Sharing the Past

Students at Lower Flat Fork School back in 1926-27.

This week I want to share some information on two of the old schools in Morgan County. We have the picture of one, Lower Flat Fork, and information on the year Crab Orchard was built. You may be interested in learning that we have found records of more than 130 of these little schools that were scattered all around our county. They were dated from around 1850 until up to the present. These were originally very small one-room buildings that provided very meager comforts and resources to the students. The picture is of the Lower Flat Fork School that was also known as the Heidel School for a while.

The picture was shared with me many years ago by the late Maggie Leopper. With the help of Desta Stringfield Holder and Carrie Lee Holder Foster we have most of the students identified. The picture is believed to have been made in 1926-27 school year. They are as follows:

Front row from left: Gene Redmond, Wilma Newberry, Emma Heidle Hamby, ? Winnie, Ruby Redmon Melhorn, Tom Winnie, Barbara Thornton Jones, Carrie Lee Holder Foster, Unknown, Lizzie Bird and Nola Hamby.

Second row from left: Carl Hagg, Love Heidle, unknown, Irene Newberry. Cecil Crenshaw, Lorene Bird, Geneva Heidle, George Heidle, Rema Dixie Heidel Powell.

Third row from left: Archie Newberry, Ben Bird, (shaking his head), Archie Heidle, Gertrude Summers, (teacher), Blanche Gordon, Virginia Hamby, Robert Jones, Billie Redmon and Madge Thornton.

Irene also told me that in 1925 or 26 the students in the 5th grade and up were ordered to go to Wartburg to the consolidated school.

More of the students from Flat Fork schools will be shown in our future book “Churches and Schools of Morgan County”. We volunteers of the Morgan County Genealogical and Historical Society are working on this book now and we are really proud of all the information we have collected for this book.

Now, for all my readers from the Oakdale area I want to share a document that was found in our Archive work. This is dated Dec. 5, 1912 and was from J. C. Webster, Superintendent of Morgan County Schools. The Board of Education was: W. I. McGill, Chairman; J. C. Webster, Supt.; John E. Jones, A. D. Williams, W. O Peters, and G. U. Howard.

The letter was showing the ‘warrant’ for the amount that was due for building the Crab Orchard School in 1912 and is as follows:

“I certify that the following resolution, appears of record in my office:-

“(5) On motion of Mr. Williams, D. M. Goddard, contracts for the erection of the Crab Orchard School building was allowed a payment of $250 on the contact price of said work.”

“(6) On motion of Mr. Williams; the Chairman was authorized to instruct the Secretary to issue a warrant for balance of said contract price, whenever he, the Chairman, shall inspect and accept said school building when completed.”

J. C. Webster, Sec. of Board.

Another document dated Dec. 4, 1912 from W. I. McGill, Chairman County Board of Education is as follows:

Prof. J. C. Webster, Coalfield, Tenn.

“Dear Sir,

Mr. D. M. Goddard tells me that you have not received my letter oking his work at Crab Orchard. This shall be your authority to settle with him in full of contract price, Including the $30.00 extra work. Yours truly, W.I. McGill.

These records show that the Crab Orchard School was built in 1912 and there will be more in our book!

See you next week!