Smyrna Primary School, 1870-1909

SMYRNA PRIMARY SCHOOL 1870’s-1909 was located at the present 111 Division Street in Smyrna. It was the first schoolhouse in the town. The school was established through the efforts of Will Jarratt, John Tucker, and L.N. White.

On January 1, 1881, John F. Tucker sold one acre to the school directors of the third Civil District for a school as long as it was used for school purposes.

The land began at a stake in Mrs. White’s line. John Tucker received one cent in payment. The 1878 Beers Map shows a Mrs. White between
the railroad and t he old Nashville Pike.

The school was a one-room building, weatherboarded, and with shutters for the windows.

According to a letter written in 1880 to Henry and Dora White Lowry in Starrville, Texas, Mrs. Ella White James was teaching in a Smyrna subscription school which later was part of the Webster House. Other known teachers were Sally Lloyd, May Bell Brackin, Daisy Jarratt in 1906, who had graduated from SMYRNA FITTING SCHOOL in 1898, Ollie Mai Overall, and Miss Aldrich.

William Ridley Clark, b. October 5, 1868, and Green Clark, b. c 1872, were students of the Smyrna Subscription school before it was sold to school directors.

The schoolhouse is still standing in 1986 as part of the Webster House. Dr. B.B. Gracy added the two-story front. J.T. Webster bought the house in 1940.

SOURCES: Deed Book 26, pp. 133, 184. Hoover, pp. 51, 184, 265, 267, 388. Interview, March 12, 1986, with Mattie Gambill Rion, b. 1889 and a student in 1907 or *Catherine Clark, daughter of William Ridley Clark.

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