Burks Hollow School (Bradyville), 1847-1946

BURKS HOLLOW SCHOOL 1847-1945 or 1946 was located on Burks Hollow Road about two miles southwest of Donnell’s Chapel on the Bradyville Road. It was in the junction of Rutherford, Cannon, and Bedford Counties. On October 29, 1847, John W. Hutton deeded one acre of land to Common School Commissioners for a school.

There have been three one-room buildings on the site. The first was heated by a fireplace. The second was a frame building, weatherboarded, with long windows and a porch. A school bell was mounted on a post. This building became so dilapidated that it was torn down, and a third one was built in 1920 by men of the community including E. A. Bowman, Will Burks, Jim Harney, and John McCrary. They used materials furnished by the local people. This schoolhouse was also of frame, weatherboarded, and painted white. It had a stage at the back and three windows on each side. Later, a front porch was added.

Early teachers were Charlie McNabb and Sike Youree. Others were Hattie Youree McNabb, who became a teacher in 1908, Halloween McNabb Harney, Allie Clark Becton Westbrooks, who was the last teacher in the second building, Minnie Jackson Kelton, Esther Cook Haynes, Mollie Mae McKnight Bryan, Elsie Rich Hall, Buleah McKnight, Ammie Kerr Caffey, Fannie Hoover Turney, Ammie Bell Summers Bible, Ruth Overall, Maggie Lowe Good, Grace Gilley Dickens, Maude Robinson Jacobs Chrisman, Jack Becton, Susan Becton, Ruth McGee Rowlette, Mary Frances Hooper Brandon, M. B. Brandon, Mary Couch Lowe, Angie Kerr, and James Bethel in 1939. Elizabeth Parker Burks was the last teacher.

Early students were Bob McNabb who attended school in the first building. In the second building were Belle McNabb, b. Oct. 29, 1887, Sallie Burks McCrary, b. 1889, and Mary Lizzie Burks Earls. Family names of students included Jernigan, Bowman, Harney, Burks, James, Herrod, McNabb, Lee, Ford, Wilson, Todd, O’Neal, Green, and McCrary. The McCrary home, next to the school, was frequently the “boarding home” for the teachers.

The County Board of Education permitted both the Separate Baptist and the Missionary Baptist Churches to use the last schoolhouse. After the school closed, only the Separate Baptist Church used the building which had been named Hattie’s Chapel Baptist Church in honor of Hattie Youree McNabb. On July l, 1982, Bertie Lee Green sold to Deacons John L. Armstrong and Russell Crosslin, the church building for as long as it was used as a church.

SOURCES: Deed Book 4, p. 496; Book 312, p. 786. Velma Sue Green Gortney, “Letter Puts Light on Burks Hollow,” The Daily News Journal Accent, March 26, 1977. *Gene Sloan, “Flowers Only Evidence of Old School Sites,” The Daily News Journal Accent, Feb. 20, 1977, p. 9. Interviews, July 2, 1983, with Carl McCrary; June 21, 1985, with Sue Belle Harney McCrary, b. June 27, 1911, whose great grandfather *Charlie McNabb, b. Aug. 6, 1833, on March 22, 1883 bought land adjoining the school from John Lee who had bought it from John W. Hutton. Sue McCrary is also the granddaughter of *Hattie McNabb and Bob McNabb and is the daughter of Jim Harney and Belle McNabb. *Katherine Burks Youree. *Mary Frances Hooper Brandon. *Maude Robinson Jacobs Chrisman.

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