Abbeville in Henry County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
The Southeast Alabama Agricultural School / First Free Secondary School in Alabama
This school and experiment station was created by Alabama Legislative Act No. 579, February 28, 1889. This was the first school in Alabama to offer free secondary education. SAAS was also the state's and Auburn’s first junior college. Probate Judge John B. Ward is known as the "father of the college". He lobbied for a two story brick building which finally was completed in 1898. The first 1889 classes were held at The Abbeville Academy until the main building was completed. Later, similar wooden structure schools were established in each congressional district.
SAAS opened September 16, 1889 at The Abbeville Academy. Abbeville was referred to as "the educational center of the southeastern United States" by the Abbeville Times. Renowned Lawrenceville Academy headmaster Joseph A. Espy was the first president of the "agriculture college". Local homes boarded the students from five counties and three states. The school had 227 students during the 1890
Erected 1990 by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Henry County Historical Society.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Education. A significant historical year for this entry is 1889.
Location. 31° 34.037′ N, 85° 15.12′ W. Marker is in Abbeville, Alabama, in Henry County. Marker is at the intersection of North Trawick Street and West College, on the right when traveling south on North Trawick Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 300 North Trawick Street, Abbeville AL 36310, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Bethune-Kennedy House (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The First Baptist Church of Abbeville/Abbeville Pioneer Cemetery (about 800 feet away); Methodist Episcopal Church, South (approx. 0.2 miles away); Nordan's (approx. ¼ mile away); Henry, The Mother County (approx. 0.3 miles away); A County Older Than the State (approx. 0.3 miles away); In Honor of William Calvin Oates (approx. 0.3 miles away); Abbeville/Seven Flags and an Arrow Over Abbeville (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Abbeville.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 5, 2016. It was originally submitted on February 17, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 887 times since then and 58 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 17, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.