Oxford Female Academy was chartered by the Ohio General Assembly Feb. 27, 1839, "for the purpose of establishing and sustaining a seminary for the education of females in the town of Oxford." Its incorporators were John Witherspoon Scott (father of Caroline Scott Harrison), William W. Robinson, William Graham, James R. Hughs, Herman B. Mayo, George G. White and James Leech. The school, which incorporated in 1839, had started in 1830 as a school for girls under Bethania Crocker and the patronage of three Miami University faculty members, President Robert H. Bishop, Professor William Holmes McGuffey and Professor John Witherspoon Scott.
"Entrance was by examination," explained Olive Flower in The History of Oxford College for Women. "Emphasis was laid on mathematics and philosophy because it was thought that girls were not capable of mastering Greek." Flower said "not much is known of the academy, except that, under the guidance of various principals, it would flourish until the principal married some professor, minister, or at least a member of the church, according to the fashion of the times in Oxford, and then it would be temporarily suspended. To remedy this situation, and get a more permanent system for the education of their daughters, the citizens of Oxford organized a stock company for the purpose of founding a female institute," the Oxford Female Institute.