Historic Markers Across Alabama

Prattville Male and Female Academy Site / Sidney Lanier

Marker ID: AHA 
Location: Wetumpka Street near Washington Street in Prattville, AL
County: Autauga
Coordinates: N 32° 27.808    W 086° 28.093
  32.46346666    -86.46821666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMFWQD


Prattville Male and Female Academy Site

The 1859 Italianate-style brick structure was built by Daniel Pratt. The bell which hung in the belfry above the second floor now may be seen in the school yard on Washington Street.

In April 1861 the Prattville Dragoons mustered here before departing for encampment and were presented a silk flag by the young women of the Academy.

In 1927 the original building was replaced by the present structure, one of several in Alabama built on the same plan. The architect is unknown but the design has been attributed to Frank Lockwood.

Sidney Lanier

The poet and musician, born in Macon, Georgia, was Academy principal in 1867-68. He married Mary H. Day of Macon in December 1867. In Prattville, they lived at the Mims Hotel and later in Dr. S.P. Smith's home.

Following a brief legal career in Georgia, Lanier became first flutist in 1873 with the Peabody Orchestra in Baltimore and in 1879 was appointed as lecturer in English Literature at Johns Hopkins University.

He wrote the words for the American Centennial Cantata and his poetry includes, "The Marshes of Glynn" and "Song of the Chattahoochee." The poet's experiments with musical sound in verse were a significant literary contribution.

Lanier died at the age of 39 from the tuberculosis he had contracted as an imprisoned Confederate soldier during the Civil War. He was buried in Greenmount Cemetery in Baltimore.

End of Prattville Male and Female Academy Site / Sidney Lanier