Rocky Fork School (black), 1878-1945

ROCKY FORK SCHOOL BLACK 1878-1945 was on the present Del Thomas Road. The school was on the first hill to the south after the bridge.

On August 26, 1878, J.T. Neal and wife sold land to colored Trustees Claiborne Coleman, Gene Sneed, Percy Davis, Allen Ridley, and William Paschal for a colored school and church. The land was in Shelton’s line. Later, on October 2, 1918, W.B. Coleman sold to the Rutherford County
Board of Education one-half acre for a colored school. This land was bounded by the old Negro church and school lot, on the east by Jim Buck Shelton, and on the west by W.B. Coleman. The colored people had collected $25 for a public school. The name of J.B. Shelton is on the 1878 Beers Map.

The second school was a one-room frame building which was also used as a church.

Known teachers were Irma Shelton, Susie Mae Cook Anderson, and Grace Watkins Batts.

Family names of students were Coleman, Batey, Howse, Jobe, Patterson.

Grace Batts remembers that when the creek rose, students used to catch Preston Lee’s milk truck to get across the road.

The ROCKY FORK SCHOOL was consolidated with LOCKE’S SCHOOL (BLACK) in 1945.

After the school closed, Robert Spann drove the school bus from the Rocky Fork area to Almaville from 1945-1950; Eugene Hill, Jr., from 1961-1963.

There is an old cemetery near the site.

SOURCES: Deed Book 30, p. 26; Book 61, p. 11. Interviews, Aug. 19, 1984, with Thomas Alvin Jarrett, who was a student c 1918; March 12, 1986, with Walter K. Hoover. “Locke’s Began Eighty Years Ago,” The Daily News
Journal, Nov. 13, 1963, p. 6. *Queen E. Washington. *Grace Watkins Batts.

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