Jane Hamilton Childs

Photo from WAFF
 Head of the Huntsville Female College and Athens Collegiate Institute

Buried:Maple Hill Cemetery, Huntsville, AL


•  "Madame Jane Hamilton Childs, who was headmistress of the school during the Civil War, supposedly saved the building from the ravages of the Yankee soldiers. The story goes that General Truxion, who was a Russian on the side of the Yankee troops who occupied Athens, had come to burn and destroy Founders Hall. And the story goes that Madame Childs marched out on the lawn and from the folds of her long black skirt she took a note, and the note was supposedly from Abraham Lincoln. After that, the soldiers left. We've not found the note. It may be stuck away in the archives somewhere." - Alabama Ghostlore

•  Since the content of the letter is unknow, theories abound. In Holly Hollman's Decatur Daily piece, she covers some of the theories. One suggestion is the possibility that the college was a stop on the underground railroad. - The Decatur Daily

Related Links:

•  The Decatur Daily - By Holly Hollman, April 11, 2005. (Originally found at http://archive.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/news/050411/athens.shtml.)

•  Alabama Folklore - "Sunbonnet Soliloquy" by Jewell Ellen Smith. (Originally found at http://www.missionaryclinicbelize.org/usa/Sunbonnet88-11.htm.)

•  Athens Plus - Article by Teresa Todd and notes from Civil War Talk.

•  Encyclopedia of Alabama - History of Athens State University

•  Alabama Ghostlore - The link is no longer functional, but we leave it here for attribution purposes (Originally found at http://facstaff.uwa.edu/ab/founders.htm.)