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"The school system," ran the superintendent's report, "has promoted

a general desire for education, more particularly with the colored."

Negro children of the more ignorant classes, though surpassing "their

 parents in intelligence" and being "equal in morals," he found "far

behind in industry," and added, "I am unwilling, however, to say

this is due to the public school system, but rather to the fact that

they are less in contact with the whites than their parents."




 Public Education in Sussex County in Black and White

Compiled by Workers of the Writers' Program of the WPA



Chapter 4 Public Education

[pp. 134-147]


Beginning with Opposition 1870-1900

Five years after the war between the States Virginia founded her system of state-supported public schools for both white and Negro children. The convention that assembled on July 3, 1867 framed a new constitution, ratified July 6, 1869, which provided for public education under state control and eliminated the permissive feature that had formerly impeded the progress of free schools. The superintendent of education was elected by the general Assembly until 1902, when a new constitution provided election by popular vote. In 1928 the constitution, giving the governor authority to appoint the state superintendent, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly. On March 2, 1870, Dr. William Henry Ruffner was elected first state superintendent and required to set up for Virginia a uniform system of public education. . . .

In November 1870 the wheels of the state educational mill began to turn. About 2,900 schools were open; about 130,00 pupils were enrolled; and about 3,000 teachers were employed. In Sussex, as elsewhere, deep-rooted prejudices blocked immediate progress. Because, through all the history of Virginia, free education and pauper education had been synonymous, the public school system can scarcely be said to have had a hospitable reception. From 1870 to 1879 Sussex and Greensville constituted a school division; from 1879 to 1907 Sussex comprised one division; from 1907 to 1921, Sussex was combined with Prince George; since 1921 Sussex has been again a separate unit.

In 1870 Captain William H. Briggs was appointed superintendent of public schools for Sussex and Greensville. Captain Briggs had been born in Sussex County on October 16, 1833. He was the son of Doctor William Briggs and Rebecca Dillard Briggs and had been educated at the University of Virginia. Because he had served in the Confederate army, he could not accept the office. His place was filled by John K. Mason, a young man with a zeal for public education.

Two white schools were opened at once in Courthouse District, two in Stony Creek District, and one in Henry District; and each of these districts started one Negro school. John K. Mason, according to his report, worked 60 days, traveled 350 miles, visited five of the eight schools, licensed eight of the nine teachers he examined, wrote 100 letters, and spent $15 in discharging his duties. His salary for the year was but $15. At the end of the year he was able to say that though most of the whites had at first opposed public education, many had been converted.

This was the day of small beginnings. The school term was brief—four months and a fraction—and the teacher's average monthly pay check was but $22.09. In eight schools of the county, six men and three women—all white—were employed to teach 105 whites and 134 Negro pupils. During the long vacation of nearly eight months, most of the rural teachers turned to other jobs. Mr. Mason magnanimously declared that in his opinion $25 to $40 a month was needed to obtain the best teachers. The 239 Sussex public school children studied the following textbooks adopted by the county: McGuffey's spellers and readers, Davies' arithmetic, Bullion's grammars, and Guyot's geography. The equipment would make Exhibit A in an educational museum: the crude backless benches, the tin heater, the waterbucket in one corner with its communal dipper—customary in an age unconscious of germs. A fair education at these schools was generally limited to the ability to find one's way through a dictionary, a Spencerian hand, and perfect spelling—a value gone with oxcarts. Indeed penmanship was classed as an art along with drawing and vocal music.

By 1872 schools were operating in Newville, Waverly, and Wakefield districts. The fist teachers' institute in Sussex was held near Jarratt on August 8, 1872 and was attended by about half of the corps. John K. Mason, in his report for that year, again struck an optimistic note. some people, he reflected, still opposed the system but "a large majority . . . have come over to us, and are working earnestly for the advancement and prosperity of the cause." The Negroes continued to "manifest a great desire for education." The method of raising local school funds would be satisfactory, he said, "if the right men could always be secured as Supervisors," and he suggested that the trustees be allowed to vote with the supervisors. "With some trifling informalities," Mr. Mason continued, "the records of the district . . . school boards . . . are properly kept." Referring to the teachers' institute, he commented "I think the effects of the meeting will be felt in carrying on the system during the coming year."

The statistics for 1872 listed for Sussex 18 schools for white and 10 for Negro children. Nine of these schools were constructed of long the rest of frame. Of these, six were equipped with blackboards. Twenty-six white and two negro teachers were employed, and the total enrollment was 995 pupils—507 white and 488 Negro. three districts—Newville, Waverly, and Wakefield—owned no school property, and the value of that owned by the remaining districts was $184. The year 1872 was also the first in which school taxes were levied in Sussex. The rate was 7 1/2 cents on the hundred dollar valuation in each district, an amount raised in 1873 to 20 cents, consisting of a 10-cent district levy and a 10-cent county levy. The total cost of public education in Sussex County that year was $4,470.09, and of the 2,697 children of school age 28 per cent were enrolled.

Captain William H. Briggs was appointed superintendent of public schools for Sussex and Greensville counties in 1873, the legal technicality barring him from office having been removed. . . .

By 1875 Sussex schools had increased to 17 for white and 9 for Negro children, the total enrollment being 885. The 22 white and 4 Negro teachers taught an average of six months for an average salary of $27.83. . . .

In 1880 the system in Sussex County showed, by the statistics, unmistakable improvement. There were 21 white and 11 negro schools with a combined enrollment of 1,202 pupils educated at a cost of $4,636.07, including the teacher's salaries, which for the 26 white and 6 Negro teachers had descended to an average of $22.64.

"The school system," ran the superintendent's report, has promoted a general desire for education, more particularly with the colored." Negro children of the more ignorant classes, though surpassing "their parents in intelligence" and being "equal in morals," he found "far behind in industry," and added, "I am unwilling, however, to say this is due to the public school system, but rather to the fact that they are less in contact with the whites than their parents."

After the close of Dr. W.H. Ruffner's administration in 1882, the advance of public education suffered retardation of tempo. By degreees the schools were completely the victims of politicians. W.N. Blow, whose superintendency of Sussex County schools ran from1883 to 1885, served when public instruction was fights against odds. . . .

Junius Edgar West became superintendent of Sussex County schools in 1889. . . . he began in the public school system of Sussex County a long and distinguished career, which included membership in the General Assembly and in the State senate, and the Lieutenant governorship of Virginia.

As superintendent, Mr. West suggested innovations that would improve the system in Sussex; a nine-month school term, better qualified teachers with increased pay, better schoolhouses and furniture, and a reasonable compensation to trustees for their services. In 1890 Jesse F. West, his brother's successor, reiterated these pronouncements, adding the recommendations that counties be allowed to supplement salaries of superintendent and that all teachers be required to attend county institutes "conducted by the best normal teachers of the State," whose salaries the state should pay. the new superintendent was, of course, none other than the beloved citizens of Sussex who served as county judge from 1893 to 1904, as circuit judge from 1904 to 1923, and then on the Virginia Supreme Court of appeals until his death in 1929.

Beginning a New Century

By 1900 the Virginia public school system had almost tripled in size. The enrollment had increased to 370,595; daily attendance had leaped to 216,464; 8,954 teachers were employed; and the value of school property was $3,536,293. The people of the state were no longer doubting the permanence of the public school system. The first three decades of the twentieth century, however, were to see many changes and improvements. Scattered about the county in 1900 were 33 schools for white children and 21 for Negroes. School property was valued at $13,085. Working for an average monthly salary of $29.56 were 58 teachers, white and Negro.

Incorporated in the constitution of 1902 were provisions that contributed much toward the development of schools as they exist today. The state board of education, formerly consisting of three members, was expanded to include three educators from college faculties and two divisions superintendents and was authorized to make all necessary rules for management of public schools. The General Assembly was given the power to establish compulsory education for children between the ages of 8 and 12 years. provision was made for free textbooks for children of indigent parents, and appropriations for any school not under the exclusive control of the state were banned.

Educational conferences, initiated for the improvement of negro schools, began with a meeting at Capon Springs, West Virginia. Within a year Mr. Robert Curtis Ogden, a wealthy New York philanthropist, became the leader, and lifted the plan from a provincial to a national level by setting forth as its objective the promotion of universal education in the South through better school legislation, more and better secondary schools, the increase of normal schools, and the introduction of vocational training.

The sixth conference, held in Richmond in 1903 under the stimulating influence of Governor A.J. Montague and a group of intellectuals and educators, deployed into the field an army for the 30-day May campaign of 1905. one hundred meetings in cities, towns, and countryside manifested all the fervor of a religious revival or a hotly contested political election. The Cooperative Education Association was formed to implement the conference; new school legislating and improved school conditions, curriculum, and instruction were among the first fruits.

Instituting Reforms

These spring tides brought new life to the schools of Sussex. On March 5, 1905 the state school examiner of the second circuit addressed the teachers' institute at Waverly. On March 23, the day before an election in Wakefield to authorize an eight thousand dollar bond issue to build a schoolhouse, both the state school examiner and Willis A. Jenkins addressed the voters of the town. The election was carried by a large majority, and the school was in operation by the following year.

Virginia high schools, between 1906 and 1910, increased from 74 to 396, and their enrollment from 3,405 to 15,334. Technical training as part of public school education had been advocated long before. In 1891 J.E. Massey, Superintendent of public instruction, announced that it would "be the aim of this Department to introduce and encourage" industrial education "as extensively and rapidly as it can be done." reiteration of this purpose was found in Mr. Massey's reports of 1891 and 1893. Pupils should be "given such mechanical instruction as may enable them to enter upon the industrial pursuits of life," he stated, suggesting, at the same time, that vocational training be introduced first into the city schools as a manner of paving "the way to make manual and industrial training a part of our educational system."

The Smith-Hughes Act of 1917 provided Federal aid for vocational training in public schools. This legislation was followed in Sussex by the gradual inclusion of vocational subjects in the schools of Stony Creek, Waverly, and Wakefield.

Teacher certification also came in for its share of stabilization by the creation in 1905 of the State Board of examiners and Inspectors, which together with the superintendent of public instruction, was granted the power to issue all teacher certificates. This was an important innovation. . . .

In addition to making the county or the city the local unit of school administration, other improvements in public education were brought about by the act of 1922 and the changes provided in the revised school code of 1928. The most significant of these were: 10 the provision for the appointment of a small lay board of education, 2) the appointment, rather than election by popular vote, of the superintendent of public instruction, and 3) election of the division superintendent by the local school board from a list of eligibles prepared by the state board. Some of these provisions have had the beneficial effect of divorcing politics completely from school administration.

Since this date, applicants for the position of division superintendent have been obliged to meet rigid requirements. A master of arts degree, that comprehends courses in professional training, is a prerequisite, as well as practical experience either in business or in school supervision. As for county officers, all are excluded as teachers, except the superintendent, who maywith the approval of the state board of educationserve as school principal. . . .

Women compose the large majority of the 15,000 V.E.A. [Virginia Education Association, 1898] members. Two women have srved as presidents—Miss Lula D. Metz in 1923 and Miss Lucy Mason Holt in 1933. . . . The Virginia Journal of Education, official organ of the VEA, was founded in 1907 by Dr. J.A.C. Chandler, with the Virginia School Journal of 1891 and the Educational Journal of 1869 as collateral ancestors.

Isaac A. Smith & the State of Negro Education

The Negro teachers organized at Lynchburg on August 13, 1887 a professional society, which they named the Virginia State Teachers Association; its official organ is the Virginia Teachers' Bulletin. The society, moreover, came into existence about 22 years after the War between the States, when the rank and file of Virginia negroes were still illiterate, and has been continued without interruption.

The standards in Negro schools—insofar as both equipment and the quality of teaching are concerned—have steadily improved since the inauguration of the public school system. William H. Ruffner, in his first report, felt constrained to offer statistical proof of the Negro's capacity to profit by scholastic instruction. By and large Southerners were amazed to discover that the children of former slaves were eager to acquire knowledge. When the schools conducted by the Freedmen's Bureau between 1865 and 1870 were closed, the burden of Negro education was assumed by the white population of the South. In spite of the poverty and confusion that followed the war, Southern states paid over a hundred million dollars between 1870 and 1900 to educate Negroes.

For some years after the opening of the public school system, little was done in Sussex to leaven the mass of illiteracy among a Negro population that far outnumbered the white. The Negroes of Jarratt, stimulated in 1880 by Isaac A. Smith, a Stony Creek public school teacher from North Carolina, formed a "Charitable Association of Learning No. 1 of Sussex County, Virginia," seeking to establish an institution of learning at home" and "to encourage and support the Sabbath School among the poor and ignorant, for of such we are the chief." Smith thought that aid would come if the Negroes made known their "awful conditions." A pamphlet was issued, "as a relief to our penury and ignorant and sinful condition," containing this plaintive appeal: "The colored people of this neighborhood have been preaching in a private house, when they have any; they have Sunday school in a private house, when they have any; they have their public school in a private house, in one corner, when they have one." Though the result of this appeal is not fully known, the effort is significant.

Northern Philanthropy

Northern philanthropists have greatly aided the South in supporting separate schools for the two races. George Peabody of Massachusetts established a fund in 1867 to aid both white and Negro education in the south. In 1882 John F. Slater of Connecticut gave the income from a million dollars to assist Southern Negro schools. The Jeanes Fund, established in 1907 by Anna Thomas Jeanes (1922-1907), a Philadelphia Quaker, has contributed to the improvement of the small rural negro school, though its capital of a million dollars is comparatively small, measured by modern standards. Dr. James Hardy Dillard of Virginia, tireless advocate of Negro education, was the first president of the board appointed to administer the Fund.

The Jeanes Supervisors had their origin through the work of Virginia Randolph, a negro teacher of Henrico County, who began early in the twentieth century to teach her pupils simple crafts and household arts. Her plan was adopted by the Virginia department of education and soon spread throughout the South. In 1900 Lillian Sophronia Bagnall was appointed the first Jeanes agent in Sussex County. Since that date, through her efforts and those of her successors, negro school buildings of Sussex and their equipment have been improved, industrial and home economics courses have been introduced, and more teachers have been provided.

The funds founded in 1911 by Caroline Phelps-stokes and in 1912 by Julius Rosenwald include Negro education among their objectives. In 1930 the Rosenwald Fund contributed four million dollars toward better Negro schools in the rural South. The Jeanes, Slater, and Peabody funds have been consolidated under the Southern Education Foundation, with Dr. Arthur D. Wright of Virginia as president. In Sussex the first Rosenwald school—now known as Sussex Training School—was erected in 1923 at Waverly; New Hope, the second, was built at the courthouse village in 1926.

Gains & Expenditures on Education in Sussex

Comparative statistics show the gains in negro education since 1871, when out of a Virginia Negro school-age population of 164,019—5 to 21 years—38,554 were enrolled in the public schools. Of the 706 teachers in the Negro schools, 70 per cent were Negroes, a proportion that fell to 50 percent by 1875 and then rose to 99 percent by 1910. In 1940 out of a Negro school-age population of 195,427—7 to 19 years—125,778 attended school daily for a session of 181 days. The Sussex Negro enrollment in 1941 was 2,021 with an average attendance of 1,4427 and a percentage of 80 in schools operated 180 days. the value of Negro school property in Virginia was estimated at $9,740,350; the value of white property at $70,098,749. Sussex County reported the value of white property in 1941 as $416,500; of Negro as $88,250. . . .

Detailed statistics of the Sussex schools should be an aid to understanding. the county school funds are in good health, with expenditures not in excess of appropriations. For the session of 1940-41 the school board spent $4,486.90 for administration, $68,249.09 for instruction, $2,579.75 for instructional costs, $14,669.66 for pupil transportation, $6,589.62 for janitor service, light, water, and fuel, $2,260.48 for repairs to buildings and equipment, $2,143.82 for insurance, $67,071.26 for new equipment, land, and new buildings, $10,400.66 for debts, and $344.53 for other costs. The total disbursements, including transfers, were $186,973.02. At the end of the year there was  a balance of $46,154.92 in the operating and debt funds. the county had a net debt of $83,491.92 or $13,731.72 more than that of 1939-40.

The per capita cost in Sussex for elementary instruction in 1941 was $51.66 for the white pupils, $14.37 for Negro. The state-wide county averages for 1939-40 were respectively $27.11 and $17.68. The Sussex per capita cost of secondary education in 1941 reached $71.83 for the white pupils, $41.28 for the Negro. The state-wide county per capitas were respectively $48 and $28.40 in 1939-40. The total per capia for the counties fo the state, including elementary and secondary instruction, was $42.61 in 1939-40. Mr. Foster points out in his report for 1941 that the relatively high cost for white education in the Sussex schools "is due to small enrollment in correspondingly small classes, or teacher load. It is not the result of high salaries paid teacher in Sussex County."

The school enrollment in 1941 of 925 white and 2,021 Negro pupils, making a total of 2,946, shows a decrease of 24 white and 37 Negro pupils. the average attendance of 760 white and 1,427 Negro pupils represent a decrease of 59 white and 24 Negro children. The percentage of attendance for the session of 180 days was 90 for the white pupils, 80 for the Negro—as compared with the year before, a decrease of two per cent in white and one per cent in Negro schools. A survey of the statistics for the preceding five-year period shows a rapid decrease in elementary white enrollment, with a nearly  static high school enrollment. The loss of 713 school children between 1935 and 1940, or a school population of 3,864 instead of 4,577, is offset by a definite gain in literacy. The 212 illiterates reported in 1935, or 12 whites and 200 Negroes, fell to 50 in 1940, or one white and 49 Negroes.

The Sussex business man or woman, accustomed to meeting one or more of the county's 16 school buses—14 loaded with white pupils, 2 with negroes, and transporting a daily average of 476 white pupils and 63 negroes, with no accidents in 1941—would be surprised if told that 40-odd years ago pupil transportation at public expense was criticized as smacking of paternalism and socialism. . . .

In 1895 few schools had libraries. . . . The educational renaissance of the early twentieth century loosened the purse strings of the General Assembly and brought about in 1908 an appropriation of $5,000 for school libraries—a paltry sum compared with the $100,000 of 1941. Sussex County entered the records in 1908-09 with $166.93 expended for school libraries. About ten years later Sussex reported eight schools with libraries and a total of 2,193 volumes. After 20 years Sussex was of one 43 counties spending annually more than two thousand dollars for books. In the session of 1940-41 the Sussex school libraries had 21,568 volumes—15,539 for the white and 6,029 for the Negro schools. the books were valued at $18,443. [pp. 134-147]

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Schools—Historical Sketches

[Webmaster; sketches below 159-162]

New Hope School [1885--1941]

This school, the only one that has been in this community, was located about a quarter of mile east of the courthouse village on old State 40 until a church was built that served as a classroom for several years. Then a building 18'x20', erected "near the branch" in 1886, was used until 1912. After the enrollment had passed the hundred mark, the school was moved "farther up the hill" and a 12' section added. This building, in turn, was superseded by the present structure, which was erected in 1925-26.


Mr. Taylor (white)   Fannie Clayton 1889-1893
Lou Robinson (white)   Gertie Colson 1893-1894
George Rose (white)   J. Thomas Newsome 1894-1897
Lucy Pennington (white)   Mary B. Winfield 1897-1900
Claiborne Harvell   Annie B. Hall (Mason) 1900-1938
Lavinia Penn 1885-1886 Eva Fowlkes 1914-1915
Sidney Pride 1886-1889 Virginia Somerville 1938 . . .

Booker School (No.2) [1888-1941]

In 1888 this school occupied a one-room log house, which contained a large fireplace, a table and chair, and one "primary chart." It continued unchanged until 1895 when, on an acre procured by the school board near Booker, there was erected a building measuring 16'x25', which had six windows, a table and chair, stationary desks, a globe, a map, and charts. water was obtained from an open well. within a few years the school acquired a library and was enlarged by an addition of approximately 12'x16'. Finally, in 1934, a new one-room building about 21'x36' was constructed. the present-day furnishings include, together with the library and sufficient desks, a modern wood stove and a fire extinguisher, two coat closets, and blackboards.


Mrs. Sidney Pride 1886-89; 1890-92 Peacolia Lemley 1934-1937
Andrew Johnson 1888-1889 Alida Bernard 1937-1938
Peter Harrison 1892-1895 Edna Garlic 1938-1940
Sallie L. Stith 1895-1933 Ida Richardson 1940-1941
Mae Stith (Jackson) 1933-1934 Lois Lassiter 1941 . . .

Loco School [1901-1941]

Aware of the need of a negro school in the locality, the school board in 1901 converted the discontinued white school located on the Halifax Road near the present Tyus home into the Loco School for negroes. Forty-eight pupils were enrolled the first year under Josie turner. Within three years, the enrollment had increased to 75 pupils. To accommodate this increase an addition was made to the building in 1904. A new and modern school 24'x48, was constructed in 1938 at a cost of $2,300. The school lot contains three acres.


Josie Turner 1901-1903; 1909-1912 Eliza Harris 1923-1924
Eva Veniver 1903-1904 Bessie Hester 1924-1925
Josie Jordan 1905-1907 Hattie Mason (Scott) 1927-1928
Sallie V. Griffith 1907-09; 1916-17 Mae Stith (Jackson) 1928-1933
Rowena Eubank 1909-11, 1919-20 Florence Schocklyn 1933-1934
Rosa Andrews 1913-1915 Jeannette Walker 1934-1935
Maggie Brown 1917-1919; 1926-1927 Nannie Booth 1935-1937
Ethel Lewis 1919-1921 Mary Bond (Jackson) 1937 . . .
Ardena D. Croom 1921-23; 1925-26    

Hunting Quarter School [1915-1941]

This evolved about 1915 from a private school built by B. J. Johnson. For a while the school was supported by about ten families that in time "were not able to pay" and sent their children to Loco. When the distance to Loco proved too much for the smaller children, the parents appealed successfully to the church and to the school board. The church contributed to the construction of a building on its grounds; the school board paid half the teacher's salary for the 1919-20 term and thereafter regularly assumed payment of the whole. In 1935 the Hunting Quarter Baptist Church donated three acres of land on which the school board constructed in 1937 a new and modern building, 24'x48', at a cost of $2,300.


Lucy Freeman 1919-1920 Bessie Hester 1925-1928
Mabel Mathews 1919-1920 Cornelia White 1928-1930
Irene Taylor 1920-1921 Mary Hodgkins 1930-1931
Eva R. Wells 1920-1923 Mattie Newsome (Jackson)  
Mrs. J.F. Harris 1921-1922 Miss Johnson  
Agnes Jones 1923-1925 Virginia Scott  

Hickory Hill School [1915-1941]

Two women, Hanna A. Young and Annie Vaughn, by means of benefit entertainment and direct solicitation, raised the money that founded this school in 1912. the growth through the years of its initial enrollment of from 20 to 25 pupils caused the building to be enlarged in 1924. In 1937 the Hickory Hill Baptist Church donated 1.3 acres of land on which the school board constructed a new and modern building, 24'x48' at a cost of $2,300.


Martha Gilliam (private teacher) 1913 Bessie Griffin 1922-1923; 1927-1928
Mattie Louis (county employee) 1914-1915 Louise Blow Cargill 1923-1927
Ruth Allen 1915-1916 Margaret Cherry 1928-1929
Evelyn Adam 1916-1917 Lorraine Parker 1929-1931
Thelma Jones 1917-1918 Mary Holmes 1931-1932
Carrie Freeman 1918-1919 Bessie Grant 1932-1935
Effie Massenburg (private teacher) 1919-1920 Annie Newsome 1935-1936
Alice Green 1920-1921 Alease Adkins (Delk)  
Elnora Callis 1920-1921 Hattie Williams (Richardson) 1938 . . .
    Lelia Thrift 1941 . . .

Yale School [1909-1941]

The first Yale school for Negroes was established in 1909 in a house owned by S.J. Parson, located at Junction, four miles from Yale. When John Massenburg, who was interested in the education of his children, submitted a list of 20 prospective pupils to W.W. Edwards, the superintendent, Lou Blow was engaged as teacher. About five years later the patrons decided Junction was inconveniently located for many pupils and had the school moved into the Negro lodge Hall at Yale.

Here the immediate enrollment of about 40 so crowded the hall that patrons began raising funds to buy land for a more commodious building. Shortly after the third term opened, the school was closed for lack of a teacher. During the next two years the number of children in the community who attended Hickory Hill School increased, and John Massenburg prevailed upon Mr. Edwards to reopen the school. The teacher, pearl Elam of Waverly, found an enrollment of 50.

During the eighth and ninth terms of the revived school, its last teacher, Inez Cypress, spurred on by an enrollment of almost 60 pupils, worked with John Massenburg and Dennis Walton for a new school. Upon the advice of the superintendent, T.D. Foster, John Massenburg, acting for the patrons, bought two acres from W.N. Edwards for a school site, paying $200. When title to the land was procured, Mr. Foster sent Mr. A.P. Kubrock, carpenter, to assist the patrons in erecting a building at a cost of $1,200 to the school board. That school, completed in the summer of 1930, continues in operation


Lou Blow                      Junction 1909-1913 Inez Cypress            Lodge Hall 1925-1926
Eliza Hines                    Junction 1913-1914 Virginia Russell 1928-1929
Rachel Spencer             Junction 1914-1915 Martha Boothe      new building 1929-1931
Georgia Colman 1915-17 Mary Hodgkins 1931-1932
Lourina Sears               Lodge Hall 1917 (4 weeks) Margaret Long 1932-1933
Pearl Elam                        "        "   Dianah Edwards Mitchell 1933-1936
Annie V. Peace                "        " 1920-1923 Margaret Jones 1936-1938
Eliza Harris                      "         "  1 term Catherine Carrington 1938-1939
Lena Wright                    "         " 1 term Violet Onley 1939-1940
Frances Powell               "         " 1923-1924 Lucille Patterson 1940-1941
Mattie Newsome            "         " 1924-35 Irene Tyler 1941 . . .

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White Schools [Henry District] Historical Sketches

West View School

Samuel Emory came from the North in 1872, settled on a farm near Jarratt, and became the teacher that year of the West View Public School, which had been established on the Saunders farm near the Halifax Road (US 301), about two miles north of Jarratt. The building was an unpainted frame structure of one room—barren of window shades or draperies and furnished with home-made desks and benches. Doubtless this was the school referred to in the successful application made February 26, 1875 to the State Board of Education by the Henry District school trustees "for authority to allow a certain school in the district to continue with an average attendance of 12 pupils." In 1875 Mr. Emory was succeeded by Miss Lou Creath and she, in 1879, by Mrs. Amanda D. Chambliss, who taught here until 1882, when the school was closed, and Mrs. Chambliss and her 46 pupils were transferred to Jarratt.

Mrs. W.H. Batte was a graduate from this school.

Border School

Mrs. Amanda D. Chambliss, who was graduated at the age of 17 with high honors from Miss Williard's School for Girls in Troy, New York, returned to Sussex County, passed a teacher's examination, and began her teaching career in 1874 at the Border School, which was built for her. This one-room structure of pine logs was located near the Sussex-Greensville County dividing line on the B.A. Bailey farm near Allen's Road, about a mile northwest of Jarratt. The benches had no backs and were unpainted. About 1878 the school had 46 pupils enrolled. The Border School was discontinued in 1879 when Mrs. Chambliss succeeded Miss Lou Creath at the West View School.

Jarratt School

Some time during the winter of 1882 a public school in Jarratt began, with Mrs. Amanda D. Chambliss as teacher. The school was located in a building on the west side of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad at the crossing on Grigg Avenue, some 75 yards south of the Grigg House, the residence of Dr. T.F. Jarratt (1941).

In the following year (1883), a schoolhouse was built on the east side of the railroad. The equipment of this frame building, part of the Ray Williams residence (1941), consisted of home-made desks and benches, a tin heater, a water bucket and dipper, and one innovation—an easel blackboard 2'x3' in size. the pupils used slates. School opened at nine in the morning and closed at half past three in the afternoon. The building, conveniently located just across the railroad from the Catholic Church and parochial school, was later bought by the Catholic Church to house its teachers and priests who came from Richmond during week ends.

In 1892 Farley's store—in which Mrs. Tom Lyon had conducted a private school—was bought, and in September a graded school was opened in the two-room building, with Mrs. Amanda D. Chambliss as principal from 1892 to 1894 and Miss Susie White of Petersburg, Virginia as assistant from 1892 to 1893. Located directly on the Halifax Road at the northwest corner of the present school lot, this building—first known as Farley's Store and Bar—has survived to the present day, but is now disintegrating rapidly. Pupils entered at the age of five, and attended for a term that lasted generally five months, January to May. No one was "graduated," according to Mrs. Minna F. Person. The "scholars," as they were called, "finished."

Indoors, such games were played as "Blind Man's Buff," "Fishing," and "Tag"; while outdoor games consisted of "Hide and Seek," "Drop the Hankerchief," and "Cat," a game similar to the present-day soft ball. The advanced class was instructed in the afternoon in spelling and was assigned three columns of "dictionary." A week of perfect answers placed a pupil on the honor roll."

Early in the twentieth century, public schools were located in Henry District at Jarratt, Grizzard, Gray, Harrells, and Owen. the school at gray was eventually moved to the Gilliam neighborhood, and the one at Owen was transferred to Jones' Church, then back to the Halifax Road Loco, near the present Tyus house. Eventually this school was discontinued, and in 1901 its building began to be used by the Loco Negro School.

In Jarratt at the turn of the century the one white school was a two-story building with about six rooms. In 1908 the Henry District School Board (C.M. Brown, J.A. Johnston, and L.M. Creath), together with W.W. Edwards, superintendent, began plans for establishing a high school at Jarratt. By the autumn of 1909, an addition had been made to the Jarratt school building large enough to accommodate teachers and pupils of the high school. O.B. Ryder, principal during 1909-10, had as teacher Ethel Chewning (1908-1910), Adelaide Everett, Genevieve Eubank (1909-15), and Carrie Ratcliffe (1909-16). the enxt year, 1910-11, T. Stuart Luck was principal, and had as teachers Hattie Robertson (Mrs. B. f. Jarratt) (1910-13) and Nannie Bennett (Mrs. C. F. Owen) (1910-13).

The barn-shaped auditorium, recalled Miss Bernie Jarratt, who graduated in 1919, "had posts going up through it and had an enormous, high stage. During my days we wrapped these posts in crepe paper of the class colors and stuck ferns between the wrappings for each commencement occasion. It was awfully ugly; painted yellow and blue and brown. Trimmed in crepe paper it must have been a scream! But that was the yearly custom. It was also a custom to have a stenciled cut-out of the class motto in colors across the back of the stage. But we had high class commencements lasting five nights consisting of Greek plays and the like! Everybody in town got at least three new dresses for the biggest social event of the Jarratt year. Brick ice cream was sold and the crowds lingered for hours in social conversation."

The old school building was used until the session of 1922-23, the year the school at Grizzard was discontinued and the final consolidation of schools in Henry District was accomplished. Then, following the regulations of the State Board of Education, the present building was erected, the school board in charge of the construction consisting of C.M. Brown, B.T. Horne, and C.F. Owen. Mr. Brown was succeeded by J. H. Batte. The old building was taken down and rebuilt elsewhere as a Negro school, which was used until it burned several years ago.

Jarratt's present brick school building accommodates 9 teachers and about 200 students, of whom 60 are enrolled in high school. In conjunction with academic work are a two-year commercial course, a nursing course, and a music course. Equipment consists of a new library, a moving picture projector, a mimeograph machine, a community room provided with a complete kitchen, and various courts and fields for athletic contests. between 1912, the year of the first graduating class, and 1941 there have been 165 graduates. During the session 1939-40 the enrollment increased approximately 50 as a result of the location of the Johns-Manville plant.

An addition made to the Jarratt High School was used for the first time at the beginning of the session of 1939-40. It includes a library, library workroom, infirmary, and music room. The cost of the addition and equipment was approximately $15,000, 45 per cent of which was received from the Public Works Administration.

In 1923 the Greensville County School Board appropriated $5,000 toward the construction of the Jarratt High School. Although the building cost between $30,000 and $35,000, the Greensville County School Board held a deed for one-third undivided interest. Before the addition was made in 1938-39, the Sussex County School Board purchased the one-third interest owned by Greensville County for $4,000. This amount is being paid in the form of tuition charged Greensville County pupils in attendance at the Jarratt school. The payment will be completed in 1942. [pp. 164-167]

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Schools—Historical Sketches

[Webmaster: Sketches below, 172-175]

Bethlehem (Field's Chapel) School

Field's Chapel, as this school was originally called, was founded about 1878. Until 1883 the teachers were white. Three years later, John Walton gave an acre of land located north of an adjoining the Bethlehem Church lot to be used for school purposes only. A school was erected here, and the name was changed to bethlehem School. The walton donation, however, was made by a deed with a faulty title; as a consequence, in 1921 or 1922, the school league purchased from the Gray Lumber company three acres of land south of an adjoining the Bethlehem Church lot. Here a four-room school was erected in 1922 or 1923. This building burned during the Christmas holidays of 1923 (see Grizzard School, p. 173), and in 1925 the present two-room school building was erected on the same site.


John Grizzard (white) 1878-1879 Mrs W.D. Mason 1900-1902
John Wicks (white) 1879-1880 Mary West 1902-1910
Billie Wicks (white) 1880-1881 Eva Wells 1904-1910
Mr. Mason (white) 1881-1883 Amy Coleman (Wright) 1911-1917
John Brown 1883-1885 Nannie D. Mason 1916-22; 1930-39
Sidney Winfield 1885-1887 Elizabeth Austin 1920-1921
Eddie Wyatt 1887-1889 Francis Powell 1921-1923
Mary Jackson 1889-1890 Eva Logan 1922-1923
Mary Lockett 1890-1896 Ruth Howey 1922-1924
Ada Jones 1892-1893 Ethel Cade 1924-1925
Eliza Marks 1893-1896 Lee Cade 1925-1926
Sophia Lewis 1896-1897 Eva Kennedy Pegram 1926-1928
Rebecca Mason 1897-1899 Esther Northington 1928-1930
Mary Parkham Broadnax 1899-1900 Dorothy Kirby (Daughtry) 1939 . . .

Jefferson School

This was first a private school established at Chapel Hill in 1908 by the Jefferson families, who paid the teacher and contributed the school building. The initial enrollment of 15 pupils rapidly increased. In time the school was taken over entirely by the county. In 1912 Jefferson School was rebuilt to accommodate the increased enrollment. In 1928 or 1929 the school was moved to a new building on US 301 about one mile from Jarratt. Increased enrollment about 1931 caused the addition of another classroom and another teacher. In 1937 one of the classrooms was enlarged, and closets were added. the county has provided much of the school's necessary equipment, such as filing cabinet, globes, maps, and a pump. Recently the league purchased a coal stove for each classroom at a cost of $80.

The enrollment (1940-41) was 185 pupils, with an average attendance of 112, who was taught by 3 teachers.


Margaret Jefferson 1908-1909 Margaret Jones 1929-1930
Bessie Jones 1910-1911 Charlotte Brown 1930-1931
Emma Givins 1911-1913 Naomi Dillard 1931-1932
Rosa Andrews 1913-1914 Mattie Walker 1931-1932
Chanie Stokes 1914-1915 Ella Lockett 1932-1935
Eva Logan 1915-1917 Murrie Weed 1932-1934
Lottie Henderson 1917-18; 1921-22 Elgin Lowe 1934-1936
Hattie Jefferson 1918-1919 Alice Lowe 1935- . . .
Lillie McKneal 1918-1920 Rufus Hart 1936-1938
Gennette Hardy . . . T.J. Lawrence 1938-1940
Christine Williams . . . Mamie Alexander 1938-1941
Annie Christian 1925-1926 Leroy Richardson 1940- . . .
Alea Roberts 1926-1929 Ruby Harrison 1941- . . .

Rivers (Gray's Shoal) School

In 1914 J.R. Rivers bought an old shanty from a sawmill company, had it torn down, and used the material in the construction of a small schoolhouse on the Dobie farm on Butts' Road. Called Gray's Shoal, the school continued to increase until a hundred pupils were enrolled. At this stage, a building similar to the shanty was bought and the material used to enlarge Gray's Shoal School. In 1927, the year after the name had been changed to Rivers School, a movement to collect $500 for a new building was started by the patrons. In 1930 the present building was erected by the school Board at a cost of $1,890.


Jessie Harris 1912-1916 Hattie Mason 1924-1926
Rosa E. Harris 1914-1917 Dorothy Gregory 1926-1927
Sallie Seaborne 1917-1920 Annie Newsome 1927-34; 1936-39
N.Y. Woodruff 1920-1921 Mamie Smith 1934-1935
Arnethia B. Hopson 1922-1923 Sussie Wiggins 1934-1935
Viola Roberson 1922-1924 LaRose Gilbert 1939-1940
Adelle Jones (Ford) 1922-1924 Castene Parker 1940- . . .

[Webmaster Note: Samuel River, Sr., who now lives in a house built partially and on the site of the old Rivers Schhol, recalls that Hattie Mason was John "Buster" Mason's sister; and that his teachers included Annie Newsome, Mamie Smith, Sussie Wiggins, and LaRose Gilbert. . . . My grandmother Ella Jackson Lewis' teacher was Adelle Jones when she was a teacher also at Creath School]

Creath (Number Five) School

Opened by Isaac Smith in a private house on the Halifax Road (US 301), the school, some years later, was moved about a mile down the road to a log building erected expressly for the purpose. Here Mr. Smith continued as the teacher. Subsequently the school was moved back to its former location on the Halifax Road, then to a place on the Henry Road. At the suggestion of the school board, the Creath school league bought the building that was used by a white school and located opposite J.M. Tyus' gate, and the school board moved this structure to land procured from L.M. Creath. Eventually the one-room Creath or Number Five School, as it was called, was increased by the addition of a one-room school building moved from Jerusalem Church. About 1913 the Creath and Jerusalem schools were consolidated at Creath and now occupy two large rooms. The last addition was made in 1937and now occupy two large rooms. There are 2 teachers, an enrollment of 128, and an average attendance of 106.


Isaac Smith 1910- . . . Lizzie Newsome 1927-1928
Laura Jackson 1915-1917 Fannie Smith Williams 1928-1929; 1930-1935
Adelle Jones (Ford) 1915-1916 Ida B. Mangum 1929-1930
Kate Ramsey 1916-1917 Margaret Jones 1930-1931
Agnes Nightingale 1917-1918 Kate L. Loyd 1931-1932
Evelyn Cooper 1917-1918 Ethel Ford 1932-1934
Jesse G. Bassett 1920-1923 L.L. Mitchell 1934-1936
Nannie D. Mason 1922-1930 Mae Smith Beanum 1935- . . .
Genevieve Burroughs 1923-1924 William Mackey 1938-1940
Mercelyn Wynn 1924-1925 Andrew Kennard 1940-1941
Eva Logan 1924-1926 Cornelius Harrison 1941- . . .
Lola Diggs 1926-1927    

[Webmaster Note:  Nannie D. Mason was the mother of John "Buster" Mason; Fannie Smith Williams was John's first wife. Ethel Ford was Nat Ford's mother. The source of this information is my grandmother who is now 95.]

Grizzard School

In 1924, 40 children from the southern part of the community served by the Bethlehem School, which had burned the year before, were assigned tot he white school building at Grizzard under the instruction of Ruth Harvey, one of the Bethlehem teachers. In 1937, when Earnest Harvellowner of the Grizzard school buildingresumed control of his property, the School Board built the present Grizzard School at a cost of $2,300


Ruth Howey last half of term, 1923-1924 Maggie Clark 1931-1932
Vivian Price 1924-1927 Bessie Williams 1932-1934
Mae Stith 1927-1928 Annie Newsome 1934-1935
Alberta Hauser 1928-1929 School not open 1936-1937
Lillian Thompson 1929-1930 Lelia Brown 1937-1938
Catherine Smith 1930-1931 Nannie Speed 1938- . . .

[Webmaster Note: Nannie Speed, the wife of Rudolph Speed, would spend a long term at Jefferson School, maybe several generations.]

Hassediah School

No historical sketch was provided for this church school.

Eloise Bridgeforth 1925-1927 Nellie Green 1927-1928

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Schools—Historical Sketches

[Webmaster Note: The schools below come from a district in Sussex near US 35 and US 40, east of the Courthouse, pp. 181-183.]

Jack Cole School

Free schools for Negroes in this community began about 1867 with John Reed (white) teaching in a privately owned building located approximately one mile north of the present school on the Cabin Point Road. This first effort was discontinued after several years.

The present school is named after a native Negro, Jack Cole, who furnished the property and building for the education of local children before the state assumed that responsibility. This school was about 500 yards from the school's present location.

Jack Cole School as established by the state had one room. Increased enrollment caused another room to be added in 1924, the community and the county school board each sharing half the expense. It continued as a two-room school until 1938, when it again became a one-room school.


John Reed (white) 1867 Alie Boyd 1939-1941
Willie Jenkins 1893-1894 Elizabeth Winston 1941- . . .
Oliver C. Houston 1894-1896 Miss Babbs  . . .
Ada Peace Jolly 1924-1928 Miss Barrett  . . .
Lizzy Newsome 1928-1931 Miss Chambers  . . .
Betty Barracks 1928-1929 Fannie Coren  . . .
Eloise Banks 1929-1930 Robert Gibbons  . . .
Sirestime Pollard 1931-1932 Sarah Gregory  . . .
Mary Holmes 1932-1934 Claiborne Harvel  . . .
Mary Randall 1932-1934 Willie Hicks  . . .
Tealye Baylor 1934-1936 Anna Parham  . . .
Rebecca James 1934-1936 Ben Richardson  . . .
Lillie Ford 1936-1938 Anna Walker  . . .
William Mackey 1936-1938 Charles Warren  . . .
Ruth Rivers 1938-1939    

Littleton School

This school began in 1875 with about 50 pupils at the Old Academy building located near Mr. Savedge's Store. When it was discontinued in 1880, leaving Littleton without a school, the enrollment was between 55 and 60 pupils. The children attended Homeville School, where Scrap Lowery was teaching, until 1902.

In that year school was opened in Littleton in a building erected by the people near Pleasant Grove Church on land given by the Surry Lumber Company. At this time the school board did not employ the teacher. About 60 students were enrolled. The number of children attending from Littleton section caused the school to be moved in 1910 to its present place in a building formerly used as a white school.

Between 1917 and 919 there was no school in Littleton because the patrons could not afford one. In 1937 additional land was purchased and a room 24'x48' was added at a cost of $2,300, at which time it became a two-teacher school.


Scrap Lowery 1875 Lillian Morgan 1921-1924
Eliza Spratley 1877-1878 Lillian Colden (Mason) 1923-1929
Nora Perkins 1878-1880 Doretha Williams 1929-1930
Carrie V. Ford 1902-1908 Lucille Holliday 1930-1932
Josephine Sykes 1908 [patron employed] Hattie Howell 1932-1933
Mary E. Dugger 1908-1910 Mary Holloway 1933-1934
Mary Carr 1910-1911 Mabel Ellis 1934-1936
Sarah Taylor 1911-1914 Lorraine Parker 1936- . . .
Hester Young 1914-1916 Elgin Lowe 1937-1940
Eva Stith 1916-1917 [patron employed] Wilbert Corprew 1940-1941
Novella Springfield 1920-1921 Nethel Harris 1941- . . .
Mrs. Spaulding 1921-1922    

Newville School

This school was established by the county in 1878. Previously, instruction had been given in an old academy (owned by John Parham, a relative of Hamilton King), which at one time was used by white people. The initial enrollment reached  nearly one hundred students. They were and continued to be taught by one teacher. Five years after the building was painted and given a new ceiling in 1915, a room was added. This was done in the hope that, since the enrollment was large, it would be made a two-teacher school.


Charlotte Coleman 1878-1883 Ula M. Ballard (Williams) 1915-17;1918-20; 1931- . . .
Louise Jenkins 1883-1890 Leona Edwards 1917-1918
Willie Hewlett 1890-1896 Mabel Gee 1920-1925
Mary E. Dugger 1896-1902 Eileen Hassell 1925-1926
Lelia French 1902-1907 Viola Mangrum 1926-1927
Carrie Bland 1907-1908 Ella Trent 1927-1928
Alma Pryor 1908-1909 Mabel Gilliam 1928-1929
Peachie (Blanchie?) Carr 1909-1912 Dorothy Diggs 1929-1931
Sallie Branch 1912-1915    

Homeville School

This school was established in 1885 to instruct the great number of idle and illiterate children in this section. beginning with 60 children, Homeville Colored School grew during the years and was ultimately enlarged in 1931 on its present site.


William H. Jones 1885-1897 Daisy Graves 1921-1924
Annie Bolling 1897-1899 Trulay Godwin 1922-1924
Mary Berry 1899-1909 Flossie Hale 1924-1932
Agnes Jones 1909-1910 Bessie Branch 1932-1933
MammieWilliams 1910-1911 Elnora Hill 1933-1934
Annie L. Freeman 1911-1912 Florence Schocklyn 1934-1935
Sussie Buckner 1912-1915 Louise Eley 1935- . . .

Plank Road School

This school, called "The sand Bar School" after the name of its first location, was opened in 1912 as a private school near Nebett's Bridge. Its initial period saw an enrollment of 35 to 40 students. But from 1916 through 1919 there was no teacher, and the pupils were sent to Newville School. In 1919 it was made a public school, though conducted in a private building, and in 1920 Ula B. Williams became the first teacher to be employed by the county.

When additions were made to Hall School nearby, "The Sand Bar School" was closed and moved in 1921 near the Plank Road Baptist Church. On this site, whence it took its present name, the attendance increased to about 80. In 1919 the school board purchased two acres of land, and in 1930 the order of St. Luke's donated the present building and one acre of land.


Louise Parker 1912-1914; 1915-1916 Lorraine Parker 1931-1936
Lucy M. Parker 1914-1915 Katherin Rufflin 1936- . . .
Ula Ballard (Williams) 1920-1931    

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Schools—Historical Sketches

[Webmaster Note: The schools below come from a district in Sussex near US 301 and US 40, west of the Courthouse, pp. 196-198.]

Little Mill School

The first school for Negroes of this community was begun by volunteer (white) teachers soon after the War between the States for children who were not at work. Later a night school was operated for adult Negroes. From these beginnings evolved the Little Mill School of today. In these early schools grade levels were designated by names such as "Speller" and "Dictionary." The present two-room building was constructed by the school board in 1936 at a cost of $3,300.


Mr. Caldwell (white) 1875-1879 Gladys Whitten 1928-1929
Samuel Harris (white) 1879-1882 Gladys Wyatt 1919-1930
Ella Beverly (white) 1882-1884 Catherine Lumpkins 1930-1931
Ella Harris (white) 1884-1888 Myrtie Tucker 1930-1931
William E. Knox 1888-1921 Catherine Tucker 1930-1931
Martha Blue 1889-1891 Iris Garner 1931-1932
Bessie Brooks 1891-1892; 1914-1916 Annie Walker 1931-1932
Picola Myrick 1916-1917 Manie Peace 1932-1938
Marie Jefferson (Mrs. W.E. Knox) 1918-21;1923-25; 1927-30 Rebecca Fountain (James) 1933-1934
Olive Brooks 1921-1922 Leroy Richardson 1934-1940
Verlina Sampson 1921-1922 Vanburean Hall 1938-1941
Viola Rountree 1923-1925 Charles Cross 1940-1941
Florence Selden 1924-1926 W.L. Harrison 1941- . . .
Frederica Tyler 1925-1926 Queen Scott 1941- . . .
Alice Pryor 1926-1927 Miss Drew  . . .- . . .
Marie Grays 1927-1928 Ansolette Morris . . .- . . .

Hawks School

Established by the state in 1885, this school opened with an enrollment of about 70 pupils. The first building burned in 1917. the following year a new school was built, which still continues in use.


Sidney Winfield 1885-1892 Elsie Joyner 1911-1913
Grace Berry 1892-1893 H. Smith . . .-. . .
Peter W. Harris (Harrison?) 1893-1897 Lizzie Newsome 1914-1917
Sallie Stith 1896-1898 Vivian Scott 1927-1928
Frances Glover 1898-1900 Ellen Miller 1928-1929
Annie Johnson 1900-1901 Hazeline Smith 1929-1934
Mattie Bryant 1901-1903 Mae Stith Jackson 1934-1935
Nellie Ford 1903-1905 Sarah Reece 1935-1938
Annie Mac 1903-1905 Eunice Reed 1938-1940
Willie Johnson 1905-1907 Fannie Edden 1940-1941
Beatrice Banks 1910-1913 Isabel Gardner 1941- . . .

Branch, Croshaw, or Concord School

The Branch School was established in 1904. Three years later, however, because the enrollment had dropped from 20 to 7, the school was discontinued. In 1915 several families employed a teacher and financed a school for one term. In 1923 Mrs. Annie Jackson, Supervisor, assisted by Mr. Croshaw, reopened the school. through their influence classes supported by the county were held in private houses. The temporary name honored Mr. Croshaw. The present school building was constructed by the school board in 1934 at a cost of $1,000 and was called "Concord."


Ella Harrison Branch, 1904-1905 Helena Griffin 1934-1935
R (Roxanna?) Wyatt Branch, 1906-1907 Margaret Jones 1935-1936
J.P. Cooke Branch, 1914-1915 Rebecca Massenberg Concord, 1936-1939
Maggie Brown (Mabry) Croshaw, 1924-1927 Virginia Smith Concord, 1939-1941
School not open 1927-1933 Estelle Grant 1941- . . .
Alease Adkins 1933-1934    

Stony Creek School

This school apparently had its genesis in a private academy owned and operated by Lucy Birchett (white) of Petersburg. From about 1870 to 1876 Miss (or Mrs) Birchett taught the sons and daughters of former slaves. Eight teachers, some of whom perhaps were white, gave instruction from 1876 to 1897. During this period the classes, which are thought to have been supported privately, were held in homes and in the church.

The school was probably taken over by the county in 1897, for in that year it had its own one-room building, located near the present Stony Creek High School. No change until 1931, when another room "separate and distinct from the other," was rented. In this year W.W. Edwards, the superintendent, was asked for the use of a school that had been vacated by white pupils. When the superintendent named a price of $1,500, a disappointed committee approached I.A. Prince, through whose influence a six-room building was provided without cost. Sometimes with three teachers, now with two, this building has continued to house the Stony Creek School.


Lucy Birchett (white) 1870-1875 Robnetta Harris 1922-1923
William Warner 1875-1877 Marion C. Young 1922-1925
Michie Farlou 1877-1880 Virginia Bailey 1922-1925
Mrs. Ladoun 1880-1884 Elizabeth Austin 1924-1926
Mr. Vincent 1884-1889 Annie Peace 1925-1928
John Moore 1889-1893 S.L. Perry 1926-1927
Sydney Winfield 1893-1894 Clarene Coles 1927-1928
Frank L. Mason 1894-1897 Alexander Corprew 1928-1929
Robert E. Givens 1897-1898 George H. Binford 1929-1930
Mary J. Berry 1898-1900 Esther Wright 1929-1930
John Haskins 1900-1901 E.W. Maxwell 1930-1931
Luvenia Scott 1901-1908 Grace Washington 1930-1934
Nellie Ford 1908-1910 Emmett Miller 1930-1932
Mabel Ford 1910-1912 Russell Bowling 1932-1933
Agnes Jones 1912-19; 1921-24; 1925-29 Theodore W. Hall 1933-1935
Cora (Cara?) Smith 1912-1913 Murrie Wead (Taylor) 1934-1938
Carrie McKenzie 1913-1914 Clarence Batts 1935-1940
Mrs. Elizabeth C. Bradshaw 1919-1921 Lillie Ford 1938- . . .
Martha Bolling 1921-1922 Littleton Alston 1940- . . .

Huske Colored School

In order to relieve the crowded condition in the two-teacher Little Mill School the school board erected a new building at Huske in 1938 at a cost of $2.300, on a two and one-hal acre lot purchased from Mayes and Crowder. The school opened the first year, 1938-39, with an enrollment of 67. some of the pupils formerly attended Creath and stony Creek. Most of them, however, were pupils who had attended Little Mill.


Castene Parker 1938-1940 Elizabeth Silver 1941- . . .
Marion law 1940-1941    

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Schools—Historical Sketches

[Webmaster Note: The schools below were in the Wakefield District, not that far from the Town of Waverly, pp. 211-213]

Seacorrie School

Established near Seacorrie Swamp in 1875. Seacorrie School was eventually moved to its present and more convenient location. The school was abandoned in 1938


Norman Caple 1875-1878 Annie E. Dannely 1925-1926
Sally Moody 1878-1886 Ruth D. Sykes 1926-1928
Joseph Grey 1886-1888 Kathleen Hutchinson 1928-1929
Jim Bailey 1888-1889 Mattie Williams 1919-1930
Annie Harris 1889-95; 1897-1900 Loretta Carver 1930-1931
Jennie Griggs 1895-1897; 1900-1907 Ruth Mason 1931-1934
Hattie Yancy 1907-1912 Grace Washington 1934-1935
Florence Chappell 1912-1915 Mary Bond 1935-1937
Annie peace 1915-1916 Helen Langston 1937-1938


Piney Grove School

Started in 1878 with Norman Caple as teacher, the school now known as Piney Grove was first held in small Elam Church, located about six miles from the school's present location. A series of teachers followed. inconveniently situated for the majority of pupils, the school was move din 1909, at the request of the patrons, to Piney grove Church, which was used with permission of W.W. Edwards. Later Piney grove School was established in a one-room building erected for the purpose.

Subsequently another room was added through the efforts of Joseph N. Gray (teacher in 1899). This building continued in use until 1937, when the present school, 24'x48', was erected by the school board at a cost of $2,300.


Norman Caple 1878-1884 Charlotte Johnson 1928-1929
J. Woodus 1884-1886 Ruth Morgan 1929-1930
A.D. Owens 1886- . . . Gertrude Stewart 1929-1930
Willie Drewitt 1886-1894 Athalia Binford 1930-1931
Joseph N. Gray 1894-1904 Ida Mangrum 1930-1931
Sarah Batts 1904-1905 Susie Robinson 1931-1934
Ellen Warren 1916-1918 Eileen Hassell 1931-1935
Harriett Wyatt 1918-1919 Mrs. S.L. Randolph 1934-1935
Ella Wyatt 1918-1919 Paul Lowe until December 1935
Haley M. Jones 1919-1921 Gladys Owen 1935-1938
Essie Parker 1921-1926 Mannin Jackson 1936-1937
Trulay Godwin 1926-1928 Inez Parham 1938-1939
Mary H. Morris 1926-1927 Mary Jones 1939-1940
Lilia Raines 1927-1928 Eunice Reed 1940- . . .
Mrs. J.R. Bradley 1928-1929    

Wakefield Negro School

The first school for Negroes in Wakefield was established in a church in 1884 by W.H. Andrews. From an initial enrollment of between 10 and 15 pupils, the number constantly increased, necessitating larger quarters. In 1898 the school was transferred to the old Old Fellows Hall; in 1905 it occupied the True Reformers' Hall; in 1907 Mars Hill Methodist Church housed temporarily the school; and in 1910 it was moved again, this time to the new Odd Fellows' Hall. Five years later (19150 the school trustees of Wakefield District bought from E.A. and Cassie L. Hatch a plot of ground for $150, on which was erected a two-room structure that served as a school until 1921, when increased enrollment necessitated the addition of a third room.


W. H. Andrews 1884-1886 Joseph N. Gray 1918-1925
Samuel Gray 1886-1887 Alice T. Jackson 1918-1920
William Ricks 1887-1888 Ellen Warren 1920- . . .
Sarah Bailey 1888-1891 Georgia Joyner 1921-1923
A.D. Owens 1891-1900 Mattie Newsome 1921-1924
Laura Bailey 1900-1904 Irene Williams 1924-1926
Joseph N. Gray 1904-1918 McNorna B. Cralle 1925-1926
Jim Bailey 1905-1906 Mrs. A.B. Taylor 1926-1927
Edward Spratley 1906-1907 L.T. Binford 1927-1928
Delia W. Owens 1907-1908 Susie Johnson 1927-1928
Grace Jones 1908-1910 Trulay Godwin 1928- . . .
Lillian Rice 1910-1911 Miles Ballard 1928-1929
Alma France 1911-1915 E.W. Maxwell 1929-1930
Martha E. Jefferson 1915-1916 George Binford 1930-1931
Ruby Broadnax 1915-1916 Walter Scott 1931-1932
Evelyn Adams 1915-1916 Joseph Butcher 1932-1933
Eva Wells 1916-1917 John Henderson 1933-1936
Blanche Adams 1917-1918 David Graves 1936-1938
Blanche Harrison 1917-1918 Rufus Hart 1938- . . .
Alice J. Terrell 1918-1920    

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Schools—Historical Sketches

[Webmaster Note: The schools below were in or near the Town of Waverly, pp. 228-235]

Spring Hill (No. 2) School

When this school—located at an unknown date near Mr. Joe White's farm—was vacated by white pupils who went to a building on the road near Shingleton farm, it was used for Negro children. Upon its establishment between 40 and 50 pupils enrolled. In 1909 the school board decided it could not afford the rent of the building any longer, and the school was discontinued. In 1929 the Spring Hill School near Shingleton farm formerly for white children was opened for colored children. It was closed in June 1938 when the enrollment dropped to about 12. The school board paid a part of the cost of transporting these children to the Sussex County Training School in Waverly.

Sussex County Training School

The Waverly Negro School began in the reconstruction epoch. A Mr. Hiccock, a Northerner interested in Negro welfare, built for the Negroes employed on his farm a church located on or near the site of the First Baptist Church (Negro) now standing in Waverly. In 1872, when no money was available to build the theoretical 'school No.2" for Negro children, Mr. Hiccock permitted instruction to

be given in the church on his farm. In time, increased church membership caused a second building to be erected; whereupon the school trustees bought the church building erected by Mr. Hiccock, moved it a short distance away, and converted it into the first public school building for Negroes in Waverly. Virginia Morgan Marable, grandmother of W. T. Daniel, official of the Bank of Waverly, was the first teacher.

At the request of Mr. Pitman, teacher in the Waverly Negro School about 1900, an assistant was appointed. Thereafter, until 1914, the faculty averaged 2 teachers, except during the session of 1908-1909, when with an enrollment of 52 pupils, 5 teachers were employed.

During the session of 1908-1909, the Jeanes agent, Lillian S. Bagnall, launched a successful campaign for improving Waverly Negro School. the old two-room building stood at the upper end of New Street, facing the Norfolk and Western Railroad. Wood was kept in one room, and classes were held in the other. Feeling that the building was a "disgrace to the Town of Waverly," Lillian Bagnall made a strong appeal to the school board for aid. Favorable action was taken. The school board and patrons together had the old building renovated. Both rooms were ceiled, floors were laid, windows were cut, toilets were installed, and the building was painted. Desks, pictures, and a bookcase were bought, and another teacher was added to the staff. The grounds were leveled, flowers were planted, trees were white-washed, a woodhouse was built, and the school yard was enclosed with a fence. In addition, new equipment was obtained, and industrial work was included in the curriculum.

Two years later (1911), through the efforts of Maud Lewis, then the Jeanes' agent, a third room was added, brick walks were laid, a tennis court was constructed, and athletic equipment was purchased with money raised by the pupils. In 1914, under the administration of another Jeanes' agent, Louise Winston, a front porch and a coalhouse were added to the building, pictures and coat-closets were placed in the rooms, and a teacher—the third for the staff—was employed for the new classroom.

By 1916 the enrollment of Waverly Negro School had reached 136 pupils, with an average daily attendance of 125. there were three teachers and seven grades. Additional space and another teacher were imperative needs recognized by both patrons and school trustees. At a meeting of the patrons, Annie A. Jackson, the Jeanes' agent, was appointed to negotiate for the rental of a dilapidated old hall standing near the Waverly Negro School. The owner of this two-room building, a resident of Spring Branch, allowed the sum necessary for repairs to be deducted from the rent. With the approval of W.W. Edwards, then superintendent, the hall was reconditioned. one room, destined for classes, was furnished with desks, "as good as new," procured from the white high school of Petersburg. sewing machines, a kitchen range, cooking utensils, and tools for shop work and gardening, all donated by the General Education Board, were installed in the second room—the industrial room.

This expansion brought to the faculty another grade teacher—making four in all—and a boys' industrial instructor. At this time the session lasted seven months. In 1920 instruction was extended through the eighth grade, with the assurance that if the school were taught successfully, two more teachers would be added to the staff and the term lengthened to eighth months. Annie A. Jackson voluntarily taught cooking to the eighth grade girls one day in each week.

Finally, W.W. Edwards, superintendent, procured a sum of money to aid in building a county training school in Waverly provided the people would buy two acres of land. Through the Jeanes' agent's appeal, $250 was raised, and the land on which the present building is located was bought.

In March 1923 the new building of sic classrooms, auditorium, principal's office, and library was ready for occupancy under the name of County Training School. The following year (1924) another teacher was employed, the number of grades was increased to nine, and the session was lengthened to nine months. A seventh teacher was added tot he staff in 1925, and the grades were increased to ten.

Unfortunately, lack of space in the new building necessitated removal of the industrial work back to the old building, a fourth of a mile away. realizing the great loss of time occasioned by this, the Jeanes' agent saw the immediate necessity of a home economics building. the superintendent, T.D. Foster, agreed and in a short while procured from various sources financial assistance to aid in erecting the building. The sum of $3,000 was then raised under the sponsorship of the Jeanes' agent. When completed, the structure had cost $5,300.

At the beginning, the progress of the County Training School was hindered by lack of proper housing. The few children who entered were placed in various homes in the neighborhood, an unsatisfactory  plan frowned upon by the majority of people, who thereupon refrained from sending their children, though all appreciated highly the opportunity offered by a high school institution.

The efforts of Annie A. Jackson to correct this condition successfully culminated in 1931, when, at a meeting of the County-Wide league Conference, it was decided to purchase an old church building opposite the school that was then offered for sale. Then, through the cooperation of the superintendent, T.D. Foster, and the local school board, money was borrowed from the Bank of Waverly to convert the building into a dormitory of 14 rooms. The Southern Education Foundation contributed generously toward the installation of a heating unit and bathroom fixtures. Hampton Institute gave the furniture and blankets. The building now accommodates 8 teachers and 14 students from rural districts, all taking high school courses save one. At the 1934-35 session another year was added to the high school course, making four in all. In 1937 another room was built. The campus now contains more than nine acres.

The Jeanes Fund

The million dollar fund established by Anna Thomas Jeanes for the improvement of small Negro schools in the southern states was turned over to trustees in 1908. Shortly after, during the same year, the Negro Rural School Fund, Anna T. jeanes' Foundation, was instituted in Virginia and directed to administer the revenue allotted the state.

In 1909 the trustees of this fund wisely appointed Lillian Sophronia Bagnall the first Jeanes' agent of Sussex County. Her principal duties were, at first to introduce and supervise simple forms of industrial work in the various Negro schools. In addition to this, however, she was given free rein to establish any line of neighborhood improvement. In order that school work and home life should have a closer union, teachers in every community were given instruction in domestic and manual arts. Opposition from parents resulted, but as the benefits of this alliance became more and more evident in the homes the adverse feeling gradually disappeared.

Finally leagues were organized in all schools. these bodies worked in conjunction with pupils to improve the condition of schoolhouses, then little better than shacks, and school grounds. When money was necessary in this improvement program, the Jeanes' agent met with each league and encouraged members to pledge monthly amounts of money for school improvements. Neatness, orderliness, and thrift, she pointed out, would be the natural result of agreeable surroundings. The contrary would result from the chaos of a shack. Lillian Bagnall appealed to the school board, which, in turn, met with the various leagues in an endeavor to inaugurate immediate improvements. The results of this were manifold. One school was removed to a more desirable location, and two were enlarged. New foundations replaced old ones under some of the buildings; doorsteps were built; window panes were installed; and new roofs were added. fresh whitewash was applied to many buildings, and one was painted. School yards were beautified with shrubs, and walks were laid. Overshadowing these was one major improvementthe school term was extended.

In 1909 the Waverly School, one of 19 Negro schools in Sussex County, was greatly improved through the efforts of Lillian S. Bagnall. Nor was it the lone recipient of these benefits. During one school session, $89.71 was raised by the other school for improvements to their buildings. of this amount the negro schools at Stony Creek and Little Mill raised respectively $25 and $100 toward making an addition to their one-room buildings in order that they might have a two-teacher school.

The somewhat meager fruit of the industrial work incorporated in the school curriculum was on display in the first school exhibit. At the second exhibit, which consisted of 895 pieces, Governor William Hodges Mann made an address on "The Great Value of Industrial Training," Dr. A.A. Graham of Hampton, Virginia, spoke on "The New Era in Educational Work," and Dr. R.R. Moton, Secretary of the Negro School Fund, made a forceful speech on "Work, the Solution of the Problem."

In 1911, after two years of diligent work that had accomplished much, Lillian S. Bagnall was called to another field, leaving behind her a solid foundation on which all Jeanes' agents who followed could build successfully.

Under Maud E. Lewis, her successor, work under the Jeanes' Foundation continued to grow. She went into homes and taught the rudiments of hygiene. Under her stimulating guidance dwellings, outhouses, and trees were whitewashed, and flower gardens decorated yards that had been barren. Toilets were installed where none had ever been. The school children were taught health habits, and athletic equipment was bought. Another room was added to the Little Mill School and a new teacher employed. The Jerusalem and Creath Schools were consolidated. These improvements were accomplished through the cooperation of the school trustees.

In 1914, Maud Lewis was succeeded by Louise Winston, who found, despite all that had been accomplished, much more to be done. She taught simple home industries in the schools and procured many improvements for the Waverly negro school. Through her efforts both junior and senior leagues were kept alive. After her marriage in 1916, she was followed in the Jeanes' work by Mrs. Annie A. Jackson, appointed at the suggestion of Dr. Arthur D. Wright, at that time State Supervisor of Negro Education.

From the beginning Annie A. Jackson realized that more teachers were needed at Stony Creek, Waverly, and Bethlehem schools and better buildings at the Jack Cole, Bethlehem, and Stony Creek schools. Through cooperation of the county superintendent and the school trustees, a two-room school was erected at Bethlehem, and two teachers were appointed. At Stony Creek a building, formerly used as a white school, was appropriated and a second teacher added. At Annie A. Jackson's suggestion the Jack Cole School League raised $250 to demolish a dilapidated building that had been used as a white school. This is the building now in use.

During the past few years the responsibility of raising money for building purposes has gradually shifted from the shoulders of the Jeanes' agent to others, and the work of the Jeanes' agent has been focused more and more on the supervision of industrial work and teaching. Top accomplish this, the Jeanes' agent has organized the teachers in groups and meets with them each month to discuss ways of improving classroom instruction.

From 1918 to 1922 the Jeanes' agent organized among the women and girls of the various county communities cooking and canning clubs. demonstrations were held to which the women went with baskets and dishpans loaded with fruits and vegetables. In appreciation of the services and instruction of Annie Jackson, the clubs awarded her in 1823 a gold medal.

Coinciding with this work were the outstanding accomplishments of the industrial classes of the Negro schools. In recent years no less than three thousand pieces have been on display at the annual exhibits.

With the hearty cooperation of the superintendents and trustees, the Jeanes' teachers have accomplished much in Sussex County. The result of industrial work produced through their expert guidance has made the members of their race realize more and more the great advantage offered them through the medium of the fund established by the little Philadelphia Quakeress, Anna Thomas Jeanes.

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Sussex County Training School


R. Henry Lewis 1883-1884 W.E. Knox 1920-1919
Annie A. Jackson 1914-1916 C.W. Yearwood 1919-1941
William Ruffin 1916-1917 Nathaniel L. Tyler 1941- . . .

Industrial Supervisors


Lillian S. Bagnall 1909-1911 Louise Winston 1914-1916
Maud E. Lewis 1911-1914 Annie A. Jackson 1916- . . .


Virginia Morgan Marable (white) 1871 Hattie Howell 1933-1934
R. Henry Lewis 1886 Naomi Winston 1933-1934
Willie A. Hewlett 1893-1897 Ruth Brown 1934-1935
Mr. Pitman 1900 Elnora Hill 1934-1935
Florence Pitman 1908-1909 Mary Tyler 1934-1935
Julia Archer 1911-1914 Bernice Dunston 1935-1936
Louise Winston 1911-1914 Mary Henderson (Jones) 1935-1939
Martha Johnson 1914-1915 Florence Schocklyn 1935-1938
Olivette Rawlings 1914-1915 Rubinette Waters 1936-1937
Bessie Brooks 1916-1923 Nannie Booth 1937-1938
Ruby James 1916-1923 Inez Luke 1937-1939
Myrtle Johnson 1916-1923 Annie Bowling 1938-1939
Kate Ramsey 1916-1923 Delois Caul 1938-1939
Hester Young 1916-1923 Hortense Brown 1938-1940
Florence Chappell 1922-1926 Catherine Carrington 1939-1940
Leona Gilliam 1924-1925 Ruth Harris 1939-1941
W.B. Godwin 1924-1930 Thelma Harris 1939-1940
Ola Pretlow 1924-1927 Addie Moore 1939-1940
Ursula Brown 1926-1927 Lucille Stewart 1939-1940
Ethel Lewis 1926-1928 Eva Mae Washington 1940- . . .
Mattie Newsome 1926-1931 Florence Costen 1940- . . .
Maud Taylor 1927-1935 Mary Holmes 1940-1941
Mabel Williams 1927-1928 Mary Wise 1940-1941
Inez Cypress Parham 1928-1938 Virginia Lewis 1940- . . .
Clementine Lundy 1928-1931 T.J. Lawrence 1941- . . .
Degora Plummer 1930-1931 Gladys Williams 1941- . . .
Dorothea Williams 1930-1935 Vanburean Hall 1941- . . .
P.M. Morton 1930- . . . Washington Ruffin . . .- . . .
Loretta Carver 1931-1932 Annie Peace . . . - . . .
Emily Fraser 1931-1932 Mrs. Henry Lewis . . . - . . .
Clara Scott 1931-1932    
Gracie Coleman 1932-1934    
Clarice Pretlow 1932-1933    

*   *   *   *   *

Graduates 1927-1941

Sussex County Training School


Lewis W. Adkins

Alease Adkins

Mary Belches

Alease Virginia Jones


Jesse Jackson Belches

Robert Lee Belches

Paul Carrington Lowe

Juber Jones Lowe


Bernard Batts Jones

Ida Frances Pegram


Arneta Lovina Banks

Theodore Dunbar banks

Louise Beatrice Eley

Mae Belle Smith

Charles Nathaniel Williams


Arminta Balease Coles

Roger Thomas Hite

Elsie Mae Judkins

Flossie Leah Young


Waverly Thomas Jones

John Walter Ruffin

Vanilla Ursula Wyche


Gladys Evelyn Lowe

Cossie Wilson Reed

Katherine Blanch Ruffin


Allbright St. Clair Banks

Vesta Vance Harrison

Walter Edward Lowe

Atlas Alberta Wyche


Naomi Geraldine Johnson


Andrew Melkiah Bracey

Lucille Virginia Patterson

Bernice Elaine Pegram

Alice Virginia Smith

Hattie Maude Williams

John Francis Wooden


Theodore Roosevelt Boykin

Eloise Purvis George

Mary Lue Neverson

Adline Louise Ruffin

Queen Elizabeth Scott

Eva Mae Simmons

Ethel Violet Williamson


Evelyn Wheatley Drew

Willie Morse Drew

Florence May Graves

Blanche Graves Lloyd

Carl Lee Scott


Estelle Louise Drew

Emily Sue Massenberg

Maria Louise Pegram


Leon Philip Adkins

John Winston Brown

Julia Hyreatha Jackson

Cora Ardell Jones

John Russell Lowe

Edna Mae Melton

Julia Dorothiea Scott


Leonard Alton Gilliam

Ellen Rebekah Hamlin

Fred Hardy, Jr.

Daisy Mae Hill

Mattie Thelma Parham

Leon Alfred Saunders

Jesse Carrington Williams

Seniors, 1941-1942

Ruth Elizabeth Hardy

Nola Mae Jackson

Eddie Jones, Jr.

Ada Belle Jones

Gwendolyn Odell Massenburg

Joseph Frederick Newsome

Hortense Stith

Elmira Louise Warren

Rosa Anne Whitfield


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Illiteracy in Sussex

These figures, except for 1935, were taken from the records of the United States Bureau of census, and represent the number of illiterates 10 years old and over. the figures for the year 1935 were taken from the school census and represent the number between the ages of 7 and 20. No figures were available for the years 1860, 1880, and 1890. while the illiterates in the table below, prior to 1935, do not represent the same ages as those in the census of 1935, it is interesting to note the decrease.

Year White Negro Total
1850 284 3141 3425
1870 361 3405 3766
1900 153 3066 3219
1910 90 2374 2464
1920 104 1942 2046
1930 66 1927 1933
1935 12 212 224
1940 1 49 50

p. 296

*   *   *   *   *

Children of School Age in Sussex County


District 1935 1940 Decrease Percent decrease
Courthouse 195 114 81 41%
Henry 165 154 11 6%
Newville 104 96 8 8%
Stony Creek 252 183 69 27%
Wakefield 212 128 84 40%
Waverly 322 269 53 16%
Total 1250 944 306 24.4%


District 1935 1940 Decrease Percent decrease
Courthouse 564 433 131 23%
Henry 698 716 18 (increase0 2.5%
Newville 467 352 115 24%
Stony Creek 681 604 77 11%
Wakefield 426 382 44 10%
Waverly 491 433 58 12%
Total 3327 2920 407 12.2%

County Total

White and Negro

4577 3864 713 15.5%

p. 297

*   *   *   *   *

List of Sussex County Textbooks


McGuffey's Reader, Holmes' Reader; Davies' and Peck's Arithmetic; Harvey's Grammar; Maury's Geography; Holmes' history, Mozelle's History; Webster's Dictionary; Ellsworth's Copybook for writing.


Curriculum: arithmetic, geography, grammar, orthography, reading, writing


McGuffey's Reader; McGuffey's Speller; Davis' Arithmetic; Buillon's Grammar; Guyot's Geography.


To the regular list were added: "Virginia: a History of Her people" and "Stories of the Old Dominion," both by John Esten Cook.


Elementary Grades*

Reading: Grades 1-7: Child Development Reader, Books 1-4; Happy Hour Reader, Books 1-4; Elson Basic Reader, Books 1-6; Coe-Christie's Story Hour Reader, Books 1-4; Gecks-Skinner's Story and Study Reader, Books 1-5; Lewis-Rowland's New Silent Reader, Books 1-7; Baker-Thorndike's Everyday Classics Reader, Books 1-5; Elson Gray's Literary World 6th and 7th Readers; Carpenter's Geographical Reader.

Arithmetic: Grades 1-7: Upton's Arithmetic Workbook, Numbers 1-3; Lennes' Test and Practice Sheets, Numbers 1-5; Webster's Arithmetic Number Book, Book 1, and Work and Play in Numberland, Book 2; Knight-Ruch's Arithmetic Workbook, Numbers 1 -7; Brueckner's New Curriculum Arithmetic, Books 1-2, and Advanced Book, and New Curriculum Workbook, Books 3-7; Smith-Luse's problem and Practice Arithmetic, Books 1-2; Smith's Modern Primary Arithmetic and Modern Advanced Arithmetic.

Writing: Grades 1-7: Locker's Easy method Writing Books.

Drawing: Grades 1-7: Practical Drawing Book; Satfford-Rucker's Art Appreciation.

Spelling: Grades 2-7: Starch-Mirick's Test and Study Speller, Books 2-7; Almack-Staffelbach's Stanford Speller, Books 2-7.

Social Studies: Grade 3: Atwood-Thomas's Home Life in Faraway Lands; Stull-Hatch's Journeys through Many Lands. Grade 5: Rug-Krueger's The Building of America, and Man at Work: His Industries; Riley-Chandler's Our Republic; Freeland-Adam's America and The New Frontier.

Language: Grades 3-7: Smith-McMurry's Language Series, Books 1-2; Bardwell's Elementary English in Action, Books 1-2, and Advanced Book; Rader-Daffendall's Doorway to English, Books 1-2; Ferris-Keener's Essentials of Everyday English, Books 3-6.

*White and Negro schools used the same textbooks, grades 1-7, in 1933-1934 with these exceptions; Negro schools did not have history in the fourth grade, arithmetic workbooks, music or drawing in any grades. (p. 301)

Source: Sussex County A Tale of Three Centuries. Compiled by Workers of the Writers’ Program of the Work Projects Administration  in the State of Virginia. Illustrated. American Guide Series. Sponsored by The Sussex County School Board. Talmage D. Foster, Superintendent. 1942.

posted 15 January 2006

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Greenback Planet: How the Dollar Conquered

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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

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Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America.

This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."

*   *   *   *   *

Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately

*   *   *   *   *

Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

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How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

By Walter Rodney

The late Guyanese writer, Walter Rodney had left us his great insights regarding the reasons for the underdevelopment of the African continent. His work finds equal footing with those of Frantz Fanon and to an extent that of the late Brazilian author and social activist, Paulo Freire in attempting to provide a critical insight, and a gainful analysis to the situation and reasons for the poverty on the African continent. This analysis, whether one agrees with its conclusions or not provides a means towards looking at the stalk realities of African underdevelopment. Rodney thesis that the trans-atlantic slave trade diminished the African manpower to attain development cannot be easily pushed under the carpet. Development is how a people within the means available to them, within their eco-context utilize their knowledge for the good of the totality. When their people is afflicted with disease or mass uprooting there is bound to be both biological and social ripple effects that would affect both the pace and nature of development. It is here that we realize that Rodney's proposition underlines a crucial factor in explaining the reasons for the African state.

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Karma’s Footsteps

By Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Home Fifty Influential Figures  The Old South  The Education of Black Folks in the South: 1860-1935

Related files: Sussex County: A Tale of Three Centuries / Public Education in Sussex County / The Official History of Jerusalem Baptist Church

Fraternal Lodges Developing & Expanding the Village  Stith-Mason Family Reunion  / Rainbow Tea at Jerusalem  50 Years of Progress Since Brown 

Commonwealth of Virginia Expresses  Profound Regret  / Virginia Prohibits the Teaching of Slaves. . .  1831