BINGHAM SCHOOL (MOUNT REPOSE LOCATION)

BINGHAM SCHOOL (MOUNT REPOSE LOCATION)

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Mebane
NC
Type: 
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Bingham School was a preparatory school for entry into UNC. It operated from circa 1815 to 1826 at this location.

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Last updated

  • Thu, 01/12/2023 - 9:42am by SteveR

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,
Mebane
NC
Type: 
,

 

Sometime between January 1815 and December 1817, William Bingham relocated his school from Hillsborough to Mount Repose (also spelled Mt. Repose) [1]. The property was purchased from Edward McCluskey in March 1814 [2]. Mount Repose was in Orange County at the time, but Alamance County was formed from Orange County in January 1849 and the site is now located there.
 
At Mount Repose, Bingham and his family lived in a large house; he invested less than $100 in a log schoolhouse, and built several log cabins, that were to be used as rooms for his 35-40 student boarders, and cost less than $250 in total [3]. There would have been several slave dwellings built as well, as according to the 1820 census the Binghams enslaved nine people; three men and six women.
 
An ad in the January 2, 1818 Raleigh Register newspaper described the school and property as: "...the dwelling house of the late Mrs. Hargrave, on Back Creek, about 10 miles north west of Hillsborough. The situation is healthy, the house large and convenient, and the neighborhood very eligible for a school."
 
The school remained here until William Bingham's death in February 1826. His son, William James Bingham, having just graduated from UNC in 1825, was studying law under Archibald DeBow Murphey but was asked by his mother to take over his father's position at the school when his father died [4]. William taught until the end of the academic year, but closed the school in 1827 when he moved to and became head of the Hillsborough Academy [5].
 
In January 1831, the estate of William Bingham, via clerk, transferred the property ("306 acres on waters of Back Creek") to his son, William J. Bingham [6]. In December 1842, the property was sold to William B. Lynch [7].
 
Another school opened at Mount Repose beginning in January 1829, under William P. Forrest [8]. According to the 1830 census, the Forrest family enslaved three people (two men, one woman) while living in Orange County.
 
The former school's log schoolhouse was said to have stood until circa 1885, and the log cabins until circa 1890 [9].
 
 
From the May 14, 1823 Hillsborough Recorder
 
From the July 2, 1828 Hillsborough Recorder
 
From the January 8, 1829 North Carolina Star
 
 
ENDNOTES
[1] Robert I. Curtis, “The Bingham School and Classical Education in North Carolina, 1793-1873,” North Carolina Historical Review (July 1996): 329, 336.
[2] Orange County deed book 52, page 302 
[3] Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, North Carolina. Department of Public Instruction, 1898. 156.
[4] Great History of the Binghams. The Daily News and Observer. October 12, 1905.
[5] Robert I. Curtis, “The Bingham School and Classical Education in North Carolina, 1793-1873,” North Carolina Historical Review (July 1996): 329.
[6] Orange County deed book 24, page 260 (via Mark Chilton)
[7] Orange County deed book 52, page 303. William B. Lynch later became a partner in the Bingham School at its Mebane location, in late 1864/early 1865
[8] Robert I. Curtis, “The Bingham School and Classical Education in North Carolina, 1793-1873,” North Carolina Historical Review (July 1996):338; North Carolina Star (newspaper), January 8, 1829.
[9] Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, North Carolina. Department of Public Instruction, 1898. 156.
 
 

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