north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program



Marker Text:

      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 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 Civil War, the academy reopened 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.

Charles L. Coon, North Carolina Schools and Academies, 1790-1840 (1915)
(Salisbury) Western Carolinian, December 9, 1823
(Salisbury) Yadkin & Catawba Journal, July 14, 1829
Genealogical Society of Iredell County, Heritage of Iredell County (1980)
E. F. Rockwell, “The Second Classical School in Iredell County,” North Carolina Journal of Education, I (1858)
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north carolina highway historical marker program

© 2008 North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources