Oakland Institute Occupants (1850)

The 1850 census of District 9, Dekalb County, Tennessee has a listing of a large group living in one dwelling with the following explanation in the occupations column, which I quote here, the items in [ ] being my addition:

“From the 20th line on this [page] to the 6th line on the next [page] ware Students at Oakland Institute Study being their 1st June 1850. Said Scholl was taught in 14th District but the teachers (viz) W C Ghormley and R C Saunders- the former of which is the head of the family with whom numberd had removed to the 9th District before the information was obtained hence they are numbered in the 9th District”

Surely the census taker could have improved his spelling if he had stopped to attend a few classes there. In 1850 the 9th civil district where the teacher and students were living was on the west side of the Caney Fork River, and the school was in the 14th district in Sligo on the other side of the River. They had recently moved to a place nearer to Smithville. This school was a private [boarding?] school, charging a fee to attend, that served as a college for the older students, and as a regular school for the children.

The following is a listing of that household, listing the teachers and their families along with all the school’s students living there, but according to the history, there were more students enrolled:

Nameagesexoccupationwhere bornattended school?
W C Ghormley26Mschool teacherAL
Elizabeth J "22FTN
Owen D P "12-AugMTN
E J Oldfield16FTNstudent
Margaret S " [Oldfield]15FTNstudent
S S Tinsley18MTNstudent
B A Cameron18MTNstudent
Henry Cameron16MTNstudent
W D F Barnett22MTNstudent
R F Barnett21MTNstudent
E C Rhea22MTNstudent
W T Rhea20MTNstudent
J L Boyd25MTNstudent
Samuel Stone18MTNstudent
Richard [Stone]10MTNstudent
A S Holmes22MTNstudent
F N Allen15MTNstudent
Bird Elison10MTNstudent
James Brown18MTNstudent
James Martin10MTNstudent
John Buch20MTNstudent
Isaac Adcock20MTNstudent
Joseph Bibie20MTNstudent
J P Tittsworth21MTNstudent
Amanda J Webb27FTNstudent
Martha A Adcock16FTNstudent
Corder Bounds18MTNstudent
W M Perkins18MTNstudent
John Linder30MTNstudent
Isaac Pollard20MTNstudent
Curtis Mills28MTNstudent
John K Bayn23MTNstudent
R C Saunders24MteacherTN


The following text is taken from A Bicentennial History of DeKalb Co., TN, by Thomas Gray Webb, pages 292-293, with permission:

Another teacher from the North was William C. Ghormley, born in Illinois about 1824 and the head of a school called Union Institute, which was attended by a number of DeKalb Countians. Among them was John K. Bain, who has described his experience there. After returning from the Mexican War, in November 1849 at the age of 22, Joh

March 10, 2018