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Miss Margaret Tebeau
Miss Margaret ("Maggie") Tebeau, along with her friend, Mrs. Sarah Caroline Morrison Thomas, founded a private school for girls in Gainesville in 1873. The school was quite successful for many years, boarding 10 to 15 girls (apparently there were sometimes both boys and girls during the day). The school became associated with the Episcopal Church in 1906 as the Diocesan School for Girls. After Miss Maggie's death in 1924, Alice Thomas, the daughter of Miss Maggie's co-founder, became principal and continued to operate the school until it was closed in 1936. The Church later operated it as the Tebeau Nursery School until 1948. The County bought the building in 1949 and it was razed in 1951. The school was located on the southwest corner of the intersection of South Main Street and Southwest 2nd Avenue—this is the site of the Alachua County Courthouse, built in 2002. Miss Tebeau, daughter of Michael and Elizabeth Tebeau, was born in Staunton, Virginia, on February 22, 1839; she died in Gainesville on September 14, 1924.
Miss Maggie was ill for 2 years before her death, and it was reported that she was so dedicated she directed the work of the school from her sick bed. The love and respect held for Miss Maggie is reflected in the opening lines of her obituary in the "Gainesville Sun"—"'Miss Maggie' Tebeau's mission in this life has ended. She has tucked the draperies of her couch around her and has passed into the mysterious beyond to begin the great journey from which no one returns. Her eyes are closed, her lips sealed and her hands crossed in death, but the influence of her noble life shall never die."
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