$375,000 in new foundation grants moves
Barton Academy Foundation close to goal
The J. L. Bedsole Foundation increased its support from $250,000 to $500,000, and the Crampton Trust pledged another $125,000, bringing its commitment to $250,000.
2019 has quickly promised to be a good year due to two local foundations’ doubling their pledges. The J. L. Bedsole Foundation increased its support from $250,000 to $500,000, and the Crampton Trust pledged another $125,000, bringing its commitment to $250,000. Thanks mainly to local private foundations, Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies and the ultimate revitalization of the area surrounding the historic building on Government Street are very close to becoming a reality.
In June of 2013, the Hearin-Chandler Foundation took the lead with a pledge of $250,000 and followed it later with another $250,000 pledge. Other early donors were the Ben May Charitable Trust, The Laura Lee Pattillo Norquist Foundation and the Community Foundation of South Alabama, followed by The Seamen’s Foundation, the M.W. Smith Foundation, the Martin Family Foundation, the Lillian C. McGowin Foundation, the Dr. Monte L. Moorer Charitable Trust, the A.S. Mitchell Foundation, the Sonneborn Charitable Foundation, the Lisa Mitchell Charitable Foundation, and the Doy and Margaret McCall Family Foundation Trust. Though not located in Mobile, the Daniel Foundation of Alabama has also made a generous grant.
Recognizing this outstanding support, the Barton Academy Foundation would like its supporters to know more about two citizens who left bequests that will benefit Mobile forever.
Joseph Linyer Bedsole moved to Mobile in 1919 and was instrumental in the organization of Bedsole-Colvin Drug Company, S.D. Adams Lumber Company, Bedsole Investment Company, and Mobile Fixture and Equipment Company. While serving as chairman of the Mobile Chamber of Commerce in 1926, Mr. Bedsole was responsible for organizing the first Mobile Community Chest, which later evolved into the United Way of Southwest Alabama. He also served as chairman of the $2-million campaign to fund the new Mobile Infirmary on the present campus. A remarkable businessman with deep religious faith and social consciousness, he worked to benefit local churches, hospitals, colleges and the city of Mobile. His lifelong emphasis on education and economic development led to the formation of The J. L. Bedsole Foundation in 1949 which was fully funded after his death in 1975.
“The J. L. Bedsole Foundation has always placed a high priority on investments in education, whether from our post-secondary scholarship program or to innovative K-12 programming and capital campaigns for campus infrastructure. It has been well documented that the best solution to civic problems is a well-educated community. The J. L. Bedsole Foundation also places a high priority on community and economic development, and we believe the restoration of Barton Academy to a school for Advanced World Studies will be a valuable addition to the ongoing redevelopment of downtown Mobile. It will also assist in the revitalization of nearby neighborhoods and restoring the character of this historic area,” said Bestor Ward, chairman of the J. L. Bedsole Foundation’s Distribution Committee.
The Crampton Trust was founded by Katharine Crampton Cochrane, a lifelong resident of Mobile, in honor of her father, noted Mobile physician Orson L. Crampton. At one time,
Dr. Crampton was a medical doctor assigned with the Federal Army after the Civil War and was stationed in Mobile and other parts of the South. Mrs. Cochrane was a community leader and arts patron. She was married to John T. Cochrane, Sr., who organized the movement to build a ten-mile bridge across the headwaters of Mobile Bay and for whom the Cochrane Bridge is named. Mrs. Cochrane died in 1992 at the age of 92.
A representative of the Crampton Trust stated, “The restoration of Barton Academy as a functioning school provides the Crampton Trust with an excellent opportunity to honor Mrs. Cochrane’s love of Mobile’s past as well as her vision for Mobile’s future. We believe this is the type of project she would have generously supported during her lifetime.”
The Crampton Trust will fund the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Lab.
The Barton Academy Foundation Board of Directors is extremely grateful for these commitments to the future of Mobile.
Why We Support Barton Academy
for Advanced World Studies
Robert E. Battles, Sr.
Member, Mobile County Board of Education
For the first time in Mobile County Public Schools, with its first African-American Superintendent, Mr. Chresal D. Threadgill, African-
American students, along with other races, can learn that the world is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. When they study world history, they will learn that African history began in Africa long before Plato and Aristotle in Alexandria, Egypt and Universities in Timbuktu and that America’s history included Crispus Attucks, a black man who was the first to defy and the first to die in the American Revolution.
Barton Academy Foundation Board Member
and Community Volunteer
My dedication to historic preservation began when my husband and I purchased our first home in the 1800 block of Dauphin Street more than 40 years ago. Later we rehabilitated a second home, this time on Government Street. Four additional houses followed and, finally, restoration of the Carriage Works downtown on Dauphin Street.
Barton Academy beautifully “anchors” the importance of focus on education and nurturing our rich history. Restoring Barton Academy is an economic and aesthetic gift to all of Mobile. I am proud to be a part of this journey.
Barton graduates left their mark
with autographs on the walls
As the 1935 photo above shows, Barton Academy students enjoyed leaving their mark on walls. When the building was renovated in the 1970s to become Mobile County Public Schools’ central offices, workers found a wall of student names that had since been covered up. Among the “autographs” found were those of Gordon R. Smith ’25, Art Drago, Barb Blacksher ’21, Lillian Yeend ’29, E. E. Cohen ’14, Frank Cotton ’18, Frank McConnell ’11,
Bob McConnell ’22, Noel Turner, Jr. ’36, Jack Clolinger ’42, Jack Garnett ’38, G. Haas, Josephine Nelson ’15, J. W Jackson ’26, Florence Wilkes ’12, Clyde Draughan ’20, Norman McInnis ’27, Harry Price ’26, Boots Lowell ’41, John Forsyth ’22, Lucille Warley ’12, Albert Ernest ’22.
If you are related to any of these former students, we’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
News from Barton in 1926
This news brief from 1926 is about Barton graduate Robert McConnell, a short story writer and journalist – and the “Bob McConnell” who signed the wall in 1922:
Robert Haines McConnell, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frances H. McConnell [and graduate of Barton Academy], played on Broadway for nine weeks. Robert attended the University of Columbia where he studied short story and play writing. He is going abroad in early 1927 to visit and to find ideas for new stories. Robert writes under the name Haines Trebor, which is “Robert” spelled backwards.
Thank you, supporters!
During 2018 donors gave or pledged over $1,500,000. We appreciate this support that is bringing us closer than ever to meeting our match from the Ben May Charitable Trust! DONATE here or mail a check to Barton Academy Foundation,
P. O. Box 571, Mobile, AL 36601. To make a gift of stock or other assets, email Foundation treasurer Denise Browning
Find a full list
of our donors here.
Download a pdf copy of our April 2019 Newsletter here.
Honor Your Ancestors with
a Gift to Barton Academy
Naming a room or space within Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies or a section of the original cast iron fencing is an excellent way to ensure that your family name remains a part of Mobile’s history. For as little as $1,000, you can have your nameor the name of a family member engraved on a permanent plaque.
Naming opportunities range from $10,000 (8’ fence section/$2,000 per year for 5 years) to $4,000,000 (Yerby Building). Other options include classroom spaces at $25,000 ($5000 per year payable over 5 years) and science labs at $250,000.
The complete list of remaining naming opportunities is available online here.
Double Your Contribution
The challenge grant from The Ben May Charitable Trust encourages contributions by matching donations and making it possible to double the effect of your gift. Multi-year pledges are accepted.
To make a gift click here. You may also mail a check to Barton Academy Foundation, P. O. Box 571, Mobile, AL 36601. All gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by the IRS.