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 Auburnís 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 commencement, with graduating exercises lasting four days at the new brick courthouse on the square. Several name changes have occurred since its founding. In 1943, Abbeville Secondary Agriculture
Erected 1990 by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Henry County Historical Society.
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.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. 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); Henry, The Mother County (approx. 0.3 miles away); A County Older Than the State (approx. 0.3 miles away); Abbeville/Seven Flags and an Arrow Over Abbeville (approx. 0.3 miles away); Abbeville Southern Railroad/Pelham House (approx. 0.4 miles away); Rosa Parks Lived Here (approx. 3.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Abbeville.
Categories. • Education •
Credits. This page was last revised on September 5, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 17, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 486 times since then and 32 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.