History of R1NGGOLD School
February 1985

      The first known school in the West Fork Community (now known as the Ringgold Community) was "Whitehall Academy for Young Ladies". The building, which housed this school, is now the beautiful antebellum home of Mrs. Harry H. Morgan on Old Mill Road.  Miss Hollie Ward was now mistress and teacher.
      Rev. Samuel Ringgold, an Episcopal Bishop in Clarksville from 1863-64 thru 1874, or his relative, may have conducted a school for young men at about this same time period. Hence the changing of the community name from West Fork to Ringgold.
      The first "Ringgold School" was built by men and women of the community on land donated be the Williams Family in the early 1890's. It stood where little West Fork Baptist Church now stands. Early teachers in this school were Mr.
Snead Davie, Miss Lucy Barbee, Miss Ruth Armistead, Miss Mattie Walker, Mr. Elliott Buckner and Mr. Jim Rollow.
     By 1900, this school consisted of two rooms with a removable partition to make room for a stage when the school concerts were performed.  In 1911-12-13, Miss Frances Brunson and Miss Mary Thomas Nichols, both local girls, were teachers at Ringgold School.
     At Christmas of 1913, Ft. Elliott Private School (a small one room school- building which stood on what is now the Dick Hadley Farm) was given to the county and consolidated with Ringgold. A covered wagon drawn by two mules conveyed the children to school. A partition was put in the largest room and a third teacher was hired. Miss John Power was that 3rd. teacher. She had been the first county teacher at Ft. Elliott.
      During the summer of 1915 two rooms and a hall were added to the old building, and a new consolidated school was formed-Meadow Grove, Kenwood and Grace Chapel were added. The second floor over the addition was an auditorium. A bus, driven by Mr. Sol T. Barbee, was used to haul the children to school.
     The fall of 1915 was when Ringgold formed it's own school board. S. 0. Durrett, J.R. Foster. E.W. Royster, Mrs. Emmie-de Hambough Robinson and Mrs. Ailene Cunningham were on that board.
     The first principal was Mr. M.L. Royster. He also taught high school work.  His wife was the home economics teacher, Miss John Power taught the intermediate grades, Miss Frances Brunson was primary teacher and Music was taught by Miss
Kathleen Rickets. Miss Martha Porter and Miss Lillian Dinweddee also taught there.  This was the Ringgold Consolidated High School, but only lasted one year.
      During the fall of 1916 Ringgold was again a three-teacher school. Prof. Jim Rollow, Hallie Brunson and Miss Patty Marshall were the three teachers. From 1923-1934 Miss John Power was principal. In 1926 Miss Katharine Royster (Mrs. Fount Allen) came as a primary teacher and taught for 11 years. Miss Willie Mae Wilson (Mrs. Corlew) taught the 3rd. & 4th. Grades in 1930-31. Miss Estell Walker and Dorothy Nichols (Mrs. Radford Sallee) taught during 1936-37. Miss Patty Mason taught and was principal during this time.
      In 1923, several ladies of the community, Mrs. Walter Drane, Mrs. John Cunningham, and Mrs. Wallace, met with the teachers and asked that the Home-Makers Club be allowed to work with the teachers as a Parent-Teacher Organization. This was the case until 1934. That year Mrs. Mary Durrett organized the first Parent Teacher Association at Ringgold.
      Many improvements were made during these years, electric lights were installed, shrubbery was planted, and concrete walks were put down.
     In 1948 the school was moved from its location on Highway 41-A to the present location on Ringgold Road. The first addition of three classrooms was made in 1952. The same year the first cafeteria was built. It was under the management of Mrs. Bessie Brown until 1956 at which time the P. T. A. president. Mrs. Siggie Sanderson took over and worked thru May of 1972 when she had to take medical retirement after a fall in the kitchen. Both of these ladies also worked very diligently with the Ringgold P.T.A and Ringgold Civitan Club. The next enlargement was made in 1960 with what is now the 4th grade hall. January 1964 saw the addition of the Office, Multitoriurm and 2nd grade section. September 1965 found First Grades moving into a new section - what is now the 3rd grade hall.
     In 1966 the temporary classrooms started to appear. In 1967 the Library was completed. The metal building for Physical Education was built in the 1968-1969 school year. In 1980-81 the 1948 building was razed, and the new Kindergarten/ First Grade building was built.
      From May 1964 to September 1964 Ringgold went from a 350-pupil school to one with over 750 pupils when the Bel-Air Sub-division was zoned from Byrns Darden to Ringgold.
     In September 1966 Mrs. Bernice Stephens came to Ringgold as the first black teacher. That same September saw the first black students enrolled, making Ringgold one of the first integrated schools in the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System.
     That same year Mrs. Murtis Hatter became the second black teacher to teach at Ringgold when New Providence Elementary School was closed.
     During the 1960's and early 70's the Ringgold Civitan Club worked closely with the Ringgold P.T.A. for improvements in the school.

Miss John Power       1923-34
Miss Patty Mason       1935-42
Mrs. Margie Durrett 1942-43
Mrs. Catherine Alcock 1943-45
Mrs. George Dickerson 1945-49
Mrs. Neblett       1949-51
Mr. James Tue        1951-52
Mr. Arthur Hunt       1952-53
Mr. Bob Kreagcr       1953-65
Mr. Richard Cooper 1965-April 1966
Mr. Claus Mann April 1966-Present

     All principals thru Mr. Kreager taught in addition to being principals. Mr. Mann taught Math to 7th & 8th graders the year before he became principal. In 1966 the 7th & 8th graders moved to New Providence Jr. High, leaving only 1 thru 6 grades at Ringgold. Kindergarten classes started at Ringgold during the 1974-75 school year. In August 1980 the 6th grade went to New Providence Middle School.

HISTORY INFORMATION BY: Miss John Power, Elizabeth (R.E.) Durrett, Mrs. Ann (Montgomery, Sr.) Davie, Mrs. Katherine (Fount) Allen and Mr. Calvin Stokes.

Clarksville-Leaf Chronicle date unknown


        In 1937 the Ringgold School organized their first Parent-Teacher Association with Mrs. D. W. Durrett, President, Mrs. Charles Pressler secretary and Mrs. Ambrose Walton treasurer. The organization with twenty-four members immediately became affiliated with The National Parent-Teacher Association.
      Because of the late start and being so new the Parent-Teacher Association undertook only one project and that was getting good warm clothes and food for our unfortunate children. Different mothers took their turns in sending good lunches to many of the children. Miss Crutchfield helped us get our start.
      This year our Parent-Teacher Association is going right on with their work under Mrs. D. W. Durrett, president, Mrs. Charles Pressler, secretary and Mrs. H. L. Durrett, treasurer.
      The organization his already realized one of its major goals the underpinning of the school building. The limestone rock used for the work was donated by the B. G. Young Construction Company and hauled by the county and the construction
company. We are very proud of the job. The primary room was much warmer when the weather was cold.
      The Parent-Teachers next goal will be the remodeling of the back room, the one used for a soup kitchen for a primary room. This change will remove the cross lighting in their classroom.
      The upper grade children, the Parent-Teacher Association, and the Home Demonstration Club have contributed generously of their services toward getting funds for these improvements.  A quilt was sold to raise money for classroom equipment.  Many of our interested patrons met at the schoolhouse and quilted for several days.  Those people quilting were: Mrs. G.  E. Shelby, Mrs. Rob Durrett, Mrs. Nancy Mills, Mrs. Alfred Anderson, Mrs. G. Giles, Mrs. C. Killebrew, Mrs. Pressler, Mrs. Thompson, Mrs. Meacham, Mrs. Lisenby, Mrs. J.E. Giles, Mrs. Walton and Mrs. Knight. Many other mothers helped to put the quilt together.
      Mr. W T. Hambaugh has lent us two acres of ground adjoining our school grounds to be used for a school and community playground.  We have cleaned our playground, planted shrubs and Iris.
      The new highway has changed our school very much. We have a beautiful sodded front. Our entrance to the school ground is on the side now. The upper grade boys and girls have made new rock steps at the side entrance and have also started a limestone rock walk.
      The school has a new American Encyclopedia presented by the Late Thomas H.  Wallace.
      The upper grade room has a new world map purchased by the prize money won by Peggy Fleming last year.
      All the rooms have a new supply of art material.
      The children of the eighth grade are enjoying the Tennessee Blue Book sent to the school by our Secretary of State, Mr. A. B. Broadbent.
      This report was made by members of the eighth grade to be given at the last Parent-Teacher meeting.


Submitted by Sandra Stacey and Mr. Sam Winters.

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