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July 24, 2017 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Schools: Axtell Academy

In 1960, historian Lulie Patteson wrote a lengthy article for Charlottesville’s Daily Progress about Axtell Academy, which she called “the epitome of public education in Buckingham County.”

At that time, the building which once housed the school still stood, though, records about the Academy were scarce. Founded by one of Gen. Logan’s daughters, Miss Margaret “Meta“ Logan persuaded her father to build and equip the school out of his own funds. Located at what was once a small village called Jonesboro, the building was finished in the summer of 1892.  Miss Patteson wrote:

Teachers were Prof. Irving Sale, a graduate of the University of Virginia. He taught English, Latin and French in high school and also taught elementary grades. His wife, an accomplished musician, taught vocal and instrumental music and dramatics, in addition to grade school subjects.

The school had two large rooms in front and a large room in the rear. The library must have been unusually complete for the time because one of the students recalls that the library was supposed to have contained more than 3,000 books.

In addition to music and drama, Mrs. Sale taught primary pupils in a separate building across the road from the Academy. An enrollment averaged 75. There was a playground for physical education.

The first commencement was held June 3, 1893 at 6 p.m. The entire neighborhood must have turned out because 100 or more persons were said to have attended . . . Quite a crowd in pre-automobile days.

Charles Bolling gave the commencement address. Meta Logan awarded three metals—one for scholarship to Miss Lillian Stinson, one for attendance to Miss Nowell, and one for improvement to Walker Gilmer.

Miss Emma Barksdale of Richmond played the banjo, accompanied by a glee club from Algoma. Cake, candy and lemonade were served to the pupils.

Coming next: Axtell Academy Closes

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