Powell Female Seminary

The Powell Female Seminary operated in Winchester, VA from 1856 through 1862. When the Civil War began in 1861, the school bravely continued to operate for a full year before it became clear that Winchester was no longer safe for a boarding school.

Two school catalogs from the 1850s survive at the Stewart Bell Jr. Archives at Handley Library in Winchester, VA. Due to the generosity of that donor, the young women taught by the Powells can be known and are listed below. I have referred to them as "Powell Scholars" because the Powells affectionately referred to them as, "our scholars."

If you have deep roots in Winchester, it is possible that your ancestor was educated by the Powells. If so, you may have historic materials in your family that could help shed light on the school and your ancestor's time there. These include letters, diaries, school brochures, etc. Those materials could be instrumental, and it would be an honor to read them. I've researched each individual student and plan to include a summary of each one in the publication of my research. Help me ensure all of the Powell Scholars are included!

The image here is the Powells' school on the corner of North Braddock St and Amherst Street in Winchester, VA.

©2020 by Alison Herring