The Academy in Bibb County, Georgia

Bibb County was established in 1822, and the City of Macon was founded in 1823.

During the first year of Macon's existence, a commission was appointed by an Act of the Legislature in 1823 to supervise three academies.
This commission established a school in 1824 with Oliver Danforth as appointed Rector.

Much information about this school has been found in a journal belonging to the Honorable John J.Gresham, and other journals kept by the Board of Trustees for the Academy.  The main source of this article is Butler's History of Macon and Central Georgia, and It is believed, due to the mention of the previous references, that his sources were these journals.

Attending the first meeting of the trustees of the Academy were:
Charles J. MacDonald John S. Frierson Matthew Robinson
Oliver Prince was listed as absent.

Rice Durrett had submitted his resignation and Christopher B. Strong was appointed to fill the vacancy.

At this meeting, arrangements were made to build the Academy on the Academy Square.
The building was set to be thirty-six feet long by twenty-four feet wide. Furnishing s included one desk, four writing tables and nine benches.

On January 11, 1828, Elisha Hammond was appointed to succeed a Mr. Jones (perhaps as principal/teacher).
The rates of tuition per quarter were published:
Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic - $4.00
Geography and Grammar - $6.00
Greek, Latin, and Higher Mathematics - $8.00

Also, at this time, a the building was ordered to be raised two feet higher and set on pillars of brick from the chimney.
Windowpanes were also placed in the building.

(Elisha Hammond died in Macon on March 4, 1829. He is buried in the old Macon cemetery with a marble slab over his tomb
and an impressive epitaph.)

The Academy burned in 1829.

A new academy building was built of brick and was a handsome edifice.
It was thirty-four feet long, and thirty-six feet wide. It had two stories, with a portico and Venetian blinds,
and the inside walls were hard-plastered.

At the same time, the Trustees decided that a female department should be added to the academy.
Mr. John Darby came from the South Carolina Institute to be principal,
and his wife joined him to assist by presiding over the female department.

During his stay at the Academy, Mr. Darby introduced a chemical Apparatus at a cost of $200.
He also set up the curriculum into four classes
with tuition respectively at $9.00, $8.00, $7.00, and $5.00.

Mr. Darby resigned the next year, and the new principal was Rev. John McIntyre, a teacher for many years in Georgia.

According to the journals kept by the trustees, the following were also trustees, though not mentioned above:
Joseph Washburn N. C. Monroe Nathan Bass
Isaac Harvey Ambrose Baber A.H. Chappell
W. P. Hunter James Smith L. N. Whittle
Robert Birdsong W. B. Parker John L Jones
Edward D. Tracy Simri Rose George S. Oscar
Thomas Baxter R. A. L. Atkinson James T. Nisbet

Teachers of note not already mentioned are:
Rev. John O?Keefe J. S. Ingraham Rev. Mr. Strobel
Rev. J.W. Miller Rev. George Hancock Frederick Bates
E. H. Link

The war years:
During the war, the, the Academy property was used as a Confederate hospital. In1865, General Wilson's army took a portion of the property to use as a camp and many of the beautiful oaks were destroyed.

The academy was discontinued in 1872 and and was merged in to the free school system.
In addition to Academy, there were always other private schools of good quality
for both males and females.

Source: pp. 294-296. Butler, John C. HISTORICAL RECORD OF MACON AND CENTRAL GEORGIA, c.1879 by J.W. Burke Co., Macon, GA. (published by Middle Georgia Historical Society,Inc. Macon, Georgia, 1969)
Notes prepared by Jennifer Braswell.

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