Christiana School, 1908-1931

CHRISTIANA SCHOOL 1908-1931 was located on the south side of the present Church Street, the main street in Christiana.

On June 13, 1908, Charlie Anderson Gordon and wife sold to the Rutherford County Board of Education 1/2 acre with a house, formerly owned by R. O. Hale, for $500.

The frame school building was built with subscription money. Parents paid one or two hundred dollars according to the number of children they had and according to their ability to pay. The seven-room school building consisted of a large rectangular auditorium with a stage at the back, two rooms on each side as separate wings, and two rooms, one large and one
small, in the shed-like structure on the back. All classrooms opened into the auditorium. A large porch on the front extended the full width of the main building.

The annex, built in 1926, was to the west of the main building. It was a long rectangle, narrow on the front, with four rooms for the lower grades. Two rooms, end to end, were on the west side. Two rooms, end to end, were on the east side with a hall between. All rooms opened into the hall. The out
side door faced the main building. This annex was built from walls cut to size from the old RUTHERFORD COLLEGE and then pieced together in Christiana. Nathan Burns and his father and Will Miller transported the pieces by wagon.

Principals were Prof. Turner, Mr. Paty from Bell Buckle, Commodore Holt, a “strict disciplinarian who kept urging students to work faster at the blackboard,” Warren Blankenhorn from Cannon County, R. Y. Neal, Mr. Denton, Mr. Reynolds from Oklahoma, J. B. White, Mrs. Btakemore, Mr. McCormick, Isaac W. Finley, C. N. Stark, who later taught at Cornell and
MTSC, B D. Johnson, Sam G. Garner, R. K. Hudgens, and H. F. Delzeli.

Some of the early teachers were Pauline Ridley, Lady Holt, Perry Williamson, Mamie Dement, Elizabeth Jarman, music, Saidie Carney, music, Kate Ellis, Sallie Miller, Mary Lou Gordon Davidson, and Chester Davidson. In 1926, Fannie Short Wright with roOm-mate Louise Russell boarded at the hotel run by Mr. and Mrs. McGrew.

Dr. J. S. Allen, who had a home where the Baptist Church now stands, boarded students who attended “TURNER’S SCHOOL.”

Among the boarding students were the Penuel and Florida boys from Lascassas. Students by the family names of Carlson, Johnson, Peterson, and Blue also were enrolled. They were of Swedish descent and had come from Wisconsin with their parents to engage in dairying. A Carlson was associated with the start of the old creamery in Murfreesboro.

This school became a junior high school in the 1920’s and a senior high school in 1927. The first graduating class of the senior high school included Jimmie Davis, Brannon Smith, Alva Gentry, Clayte Barber, Margaret Alexander, Margaret Smotherman, Eula Lamb, and Leland Brothers.

The agriculture department under C. N. Stark was added to the school program in 1920; an FFA Chapter was organized by H. F. Delzell in 1930.

The first tax supported means of pupil transportation in the county was the Rock Springs-Christiana school wagon driven by Rancher Spence. Early school drivers included John L. Jackson, Van Harris, Ollie Spence, and Paul Jones.

In 1931, when a new brick school was built, the auditorium of this school was converted into a gymnasium.

Comments are closed.