Rockvale Public School, 1910-1927

School Wagon and “Old Williams,’ The Horse, at the School Stables. Students are 2. Katherine Jackson, 3. Edna Lester, 7. Frances Hayes. Mary Carlton is one of the others. Esther Crick furnished the two pictures through *Ruth Scott Tucker.

ROCKVALE PUBLIC SCHOOL 1910-1927 was located halfway between Concord and Rockvale and was a consolidation of the two schools. The school was built on the west side of State Road 99 on the present campus. It opened as ROCKVALE CONSOLIDATED HIGH SCHOOL on Sept. 10, 1910 and finished the year on May 5, 1911. In 1911, the state and county took charge of the school under the name of ROCKVALE PUBLIC SCHOOL. The school
included eight grades of grammar school and two years of high school. It became ROCKVALE HIGH SCHOOL.

In 1907-1909 the Public School Law provided revenue for all levels of public education, elementary through college. In the 10th District, J. P. Leathers and others worked for a consolidated school building. On June 18, 1910 they bought from Joe Manning and wife five and one-sixth acres of land for $235. Later they bought another acre for $100.

Competition was keen between the towns of Rockvale and Eagleville for the county-built school. This decision was made: The students from both towns would march through the courthouse and be counted. The town with the greater number would get schoolhouse. Rockvale won; Eagleville built its own new school.

ROCKVALE Students: Moss Martin, Bess Joyce, Bessie Maxwell, Jimmie Manier, Mary Williams, Bessie Tolbert, Effie McGhee, Lois Ralston, Oden Williams, Clara Mai Jackson.

The schoolhouse was a white frame, one-story building with five classrooms and three long porches. A large room with a stage across one end was used as a classroom, study hall, and principal’s office. Later an L-shaped row of stables was built for the horses which the students rode. The total cost was

In 1923-1924, ROCKVALE still did not have a gymnasium. Coach Marvin Scales made a deal with Dr. John Garrett to floor the loft of his barn to be used for basketball games. Some of the spectators sat on bales of hay. Others stood behind wire that kept the ball from going out the end of the barn.

“Professor” F. M. Bowling, who came to Rockvale in 1909, the first principal of the new school and served as principal for three years. The first faculty included Margaret Halt Owen, Ida Holt Jackson, Lula Whitehead, and Irene
son. Jim Webb was the janitor.

Other principals in this building were Mr. Flint Speers, who followed F. M. Bowling, Mr. Elmer Downman, E. O. Coffman, Neal Elrod, John Zumbro, Raymond McElroy, R. C. Landis, 1920-21; J. E. McCrary, 1921-24; T, S. Givans, 1924-29.

Some of the teachers were: Bessie Jackson Buchanan and Effie Haynes Arendale, about 1913, Bess Maxwell, Mrs. R. C. Landis, Lillie Mae Harding, Cora Lowe, Maud Dabbs, Margaret Lakenan, and Maqness Puckett. Among the last teachers were Arzo Betts and Frances Batey.

The first graduating class was composed of Eula Lamb and Lillard Martin.

ROCKVALE has claimed the first county transportation system. In 1911, Mr. Lem Lamb drove a two-horse wagon, at first without a top and then with cover, and with chairs as seats. He drove from Puckett store to the ROCKVALE SCHOOL. Students paid two dollars per month per child. After the first trip, it is said, “Professor” Bowling patted one of the horses and
remarked, “This has come to stay.”

On Arbor Day, 1911, maple trees were set Out on campus. Thereupon, Margaret Lakenan composed the Alma Mater song, “In the Shadow of the Maples.” Two literary societies, the Tennyson Society and the Lowell Society, furnished such intrascholastic competition that their colors, blue and white, became the school colors.

The students of one-teacher schools in the area ultimately went to the consolidated school. Such schools were LITTLE ROCK, GARRETTS, MT. PLEASANT, AND TAYLOR. The schools generally stood vacant for two years and then reverted to their original owners.

When ROCKVALE became a three-year and then a four-year high school with a still increasing enrollment, the old white frame building was torn down and was replaced in 1927 by a brick building on the same site. The brick building is used today.

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