Taylor School (Rockvale), 1874-1911

TAYLOR SCHOOL 1874-1911 was a district school on the north side of Columbia Road, now Mt. Pleasant Road, about one half mile west of the intersection of that road and Hant Hollow Road.

On August 4, 1874, Nathaniel R. Taylor, son of Vincent Taylor, signed a gift deed to the School Commissioners Thomas H. Carlton, Kinion Canton, and R. W. Farris for one acre of land for a school. The site is marked on the 1878 Beers Map. It is also shown on the Dixie Highway Map of 1910.

The schoolhouse was at first a one-room building of rough lumber, board and batten, and with a roof of wood shingles. By 1903 it was weatherboarded and had shutters for the windows. About that time too, the room was extended to the back to make another room with a window on each side. The extension floor four or five inches higher than that of the main room.

The first teacher was Monroe Crick. Others were Fannie Giles, Marietta Pinkerton, Sammie Read, Eula Lamb, Horace Reid, Fannie Battle, and Perry Williamson, who later taught at CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL in Murfreesboro.

All the children between Versailles and Puckett’s store attended TAYLOR. Children from Bedford County were also enrolled.

The school closed in 1911 because of lack of students. On October 15, 1911, Superintendent Jacobs appeared at the school, counted the students, and announced there would be no school at TAYLOR.

The next day the students went to ROCKVALE. Lem Lamb drove the school wagon. The ride was so rough for the little children that the patrons bought springs for the vehicle.

The school property became part of the John and Kitty Taylor Powers farm. John Robert Powers converted the school into a house in which he lived. The building later burned. The property is now owned by Curtis Powers and John Robert Powers.

SOURCES: Deed Book 20, p. 285. Hudson Burns, information from the files of the Rutherford County Historical Society. R. Fred Nance and John W. Nance, camps., The History of Versailles the Tenth District and Its People RCHS, 1983. Interviews, Sept. 29, 1982, with Herbert Garrett, b. 1903; June 28, 1983, with Graham Gordon, b. 1895; July 1983, with Elaine Cothran Haynes, daughter of Alice Puckett Cothran and Joseph Benjamin Cothran; July 17, 1984, with Arthur Rufus Powers, b. 1897, a student in 1903 and a grandson of N. R. Taylor; May 18, 1985, with Etta Heath Smith who was in her second year at the school when it closed and at whose aunt’s house, Mrs. P. J. Heath, Perry Williamson boarded; May 18, 1985, with Alline Taylor Welchance, whose mother, Aileen Hudson, b. 1890, and father, Sam Henry Taylor, b. March 5, 1882, were students.

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