"The Elizabeth City North Carolinian for August 12, 1869 has an article on commencement exercises at Murfreesboro for Lincoln Institute, taught by Miss Lydia Warrick. Must be same school previously known as O.O. Howard School. Had 60 or more students, orations by Master James J. Reynolds and Master George Raynolds, both students. Remarks by Rev. L. Washington Boone, Joseph P. Waever, Simon Collins, Esq. and the Hons. William Reid and J.T. Reynolds. Next issue, that of August 19, 1869, contains column-length address delivered on above occasion by J.T. Reynolds. of Northampton."
It seems that the school was larger than I imagined - 60 students ! But whoever wrote this note appears to have made a mistake about the name of the school. He/she mentions that it was "previously known as O.O. Howard", but that seems backwards because the reference in 1870 refers to it as O.O. Howard, while this reference in 1869 calls it the Lincoln Institute. It was probably originally called Lincoln Institute and then became the O.O. Howard School.
"O.O. Howard" is for Union Civil War General Oliver O. Howard. From May 1865 to July 1874, General Howard was commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands.
And "Lincoln Institute" ... well, I think we can assume that was named for Abraham Lincoln.
We have citations for exact dates - anyone want to try to track down the microfilm for the Elizabeth City North Carolinian for 1869 and send the complete articles?
If we all add to the pieces we'll quickly solve this historic puzzle.