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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Davis School

by Wiley J. Williams, 2006

The Davis School in Lenoir County, a boarding school for boys and young men, was established in LaGrange in 1880 by Adam Clark Davis Jr., reportedly the great-great-grandson of James Davis, the first printer in North Carolina. Adam C. Davis Sr., was doctor-in-residence at the school, which stressed the classics, penmanship, military science, mathematics, history, and English literature and offered commercial courses and training in telegraphy. The school's annual enrollment averaged 200, but at its peak there were 300 students-many from other states and several foreign countries.

The Washington and Jefferson Literary Societies published the school's monthly literary and educational newspaper, the Davis Cadet. In 1889 an outbreak of meningitis forced the academy to close, whereupon a number of residents of the flourishing town of Winston gave the school land and pledged $20,000 to enable it to move there. In 1909, however, the Davis School's buildings and grounds were acquired by the Methodist Children's Home, which occupied the site in 1910.


Mary Elizabeth Gray, LaGrange: Its Origin and History (1997).

Frank V. Tursi, Winston-Salem: A History (1994).

Additional Resources:

The Davis School in Winston School by Virginia Pou Doughton, North Carolina Department of Administration:

Origin - location: