Historic Markers Across Alabama



The Southeast Alabama Agricultural School / First Free Secondary School



Marker ID: HCC 
Location: 300 Trawick Street, Abbeville, Alabama
County: Henry
Coordinates: N 31° 34.037    W 085° 15.122
  31.56728333    -85.25203333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMK62P
 



Text:

The Southeast Alabama Agricultural School


This school and experiment station was created by Alabama Legislative Act No. 579, February 28, 1889. This was the first school in Alabama to offer free secondary education. SAAS was also the state's and Auburn’s first junior college. Probate Judge John B. Ward is known as the "father of the college". He lobbied for a two story brick building which finally was completed in 1898. The first 1889 classes were held at The Abbeville Academy until the main building was completed. Later, similar wooden structure schools were established in each congressional district.

Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Henry County Historical Society, 1990

First Free Secondary School



SAAS opened September 16, 1889 at The Abbeville Academy. Abbeville was referred to as "the educational center of the southeastern United States" by the Abbeville Times. Renowned Lawrenceville Academy headmaster Joseph A. Espy was the first president of the "agriculture college". Local homes boarded the students from five counties and three states. The school had 227 students during the 1890 commencement, with graduating exercises lasting four days at the new brick courthouse on the square. Several name changes have occurred since its founding. In 1943, Abbeville Secondary Agriculture School became Abbeville High School.

Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Henry County Historical Society, 1990



Notes:

Marker Dedication or Erection Date: May 29, 1990




End of The Southeast Alabama Agricultural School / First Free Secondary School