Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Mendenhall Family and Education

Every few months, I get the Mendenhall Family Association Newsletter- Mendenhall Matters. I love receiving learning new things about my distant relatives/ancestors!

I received September's newsletter yesterday in the mail and this one was interesting because one section focused on education. It is titled: Educating through Quaker Networks and Beyond: A Mendenhall Family Legacy. I thought I'd share some of these wonderful stories/influences with you!!! :) Thank you Mendenhall Family Association for the wonderful newsletter!

Here are some of the people it mentioned:

~Judith Mendenhall (b. 30 Dec 1789)- 3rd cousin, 8x removed.
Judith was educated in Pennsylvania and then she returned to Jamestown, North Carolina and opened a Jamestown school where she taught from 1815-1819, before she married.

~Richard Mendenhall (1778-1851)- 3rd cousin, 8x removed.
Richard ran a free night school in Jamestown for students of all races. In 1824 he opened a store using his tanning trade in the building across the street from his house. This house, now called the Mendenhall Plantation, and the store building are still preserved there in Jamestown. His tannery trade and the store were later used to train slaves who lived there or nearby.

~George C. Mendenhall (1798-1860)- 3rd cousin, 8x removed.
George became an attorney and educated future lawyers. As an attorney he served as a benefactor and trustee to many educational efforts such as the Jamestown Female College in the 1850s.

~Nereus Mendenhall (1819-1893)- 4th cousin, 7x removed.
Nereus, like his father, was a reader of the classical authors. In 1839, he became one of the first teachers in the New Garden Boarding School. He then studied medicine and civil engineering and became involved in each profession for nearly 10 years. In the 1850's, he decided his true calling was to go back to teaching. He returned to the New Garden Boarding School for the next 40 years and was credited with keeping the school functioning during the Civil War years and preserving its future. The school grew and after 1888, it was approved as a full 4 year college taking the name of Guilford College. Nereus served as president for a short time and was noted for his educational influence on James Franklin Davis and Lewis Lyndon Hobbs who succeeded him as president of the college. Both of these latter men married Mendenhall daughters.

~Cyrus Pegg Mendenhall (1817-1884)- 4th cousin, 7x removed.
Cyrus was one of the founders of the Greensboro Female Academy which later became Greensboro College.

~Minerva and Judith J. Mendenhall
Minerva (b. 1813)- 4th cousin, 7x removed
Judith J. (b. 1831)- 4th cousin, 7x removed
Both these ladies were teachers in early Guilford County schools. Judith also ran a school for freedmen- 1866-1870.

~Mary Mendenhall Hobbs (1852-1930)- 5th cousin, 6x removed.
Mary raised many thousands of dollars for the education of poor girls and founded Mary Hobbs Hall at Guilford College for their benefit. She taught mathematics for many years in the college and guided the curriculum for the women. Like her father before her, she lived right on campus and they both became retired patrons of the college. Mary married another teacher, Lewis Lyndon Hobbs (1849-1932), who then became the president of Guilford College for many years. Her husband was Clerk of the North Carolina Yearly Meeting of Quakers for 24 years. Two of her sons, Allen and Richard Junius Hobbs, became professors and Deans in the University of North Carolina system.

~Gertrude Mendenhall (1862-1926)- 5th cousin, 6x removed.
(sister of Mary (above))- Gertrude joined her sister on the faculty of Guilford College and appears in the first faculty photo. She also taught mathematics there for many years.

~Mary Eliza Mendenhall Davis (1850-1923)- 5th cousin, 6x removed
Mary also appears in the first faculty photo. She married one of the early leaders of Guilford College, James Franklin Davis.

~Elihu Emery Mendenhall (1817-1906)- 4th cousin, 7x removed (Mary Mendenhall Davis' father)
Elihu was elected to the board of trustees of New Garden Boarding School in 1873. He served as chairman of the board from 1875-1902 and served as chairman emeritus afterwards until his death in 1906. Elihu was chairman of the board who led to the growth of the school toward becoming qualified as a fully accredited college.

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