CROSS LANES SCHOOL, sometimes called CROSS ROADS and KATY’S ACADEMY f 1. 1868-1908, was located about four miles southeast of Christiana on the south side of Wayside Road at its intersection with Woodfin and Sledge Roads.
Judge Tillman Davis Johnson wrote in his “Memoirs”: “During that same period I went to school about 2.5 miles distant from where my father lived in a place called CROSS LANES. It was also called KATY’S ACADEMY. It was a log house of pretty fair size and the benches were split logs with holes bored in them to make legs, and the writing desk where we did our copy work was a shelf attached to the wall. Above the log was cut out so you had light through that space. To write you faced that table which was on the slant . . . . Everybody had a copy book in Spencerian handwriting . . . I was reading in 5th or 6th reader and I was probably about 10 years old.
Everybody stood on his feet when the class read . . . . Two men in my class were 18 or 20 years old . . . . I stood on the bench behind to read from my cousin’s book. He was 6 feet tall. . . . The teacher was a big man with black beard and a loud voice. At noon he went 100 yards to have his dinner at
home. . . . It was customary at the end of the year to give recitations.”
Teachers were: “A big man with black beard and a loud voice” in 1868; Miss Eula Robertson, in 1901; Miss Sallie Miller; and Miss Mattie Sue Jacobs.
Students included Tillman Davis Johnson and his cousins in 1868; Emma Bowen O’Brien in about 1895; Estil Adcock in 1901; Hugh and Johnny O’Brien, Estelle Pruett, Pinkie Delbridge Cobb, and Effie Davis Lynn, b. 1902, who attended school one year before it closed.
The building was used also as a church and as a community center. When the school closed, the building was converted into a home. It is no longer standing.
SOURCES: Tillman Davis Johnson, “Memoirs of Judge Tillman Davis Johnson” n.d.. e was born January 8, 1858. Letter, dated April 2, 1985, to Ida Mae Delbridge Beavers from Robert Henry Cobb, son of Pinkie Delbridge Cobb. Interviews, May 19, 1982, with Woodrow O’Brien; July 1982, with Dorothy Fingers Barringer, who owns a copy of the “Memoirs,” and is a
niece of Johnson; March 25, 1985, with Effie Davis Lynn, student; March 10, 1982, with Edward Delbridge and Estil Adcock by Ida Mae Delbridge Beavers.