MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TENNESSEE
MOUNT OLIVET SCHOOL
18- - 1939
By Louisa Winn
Mount Olivet School originally was a
little log building in a valley near the Ashland City Road (now known as
the Old Ashland City Road) where it crossed a small stream named Wall Branch.
The school was located on the Rufus W. Walker farm near Wall Spring on
the Dave Waller farm about five miles from Clarksville.
In the 1890's a new weather boarded one-room school house was on the Finis E. Brown farm. It was located on the old Sango Road about five miles from Clarksville. Today the property is in the city limits. The first location of the little log school was known as Possum College much to the chagrin of the pupils.
A subscription school, also built of logs, had been operating in Rudolphtown on the Nashville Pike since just after the Civil War. Later a small frame building on the Richard Winn farm was used for a school building until about 1902. When the school closed, a small room was constructed on the side of Mt.Olivet building to make it a "L" shaped and a two-room school.
The Walker, Frech, Robins , Marklin, Dowdy, Caudill, Stanley, McCoy, Landiss, Crotzer, Cox, Dinwiddie, Waynick, Cobb, Green, Williams, Cocke, Elazer, Bagwell, Bracey and Pardue children came from the Old Ashland City Road, Excell and Crotzertown. Then with the Rudolphs, Watson, Winn, Gill, and Schnnick children from Rudolphtown there was a large enrollment.
On the night of April 29,1909, the school building was completely blown away by a tornado. Several wagon loads of timber were found on the Sam Winn farm. Parts of the school were located as far away as Adairville and Guthrie, Kentucky. The father of Rudolph Schennick found part of a desk near Adairville on which was carved his son's name. Since the telephone lines were down, Mr.Schennick boarded a train at Guthrie and rode to Clarksville to see what had happened to his son, who since his mother's death had lived with his maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. C. Thomas Rudolph.
He found his son all right as the Rudolph home was one-fourth mile from the path of the storm. However, there were many damaged homes and barns in Clarksville. A few were blown entirely away, but little property damage elsewhere. Several deaths had occurred in the path of the storm.
July 9,1909, Finis E. Brown and Henry Brown conveyed by deed the tract of land where the Mt.Olivet school had stood to the Montgomery County Board of Education. That summer a new building of two rooms was built on the site of the old building. This Mt.Olivet School was used for almost thirty years.
In 1938 construction was started on a new consolidated school on Highway 41-A. This Stucco building of several rooms, was named for the popular president, Roosevelt. This building later became the Area Tech School and served the three senior high schools: Clarksville High, Montgomery Central and Northwest.
On September 10,1938, N.L.Carney, superintendent of Schools and J.K.Dickson, Chairman of the Board of Education, signed a deed conveying, as representatives of the said Board, the Mt.Olivet building and school grounds to Ernest Nolen and wife, Mrs.Ada Heflin Nolen. The Board reserved the right to use the building for a school, until Roosevelt school was opened in the fall. Sallie Beaumont, Notary Public, witnessed the signatures. The clerk's fee was ten cents, the state tax was thirty-four cents, and the price to register the deed was $1.50.
This ended an era. The little white Mt.Olivet School had served its purpose. Many dedicated teachers, working for a very small salary, had directed the paths of hundreds of students. Many of the students became outstanding citizens of Clarksville, Montgomery County and other places in this great country of ours.
In 1970 the former pupils of Mt.Olivet had a reunion and again in 1972. Almost one hundred attended each reunion. In 1970 they met at Roosevelt School and In 1972 the meeting was in the air-conditioned commons area of Clarksville High School. Former teachers were guests. The former students came from local and distant places. Sam Winters came from Fairview and Doc Crotzer came from California. Frank Rudolph presided at both reunions. Others who helped with the plans were: Ora Bagwell, Winters, Evangeline Nolen Stanley, Virginia Waynick Holt and Christine Winters Pace.
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