BROWNS SCHOOL BLACK 1888-1949, sometimes called ANTNEY BROWN SCHOOL, was in the woods east of TWELVE CORNERS. There was no road to the school. The site today would be at the dead end of Ball Park Road which runs north off Ruel McKnight Road which in turn runs north off State Road 96. The school was next to the Bradley’s Creek Colored Baptist Church.
On August 2, 1888, Cole Goodloe col deeded one acre of land to School Commissioners H. B. Hogwood, J. L. Byrn, and W. E. Dillon for a public school. The land bordered the properties of Nelse Gaines, Robert Sublett, and Antney Brown. Ben Brown was at some time a member of the Board.
The schoolhouse was a one-room frame building.
Teachers included Professor Glanton, Robert Rucker, Susie Mai Cook Anderson, Lydia Glanton, Bertha Winsett, Andreween Seward, Josephine James, who bought a trailer and lived in it near the school, Lucille Johnson Spy, Mr. Pinkerton, Ola Bell Jackson, Irene Seward, Willa Kimbro Foster, a Jordan, and Willie Mae Frazier. William Butler was a substitute teacher during some of the summer months when he was a college student.
Family names of students were Gaines, McAdoo, Odom, Greer, Smith, Woods, Jakoway, McKnight, McHenry, Martin, James, Byrns, and Hicks.
The one-room school received newspaper publicity when Josephine James collected an outstanding amount of money from the people in the Milton area for the Community Chest.
Lucille Johnson, a graduate of Murfreesboro schools, remembers going with her fiance to find the country school where she was to teach. After tramping for some time through the woods, Mr. Spy returned to the car to announce that there was a building “back in there” and it must be the school. Lucille rented the trailer for a very short time. A blind mule, brushing against the walls, frightened her so much that she sought refuge in boarding with Mrs. Gaines.
Susie Rucker taught a night school for adults under the National Recovery Act during President Roosevelt’s administration.
After the school closed, Will B. Gooch bought the building and converted it into a house. The space was divided into rooms and another room was added. Will Gooch still lives in the schoolhouse in 1986.
SOURCES: Deed Book 30, P. 193. Rutherford County, School Superintendent’s Office, School Records under “Browns.” Interviews, March 12, 1983, with Thomas McKnight, student; Jan. 9, 1986, with Louise Hellums; Jan. 9, 1986, with Ethel Byrns Gooch, the former Mrs. Will B. Gooch. Her mother, Hannah Frances Greer, and father, Sam Byrns, and all their children attended BROWNS. *William Butler. *R. T. Butler, d. April 5, 1986. *Lucille Johnson Spy. *Willa Kimbro Foster. *Susie Rucker.