-2 of 13-

         one spoke or moved.  Finally, a dainty, bonneted little
         lady, the mother of seven children, arose and made her way
         to the aisle.

             "I want to make a pledge," she said as she proceeded
         forward, self-consciously, to take the extended hand of the
         minister.

             "Yes, yes!  Thank you Madam!  And how much will you
         pledge?

             "Twenty-five cents," she said almost apologetically,
         and added hastily, "Payable in the fall."

             Money was dear and not to be had until fall when the
         cotton crop was sold.  With no funds, no permanent buildings
         and no staff, the new school did open.  After operating for
         two years in a rented house, now known as the Leroy Langley
         home, the school was moved to a magnificent site that Dr.

             Ward had taken half in desperation.  A real institution
         thus had come into being.  A less determined man would have
         sunk, but Dr. Ward possessed an iron determination and an
         unselfish devotion towards his fellow men and he made what
         he started out to make - a place where poor boys and girls
         could be given a chance.  For long years the school was more
         or less an experiment, living from hand to mouth, kept alive
         by the money Dr. Ward went everywhere to raise.  A
         prospectus of The Southern Industrial Institute dated 1901
         states that the school was located in Camp Hill in
         Tallapoosa County on a beautiful plantation of four hundred
         acres of land.  It was opened September 21, 1898, and was

                                -2 of 13-
Previous Page Home Turn the Pagebook