Roll Red: a 150 Year Timeline of MBA

Welcome to the journey of MBA! All images are from the archival collection housed on campus at the Patrick Wilson Library. A special thank you to Ridley Wills II and the use of his book, The History of Montgomery Bell Academy.

1867-03-01 00:00:00

Montgomery Bell

Born in 1769, Montgomery Bell moved to Tennessee in 1800 and became one of the South's greatest ironmasters. In 1852 he directed the University of Nashville's trustees to establish a boys' academy that would bear his name. Finding the $20,000 inadequate to achieve this, the trustees instead invested the money.

1870-01-15 20:39:04

Western Military Institute

After Chancellor Lindsley's resignation, University of Nashville's literary department reopened in the fall as a military college known as Western Military Institute. Enrollment in the literary department and MBA totaled 271 students in the first year - 239 in the academy and 32 in the collegiate department.

1873-03-01 00:00:00

The Birth of an Academy (1867-1881)

Chancellor John Berrien Lindsley of the University of Nashville asks the board to use the Montgomery Bell Trust Fund to create MBA. Tuition was set at $60 for the grammar school and $80 for the high school.

1876-11-04 02:42:36

Attracting Students

This ad was placed in the Nashville City Directory. Yearly tuition for the grammar school was $60 and for the high school $80. Three teachers were on staff: J.W. Yeatman, S.M.D. Clark, and W.R. Garrett.

1881-03-01 00:00:00

First MBA School Building (circa 1881)

MBA's new spacious building at the corner of Lindsley and Asylum Streets cost a little over $10,000. In the cornerstone were deposited an extract from the will of Montgomery Bell, a list of alumni from the University of Nashville, and a copy of the Nashville City Guide Book.

1885-03-01 00:00:00

J. W. Yeatman (1881-1892)

During principal J. W. Yeatman's eleven years, MBA enjoyed a solid academic reputation. Still located on the Peabody campus, baseball was the first official team sport.

1890-03-01 00:00:00

Samuel M. D. Clark (1893-1911)

Upon Yeatman's death, Samuel M. D. Clark, who the students called Smack Me Down, became principal and the school continued to flourish.

1893-09-14 06:21:18

Students in 1893

Handwritten inscription on this photo: A group picture of a part of the boys of Montgomery Bell Academy, taken 1893."

1895-10-02 20:12:10

Class Prize Book

Exams on all subjects were written monthly on foolscap paper with pen and ink. All of these papers were bound into a "class prize book" and awarded to the student with the highest average at the end of the school year. Several of these books still exist; this one is dated 1895.

1898-01-24 18:11:06

Pre-Scholar Grading

Before there was MBA's current online grading program, Scholar, there were handwritten ledgers with the names of students and their numerical grades in various subjects including English, Math, Spelling, Civics, Geography, etc

Roll Red: a 150 Year Timeline of MBA

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