Bloomfield Academy
aka Bloomfield Seminary
south of Achille, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory

moved to Ardmore, Carter Co. Oklahoma 

renamed Carter Seminary

bloomfield-1.gif (24067 bytes)

v002p371photo2.jpg (73218 bytes)

v002p377photo.jpg (86822 bytes)

v002p379photo.jpg (41501 bytes)


Original Buildings of Bloomfield Academy [burned January 24, 1914] Instructors at Bloomfield c1896 Mrs. Annie Ream Addington, Superintendent when school burned in 1914.

Bloomfield Academy was established in 1852 for the benefit of the Chickasaw children and was located south of Durant near Achille, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory. [maps]  

When Bloomfield Academy burned in 1914 the school was relocated to Ardmore, Carter County, Oklahoma, in the Hargrove College building. The school was renamed Carter Seminary in 1934 in honor of Charles D. Carter. Today it is a dormitory and serves as home to American Indian students from many different tribes. 

Bloomfield Academy was listed on the National Register of Historic Place, as south of Achille off Oklahoma Highway 78, Site #72001055.

Bloomfield Seminary for Indian Girls is enumerated in Morgan Twp. and Bloomfield Academy is enumerated in Ardmore City, Ward 1, Carter Co., Oklahoma 1930 Federal Census.

In the spring of 1852, The Indian Mission Conference appointed John Harpole Carr to oversee the construction of buildings later known as Bloomfield Academy. He was afterward appointed superintendent of the school. He, with others, selected the site which  was surrounded by prairies of green and with wild flowers of all hues and kinds. There, with his own axe he struck the first blow toward the establishment of the first missionary boarding school for girls among the Chickasaws. The school received its name when Carr, attempting to give directions, mentioned the site was situated in a beautiful field filled with blooming wild flowers - Bloomfield was adopted as the official designation of the school. 

A neighborhood school was opened for boys and girls continuing through the winter and spring until the buildings of Bloomfield were completed. Three names recalled by Mrs. Carr as attending were Simon Kemp, Martin Allen and Levi Colbert. 

The Bloomfield boarding school opened in the fall of 1853 as a boarding school for girls, with twenty-five pupils. Mrs. Carr was matron and Miss S. J. Johnson was teacher. The curriculum included English language and alphabet; spelling, reading, writing and arithmetic, both mental and written. As the students advanced, natural philosophy, grammar, "Watts on the Mind," botany and United States history of the United States were added. The opening morning session was at half past eight and continued with a recess until half past twelve. The older pupils studied from five to six in the afternoon. Before this, in the afternoon they were taught to cut, make and mend their own clothes. They were also taught how to do all the ordinary house work, cooking excepted. The older pupils were taught each Saturday in the pastry department Instruction in all these domestic duties was required by the contract. The division of labor was after the plan adopted at Mt. Holyoke Seminary. In the afternoon they were taught needle, wax, worsted and coral work, also drawing, painting and vocal music. In the Sabbath School, Mrs. Carr taught the advanced class by Bible topics; Mr. Carr preached in the school house Sabbath mornings, and in an arbor near the branch, in the summer time. A vivid description of the school days is described in the Elizabeth Kemp Mead Interview.

The school closed in 1861 with the onset of the Civil War.

During the Civil War a private school was kept three hours during the morning, free to all who chose to attend. In the early part of the war the Chickasaw Battalion had orders to occupy the buildings at Bloomfield in which case the family would have had to move out, but the buildings were not large enough to accommodate all so the main body of soldiers encamped in the prairie only making use of the small building in the yard for the Doctor’s office and the girls’ sitting room for commissary stores. The school house was used for a hospital.

Rev. John H. Carr, the founder, and his family, left Bloomfield, in 1867. While records are incomplete, it is known that the first school session after their departure was conducted by Captain Frederic Young. At that time, the school was conducted as a co-educational institution, boys as well as girls being admitted as pupils. Among the boys thus enrolled, was Douglas H. Johnston, destined, many years later, to serve as superintendent of Bloomfield Seminary and, still later, to serve the people of the Chickasaw Nation as their chief executive or governor.

In 1867, the Chickasaw Nation adopted a new constitution which stated quality education should be provided for their young. A number of educators directed the affairs of Bloomfield. Captain Young was succeeded, in 1868, by Dr. and Mrs. H. F. Murray, who had charge of the school for two years. Mrs. Murray was a native of Mississippi, a member of a prominent Chickasaw family. Following was Professor Robert Cole from 1870 to 1875 who was succeeded by Professor J. E. Wharton.

In 1876, the Chickasaw National Legislature enacted a law providing for a female seminary at Bloomfield Academy and a male school at the Chickasaw Manual Labor Academy. The plan for both schools called for forty-five students between the ages of nine and eighteen who were able to read well in McGuffey's Fifth Readers, spell well, and read in the New Testament, and be of good moral character. Only one child from a family would be received and no pupil would be allowed to remain longer than five years.

Professor Wharton continued until 1880, when he was succeeded by Robert Boyd, of Tishomingo, who was a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation by birth. Two years later, Mr. Boyd resigned and was succeeded by Mr. and Mrs. Douglas H. Johnston, who were to fill out the other three years of the five-year period. Mrs. Johnston died during the last year of this contract term. Mr. Johnston was given a new contract for another five-year period, in 1885. Three years later, he married Miss Betty Harper, one of the teachers in the Seminary and who was also a former pupil. Her mother, Serena Factor, had likewise been educated at Bloomfield and was the first pupil of the institution to become one of its teachers. Mr. and Mrs. Johnston remained in active charge of Bloomfield Seminary for ten years after their marriage. Then, Mr. Johnston was elected as governor of the Chickasaw Nation, thus terminating sixteen years of faithful and efficient service as superintendent.

Governor Johnston was succeeded by Professor Elihu B. Hinshaw, who had been actively associated with him as the principal of the Seminary, for eleven years. During those years, a modern frame building was erected, superceding the original log school building. Both the original building and the new one were destroyed by fire, however, and a third building was erected. While Governor Johnston was superintendent, he was greatly interested in popularizing education among the Chickasaw people, especially those of full Indian blood. As the result of his efforts, the Chickasaw Legislature was induced to make a grant of ten dollars per month for the maintenance of each pupil, whether living at home or boarding at the Seminary. This action was the cause of many families moving and settling in the immediate vicinity of Bloomfield.

Professor Hinshaw worked out a course of study for Bloomfield Seminary which was submitted to the Chickasaw Legislature for approval. The Legislature not only approved the course of study but issued a charter to the Seminary, authorizing it to confer diplomas on those of its students who had completed the course for graduation. The Seminary was the only school in the Chickasaw Nation which was thus honored. Professor Hinshaw also developed a summer school of normal training for teachers prior to statehood. It is said that practically every child of school age in the Chickasaw Nation could read, write and speak English when the time came to organize the public school system under the state government.

In 1899, the Federal Government assumed control of all tribal schools in the Indian Territory. Professor Hinshaw was continued as superintendent of Bloomfield Seminary for seven years longer. In 1906, he was succeeded by Mr. J. R. Hendricks, who, in turn was succeeded by Mrs. Annie Ream Addington, a member of the well known Guy family of the Chickasaw Nation. She remained in charge until the school buildings were again destroyed by fire, January 24th, 1914. The school was not rebuilt but moved to Ardmore, where the old Hargrove College property was purchased and where school has since been conducted.

Students, Teachers and others associated with Bloomfield Academy  Source
Addington, Anna (Guy)  superintendent of Bloomfield Academy. Bloomfield Academy and Its Founder
Allen, Emily Bloomfield Academy and Its Founder
Boyd, Robert This page
Burney, Rebecca  daughter of a deacon of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Bloomfield Academy and Its Founder
Bynum, Ramona  graduated 1904 The Golden Age of Bloomfield Academy In the Chickasaw Nation
Cobb, Ida Mae Pratt Oklahoma Indian Times Online
Colbert, Elvirn and Elzira  daughters of Lemuel Colbert and Carter Elzira Hoyt. Bloomfield Academy and Its Founder
Colbert, Mary Ann  daughter of Morgan Colbert, deacon in Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Bloomfield Academy and Its Founder
Colbert, Rebecca  sister of Frank Colbert who build the bridge across Red River. Bloomfield Academy and Its Founder
Cole, Robert (Professor) This page
Colins, Sarah   student Elizabeth Kemp Mead Interview, Indian Pioneer Papers
Conner, Myrtle  graduated 1904 The Golden Age of Bloomfield Academy In the Chickasaw Nation
Downs, Miss Ellen I.  of Champlain, New York taught from 1856-1861 Bloomfield Academy and Its Founder
Factor, Serena & Lorna   twins daughters of full blood Indians. Serena later became a teacher at the school. Bloomfield Academy and Its Founder
Fletcher, Mildred  Bloomfield Academy and Its Founder
Frazier, Newton Galloway educated at Bloomfield Academy 1901 Gideon
Goforth, Charlotte  graduated 1904 The Golden Age of Bloomfield Academy In the Chickasaw Nation
Harper, Betty  student and later teacher; married Douglas Johnston, President & Superintendent of Bloomfield Douglas H. C. Johnston
Hendricks, J. R. This page
Hinshaw, Elihu Bennett  Director of Bloomfield Academy in the Chickasaw Nation Elihu Bennett Hinshaw; Douglas H. C. Johnston
Hosmer, Angelina  teacher and wife of John H. Carr Bloomfield Academy and Its Founder
Johnson, Susan Jane  came to Chickasaw nation in 1852; educator at Bloomfield for 12 years Semi-Centennial of the Battle of Adobe Walls.
Johnston, Douglas  President & Superintendent of Bloomfield  Douglas H. C. Johnston
Kemp, Amelia and Lucy   daughters of Jackson Kemp Bloomfield Academy and Its Founder
Kemp. Elizabeth "Fannie"  daughter of Joel Kemp Elizabeth Kemp Mead Interview, Indian Pioneer Papers
Kemp, Mary and Frances , daughters of Joel Kemp, who owned the ferry Bloomfield Academy and Its Founder
Lambert, Jeanette The Ardmoreite Online
Martin , Miss Eliza from Collin County, Texas in 1855 taught for one year Bloomfield Academy and Its Founder
Maytubby, Sophia  daughter of Edward Everett Pitchlynn and Sudie Maytubby The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, June 1996 Obits 
Murray, Dr. & Mrs. H.F. This page
Newberry, Jane  graduated 1904 The Golden Age of Bloomfield Academy In the Chickasaw Nation
Pritchett , Miss Rebecca of Virginia Point, Texas taught 1860 Bloomfield Academy and Its Founder
Reynolds, Mary  whose parents resided in the neighborhood. Bloomfield Academy and Its Founder
Shecho, Sallie  Bloomfield Academy and Its Founder
Smith, Helen Birdie   daughter of Woodford T. Smith and Syrena Cheadle Smith; graduated in 1904 The Golden Age of Bloomfield Academy In the Chickasaw Nation
Warner, Alice daughter of Dr. Warner;  married Captain Welch, of the Confederate army.  Bloomfield Academy and Its Founder
Webb, John M.  one of the committee appointed to superintend the building of Bloomfield Academy. Viki's Little Corner of the Web
Wharton, J. E. (Professor) This page
White, O.D.  freighter and general help. O. D. White Interview, Indian Pioneer History Project of Oklahoma
Young, Frederic (Captain) This page
Young, Lucy  graduated 1904 The Golden Age of Bloomfield Academy In the Chickasaw Nation
Names of 1892-1909 graduates can be found at Bloomfield Seminary Notes and will be incorporated into this page as soon as I receive a copy of the documents.

John Harpole Carr son of Thomas and Mary Carr born in Lebanon, Wilson county, Tennessee on April 16, 1812. Licensed to preach in the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1835. In 1836 he married Miss Harriet Newell Nail who died in 1847 at her sisters home in Arkansas. In 1845 he became a member of the Indian Mission Conference. In 1852 he married Miss Angelina Hosmer, of Bedford, Massachusetts who died in September 1864 and was buried in the cemetery north of the school house. Two little daughters are also buried there. In August 1865, he married Miss S. J. Johnson. John Carr died December 29, 1876 in Paris, Texas.


Bryce, J. Y.  Some Notes of Interest Concerning Early Day Operations In Indian Territory By Methodist Church South.  The OSU Library Electronic Publishing Center, Digital Collections, Chronicles of Oklahoma, Volume 4, No. 3, September, 1926: 233-241. Jun 2002  

Carr, S. J. (Mrs.). Bloomfield Academy and Its Founder.  The OSU Library Electronic Publishing Center, Digital Collections, Chronicles of Oklahoma, Volume 2, No. 4, December, 1924: 379. Jun 2002  

Carter Seminary  July 2002 

The Chickasaw Nation Press, September 8 2000. Calling Bloomfield Academy Graduates.   Jul 2002 

The Chickasaw Nation Press, May 18, 2001. Carter Seminary Reunion Scheduled.   Jul 2002 

Foreman, Carolyn Thomas. Chickasaw Manual Labor Academy, Chronicles of Oklahoma, Vol. XXIII, No. 4, Winter 1945-46.

Mitchell, Irene B. and Ida Belle Renken. The Golden Age of Bloomfield Academy In the Chickasaw Nation, Chronicles of Oklahoma, Vol. XLIX, No. 4, Winter 1971-72.

National Register of Historic Places, Oklahoma, Bryan County, Site #72001055, south of Achille (Bryan Co.) off Highway 78. Jul 2002

The Spur of Phoenix, the Newsletter of Clan Johnston/e in America, Vol. IV, June 1980, #2, Governor Douglas Hancock Cooper Johnston Of The Oklahoma Indian Territory.   Jul 2002 

Steacy, Stephen. The Chickasaw Nation on the Eve of the Civil War. Chronicles of Oklahoma, Vol. XLIX, No. 1, Spring 1971, p. 56

Other sources which may contain information on this subject:

Cobb, Amanda J. Listening to Our Grandmothers' Stories: The Bloomfield Academy for Chickasaw Females, 1852-1949. Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 2000, ISBN: 0803215096.