Little Hope School (Black) 1894-1965

The last building of the ‘Little Hope School’, closed 1965

LITTLE HOPE SCHOOL BLACK 1894-1965 was in the Little Hope area. It was on the west side of the present Baker Road and about one mile north of the BROWN’S CHAPEL SCHOOL.

On September 8, 1894, Bird Peebles colored deeded one-half acre of land for a school. It bordered the property of L. Rowlett and A. W. Blackman. The name A. W. Blackman is shown on the 1878 Beers Map.

On February 21, 1928, M. H. Lane and wife and A. H. Lane and wife both white deeded one-fourth acre for a Negro school bounded by Albert Rowlett, M. L. Lane, and a church lot.

The first school was made of logs and brush. Later, a log building was erected. Prior to 1900, a small one-room frame school was built on a flat rock next to the location of the final school. Both this frame building and the Lillard Chapel Methodist Church were used when a second teacher was added. The last school, a two-room concrete building, was constructed in 1940 by W.P.A. labor. It had a front door, a side door, and very high small windows.

Sam Cincinnati was the earliest teacher remembered. Others were Mattie Sue Green, Laura Blackman, Florence Kirk, Cordela Ransom, and Nannie Watkins. In 1924-1925, Polly Smith was teacher with 79 pupils. Since 1925, some of the principals who have served are: Josie Blackman, Eliza Martin, Susye Minter, Myrtle Glanton, Catherine Goodman, Andrewine Seward, R. T. Butler, A. D. Washington, Miss W. M. Frazier, Bertha Green, Julia Bass Butler, and Lydia Jackson Glanton, the last teacher.

The school was organized as an elementary school with eight grades.
The enrollment at first was between 90 and 110 pupils with one teacher. Some of the family names of the pupils have been Harris, Pedway, Howse, Sublett, Smith, Marable, and Hathaway.

Lillard’s Chapel was used when LITTLE HOPE first became a two-teacher school.

In the early 1940’s, Mr. W. H. Williamson came into the community and school and organized 4-H and Home Demonstration Clubs. Awards were won in Dressmaking, Poultry, Record Keeping, Gardening, Pig, and Orchard
projects. Awards were received in the Blue Ribbon Health program for three years.

In 1963, the curriculum included language arts, social studies, science, mathematics, health, music, art, a study of conversational Spanish, and science on television.

LITTLE HOPE SCHOOL closed in October 1965, and the children were sent to the new SMYRNA ROSENWALD SCHOOL.

On March 7, 1985, the Rutherford County School Board granted a ninety-nine year lease for one dollar to the Little Hope community residents for a community center.

SOURCES: Deed Book 36, p. 82; Book 73, p. 320. “Pastor Spoke Words That Gave Little Hope Its Name,” The Daily News Journal, Nov. 13, 1963, p. 19. “Lawmaker Snow Day to Affect Policy Here,” The Daily News Journal, March 8, 1985, p. 1. Interviews, Feb. 10, 1983, with Willie Green Howse Haynes; July 30, 1984, with William Wood, student 1941-1950. *Lydia Glanton. *Julie Bass Butler.

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