West Chester in Chester County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
West Chester Academy
— Precursor to West Chester University —
Erected in 1812 for many years a flourishing classical and mathematical school stood on a site in the rear of this house the first president of the Board of Trustees was John Forsythe the first secretary was Dr. William Darlington. In 1869 this school was merged into the West Chester State Normal School
Erected 1911 by Chester County Historical Society.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Education. A significant historical year for this entry is 1812.
Location. 39° 57.544′ N, 75° 36.5′ W. Marker is in West Chester, Pennsylvania, in Chester County. Marker is on West Gay Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 212 West Gay Street, West Chester PA 19380, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Horace Pippin (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Thomas S. Butler House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lincoln Biography (approx. 0.2 miles away); Site of the First Schoolhouse (approx. 0.2 miles away); Chester County World War II Veterans Memorial (approx. Disabled Veterans of Chester County Pennsylvania Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Chester County Courthouse (approx. 0.2 miles away); Old Glory (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in West Chester.
1. History of the WC Academy:
The West Chester State Normal School became West Chester State College, and then West Chester University.
The West Chester Academy was a private school on West Gay Street in West Chester opening there in 1813. The school became one of the most sought after seminaries in Eastern Pennsylvania. Many men that received their education there would go on to achieve great things, and become prominent in life and pillars of the community. Their names read like a who’s who of West Chester and Chester County, among these students were Nimrod Strickland (Judge), Joseph Hemphill (Lawyer and Jurist), John Hickman (US Congressman), Washington Townsend (Judge), Dr. William Worthington (prominent physician), James B. Everhart (World Traveler, Author, PA State Senator & US Congressman) and William W. Jefferis a Mineralogy Professor who sold his Mineral Collection
During the schools almost six decades of existence it went through several noted principals and administrators. One man Jonathon Gause was in charge for nearly sixteen years, before leaving (1829) to start his own school, during his tenure the school flourished. From 1829 to 1834 several different men were in charge. At the end of that year Anthony Bolmar, a native of France, took charge and remained until 1840.
Under Bolmar’s management the school was more prosperous than it had ever been before, and was, “crowded with pupils” as one 1880 historian has stated. Bolmar was succeeded by James Crowell, who had charge until 1854, then William F. Wyers was principal from 1854 to 1866. Next in charge were J. Hunter Worrall and Eugene Paulin who had succeeded Wyers in 1866, and conducted the academy until 1869, when it was finally closed and merged with the State Normal School, later State Teachers College, WC State College and then West Chester University.
— Submitted July 19, 2016, by Keith S Smith of West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 21, 2016. It was originally submitted on July 19, 2016, by Keith S Smith of West Chester, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 296 times since then and 49 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 19, 2016, by Keith S Smith of West Chester, Pennsylvania. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.