The Old Academy

Updated: Nov 19, 2021


The Old Academy
The Old Academy

The following extract from a letter written by Mrs. Minerva Slayback, of Sacramento, Cal., will interest many of our readers. Mrs. Slayback was formerly Miss Minerva Weber and is a sister of the late Mrs. Albert Dryer of Butler. She formerly resided in this county and was a pupil at the old Hillsboro Academy 66 years ago. Mrs. Slayback writes as follows:


"EDITORS NEWS: I notice in your paper of Feb. 27, you ask for information about the old Hillsboro Academy. I was a pupil at the academy the first day school began, November 7, 1837. The teachers were Mr. and Mrs. Wetherel, principals. Mr. Edward Wyman and Charles Clapp, assistants. A Miss Hadley was the music teacher. Mr. Clapp was afterward editor of the Hillsboro paper. It was then a model school. Afterward a Mr. and Mrs. Conant were teachers. The Wetherel’s stayed about three years. I remember that among the

pupils the first term were the Rountree’s, the Kitchell’s, the Woods, the Blanchard’s from Greenville, the Dickeys from Decatur, the Casey’s from Mt. Vernon, and the Herefords. I can't mention the names of all the pupils, but we had a large school."


"The teachers who came here from the east had to come around by St. Louis, by water, then come by conveyance to Hillsboro. There were no hotels on the road between here and St. Louis and they had to stop wherever they could get something to eat."


"John S. Hayward married one of the teachers who was there in Mr. Conants's time, I forget her name. My hands are too feeble to write more but some time I will try and send you something about the old log court house that stood at that time in Hillsboro."


"l forgot to say the course of study at the Academy was quite extensive. They taught reading, writing, arithmetic, philosophy, astronomy and history. They had an astronomical apparatus which we used and Mr. Wetherel tried in every way to help his pupils and did all he could for their advancement."


Mrs. Minerva Slayback.


Taken from "The Montgomery News" 1903

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Jeff Dunn

Vice President

Historical Society of

Montgomery County

Advisory Board

Illinois State

Historical Society