Straus-LeVert Memorial Hall, 1856, Talbotton


This beloved landmark was built as the LeVert College for Young Women by Lazrus Straus, a Belgian merchant whose business was the forerunner of the Macy’s chain. This was a Methodist school and merged with Collingsworth Institute in 1879. It closed in 1907 and was used as a public school until 1926. Many years after moving away from Talbotton and founding Macy’s, the Straus family made gifts to ensure the preservation of this important structure. Madame Octavia Walton LeVert, for whom the LeVert Female College was named, was the granddaughter of George Walton, a Georgia Signer of the Declaration of Independence.

LeVert Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

1 thought on “Straus-LeVert Memorial Hall, 1856, Talbotton

  1. notanhedonia

    There is a great book, “Madame LeVert – A Biography of Octavia Walton Le Vert”, by Frances Gibson Satterfield, 1987, Edisto Press, Edisto Island, South Carolina.

    She was a true Renaissance woman, interested and comfortable in society, the arts, politics, the theater, and even European royalty. She wrote “Souvenirs of Travel” about life in the old world, was unhappy with the treatment of the lower class women, and was an early worker for women’s rights, becoming a charter member of “Sorosis”, possibly the first women’s club in America. She was also a supporter of saving George Washington’s home “Mount Vernon”, serving in the Mount Vernon Ladies Association.


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