Charles Duncan McIver was born on September 27, 1860 in Moore County, North Carolina. He was graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1881 and began teaching school in Durham and Winston. In 1886, he went to Peace Institute in Raleigh. In 1889, McIver and Edwin A. Alderman were chosen by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to hold teacher institutes across the state. An advocate of higher education for women, he was chosen President of the State Normal and Industrial School, which opened in 1892. McIver was very active in southern and national educations circles and attended many meetings, conferences, and conventions. He was married to Lula V. Martin and they had four children. McIver died on September 17, 1906.