Where we worked: Kinsey Female Seminary.

In this detail from page 8 of the 1897 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson, there, behind the oddly asymmetrical two-story mass of Kinsey Female Seminary, is a wooden structure labeled “Servants Ho.” More than 80 girls boarded at Kinsey within a few months of its opening in late 1897, and it must have taken a sizable staff of cooks, maids, laundresses, boiler men, yardmen, and others to cater to them and keep the place running. Most of the school’s African-American domestic and maintenance staff would have lived at home, but at least a few, probably all women, boarded on site in this little house.

The seminary failed after only four years, and in 1901 the Disciples of Christ purchased Kinsey’s building for what would become Atlantic Christian, now Barton, College.

Wilson Advance, 25 August 1898.

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