north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program



Marker Text:

     Edgeworth Female Seminary was an all-female institution founded by Governor John M. Morehead in nineteenth-century Greensboro. The school, opened in 1840, was destroyed by fire in 1872.

     The seminary school grew due to the strong reputation of Mary Anne Hoye, headmistress of another academy for girls in the area. She greatly impressed the three daughters of John Morehead. He became interested in erecting a building dedicated to the education of women.

     In 1840, Morehead purchased a large tract of land extending from his own homestead, “Blandwood.” At his own expense, he constructed a four-story building that would serve as a school upon its completion that year. He hired Hoye to be the principal. Despite being financially unsuccessful, Edgeworth became a popular girls school for families throughout the South.

     Following Hoye’s death in 1844, Dr. and Mrs. D. P. Weir took charge of the school. Morehead, however, in 1845 hired the Reverend Gilbert Morgan to administer the school. Morgan immediately changed the course of study from being simply academic to becoming a full collegiate system. By 1848 there were over 100 boarders and a large dormitory was built to accommodate them. An art studio also was constructed.

     Due to the Civil War, the school shut down in 1862. During the war, the Confederacy used the building as a hospital. It would continue to be used by Union troops as a hospital during the close of the war. There were no classes held in the building through 1868. In time, the building was leased to the Reverend J. J. M. Caldwell, as he intended to reestablish the respected female institute in its place. For a short time Julius A. Gray, a son-in-law of Gov. Morehead, occupied the school. The building burned down in 1872.

M. E. Blandin, History of Higher Education of Women in the South Prior to 1860 (1909)
Annie M. Whitefield, “Schools of Guilford County,” III, Guilford County Literary and Historical Association Publications (1908)
College Message, VII, no. 5 (May 1897)
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north carolina highway historical marker program

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