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Central High School Male Students

Power School 1925-26,  5th Grade

Terry High School   

Class Picture at a Jackson School  (New)

Class Photos from Central High School     (New)


Contributed by Frances Clark Cronin January 12, 2006

Early School Facilities.  Since the present system of public schools, free to all children and supported by state and local taxes, was not developed until many years after Jackson was founded, early educational facilities in the town were very limited.  No records exist of the first school in Jackson---the earliest account being of a private school for young ladies conducted by Mrs. Judd in the early 1830’s on North West Street.

As the town’s population increased other private schools were established including the Jackson Classical and Mathematical School opened Dec. 6, 1838 by C. Ramsey. among these other early schools of which we have an account were:

     Dr. Russell's school on Feb. 18, 1839
     M. R. Dudley Academy opened on March 2, 1840

The Jackson Male and Female Academy opened on the first Monday in January, 1840 with Mr. Samuel in charge of the male academy and Miss Lovel in charge of the female academy.

             The private school of Francis S.L. Gore in 1841
             The English and Classical School by A.K. Miller in 1841
             The Classical School by D.H. Robinson in 1843
             The Wesleyan Female Seminary with Mrs. Louisa C.W. Judd as principal in 1843
             The Oakland Institute by Mr. and Mrs. Oakley in 1844
             The City Institute by Rev. Norman W. Camp in 1844

Other schools of that period were conducted by Dr. Thomas C. Thornton, J. Somerville, Misses Hannah and Mary Merrill, Misses Ann and Charlotte Moffett, Miss Emma L’Hommedieu, Prof A Pomeroy and Dr. Oscar Newton.

First Public Schools.  On March 5, 1846, the Legislature provided for the Jackson Male Academy and the Jackson Female Academy, each to accommodate 50 pupils and to be located on College Green. These seem to have been operated as public schools with tuition being charge at the rate of one dollar per month.  In a newspaper of that
period is found a notice saying that parents not financially able to pay tuition for their children should apply to Alderman Joseph H. Boyd in the Capitol building.

The first principal of the College Green school was Prof. Besty who was succeeded by Prof. Smyzer with Mrs. Hall as assistant.  It appears that the Rev. John Hunter was president of the board of trustees and kept both the boys school and the girls school going through the Civil War.

Private Schools After Civil War.  Because such few funds were available for public school after the Civil War many private schools, supported by tuition charges, came into existence. The Fairlawn School on North State Street, was probably the most successful of these private schools and numbered among its students many later prominent Jacksonians.  Other schools were taught by Dr. Zealey, Miss Mary Johnston, Miss Josie Freeman, Mrs. Mattie Van Hook Brown, Miss Frances Lusk, Mrs. Sallie B. Ware, Mrs. Sue Adams Vaughn, Mrs. Maria Lou Yerger, Mrs. Mary D. Capers, Misses Almeda and Martha E. Mitchell, , Miss Neely and Sallie Whiting.  Miss Lizzie Kausler, Miss Ollive Watkins, William Mercer Green, Misses Jean Watts and Effie Dobson, Mrs. Antonia Dailey Bellenger, Miss Mary Crane, J. M. F. Brown, George L. Potter, Rev. John Hunter, Miss Martha Dabney, Mrs. Harriet Kells, Mollie Patrick, Profs. George McLaurin and W.C.White, Prof Babb, Prof. Edwards,Miss Gallie Mizell, Miss maria Shelton, Mrs.
Edmonson, Misses Winslow, Selden Watkins, R.K. Jayne, Dr. George Roudebush and others.

Transcribed from “Jackson’s Early History” and “28 Years Of Municipal Progress” by W.F. Powell,  (1822-1944)  the Tucker Printing House, Jackson, Mississippi

( Fair Use or fair practice is utilization of a portion of a copyrighted work "as is" for purposes of parody, news reporting, research and education about such copyrighted work without the permission of the author. The Fair-Use Statute Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976)  

Utica, Mississippi Schools
Contributed by Jymie Carol Ford Inmon January 26,2006

Excerpts taken from The Masons and the Methodists in Utica, Mississippi, by James E. Price, pp. 88-90.

About 1852, Matthew Broome, a prominent resident deeded an acre plot of land to be used for educational purposes. A frame building, about 25 x 40 feet was erected. As the school increased another was added; school quarters being provided by a partition within the rear end of this building.

Among the earliest teachers in this school were Reverend George Robertson, the local Baptist Minister; Professors Leatherman, Taylor, Mrs. Carrie Dickson, and Miss Minnie Pettway. Misses Laura and Hattie Carmichael were among the assistants. In 1890, Mr. Will Sarrett, contractor, built near the old school building, a large form “School House,” probably 50 x 125 feet in dimensions, the interior contained a large front room used as a recitation and study hall with large stage for  public recitals and gatherings. The rear of this building being partitioned into two smaller rooms used by the two assistants. In 1903, a frame annex was added at the rear of the south side, providing additional needed space, which then permitted a music room in the school over which the lovely and talented Miss Annie Mae Leavell presided.

Among earlier outstanding music teachers were Mrs. G. Owen, Misses Annie Stackhouse and Irene Cassedy. The school became “Graded” about this time with its first tenth grade graduation class in 1904 during Professor Tom Freeney’s first session, consisting of four or five girls, among [them] were Carrie Neal Bishop, Lula Smith (deceased), Ellen Weeks, Allie Wailes [Hailes?], and Will Price, the only boy. Entrance in our best colleges was attained without the least difficulty. Awarding the school diplomas also being under Professor Freeney to the lone graduate, Eugene L. Burnett (Class of 1905). This frame school building was destroyed by fire during this same year.

Among the early teachers in this building were Professors Whitefield, Ballard, and our beloved boy-citizen, Walter Torrell; among the efficient local teachers being Mr. Pat Bolls, Alexander Yates, Mrs. Carrie Dickson, Mrs. Ellie Broome, Mrs. Alma J. Weeks, Mrs. Ethel Sarrett Leighton, and Miss Minnie Jones.

When one delves way back into the early history of the Utica School, they will proudly find that the curriculum was expounded to the students by capable and cultured teachers.

After the fire in 1905, the first two-storey brick school building was erected at a probable cost of around $15,000. A few years later interior adjustments were made to add more rooms, and around 1920, a $10,000 brick annex was added to the north end. Several acres of adjoining land was purchased and added to the original Broome Acre which provided space for the erection of other later buildings and sufficient playgrounds.

During a period of about five years, after 1922, a “Small Red Frame Building” was erected, and served to help eliminate some of the congestion at that time. It was afterwards demolished. The material was used to construct the superintendent’s home. Also this helped to make room for the construction of the beautiful brick grammar school building, in 1928. About 1932, the Gym, commodious athletic field, and well-equipped playgrounds were constructed. In 1939, the magnificent two-storey, with basement, brick high school building culminated our $125,000 school plant.

The school session of 1905-06 was the first in any of our brick buildings with Miss Mary Burnett, principal, being the lone woman to hold this position in many years and the last to this date; also awarded the first diploma to a sweet girl graduate – Annie Laura England.

Last Update September 4, 2009
Page Created January 12, 2006
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