Sunday, March 30, 2008

School History

McClelland Academy was established by the Board of Missions of the Presbyterian Church USA about 1903 to 1936. A private Parochial school, they didn’t get support from Coweta or the state. Rev. Franklin Gregg was principal, Rev. Miller and Rev Glen were there early. The school boasted of at least 400 students from all over the county.

In approximately 1906, Pinson Street School consisted of one large wooden building heated by several pot-bellied stoves. Due to the rise in the number of students, a new two-story building was added in 1923, it was modern because it had a furnace, running water and restrooms. It had 1st through 9th until 1929 when 10th grade was added. There were only 12 teachers, not enough for the 400 students.

Howard Warner High School was named for Professor Howard Wallace Warner. It is still used today as part of the Board of Education Buildings. Mr. Warner attended Clark University in Atlanta and Fisk University of Nashville, where he received his A.B. degree. From Atlanta he received his Masters Degree in Education. He began his teaching career in Manchester, coming to Newnan in 1914. He served as principal for 30 years. He received a Distinguished Service Award for Service to the Education of Negro Children in GA in 1945. He died in September 1953. Some of the teachers were Mrs. Georgia Callaway-music, math & science; Mr. William Jones-music & math; Mr. Jackson and Mr. Cleveland who taught shop; Mrs. Louise Lee, Mrs. Ransby, Miss Margie Hine, Mr. Ralph Long, Mr. Henry Seldon, and Mrs. Katherine Dobson. In later years it changed to an elementary school, then with the construction of Central High and Fairmount schools, Howard Warner was closed.

Booker T. Washington was founded in the Roscoe-Sargent area by Professor Marvin Starr, school superintendent and helped by Mrs. Sara Fisher Brown in 1921. Some teachers were Mrs. Laura Mae Hutchinson, Mrs. Rosie Arnold, and Mrs. Sadie Dura. Mrs. Sara Brown was an advisor but the school never had a main principal. It was a one-room schoolhouse with a shingled roof, benches and a wood stove in the middle of the room. Around 1943 the school began to lose attendees and about 1946 closed all together.

Paris School in Black Jack was in existance from about 1926 to 1949. [Mrs. Josephine Rush said they went to Exie Wilson’s Corner Store with 3 eggs to trade for a brown cedar pencil and a large tablet. Mr. Wilson was a Veterinarian.]

Walter B. Hill Industrial School in Turin next to China Grove Baptist Church was started about 1927. It closed around 1953 when East Side opened. Mrs. Freddie Wortham was principal with seven teachers and 80 or 90 students. It provided some of the best education for blacks in the form of vocational classes. It is a Rosenwald School.

Brown High School was the FIRST black high school, on Pete Davis Rd in Moreland; it was founded by and named for Mrs. Sara Fisher Brown. It housed over 200 students in grades from kindergarten to 12th grade from Grantville, Moreland and the surrounding areas. Its first graduating class in 1933 had only 5 students. Mrs. Florence Hayes was Jeannes Supervisor for many years, was one of the five. Some of the principals included Mr. Lightfoot, Mrs. Florence Hayes, Mr. King, Rev. Weaver, Mrs. May Kearse Lawson and Mrs. Mary Ann Reese. The last class was 1946; they consolidated with Grantville Training. After this students attended Grantville Brown, then Central High in 1955. Some of it’s Basketball players were: Boys team: E P Jordan, Clarence Malcolm, James Davis, Johnny Smith, Glover Calhoun, Charlie Calhoun and Coach Render Bailey.
Girls team: Edith Bailey, Utes Marcus, Evella Marcus, Eleanor Bussie, Mary L Malcolm, Lessie McRae, Gladis Hill, Pecola Marcus and E P Jordan Coach.

Grantville has had several schools over the years, one was Grantville Training School where in 1927 Mrs. Belcher was the teacher and Mrs. Mae Kearns Lawson was the principal. There was also a Vocational Agriculture Shop at Grantville Training. Returning WWII Veterans were taught classes to help them get back into farming, one of the teachers was James Pinson. Grantville Brown was established in 1955 with L.D. Walden being the first principal and J Wilkins Smith was the Superintendent. Mrs. Zelda Griffin taught the first grade.

Haralson School had four teachers; one was Mrs. Freddie R. Wortham. There were about 50 students and 7 grades.

Ebenezer Baptist Church had a school from before 1938 and closed around 1948. The school had three rooms and three teachers and 1st through 12th grades. Mrs. Freddie R. Wortham was a student there.

Forksville School existed around 1938, and was located past Sprayberry’s in Forksville. It was a one story wood frame building with two rooms. There were only two teachers for grades 1st through 7th. One teacher was Miss Clema Terrel.

We can’t for get all of the Schools that were held in the churches. Mount Carmel opened in the 30’s in the White Oak community, it was two stories of one room each. In 1926 Miss Cleo Calhoun was the teacher. It was torn down and part of the timber was used for the Sunday school rooms at Mt Calvary Church.
St. Peter Elementary was built in 1925 beside the St Peter Baptist Church and closed in 1946. Some teachers were Mrs. Hellen Walker Stokes, Miss Ethel North and Mrs. Mattie Kate Robinson.

Shoal Creek school which was in Shoal Creek Baptist Church merged with Walter B. Hill.

There was also schools at Smith’s Chapel Church, Dent’s Chapel Church, Shady Grove, Wesley Chapel, Evergreen, Powell Chapel Church and I’m sure there’s a few we’re missing.

Orr’s Grove was a one room, one teacher school with about 20 students. During 1935-36 Mrs. Mae B. Prophitt was the teacher. It had 7 grades with a pot-bellied stove to heat, and one kerosene lamp lit on dark and rainy days.

Northside School also started out as an all black school. Westside School served the Arnco-Sargent, Ballard Quarters and Powers Crossroads areas. It started as early as 1947 with grades one through eight, with as many as 130 students.

Hannah Stewart School for Girls in Senoia around 1915 to 1930’s. Josephine Rush’s older sisters attended there.

Ruth Hill opened around 1938 and was located just a few feet from the present day school. It was originally for grades 1st through 6th, with three teachers.

Before 1969 there were actually four school systems: white & black city schools and white and black county schools. In 1969 the city and county schools merged and formed a “separate but equal” system. The next year, 1970, a court order was issued and there was total integration. At last there was only one true system in Coweta.

If you went to one of these old schools we mentioned or we’re missing some, call and tell us about them.
We don’t want to leave anyone out.

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