Lynchburg, Moore County, Tennessee Schools

The early settlers of the territory composing Moore County had, in common with the early settlers of all new counties, very meager opportunities for educating their children. No free public schools were then established. The country was a vast wilderness, which had to be cleared and subdued in order to furnish homes and provisions for the pioneer, his wife and children. They had to labor hard, and had but little time which they could devote to the education of their children. There were a few school teachers among the early settlers who taught private subscription schools. They would contract with the parents to teach their children a specified time for a stipulated price, usually agreeing to teach spelling, reading, writing and arithmetic, rarely anything more. Those who could afford it sent their children to these schools, and those who could not had to raise their children with scarcely any educational advantages.

As time rolled on, and the country developed, small academics were established at a few villages, and later a meager school system was inaugurated by the state, and finally the present system of free schools, which promises efficiency in the future, was formulated and established. Among the early teachers we may mention Andrew Walker, William Bedford, Mr. Bird and William Burdge. The two latter men taught school on the old Taylor place, near the present residence of Uncle Jack Taylor. William Pegram was a later teacher. The old school masters kept order and enforced obedience with the rod. Uncle Jack Taylor was a pupil of Andrew Walker, and the latter whipped twenty four boys in his school in one day, all the boys except two, Uncle Jack being one of the latter.

The Lynchburg Male and Female Institute were chartered by an act of the General Assembly of the State, passed January 24, 1870. J. T. S. Dance, D. B. Holt, Dr. S. E. H. Dance, M. N. Moore and J. A. Silvertooth were named therein as charter members of the association. This school opened soon after receiving its charter, and has always been well sustained by the people. It has had an average attendance of from 80 to 100 pupils, and has had as high as 150 at one time. It is deservedly popular, and is doing excellent educational work. The school year consists of two sessions of five months each. It has generally had two teachers; Prof. W. W. Daffron is the present able principal. He is assisted by Miss Rosa Tolley, who is also a successful teacher. This institute is controlled a board of trustees, the members of which are elected annually. The school building, which is large and commodious, is very pleasantly located on the east bank of the Mulberry, just above the town. This school is an outgrowth of the academy which was established there several years before the late civil war. The building was erected in 1856, and enlarged in about 1866. Prior to the war, and up to the date of its charter, as the "Lynchburg Male and Female Institute," the school was conducted as an academy, and it is one of the few schools in this part of the state that did not suspend its sessions during the war.

The Lynchburg Normal School was chartered by an act of the General Assembly of the State. The charter is dated June 25, 1885, and the charter members are John D. Tolley, J. T. Motlow, T. J. Eaton, Dr. J. N. Taylor, C. M. Wilson, Dr. S. E. H. Dance, Dr. E. Y. Salmon and M. N. Parks.

This school opened on the first Monday of August, 1885, with about forty five pupils. Professor T. W. Estill is the principal, and Miss Lura L. Motlow, teacher of music. The school year consists of two sessions of five months each. The Lynchburg Normal School is centrally located, and is the young rival of the Lynchburg Male and Female Institute, and is making laudable efforts to excel the latter, if possible, in educational work. It has been well sustained and patronized during its first year's work. Persons desiring to locate in a healthy, rural town, with first class educational facilities, can not do better than to locate at Lynchburg. To show the present condition of the schools of Moore County, is appended the following items from the county superintendent's report for the year ending June 30, 1885: Scholastic population, between the ages of six and twenty one years, white males, 976; white females, 962; colored males, 140; colored females, 104. The total, 2,182. Number of pupils enrolled during the year, white males, 710; white females, 627; colored males, 74; colored females, 65. The total, 1,476. The average daily attendance, white, 924; colored, 82. The total, 1,006. The number of schools in the county, white, 25; colored, 4. The total, 29. The number of school districts, 16; consolidated schools, 2. (These latter are the Lynchburg Male and Female Institute and the Lynchburg Normal School.) Receipts of school funds for the year totaled $3,348.18; expenditures for the same time, $3,193.13. Number of teachers' employed, white males, 17; white females 14; colored males 5. The total, 36.

Moore County


Moore County, Goodspeed's History of Tennessee 1887

 

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