Sarah Ann Dickey

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Sarah Ann Dickey (April 25, 1838 – January 23, 1904) was an ordained minister who founded the historically black institution of higher education for women in Clinton, Mississippi, Mount Hermon Female Seminary in 1875. She devoted her life to the development of educational opportunities for African-Americans.


Dickey was born near Dayton, Ohio. Although her education only began at the age of sixteen, she received a teacher's certificate only three years later. During the Civil War she traveled to Vicksburg, Mississippi, to teach recently freed former slaves. After the American Civil War, she attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary (now Mount Holyoke College), graduating in 1869.


She returned to Mississippi to continue working with African-Americans recently freed from slavery. She organized and established the Mount Hermon Female Seminary, which opened in October 1875 in Clinton, Mississippi. The Seminary was modeled after Mount Holyoke, offering education for women, and preparing them for roles primarily as teachers.

The Seminary was eventually closed in 1924 by the American Missionary Association, which had its own college in Tougaloo, Mississippi. Dickey was ordained a minister in her church, the United Brethren Church, in 1896.

Dickey never married but raised several children left in her care.

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