Administration of Washington Manly Wingate 439
1, 1853. With her husband she spent nearly all her life at Wake Forest
greatly respected and admired for her good works and influence. A
fuller account of Dr. Simmons and his family will be given in another
Some account of Professor W. T. Walters has already been given.
Of President Wingate's work as pastor of the church and of his part
in raising the endowment an account is given elsewhere in this
volume. Only some personal matter need be mentioned here. On
December 19, 1850, he married Miss Mary E. Webb, daughter of
Jonathan Webb of Bertie, deceased, then living with her mother who
had become the wife of Mr. William Mitchell of Rolesville. In the
spring of 1856 President Wingate built a residence in true Darlington
County style on the eminence where the President's House now
stands. He planted his grounds with many rare shrubs and flowers,
which he was the first to plant on the Campus also.15
In the story of the Literary Societies account is given of the
absorbing interest in the state of the country that was manifested at
the College for several years preceding the opening of the War. The
students were much excited by John Brown's raid and execution; at
the Commencement of 1860, Rev. T. G. Keen of Petersburg, in his
address before the Societies had expressed the great and prevailing
alarm lest our national government be dissolved. The country was
already at War in May, 1861, and though the Commencement was
advanced from June to May 27-28, the North Carolina's ordinance of
Secession had come a week earlier, and military companies were
being organized in all sections of the State, several of them in Wake
County. On the very day of Commencement, news came of the battle
of Big Bethel and excitement was great at Wake Forest as elsewhere.
Many students of the College were already enlisted and in training.
The others were
15 Editorial report of Commencement, June 19, 1856. In the same spring the
house of Mr. John Battle, now the home of Professor Sledd, at the corner of Middle
Street and the Durham road, was built.
The Wingate house was burned in January, 1920.