McFADDEN SCHOOL 1927-1935 was a county grammar school located on the southeast side of Bridge Ave. in Murfreesboro.
It was named for Elvie McFadden “who ministered to the spiritual and physical needs of the underprivileged in Westvue.” Before her death in 1925, she was assured by B. B. Kerr, then Chairman of the County Board of Education, that a school would be built in Westvue and named for her. Deeds were signed July 27 and August 17, 1927 by Otho S. Cannon and on November 10, 1927 by J. L. Covington and wife Willie D. McFadden selling land to the County Board of Education. McFADDEN was the first school
in Rutherford County to be named for a woman. The school was
sometimes referred to as WESTVUE.
In 1927, a new brick building was erected with four classrooms and an auditorium. In the fall of 1928, a fire, believed to have started in the flue in the back of the auditorium destroyed the auditorium and two classrooms. Two more class rooms were built. In 1932, a small stove in the first grade
room overheated and the entire school was burned. EAST END SCHOOL was used for the rest of 1932 and the 1932-1933 school term. In 1933-1934, because EAST END had been demolished, the Burr James brick dwelling on South Church Street was rented for school use.
Principals were Mrs. Madge Manson, 1927-1930; Baxter Hobgood, 1930-1931; Miss Martha W. Neely, 1931-1932, who is remembered for her tales of Uncle Remus and her character building lesson, “The Straight and Crooked Ladder”; Thomas Holden, 1932-1934; and J. E. Brandon, 1934-1935.
The first faculty consisted of Kate Ashley, Jane Holden, Ethel Dickens Edwards, and Mrs. Madge Manson, principal.
There were at first six grades. The enrollment in 1927 was 99 and increased to 150 before the end of the term.
Teachers took turns making soup on pot-bellied stoves and serving it to children from poor homes.
An active PTA was organized by Fred Smotherman, who served as first president. McFADDEN won loving cups for six consecutive years for having 100 percent Blue Ribbon children in the Blue Ribbon Parade. During the time when the school met in the Burr James’ home, Mrs. George Walters gave a piano to the school. At chapel in the morning, the children sat on the steps of the spiral staircase and sang, “Onward Christian Soldiers.”
By the fall of 1935, a new school had been built on the original site.