The Murfreesboro Female Seminary, 1835 – ???

Murfreesboro, District 13. It has been written that the school was located at 123 East College Street on the corner where medical offices are today. That site, however, was the home of Robert Wendel who bought the historic house in 1855 from Lucinda Burton, who had inherited it from her father Morris.

An advertisement for the seminary in 1834 read: “The new building of David Wendel will be commodiously fitted for the purpose.” The address of David Wendel’s building is not known at this time. It is known that a very old school was located on the corner of College and Spring Streets where the Presbyterian Church now stands.

The advertisement in The CENTRAL MONITOR for January 18, 1834, further read: “Mr. and Mrs. S. B. Bowles will open on the first Monday of January next in Murfreesborough a school for the instruction of young ladies.”

Trustees of the school were Charles Ready, Jonathan Currin, Charles Wiles, Henry D. Jamison, William F. Lytle, V. C. Cowan, and William Ledbetter.

The curriculum was described thus: “for the instruction of young ladies in Reading, Writing, English Grammar, Arithmetic, Geography, with the use of maps and globes, History, Rhetoric, Logic, Composition, Natural Philosophy, etc. To the above branches will be added Plain and Ornamental Sewing, Lace Work, Embroidery, Rug Work, Beadwork, Drawing, Painting on paper and velvet, with every other branch of education usually taught in Female Academies . . . a philosophical apparatus will be procured as soon as practicable and experimental philosophical lectures will be delivered on mechanics, hydrostatics, pneumatics, etc.”

SOURCES: Deed Book 15, p. 547. *Homer P. Pittard, “Famous Institutions Once Taught Local Students 100 Years Ago,” The Daily News Journal, Nov. 13, 1963, p. 12. *Gene Sloan, “Soule College” Rutherford County Historical Society, Summer 1978, p. 58. *C. C. Sims, A History of Rutherford County
Sims, 1947, p. 149. Mary B. Hughes, Hearthstones Murfreesboro: Mid-South Publishing Co., 1942, p. 60.

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