Powell’s Chapel School, 1878-1926 was located about halfway between Walter Hill and Jefferson, about two miles north of the Jefferson turnpike, and about fifty yards from Powell’s Chapel Road. The road today is known as Powell’s Chapel Road. Both the Baptist Church and schoolhouse are shown on the 1878 Beers Map as separate buildings.
The church at that location had earlier been called the Shady Grove Methodist Church and the school held in the same building had been called the SHADY GROVE SCHOOL.
In about 1824 a Mr. Malone had given land for a Methodist Campground and for the Shady Grove congregation. The church and school building was so abused during the Civil War that the father of Jeannie Neilson gave land at Walter Hill for a new Methodist Church. R. H. Henderson, a descendant of the Malone family, then gave the Shady Grove land for the establishment of a Baptist Church. Dr. W. D. Powell, a Rutherford Countian, immediately after graduation from UNION UNIVERSITY, organized the church which
was then named after him. Accordingly, the school became POWELL’S CHAPEL SCHOOL and was in existence in 1878.
On February 8, 1896, T. M. Malone and N. F. Molloy deeded the one acre of school property to School Directors C. A. Robertson, J. R. Phillips, and W. E. Fields for twenty dollars.
The SHADY GROVE SCHOOL and Church was a one-room building of logs. POWELL’S CHAPEL SCHOOL was weatherboarded and painted white. In about 1912, two rooms were added.
Among the teachers were: J. J. Northcutt, Alice Osborne, Nelson Alsup, Will Baxter, Nannie Wade, Mamie Henley, Bertha Cardell, Horace Williams, Canton Batey, Irvin Swain, Dora Rooker, Era Morgan, Pauline Lester, Myrtle Ball, Maggie Lee Knox Sanders, Lillian Estes, Cyrus Dement, Alice Booker, Annabelle Becton, Margaret Watson, a Harrell, Bertha Tucker, Lassie Henderson, Ethel Dickens, Allie Bennett, Anna Bell Brandon, a Robertson, and a Blair.
Grades were one through eight.
Alice Osborne in about 1902 roomed with Mrs. Andrew Malone. She paid five dollars per month for room and board.
When POWELL’S CHAPEL SCHOOL closed, all students went to WALTER HILL SCHOOL.
SOURCES: Deed Book 39, p. 556. Hoover, p. 160. *Gene Sloan, “Exploring Early Smyrna Schools,” The Daily News Journal Accent, Nov. 20, 1977. Darlene Henderson Gray, “Walter Hill Graduates Look at Their History,” The Daily News Journal Accent, Sept. 22, 1985. Interviews by *Sarah Young with Ura B. Ward Vaughn, granddaughter of Mrs. Andrew Malone and a student of Alice Osborne; by H. F. Adams with A. J. Wrather, Oct. 28, 1979, and with Patrick and Robert Barrett.