Woman of the Century/Adelia C Graves
GRAVES, Mrs. Adelia C., educator and author, born in Kingsville, Ohio, 17th March, 1821. She is the wife of Dr. Z. C. Graves, a noted educator both north and south, founder and for forty years president of Mary Sharp College, in Winchester, Tenn. She is the daughter of Dr. Daniel M. Spencer and Marian T. Cook, and a niece of P. R. Spencer, the originator of the Spencerian system of penmanship. The mother of Mrs. Graves was a woman of fine intellect. Her people were wealthy and cultured, all the men having for generations had the benefit of collegiate education. Her father especially excelled in the Greek and Latin languages. Perhaps one of the most critical linguists of the time was his youthful grand-daughter. For years she taught classes of young men in languages in the Kingsville Academy, who desired her instructions in preference to all others. Many of them have since attained positions as lawyers, ministers, physicians, presidents and professors of colleges. The present president of Beyrout College, in Syria, Asia Minor, was for some time a student with her, especially in the Latin language. ADELIA C. GRAVES. Mrs. Graves may be said to have inherited the poetic temperament from both sides of the house. The Mary Sharp College under Dr. Graves' presidency acquired a national reputation, and he avers that its success was owing quite as much to her wise counsels and management as to his own efforts. There were few positions in the college she did not, at some time, occupy, save that of mathematics. For thirty-two years she was matron and professor of rhetoric, belles-lettres, elocution and English composition, at different times, as need be, teaching French, ancient history and ancient geography, English literature, or whatever else was required. The published works of Mrs. Graves are "Seclusaval, or the Arts of Romanism " (Memphis. Tenn., 1870), a work written to deter Protestants from sending children to Catholic schools, and "lephtha's Daughter," a drama, (Memphis, 1867). Besides these are two prize stories. Twelve or thirteen small volumes were also compiled from the Southern Child's Book, at the request of the Southern Baptist Sabbath School Union, for the use of Sabbath-schools. Mrs. Graves for years edited and wrote for that publication. She wrote the " Old Testament Catechism in Rhyme" (Nashville. Tenn., 1859), on request of the same society, for the use of the colored people while still slaves, for which she received twenty cents a line, they, her employers, saying, they knew of no one else that could do it. Her unpublished poems are numerous. Mrs. Graves has found a place in "Woman in Sacred Sting." and "Southland Poets," and she is mentioned in the "Successful Men of Tennessee" fur her extraordinary financial ability, having managed a business of fifteen-thousand to twenty thousand dollars per year for years at a time, most successfully.