Saturday, October 1, 2011

History of Nashville City Schools - 1875

The following appeared in the Annual Report of the Board of Education, Public Schools of Nashville, for the School-Year, 1875-76, page 47. The author was unnamed.

History of the Nashville Public Schools

In the spring of 1852, Alfred Hume, Esq., long and eminent teacher of a select classical school in Nashville, was engaged by the City Council to visit various cities in which public schools were in operation, to investigate their practical working, and report to the Board. Having returned and signified his readiness to make known the results of his inquiries, he was requested to do so in public. Accordingly on the 26th of August, he appeared before the Board and a large concourse of citizens, at Odd Fellows Hall and read a lengthy and masterly report, two thousand copies of which were published. That report may be regarded as the corner-stone of the system of public schools in this city. In the same year the lot, 180x270 feet, at the corner of Spruce and Broad Streets was purchased, and proposals received for the erection of a building. On the 19th of May, 1853, Dr. W. K. Bowling delivered as oration, in the presence of a large audience, at the laying of the corner-stone. The building was completed within the following year, and was called the Hume school, in honor of the distinguished scholar who had taken such an active part in inaugurating the new enterprise.

On the 14th of October, 1854, the City Council elected the first Board of Education, the following gentlemen being chosen: F. B. Fogg, W. K. Bowling, R. J. Meigs, Allen A. Hall, John A. McEwen, and Alfred Hume. They held their first meeting on November 5, following, and the schools were formally opened to pupils February 26, 1855. Much of the unvarying prosperity of the schools is due to the fact that they have always been controlled by boards of active, intelligent, discreet gentlemen, many of them the most distinguished citizens of the place, as will appear from the following list of those who, at different times, have served in that capacity: Charles Tomes, W. F. Bang, J. B. Lindsley, Isaac Paul, M. H. Howard, J. B. Knowles, S. Cooley, J. W. Hoyte, J. P. Coleman, Wm. Stockel, C. K. Winston, P. S. Fall, J. L. Bostick, B. S. Rhea, J. O. Griffith, M. M. Brien, M. G. L. Claiborne, M. M. Monahan, J. S. Fowler, H. H. Harrison, T. A. Atchison, H. S. Bennett, L. D. Wheeler, D. D. Dickey, E. H. East, R. B. Cheatham, Ira B. Jones, John A. Callender, M. C. Cotton, Eugene Cary, D. W. Peabody, D. Rutledge, J. Jungerman, John Rhum, J. Sample, John J. McCann, James Whitworth, T. H. Hamilton, Samuel Watkins, J. B. Craighead, L. G. Tarbox, J. L. Weakley, Charles Rich, George S. Kinney, A. D. Wharton, A. J. Baird, R. A. Young, J. T. Dunlap, M. B. Howell.

In the year 1856, the lot on the corner of Summer and Line Streets was purchased with the proceeds of property donated by Colonel Andrew Hynes, and a building erected upon it was called by his name. In the year 1859, M. H. Howard, Esq., gave to the city a fine lot on College Hill, on which now stands the school-house named for him.

The Trimble School, at 524 South Market street, was so called in honor of John Trimble, Esq., who presented the lot on which it stands for school purposes, to the then suburb town of South Nashville, in the year 1851. During the next year the building was erected and a public school opened. When in 1855, the corporate limit of the city was extended over this territory the city Board of Education took charge of the school.

In 1865 a lot was rented at the corner of Madison and North Cherry streets, and an old army house purchased and removed to it. In 1872 a good lot was purchased at the corner of North High and Jefferson streets, and during the next year the present Ninth Ward school-house was built upon it.

In 1867 the Belle View building was purchased and converted into a school house for colored pupils.

On reopening the schools in 1865 the Hume building was found insufficient to accommodate the pupils of that district. The city, therefore purchased a wooden building which had been built on South Vine street by the United States authorities as a mess-hall during the war. This house was removed to the Hume lot and fitted up as well as the character of the material would permit, and was used for school purposes until it became untenantable, and the new brick building which now adorns the lot was erected. It was completed and occupied in January, 1875, and is called the Fogg school, in honor of Francis B. Fogg, Esq., the first President of the Board.

 Transcribed from a photo copy of page 47 of the Annual Report of the Board of Education, Public Schools of Nashville, for the School-Year, 1875-76.