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Closing Exercises for Ripley Colored Public School

12 May

One hundred and fourteen years ago a group of young African Americans participated in closing exercises for what was known at the time as the Ripley Colored Public School.

 

From the Lauderdale County Enterprise – May 25, 1900 Edition

Closing Exercises Ripley Colored Public School

The Ripley Public School will close the most prosperous session since its existence on Thursday and Friday night, May 31st and June 1st 1900. An elaborate program has been prepared and the teachers are sparing no pain to have everything an up to date affair thus showing their efficiency and the discretion of the board in electing them. The school is now upon on a graded system and working nicely. The program is as follows.

Part I

Overture                                                                                             Band

Chorus

Invocation                                                                                           Rev. A.G. Currin

Chorus

Is Patriotism a Sham?                                                                     Frederick Clay

The Gambler’s Wife                                                                        Maggie L. Russell

Duet – Father is Drinking Again                                                  Missus Tyus and Hightower

Recitation – Two Sisters                                                                Miss Jessie Hightower

We Are Coming                                                                                Anna B. Thornton

Solo – An Outcast                                                                            Mrs. Jennie Rice

Recitation – The Raven                                                                  Miss Fae Russell

Progress of the Negro                                                                     Fannie Dupree

Trio – There Are Friends That We Never Forget                     Misses Norvell, Pearl & Jessie Hightower,

Is It Wise To Begin Now?                                                              H L Dupree

Solo – I Am The Merriest Girl That’s Out                                 Miss Maggie L. Russell

Part II

Music                                                                                                    Band

Chorus

Progress of Invention                                                                     Willie Peebles

Recitation – Brought Back                                                            Lela L. Crook

Solo – Boys Keep Away From The Girls                                     Howard L. Dupree

Recitation – Home Instruction                                                    Maggie B. Tyus

Trio – Friendliness and Sad                                                          Missus Thornton, Russell, Crook

Benefits of Education                                                                     W.D. Graham

Solo – Friends of my Youthful Days                                           E. Buchanan

The Coming Woman                                                                       Fannie Norvell

Solo – The Young Man Across The Way                                     Missus Jessie Hightower

Address                                                                                               Professor W.H. Fort – Principle Bruce Street High School Dyersburg

Awarding State Certificates                                                            Captain E.T. Hanks – Superintendent of Public Education

Song Of The Steeples                                                                        Dr. S.R. Clay

Benediction

Friends and Patrons of the school are cordially invited to attend.

 

A few interesting facts about the school at this point.

The school did not become officially known as Lauderdale County Training School until 1919 according to the 1985 Lauderdale County High School Reunion Booklet.

The list of graduates that I have of Lauderdale County Training School does not start until 1908, so exact graduates of earlier classes are currently unknown.

The principal during this time period is thought to be Professor M. L. Morrison. It is believed that he was principal from the early 1900s – 1912. He then served as principal again from 1944 – 1945.

It also appears that the school was around prior to 1900 due to this being noted as “the most properous session since its existence” by the Lauderdale County Enterprise.

 

I decided to see what I could find out about the speakers on the program. It is a good chance that they were students at the school.

Frederick Clay – There are 2 possible “Fred Clays” on the 1900 US Census for Lauderdale County. One Fred Clay was born in 1889 to Harry and Frances Clay making him about 11. The other Fred Clay, also listed as Frederick in some places, was born in 1886 to Hugh and Ellen Clay making him about 14.

Maggie L. Russell – Born in 1885 making her about 15. Her parents are Isaac and Corinna Russell.

Anna B. Thornton – Born in 1886 making her about 14. Her mother is Mary J. Houston (Thornton Washington).

Fannie Dupree - Born in 1886 making her about 14. Her parents are Calvin and Mary Dupree.

H L Dupree – also known as Howell L. Born in 1883 making him about 17. His parents are Calvin and Mary Dupree.

Lela Crook – Born in 1885 making her about 15. Her parents are James and Janie Crook.

 

I found the titles of some of the poems or readings a little interesting for a school program. The Gambler’s Wife was written in 1844 by Elizabeth Caroline Grey. Another interesting title was Father is Drinking Again, but I could not find anything that looked like it might have been a poem or short story with that title. I also noticed that The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe written in 1845 was on the list of readings.

Cheers to the Ripley Colored Public School (Lauderdale County Training School) on a successful year end ceremony.

 

 

- Tiffany

-Sources: Lauderdale County Enterprise May 25, 1900 edition, Lauderdale County Highschool 1985 Reunion Booklet

 

 

Sanborn Maps

11 Aug

This summer I was introduced to what are known as Sanborn Maps. These maps were created by the Sanborn Insurance Company as insurance maps, but what they also did was go into detail about the structures on the maps. Details are listed such as what the structures were made of, if they had fireplaces, if they were more than 1 story etc. What I most enjoy about these maps is that they give you a way of putting together neighborhoods that are long gone.

For example, I never knew that the Morning Star Baptist Church was once located on present day Spring Street and used as an annex to the Lauderdale County Training School. All of this information I gained from a Sanborn Map of Ripley.

LCTS 1927 Sanborn clip

Feb 1927 Sanborn Map, Map #5 showing Lauderdale County Training School and Morning Star Baptist Church on Spring Street (previously Handsome Street)

Now I am also curious as to how Handsome Street became known as Spring Street.

Now for the limitations…

Sanborn Maps were only done for specific areas. From what I can tell maps were never created for Henning or Durhamville which is a shame given their close proximity to Ripley. It would have been interesting to discover the neighborhoods of Durhamville especially since that town’s original structures have been lost to history.

Now for the possibilities…

Imagine just what can be discovered and created using a combination of Sanborn Maps, land deeds, and public memory? I’ve got a few ideas running through my mind and I cannot wait to try them out.

- Tiffany

- Source: Feb 1927 Sanborn Map of Ripley, TN, Map #5. sanborn.umi.com

Lost Ripley – Lauderdale High School

22 Jun

Lauderdale High School was originally known as the Lauderdale County Training School. It was a school only for African Americans in Ripley and it dates back to the early 1900s and perhaps even earlier. The last graduating class of the school was in 1969, 15 years after Brown  vs. BOE declared separate but equal schools unconstitutional. As was the case with most schools for African Americans only it was closed and the students were sent to the previously all White Ripley High School.

Technically the building isn’t lost because it is still standing, but it is still a former shell of itself. Years ago I had read in the Lauderdale County Enterprise that there was a group trying to restore the school and turn it into an African American history museum.

I am not sure why the words “Ripley _____ High School” appear on the building. Maybe the school for African Americans was moved into the former Ripley Junior High School for Whites? Maybe the building was used as a junior high school after it ceased being Lauderdale High School?

If you would like to visit the site where African Americans in Lauderdale County were educated it is located on Spring Street.

 

Lauderdale High School

Lauderdale High School

 

- Tiffany

- Photo Source: My own

- Source: Lauderdale County Training School 1985 Reunion Booklet

Lauderdale County Training School – Part 3

16 Dec

More graduates of Lauderdale County Training School

CLASS OF 1929

Fannie V. Barbee
Anna L. Crook
Mary Jane Ford
Eddie B. Givens
Willard D. Hayes
Ada Mable Johnson
Saul E. Moore
Mary Julia Pierson
Eddie Mai Williams
Lillian Mai Washington

CLASS OF 1930

Gorden Buchanan
Laura Mai Currie
Rebecca M. Helm
Mary H. Rogers
Jessie L. Russel
Almeda Sawyer
Lucille Temming
Mary Thurman
Hatie M. Walker

CLASS OF 1931

Alma Beatrice Crook
Nannie A. J. Currin
Alice Lucille Glasper
Montell B. Hamb
Mary F. Holloway
Eva E. McCorkle
Lucy Bell Nelson
Collie J. Parker
Lucy C. Sawyer
Ernest Watkins
Alonzo J. White

Source: Lauderdal County Training School Reunion Booklet

-Tiffany

Lauderdale County Training School Graduates – Pt 3

24 Jul

Lauderdale County Training School Class of 1928

Lauderdale County Training School Class of 1928

Lauderdale Country Training School Class of 1928

Lauderdale Country Training School Class of 1928

Lauderdale County Training School Class of 1928

Class of 1928

Lauderdale County Training School Class of 1928

 

 

 

-Source: Lauderdale County Training School Reunion Booklet

- Tiffany

Lauderdale County Training School Graduates pt 2.

7 Jun

Below is a listing of more graduates of Lauderdale County Training School.

1922

Fenthries Odell Arnold

Ada Sue Halfacre

B.W. Harris

Lou Ella Henning

Ganelle Omega Nelson

Bettie Mae Parker

Julia Elizabeth Sangster

Fannie Cansada Scott

George Franklin White

1923

Booker T. Carter

Clarenee Crook

Joe Rivers Halliburton

Rossevelt Hamb

Charlie Jones

Will Ola Mosby

Celester Nelson

1924

Class Motto: We finish to begin

Class Colors: Old Rose and Pea Green

Commencement Exercises: May 1 – May 9 at 8 o’clock School Auditorium

Lady Mae Carter

Dan Defoe Davis

Earlean Virginia Dyer

Oneida Ernestine Murray

Perla Mae Nelson

Lossie Virginia Pierson

Cleo Mae Puryear

Lessie Mildred Rogers

Wayland Hoyt Rogers

Minnie Viola Rouser

Lillie Victoria Thompson

Annie Mack Walker

1927

FIRST 12th GRADE GRADUATING CLASS

Lady M Carter

John Henry Owen

Cleo Mary Puryear

Lessie Mildred Rogers

Wayland Hoyt Rogers

Presley Southerland

James Frank Taylor

Annie Mack Walker

 

 

Source: Lauderdale County Training School 1985 Reunion Booklet

-Tiffany

Lauderdale County Training School Graduates

18 May

Over the next few weeks I will be updating the blog with the list of graduates from Lauderdale County Training School.

1908

Alex Clay

1909

Bessie Dupree

1910

Missy Pauline Partee Reynolds

Fannie Clay “Bojangles” Robinson

1915

John Wesley Halliburton

Michael Nelson

1918

Pauline Halliburton Barlow

1919

Monnie Lou Wills Durham

1920

Lillian Carter

Francis Thompson

 

 

-Source: Lauderdale County Training School 1985 Reunion Booklet

 

-Tiffany

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