Wake Forest and the Academies, 1865-1905 439
students who filled the preparatory classes and remained only a year
or two was a serious problem at Wake Forest in the sixties and
In this period there arose a conflict between the higher institutions
and the academies and high schools over what was the proper field for
each. Several academies bore the name of "collegiate institute," and
offered courses in Latin and Mathematics higher than those prescribed
for entrance to the freshman class in most colleges.8 But there was no
standard to which the high schools and academies of the State
regularly conformed. Some had one teacher, others two, three or
more. Some had relatively good buildings and furnishings and others
poor buildings and scanty equipment. Hardly any had a library, and
none, except possibly Bingham School after its removal to Asheville,
had a laboratory for experimental work in the sciences. One of the
most advertised schools of the period, Whitsett
had a pres-
ident who claimed a Ph.D. degree, while not one of the other nine
members of his faculty had a college degree and several had never
seen a college. On the other hand one of the most renowned schools
of the state had as its joint principals two men who did not claim any
academic degree, but provided a fair faculty. The Horner School at
Oxford, however, kept a well trained faculty and at times had on it as
many as three with the M.A. degree. With few teachers the course of
study in the average academy was limited to a few subjects. Every
school, however, which undertook to prepare men for college,
professed to fit their students for the college freshman class in Latin
and Mathematics. These two subjects were the backbone of the high
school curriculum, and a school was judged by the proficiency of its
men in them. It was only after the colleges had begun to publish in
their catalogues lists of books which they expected students to have
read before admission to college courses for freshmen that any
training in
8 Among these were Kinston Collegiate Institute, Yancey Collegiate Institute,
Taylorsville Collegiate Institute.
9 For typical schools of this period see Biennial Report of the Superintendent of
Public Instruction, 1897-98, pp. 178, 166, 172, 174.
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