ELIZA A. CARLETON
GOODSPEEDS HISTORY OF SOUTHEAST MISSOURI, Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1888, Pages 625 & 626.
Eliza A. Carleton, M.A., president of Carleton Institute of Farmington, Mo., is a native of Montgomery County, Va., born June 13, 1826, and is the daughter of Jacob and Eva (Renn) Carleton. The father was born in Botetourt County, Va., in 1804, and in 1835 immigrated to South Bend, Ind., but four years later came to St. Francois County, Mo., where he passed the remainder of his life. He died in 1864. The mother died when Miss Eliza was but an infant and she was deprived of a mother's love and care. After the death of her mother, she was taken by her paternal grandmother, Susannah Carleton, who kindly cared for her and looked after her wants while a child. From 1834 until his death her father lived with his mother as long as she survived.
Miss Carleton was sent to the district schools in Virginia and, after going to South Bend, Ind., she attended school in that city. Soon after this the grandmother died and Mr. Carleton moved to Missouri where Eliza A. kept house for him. She improved her spare moments and acquired knowledge from the books in her possession. In the spring of 1845 she taught her first term of school in District No. 31, at Hickory Cabin schoolhouse. This was a very small log house and is still standing, and is in Perry Township, St. Francois Co., Mo. Miss Carleton received $3 in trade or $2 in cash for each pupil. She taught several district schools, and after accumulating sufficient means, entered Arcadia College, from which institution she graduated in 1853 with the degree of M.A.
In April, 1854, Miss Carleton founded Carleton Institute, which was named in honor of her father. This school was located eight miles north of Farmington, and had an attendance of thirty pupils. March 4, 1859, an act to incorporate Carleton Institute with University privileges was approved at Jefferson City, Mo. From the birth of the Institute Miss Carleton has devoted her entire time and attention to the institute she founded. She has lived to see her work grow and flourish, and it is now one of the leading educational institutes in Southeast Missouri. She has rebuilt four times, and in 1878 she moved her school to Farmington, where she erected a large and commodious brick building, surrounded by attractive grounds of sixteen acres. The attendance has reached as high as 150 pupils, with eight competent instructors, Miss Carleton being president and instructor in the English language.
She is a lady of rare literary culture and refinement, and a very entertaining and instructive conversationalist. Her name is a household word in many of the best families of St. Francois County, and also adjoining counties. She is a consistent and devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and her life has been one of purity and womanly devotion to the cause of education and dissemination of knowledge.
NOTE: Eliza Carleton died in 1915 and is buried in the Masonic Cemetery at Farmington, Missouri.
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