MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TENNESSEE
Before 1870 the children
went to school in an old log cabin and the church, taught by a Mrs. Ware,
wife of the first pastor of Guildfield Baptist Church.
In the 1880's the county gave land and built a one-room school, known as Tennessee School (May also have been known as "State Line"). Mrs. Ware and Mr. J. W. Pitt were the teachers and taught for years. In 1904 an assistant teacher was sent to assist Mr. Pitt from Nashville, Mrs. Lydia Oneal. In 1909 she went to teach in Kentucky. Another helper was sent from Nashville, Mr. Lewis, next was Mrs. Stamps from Clarksville. She was followed by Mrs. Mary Allensworth from Clarksville. In 1914 Mr. Pitt retired and was succeeded by Mrs. Allen as principal and a Mrs. Metcalfe.
In the northeast section of Montgomery County bordering South Todd County, near the town of Guthrie, on a rural road, R.F.D. 2 was an old 1 room frame school called The Tennessee School, to distinguish this school from the one just over the Tennessee and Kentucky line which was called the Guthrie Kentucky School.
In the spring of 1922 a tornado came and blew the school down. The teachers then were Mrs. Alma Coleman and Lady Weed from Clarksville. A new school had to be built.
Little is known about the old school; today this site is in a new settlement.
About 1920, plans were being formulated for a new school to be built in Guthrie, instead of the old Tennessee School.
Julius Rosenwald, an American merchant and philanthropist, made it possible that Guthrie and Montgomery County could have a new school. In 1917 he established the Julius Rosenwald Fund used mainly to found rural schools for Negroes.
The citizens of Montgomery County and those living in South Guthrie took the advantage of this opportunity and worked untiringly to get their share of the fund, which was a three-way project, The Rosenwald fund, the County Board of Education and the citizens of the community.
This site for building had to be located in an area that had public roads, the building had to be built to a certain specification, on a 2 acre or more site to afford a playground. The school room had to be at least 2 large class rooms with an accordion wall that could be turned into an auditorium when needed, 2 coat rooms, one domestic science room and 2 hall entrances, one for each class room. This unit took the name of Warfield School due to the fact, Mr. Edd Warfield, a loyal citizen and a Christian gentleman was the power in action, Chairman of the Planning and Treasurer. Mr. A. W. Jobe was the County Superintendent of the school. These two men worked as a team until the school was finished and in service of teaching.
This site was bought from a Mr. Thomas at a reasonable price, but to the community it was a fortune. Money was hard to get. The school was built by a Negro contractor carpenter, Benjamin Franklin Rives, his helpers consisted of about four others. William Oscar Pennington was brick mason, George Rives, Jr. was the blue print reader and helper, and Hezekiah Hampton was the helper and cleanup man.
The Community Club, what is now the P.T.A. was kept busy with the barbecues, pie suppers and concerts to pay their share of the money for building and equipment that was needed, for this ideal school for the time. There were bookshelves built to take care of the collected books the teachers brought in and a carpetbag that would hold possibly 65 pounds or more books at intervals. The textbooks were purchased by the parents.
This school was more than a school, it was the Community Center, and the teachers worked cooperatively to provide for needs of the parents and children, night school was taught
to help parents and large working boys and girls. It also went beyond the educational needs. The C. C. helped in the care of societies less fortunate, provided assistance for the aged, there was special care for them at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The teachers and pupils placed much emphasis on holidays and their significance, this was done in many ways as: dramatizations, dialogs, recitations, music, art and etc. These events gave wholesome entertainment for the community.
Warfield School's work included opening with devotional period of about ten or fifteen minutes, where reverence of God was the feature with never a consideration of denomination. The school was always more than a place for teaching the three reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic. Many phases of complete living was taught such as health, science, art, home economics, music and deportment. Deportment meant how one walked, talked, dressed, sat, ate and, in short, how one behaved in civilized society.
This unique status was held from about 1922 until 1968. The last eight years (1960-1968) were the daily tasks of Mrs. Delonia Robinson Edwards and Mrs. Bertha Rives Quarles.
The preceding years were under the tutorship of the following:
Mrs. Roxie Payne and Miss Eugenia Landers, Joseph Keesee and Miss Eugenia Landers.
Miss Elizabeth Drane and Miss Eugenia Landers
Mrs. Lorena Metcalf and Eugenia Landers
Mrs. Lorena Metcalf and Mrs. Eunice Williams
Mrs. Eunice William and Bertha R. Quarles 1959-1960
Mrs. Lorena Metcalf taught at Warfield 21 years from 1937 through 1958.
Mrs. Eunice Williams taught 19 years at Warfield.
Miss Lady Weed and Miss Octavia Bowden
Mrs. Bertha Fort and Mrs. Hattie Northington
Miss Annie Bell Scott and Mr. Joseph Keesee
Submitted by Sandra Stacey and Mr. Winters.
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