Vaiden's Neighboring Communities, Churches, Cemeteries & Schools
Note: Although the information in this Page is commonly associated with Vaiden, because the locations are not within Vaiden's City Limits, they are grouped together here. In addition to North Vaiden School and Vaiden High School, the Vaiden Heritage lists other schools in Vaiden as: Vaiden Hill, Harmony, Hudson, Acona, Tuckerville, Martin Grove, Sand Hill, Midway, Jeff Chapel, Heggie, Fisher Grove, Mt. Zion, Summerfield, New Zion, Era Line, and King Chapel. Historical information is not available for all of these locations, but will be provided for all that are applicable.
Pastors were: Rev. Levy Robertson, Rev. J.G. Boykin, Rev. Campbell, Rev. J.C. Coker, Rev. J.G. Garmon, Rev. Eddie Waldington, Rev. F.J. Grice, Rev. L.V. Powell, Rev. W.E. Hawthorne
Deacons were: Bob Ghoston, Sam Lucas, Thornton Robertson, Willie Forte, Dave Brandon, Roger Campbell, James Glover
Mothers were: Francis Brandon, Lucy Randolph, Marie Seawood, Lou Seawood, Francis Carthon, Eliza Lucas, Eliza Brown, Dolly Campbell, Annie Glover
In 1884, John S. McDougald
gave 5.77 acres of land for the erection of a Presbyterian Church of Central
The people moved away, wanting better
schools and other advantages; the membership became so small that the money
for the repair of the Church was not available. Services were discontinued in
the 1940s. Rather than let the old Church fall down, it was torn down. The
money realized from the sale of its lumber was used for the upkeep of the
cemetery. Later, when the land was sold under the leadership of the Elders of
the Shongalo Presbyterian Church, much work was
done on the cemetery, This was badly needed. Elder Claude Cox, who had been
an Elder in the
The following is a partial list of the loved
ones buried in the Old Salem Cemetery with the dates of the death: Mary M.
Bland, 1888; T.W. Beck, 1869; E.B.F. Beck, 1896; Pairlee
Benton, 1916; T.H. Benton, 1900; the A.H. Brisendine
Family; Henry H. Bacon, 1954; Mary L. Bacon, 1956; R.H. Bacon, 1901; Emiline Wimberly Booth, 1844;
R.E. Cox, 1974; Ada Brisendine
Cox, 1943; S.W. Cox, 1933; Lillian Cox, 1933; Minnie Cox, 1891; Oda Parilee Cox, 1906; Sarah F.
Ross Cox, 1910; Leumanda Cox, 1894; Tom Wilson Cox,
1911; Henry Cagle, 1888; Adaline Calhoun, 1852; Archabeler Calhoun, 1882; Jack Hoover, 1900; Maggie
Hoover, 1960; margie Maud Hoover, 1910; Florence L.
Heath, 1891; Lizzie R. Johnson, 1910; George Johnson, 1941; Jessie Johnson,
1950; Minnie Johnson, 1950; Virginia Johnson, 1913; Watson Johnson, 1946;
Rev. J.B. Jopling, 1876; Sarah Amanda Lowery, 1910;
Robert G. Lowery, 1909; James Lowery, 1932; D.A. Lowery, 1937; Mattie S.
Lowery, 1968; Ester J. Lowery, 1970; Nancy Lowery, 1917; Pearl Lee, 1970;
Martha J. Lee, 1940; Jerry R. Lee, 1934; Watson L. Long, 1862; Lizzie Lehr,
1868; Martha S. McDougald, 1862; John S. McDougald, 1903; Amanda W. McDougald,
1917; Amanda Clyde McDougald, 1884; Ida McDougald, 1878; Leonard L. McDougald;
Melenda McDougald, 1863; Virge McDougald, 1932; Dennis McDougald, 1926 (Note the change in the spelling of this
name); Addie McCreary, 1875; Robert D. Noah, 1942;
Mattie S. Noah, 1966; Tom Anderson Noah, 1974; Willie Randall Noah, 1966;
Mary Ellen Noah, 1937; Tom Haman Noah, 1925;
William Cade Noah, 1916; Ken A. Noah, 1961; James
Thomas Noah, 1942 (there are four generations of this family in this list);
A.E. Polk, 1878; Elmirah
The following constitute a list of the owners of peoperty in this area, most of whom were members of the Old Salem Presbyterian Church: W.M. Sprowls, 1836; T.L. & Elizabeth Johnson, 1839; Jereman Colman; W. Booth; Samuel Latimore, 1840; Leroy & Elizabeth Brewer; Elijah & Martha Wimberly; Lewis and Mary Wimberly; Caleb Young; Jessie and Mahthy Stout; Alfred and Mary Murdock; John M. & Sarah E. Wallace; S.P. Johnson; F.M. & Maggie Hunter; Annie & J.S. Randall; Charles Cauthren; Lee Campere; A.F. Wiltshire; A.J. Reeves; J.A. Ginn; E.L. Conger; William Pollard; John & Amanda S. Booth; John S. & Amanda McDougald; Harrett & A.J. Reeves; H.S. & Fannie Wade; D.E. -- Edna Cade; Joseph & Eliza YOung; W.A. & Emily Wilson; T.W. Wimberly; H. Gilliam; Cal Colman; Will & Eula Downer
P. Wilson owned property a few miles away and owned a tanning yard. Uncle Alex was a slave of Mr. L.P. Wilson and
moved away from
In the 1880s, John S. McDougal moved his family into a new residence just across the road from the Church. His home was always headquarters for anyone who visited the Church or community. It was from this home that W.C. (Lum) McDougal went to become Tax Assessor and later Sheriff of Carroll County. Lum was killed in 1908. His Assassin was hanged about seven years later. it is said that this was the last hanging in Carroll County.
A one-teacher school was located near the Church, but in 1911 this was consolidated with the Blackmonton School about four miles away. Students were transported in a covered wagon. This wagon was driven by Mr. Jessie Johnson. It was not heated, yet no children suffered greatly from cold in the hour it took to make the trip.
A store was operated by Mr. F.M. Hunter and was located near the Church on Mr. Hunter's property. This store was closed in 1910. Mr. Noah owned a store and a grist mill about a mile away. This was where the shelled corn was taken on Saturday for the meal to be made. Mr. McDougal owned a gin which was operated by horde power and was said to gin one bale of cotton a day.
The people from Old Salem voted at Midway, and the following is a partial list of the registered voters in the book, beginning August 30, 1887. It only shows 76 of the 355 registered voters, but shows that the Colored people voted at this time.
John S. McDougald (w); W.R. Sproles (w); H.R. Girner (w); Wash Johnson (c); W.A. Crow (w); J.D. Morgan (w); R.M. Morgan (w); T.A. Morgan (w); W.M. Crawford (w); W.L. Wimberly (w); Jacob Edwards (c); W.B. Ross (w); Anthorney Harrell (c); Dr. W.B. Whitehead (w); W.H. Montague (w); J.H. Mattox (w); O.G. Calhoun, Sr.(w); J.R. Heggie (w); A. Boone (w); H.T. Lehr (w); Granville Cook (c); Sam Wilkins (c); R.C. Wilson (w); Charles Kinney (c); Orange Hearn (c); Weldon Baskin (w); J.M. Simpson (w); S.L. McBride (w); Ben Bailey (w); H.W. Hill (w); W.T. Stone (w); H.L. Wade (w); Boaton Cable (w); Jack Simpson (c); G. Carpenter (w); V.R. Boone (w); H.J. Penion (w); Martin Boone (w); J.D. Carpenter (w); A.D. Cook, Jr. (w); J.F. Hatcher (w); C.M. Wilson (c); William Pollard (w); Brad Johnson (c); Phillip Whitehead (c); W.M. Jones (w); A.P. Wiltshire (w); P.H. Cain (w); Lewis Mattox (c); Aaron Shipp (c); I.B. Stone (w); C.B. Turnipseed (w); W.T. Wiley (w); Bash Bailey (c); Charlie Duson (c); H.A. Little (w); R.M. Collier (w); S.A. Martin (w); Jessie Herron (w); Jack Booth (c); J.E. Purser (w); J.B. Vandiver (w); E.L. Conger (w); Marten Girner (w); H.D. Boon (w); Joe Whitehead (c); Wm. Joyce (w); Dan Kinney (c); H.P. Browning (w); A.J. McBride (w); R.R. Baskin (w); J.R. Morgan (w); Dr. J.A. McBride (w); Andy Lockhart (w); George Gay (c)
Old Salem -- Jeff's Chapel
No account of Old Salem would be complete without the recording of the names of the people of color. Uncle Jeff and Aunt Margaret Saffold were outstanding leader, as were Ira and Nora Ellis; Steve and Katie Johnson; Loas and Frances Johnson and Henry and Hannah Johnson. The people chose to name the Church "Jeff's Chapel." and at least one was called to spread the Word of God; Rev. L.T. Keys, great grandson of Henry and Hannah Keys.
In 1884, the following deed was given to the Methodist Episcopal Church of America: "For the consideration of the cause of Christ and a desire to promote His kingdom on earth and aid and encourage the people of color to build a house to worship God and promote religion, morality and peace in the neighborhood." Signed: T.W. Wimberly
Albert Saffold, grandson of Aunt Margaret and Uncle Jeff owned land at Old Salem and was an officer in Jeff's Chapel Church. Walter Ellis owned property as well as Adeline Ellis. Adeline is the daughter of Steve and Katie Johnson.
New Salem Baptist Church
New Salem Church, located west of Vaiden on Hwy. 35, is one of the oldest churches in the county, being organized in 1847. Mr. A.C. Mason served many years as pastor of this (original) church and several churches over the county, serving perhaps the longest at Liberty Church at Jefferson. Mr. Mason is remembered as an "ole school" preacher, "a gentleman and a scholar" who numbered his friends as all whom he knew.
Just when Mr. Mason first came into Carroll County is unknown but we do know that it was before 1900. He was born in Alabama in 1852 and is supposed to have moved to Mississippi not many years after the Civil War. A second marriage in 1902 was to Miss Callie Flowers, daughter of Mr. J.M. Flowers, who was another Baptist leader in the county. A descendant of this union is Mrs. Hazel M. Flowers of Carrollton.
James Madison Flowers was born in 1844 near Marion, North Carolina. In 1845, he moved with his parents near Kilmichael, which, at that time, was within the Carroll County lines, and in 1854 into the New Salem area. He was a leader in the Baptist denomination for many years and it is doubtless his influence is still felt in the county.
Claiborne Nelms was a member of Old Salem Presbyterian Church. During his membership, there was a split in the Church's congregation over something apparently unknown now. Mr. Nelms decided to leave the Church and took with him the pulpit he had made by hand. This was put in an ox-wagon and taken to New Salem Church where it remained until the Church was replaced. His brother, Jonathan, was a preacher, but is mentioned only briefly in family records. It seems that he left Carroll County and went to Texas by way of Louisiana. He might have preached at New Salem.
Parthenia Curtis, who married James Russell and was the mother of Martha Frances Russell McCune Nelms, wife of Andrew Martin Nelms, belonged to the Christian Church. She was not premitted to join New Salem because she was not a Baptist, although she indicated that she would change. She died a Christian, but always wanted to belong to New Salem. Andrew Martin Nelms, grandson of Parthenia, put a roof on the New Salem Church, which was thought to be the last roof put there. The Church burned in September, 1968, and was rebuilt on Highway 35 in 1969. The new Church had 41 members and for the first time in the history of the Church, had services every Sunday. The pastor was Rev. O.A. "Sonny" Evans from Carrollton.
Columbiana Methodist Church
Columbiana United Methodist Church is located about six miles northeast of Vaiden. This rural church had its beginning about 1834 as one of the many campground meeting places in north Mississippi. It was on the preaching circuit of Rev. James Applewhite. About 1881, a church was built and named Columbiana as Rev. Applewhie came to north Mississippi from Columbia, Mississippi. This building burned around 1898 and the congregation selected a new site about a mile south for the new building. Four acres were deeded to the Methodist Episcopal Church South by W.T. Branch, John Stafford and John W. Fullilove, Sr., on Feb. 4, 1899. Space for a cemetery was provided, but very few people were ever buried there. Most of the families are buried at the Scotland and Vaiden cemeteries.
In addition to the names mentioned above, some of the older families at Columbiana were the M.F. Wilson's; Wm. E. Caldwell's; Wilson Dismuke's; Jim Stewart's; Edd Wooten's; W.P. Morgan's; George Everetts'; J.F. Johnson's; Wm. McEachern's; and Sam Ely's. Mrs. Alice Wooten was pianist and Sunday School leader for years. This church has never had a large membership, but has remained an active church in the North Mississippi Methodist Conference. It is now on the Winona Circuit.
The history of the Vaiden United Methodist Church would not be complete without a sketch of the Beatty Church and the community. In 1893, three denominations -- Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian -- organized the Beatty Church. It was located one mile north of Ollie, later Beatty, a flag stop on the railroad. J.S. (Steve) Tillman deeded one acre of land. This was on land deeded to his wife, Mary Jane McClurg Tillman, daughter of Y.C. McClurg. One of the early Presbyterian ministers was the Rev. Ben Wiley, father of the late Mayor, B.F. Wiley of Vaiden. The Presbyterians moved away. The Methodists and Baptists continued together many years in perfect harmony. Sunday School literature was alternated each quarter. Each denomination held services one Sunday a month. The Methodist minister was the pastor of the Vaiden Church. About 1925, the Methodist Church was the only denomination holding services. Sunday School was discontinued about 1923. J.C. Vick was Sunday School Secretary for many years.
Miss Minnie Treadwell was Postmistress of Ollie Post office until she married J.C. Vick in 1903. About that time, the name was changed to Beatty. The post office was discontinued about 1928. Mrs. Davies was the last Postmistress.
Among the old families in the Beatty Community were Treadwell, Davis -- Jefferson Davis was a Confederate veteran. He and Mrs. Davis and other members of the Davis family moved to Texas and died there -- Y.C. McClurg, Thomas, Winborn, Jones, Calhoun, Murphy, Lockhart, Miller, Tillman, Ingram, Oldham, Eakin, Vick, Clark, Williams, and Simpson. Other descendents of early members of the Beatty Church were: Charlie and Robert Vick of Pearl -- sons of J.C. and Minnie Treadwell Vick, Mrs. Artie Miller Simpson Peeples, Mrs. Ophelia Bethel of Greenville, Mrs. Beulah Farrar, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Miller, Mrs. Mary Keel Cohron Alston, daughter of J.F. and Mattie Mae Tillman Keel of Carrollton, Jack Davis, who married Maggie Bush of Money. They had two daughters: Mrs. Mattie Treadwell McCarroll has some descendants.
The original Beatty School was near Beatty Methodist Church on old Jeff Davis Highway. This one room school, about four miles south of Vaiden, was in the Vaiden School District. In 1925, the Trustees of Beatty School withdrew from the Vaiden District, moved approximately one mile east and built a four-room school located on Highway 51, four miles south of Vaiden. This was known as Beatty Consolidated School. The land was purchased from C.C. Parnell.
Bonds were floated to defray the cost of building the school and a teacher's home. The first session in 1925-1926, was taught by Mr. Harley Johnson, the first principal. Later a Mr. Armstrong and C.U. Canon also taught. All teachers are not known, but some are: Miss Martha Williford, Miss Lurlene Stephens, Mr. Olin Miley, and Mrs. R.P. Porter. The school had a music department with "Kiddy Band" and uniforms. They participated in field meets and, at one time, won first place in music declamation.
This school operated until the spring of 1944, when it was consolidated with Vaiden. On June 8, 1944, C.U. Canon purchased this property and building.
Beatty Home Demonstration Club
Beatty Home Demonstration Club was the first Home Demonstration Club organized in the community of Beatty. It was organized on the fourth Friday afternoon, September 23, 1943, in the home of Mrs. Jesse Canon. Officers elected at the first meeting were: Mrs. G.G. Bennett, President; Mrs. C.U. Canon, Vice-President; Mrs. Jesse Canon, Secretary; Mrs. T.G. O'Briant, Recreation Leader. The first club song was "It's a Lovely Day Tomorrow."
The first demonstration was on whole wheat chowder. A discussion on Cold Frames and Potato Kilns was given. A cold frame was shown at the Jesse Canon residence, and a potato kiln at the home of Mr. Henry Riley. The second meeting was the fourth Friday in October at two o'clock in the afternoon. Mrs. T.G. O'Briant demonstrated a soybean meal cake.
Charter members of the Beatty Club were: Mrs. Hilda (G.G.) Bennett, Mrs. C.U. Canon, Mrs. R.W. Ellis, Mrs. Marion Ellis, Mrs. Alice Johnson, Mrs. Gladys Maddox, Mrs. Tommy O'Briant, Mrs. Henry Riley, Mrs. Kate Shelton, Mrs. Luna Scoggins, and Mrs. Besse Rogers. Mrs. R.W. Ellis was the only vharter member remaining in the Beatty Club from its beginning until 1976, and served as Vice-President at that time. As of 1976, the Beatty Club continued to meet on the fourth Friday each month at two o'clock. The officers were: Mrs. C.A. Weaver, President; Mrs. R.W. Ellis, Vice-President; and Mrs. Clyde Booth, Secretary and Treasurer. Members at that time included: Mrs. Clyde Booth, Mrs. W.W. Cox, Mrs. R.W. Ellis, Mrs. Jesse Wilson, Mrs. Frank Montague, Mrs. Robert Noah, Mrs. C.H. Lofton, Mrs. M.T. Watkins, Mrs. Pearl McWhorter, Mrs. J.H. Putman, Mrs. C.A. Weaver, Miss Charleen Weaver, and Mrs. John Allen Wade.
Since the Carroll County Extension Council disbanded in the summer of 1974, the club changed the name to the Beatty Homemakers Club. Since there were no focus topics sent out from the extension office, the member in charge of the focus topic each month would present what she saw fit as a topic of interest to homemakers. members were still invited to attend workshops conducted by the extension office and many ideas for demonstrations were brought back to the club.
Among some workshops included in the previous years were: sewing with knits, sweaters made from knit materials, needle-point classes, crewel embroidery classes, cake decorating, native Carroll County clay made into many things, pictures, purses, freezing of foods, and Christmas idea workshops.
From the beginning of the Beatty Club in 1943 to the club active in 1975, making homes more attractive and learning the latest in homemaking skills was the purpose. Much fun and fellowship with other club members was also a part of the reward.
Wesley Chapel and Old Plank
Some of the earliest settlers in this community were William Prestidge Denmon. John Grantham, 1850; W.J. Weeks, 1851; William Rucker, Presley Rucker, Calvin Rucker, 1854; Thomas Buchannan, 1853; Jefferson Rambo, Reuben Colton, James Carter, 1857; Alexander McPherson, H.H. Weeks, Daniel Ferguson, James A. Ferguson, 1859; Stephen Scott, 1863; John Austin, 1864; F.M. Wingate, 1870.
The Denmons and later, their son-in-law, Oscar Ferguson, operated a fery crossing on the Big Black River on the route from French Camp to Vaiden (the present Highway 35 crossing). A cemetery was started and a church built with "planks" which was the first in the area not built of logs. It was called the Plank Church. The first one was built in the 1850s and was being used as a schoolhouse in 1858. This building burned and was replaced with another plank church soon after the Civil War, which stood until it also burned in the late 1920s. On March 13, 1875, Reuben Colton, on whose land the church and cemetery were located, deeded "10 acres for $15.00 to the trustee of the Zilpha Circuit, W.W. Yeager, Peyton Randle, R.H. King, Anderson Rosamond, S.P. Armstrong, and J.H. Evans, for burying ground and church purposes of the Methodist Church South."
On September 22, 1873, G.G. Gordin of New Orleans, La., deeded "10 acres to the trusteed of Methodist Episcopal Church South, Peyton Randle, R. Colton, A.I. Teat, Joel Williams, and R.L. Randle to be used jointly or separately to build a church and Masonic Hall." In 1877, F.M. Wingate deeded the land between the church property and the roads to the church and lodge, making a total of 17 acres. This land lies two miles southeast of Old Plank. There was an oral agreement that, if a new church was built, a cemetery would not be started at the new location for fear the old one would be abandoned. This agreement has been kept to this day.
The new church was named Wesley Chapel. There is no record available concerning the first pastors. The first dated entry in the old church register is the marriage of George W. Scott to Florence M. Gooch by Rev. E. Eallem on March 7, 1886.
There were nine dated entries of Infant Baptism: Ethel Scott, daughter of George W. and Florence M. Scott, baptised by Rev. R.P. Mitchell in 1888; six children of William R. and M.I. Colton, Samuel B. in 1887; Bessie E. in 1888, baptised by Rev. Mitchell; Jesse R. in 1890 by Dr. J.J. Wheat, Frank Cyril in 1898 with no pastor listed; Willie Joe, Katie leola, Lou Esther in 1901 by Dr. J.W. Dye; and Robbie Lou Stephens, daughter of J.R. and Lilla I. Stephens in 1902 by Rev. E.C. Sullivan.
The Masonic Lodge was named for Dr. Joe Applewhite, who was one of the pioneer medical doctors. Enoch Herring was the first Master of the Lodge. There was a large membership and it was very active for many years. With the organization of lodges in Vaiden and surrounding towns, the membership waned and the Charter was surrendered in the late 1930s. A chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star was also organized and active for several years.
The building was a two-story structure with the church occupying the first floor and the lodge occupying the second floor. A tornado wrecked the original building in November, 1959. The church rebuilt a one-story structure in 1960, which still stands.
Hopewell Presbyterian Church
The Church was organized August 29, 1846 by the Rev. Willima H. Harris. The charter members were: Mr. and Mrs. Thomas C. Harris, Dr. and Mrs. J.M. Lockhart, and Dr. W.W. Ellington. The organization was effected in a school house about a mile south of the present location and was given the name "Poplar Springs," taking its name from the spring nearby. Mr. Peter Gilbert was teaching the school and was the first member received into the Church after it was organized. For two years the members used the school house for worship. During the two years the following members were added to the list: Mr. and Mrs. John McCorkle, Mr. and Mrs. John Hamilton, and Mr. and Mrs. John M. Thompson.
The members of the Church decided at a congregational meeting held in July 1848 that a Church should be built nearer the central part of the neighborhood and that the name be changed to Hopewell. On OCtober 14, 1848, the Clinton Presbytery held its session for three days at the Church. At this meeting the new members that were received were: Mrs. Ann McKinney, Mr. John Baskin, Miss Ann Grey, and Mrs. L. Harris, wife of the Rev. W.H. Harris.
The Church building was erected by James C. Harris, who afterwards married a daughter of the Choctaw Chief, Greenwood Leflore, who later served as an Elder in the Teoc Church. The first Elders were Thomas C. Harris and John McCorkle.
Some of the pastors of Hopewell have been S.S. Brown, James Naylor, John M. McCampbell, David Humphrey, C.M. Atkins, J.A. Mecklin, T.L. Haman, V.L. Bryant, J.V. Cobb, G.W. Swetman, W.B. Hooker, J.K. Parker, J.W. McNutt, and R.M. Lemly. The old Church was discontinued in the early 1950s.
In the latter part of the 19th century, the parents of the small children in the community four miles north of Vaiden and west of teh Illinois Central Railroad began to concern themselves about a school. Finally, a spinster, Miss Elizabeth Wood, better known to the children as "Miss Lizzie," consented to try her hand at the task of teaching. Mr. William Billingsley, although a bachelor himself, was interested in the education of children. He provided, without charge, a room to be used as a classroom.
Miss Wood taught for a while but her family soon moved away. Since her meager salary was insufficient to justify her staying in the community, she also left. The only other school available was Black Jack with Mr. D.D. Fullilove as teacher. Black Jack was some distance east of the Illinois Central Railroad and too far away for most of the children to attend. Mr. R.B. Smith lived approximately a mile west of the railroad crossing. He decided to send his three oldest daughters, Bess, Jeannette, and Maude, to Black Jack until other arrangements could be made. Of that distance west of the railroad, almost half was wooded area with two creeks running through it. Frequently, after heavy winter or spring rains, the overflow from the creeks was so deep that the horse the children were riding, had to swim. On such an occasion, their dad would accompany them. Once it was impossible for him to do so. He sent a hired man to see them safely through the water, not knowing that the man had a great fear of water. As they neared the deep water, the hired man lagged behind. The young girls led the way fearlessly and their faithful horse carried them safely to the other side.
By 1903, a number of families in the community had increased in size and the children needed to be in school. Mr. J.B. Doster, Mr. G.W. Doster, Mr. George Maxwell, Mr. B.F. Stanton, and Mr. R.B. Smith were especially interested in securing a school for their district. They beseeched Mr. Charles Neal, then Superintendent of Education for Carroll County, to aid them in every way possible. The next summer, they were delighted when Mr. Smith received a letter dated August 22, 1904, from Mr. Neal stating that the school board had granted a school for the district and named "Smith" in his honor. Instructions were enclosed for the election of the trustees, the length of term for each trustee, and also for the election of the teacher. School, he said, would open on October 1, for its winter term.
There were many things to be done in the few short weeks before the opening of school, but there were many hands ready and willing to do what was required. First, a site was chosen. It was west of the Winona-Vaiden Road on a little hill northwest of the G.G. Baker home. In 1924, the building was moved to a more centrally-located place, just west of the Winona-Vaiden Road and across the road from Mr. B.F. Stanton's homestead.
Although the school consisted of only one room, pride, joy, and hope for the future lay within its walls. The house faced south. It had two big windows on each side. At first there were rough homemade benches and long tables with openings on the longest side for the books. Facing the door at the back of the room was a teacher's chair and table. In the center of the room was a rather long iron stove with its pipe through the ceiling, The stove would supply warmth during the cold winter months.
Finally, the first teacher was chosen. She was Miss Johnie Bennet. Later she became Mrs. Claiborn Nelms. Others in order were Miss Woodson Hunter, Miss Annie Dora Wright, Miss Louise Ellis, Miss Bess Smith, Miss Jeannette Smith, Mrs. Annie Colter, Miss Annie Maxwell, Miss Katie Huffman, Miss Beatrice Doster, Mrs. Mattie Conger Hill, Mrs. Daisy McCorkle, Mrs. Evelyn Ross, and Mrs. Lura Bella Maxwell.
A number of years after the school house was completed, new double desks replaced the rough-hewn tables and benches. These were arranged in a lengthwise row on each end of the room. In the northeast corner, shelves were built and enclosed to form a tiny "library." Here were placed Louisa M. Alcott's books, some of Hean Stratton Porter's, a dictionary, and a number of other books; such a small beginning, but nothing afforded greater pleasure for those who liked to read. These books were handled with love and care. To interest the non-reader, the teacher would take a few minutes each day to read aloud from the most interesting books.
For years a framed picture of Emerson, Lowell, Longfellow, and Whittier hung on the east wall. On this same wall was a quotation, also framed: There is so much good in the worst of us, And so much bad in the best of us, That it hardly behooves any of us, To talk about the rest of us.
There were eight grades taught in this one room. The size of a class could never be very large; it could have as few as one. Pupils who had prepared their homework could learn many things by listening to others recite. Children enjoyed writing on the blackboard which was behind the teacher's desk and reached almost halfway across the back of the room.
Water was brought from a nearby spring. The bucket was hung outside on a long nail. A common dipper was used by all at first. Later water was placed in a cooler with a faucet. Pupils had individual cups or made their cups by folding paper correctly. For recreation, they played baseball on the rough, uneven ground. There were many other things to do such as pop-the-whip, jump the rope, follow the leader, etc. The smaller children enjoyed swinging on the limbs of a large oak over the deep road bed. Wading in a nearby brook was also fun.
The name of the father of each family is given as: G.G. Baker, Jap Carter, Clem Cooper, W.R. Davis, J.B. Doster, G.W. Doster, Emmet Duren, Will Holmes, J.J. Imgram, George Maxwell, R.T. McCorkle, Fleet Smith, R.B. Smith, B.F. Stanton, Daniel Welch, Neal Welch, Hartley Little. Perhaps there were others not included in these lists because they remained in the neighborhood only a short time.
Many of the children who finished at Snith School continued their education by getting a diploma from Vaiden High School. Some attended institutions of higher learning. Degrees were received from the following universities and colleges: Blue Mountain, Mississippi Southern University, Mississippi University for Women, Ole Miss, Millsaps, and Harvard University.
Smith School served the people well from October 1, 1904, to May 1943. Those who attended Smith School later became useful citizens. They are farmers, merchants, pharmacists, medical technicians, teachers, bookkeepers, industrialists, excellent mothers, housewives, or both.
As mentioned earlier, the school was also the church for many years. During the simmer months, church services were held outside under an arbor which was much more comfortable. As the families increased in size and other people moved into the community, there was the need for a church. With outside help, Fair View Baptist Church was built just east of the Winona-Vaiden Road on a site Mr. B.F. Stanton deeded to the Baptists for the Church. It was a big church, but rather top-heavy. However, it served the community for many years. Finally, a strong wind damaged it so that props had to be used to keep it from falling over. Families moved away and young people grew up and found work elsewhere. At last services were no longer held at Fair View. A number of families joined the Vaiden Baptist Church and others joined the Holy Witness Church. No longer was there a gathering place in the community with Fair View Church and Smith School gone.
Hebron School, Methodist and Baptist Churches
Located seven miles southwest of Vaiden on Emory Road is the community of Hebron. Early settlers in Hebron were: the Brocks, Selfs, Joyces, Hogues, Gordins, Boones, Michies, Tuckers, Edwards, Kings, and others.
Of the two churches there, Methodist and Baptist, only the Shiloh Baptist Church remains active. The Methodist Church burned in 1941.
In the early days, Mr. Watt Brock had a plantation, post office, country store, and gin. Medical care on the farm was provided by Dr. W.G. Brock. Dr. Orrel Brock finished in Dentistry and located in Canton, Mississippi. Mr. Brown Brock, a druggist, located in West, Mississippi. Mr. Walter Brock was the only descendent living in the community at that time.
Among the descendents of the original settlers are: Earl King, Emmitt Caldwell, Walter Joe Rogers, Ross Gordin, Jap Carter, Bill King, Nick Edwards, and Herman Tucker families. One of the oldest cemeteries in Carroll County is located near Shiloh Church and is known as the Michie Cemetery.
Note: The information that follows is left intact as copied verbatim from the Vaiden Heritage, and is therefore dated as of 1976.
The origin of Midway is almost lost in the dim past; however, Midway had a church, a school, and a voting precinct. In 1859, the entire family of Dudley Stone, including his two sons, William and Isaac, and sons-in-law, R. McDonald Morgan, Martin W. Boon, Adam Troxler, and William Oakes, came from Rockingham County, North Carolina, a few years before the Civil War and made homes in Carroll County, Miss., nine miles west of Vaiden at MIdway. "They left North Carolina in August, 1859, in covered wagons and not a drop of rain wet the wagons until they arrived in Mississippi, October, 1859."
Midway Methodist Episcopal Church South
This church was organized in the mid-1800s by Dudley Stone and (Mac) McDonald Morgan. The first building was a small frame house and was used as a Union Church. The nineteenth of December, eighteen hundred and sixty, Dudley Stone and Sarah, his wife, deeded for the sum of one dollar the land upon which the Church and School stood, to the trustees of Midway Church. These trustees were: John McGaw, David Adaire, Robert McEachern and Dudley Stone. Any new trustees would be appointed by the following denominations using this church. The order of each Sunday's worship was as follows: the first Sabbath in each month to be occupied by the Cumberland Presbyterian, the second Sabbath by the Methodist Episcopal Church South, the third Sabbath by the Baptist, and the fourth Sabbath by the New School Presbyterian of the United Synod South.
This deed and outline of the way it was to be used was signed by Dudley and Sallie Stone. The deed was witnessed and sealed the 25th day of January, 1862, by I.R. McGaw. The first pastors were: Rev. Steven Johnson, Ellis, Oats, Evans, Faust, and Mitchell. When the trustees of Midway Episcopal Church South deeded the school and land to Carroll County in 1905, Rev. J.J. Garner was pastor in charge.
The quarterly Conference of the West Station Circuit of the Methodist Episcopal Church South at its regular First Quarterly meeting held at West Station Church, Miss., on the 18th day of February, 1905, ratified and confirmed this deed. W.D. Brock, the Recording Stewart and Secretary, witnessed and signed the deed on the above date.
Rev. Gordon found his bride, Miss Mattie Morgan at Midway Church. Miss Mattie was the organist. Other known organists were Miss Dora Joyce, (Miss John Heggie), Mrs. Louella Maddox, Miss Myra McCorkle, and Miss Essie McCorkle. Later, a piano replaced the organ and Miss Lovie Boone and Miss Janice Boone were the pianists.
Rev. N.L. Threet, Garrison Ross, Mrs. Susie Baskin, and Mrs. "Butcher" Cook conducted a Bible School at Midway in 1949. Check the list of pastors at Vaiden Methodist Church for a complete listing of pastors at Midway Methodist Church.
A regular Church Service is held each First Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. Rev. H.M. Street is the pastor (1976) and Mrs. Alice Lee (Brown) Cox is the pianist.
Midway records the memories of its past among the cluster white stones in a well-kept cemetery. The oldest stone marks the grave of Sarah E., Daughter of William F. and Jane Stone Oakes -- Born July 5, 1858 -- Died Feb. 28, 1860. The early settlers of 1859 are also buried here. Elizabeth Stone who married "Mac" Morgan lived until October 22, 1926. She was 89 years old.
Mrs. Rebecca Jane (Simpson) Baskin, born Jan. 22, 1863 -- died July 2, 1962, is the oldest person buried here. Mrs. Baskin's children married, settled in the community, and took their place in Midway's later history. Many of these early settlers lived beyond 80 years of age.
Each year a Memorial Service is held the last Sunday in July at which time the descendants of the loved ones who are buried there come from far and wide and place flowers upon the resting places of their loved ones. After the memorial Service is celebrated, everyone joins in spreading a bountiful picnic lunch that has been brought and enjoys the food and fellowship. Each Memorial Day someone present the year before has passed on to his Eternal Home.
Midway School was in existence as early as 1860. This information was taken from the deed to the Midway Methodist Episcopal Church South. In Feb., 1905, the trustees of Midway Methodist Episcopal Church South, (names in the deed to the church) and the school trustees, J.E. Purser and W.E. Joyce, convey and warrant to Carroll County, the Midway School House, and the land upon which said building now stands for a donation of thirty dollars ($30.00) to repair the school. The above being part of the same land conveyed by Dudley Stone and wife to the trustees of Union Church and school located at Midway.
This deed was witnessed and sealed the 16th day of Feb., 1905, by G.N. Michie, J.P. Rev. J.J. Garner, pastor-in-charge, signed the transfer of the church property. W.D. Brock, Recording Stewart and Secretary, signed for the conference. This deed was filed April 1, 1905 at 4:15 p.m. Samuel Hart by J.P. Nabors, D.C.
The following teachers taught one or more years at Midway. They were: Mrs. Sallie Bean (Troxler), Miss May Holmes, Miss Maude Browning, Mrs. Myrtle Diamond, Miss Lynn (Brock) Johnson, Miss Jessee Wiltshire, Miss William Bailey, Miss Gladys Jones, Miss Effie Mae (Word) Cable, Miss Mary Hatcher, Mrs. Charlie Gus Fullilove, Miss Annie Lloyd Randle, Mrs. J.R. Joyce, Miss Mary Willie Dillsworth, Miss Evelyn Jones, Miss Grace Hatcher, Mrs. Louise (Jones) Walker, Miss Elizabeth Ross.
In the days of Midway, there was a blackboard (a section of wall painted black), desk that seated two, a stove in the center, and a spring of water down a long hill. The children had to "tote" water from this spring and pour into their "cooler" to have a fresh drink occasionally. The only toilet facilities were the "Outdoor Johnny." The pupils had to walk two or three miles (one way) from their homes to the school. Window panes were often out and the wood was scarce for the old heater. The children had to gather brush until some patron had the time to bring a load of wood, even as late as 1942.
Midway's patrons were always looking for a way to improve the education of their children. In 1934, the eighth grade graduates were bused to Vaiden High School. Claude Cox drove a pick-up truck with a school bus body made on it, well-built of sturdy lumber with a row of seats on each side, and drop-side windows for ventilation. Marion (Sonny) Jones drove the school truck from 1938 until he was drafted into World War II in 1942.
Mr. K.A. Jones was a member of the County School Board for 30 years, and worked very hard to improve the county schools. He helped to plan the high school bus routes and, in 1945, Midway School was consolidated with Vaiden High School. Mrs. Elizabeth (Ross) Alford was the last teacher.
Midway Voting Precinct
The following is a record of the first voters who voted at the Midway Voting Precinct, Beat 5, Carroll County, in the years 1887-1889. They were: John S. McDougal (Irene Jones' father), W.T. Stone, H.R. Girner, Boston Cable, J.D. Morgan (great-grandfather of Louise Sanders), Martin Boone (father of V.R. Boone), T,A, Morgan, W.D. Wimberly, A.D. Cook, Jr., J.F. Hatcher (father of Helen, Boyd, mary, Mattie, John F, Lillie, and Clifford Hatcher), W.B. Ross (father of Leta (Ross) McDonald of Grenada), William Pollard, Dr. W.B. Whitehead, W.H. Montague, J.H. Mattox, J.E. Purser, O.G. Calhoun, Sr., A.P. Wiltshire (had a store and grist mill), J.B. Vandiver, J.R. Heggie, P.H. Cain, E.L. Conger, Martin Girner, I.B. Stone, Wm. Joyce, R.C. Wilson (father of Lillian Wilson Cox), H.P. Browning, Weldon Baskin, R.R. Baskin (father of Robert, Eva, and Hattie), Dr. J.A. McBride (transferred to Carrollton), J.W. Simpson, H.W. Hill, Dr. H.B. Conner (father of Roscoe, Hammond, Mae, and Myrtis), J.P. Cain, S.G. Alexander, J.T. Johnson, W.M. King, Tommie McCrary, D.B. Griffin, C.W. Stout, W.W. Walker, W.E. Wimberly, G.R. Troxler, A.B. Cade, H.W. Bacon, John A. McCorkle, L.L. Conger, W.E. Cable, W.S. Eades, W.T. Rogers, W.E. Joyce, J.C. Calhoun (relative of John C. Calhoun of Vaiden), Jesse Johnson, J.C. Reeves, W.W. Bacon, I.W. McGee, S.D. Hoover, F.L. Tucker, James Manuel, J.P. Brisendine, Adam Troxler, J.D. Eades, C.F. Simpson, R.F. Snell, O.G. Cook, Jr., D.E. Cade, John Collier, J.F. Oakes, S.J. Lee, W.C. McDougal (Sheriff of Carroll County about 1905), E.L. Brewer (Gov. Earl Leroy Brewer who registered to vote at Midway in 1889), J.C. Snell, A.W. Simpson, J.J. Jones, J.S. Randle, Bryant P. Cain (husband of Miss Hattie Cain), J.A. Devine, and James Hunter.
Midway voting precinct was consolidated with Vaiden in 1966.
Black Midway Community
The following is the first authentic record of Black voters who voted at the White Midway Voting Precinct, Beat 5, Carroll County, in the years 1887-1889. One hundred forty-two blacks registered at the age of twenty-one or older. These are the family names of the families still residing at Midway (in 1976):
Brad Johnson, Lewis Mattox (Mrs. Laura Mattox's uncle by marriage), Dan Kenny, Charles Kenny, Bart Bailey, John McBride (uncle to the Ammons'), Frank Ford, Riley Johnson, Clark Hill, Hubbard Mattox, Jeff Rogers, Edward Haslett, Dan Lofton, Dallas Lofton (father of Lewis Lofton), Mrs. Anner Lofton (wife of Lewis -- 93 years old), Mrs. Earlean (Lofton) Rogers, daughter, teaches fourth grade at North Vaiden Elementary School, Jerry Brooks, Dearborn Gayden, Frank Hill (Rev. Albert Hill's father and Mrs. Woodie Hill's grandfather), Charley Johnson, Wess Rogers (daughter is Annie Hudson, two sons, Willie Rogers and Ulysses Rogers), Owen Mattox, Jenkins Davis, Guss Heffner (grandfather of C.L. Givens, Zubbler Givens and Bernice Young), Alfred West (grandfather of Mrs. Frances Davis -- Mrs. Frances Davis is teaching at North Vaiden Elementary School. She also taught at Midway before it was consolidated with Vaiden), Jeff Saffold, George McBride, Luke Henly (his granddaughter, Mrs. Dorothy Jenkins, is Librarian at North Vaiden Elementary School), William Bailey, Ellis Norwood, Ellic Haslett, Jeff Gayden (Mrs. Ethel Norwood's father), Reubin Hill, Ambros Brown, J.S. McBride, Frank Haslett, Eli Tidwell, Tom Moore, Jr. (was deacon at Mt. Zion M.B. Church), Tom Ellis, Jamett Ammons, Aleck Johnson, Frank Alexander, B.F. Woolfook (a minister), Alfred Saffold, Jim Smith, Will McCaskill (a teacher), Ben Bailey, Jack Rogers (deacon, Mt. Zion M.B. Church), Tom Ellis, Green Ellis, Sim Ellis (uncle of Elizah and John Ira Davis), and Tom Wood (brother of Antha Bailey -- age 97).
Black Midway Church
The Black Midway Church and School were organized around 1881. This list of ministers from 1903 to 1976 was supplied by Alva Clark of Martin Grove Church. They were: Rev. W.S. Leake, Grant Orange, A.E. Franklin, C.W. Walton, L.F. Jones, B.F. Woolfold, D.D. Reed, W.D. Reed, B.L. Lee, E.H. Holmes, J.H. Everett, W.M. Brownridge, P.H. Jackson, D. Green, L.I. Young, W. McCaskill, a teacher, M. Bankhead, N.O. Griffin, Samuel Jones, R.B. Crawford, Estes Edwards, Elvernice Davis, Theodore Thomas, R. Tate, J.F. Griffin, J.C. Williams, B.L. Griffin, and Earlie Gladneys.
Some of these ministers are the great nephews or nephews of the old families that settled this part of Carroll County.
Black Midway School
Black Midway's Community School was organized about the year 1881. A list of teachers who taught here was given by the older citizens. Invariably, some names have been omitted. The teachers were: Lula Hawkins, Will Bailey, Louise Moody, Ida Cain, Ida Kendall, Wesley Givens, Roxie McBride, Theodora Hemmingway, Ophelia Mattox, Hattie Lofton, and Francis W. Davis. Midway was consolidated with Vaiden Negro High School in 1956.
Midway -- Did You Know ?? – 1976
Did you know many people who received their eighth grade education at Midway did not stop, but moved on to better things?
Earl Brewer, Governor of Mississippi from 1912-1916, was born at Midway and registered to vote when he was 21 years old. A hill and a pond near his birthplace still bears his name. Earl Leroy Brewer held other public jobs before he was elected Governor. His father is buried at Midway cemetery. His mother is buried in Clarksdale, where Gov. Brewer and his sister, Mel Brewer Coleman, lived.
We cannot think of politics without thinking of Will Girner, better known as "Bill." He kept up with the changes in government and could carry out an election properly.
Three young ladies went into the nursing field. Two of the ladies took their training at Winonw Hospital, namely, Myrtle (Patsy) Devine and Gladys (Devine) Shapley. They both became R.N's Myrtle worked as Operating Supervisor while in Winona. In 1939, she was killed in an automobile accident in Oklahoma. Mrs. Shapley lives in her home in Winona, since her retirement. They were the daughters of the late Jim and Sudie (Girner) Devine. Mary Lynn (McEachern) Morgan graduated from Grenada Hospital as an R.N. and is now working at John Gaston Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
Midway can boast when it comes to teachers, namely: Evelyn (Jones) Ross, with a B.S. Degree from Mississippi State University, and now teaching at North Vaiden Elementary School; Louise (Jones) Walker, Masters of Education in Library Science from Ole Miss, and is now Librarian at Shaw, Mississippi. Others were Wilma (Ross) Hobgood and Elizabeth (Ross) Alford. Wilma is a graduate from Delta State University and taught school at Blackmonton, Gravel Hill, and Valley, before she married. Elizabeth, a graduate of Holmes Junior College, taught at Midway and Gravel Hill before she married. Mrs. Edna (Boone) Carpenter is teaching at Northwest Junior College, Senatobia, Mississippi. She has a Masters Degree. Mrs. Jewel (Boone) Stephens went to Delta State and has taught for a while. Jesse Lee (Baskin) Cutts has her Masters Degree in Business and is teaching in Weir, Mississippi.
Midway produced another elected official, Lum Jones, as Deputy Sheriff for a term around the years
1936-1940. Helen Jones is Chief Librarian at the Veterans Hospital in
Memphis. She graduated from M.S.C.W. Helen also received a degree in Library
Services from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1946. Wilson Walker is
County Executive Director of the Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation
Service, better known as the ASCS office and is located in Cleveland,
Mississippi. Eunice (Cook)
It is inevitable that some names have been omitted and the list would not be complete without the names of the successful farmers of the group: J.B. Bailey, Sonny Jones, James Devine, and Kenneth McEachern. They are living in the Midway Community today on the farms of their parents and neighbors.
Midway also had many that went to battle in both wars for their country. World War I Veterans were: Jim McCorkle, Albert McCorkle, Buck McCorkle, and Ken Ross. World War II Veterans were: Johnson Cook, Robert Griffin, Raymond Griffin, Marion (Sonny) Jones, Kenneth McEachern, J.B. Bailey, John William Walker, James Boone, and James Robert Devine.
Mrs. Rebecca Jane (Simpson) Baskin lived to be 99 years old. Mrs. Baskin's children took their place in Midway's history.
Mr. Kenneth Jones and wife Irene McDougal were married June 14, 1905, at Old Salem Presbyterian Church. In 1906, they bought a home in Midway Community and lived the rest of their married ife there. In June, 1955, they celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary in the home of their daughter, Mrs. Kenneth (Evelyn) Ross of Vaiden. Other children present were Mrs. Louise Walker of Merigold, Marion (Sonny) Jones of Vaiden, and Helen Jones of Memphis. They have four granddaughters, Miss Ann Ross, Miss Faye Walker, Miss Kaye Walker, and Miss Linda Jones, and two grandsons, Joe Don Jones and Marion Jones. The members of their wedding party who were present for the celebration were: Mrs. S.P. Armstrong of Vaiden, Organist; Mrs. J.B. Joyce of Durant, Maid of Honor; Mrs. Guy Lee of Winona, Vocalist; Lambuth Jones of Black Hawk, Best Man, and cousin of the groom; Jerry Coleman of Eupora, groomsman; J.W. McDougal of Carnegie, Pennsylvania, groomsman and brother of the bride. Three nieces who assisted were: Miss Grace Hatcher, Miss Eva Mae Word, and Miss Lillie McDougal. Mr. Jones died October 19, 1957 and is buried in Midway Cemetery. Mrs. Irene (McDougal) Jones died January 18, 1961, and is also buried in Midway Cemetery.
Mrs. Susan (Girner) Devine attended school at Midway in 1885. She talked about the dictionary class and how they had to line up to recite. She lived to be 86 years old. Some of her children are pictured with her brother Bill Girner. The ones not pictured are "Buck," Maggie and Willie.
Midway had a Recreational Club that met once a week on Friday or Saturday night and played games. Miss Louise Jones was the leader.
The Midway Community was shocked and their hearts saddened when a tornado on Saturday, November 6, 1943, killed Mrs. John Tom Walker and her son Henry, and swept their home away.
Blackmonton derived its name from a man named Mr. Z. Blackmon, who came to Carroll County from Warren County. He settled above Emory, not far from the present village of Blackmonton. The early settlers in and around the village of Blackmonton spent their lives in this portion of Carroll County. They did their duties rearing and training their children for the realities of life and to become worthy citizens. They have contributed largely to making Blackmonton and the vicinity famous for intelligence, high morals, hospitality, and independence.
During all of the years that passed, the good people of this section did not neglect or fail to give their children opportunities of education. They were successful farmers on the land on which they made their living. Blackmonton School was organized in 1894, which was one room with 75 to 100 pupils. The school was not graded, but taught all classes from primary up through what would be called the eighth grade today, including Webster's Dictionary. The children walked to school; some rode mules and horses. This school period was from the years from 1894 to 1912.
The following teachers taught: Miss Willie kennedy was the first teacher, assisted by Miss Estelle Reeves, Miss Kirkpatrick, Miss Mary Evans, Miss Jennie Heggie, and Mr. David Fullilove, who later became Superintendent of Education in Carroll County. Others were: Mr. James Colmery, Miss Mattie Conger, Mr. Evans, Miss Irene McDougal, Miss Lena Wallace, Miss Mary McEachern, Mr. Shep Brock, Miss Emma McCune, and Miss Sallie Hendricks.
The following were teachers of grades first through eighth during the years 1920 and 1934: Mr. Claude Hatcher, Miss Modena Johnston, Mr. Billie Montague, Miss Annie Boyd Hatcher, Mr. David Fullilove, Miss Mattie Hatcher, Mr. Upton Canon, Mrs. Walter Elliott, Miss Virginia Moore, Miss Mary Hatcher, and Mr. Clarence Buchanan.
In the years 1934 to 1939, the teachers were: Mr. E.M. Hovis, Mrs. E.M. Hovis, Miss Lillie Hatcher, Mr. Howard Montague, Miss Erin Porter, Mr. Roy Patterson, Mrs. Gladys Matthews. In 1940, a new modern school building was built by the Works Progress Administration. New equipment was bought including library facilities. The students had access to the best books.
The pupils were transported by a bus. All grades from the first through the eighth were taught. They had a W.P.A. Cafeteria that served the students a well-balanced lunch.
From 1940 until 1952, the teachers were: Mr. Roy Patterson, Miss Lillie H. Jones, Miss Wilma Ross, Mrs. Gladys Mathews, Miss Eva Mae Word, and Mrs. Louise Walker.
The year of 1953 was the end of a school at Blackmonton. The teacher, Mrs. Lillie H. Armstrong and the students were transferred to Vaiden High School. The patrons, the trustees, and the faithful teachers realized that it was the country school in which they first experienced the awakening of young ambition. It was from such fountains that many a young person, who has become famous in this state, drank from the streams of knowledge that gave them inspiration for future usefulness.
In 1913, when schools were consolidated, Blackmonton was the first school to be merged with Old Salem, China Grove, and Elliott. A new building was erected at Blackmonton. The land was given by Mr. Boss Cable. The children were transported by covered wagons drawn by mules. The other children walked through the woods. Mr. Jessie Johnson, Mr. Claude Cox, Mr. Ben Hodges, Mr. Ben Fisher, and Mr. John Fisher were the faithful wagon drivers.
The grades were taught from the primary through the eleventh grade. During the years from 1913 to 1920, the following were teachers: Mr. Porter, Miss Vernon Jackson, Miss Helen McEachern, Mr. Hibbit, Miss Annie Lee Conger, Miss Mattie Conger, Mr. Frank King, Miss Zu Eddie Boyett, Miss Alene McEachern, Mrs. Sallie Pollard, Miss Lovie Wright, Miss Susie McIntosh, Miss Daisy Whittle, Miss Georgia Fancher, Mrs. Mattie Hill, and Mrs. Reed Heggie.
Sports were not left out. The school was known for the excellent basketball teams as well as other kinds of athletics. In 1915, the champion basketball players were: Claude Hatcher, Hammond Conner, Roscoe Conner, L.C. Hodges, Marion Johnson, leonard Hatcher, Whitfield Teasley, J.F. Hatcher, Sam Elliott, and L.V. Moses. Some of the other players earlier than this group were: Mood Randle, Frank McCune, Dennis Bacon, and John Fisher. Some of the girls that played were: Annie Boyd Hatcher, Helen Hatcher, Velma Fisher, Bessie Cable, Eloise Hill, Estelle Ross, Goldie Conger, Effie Mae Cable, Mary Hatcher, Louise Fisher, Mattie Hatcher, Daisy Hodges, Hattie Bell McNeal, Hattie Baskin, Agnes Brisendine, Alberta Noah, Ruby Mae Cox, Annie Lloyd Randle, Marine Hatcher, and Frankie Merriweather.
Blackmonton Presbyterian Church
The Blackmonton Presbyterian Church was organized on July 13, 1894, by Rev. T.L. Haman. The charter members were: Mr. and Mrs. John R. Simpson, Mr. H.P. Simpson, Miss Pearl Simpson, Miss Keturah Simpson, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Johnson and fanily, Dr. and Mrs. H.B. Conner and family, Mr. and Mrs. Gus Eades and family. Soon added were: Mr. and Mrs. Dan Hatcher and family, mr. and Mrs. Frank Hatcher and family, Mr. and Mrs. Will Cable and family, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Bacon and family, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Baskin and family, Mr. and Mrs. Steve Hatcher and family, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hill and family, Mr. and Mrs. Dan McEachern and family, Mr. and Mrs. K.A. Jones and family, Mr. and Mrs. John T. Walker and family, and Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Eades and family.
A Church was erected. The pulpit and the pews were handmade by Mr. Gus Eades, Mr. John Simpson, Mr. Sam Johnson, Mr. Dan Hatcher, and Mr. Frank Hatcher. The chandeliers and the Communion Set were donated. Red carpet was placed down the aisles.
Rev. T.L. Haman, the pastor for forty years, was loved by all. The first Elders were: Mr. Gus Eades, Mr. John Simpson, and Mr. Sam Johnson. Mr. Dan Hatcher was the Superintendent of the Sunday School that was held every Sunday afternoon at 3 o'clock. Mrs. Frank Hatcher, Mrs. Dan Hatcher, Miss Jean Eades, and Miss Lillie Hatcher were the teachers. Miss Jean Eades was the Church Organist for many years. Church service was held on the fourth Sunday of each month. A little later, Mr. Dan Hatcher, mr. Frank Hatcher, Mr. Dan Eades served as Elders. Mr. Ward Eades was Clerk and Deacon and Mr. Steve Hatcher was Deacon.
The following ministers who served the Church were: Rev. V.L. Bryant, Rev. J.V. Cobb, Rev. G.G. Swetman, Rev. W.B. Hooker, Rev. J.K. Parker, Rev. J.W. McNutt, Rev. Tom johnston, Rev. Morris Taylor, Rev. W.Y. Grimstead, and Rev. Claude D. Gamble. Other officers who served in the Blackmonton Church were: Mr. K.A. Jones as an Elder, Mr. JOhn F. Hatcher, Mr. Lum Jones, and Mr. Roger Shelton as Deacons. Mrs. John F. Hatcher was the organist and also a Sunday Schol teacher for the Young People's Class.
Others transferred their letter to the Church: mr. and Mrs. Joe Shelton and their children, Forrest, Winifred, Mary Frances, and Billy joined the Church. Mr. and Mrs. Roger Shelton by letter and their children; Lamar, Paul, Louise, Barbara Faye, Rachel, and Hazel joined the Church. mr. Clifford Hatcher being a member, Mrs. Hatcher moved her letter and their children; Faye, Betty Sue, William Clifford, and Charles Franklin joined the Church.
The first Church at Blackmonton was damaged by a storm. A new Church was erected. In the last few years, the Church has been newly decorated and air-conditioned. The paneled walls, new windows, new light fixtures, beautiful new pews with cushions, and the carpet adds much to the beauty of the Church. The first Communion Set was given by Mr. and Mrs. John Simpson. Rev. and Mrs. W.B. Hooker gave the set that is now being used.
Other members that have been added to the Church Roll are: Mr. and Mrs. T.W. Williams and family, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth McEachern and family, Mr. and Mrs. M.M. Jones, Sr., Mr. and Mrs. Marion Jones, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. James Devine and family, Mr. and Mrs. Roscoe Cox, Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Bailey and family, Mr. Alvin Armstrong, Mr. Robert Noah, Mr. and Mrs. Murphy Gant and family, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Don Jones, Mr. and Mrs. Horace Simpson, Mr. and Mrs. John Lee and family. Mr. John Lee, now deceased, served as one of the Deacons for several years.
The Elders now serving in the Church are: Mr. Marion Jones, Sr., Mr. T.W. Williams, Mr. James K. Devine. The Deacons are: Mr. Roscoe Cox, Mr. J.B. Bailey, and Mr. Kenneth McEachern. Mrs. M.M. Jones is the Secretary. Mr. Marion Jones is the Superintendent of the Sunday School that is held every Sunday morning. Mrs. Roscoe Cox plays the piano for the Church. Miss Linda Jones was in charge of music for several years until she moved. Services are held every fourth Sunday morning and evening and on the second Sunday evenings.
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