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Old Oliver School

Said to be oldest school around Branch, Arkansas.


The Old Oliver School: from “Branch Worth Remembering” by Mayme Vest:

The oldest school for this area was “Old Oliver School” located just west of the road leading from the Bradbury house. It’s location was on the site now owned by Dorothy Savage. She provided a copy of her abstract to give more information about the Old Oliver School. It shows a deed from David and Mary J. Garrison to District #13, July 6, 1870 for one acre; shown “For the purpose of the educational interests of the Anglo-Saxon race.”

We have no record when the first school term was held but more than likely the building was constructed by 1871. It was only a grammar school. Clyde Robison remembers two of the teachers as Nathan Keller and Viola Bonds. Mrs. Savage’s abstract also shows ad agreement recorded August 19, 1879, between the Directors of 13th School District and Trustees of Masonic Fraternity: Directors, Samuel Wilburn, John C. Cotton, H. I. Rogers do agree to relinquish all our right and title to the upper room of the school house and give right of way for stairs to Trustees of Masonic Fraternity. Trustees, W. H. McMath, I. C. Keller and I. W. Lamb do relinquish all our right and title to the lower story of the school house, known and owned by the 13th School District.

A deed dated January 31, 1912, shows that E.G. Callans, J. W. Sanders, R. L. Hunter, S. P. Gammill, T. E. Riley and J. C. Mayfield, directors of the School District # 13 sold the land to W.R. Chastain.

There is also a Trustee’s Deed from Nathan Keller, Robert Turner, J. W. Sanders, Trustees-Keller Lodge F & A M #477 to W. R. Chastain,, January 31, 1912. This was just before the construction of the brick building. Perhaps, they carried on in the frame school building described later.