La Grange Synodical College

In a previous post (see http://wp.me/p40u7G-qS), the blogger incorrectly concluded Parham was a student at the University of Mississippi based upon a fraternity pin with his name engraved upon the back.  Just because no information is known about the Tau Eta Phi fraternity apart from the University of Mississippi, it does not mean he attended there. A follower was kind enough to point this out and provide a source which shows Parham was a student at La Grange Synodical College; a Presbyterian school of higher education; in La Grange, Tennessee.

Click image of La Grange Synodical College to learn more.

Click image of La Grange Synodical College to learn more.

Based on the names listed for the sophomore class on page 9 of the Second Annual Catalogue of the Trustees, Faculty and Students of the La Grange Synodical College, Session of 1858-59;  it is clear Parham attended this Presbyterian school. There are other recognizable names of students from Lafayette County, Mississippi listed in this catalogue (e.g. Henry C. Buford, John W. Doak, and George W. Hope). By automobile today, La Grange is a little more than one hour drive north of Oxford, just above the Mississippi / Tennessee border. The blogger does possess two pre-war letters from Parham, one of which contains the word “La Grange” at the top right corner of the first sheet; however, it was not understood until recently what La Grange meant.  In the letter, Parham writes of the cost of the boarding house, washing, and candles.  Interestingly enough, the expenses mentioned by Parham coincide exactly with what is listed on page 24 of the before mentioned source. If Parham was a sophomore during 1858-59, it is quite feasible he graduated with the senior class in 1861.  Class of 1861 at La Grange Synodical College had an accelerated senior year because of the outbreak of war.

Click image to listen to

Click image to listen to “God Save the South.”

It is no surprise Parham attended a Presbyterian College. Presbyterianism ran deep into the lives of individuals on that side of the family tree.  It was a Buford that provided land for the building of College Hill Presbyterian Church; many by the name Buford, including Parham’s parents, are buried in that old presbyterian church yard.  Parham writes of providence in a letter, a doctrine well known to Presbyterians of that day who subscribed to reformed theology.  Parham’s sister, Mary, eventually married a Confederate dentist and surgeon of Ulster-Scotch (i.e. Scotch-Irish) ancestry related to Rev. Samuel Eusebius McCorkle, a Presbyterian who studied under U.S. Declaration of Independence signer Dr. John Knox Witherspoon. Mary’s daughter married a man descended from Rev. Cephas Washburn, a Presbyterian missionary to the Cherokees displaced to reservations via the Trail of Tears.

La Grange Synodical College closed its doors after graduating the class of 1861 and never opened them again.  During the following years, U.S. Federal troops occupied the property as a strategic location to run raids across the border into Mississippi; used the college as a Union hospital and prison; tore bricks off the school to make stoves and fireplaces for soldiers; and eventually burned down the institution.

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Dear Sir

Who is Sir that Parham writes to in his fourth and fifth letters?  In the fifth letter, Parham identifies Sir as Mr. S Luckie.  The requests made by Parham in these before mentioned letters are of the nature of one writing to another within the same household, like a son to a father.  The November 6th posting entitled Family Connections, however, shows that Parham’s biological father (my great-great-great grandfather) passed away within two years of the birth of his son and 20 days after the birth of his daughter (my great-great grandmother).  Parham’s mother, Ann A. Buford (my great-great-great grandmother), married Samuel Luckie, III some time after the passing of her first husband and the passing of Samuel’s first wife.  The 1860 United States Federal Census shows these two households were joined together, making Sir or Samuel Luckie, III Parham’s step-father.

Many Bufords and a number of Luckies are buried in the College Hill Presbyterian Church Cemetery. Parham's mother, father, and step-father as well as the step-father's first wife are buried here. College Hill was founded in 1836 by Goodloe Warren Buford (father of Thomas and Goodloe Buford of 11th Mississippi, Company G) who donated land for the Presbyterian church, cemetery, and school.  Union General Sherman camped his troops on the property using the church for a hospital. American writer and 1949 Nobel Prize laureate, William Faulkner, from Oxford, Mississippi was married at this church.  The facility today is used by a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) denomination.  Photo source: http://hottytoddy.com/2013/06/26/faulkner-grant-walked-the-aisles-of-oxfords-college-hill-church/

Many Bufords and a number of Luckies are buried in the College Hill Presbyterian Church Cemetery. Parham’s mother, father, and step-father as well as the step-father’s first wife are buried here. College Hill was founded in 1836 by Goodloe Warren Buford (father of Thomas and Goodloe Buford of 11th Mississippi, Company G) who donated land for the Presbyterian church, cemetery, and school. Union troops under General Grant and General Sherman encamped on the property.  American writer and 1949 Nobel Prize laureate, William Faulkner, was married at this church. The facility today is used by a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).  Photo source: http://hottytoddy.com/2013/06/26/faulkner-grant-walked-the-aisles-of-oxfords-college-hill-church/