Bell Seminary For Young Ladies (Danville, Kentucky) opened the fall of 1876 in the former home of Joshua F. Bell, the current site of the Lexington Avenue Baptist Church. The school was founded by James Lane Allen and his wife Mary Bell Allen, who served as principal and associate principal. The 1880 catalog describes the seminary was being located "within large, pleasant grounds in one of the most agreeable parts of the town". The school offered primary and preparatory (later termed academic) departments for both boys and girls, and a collegiate department for female students. Since the school was housed in a former residence, space for boarding was limited. This probably presented few problems, as the majority of students were from Danville or its immediate surroundings. Bell Seminary had no church affiliation, unlike two other local women's colleges: Caldwell Institute, associated with the Presbyterian Church, or Danville Female Academy, associated with the First Baptist Church. Caldwell Institute and Bell Seminary consolidated in 1886, with the school opening in the fall of that year as The Caldwell and Bell Colleges. Mary Bell Allen, principal of Bell Seminary, and Lottie A. Campbell, principal of Caldwell Institute, served as co-principals, with classes being taught on the Caldwell College campus. When classes opened in the fall of 1887, "Bell" had been dropped from the school's name, and Mary Bell Allen was no longer listed as a member of the faculty.
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