North Carolina Education - Scotland County

Year County Established

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Scotland County


In 1904, black merchant Walter P. Evans reached out to William J. Edwards of Snow Hill Institute and Booker T. Washington of Tuskegee Institute regarding the lack of education opportunities for black children in Laurinburg, North Carolina. Edwards and Washington believed in uplift, upward economic mobility through industrial education and labor, and sought to establish training institutes.

Edwards recruited his former student Emmanuel McDuffie who moved to Scotland County with his wife Tinny and established Laurinburg Normal and Industrial Institute in 1904. Initially it boasted only seven students, one teacher, and assets totaling fifteen cents. By 1906, the community had rallied around the school and constructed a proper school building.

Adhering to Washington’s industrial philosophy, course offerings ranged from housekeeping and laundering to blacksmithing and wheelwrighting. Washington himself visited the campus in 1909, and his speaking events were well attended by Laurinburg’s white and black citizens alike. By 1914, the school employed thirteen teachers and had a student body numbering 110. An on-site hospital provided medical care for students and boarding allowed children from rural farms to attend.

Public subsidies, though small at first, began pouring in. In the 1920s, support for McDuffie and the institute began to wane as the desire for a public school grew. In response, white community leaders, who did not want to establish a public school for the black community, increased subsidies to fund teacher salaries and bus transportation.

Despite annual subsidies that had grown to $67,000 by the 1940s and an award from the Duke Endowment Fund, the institute suffered a serious blow in 1952, when Laurinburg opened four new public schools. Enrollment took a hit, falling from 1,100 students to just eighty-seven (87).

The institute, like many black private schools of that time, was on a course for collapse. However, the generous financial and vocal support from alumnus and jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie coupled with the institute’s renowned athletic programs carried the school through its dark times. Today the Laurinburg Institute is one of only four historically black boarding schools remaining in the United States.

The above write-up (with edits) was provided by the North Carolina Highway Marker program. Click Here to read and to view their sources.

Opened in 1961 on a new campus, St. Andrews Presbyterian College has a history that incorporates that of predecessor institutions Flora Macdonald College in Red Springs, which opened in 1896, and Presbyterian Junior College in Maxton, founded in 1928. The college’s history is also intertwined with that of Peace College in Raleigh, founded in 1857 and chartered in 1858. Founding of the school followed after close study by the Presbyterian Synod of North Carolina of its assets, performed in part by the assistance of a grant from the Ford Foundation.

The name St. Andrews was selected because the school and area are steeped in Presbyterian history. Andrew was one of the disciples of Jesus Christ and, in time, became a symbol of Christian evangelism. The University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland, was founded in 1411. The campus of the latter-day St. Andrews is spread over 840 acres and the buildings are strikingly modern. Especially noteworthy among the programs offered by the college is the widely-respected School of Music.

The first president of the college was Ansley Cunningham Moore. Today the school hosts the Scottish Heritage Center and the Scottish Heritage Weekend, interpreting the contributions made by persons of Scottish descent to the region’s history. In addition to the main campus, the college today also holds classes for non-traditional students at Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst.

The above write-up was provided by the North Carolina Highway Marker program. Click Here to read and to view their sources.


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