Morton School (Black), early 1900s

MORTON SCHOOL BLACK early 1900’s was on the east side of the present day Armstrong Valley Road and across from Ed Todd’s farm. A lane next to Rob Haynes’ farm led about 1/4 mile to the school. The Beers Map of 1878 shows the name W. H. Morton as owner of the land in 1878.

The one-room school building had a door in the front and about three windows on each side. There was no playground. Rough bluffs were on the east and the north. This may have been the same building, bounded on the south by Henry Cantrell, that William H. Morton had deeded on February 8, 1879, for $1 to School Directors B. D. Fletcher, William Morton, and T.W. Cox for a public white school.

Teachers known to have taught there were Era Childress, who married Dr. Hardin and was the aunt of William Butler; Mattie D. Bracey, b. about 1894, who taught her first school here in about 1913.

Among the students were: Horace Bracey, b. 1907, who attended when he was 6 years old; and R. T. Butler, brother of Mattie Bracey, who attended when he was seven years old in first or second grade. Both had Mattie Bracey for a teacher in about 1913. Other family names of students were Hughes, Smith, and Avent.

School was in session only during the summer months.

SOURCES: Deed Book 24, p. 262. Interview, Nov. 1982, with Horace Bracey, d. April 18, 1985; *R. T. Butler, Jr., April 5, 1986.

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