Jordan School, 1861-1925

JORDAN SCHOOL 1861-1925 was about three miles north of Murfreesboro on the east side of the present State Road 96. The site and M. Pitts are on the 1878 Beers Map.

On January 13, 1861, Matthew Pitts deeded one-half acre and the right of way to a well of water to School Trustees William Reeves, William Sharp, Ben Johnson, John Baird, Charles E. Allen, James McCullough, and Henry Barnes.

The school was to be used also “for transient preaching or public meetings of a moral character.” On August 12, 1882, David Dement, who had become owner of the land upon which the “schoolhouse used was a public school for white children and who was desirous that the school be continued,” transferred the school to the school directors. On February 21, 1891, Matthew Pitts, E. E. Loughrey, J. W. Boyd, David Dement, J. R. Pitts, B. M. Pitts, and B. H. Barnes signed a quit claim of one acre to School Directors
F. E. Watson, E. B. Fathera, and E. E. Loughrey.

JORDAN SCHOOL was a one-room frame building with a stage and recitation benches.

Among the teachers were Winnie Pitts, wife of Dr. Pitts, Alice Hill Craddock, Hattie Ward, Florence Hill, Pattie B. King, Eva Gilmore, Florence Travis, Mary McNeal, Irene Owens, Myrtle Dement Johns, Mrs. Vaughan, and Marguerite Harrison.

Ben F. Jordan attended school with his brothers when he was twelve or thirteen years old. Other families represented in the school were those of Irvin Jennings, Myrtle Johns, Adam Davis, and Ed Pitts. Later names included Howse, Brandon, Boyd, Dunnaway, Compton, Moore, Bowling, Nipper, and Baskin.

The Gospel Advocate, dated July 9, 1879, reported that a gospel meeting had been held in JORDAN SCHOOL and that a church to be named the Bethlehem Church had been organized. J. Harding of Murfreesboro had held the meeting.

The school was to be used for services until a church building could be erected. The American Marine Company is today on the site of the old Bethlehem Church.

When the school closed, the children went by bus to LASCASSAS.

On March 14, 1927, David Dement and E. Loughrey signed a quitclaim to S. H. Van Hooser for their interest in the JORDAN SCHOOL property. A filling station is on the school site today.

SOURCES: Deed Book 11, p. 711; Book 26, p. 339; Book 32, p. 288; Book 71, p.69. Interviews, Feb. 26, 1978, with Mattie Pitts and Mary Floyd Neely by H. F. Adams; April 20, 1984, with John Howse, student; March 18, 1986, with Carmine Jordan Peyton, daughter of Ben F. Jordan. *Margaret Putman, student from 1922-1925. *Maggie Lowe Good. *Emily Dill Florida.

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