320 History of Wake Forest College
education by this Association Rev. Elias Dodson said, "The Liberty
Association is sleeping the sleep of death upon the subject of male
and female education. They are not looking to the future as they ought
to."21
Another association to establish a Preparatory School was the
Catawba River. In its session of October 1856, this body took the
initial step, adopting a resolution to "establish a Preparatory School at
the Mountain Spring, for the benefit of the Association and the
Baptist family generally." When the committee reported at the next
meeting of the Association it was found that both the church at
Smyrna and that at North Catawba were competitors for the school.
Accordingly, it was agreed that the school should go to the site
supported by the largest subscription to be reported at a meeting of
the Board at North Catawba in January, 1858. When the meeting was
held and the lists were compared it was found that the North Catawba
Church, near the line between Caldwell and Burke counties, had made
the larger subscription, and accordingly the Board located the school
there, calling it the Catawba River Baptist Academy. This action of
the Board received formal ratification at the next meeting of the
Association, and at the same time the North Catawba Church was
permitted to use the building as a meeting house. The largest givers to
the new schools were Elder William Bradshaw, Elder B. H. Martin,
Mr. Elijah Martin and some others in the neighborhood of the school.
The interest of the Association in the school and in education
generally was strongly manifested at the next meeting of the
Association, when the subject was discussed by Elder Elias Dodson in
an hour especially set aside for the purpose, and the Association by
resolutions most heartily approved of the school and pledged it loyal
support
.22
―――――――
21
Biblical Recorder, January 12, 1860.
22
Minutes for 1859. The School opened in January, 1859. Its principal before the
Civil War was Rev. E. A. Poe, who had been a student at Wake Forest (Biblical
Recorder, June 7, 1859). It is among the schools mentioned with approval by the
Western Baptist Convention in 1859. After that year or that Convention, there is no
further reference to it in the minutes of the Association Convention, or in Poe's
Sketch. Many years later Mr. R. L. Patton established a school in the neighborhood
which he named Amherst Academy.
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