North Carolina Education - Wilson County

Year County Established

County Webpage Herein

County Seat Webpage Herein

1855

Wilson County

Wilson
On February 16, 1859, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Wilson Female Seminary in the town of Wilson in Wilson County. Six (6) trustees were named in the Act, and the seminary was authorized capital stock of $30,000, which could be increased to $50,000.
On March 24, 1870, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate Foy's Mathematical and Classical High School near the village of Stantonsburg in Wilson County. Eight (8) trustees were named in the Act.
On March 25, 1870, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Wilson Collegiate Seminary for Young Ladies in the town of Wilson in Wilson County. Eight (8) trustees were named in the Act.
On January 24, 1872, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Wilson Collegiate Institute in the town of Wilson in Wilson County. Nine (9) trustees were named in the Act.
On February 27, 1883, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to authorize the qualified voters in the town of Wilson in Wilson County to decide whether to levy a special tax to establish graded schools in the town of Wilson. Nine (9) trustees were named for each of the white and colored schools. This Act was amended on March 9, 1891 and March 11, 1895; see below.
On March 7, 1887, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to create and establish a free school district at the town of Sharpsburg out of parts of Edgecombe County, Nash County, and Wilson County. This Act defined the boundaries of said school district, and named three (3) whites and two (2) colored school committeemen.
On March 9, 1889, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to authorize the qualified voters of School District No. 1 in Wilson County to decide whether to levy a special tax to pay for the construction of new schools in said school district.
On March 9, 1891, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the earlier Act of February 27, 1883 (above) pertaining to graded schools in the town of Wilson in Wilson County. Apparently, the voters decided "no" in the earlier Act. Four (4) trustees were named in this Act. This Act was amended on February 27, 1899; see below.
On March 6, 1893, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate Hopewell Academy in the village of Moyton in Wilson County. Five (5) incorporators were named in the Act.
On March 11, 1895, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the earlier Act of February 27, 1883 (above) pertaining to graded schools in the town of Wilson in Wilson County. This Act directed that all collected taxes are to be paid to the school district quarterly.
On February 20, 1897, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to consolidate Public School Districts No. 19 and No. 20 for the colored race in or near the town of Elm City in Wilson County. This new school district was given the name "Elm City Public School District for the Colored Race."
On February 27, 1899, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the earlier Act of March 9, 1891 (above) pertaining to graded schools in the town of Wilson in Wilson 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 two (2) private schools in Wilson County:

Private School

Town/Village

Principal

No. of Students

Kinsey Seminary

Wilson

Joseph Kinsey

100

Elm City Academy

Elm City

James W. Hayes

125

Atlantic Christian College (ACC) was established by the Disciples of Christ (Christian Church) in 1902 on a small campus in Wilson, North Carolina, purchased, with local support, from the failed Kinsey Seminary. The college was co-educational, with the training of men for the Christian ministry as a primary objective. The first president was James Caswell Coggins, a Disciple Minister living in Illinois. As head of the nascent college, Coggins met with many difficulties, including the resignations of most of his staff. He himself resigned in 1904.

John James Harper, a Disciple Minister and college trustee and, indeed, the man responsible for the name Atlantic Christian College, then took over as president. In moving to Wilson, Harper left his Johnston County home which is now a part of Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site. Harper offered ACC strong leadership and reliable recruiting until his death in 1908. Howard Stevens Hilley, a long-time president of the college, was named acting president in 1920. The appointment was made permanent in 1921 and Hilley remained in that capacity until 1949. During his term Hilley saw the campus grow from two buildings to six, with one under construction and an additional fourteen dwellings.

Atlantic Christian College grew with Wilson, for as the town became an important tobacco market, students from around the country learned of the burgeoning school. In 1922, it became one of twelve (12) colleges in North Carolina that were rated an “Class A College” by the state Department of Education. The high school preparatory division was eliminated in 1924 so that resources could be concentrated on the college. That fall enrollment increased by twenty percent. ACC weathered the Depression and World War II, continuing to place many graduates in North Carolina’s schools and pulpits. It was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in December of 1955. In 1990, Atlantic Christian College became Barton College. The name was in honor of Barton W. Stone, an educator and a founder of the Disciples of Christ.

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

 
 
 
 
 


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