Friday, January 29, 2010

William C.C. Jones - Early Teacher

Most Caldwell County researchers have heard of the Princeton Seminary, but many are unaware this school was formerly known as the Caledonia Academy. Information on this old academy comes from an article in the Evansville, Indiana Press of Sunday, 25 October 1936.

On South Seminary Street between West Main and Washington Streets now stands the Methodist Church. But not so many years ago this site was occupied by the Caledonia Academy, one of Western Kentucky's earliest attempts to foster institutions of higher education.

The school was established in 1821. Five years later its name was changed to Princeton Seminary.

One of the most colorful figures in the early history of the institution was William Charles Cavendish Jones, a teacher. Born in Cavendish Square, London, England, Jones was educated at Eton. He was a classmate of Gladstone.

Jones' father was a British cavalry captain. Following the death of Jones' mother, the captain married again. The story is told that when young Jones saw his stepmother wearing his mother's earrings, he pulled them from her ears. Then, knowing a flogging was in store for him, he fled England aboard an American sailing vessel.

It took him three years to reach the States.

Jones taught his first school at Sprout Springs, two miles south of Princeton. Later, he instructed a class in the basements of the Christian and Presbyterian Churches and another at the old Wood settlement near where Cobb, Ky., is now located before going to the Princeton Seminary.

At his death at the age of 81, he was one of Caldwell County's oldest teachers. He had been teaching school for 53 years.

Note: William C.C. Jones married Miss Elizabeth Martin 10 October 1843 in Caldwell County. He appeared on the 1880 Caldwell County census, age 70, but is not on the 1900 census.

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