Cedar Grove School

Compiled from ‘Rutherford County Schools to 1972’ by the Rutherford County Historical Society, published 1986

CEDAR GROVE SCHOOL before 1897-1936 was located in the area between the old Nashville Highway and the present Interstate Highway. It was on the east side of Cedar Grove Road about one-half mile north of the Intersection with Rock Springs Road. First a private and then a public school, it was on the property of George Gwyn.


CEDAR GROVE was a one-room building with a gable at the front, a single front door, three windows on each side, and a chimney. After 1897 it was L-shaped with a wing at the back south side for a second teacher.

Early teachers were Warmath Peebles, George Sanford, Mary Bennett, Maud Brown, and Josie Snipes. Other teachers were Mr. McBroom, Mary Kelton Carter, Ellen Brown, Nannie Wade, Richie Wade Ferguson, Mae Bell Hall, Robbie Bell, Mildred Lee Davis, Sarah Lee Coleman, Leonard Jackson, Grace Gentry Hoover, Jessie and Annie Haynes, Dudley Wood, S.W. Peebles, Mae Peebles, Ruby Goodman, Lucile Ross Goodman, Nell Jones Harris and Jessie Lee. Elizabeth Hoover and Dora Thompson were the last two teachers with Dora the last in 1935-1936.

Family names of students in the early 1900’s were McGowan, Hampton, Stanford, Sanford, Noe, Harris, Burnett, McAdams, Neal, Pruitt, Sullivan, Goodman, and Barrett.

Eva Pruitt Puckett remembers Josie Snipes as being very neat. She wore a skirt and a waist with a watch tucked under her belt. Each week two girls were chosen to sweep and to dust. Boys oiled the floor.

Cedar Grove School, c1904. Front row: Lonnie Sanford, Dewey Lee Sanford, Russell Hampton, Sherman Barrett, Luther Sanford, Willie Sullivan, Lester Goodman, Wade Hampton, Wallace Neal. Row 2: Willie Noe, Jossie Burnett, Lourel Goodman, Annie Margaret Goodman, Nora Pruitt, Gladys Sanford, Myrtle Sullivan, Maude Burnett. Row 3: Houston Sullivan, Effie Burnett, Sadie Harris, Dorris Neal, ____Burnett, Lottie Noe, Laura Oakley, Eva Pruitt, Hattie Sullivan. Back Row: Mrs. Jessie Snipes, teacher, William McGowan, Frank Hampton, Charley Sullivan, Lucy Stanford, Viola Noe, Willie Dell Harris, William Burnett, Nat McAdams, Silas Pruitt

When the school closed, the property reverted to the George Gwyn family. The building was sold by the county and was removed from the premises.

SOURCES: Hoover, p. 265. *Dora Thompson. *Louise Wheeler Hilliard. Interviews, September 19, 1985, with Mable Blair; Sept. 19, 1985, with Eva Pruitt Puckett, b. 1897, who was a student in the picture.

FEMALE ACADEMY 1838-before 1867 was north of Smyrna on what was later Jones Mill Road in the Sewart Air Force Base area. The building was near the junction of the Harts and Stewart Creeks and opposite the properties of Elizabeth Ridley and Constant Hardeman.

On October 15, 1838, Moses Ridley deeded to Trustees John R. Newsom, George Thompson, William J. Muse, Silas Tucker, and Moses Ridley 3‰ acres of land. The upper story of the building was to be the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the basement, a FEMALE ACADEMY. The deed specified that if the building was unoccupied for five years, the property would revert to the Ridley family. The Trustees would have the right to remove the building.

On April 15, 1879, “The said land not having been used for either school or church purposes for a period of over twelve years,” some of the land was returned to Joseph R. Dillin, owner of the land partly by inheritance and partly by purchase of the interests of other heirs.

On September 16, 1879, W. K. Patterson and wife sold 2 23/160 acres, being a part of what was known as the Academy lot, to Samuel P. Black for $57. W. K. Patterson was also an owner partly by inheritance and partly by purchase of the interests of others.

Smyrna Church, J. R. Dillin, W. K. Patterson, and S.P. Black are shown on the 1878 Beers Map.

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