READYVILLE HIGH SCHOOL 1880’s-1902 or 1903, sometimes called TALLEY HILL, was located at Readyville on the north side of the Woodbury Road, east of Stones River, on a rocky hill behind Tilford’s store. The school was, according to an 1894 brochure, in Rutherford County.
In 1892 N. D. Overall, County Superintendent of Public Instruction, reported 120 students in the school. It was the largest school at the time between Murfreesboro and Woodbury.
The building was a large two-story structure. Among the teachers were John Hines, J. J. Northcott, John Wesley Jamison, Sara Jamison, Mary Murfree, Cassie McGill, Annie Youree, Frazier D. Smyth in 1894, Mr. Francis,
and Mr. Hudson.
In the late 1890’s, Noel Nichol, a student who boarded with Dr. J. D. Hall, drove Mattie Lowe Hall McFarlin and Elizabeth Hall Barker, also students, to the school in a horse and buggy. Mrs. Willie Belle Holmes Barker,
who was 96 years old in 1984, attended the school. She remembered that, in the middle grades, students were promoted when they finished a book.
According to the announcement printed for the spring term 1894, Principal F. D. Smyth described READYVILLE HIGH SCHOOL as being a well-established school with comparatively new buildings and with a seating capacity for 150 “scholars of both sexes.” The teachers had “considerable experience in the profession and expected to make teaching a life-work
“Several telephone lines connected Readyville with different points and it was also connected with Murfreesboro by stage.”
Courses of Study offered were First Primary, Second Primary, Intermediate, Preparatory, and Collegiate.
To the patrons he said: “We shall strive to conduct our school as a thorough, practical school, combining practice with theory . . . . A limited number of recitations per week will be allowed each scholar, and in no case will pupils be permitted to overtax themselves . . . All students will be regarded as ladies and gentlemen.”
The building burned in 1902 or 1903. A new school was erected on the east side of the Porterfield Road near its intersection with the Woodbury Road.
SOURCES: Files of Kittrell School. *Gene Sloan, “Back before the War,” The Daily News Journal Accent, April 17, 1977. *Mary Lawrence Barker Oliver. *Mary Hall. *Maynette Hollandsworth Paschal who also interviewed
Mrs. Willie Belle Holmes Barker, who was born in 1887 and is living in March 1986.