This forerunner of the modern consolidated rural high school with Colonel John Julius Dargan, noted educator, as founder and principal, offered classes in agriculture, home economics, and music. Day students from four districts were transported by mule-drawn covered wagons.
Acton, built in 1803 on this site by the Kinloch family, housed the Academy from 1905 until 1911 when the building burned. In 1908 the U. S. Department of Agriculture established one of the earliest school demonstration farms here. J. Frank Williams, agriculture teacher, later became the first Sumter County Farm agent.