The most probable candidate for Joel Ninde’s primary education is the Barton Academy, originally built as a public school but not used for that purpose until after the 1850’s. Barton Academy offered grades one through eleven and was divided into a boys’ department or school and a girls’ department. There are a number of clues leading to the belief that Barton might have been attended by Joel. [i] First, Joel’s great grandfather, Dr. Willis Roberts, was on the Barton Academy building committee in 1835. Second, according to the 1860 Mobile, Alabama City Census, Ann Quigley, the head mistress of Barton Academy, lived in the household of her sister and brother-in-law Martina Quigley Roberts and Reuben H. Roberts, great aunt and uncle of Joel Ninde. Third, other family members also attended Barton. In her memoirs, Elizabeth Henshaw “Daisy” Torrey Pillans wrote, “I was sent to Miss Quigley’s famous school”. [ii] Daisy was married to Harry Pillans, cousin of Joel Ninde’s father, Willis. [iii] Harry and Daisy lived at 908 Government Street, next door to the Roberts homestead. Fourth, Joel Ninde’s second cousin, Mary Roberts, graduated from Barton Academy in 1895 and Laura Pillans, also a second cousin, graduated in 1903.
[i] List of students graduating between 1890 & 1892 includes the following: Lula Roberts-1881, Della Roberts-1882 or 1883, Mary Roberts-1895, and Laura Pillans, second cousin of Joel Ninde who resided at 906 Government Street, graduated in 1903. This book seems to have a fairly complete list of graduates of Barton Academy but didn’t list students who attended but didn’t graduate. History of Barton Academy- no index- Mobile Public Library, Mobile, Alabama.[ii] Daisy Torrey Pillans’ father Judge Rufus Campbell Torrey went to Harvard. Daisy’s youngest son Hal Torrey Pillans graduated from West Point. Isbell records, 910 Government Street, Mobile, Alabama.[iii] “Elizabeth Henshaw “Daisy” Torrey Pillans’ Memoirs” p. 13. February 11, 1936 Original in possession of Mary Van Antwerp, Mobile, Alabama. Transcript copies at University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama.