School Superintendents through 1975

Rutherford County School Superintendents

W. H. Wallace, 1869. He contributed to the first report made by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Report 1869: Nearly all of the teachers have received a part
of their salary from the people . . . Schools of some kind have been established in every district of the county.

George W. Jarman, April 1873-October 1874. G. W. Jarman resigned October 1874 to become a professor at Southwestern Baptist University in Jackson.

Elijah Carroll Cox, Octoher 1874- E. C. Cox was appointed by the State Superintendent to make the annual report for the county after the resignation of G. W. Jarman.

Report 1874: For the past two months I have been holding teachers’ meetings every Saturday . . . . I have endeavored to present . . . the best methods of teaching . . . and to arouse a sense of the magnitude and importance of the work . . . . Many of our teachers are young and inexperienced, while others are rather farmers than teachers, and in my opinion they need the aid of this improvised normal school.

J. J. Northcutt, 1874.

A. J. Brandon, Sr., 1875-1878.
Report 1875: The lowering of the school tax in January from fifteen to five cents for the hundred dollars worth of property was very unfortunate for the public schools.

Report 1876: The teachers are better qualified and more practical. Two Teachers’ Institutes, white and colored. About one-half the schools are supplied with blackboards.

G. H. Baskette, 1878-1881.
Report 1878: My efforts have been mainly directed to the organizing of District Boards. The people take more interest in Public Schools . . . . The people will be willing to be taxed for their support when they afford the best educational facilities.

Reese K. Henderson, 1882-1887.
Report 1882: The reports of the district directors were very
incomplete. The public schools in this county are in good condition and well conducted, and would compare favorably with any taught in the state.

Report 1883: With the exception of two districts, schools have been taught in every district during the year.

Report 1884: During the year some of the schools . . . were not conducted for want of funds . . . . In some of the districts consolidated schools are carried on. There has not been a single complaint against any of the
teachers . . . on account of incompetency . . The magistrates composing our County Court are . in favor of public schools.

Report 1886: I would recommend the following changes be made in the school law: Give districts the privilege of levying a school tax necessary to run schools not less than eight months . . . . Let the state prescribe a uniform system of textbooks to be taught throughout the state.

James D. Nelson, 1887-1890.
Report 1887: The up-to-time teachers are cooperating with me in all; among whom are Professors Powell, Cox, Overall, Thompson, Misses Jones, Dixie Hall, and others . . . I also held an Institute for the colored teachers of the county . . . the success of which depends greatly upon the work of Professors Carney, Daniel, McClelland, and Sublet, all colored.

Report 1888: We have some high schools that would be of high reputation to any town or city. Prof. J. M. Savage of Eagleville has a school in which most all the sciences are taught by practical experiments.

Report 1890: The school directors . . . have opened new schools in localities where there have been no schools, thereby accommodating a great many little urchins that have heretofore been neglected and gone uncared for
and left for many years to grow up uneducated left without the good and beneficial influences of a school and the valuable instructions of the noble

N. D. Overall, 1891-1896.
Report 1891: I am trying to raise the standard of school work by insisting upon fewer schools more centrally located, with better grades and longer terms.

Report 1892: We are very proud of a very fine teachers’ circulating library of about 75 volumes on teaching. We have monthly examinations of applications and monthly teachers’ meetings for both white and colored.

Report 1896: Our schools are . . . wonderfully better than I found them six years ago. During these six years in office I have held largely attended Institutes each summer for both white and colored, held rigid written examinations at the close of each Institute, and have consequently strengthened our interest in school work, and greatly diminished our number of would-be teachers. We are very proud of the number
and excellence of our secondary schools.

Jeannette M. King, Jan. 1897-1900.
Report 1897-1899: The thirteenth annual Institute of Rutherford County was held June 5-June 12, 1899. The Conductor was Superintendent W. E. Lumley of Pulaski. He was assisted by Miss Thenie McLemore of Murfreesboro. The Institute for Colored teachers . . . was conducted by E. G. Carney, principal of the Murfreesboro Colored School.

Report 1900: I find the subject of Physiology poorly under stood and taught . . . . I attribute this lack of knowledge to the texts formerly used . . . . Considering all things, Rutherford County is slowly advancing educationally.

Andrew L. Todd, 1901-1907.
Report 1901: The Rutherford County annual Teachers’ Institute was a most successful meeting . . . . The class exercises, lectures, discussions and other features were at all times full of animation and force. Prof. E. C. Cox . . . was always ready to lend a hand or give timely advice or suggestions.

Report 1903: The division of work in the Institute was A. J. Brandon, algebra; R. A. Taylor, geography; M. Wendel, primary methods. There were 40 applicants in primary work and 16 in secondary.

J. Dallas Jacobs, 1907-1917.

Report 1907-1908: The people of the county are strongly in favor of the establishment of high schools . . . and for an appropriation by the state to the funds.

Report 1915-1916: One special feature inaugurated by the County Board was the budget system. A fixed amount for teachers’ salaries, one for fuel and necessary supplies, but nothing for hauling any coal or supplies from town to the school houses, an amount to pay insurance, and an amount set aside to help pay off an overdraft, leaving surplus for any emergency. The board voted to use none of the school levy for erecting school buildings or making repairs, leaving this to the community . . . . The effect of the Middle Tennessee Normal has been very wholesome on our rural schools by furnishing us better trained teachers.

W. N. Elrod, 1917-1922.
Jeanette Moore King, 1922-1927.
J. E. Brandon, 1927-1935.
W. S. Donnell, 1935-1940.
Dealer Smotherman, 1940-1942.
W. S. Donnell, 1942-1946.
Dealer Smotherman, 1946-1950.
Ira Daniel, 1950-1961.
M. B. Brandon, 1961-1970.
Clifford Brothers, Jr., 1970-1974.

City School Superintendents
Elijah Carroll Cox, c 1891-1904.
First Report 1895
Number of schools 2; white 1, colored 1.
Number of white teachers 6; males 1, females 5.
Number of colored teachers 6; males 4, females 2.
Average daily attendance: white 353; colored 288.
Pritchett Alfred Lyon, 1904-1911.
J. M. Northcott, 1911-1918.
J. C. Mitchell, 1918-1945.
Baxter E. Hobgood, 1945-1975.

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