According to Moses White, who had access to the original roll books of the institution maintained by President Carrick, Barbara Blount, daughter of Territorial Governor William Blount and Mary Grainger Blount, was one of the five coeds whose names appeared on the rolls of the institution as pupils from 1804–7. At the beginning of the institution’s history, the grades were terms such as attentive, and diligent. Barbara Blount was the only girl to be so described in the roll book. She was the Blount’s seventh child.
Her father died in 1800 and her mother in 1802. She then became the ward of her brother-in-law, Pleasant Moorman Miller, and lived at Sunnyside—the Miller home (now the site of the Jessie Harris Building), where she married Edmund Pendleton Gaines in 1815. The couple had one son, Edmund Pendleton Gaines Jr. Barbara Blount died in Mobile, Alabama, on November 30, 1836.
When the college moved west to its present location across from Sunnyside, on land purchased from Pleasant Moorman Miller, the Hill was known as Barbara Hill. However, the use of the term was relatively short-lived. In 1898 the trustees created the first women’s dormitory—the upper two floors of the Mess Hall—and renamed the building Barbara Blount Hall. In 1901 a new women’s dormitory (with cooking laboratory in the basement) was completed and named Barbara Blount Hall. It was razed in 1979 and is now the parking lot next to Perkins Hall. Various organizations (e.g., the Barbara Blount Literary Society and the Barbara Blount Tennis Club) preserved her memory in the nineteenth century.