ROCKVALE SCHOOL BLACK 1870-1936 or 1937 was on the west side of Versailles Road about one hundred yards south of the Rockvale Store. On May 24, 1870, Francis Jackson gave one acre of land to the School for Colored People, Church of God, or African Branch of the M. E. Church. The building was behind the present Original Church of God and was used jointly by the school and the West Point Methodist AME Church.
The one-room log building had small glass windows with wooden shutters hinged on the outside. Seats and desks were manufactured equipment. An iron stove for wood and coal furnished the heat. Great cedars surrounded the school and lined the road.
Ella Mai Seay Jarrett Luster, b. 1881, taught about 1902 or 1903. Later teachers were Susie Minton, Josie Kimbro, Bertha Franklin, Betty Hendrix, Annie Ransom, Lillian Hammons, Helen Sims, Arena Tillage, a Jordan, and Mary G. Coppage.
Family names of students were Jarrett, Seay, Murray, Luster, Jackson, Winsett, Nance, Elliott, Jordan, Bracey, Corner, Barnes, Haynes, Robinson, Smith, Fletcher, and Kimbro.
Classes started in the middle of July and were suspended for six weeks on September 1 for the picking of cotton.
Emphasized were reading, spelling, writing, good manners, and
The school closed in 1936 or 1937 because of lack of students. Most of the children then went to WEBB CHAPEL.
The building was sold to Mr. Prater. It is no longer standing.
SOURCES: Deed Book 18, p. 99. R. Fred Nance and John W. Nance, comps., The History of Versailles the Tenth District and Its People RCHS, 1983. Interviews, with Ethel Seay Batts, student about 1910-1920; August 19, 1984, with Thomas Alvin Jarrett, b. 1904, son of Ella Mai Seay Jarrett Luster and a
student 1910-1914; May 25, 1985, with Evelyn Barnes Haynes, a student about 1934. *Arena Tillage.