The Filson Historical Society Digital Projects

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    While teaching in Arbingdon, Virginia, Julia met Rev. John Tevis, an itinerant Methodist minister from Kentucky. The couple married on March 9, 1824 with the understanding that Julia would continue to teach after they married. The reverend preached across a 900-square-mile territory and was often away from home, allowing Julia to live fairly independently.

    One year after their marriage, Tevis founded the Science Hill Female Academy in her husband's hometown of Shelbyville, Kentucky, shortly after giving birth to the first of seven children. During the school's first year, she taught 35 students.

    "I confess to an ambitious desire of becoming more than a mere atom floating in the sunbeam of prosperity. I coveted a distinct individuality, yet it is my deliberate opinion that I also loved learning for its own sake."
    - Julia Ann Hieronymus Tevis, founder of Science Hill Female Academy
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