GRAVEL HILL 1870’s-1895 was between Rock Spring and Midland on Midland Dirt Road, the old stage route from Murfreesboro to Shelbyville. It joined the Will Holden place in the 14th District and was about 1/2 mile north of Midland on the east side of the road. The name W. N. Holden
is shown on the Dixie Highway Map.
The one-room school had one door at the front. A stage was at the back of the room. Water was brought from a spring on the river bank.
Teachers were a Williams from Shelbyville, who taught Pearl Ann Williams Heath who also became a teacher here, and Lena Chick.
Among the students were Daisy Williams Molder, John Williams, Clifford Williams, and Nannie Lamb; Nannie Haynes Wheelhouse, b. 1867; Bettie Flaynes Hollowell, b. 1863; Charlie Haynes, b. 1869; Willie Haynes, b. 1871; Jim Haynes, b. 1873; and Inez Haskins Davis, who died in 1960 at the age of 87.
An incident told by Eunice Williams Holden is this: When Eunice was five years old, she visited the school on Friday with her brothers and sister. The children lined up in front of the school to march in. The teacher then called out, “Right, left, right, left.” Eunice did not know her right foot from her left. Miss Chick grabbed her right ankle and said, “This is your right foot.” Eunice never forgot. It was also a day for recitations. There was a large bouquet of flowers on a table which had been placed in front of the stage. When it was Eunice’s turn, she took her place behind the flowers. Nobody could see her, but everybody could hear her:
The world is wide;
The sea is deep.
I’ll fold my arms
And go to sleep.
The school at MIDWAY ACADEMY opened the next year. It consolidated CAMPGROUND and GRAVEL HILL SCHOOLS; it was midway between.
A brick house is now on the school property.
SOURCES: Interviews, Sept. 24, 1982, with Eunice Williams Holden, b. Oct. 21, 1889, d. Jan. 8, 1985; Jan. 9, 1984, with *Carrie Wheelhouse Mitchell, b. Oct. 21, 1892, d. June 26, l984 She was the daughter of Nannie Haynes Wheel
house; May 14, 1984, with Ernest Spence, whose home is now on the property of the GRAVEL HILL SCHOOL. His father, Buck Spence, drove a school wagon for the father’s uncle, Rancher Spence; May 15, 1984, with Mary Lou Spence, daughter of Inez Haskins Davis; May 18, 1985, with Etta Heath Smith, daughter of Pearl Ann Williams Heath, b. Nov. 27, 1874.