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Danville in Montgomery County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Danville Female Academy

Missouri's Civil War

 
 
Danville Female Academy Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., April 10, 2011
1. Danville Female Academy Marker
Inscription.  
You are standing on the site of the Danville Female Academy, and at your front is the sole surviving building of the Academy, the chapel and dormitory.

The Female Academy was founded in 1853 by the Reverend James H. Robinson at a time when Danville was an important stop on the Boonslick Road, and it is considered one of the first female “colleges” west of the Mississippi River. As shown by the woodcut at the upper right, the academy became a substantial facility during the years of its operation (1853-1865). The Rev. Robinson moved to St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1865, and he became a prominent educator there.

On the evening of October 14, 1864, rebel horsem[e]n rode east into Danville on the Boonslick Road – a rare segment of which survives two blocks northwest of here. Danville was a predominately Unionist settlement at the time and was garrisoned by Union troops operating out of a large blockhouse that stood at the southeast corner of the public square. The night of Anderson’s Raid, these [U]nion troops were stationed several miles to the east, protecting the North Missouri Railroad.

Arriving in
Danville Female Academy and Markers image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., April 10, 2011
2. Danville Female Academy and Markers
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town at 8:30 p.m. without warning, Anderson’s men began their rampage by indiscriminately killing several of the townspeople, including 12-year-old Ira Chinn. For three and one half hours, the southern raiders practiced their grisly trade. Some, like “Little Archie” Clements had been at Centralia just two and a half weeks earlier and knew well how to terrorize a town. The raiders moved east, to New Florence, about midnight and left most of the town of Danville in flames and ruins. Still intact was the substantial brick home of Missouri legislator Sylvester Baker, which stands to this day down the road about a mile to the east.

The most fascinating story to come out of the Danville Raid happened right here. Guerrillas entered the academy grounds believing that Union troops had secreted themselves in the chapel and demanded the keys from Mrs. Robinson. While this scene transpired, some of the students housed in the second floor dormitory ran for the woods, while some came out to confront the guerrillas, claiming they were [S]outhern girls and begging that the school be spared. Local lore holds that one of the girls hung her petticoat on a staff over the front door of this place as a sign of truce. Whatever the reason, the school survived and this chapel survived, a testament to the grit of some young Missouri women, some [N]orthern and some [S]outhern in heritage.

This
Danville Female Academy image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., April 10, 2011
3. Danville Female Academy
building was a Methodist Church until the 1950s and is considered by some to be the finest example of Greek Revival architecture still standing in central Missouri.

Learn more at www.mocivilwar.org

The Danville Raid
On October 11, 1864, at Boonsville, Missouri, [C]onfederate General Sterling Price met with an already infamous “Bloody Bill” Anderson, during Price’s westward march on his 1864 Missouri Expedition. Price instructed Anderson to take a party east to disrupt and destroy the North Missouri Railroad. Anderson’s men traveled east on the Boonslick Road, passing through Franklin and Rocheport, and skirted Columbia, then continuing to Williamsburg and Danville. After the attack on Danville, described here, the raiders moved on New Florence and High Hill, to the east, and destroyed tracks and railroad facilities there. The damage to the railroad, however, was relatively slight, and the raiders ended their eastward dash well before reaching their objective, a bridge at the St. Charles County line.

After High Hill, Anderson’s men camped on the New Florence – Hermann Road several miles southeast of here, then crossed the Missouri River west of Hermann.

Was Bloody Bill Anderson at Danville? Major historians have disagreed on the issue of whether Anderson commanded the raiders at Danville, but some of the literature
Danville Female Academy image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., April 10, 2011
4. Danville Female Academy
also places him at Glasgow, Missouri on the wrong date – i.e., on the same day as the Danville Raid. The Draper sisters believe they saw the infamous Anderson here. If he was not, then his sidekick, the diabolical “Little Archie” Clements was in command.
 
Erected 2005 by Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation and the Bank of Montgomery County.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionEducationWar, US CivilWomen. In addition, it is included in the Missouri’s Civil War series list. A significant historical date for this entry is October 14, 1848.
 
Location. 38° 54.511′ N, 91° 32.084′ W. Marker is in Danville, Missouri, in Montgomery County. Marker is at the intersection of Missouri Route 161 and Boonslick Road, on the right when traveling east on State Route 161. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Montgomery City MO 63361, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Historic Boonslick Region (here, next to this marker); Archaeology of the Cave (approx. 2.2 miles away); Exploring the Past (approx. 2.2 miles away); Davault Tavern - 1828 (approx. 4½ miles away); Montgomery City Veterans Memorial
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(approx. 4.6 miles away); Montgomery County War Memorial (approx. 5.1 miles away); Lewiston - 1826 (approx. 7.3 miles away); Gateway to the Boone's Lick (approx. 9 miles away).
 
Also see . . .
1. Danville and Danville Township. Google Books website entry (Submitted on May 27, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.) 

2. "Bloody Bill" Anderson. Handbook of Texas website entry (Submitted on May 27, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 14, 2022. It was originally submitted on May 27, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,357 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 27, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

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Jan. 27, 2023