McFadden School, 1935-1939

McFADDEN SCHOOL 1935-1939 was built on the same site at 211 Bridge Avenue at a cost of $25,000. Additional land was sold for the school campus by Addie Smith and husband Jim on October 4, 1935 and by Sam Arnette and wife Josie on January 11, 1937. Mr. George Cranor, Chairman of the County Court Building Committee, deserved the credit for making the
building one of the finest in the county at that time. The brick structure had 13 classrooms, an auditorium, cafeteria, library with 613 books, home economics and manual arts departments. In 1935, a small fire was confined to four classrooms.

Principals were George Sharpe, 1935-1936; Homer Pittard, 1936-1946.

The enrollment required thirteen teachers. The school was on a 6-3 basis for one year.

Dr. J. E. Wailer and Dr. Charles Lewis, professors at MTSC, volunteered their time to improve the school. Murfreesboro Clubs made liberal donations.

Mrs. G. E. Lowe and Mrs. W. B. Carnahan wrote “Hail to Thee, McFadden,” the Alma Mater song, which was sung at Commencement in 1936 and became a traditional part of later Commencement exercises.

On Sunday, January 26, 1939, a fire believed to be the work of an arsonist destroyed the school.

Mr. Homer Pittard remembered, “We had Roy Acuff scheduled for a show the next week. We secured the use of the TRAINING SCHOOL gymnasium, but it was a long walk from Westvue to Tennessee Boulevard and at that time the East Side residents had not come to appreciate the Opry style. We took in $13.50 at the show. Mr. Acuff accepted the customary fifty per cent of the gate. He promised to be back next year and then played to a wildly appreciative audience in our new auditorium.”

After the fire there was no adequate building for the 405 children. All but the eighth grade students took a prolonged vacation. In order to receive diplomas, fifteen eighth grade students used a room on the second floor of the Courthouse with Mr. Pittard as teacher. After CRICHLOW SCHOOL completed its term, the other seven grades from McFADDEN used that building for six weeks.

The County Court let a bid of $35,000 for another building to be started in May.

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