Old Schools Remembered

Posted 5/5/19

In my research of old schools in Walker County I have had a number of people who have assisted me in my attempt to learn as much as possible about old schools. In an attempt to acknowledge them all, …

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Old Schools Remembered

Posted

In my research of old schools in Walker County I have had a number of people who have assisted me in my attempt to learn as much as possible about old schools. In an attempt to acknowledge them all, I am confident that I will leave out some names of those who have furnished me material pertaining schools that they, or relatives attended. Some I have already credited with their input while others are due recognition.  

Joy Taylor loaned me her yearbook (1943-44) of Owens Junior High and Elementary School where Paul Sides was principal at that time. This covers the first through Junior 111 grades. Owens was quite a large school and I have had several individuals tell me that they were students at this school. Some of this information was included in an earlier column. She named the principals who were there. One was Wilburn Hudson who was my principal at Cordova High School, one of the best!  

Shelly Page at WCCT gave me a copy of the HISTORY OF TOWNLEY AND TOWNLEY SCHOOL which is interesting in that “The history of Townley School reveals seven individual Townley Schools, each successively following and dissolving and replacing the other. One can say that the present” (last) “Townley school is really a composite of those seven schools.”  It was established in approximately 1880 and on two occasions it was destroyed by fire and lighting. A complete history of the Townley school is included in this booklet beginning with “a small one-room school house which was west of the present First Baptist Church and behind “Miss Gladys Elmore's home.” This one-room structure was a shanghaied building. It was built of rough lumber by the patrons, who supplied it with several backless, home made benches. It contained a home-made table which served as the teacher's desk and a boxed-in-shelf in the corner  of the room for the water bucket and a few scanty school supplies.” A comprehensive  history of the following six schools that made up the Townley's follows in this historical account of an old mining town.

On a recent visit to the old Townley school house which now houses, among other things, the Walker County Sports Hall of Fame, I met Floyd Guthrie who is presently custodian of much of the history of Townley. He has e-mailed me pictures of the old schools located in Townley. He has also provided me with information regarding old schools at Holly Grove and Popular Top. I intend in the future to meet with him to collect more information.

Ruth Cloud contacted me to let me know that her aunt Ellie Edgil attended school at Pocohontas and has a picture of the school dating back to 1925. I have advise her that I would like to learn more about that school.

Ann Davis who was previously employed at the First National Bank (Synovus now) and later at Central (Compass now) Bank talked with me about her experience while attending the school located at Kansas, Ala. Others who are members of the Walker County Genealogical  Society which meets in the Carl Elliot Library in Jasper  has also talked about the Kansas, Nix, Poley, and other schools.

I received a call while writing this article from an old friend, Charles Morris, who said that he is in possession of a picture of the old Scott School which was located near his home-place on highway 69 north of Oakman. He attended school at Oakman until his junior and senior years which were at Walker High. He says that the first and second grades were housed in a small building which was set apart from the main building.

I intend to continue collecting all information possible to accumulate and preserve as much  of the history of the old schools of Walker County as possible. To do this I will be on the lookout for this material, hopefully to one day include it in book form. There are many schools that I have identified and created a file for each one. I will attempt to list the schools on which I have created a file and solicit those who might help fill each file with pictures and information to contact me.

Below I list the schools on which I have a file. The majority are public schools but I have also included a few private ones of which I am familiar or which I found in old advertisements in newspapers. I do not purport to list all private schools which have come and gone over the years. Known colleges are included, alternative's are not.

The schools listed alphabetically are as follows: Ab Knight, Aldridge, America, Andrew(Beech Grove), Ardell, Argo, Baltimore, Bankhead (old high school), Bankhead Middle, Banks, Benoit, Bethel, Bevill State, Big Ridge, Blackwater, Boldo, Brazalle, Brown, Bouy House, Busby, Carbon Hill Elementary, Carbon Hill High, Cordova Elementary, Cordova High School,  Cheatham, Clayton, Coal Valley, Corinth, Corona, Curry Elementary, Curry High School, Curry Middle School, Dawson, Dillworth,  Dixie, Dogtown, Dora Elementary, Dora High, Dovertown, Drummond, Dunn, Eldridge Baptist Academy, Eldridge, Empire, Enon, Farmstead, France Bradley, Friendship, Gamble College, Gamble Mine, Gant, Goodsprings, Gorgas, Hambrick, High Hill, Hillard, Holly Grove, Hunters Chapel, Hurd Shoals, Indian Head, Iron Mountain, Jasper Central, Jasper Graded, Jasper High, Jasper Maddox, Jasper Male & Female Academy, Jasper Memoral Park, Jasper Shrine/Highland, Jasper T. R. Simmons, West Jasper, Jaggar, John Richardson, Johnston, Kansas, Key, Kilgore, King, Knight, Lewis, Liberty Hill, Lovell, Low Gap, Lupton, Macedonia, Mammoth, Manchester, Manchester Mine, Martin, McCollum (Sulpher Springs), Miller, Mount Hope, Mount Zion, Nauvoo, Nauvoo Rural, Nauvoo Jr. High, New Prospect, Nix, Oak Grove, Oakman Elem, Oakman H.S. , Oakman Middle, Odom (Friendship),  Old Hall, Old Sludge, Owens, Palmer, Parrish Elementary, Parrish H.S, Patrick Chapel, Payne Bend, Peterson (Patton Hill), Pleasentfield, Pleasent Hill, Pocahontas, Poley, Popular Top, Redmill, Reynolds (Fairview), Riceton, Rock Springs, Rose Hill, Saragossa,  Scotts, Sides, Sipsey, Slate Creek, Slick Lizzard, Smith's Schoolhouse, Snow, South Lowell, Spring Hill, Sumiton Elem., Sumiton Middle, Sumiton Christian, Sunrise, Thach, Townley(7 schools), Tubbs, Tutwiler, Union Chapel, Valley, West Corona, Wheeler, Willis Chapel, Wyman, Walker College, Walker County Academy, Walker County H.S., Zion.  

150 white and intergrated schools are in this list. I am confident there are more.

Due to space restrictions I have not named 22 schools for blacks in this week's column. They will be listed next week.

Contact Wheeler Pounds at 3424 Kings Mill Rd, Oakman, AL 35579, or at wheelerpounds@gmail.com.