Walter Hill High School, 1924-1972

Walter Hill High School, 1976

WALTER HILL HIGH SCHOOL 1924-1972 was built on the west side of the Lebanon Highway and about one mile north of Stones River.

The Rutherford County Board of Education bought four acres of land from R. F. and Irene Neely on August 15, 1924 for six hundred dollars. Consolidated in the new school were VALLEY VIEW with two teachers, SILVER HILL with one, KNOX with one, and old WALTER HILL ACADEMY with four.

On April 13, 1949, Charles M. Pearcy and wife Lula sold to the Rutherford County School Commission an additional 2.6 acres of land; and on August 12, 1964, E. W. Waldron and wife Inez reserved an area at the intersection
of the old Jefferson Pike and Arnold Drive for the school.

The school building, constructed in 1924, had six classrooms, an auditorium, office, music room, and two coat rooms. An annex of seven rooms was added in 1928. In the 1930’s a barn-like gymnasium was built and sometime later an agriculture building was constructed at the side
of the barn. By 1963, there were two additional class rooms, restrooms, a library, a lunchroom, and a science room.

J. E. McCrary was the first principal from 1924 to 1937. Other principals have been Eugene Williams, Paul Smith Jennings, Walton O. Warren, Clarence Perry, Wayne Dehoney, J. E. Brandon, Jesse Richardson, Jack Delay, M. B. Brandon, J. D. McFarlin, Preston Cason, Joe Troop, Neslie Underwood, Paul Kerr, and Roger Brewington. George Campbell III became principal after 1972.

Teachers who served more than thirty years were Mattie Bell Jones Patton, 1931-1972; Virginia Rowlette, 1935-1976; Azilee Moore, 1944-1976; and Mildred Edwards. All were former students of the school.

1976 – Walter High School and Gymnasium

Other teachers included Mrs. J. E. McCrary, Allie Bennett, Harry Hill, Lurleen McCrary, Catherine Burk Youree, Annie Bell Becton, Mattie Bell Owen Stockard, Myrtle Johns, Thelma Rion, Annie Lee Arnold Jones, Roy
Bass, Sam Delay, Frank Craig, Ralph Gwaltney, Peyton Alsup, Marietta Sawyer Scates, Elizabeth Gwaltney, Buist Dement Smythe, Dorothy Baird, Lucille Nunley, Ann Ethel Cason, Clara Bell Pearcy Barrett, Lassie Henderson Adkerson, Allie Lee Pearcy, Mildred Burkhart, Mrs. Robert Huddleston, Leota McKee Barrett, Edna Short Drake, Jessie Belle Mann, Mason Brandon, Sybil White, Sandel McCrary, Allen Prince, Brad Miller, Maxie Runyon, Sally Derrient Evans, Mildred Edwards, Harris Hooper,

Margaret Jennings, Patrick I3arnett, J. W. Jennings, Frances King Coleman, Lucille McDonald, Glenn Trammel, Marianna Phedford, Fannie Hoover Turney, Lucille Spy, Annie Zachary, and Fruzzie Foster.

WALTER HILL HIGH SCHOOL started in 1924 with ten grades. In 1928 it became a four-year high school with three high school teachers. In 1963 the enrollment, grades one through twelve, was 339 pupils with fourteen teachers. In 1972 the high school department was integrated with that of Oakland High School. WALTER HILL now operates as a K through eight grade school.

At first only academic subjects were taught such as Latin, plane and solid geometry, algebra, literature, creative writing, and grammar. Many of the students entered professions of law, medicine, ministry, and teaching.

In 1951 commercial and vocational subjects were introduced when Mrs. John Adams, who served four years as PTA president, launched a drive to buy typewriters for a class.

It was at this time that all patrons of the school were visited with the plea, “Give a dollar or one big fat hen.”

In 1972 the curriculum became that of an elementary school.

At the state convention in Knoxville in 1937, the Beta Club was recognized as the most outstanding in Tennessee.

E. C. “Jack” Tomberlain was a bus driver for forty-two years, during which time he hauled four generations of students.

SOURCES: Deed Book 69, p. 45; Book 103, p. 585; Book 155, p. 548. “Walter Hill School in ‘0,” The Daily News Journal, Nov. 13, 1963, p. 18. *Gene Sloan, “Give a Dollar or One Big Fat Hen,” The Daily News Journal Accent, May 1, 1977. Karen McCollum, “Walter Hill’s 60-year Reunion Brings Memories and Friends,” The Daily News Journal, Sept. 29, 1985, p. 1. Darlene Henderson Gray, “Walter Hill Graduates Look at Their History,” The Daily News Journal Accent, Sept. 22, 1985, p. 6. Letter, dated May 16, 1984, from William Baskin, student. *Sarah Young. *Mattje Bell Jones Patton.

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