Floraton School (Kittrell), 1980s-1912

FLORATON SCHOOL 1890’s-c 1912 was located on the west side of Rock Hill Road, later called Kittrell Road, between the Bradyville and Woodbury Roads. Locally the school was called “POSSUM TROT.” The school and community were named after Flora, the daughter of William Travis.

Although the school was in operation earlier, W. D. Travis and wife M. A. did not sign the deed for one acre and nine poles to School Commissioners until January 31, 1902.

FLORATON SCHOOL was a one-room frame building with weatherboarding. Down the middle of the room were wide high desks with lids that would lift up. They were home-made as were the seats made of single wide planks. More modern desks were on each side. Later a room with a stage was added to the back of the building. The school at first had no heat. A
good well furnished the drinking water.

The school varied from a one-teacher to a two-teacher school. Among the teachers were Mal Smith Travis; Maud Youree Brainard, 1890’s and early 1900’s; James Lesly Arnette, b. 1880, and Flora Travis, both teachers in 1904; Genoa Bowling, who had only one arm; Annie Travis; Ellen Champion; Lesly Arnette and Jennie Spears, January 1899 to April 1900; Asa Todd, 1907- 1909; Frank Lowe, son of Nick Lowe, in 1911; Sue Becton in 1912.

Early students included the McCrarys: Irvin, b. 1885, who attended grades 1-6, Jessie, Mary Lou, Albert, and Aubrey; the Wilsons: Minnie Wilson Williams Reed, b. 1891, Frank, Oscar, b. 1894, and Mattie Wilson Gumm, b. 1898, who started school in 1904 but transferred to DOUGLAS SCHOOL with her brothers and sisters after the third grade; George Weeks, who attended school in 1899-1905; and Andrew Jackson McKnight, b. 1896.

At first sessions were about three months in length. When a stove was provided, the terms were extended. George Weeks attended a debate at FLORATON in the spring of 1912. He thinks it was the closing year of the school.

Andrew Miller McKnight bought the farm including the school property on March 18, 1919. Andrea McKnight Barrett, granddaughter of Andrew Miller, now owns the one acre of school land. The school is no longer standing.

SOURCES: Deed Book 44, p. 543. Letters dated Jan. 31 and March 7, 1984, from George Weeks, b. July 29, 1888. Interviews, Jan. 30, 1984, with *Estelle McFarlin McCrary, b. 1896; Jan. 30, 1984, with *Lurleen Carnahan McCrary, b. 1897; Jan. 31, 1984, with Mattie Wilson Gumm, b. 1898; Dec. 2, 1983, with Willie Mae Dunn, b. 1900; March 28, 1984, with Lizzie Weeks Saums, student about 1901, who had her cousin Genoa Bowling for a teacher; May 20, 1985, with Kate McKnight Cress, daughter of Andrew Jackson McKnight and granddaughter of Andrew Miller McKnight. *Jessie Arnette Mann, daughter of Lesly Arnette. *Katherine Burks Youree.

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