Murray School (Bradyville), 1920-1952

MURRAY SCHOOL c1920-1952 was on the north side of the Bradyville Pike at the intersection of the Murray-Kittrell Road. On January 22, 1921, the Rutherford County Board of Education signed a deed for 4.5 acres of land at $100-per-acre from J. W. McCrary and wife Sallie, L. L. McCrary and wife Lillian, C. H. McCrary and wife Nannie May, and Mrs. Melinda McCrary widow. The school was a consolidation of DOUGLAS and CEDAR HILL SCHOOLS. It was a junior high school named in honor of Davis Murray, who had a farm across the road and was instrumental in getting the school located in the community.

The frame building was constructed under the supervision of Mr. Newby who put the roof on before the walls were in place.

When a hard wind blew down the structure, the fallen building had to be rebuilt. It was a frame building with a front porch, four rooms, one of which was large with a stage and folding doors, a wide hall, and two or three coat rooms. This school house burned in 1924. It was replaced by another frame building probably on the same foundation but with six rooms, a front porch, and a back porch, which was later converted into a music room. After the junior high school students were transferred to KITTRELL in about 1930, two rooms became the kitchen and dining area. Both MURRAY SCHOOLS were heated by potbellied stoves.

The first faculty of MURRAY SCHOOL were Mr. A. A. Gobelet, principal, Mary Hall, Carrie McCullough, and Virginia Abernathy. Others were George Clark, Spencer Donnell, Sallie Youree Donnell, Mollie Mai McKnight, Lucille McFarlin, Virginia Tilford Youree, Katherine Green, Cora Wiseman, and Mrs. Tennyson Youree. Teachers in the second building in the middle twenties and early thirties were Ross Shelton, Paschal Shelton, Mrs. Paschal Shelton, Mary Couch, Margaret McKnight, Robert Martin, Willie D. Herrod Caffey, Hazel Harney Patrick, Willie Allen, and Jack Jarrett. In the middle thirties and forties, teachers were Lucile Cates Brandon, Ruby Cates Sanford, Ettie Elliot Williams, Kate Walkup, Edna James Shepherd, Sara Murray, Raymond Youree, Bessie Puckett, Nancy Jones McNabb, M. B. Brandon, Mrs. Henry Holmes, Ann Barrett Brandon, Oma Wilson McNabb, Walter Lowe, and Mrs. Elsie Hall.

There was so little vandalism and so much pride in the community school that when Walter Lowe became principal and first tried to get a key to the front door, he was told to roll a rock against it.

Children, however, were still children and at times mischievous. Sarah Murray vividly recalls the time when she was teaching first grade and fifteen of her boys waded the creek on a December day. Sarah spanked all fifteen and then spent most of the remaining school time in getting the boys’ clothes dry enough to be worn home.

On January 23, 1953, the Rutherford County School Commission sold the four and one-half acres of school property to Ray Lowe and wife Dorothy Fox. The building was torn down and a home is now on the site.

Teachers and students moved to a new brick MURRAY SCHOOL in 1952-53.

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