Wayside School (1909-1937)

WAYSIDE SCHOOL c1909-1937 was on the corner of Wayside Road and Epps Mill Road where the present Wayside Baptist Church now stands. Will Johnson, Mary Ann Woods O’Brien, and Frank O’Brien bought the land from Will Woods for a school and a church. No deed was filed. CROSS LANES SCHOOL was consolidated with WAYSIDE.

WAYSIDE SCHOOL was a one-room frame building with a stage at the back. The building was always used as both a school and a community, non-denominational church.

Eight grades were taught, sometimes by one teacher and sometimes by two. Teachers remembered are: Lela Lynch, the first teacher, who taught for eight years; Bessie Puckett and Burnice Couch; Raymond McElroy, Nannie Lou McGrew, W. B. “Bill Jack” Edwards; Madison Parker and Beulah Parker, father and daughter, who taught together; Myrna Sadler, Lucille McDonnell,
Grady Biggers White, 1930-1932, Carrie McCullough, Delia Smith, 1928-1929, Lena Taylor Alsup, and Mattie Ida Hoover O’Brien, 1932-1937.

Grady Biggers White was both a student and a teacher. Other students remembered are Woodrow and Leonard O’Brien; Susie Daisy, and Farless Bowen; Charles and Lee Summar, Robert L. Leslie, and Ruth Taylor.

Sarah Hoover Haynes remembers that the back of the school was high off the ground. The girls made a playhouse for their dolls under the stage.

After the school closed, W. J. O’Brien and wife Addie gave the one and one-half acres of land to the Missionary Baptist Church of Wayside in a deed signed July 10, 1939.

SOURCES: Deed Book 85, p. 455. Interviews, Nov. 1981, with Woodrow O’Brien, a student; Oct. 1, 1981, with Mary Lou Hendrickson Hoover, student, b. Feb. 4, 1897, d. Jan. 8, 1982; Oct. 1, 1981, with Sarah Hoover Haynes, student; March 25, 1985, with Willie O’Brien, b. 1902, student; March 25, 1985, with Effie Davis Lynn, b. 1902, a student.

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