Around 1835, Samuel McCalla brought his family to Monroe County's Salt Creek Township from the Chester District
of upland South Carolina. Daughter Margaret Hemphill McCalla was born here in 1836, and after first attending a
one-room school, she graduated from the Monroe County Female Seminary. Following service as a one-room school
teacher, McCalla began instructing at the Bloomington Graded School upon its 1863 establishment. By 1873, girls
were admitted to the university and closer coordination of higher grades instruction with the university entrance requirements was desired. When Bloomington High School, one of the first in the state, was founded McCalla was closely involved in the process. It is now known as Bloomington High School South. McCalla first taught mathematics and was then elected school superintendent from 1875-1877, the first woman in Indiana to hold this position. In 1908, the new Bloomington elementary school at Tenth Street and Indiana Avenue was named in her honor. Designed by John Nichols, the Classical Revival style building was closed in 1970 and now houses the Fine Arts department at Indiana University.
Bloomington (Monroe County, Indiana) World Courier, January 3, 1912, p. 1.
ANGEL OF DEATH CLAIMS MISS MARGARET MCCALLA
Miss Margaret McCalla, for many years a teacher and superintendent of the Bloomington city schools, died last night of the infirmities of old age at the McCalla homestead one mile east of the city. She was 75 years old.
Miss McCalla was connected for many years with the Bloomington schools and was the first woman superintendent of the State of Indiana. Her connection with the schools began under the superintendency of D. Eckley Hunter where she had charge of one of the grades.
Later she was a teacher under Superintendent J. M. Wilson in the Bloomington High School having charge of the mathematics department. She continued until 1875 at which time Supt. Wilson went to Terre Haute, and Miss McCalla was elected to fill his place. She served as superintendent for two years when, on account of failing health, she went back to the high school as teacher. She continued teaching mathematics until 1880 and then became superintendent again, remaining at the head of the city school system until 1889.
She was a woman of fine character and had a high conception of her duties always attempting to carry out her ideas to the best of her ability.
Miss McCalla was the first school teacher of President William Lowe Bryan of Indiana University and Dr. Bryan paid a fine tribute to her character when he learned of her death today.
She was a lifelong member of the First Presbyterian Church and is survived by a brother, Samuel, and sister, Mrs. R. C. Foster.
Funeral at ten o'clock Friday at the residence in charge of the Rev. T. R. White, and interment at Rose Hill Cemetery.
Samuel McCalla (1786 - 1881)
Elizabeth Thompson McCalla (1801 - 1873)
John McCalla (1815 - 1899)**
Mary McCalla (1823 - 1896)*
Christopher Gadsden McCalla (1829 - 1893)*
Sarah Gardiner McCALLA Hight (1834 - 1892)*
Margaret Hemphill McCalla (1836 - 1912)
David McCalla (1839 - 1857)*
Samuel McCalla (1841 - 1913)*
Rose Hill Cemetery
Plot: A 5
Created by: Charles Stratton
Record added: Jan 30, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 47312843