Whitsett Institute

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 1884 to 1919
Location: Whitsett, Guilford, North Carolina, United Statesmap
Surname/tag: whitsett
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The Whitsett Institute, a prestigious private college preparatory school, was originally founded by William Thornton Whitsett as "Fairview View Academy" in 1884. It's not know when the name changed to the Whitsett Institute. The school operated successfully until 1919 when the main building burned down. The school never reopened.
The 1913-1914 Whitsett Annual Register describes the campus this way: "Grouped around the school campus, at a distance of one hundred yards, are twelve dormitories and boarding halls, where students room and board. The buildings are all practically new, having been erected within the past few years, and offer pleasant homes for the faculty and student body. Each boarding place is in the charge of a suitable matron."
The community surrounding the school became know as Whitsett. The town was very rural and off the beaten path. The was no railroad to Whitsett, but the town benefited from its proximity to the train station in nearby Gibsonville (located just two miles north). Visitors and students were shuttled by a two-horse wagon to Whitsett. The rise of Whitsett as an educational center took place against the backdrop of the educational poverty of much of rural North Carolina in the decades following the Civil War.
After the destruction of the school's main builging In 1919, the Whitsett Public School was erected in it's place in 1921. That building currently serves as the town hall for Whitsett.

Act to Incorporate Whitsett Institute in Guilford County

The General Assembly of North Carolina do enact:
Section 1. That W. T. Whitsett, L. E. Whitsett, L. Foust, J. B. Whitsett and M. L. Whitsett, and their associates and successors, be and are hereby created a body politic and corporate under the name and style of "Whitsett Institute," and by that name to remain in perpetual succession, for the purpose of maintaining a school of high grade at or near Whitsett, Guilford County, and in that name may acquire, hold and convey property, real and personal, may sue and be sued, contract and he contracted with, plead and be impleaded, and in their corporate capacity may exercise such rights and acts as may be deemed needful for the promotion of education as aforesaid, may have and use a common seal, may make and alter from time to time such by-laws as they may deem necessary for the government of said institution: Provided, such by-laws shall not be inconsistent with the constitution and laws of the United States and this state.
Sec. 2. That this corporation shall have power to issue to students who complete the prescribed course of study certificates or diplomas of proficiency.
Sec. 3. That property to an amount not exceeding one hundred thousand dollars, owned or to be owned by this corporation and used for school purposes, shall forever be exempt from all taxes, state, county and municipal. Also that this corporation and its stockholders may, as they see proper from time to time, in order to best promote the interests of the institution, issue, offer for sale, and sell shares of the capital stock of the corporation, which may if so desired be divided into dividend bearing and non-dividend bearing shares: Provided, that each share shall be of the par value of twenty dollars.
Sec. 4. That the members of this corporation, together with such stockholders as may be admitted from time to time by sale of shares of stock, shall control the affairs of the corporation, elect such officers as they may see fit, fix times of meeting and transact such business as may be incident to the success of the corporation: Provided, that in all meetings of the corporation and stockholders all questions shall be decided by a majority vote of the stock represented, each share having one vote: Provided, that a majority of the whole stock shall be represented in order to constitute a legal meeting of the corporation and stockholders.
Sec. 5. That, in order to make improvements or advance the purposes of the corporation, this corporation shall have power to create a debt or debts, and if so desired to secure the same by a mortgage, or mortgages, or deed or deeds in trust.
Sec. 6. That the stockholders of this corporation shall not be individually liable for the debts, contracts or torts of this corporation.
Sec. 7. That it shall not be lawful for any person or persons to set up any gaming table or any device whatever for playing at any game of chance or hazard, by whatever name called, or to gamble in any manner, or to keep a house of ill-fame, or to manufacture spirituous or intoxicating liquors, or otherwise to sell or convey for a certain consideration, or to convey by pretence of gift to any person or persons any intoxicating liquors, within two miles of said Whitsett Institute, and any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Sec. 8. That the first meeting of the incorporators or stock-holders shall be held within the next six months from or after the ratification of this Act, at such time and place in said Guilford County as said W. T. Whitsett may designate, due notice of said meeting being given to each stockholder or incorporator.
Sec. 9. That this Act shall be in force from the day of its ratification.
Ratified the 5th day of March, A.D. 1897.
Daniel L. Russell, Jr., Governor
Charles A. Reynolds, Lt. Governor and President of the Senate
A.F. Hileman, Speaker of the House of Representatives
State of North Carolina,
Office of Secretary of State,
Raleigh, April 28th, 1897.
"I, Cyrus Thompson, Secretary of State, hereby certify that the foregoing (manuscript) are true copies of the original acts and resolutions on file in this office.
Cyrus Thompson,
Secretary of State.

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