At the request of the City, the Academy Board of Trustees turned the land and building over to the Presbyterian Synod of Nashville on November 25, 1854.The Florence Synodical Female College was chartered by the Alabama Legislature in December, 1855 and received its first students that same year. White female applicants were accepted without regard to class or religious denomination, although daughters of Presbyterian clergy received preference. The stated aim of the College was to train young ladies for proper sphere in the home and drawing room.Dr. William H. Mitchell, Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Florence, served as president of the academy until 1871. Five other presidents followed him. The Board of Trustees consisted of fifteen prominent business men.
Robert M. Patton, later governor of Alabama, was Chairman of the Board.
The education building, facing Wilson Park (then called the Public Walk), consisted of classrooms, offices, and a library. The dormitory faced Seminary Street where the post office is currently located.
Students often used the Public Walk for recreation.The city assisted this activity by planting 100 trees and fencing the area to keep the cows out.
FSFC faculty and staff usually included six or seven teaching faculty members plus a cook and janitor. The faculty taught in departments of language, literature, natural science, mathematics, music and a preparatory department. Enrollment averaged about 100 and never exceeded 140 students. Students came from all parts of the South, but mainly from more affluent families of Northwest Alabama.
Student life and activities were strictly controlled. Off campus generally limited to family members. During some years students were required to wear uniforms to discourage extravagant dressing.
Financial troubles and competition from the state supported co-Female University, which opened in 1891, forced closure of the College in 1893. In 1895 the land, buildings, and appurtenance were sold to satisfy financial obligations.
The dormitory was demolished in 1911 clearing the way for the federal building. The educational building was occupied by several business and the Elks Club until razed in 1972.
|Placed By||Florence Historical Board Florence Alabama|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Saturday, September 20th, 2014 at 10:02pm PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||16S E 438307 N 3851404|
|Decimal Degrees||34.80300000, -87.67445000|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 34° 48.18', W 87° 40.467'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||34° 48' 10.80" N, 87° 40' 28.02" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 200-298 E Tombigbee St, Florence AL 35630, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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