Most people don't recognize the name Hillfield Academy, but in its day and time the academy was a great educational institution. It was built in 1850 on the old Goldsboro-Smithfield Road. It was a boarding school, and many teachers and students were obtained through newspaper ads. Powell includes a partial list of teachers, students, and titles of some of the books used. The school was in hearing distance of the battle of Bentonville and closed shortly after the end of the Civil War in 1865, never to open again.