|Edward Jacob Forney|
In 1891, while working for the state, Forney met Charles Duncan McIver, an early advocate for women’s education and future president of the State Normal and Industrial School (now UNC Greensboro). McIver was so impressed with Forney, that he hired him as his personal secretary. He was particularly qualified for this position, as he was an early proponent of shorthand, and he was one of the first people in North Carolina who could operate a typewriter.
When the State Normal opened in 1892, Forney was asked to join the faculty. Initially, he acted as secretary to McIver, but soon, his sole responsibilities were as treasurer and as an instructor of “commercial subjects.” Those subjects included shorthand, typing, commercial law, bookkeeping, and telegraphy. This was a vital curriculum for the state’s young women, as it offered them an opportunity to be trained to work in an office and gain a measure of independence.
|Early College Faculty, Forney is Seated Far Left on the Third Row, 1893|
|Edward Jacob Forney in Later Years|
Forney continued his duties as treasurer of the school until he retired 1940, although he gave up the position of head of the commercial program a few years earlier. He was succeeded in both positions by George M. Joyce.
During the last several months of his life, Forney’s health began to fail and he was moved to a nursing facility. He died on January 29, 1948, 21 hours before his wife Annie and only several months shy of their 60th wedding anniversary. The couple were buried in a double funeral at Green Hill Cemetery.They were survived by their 6 children.
|The Forney Building, Formerly Carnegie Library|