Henderson County, Kentucky
MISS MARY L. M'CULLAGH, PRINCIPAL
Following in the footsteps of her distinguished father, Rev. John McCullagh, who taught in Henderson for many years, and to whom a majority of the young men in the town, at that time, owe their education, Miss McCullagh conceived the idea, in 1879, of establishing upon a permanent basis a first-class female seminary – a seminary from which young ladies could be graduated with the highest honor, and enter society fully equipped for its severest tests. To this end, therefore, she applied for, and was granted by the Legislature of Kentucky, on the twenty-seventh day of February 1880, a charter, liberal in its provisions, and conferring upon her all the right given any of the colleges of the State. Under this charter Miss McCullagh was recognized as principal of the seminary, and the following named gentlemen appointed directors: Hon. H. F. Turner, James R. Barrett, Dr. W. M. Hanna, Colonel A. S. Winstead, Hon. John Young Brown, Thomas Soaper, Ben. C. Redford, David Clark and James S. Alves. With this Board of Directors, composed as it was of the very best material to be found in the community, and Miss McCullagh as principal, the seminary could not be expected to prove less than a splendid success, and such it has been from its commencement. The school has been largely patronized by the best people of the city, the number of pupils last term aggregating in English and the languages seventy-six. In vocal and instrumental music fifty-six, and in drawing and painting nine.
Commencing with 1880, Miss McCullagh has graduated annually from two to eight young ladies. Her commencement exercises have proven of the highest and most interesting order, and her examinations have given the utmost satisfaction to patrons and friends of the seminary. While the intermediate and higher branches are thoroughly taught, the primary department is made a special feature of the school. Music is made an essential feature, and both vocal and instrumental instruction is given by the best of teachers. There is no school in Kentucky more deserving, and there is no school in the State better equipped in its every department for educational work. The school building is a large and commodious one, supplied with all of the necessary furniture and apparatus necessary to the comfort and pleasure of the students. One year ago Miss McCullagh transferred the principalship of the seminary to Miss S. E. Steele and Prof. J. M. Bach, both thoroughly competent and capable of keeping the school up to its past high standing. There are eight teachers in the school, Miss Steele presides in the department including Latin, mathematics, and high English, Rev. J. M. Phillips, D.D., mental and moral philosophy and rhetoric; Mrs. J. M. Bach, elocution; Mrs. Fanny P. McCullagh, penmanship and preparatory studies; Madame Fauche Scott, French and German; Prof. J. M. Bach piano, organ and theory; Mrs. Henrietta Stoltz Bach, art of singing, piano, history of music; Mrs. M. S. Vigus, art studies, drawing and painting.
History of Henderson County, Kentucky by Edmund L. Starling, page 424