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Edgar Healey Rowe  

The History of Bowling Green Seminary for Women
Alice Elizabeth Scott Chandler (8/31/1839 - 6/27/1904), married William Timothy Chandler (Abt 1832 - 1/7/1901 in Bowling Green, Caroline County on 11/23/1858. Both are buried at Lakewood Cemetery in Caroline, Virginia. William Chandler, son of Francis Woolfolk Scott (1798 - 1863) and Anna Maria Minor, was an attorney and a Civil War Veteran.

Home School for Girls

Mrs Chandler was educated at Buckingham Female Institute. in 1867, she opened the "Home School for Girls" using 'Sherwood', her home in Bowling Green and taught 10 girls, initially, with the assistance of 2 of her sisters - one was Emma Byron Scott (2/24/1847 - 8/23/1884) and the other may have been Elizabeth Scott.

Enrollment grew rapidly since there were no free public schools at the time. They had to move to the "Lawn Hotel" in 1870 and in 1872 to Milford Street to allow for more space. At this time they changed the name of the school to Bowling Green Femaile Seminary.

By 1877, there were 7 teachers for 10 students (male & female) enrolled for both the elementary and high school levels, mostly from local families. The property consisted of a 4 room school bldg and a dwelling house.

In 1881, the Reverend Edgar Healey Rowe married Emma Scott, one of Mrs Chandler's sisters and one of the teachers. He was an alumnus of the Bowling Green School & a Methodist minister. He had continued his studies at Randolph Macon College, University of VA & Princeton University. In 1883, Mr Rowe bought the school from Mrs. Chandler & operated it with her as principal. Gradually, Mrs Chandler retired into the background until 1897 when she bought the Washington Female Seminary in Atlanta GA & moved there.

In 1889 the school house burned. It was replaced by a schoolhouse with 8 classrooms. Tuition, board, lodging, & laundry was $125 per semester.

The same year, Dr & Mrs Rowe offered the Seminary to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The property had become run down and was encumbered by $5000 in mortgages. Blackstone College, a 4 yr institution, had opened in the vicinity and was offering competition. There was some question as to whether the church would accept the offer, but finally the grant was consummated. For the next 22 yrs the school was theoretically under the direction of a board of trustees appointed by the Methodist Conference. However, the church gave no support and little guidance to the work of the institution. In 1921, after one of the trustees had made an unfavorable report concerning the Seminary, Dr Rowe did away with the board of trustees and since then the school has had no official connection with the church. "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away!"

Southern Seminary became the incorporated name of the school in 1900.

The Move to Buena Vista, Virginia

Sources:
From "History of Southern Seminary" by Dr Sidney Sandridge.
Caroline County: A Pictorial History - Mary Tod Haley




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