March 29, 2010
Shortly after her arrival in Fayetteville (Washington County) in 1839, Sophia Sawyer founded a school known as the Fayetteville Female Seminary. Sarah Ridge, widow of Cherokee leader John Ridge, was co-founder. The school, which enrolled both Native Americans and whites, was officially incorporated in 1859, five years after Sawyer’s death, and remained in operation until it was burned after the 1862 Battle of Prairie Grove. The school is shown here in approximately 1852.