Beech Grove Male and Female Academy, aka Beech Grove College, 1869-c1892

BEECH GROVE MALE AND FEMALE ACADEMY, frequently called BEECH GROVE COLLEGE chartered Dec. 9, 1869-c 1892, was located on College Hill on the north side of Garrison Road about one-half mile east of Beech Grove and the Manchester Highway. The land, overlooking the Garrison Fork, was given by Alfred Jacobs. The school was in Coffee County but was a “border” school attended by Rutherford County students.

The college was a two-story frame building with the second floor one large auditorium or recitation room. The home on the estate of Alfred Jacobs was used as a dormitory.

Among the incorporators were William Hume, a Major in the Confederate Army, a merchant at Beech Grove, and later a Nashville educator after whom Hume Fogg was named, and James L. Carlisle, who became Superintendent of Schools in the state of Texas. B. L. Chadwick of Rutherford County was a trustee.

Professor H. A. Scomp, a graduate of Yale, headed the faculty when the school opened. L. C. Jacobs was principal in 1892. President Madison Parker signed a diploma for Miss Belle Mankin in 1875. Mr. Jamison of Rutherford County was also a president.

Six southern states were at one time represented in the student body. Lee Jacobs, who founded a school later, and B. L. Chadwick, a trustee of CHADWICK SCHOOL, were graduates.

Fanny Ashley of Murfreesboro received her diploma from BEECH GROVE.

The college offered work for students from grade one through college. The four-year college program was modeled after that of Dartmouth College. The sale of wine or liquor was prohibited within two miles of the school.

Public education brought about the demise of the private college. The Manchester Times reported on August 4, 1899 that the college would soon be torn down. The last college degree was issued to James H. Ashley, later editor and publisher of the Manchester Times.

The land was returned to the estate of Alfred Jacobs, later a part of the farm owned by B. S. Mason, and then by Tom Ogles. The lumber from the school building was used to build BEECH GROVE HIGH SCHOOL.

SOURCES: *David Jacobs, Beech Grove. Hugh Doak, Article in Manchester Times, 1938 clipping . Basil B. McMahan, Coffee County, Tennessee, Then and Now McMahan, 1983, pp. 220, 311.

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