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History and Background

Charles Edgar Boger

August 10, 1873 - June 15, 1953


Charles Edgar Boger

Charles Edgar Boger was elected Superintendent of Schools in Cabarrus County in 1900. He played a crucial role in bringing a coherent, county-wide educational system to Cabarrus County as part of the educational revolution going on in our state at the time.

He was a fourth generation Boger living in Cabarrus County. He attended Unionville Academy in Union County. Later he entered the North Carolina Lutheran Institution of higher education, North Carolina College at Mount Pleasant. He received his degree in 1895 and then taught for five years in Cabarrus and Gaston counties. After taking special coursework at the University of North Carolina he was elected Superintendent of Schools in 1900.

When Mr. Boger took office as Superintendent, he was challenged with the task of creating quality education for all students. He traveled across the county before there were paved roads in a horse and buggy. He encouraged local citizens to tax themselves and to extend their reach to strengthen their public schools. By 1905 the citizens had funded 24 modern, up to date buildings for students with desks and blackboards as well as better salaries for teachers. Rural libraries and better teacher quality also came into being. By 1913 there were 48 modern schools and teacher salaries had increased 50%. Those salaries ranged from $25-$39 a month. The average school year in Cabarrus County increased from three months to five months.

In 1913, Charles Boger gave up the superintendency of Cabarrus County Schools to take on a new and even more difficult task. He became the second superintendent of the Stonewall Jackson Training School. He held this position for 28 years. Stonewall Jackson Training School became the first youth reformatory in the state and for many decades the largest. When Mr. Boger took office there were 56 boys housed in two residential cottages, a shop, barn, and an administration building situated on 300 acres of land. By the end of his tenure, there were 17 residential cottages with 560 boys. There was a trades building, a textile unit, a dairy, a laundry, a bakery, an ice plant, a gymnasium, and a swimming pool spread over 984 acres of land.

"Both during his years as Cabarrus County's Superintendent and at Jackson Training School, Charles Boger demonstrated a selfless devotion to public education, a great gift for leadership and for administrative tasks, an ability to work successfully with the State's leading philanthropists (he regularly met with the Dukes, the Cones for Greensboro, the Reynolds and others to support his work), all combined with a decency that shone through, and that earned the affection and respect of his staff and of those students whose lives he influenced. "


*Information in this history is from the dedication speech written by Mr. Boger's grandson, John Charles Boger, Dean and Wade Edwards Distinguished Professor of Law