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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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Elise Academy and High School

by Robert L. Remsburg III, 2006

Elise Academy and High School was located in northern Moore County in what became the town of Robbins. Lacking funds, Moore County was unable to build a high school in the area in the 1890s. Local citizens, including William Graham Carter, N. J. Carter, Daniel Horner, and George Horner, organized an effort to construct a private academy. This effort got underway in 1899, and the school opened by 1904. It was named for the daughter of John B. Lenning, a Philadelphia capitalist who was living in the area while overseeing the construction of a section of the new Durham & Charlotte Railroad.

After unsuccessfully seeking assistance from the Methodist Church, organizers of the school were able to acquire necessary additional support through the Fayetteville Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church. This association proved successful, and Elise Academy, like many private/church high schools of the early 1900s, became a rather large boarding school with several buildings and dormitories. Elise offered courses in agriculture, algebra, biology, general science, history, civics, home economics, English, geometry, Latin, French, and Bible studies. Besides its importance to the residents of upper Moore County, the school attracted students from across Fayetteville Presbytery and North Carolina. A number of students attended from Cuba. In 1940 the Presbytery sold Elise Academy to the Moore County Board of Education, which converted it to a public high school.


Manly Wade Wellman, County of Moore, 1847-1947 (1962).

Edwin Arthur West, Elise High School and Upper Moore County (1974).

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