Anna Judson Female Institute opened at Starrville in northern Smith County in 1860. The school, founded by the Bethel Baptist Church, had forty-three students that year. Levi Wilcoxen served as principal of the literary department, and Sallie A. McGilvary, his cousin, assisted him. J. B. Norman was principal of the music department. The school failed during the Civil War, but perhaps not before 1864.