As head principal at the Bingham School in Asheville from 1860 to 1927, Colonel Robert Bingham was called North Carolina's greatest schoolmaster. Though he confined disobedient students to solitary confinement in a guard house, inflicted bodily punishment on them with leather straps, and encouraged them to 'fight out' their differences, the students considered Bingham just and fair. He strived to teach the boys devotion to truth, honor, and courage. The students reportedly bore their punishments good-naturedly and without a feeling of disgrace in front of classmates. The military school's code and tradition were started by Colonel Bingham's grandfather, who established the school in Wilmington in 1793. It moved to Pittsboro, the Oaks, and Mebane in Orange County, and finally to Asheville in 1890. Colonel Robert Bingham's educational creed was to 'make men of boys.'