Leather’s School, aka Seed Tick School (Salem), 1893-1923

LEATHERS SCHOOL, sometimes called SEED TICK SCHOOL 1893-1923 was located between Salem and Windrow. It was on the north side of Windrow Road at the bend of the road just before Windrow Hill. It was behind the John Haynes house but was farther back than the LAWRENCE CHAPEL SCHOOL BLACK.

On July 9, 1893, J. T. Vaughan deeded a lot with a school building to School Directors A. A. Kelton, A. M. Adams, and T. J. Vaughan. The lot was bounded by M. Ransom, W. L. Leathers, and T. J. Vaughan.

The school was first a one-room log building near a “sink hole.” Later a one-room frame school was built on Billy “Pa Bill” Leathers’ land a short distance from the first site. The building had a door at the front and a stage at the back. The desks were very old.

One teacher taught an enrollment of about 40 pupils in eight grades. Among the teachers were: Susan Kinnon, Frances Liseby Harris, Blanche Hartman, Richie Wade, Dell Vaughan King, Ada Bethel, Mattie Tolbert, Katherine Jakes, Bess Holden, Bertha Tucker, Ura Morgan, Bra Steel, Miss Tommy Ervin, and Minnie Barnes. The last teacher was Lillian Estes.

Family names of students were: Hendrix, Harris, Vaughan, Rowlette, Kelton, Jones, Holder, Rutledge, Underwood, McGowan, Smitty, Thomas, and Waldron. Walter Leathers, b. 1891, attended school in the log cabin. Jessie Hendrix, b. 1911, and Odell Hendrix, b. 1907, started to school and went through eight grades in the frame building.

The school was used also as a nondenominational church for visiting preachers, for singings, and for “brush arbor” meetings.

The first school land is now owned by Marie Leathers Williams. The second was bought by Frank Vaughn and then John Henderson.

SOURCES: Deed Book 34, p. 575. Interviews, March 1983, with Mrs. Odell Hendrix Leathers, b. 1907, student and wife of Walter Leathers; May 6, 1985, with Betty Grace Hendrix Hooper, b. Oct. 26, 1915, a student. *Myrtle Ogles Robinson. *Richie Wade Ferguson, b. Oct. 27, 1891, a teacher at the age of eighteen, who boarded at the home of Tom King who married Dell Vaughan.

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