Clark’s School, (Christiana), 1896-1931

CLARK’S SCHOOL, 1896-1931, sometimes called SHORT CREEK SCHOOL, was located on Short Creek Road which turns east off the Christiana-Bell Buckle Road and crossed a ford over the Short Creek. About two or three hundred yards across the ford and on the north side of the road was the first CLARK’S SCHOOL. A big oak marks the site. The Baptist Church, also across the ford, is the church that replaced Hales Chapel.

Grantors W. S. Clark, R. D. Clark, and J. C. Clark signed a deed on May 27, 1913 for one acre for the second schoolhouse.

The second schoolhouse was located about two hundred feet south of the first one. Mr. Bud Powell gave the lumber from his farm, and Mr. Charlie Williams was the contractor. The weatherboarded school was heated by a pot-bellied stove in the middle of the room. Coal was brought by wagon from the railroad station in Christiana. A well was dug in 1923 and a hand pump was installed.

Teachers were: Florence Prater Rutledge about 1896; Dora Reynolds Mitchell; Charlie McNabb; Sallie Miller, who attended George Peabody College, in 1905; Dr. Lee Brothers, who was a graduate of Vanderbilt School of Medicine, practiced medicine in Kentucky for five years, and returned to Fosterville to care for his parents, in 1906; Sally Miller again in 1907; Lee Andrew Smith; Joe Dillon; Queenie Lynch Bingham, who graduated from Webb School and attended Tennessee College, 1910-1911; Kate Carney in 1912; Era Hutchinson; Edna Delitha Taylor; Hattie Williams Noel, who is in the 1910 picture, who finished the eighth grade at CLARK’S and started teaching there the next year, who attended CHRISTIANA, TENNESSEE COLLEGE, and Fall Business College, who became DAR President for the county, in 1916-1917; Robbie Bell in 1917-1918; Queenie Lynch Bingham for a second time, 1918-1919; Minnie Jackson Kelton, who attended MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE NORMAL, in 1919-1924; Susan Lacy Becton, who attended a private school and MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE, in 1924-1926; Minnie Jackson Kelton, a second time, 1926-1928; Sarah Gilbert, who rode the train and then walked to finish high school at CENTRAL and to attend the college, 1928-1931. She was the last teacher.

Each school morning began with a song, Bible reading, and the Lord’s Prayer. The Lord’s Prayer was repeated at the close of the day. Former students remember marching by two’s across the road for all eleven o’clock daytime protracted meetings.

When the school closed in 1931, students were taken by bus to a new brick school at Christiana.

The school building was used as a home by Robert L. Brothers, first at its original location and then on his own farm where it was remodeled. It later burned.

In the Rutherford County Register’s Office, there is a plot of the Short Creek Church and school lot showing 1.19 acres of school property. It was signed May 26, 1952.

SOURCES: Deed Book 77, p. 535; Book 110, p. 506. A letter, dated Oct. 4, 1979, from Mattie White Thomas Brothers, Mrs. M. P. Brothers, 90 years old at the time, to Ida Mae Delbridge Beavers. Ida Mae Delbridge Beavers interviewed in the summer of 1979 these people: Edward Delbridge; Jewell Prater Powell; Sally Ann Barber Ford, great niece of *Sally Miller; Claytie Lee Brothers Jordan, daughter of *Dr. Lee Brothers; *Alice Clark Becton Westbrooks, sister of *Susan Lacy Becton; William Kelton, son of *Minnie Amy Jackson Kelton; Johnnie Bell Williams Bingham, sister of *Hattie Williams Noel; Robert L. Taylor, nephew of *Edna Delitha Taylor; Lorene Williams Powell; Estil Adcock, 86 years old; Eugene Beavers, 88 years old; Pearl Adcock Powers, 85 years old; Abbie Prater; Johnnie Mae and Lucile Williams; Herbert Taylor; Lillard Thomas; Clemmie Brothers McKay.

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