of tomorrow.

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

Also see March 2, 1897 below to view the legislative Act officially incorporating St. Mary's School.

On January 27, 1843, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act pertaining to the State Library in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. Rules on who may remove books from the library were established, and the trustees were identified in the Act. The trustees were to select a Librarian.
On January 6, 1845, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to loan military arms and equipment to the North Carolina Military Academy in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. The governor was requested to work this out.
On January 8, 1845, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to provide for the education and maintenance of the poor and destitute deaf mutes and blind persons in the state. Institution to be in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. $5,000 was appropriated annually out of the State Literary Fund. Plus, each county may levey a tax of $75 per student sent to the institution.

The Governor Morehead School, North Carolina’s school for the blind, opened in 1845 as the North Carolina Institution of the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind. The initiative, a state-supported educational program for children with disabilities, was one of the first in the South. The idea originated in 1843 when William D. Cooke, the head of Virginia’s School for Deaf and Dumb Instruction in Staunton wrote to Governor John Motley Morehead suggesting that North Carolina could start a school of its own. Morehead, known as an advocate for education and for the disabled, leapt at the idea, and offered to bring the matter to the attention of the Presbyterian Synod at its next annual meeting in Raleigh the following year.

After receiving the support of the Synod, Morehead turned his attention to the state legislature. On January 8, 1845, the legislature approved an Act “to provide for the education of the poor and destitute deaf-mutes and blind persons in this state.” Four months later, on May 1, the school opened in a building located two blocks west of the Capitol in Raleigh, with four teachers and 23 deaf students between the ages of 8 and 32. The pupils were given instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, history, geography, the arts, and the Bible. Four years later, a legislative appropriation allowed for the purchase of a new building on Caswell Square in Raleigh.

In 1851, blind students began enrolling in the school. William D. Cooke, who left the Virginia school to take charge of North Carolina’s institute, established vocational classes including shoemaking and sewing. His students became the first deaf students in America to produce a newspaper made for and by the deaf, the Deaf Mute Casket. By the end of 1858, the school had 39 deaf and 18 blind students. During the American Civil War, the school remained open. However, two faculty members left for service with the Confederate Army and for a brief time the pupils were employed in making musket parts. From June 1865 until January 1866, the school closed in part because of a lack of food for the students.

At the conclusion of the American Civil War, efforts were made to address the need for a school for African Americans with disabilities. The United States War Department offered to find and rent housing if the North Carolina Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind would supply teachers and instruction. The school opened on January 4, 1869, in a building rented from the American Missionary Association with 21 deaf and 7 blind students. It was the first institute in the nation for African American blind students.

By the late 1880s, enrollment at the white school exceeded the facility’s abilities, requiring the North Carolina General Assembly to appropriate funds for the establishment of a separate facility for the deaf students. The new school opened in Morganton in 1894. While white blind students remained at Caswell Square in Raleigh, the black deaf and blind students remained at their school on South Bloodworth Street. All three were overseen by John E. Ray, appointed principal of the North Carolina Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb and Blind in 1896. Under his tutelage, the school system became the largest of its kind in the United States, boasting 535 pupils in 1912.

In 1905, the institution changed its name to the State School for the Blind and Deaf. Eight years later, the General Assembly made appropriations to move the school for white blind students to the current location on Ashe Avenue in Raleigh. In 1929, the General Assembly appropriated more funds to move the school for African American blind and deaf students to Garner Road. Thirty years later initial talks were held about consolidating the two Raleigh schools, and in 1963 the name was changed to the Governor Morehead School in honor of John Motley Morehead.

Four years later, in 1967, the General Assembly approved moving black deaf students to the traditionally all-white deaf school in Morganton, and the following year began the consolidation of the schools for the blind in Raleigh. The consolidation of the black and white blind students school at Ashe Avenue was completed in 1977, and the Garner Road campus was shuttered. The modern Governor Morehead School remains the state’s premier institution for the education of the blind in North Carolina, and provides both education and residence for visually impaired students from preschool through age 21.

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 9, 1845, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a Resolution directing the governor to loan muskets and swords to the Raleigh Academy in the town of Raleigh in Wake County.
Also on January 9, 1845, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to direct the State Librarian to keep the State Library open every day except for Sundays and the 4th of July.
On January 18, 1847, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to change the time of electing Superintendents of Common Schools in Granville County and Wake County. Now, the first Monday of June each year.
Also on January 18, 1847, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to provide suitable buildings to accommodate the deaf, dumb, and blind. The institution is authorized to spend up to $10,000 on buildings and may choose any State-owned lot in Raleigh in Wake Coounty. This Act was amended and supplements on January 27, 1849; see below.
On January 16, 1849, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Forestville Female Academy in the village of Forestville in Wake County. Nine (9) trustees were named in the Act.
On January 27, 1849, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend and supplement the earlier Act of January 18, 1847 (above) pertaining to providing suitable buildings to accommodate the deaf, dumb, and blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. This Act provides an additional $5,000 to complete the facility.
Also on January 27, 1849, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to establish a Board of Directors for the Deaf and Dumb Institute in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. Seven (7) board members were named in the Act. This Act was amended on January 28, 1851; see below.
On January 29, 1849, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to prohibit spirituous liquors and gaming within three (3) miles of Wake Forest College in the village of Wake Forest in Wake County.
Also on January 29, 1849, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to provide more effectually for the education of deaf mutes at the institution in Raleigh in Wake County. Each county to levy a $75 annual tax per deaf mute to send to Raleigh. No more than five (5) per county to be taxed. This Act was amended on January 28, 1851; see below
On January 28, 1851, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to to amend the earlier Act of January 29, 1849 (above) to allow the Deaf and Dumb Institution in the town of Raleigh in Wake Countyto accept private students and they shall pay nor more than $13 per month for board and tuition.
Also on January 28, 1851, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the earlier Act of January 27, 1849 (above) concerning the Board of Directors for the Deaf and Dumb Institution in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. The governor is authorized to fill any vacancy in the board of directors, and the legislature to later approve/disapprove.
On December 25, 1852, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend several Acts pertaining to the Deaf and Dumb Insitution in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. This Act added "Blind" to all previous Acts and stipulated that appropriations would increase as a result.
On February 12, 1855, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Springfield Institute in Wake County. Eight (8) trustees were named in the Act.
On February 14, 1855, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Morning Sun Academy in Wake County. Seven (7) trustees were named in the Act.

William Peace and his brother Joseph, among Raleigh’s first residents, became successful merchants, opening a store on Fayetteville Street in 1796. Peace oversaw the construction of the Governor’s Palace in 1816 as Raleigh’s town commissioner. Over time, he became more active in religious progress in the capital city. Peace, along with a panel of Presbyterians, organized an educational institution for women in 1857. They envisioned the school, according to Mrs. S. David Frazier, “to have for its object the thoro (sic) education of young ladies, not only the substantial branches of knowledge, but also in those which are elegant and ornamental.” The institution is named in Peace’s honor due to large monetary and land donations.

Although Peace Institute obtained its charter in 1857, the American Civil War and its repercussions would delay opening for fifteen years. Working from a Thomas J. Holt (who also designed the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad) design, his brother Jacob Holt began construction in 1859. Construction was suspended in June of 1862, when the building was utilized as a Confederate hospital. During the early stages of Reconstruction, the structure served as a Freedman’s Bureau for two years. Final construction was completed and Peace Institute officially opened in 1872.

Peace College often led the way in women’s education. School administrators opened a school of art and painting in 1872, the first in the South. Eight years later, Peace operated the first kindergarten in North Carolina. Serving as the sole governing body, the board of trustees at Peace is responsible for incorporating progress into an institution renowned for its adherence to tradition. In 2011, the trustees unanimously voted to transition Peace's day program to co-educational and to rename the college William Peace University. The university's first male students attended in the 2012-13 academic year.

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 3, 1857, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act concerning the Institution for the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. The Board of Directors were advised to hire a Secretary.
On February 16, 1859, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to enlarge and improve the buildings of the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Institution in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. $10,000 appropriated for construction; $350 appropriated to purchase a printing press to print books for the blind students.
Also on February 16, 1859, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to consolidate the Orange County School District No 27 with the Wake County School District No. 20, with special dispensation and certain rules.
On February 23, 1861, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to authorize two (2) named families in Wake County to send their children to a Common School in Granville County. Those named - Allen Baily and William C. Mangun.
On February 25, 1861, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to complete the buildings of the North Carolina Inistutution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. $2,000 appropriated to finish the buildings; $100 for books; $900 to teach students to become book binders.
On December 20, 1862, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act concerning the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dum and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. $1,500 appropriated to improve the laundry building; $500 appropriated to teach male students in shoe making.
On May 28, 1864, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate $75,000 annually to the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County.
On December 23, 1864, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate $150,000 annually to the North Carolina Insititution for the Deaf and Dumb anf the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. $6,900 additional appropriated for repairs to the laundry and servant's house.

Henry Martin Tupper, a graduate of Amherst and veteran of the Union Army, in 1865 was commissioned to come to Raleigh as a missionary by the American Baptist Home Mission Society. He arrived in October and “commenced his work among the colored people,” according to an 1890 tract published by that organization. By December, he had convened a theological class which met in the old Guion Hotel immediately north of the Capitol grounds. This marked the beginning of Shaw University.

The school initially was called the Raleigh Institute, but in 1870, on receipt of a gift of $5,000 from Elijah Shaw of Wales, Massachusetts, the name was changed to Shaw Collegiate Institute. In 1875, the North Carolina General Assembly granted a formal charter to Shaw University. That act of incorporation specified that “no pupils ever be excluded from the benefits arising therefrom . . . on account of race, color, or previous conditions of servitude.”

Shaw University is often referred to as the oldest historically black institution of higher learning in the South. In North Carolina others soon followed. Biddle (Presbyterian), Saint Augustine’s (Episcopal), and Scotia (Presbyterian) all were established in 1867. Shaw and Saint Augustine’s historically have been the hubs for the education, cultural, and recreational life of African Americans in the Capital city.

From 1882 to 1918, Shaw operated Leonard Medical School which, during that period, educated over 400 African American physicians. In 1960, the Shaw campus hosted the organizational meeting of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, an outgrowth of the sit-ins movement destined to play a major role in the civil rights struggle of the 1960s.

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

Also see March 19, 1875 below for the legislative Act to officially incorporate Shaw University.

On December 16, 1865, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a Resolution concerning the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. The institute is to resume normal operations on January 1, 1866.
On December 22, 1866, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a Resolution concerning the North Carolina Insitution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. $1,700 appropriated to cover liabilities caused by the late war. $5,000 additional appropriated for 1867. $24,650 additional appropriated for 1868.

Saint Augustine’s College was chartered in 1867 and classes began on January 13, 1868. Episcopal Bishop Thomas Atkinson pressed for the creation of St. Augustine’s Normal School and Collegiate Institute “for the purpose of educating teachers for the colored people of the state of North Carolina and elsewhere in the United States.” Bishop Atkinson said, “Such a school seems altogether indispensable to the effectual accomplishment of the good work on which the Church has entered,” meaning the work with freedmen.

J. Brinton Smith, who had come to North Carolina from New Jersey in 1866 to work with the Freedmen’s Commission, was hired as the school’s first principal. On his death in 1872, he was succeeded by John E. C. Smedes. The principal’s residence was located in the center of present Blount Street at its junction with North Street, facing southward. When Blount Street was extended, the house, also known as the Polk or Rayner House, was moved.

St. Augustine’s began to offer junior college courses in the early 1920s and in 1928 gained four-year college status. Despite persistent financial difficulties, St. Augustine’s ten years later “had become and remained the country’s major college for blacks sponsored by and supported by the Episcopal Church.”

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

Also see February 20, 1893 below to view the legislative Act to officially change the name to Saint Augustine's School.

On August 19, 1868, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate an additional $8,000 for the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. For calendar year 1868.
On January 13, 1869, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate $30,000 for the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. For calendar year 1869.
On February 19, 1869, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to grant a town lot in the town of Raleigh in Wake County to five (5) named trustees to be used as a school for colored children.
On December 20, 1869, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate $40,000 for the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. For calendar year 1870. $6,000 also appropriated for new equipment, paint, furniture, etc.
In 1870, Cary High School was established in the town of Cary in Wake County. A.H. Merritt was principal with two teachers and 40 students enrolled.
On January 21, 1871, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the charter of the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. Board of Directors is abolished. Board of Trustees is established. Seven (7) new trustees were named in the Act.
On January 20, 1872, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Raleigh Female Seminary in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. Twelve (12) trustees were named in the Act. The school was established in 1870, and Dr. William Royall D.D. was principal with six teachers and 76 students enrolled during 1870.
On February 1, 1872, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a Resolution to authorize the State to lease a building in the town of Raleigh in Wake County to the Lovejoy Academy for ten years.
Also on February 1, 1872, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate $45,000 for the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. For calendar year 1872.
On February 17, 1873, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate $45,000 for the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. For calendar year 1873. $5,000 of this authorized for repairs and/or deficits.
On March 1, 1873, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to donate a State-owned lot to establish an Institution for the Colored Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. $5,000 also appropriated for buildings only.
Also on March 1, 1873, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act for the benefit of the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. $15,000 appropriated to adjust the fiscal year with the calendar year funding.
On January 24, 1874, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate $46,500 for the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. For calendar year 1874. $6,500 additional appropriated to complete the building for the colored students.
On February 16, 1874, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to provide an additional $500 for the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. Balance due from CY 1873.
On December 21, 1874, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a Resolution to appropriate an additional $5,000 for the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County.
On February 26, 1875, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate $45,000 for the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. For each of calendar years 1875 and 1876. An additional $3,000 appropriated for building repairs in 1875.
On March 2, 1875, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a Resolution to lease a lot and building on Burke Square in the town of Raleigh in Wake County for the use of the Lovejoy Academy, founded by Jefferson M. Lovejoy, Esq.
On March 11, 1875, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the earlier Act of January 13, 1834 (above) concerning Wake Forest College in the village of Wake Forest in Wake County. Thirty-seven (37) new trustees were named in the Act, the school was authorized up to $500,000 in assets, up to 300 acres will be tax exempt, and the school was chartered for another fifty (50) years. This Act was amended on February 14, 1879 and March 11, 1889; see below.
On March 19, 1875, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate Shaw University in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. Twelve (12) trustees were named in the Act, the university was authorized assets up to $500,000 and property up to $200,000.
On March 12, 1877, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate $42,500 annually for the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. For 1877 and 1878.
On February 14, 1879, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the earlier Act of March 11, 1875 (directly above) concerning Wake Forest College in the village of Wake Forest in Wake County. This Act added details on other types of spirituous liquors prohibited. This Act was amended on January 20, 1881; see below.
On March 11, 1879, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate $32,500 annually for the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. For 1879 and 1880.
On March 13, 1879, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to establish four (4) Normal Schools, including one at Wake Forest College in the village of Wake Forest in Wake County.
On March 14, 1879, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to provide for the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. Clothing for all; a garden for colored students.
On January 20, 1881, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the earlier Act of February 14, 1879 (above) concerning Wake Forest College in the village of Wake Forest in Wake County. This Act changed the distance from three (3) miles to five (5) miles.
On February 18, 1881, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate $34,000 annually for the North Carolina Insitution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. For 1881 and 1882.
On March 2, 1881, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to donate one acre of State land to Shaw University in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. For erecting a colored medical college - must start construction within one year and complete all building within three years.

Shaw University was founded in 1865 by Henry M. Tupper, a white minister from Massachusetts. Tupper, the school’s first president, decided to try to establish a medical school. He secured a pledge for $5,000 from his brother-in-law Judson Wade Leonard and raised another $3,900. With the funds, a thirty-four-room dormitory for medical students was built on campus. In 1881, the North Carolina legislature donated an acre adjacent to Shaw that had been part of the old Governor’s Palace property. There a classroom building was constructed and Leonard Medical School opened in 1882.

Four medical schools for African Americans predated it. Leonard was the first such school in the United States to offer a four-year graded curriculum of the sort used today. The four-year course of study was made the standard in 1893, eleven years after Leonard had instituted it. In North Carolina medical schools for whites contemporary to Leonard were the University of North Carolina School of Medicine (1879), the Davidson College School of Medicine (1887, later called the North Carolina Medical College until it closed in 1918), and the University Medical Department at Raleigh, a branch of UNC offering clinical instruction at Raleigh hospitals (1902 to 1910).

In January of 1885, Leonard Hospital opened, providing twenty-five beds for the local black community and valuable experience for the students. In 1886, the first six students completed their studies and exam. Cost of attending Leonard Medical School was never more than $100 per year, including living and tuition expenses, a sum that was one-half the cost of comparable programs for whites. Scholarships were awarded yet the cost still was often prohibitive. Historian Todd L. Savitt discovered letters begging for further financial aid and letters of withdrawal from students who could no longer afford the payments. Most of the approximately 400 physicians who graduated from Leonard Medical School practiced in the rural South and therefore were unable to support their alma mater. Due to financial difficulties and inability to keep up with modern medical standards, Leonard closed its hospital in 1914 and the medical school followed in 1918. All but two of the nation’s black medical schools were closed by 1924.

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 5, 1881, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act concerning the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. Governor, with the consent of the Senate, to appoint seven (7) new trustees to manage this organization.
On March 6, 1883, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act appropriating $36,000 annually for the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. For 1883 and 1884. $5,000 additional appropriated for building repairs.
On February 25, 1885, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to add three (3) more members to the School Committee for the public schools in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. The school committee may now elect the Superintendent of Schools.
On March 3, 1885, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate $36,000 annually for the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. For 1885 and 1886. $5,000 more appropriated for for facility maintenance.
On March 11, 1885, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to establish and maintain an Industrial School to be managed by the Department of Agriculture and location to be determined. The site chosen was in western Raleigh in Wake County. This Act was amended on March 7, 1887 and February 19, 1897; see below.
On February 26, 1887, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to authorize the governor to convey a lot in the town of Raleigh for a graded school. The Act identified the vacant lot adjacent to the Centennial Grade School.
On March 4, 1887, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate $37,000 annually for the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. For 1887 and 1888. This Act was repealed on March 9, 1889; see below.
On March 7, 1887, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to supplement the earlier Act of March 11, 1885 (above) pertaining to the Industrial School to be established in Raleigh in Wake County. The school was renamed to the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. In 1918, it was renamed to the North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering. In 1965, it was renamed to the North Carolina State University at Raleigh. This Act was amended on February 13, 1889; see below.Section 7 of this Act was repealed on March 1, 1889; see below. This Act was amended again on March 1, 1891; see below. The Management Structure changed drastically on March 13, 1895; see below. This Act was again amended on February 18, 1897; see below.

In 1862, U.S. Congressional legislation, specifically the Morrill Land Grant Act, provided states with land to develop institutions of higher education. Over two decades passed before North Carolinians took advantage of the opportunity. Through the influence of agricultural leaders and of the Watauga Club, a group of local businessmen, the state legislature chartered the North Carolina State University of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in 1887. A & M, as it was commonly known, was North Carolina’s first land grant college. Four years later, what is now North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University in Greensboro, established in 1891 to serve African Americans, became the second.

A & M opened its doors in October of 1889 with seventy-two students, a single building, and six staff members, among them the first president, Alexander Q. Holladay. A & M was founded to provide “theoretical and practical training in agriculture and the mechanic arts.” The North Carolina constitution of 1776 stated that North Carolina should establish one or more institutions of higher education where “all useful learning shall be encouraged.” The University of North Carolina opened its doors in 1795 and followed a traditional English style of learning, teaching its students Greek, Latin and philosophy, leaving the mechanical and agricultural goal unfulfilled until A & M opened its doors.

By the turn of the century, A & M had around 300 students and five additional buildings. During the first several decades of the twentieth century, the institution was known as State College. On March 27, 1931, the North Carolina General Assembly passed the Consolidation Bill making it one of three universities, along with the University of North Carolina and the Women’s College at Greensboro, to be combined administratively to deal with inefficiency and redundancy in higher education.

In 1965, the General Assembly approved North Carolina State University at Raleigh as the official name of the school. The Consolidated University system lasted until 1971 when it was changed to the sixteen-campus University of North Carolina system. Present-day North Carolina State University (NCSU) is an acclaimed university with a student body numbering around 30,000 and a faculty of nearly 2,000. Known as the “people’s university,” it is a national leader in science, engineering, veterinary medicine, design, and technology and ranks in the top ten institutions for industry sponsored research.

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 13, 1889, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the earlier Act of March 7, 1887 (above) concerning the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. This Act repealed the requirement for half of the trustees be from each political party.
On March 1, 1889, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to repeal Section 7 of the earlier Act of March 7, 1887 (above), as well as to provide additional accommodations for the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind in Raleigh in Wake County by taking 100 acres from the College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts.
On March 9, 1889, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to authorize the qualified voters in the town of Raleigh in Wake County to decide whether to levy an additional special tax to pay for graded schools in the town of Raleigh. If not, they may revote every year until they decide yes.
Also on March 9, 1889, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate $40,000 annually for the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. For 1889 and 1890.
On March 11, 1889, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Auburn Male and Female Academy in the village of Auburn in Wake County. Six (6) trustees were named in the Act. This Act also chartered the Auburn Farmers' Alliance No. 41.
Also on March 11, 1889, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the earlier Act of March 11, 1875 (above) pertaining to Wake Forest College in the village of Wake Forest in Wake County. This Act increased the authorized assets from $500,000 to $1,000,000.
Also on March 11, 1889, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate Steele's Business College in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. Five (5) corporators were named in the Act.
In the Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the scholastic years of 1889 and 1890, it was reported that there were five (5) private schools for white children and two (2) private schools for colored children in Wake County. The private schools for white children were:

Private School

Town/Village

Principal

No. of Students

St. Mary's School

Raleigh

Rev. B. Smedes

130 females

Wake Forest College

Wake Forest

Rev. Charles E. Taylor

206 males

Peace Institute

Raleigh

James Dinwiddie

148 females

Wake Forest Academy

Wake Forest

Miss Fort & Miss Simmons

40

Raleigh Male Academy

Raleigh

Morson & Denson

96 males
The private schools for colored children were:

Private School

Town/Village

Principal

No. of Students

St. Augustine Normal School

Raleigh

Rev. Robert B. Sutton

119

Shaw University

Raleigh

Rev. H.M. Tupper

340
On February 27, 1891, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Baptist Female University to be located at or near the town of Raleigh in Wake County. Twenty-five (25) trustees were named in the Act, and the school was authorized assets up to $1,000,000, all tax exempt. In 1904, the name was changed to Baptist University for Women. In 1909, the named was changed to Meredith College.

At the North Carolina Baptist State Convention in 1835, a member, whose name has gone unrecorded, suggested that a female seminary “of high order” be considered in North Carolina. A group of four Baptists, led by Thomas Meredith (1795-1850), founding editor of the Biblical Recorder (est. 1833) and charter member of the state convention, regretfully decided to postpone further action until more financial resources were available. It was not until 1889 that Leonidas Polk, an advocate of religious education, echoed the long ignored sentiment and the convention approved the Baptist Female University program in 1891. Eight years later, in 1899, the university, by then called the Baptist Female Seminary, opened an opulent main hall, designed by A. G. Bauer in the Queen Anne Style on North Blount Street in Raleigh. The first students to cross the threshold graduated in 1901, and were christened the “immortal ten.” In 1909, the university was renamed Meredith College, in recognition of Thomas Meredith, who according to North Carolina historian J. W. Moore, “surpasses all others in importance” in Baptist history of North Carolina.

In 1926, Meredith College relocated to its present site at 3800 Hillsborough Street, despite concerns of close proximity to North Carolina State University. Although the institution originally offered a preparatory school from first through sixth grades, by 1918, the college limited degrees to undergraduate. Masters’ degrees were issued in music, education and business studies, beginning in 1983. In early 1997, Meredith trustees removed the college from the Baptist State Convention, citing concerns about academic freedom. In 2000, Maureen Hartford became Meredith’s first female president, a landmark event in the college’s history. Meredith College is currently the largest private college for women in the Southeast, with majors and concentrations in over sixty areas of study.

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 3, 1891, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate $40,000 annually for the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. For 1891 and 1892.
On March 6, 1891, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the earlier Act of March 7, 1887 (above) pertaining to the College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in Raleigh in Wake County. They appropriated $10,000 annually for 1891 and 1891. 200 acres of Camp Mangum tract on the west side of Raleigh were give to the college, and the trustees were authorized to sell "the Grissom lot" in the town of Raleigh.
On March 9, 1891, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to repair and refurbish the Deaf, Dumb and Blind Asylum in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. $1,000 was appropriated.
Also on March 9, 1891, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to establish an Agricultural and Mechanical College for the colored race in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. On the same date, they passed a supplemental Act. $2,500 was appropriated per annum. This Act was amended on March 4, 1899; see below. In 1891, this college was annexed to Shaw University in Raleigh. In 1892, the college was relocated to the town of Greensboro in Guilford County. In 1915, the name was changed to Negro Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina. In 1957, the name was changed to Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina. In 1967, the name was changed to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
On February 15, 1893, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the earlier Act of March 9, 1891 (above) pertaining to the North Carolina School for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. This Act defined the duties and requisite skills of the school superintendent.
On February 20, 1893, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to extend the charter of the Saint Augustine Normal School and Collegiate Institute in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. The school was originally incorporated on July 19, 1867 by letters patent in Raleigh. This Act changed the name to Saint Augustine's School. It is now known as Saint Augustine's University. This Act was amended on March 8, 1897; see below.
On March 2, 1893, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate $40,000 annually for the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. For 1893 an 1894. Also appropriated $5,000 for repairs.
On March 6, 1893, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate $10,000 annually, for 1893 and 1894, for the support and maintenance of the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in the town of Raleigh in Wake County.
On March 6, 1893, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate Mount Pleasant Academy in Wake County. Six (6) trustees were named in the Act, and the school was chartered for fifty (50) years.
On March 5, 1895, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate $10,000 annually, for 1895 and 1896, for the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. The State Treasurer is now the ex officio treasurer of the college.
On March 6, 1895, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a Resolution in favor of the "Virginia Dare Association" and instructed the State's Senators and Representatives to secure the establishment of a National School of Industrial Arts for Women in Raleigh in Wake County. This Author has found no definitive evidence that this school was ever established.
On March 11, 1895, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to provide for the erection of additional buildings and further equipment for the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. For each of 1895 and 1896, $7,500 was appropriated for new buildings, and $3,750 was appropriated for new equipment.
Also on March 11, 1895, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to aid the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind in Raleigh in Wake County. $2,000 appropriated to repair the chapel; $7,000 appropriated for additional buildings for the colored department.
On March 12, 1895, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act for curing the blind at the institution in Raleigh in Wake County. Two (2) rooms were set aside for the "curable blind" - one for males and one for females.
On March 13, 1895, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to place the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts under the control of the State Department of Agriculture. This Act redefined the members of the Department of Agriculture and the management structure of the college. This Act was repealed on February 18, 1897; see below.

Sarah Hunter, wife of St. Augustine College’s (see above) fourth principal, saw the need for a hospital for Raleigh’s black community and realized that the opportunity was there to provide training for black medical professionals. At the general convention of Episcopal Church in 1895, she raised enough money to convert a house on campus into a rudimentary hospital, typical of school infirmaries in the nineteenth century.

St. Agnes Hospital opened on October 18, 1896. The nursing school, offering the first professional training for black nurses in North Carolina, graduated its first students two years later. Much of the training was on-the-job, but there were also some lectures. The other two African American nursing schools in North Carolina were both established in 1903—at Charlotte’s Good Samaritan Hospital and Durham’s Lincoln Hospital.

A larger, more modern hospital was completed in 1909. Ms. Hunter again spearheaded the fundraising for St. Agnes. It was built by St. Augustine’s masonry students from stone quarried on campus. The shell of that building is part of the Saint Augustine's College Campus Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.

The African American community in Raleigh depended on the hospital for health care. St. Agnes is said to have charged just enough for its services to let the patients keep their dignity but not so much as to keep them from seeking help. During a 1922 capital campaign, individuals and civic organizations from both the black and white communities, as well as the Episcopal Church, gave generously so that the hospital could continue to care for the underprivileged. In 1937, St. Agnes was accredited by the American Medical Association.

Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion boxer, died at St. Agnes Hospital on June 10, 1946, after a car accident in Franklin County. It was the closest hospital that would take him as a patient. St. Agnes Hospital closed in the wake of the civil rights movement. From 1896 to 1961 an estimated 687 nursing students were trained there.

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 18, 1897, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to repeal the earlier Act of March 13, 1895 (above) concerning the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in the town of Raleigh in Wake County.
On February 25, 1897, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate Mount Moriah Male and Female Academy in Wake County. Ten (10) incorporators were named in the Act.
On February 26, 1897, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate $34,500 for the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. This was for new buildings and repairs.
On March 2, 1897, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate Saint Mary's School in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. Ten (10) trustees were named in the Act. This Act was amended on January 16, 1899; see below.
Also on March 2, 1897, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate $10,000 annually, for 1897 and 1898, for the erection of a new building for the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County.
On March 3, 1897, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate $11,500 annually, for 1897 and 1898, for the erection of a new building and equipment for the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. This appropriation is for the colored department in said institution.
On March 5, 1897, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to authorize the qualified voters in Wake Forest Township to decide whether to levy a special tax to purchase a lot and the construction of a public school house for white children in the village of Wake Forest in Wake County.
Also on March 5, 1897, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Raleigh Library in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. Sixteen (16) trustees were named in the Act, and the library was chartered for thirty (30) years.
Also on March 5, 1897, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a supplemental Act to provide for the separate control of the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. Trustees of the college are now separate and distinct from the Department of Agriculture.
On March 6, 1897, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to authorize the qualified voters in the town of Raleigh in Wake County to decide whether to levy a special tax to issue $50,000 in bonds to construct new school buildings and equipping said buildings in the town of Raleigh.
On March 8, 1897, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to provide a suitable garden for the North Carolina Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in Raleigh in Wake County. Trustees may sell or exchange existing garden for a more suitable plot.
Also on March 8, 1897, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to authorize the trustees of the North Carolina Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County to employ two (2) or more physicians, salaries not to exceed $750 combined.
Also on March 8, 1897, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the charter of the Saint Augustine's School in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. The make-up of the board of trustees was redefined.
On March 9, 1897, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate $5,000 for a new boiler and to erect a new hospital at the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. Half in 1897 and half in 1898.
Also on March 9, 1897, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate two Literary Societies in Shaw University in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. Forty-six (46) incorporators for two yet-to-be-named societies are named in the Act, and they were authorized assets up to $50,000.
On January 16, 1899, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the earlier Act of March 2, 1897 (above) pertainin to Saint Mary's School in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. School under the Protestant Episcopalian Church in North and South Carolina.
On February 15, 1899, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Olivia Raney Library in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. Fifteen (15) corporators were named in the Act. Opened in 1901, moved location in 1965, closed in 1985. Re-opened as Olivia Raney Local History Library with focus on genealogy and Civil War history; still open.
Also on February 15, 1899, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to redefine how to fill vacancies in the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County.
On February 28, 1899, the North Carolina General Assembly passed yet another Act to authorize the qualified voters in the town of Raleigh in Wake County to decide whether to issue up to $50,000 in bonds for public schools in the town of Raleigh.
Also on February 28, 1899, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to create a separate department to treat the insane and inebriate Croatan Indians at the State Hospital in Raleigh in Wake County.
Also on February 28, 1899, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act for the better government of the North Carolina Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. The General Assembly elected and named seven (7) new directors.
On March 3, 1899, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to change the government of the College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. Name officially changed to "North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts," and redefined the board of trustees.
On March 6, 1899, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Methodist Orphanage at or near the town of Raleigh in Wake County. Fifteen (15) trustees were named in the Act.

John H. Mills, father of the orphanage movement in North Carolina, in 1872 founded the Masonic Orphanage in Oxford, the state’s first, ushering in a “golden age” of the orphanage movement. Over the next thirty years the following institutions were established: Thompson Orphanage in Charlotte (Episcopal) in 1881, Central Orphanage in Oxford (Colored) in 1883, Thomasville Baptist Orphanage in 1885, Barium Springs (Presbyterian) in Iredell County in 1891, and Methodist Orphanage in Raleigh in 1899.

The Methodist Orphanage was established by the North Carolina Conference of the Methodist Church. The building was completed in 1900, and the first child, Cassie Bright, was admitted in January of 1901. By the end of that year the orphanage had twenty-eight children. Admission was granted to children by referral of Methodist pastors in the fifty-six counties of central and eastern North Carolina, the geographical boundary of the North Carolina Methodist Conference. In 1909, Children’s Home, a Methodist orphanage serving residents of the western counties, was established in Winston-Salem. Methodist Orphanage evolved by 1930 into a comprehensive residential facility and school. At the height of the Depression, enrollment peaked at 340 residents. In the early years of the facility, children lived in dormitories housing twenty-five to thirty individuals. The orphanage later shifted to a “house-parent” setup, with cottages housing up to twelve children under the care of a parental figure.

In 1955, Methodist Orphanage changed its name to Methodist Home for Children and restructured its facilities to meet the needs of children and families in America’s increasingly mobile society. Departing from strictly residential programs, Methodist Home for Children developed outreach programs and services. In 1979, the Home sold its central campus and established a series of youth homes and family-centered outreach programs across the state. Today twenty-one acres of the original campus, now called Fred Fletcher Park, are maintained by Raleigh Parks & Recreation Department, including two of the original buildings. The Methodist Home for Children is recognized as one of the state’s most distinguished child and family service agencies, working with more than 1,400 children and their families a year. Today the Methodist Home maintains an office on original campus property north of Fred Fletcher Park.

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 8, 1899, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to appropriate funds for the North Carolina Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. $15,000 appropriated for each of 1899 and 1900 for new boilers, heating plant, electric plant, a new roof, land for a garden, and new books. $12,500 additional appropriated for each of 1899 and 1900 for maintenance.
Also on March 8, 1899, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to provide a system of sewerage for the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in the town of Raleigh in Wake County. $2,000 loaned by the State. Three (3) commissioners 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 Wake County:

Private School

Town/Village

Principal

No. of Students

Cary School

Cary

E.L. Middleton

100

Morrisville School

Morrisville

H.M. Cates

40

Green Level School

Ewing

G.M. Beavers

50

Holly Springs School

Holly Springs

W.L. Norris

50

Wendell School

Wendell

A.R. Flowers

75

Wakefield School

Wakefield

A.A. Pippin

120

Mt. Moriah School

Auburn

W.H. Penny

50

Among the first rural high schools for African Americans in North Carolina, the Berry O’Kelly Training School on Method Road in Raleigh was established in 1910. Accreditation came in 1922-23, when black schools in Reidsville, Wilmington, and Durham were also enrolled. The boarding school provided students academic grounding along with training in the industrial and vocational arts. The benefit was to both blacks and whites. The school provided African Americans with a sound education and provided the entire community with skilled laborers, carpenters, seamstresses, and laundresses.

Berry O’Kelly (ca. 1861-1931), the school’s founder, was a leader in the Raleigh business community, owning a general store, a realty company, and q shoe company. In 1890, O’Kelly became the first postmaster of the post office in the town of Method, which is about half way between Raleigh and Cary. He also chaired the board of a life insurance company and was vice-president of the Raleigh branch of the Mechanics & Farmers Bank. O’Kelly wielded considerable political influence, encouraging those eligible to vote to support candidates and bond issues.

But his primary focus in his later years was education. An admirer of Booker T. Washington, O’Kelly also was a friend of Julius Rosenwald and hosted the Sears president whose philanthropic efforts established black schools across the South on a visit to Wake County. In 1917 the Manufacturer’s Record acclaimed the school at Method the “finest and most practical training school in the entire South.” In 1941, a total 250 students were enrolled and ten teachers were employed. The school closed in 1966. Although most of the buildings on the site were demolished in the late 1960s, the 1926
Agriculture Building survives. The site is now home to the Berry O’Kelly/Harveleigh White Community Center, which has a park, picnic area, playground and numerous recreational facilities that serve the Method community.

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

 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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