Stanford Female College

Historical Marker #2457 in Lincoln County commemorates the history of the Stanford Female College, which provided local young women, as well as those from other towns and states, a college education.

The Stanford Female Seminary was incorporated by the Kentucky Legislature on February 26, 1869, but the name was changed to the Stanford Female College in 1871. Its founders were John B. Owsley, S.H. Shanks, J.W. Alcorn, M.C. Saufley, John Reid, and H.S. Withers. These men and others organized themselves into a joint stock company to raise the necessary funds to build the school. While Christian in nature, Stanford Female College was one of the few educational institutions in Kentucky which was not under the control of a religious denomination. It was managed by eight trustees, who could fill their own vacancies.

The original building was a brick structure costing about $15,000. It was completed shortly before the college opened in the fall of 1872. The next year, an addition was built and the original structure was used to house the students. Mrs. Sallie C. Truehart was the first president and held that position for thirteen years. Under her direction, the original courses were ancient languages, modern languages, mathematics, mental and moral philosophy, English literature, natural science, and history.

In 1885, Mrs. Truehart resigned and was succeeded by A.S. Paxton, who remained in charge of the school for three years. Professor Paxton remodeled the courses after those of his alma mater, Washington and Lee University. Most of those courses were retained until the school closed.

J.M. Hubbard became the next president in 1888 and stayed for seven years. During his tenure, the school remained prosperous. The enrollment increased, the curriculum was expanded, and the buildings were improved. He resigned in 1895 to become president of Howard Female College in Gallatin, Tennessee.

There were several more short-term presidents, then the school was forced to close in 1907 because it couldn’t compete with the public schools supported with tax money. After it closed, the Stanford Elementary School was located here until the 1931. It was then converted into apartments, and in 1939, became a funeral home, which it remains, today.