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Bertie County Schools

Askewville |Aulander |Bertie Academy |Mars Hill | Coleraine |Roxobel-Kelford |West Bertie High

Village Hideaway School (African American)

Roxobel Academy -1890's

Roxobel Academy Photo taken in 1890's
Front Row: Archie Watson, Lovett Gilbert, Carl Raby Livermon, James Cree, Rennie Peele (Vick), Minnie Peele (Harrell), Rubby Livermon (Jacobs) and Beulah Minton (Joyner).
On second row:
Minnie Bell (Warfield), Lina Nibblet (Branchville, VA), Sally Livermon, Nellie Thornton (Wilminton, NC), Essie Peele (Holloman), Jennie Tynes (Wilkins), Bell Cullifer (Wilkins), and Fannie Livermon (Acree)
On the third row:
Mrs. D. S. Kennedy, teacher, Helen Tyler (Jilcott) Agnes Livermon (Cobb), Addie Evans (Wilmington, NC), Cora Harrell (Parker), Mattie Livemon, Jim T. Jilcott and Perry Bell.
Mr. D.S. Kennedy principal, Herbert Pritchard, Charles Thomas Peele, Perry Cotton Tyler, George Harrell, George Gilikin, Wiley Carter, Bill Whit Wilkins, Mich Tynes, and John Elmo Peele.

Mr. Kennedy became the frist principal of the Roxobel Academy as a public school and he was noted for his rigid discipline. The children were under his guidance not only during the school hours but also from the time they left school until they reached home.Kennedy was known to have punished several of the older boys who had tten into mischief on the way home.
It was the Kennedys who stressed reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic and made the people of Roxobel school conscious.

Roxobel-Kelford High School -1932

Contributed by Julius E. Shoulars

Each year a reunion is held for all former students, and about 100 people attend. In 1999 there was an attendee who was in the first graduating class in the 1920's. The school is no longer standing. Contributed by Pete Austin

In 1926 the two villages of Roxobel and Kelford became united when the county formed a new consolidated school system. This continued until 1952 when the school closed and the students transferred to the new West Elementary School and Bertie Central High.

It was with regret that Roxobel-Kelford High School was discontinued in 1952. The building now became part of the West Bertie School system with classes 1st-4th and 6th-8th being held in that facility. Classes 1st-5th and 9th-12th were conducted five miles away at the Lewiston-Woodville Building. None of these school buildings still stand. They were demolished and removed some years later.The county consolidated the smaller schools and built several elementary schools plus in 1964 a Central Bertie High School.

History and Memories

The 250-plus-page "History and Memories of Roxobel-Kelford High School, Roxobel, NC, 1926-1952--Remembrances of People and Events" begins with a brief look at the early communities and schools of Roxobel and Kelford, then turns to construction of the consolidated R-K High School in 1926, and proceeds on through the last graduating class there in 1952. (Even though all 11 and then 12 grades attended the school, it was generally referred to as RKHS until the h.s. students were tranferred to the former Lewiston-Woodville HS in the fall of 1952.) The intervening years encompassed the Great Depression, World War II, and the Korean War; and the book tells the stories of the students, teachers, and the school itself during that period.
The story is interwoven with statistics from the High School Principals' Annual Reports, including an appendix listing names of graduates and teachers, subjects studied, and general information about the high school each year from 1930-1952. The official proceedings of the Bertie County Board of Education through those years contained a wealth of pertinent facts and figures as well. Most interesting, though, are the remembrances of the students themselves, both about their school days and their military experiences afterward. Sources have been carefully documented with endnotes.
There are class and individual pictures, as we were then and as we've been photographed at recent reunions. Another appendix pays tribute to many now-deceased schoolmates, giving a brief summary of their life since schooldays. The last appendix contains reproductions of the deeds on the school property from 1926 until the present time.

Copies of the book are $20 (payable to me by check or money order) and can be ordered by mail addressed to:

                         Edith Vick Farris
                         8527 Minerva Court
                         Vienna, VA  22182-5046
The price includes mailing. Please be sure to include the full address to which the book(s) should be sent. Feel free to contact me by e-mail ( or call me at (703) 573-4051 if you have questions. Edie Farris

Roxobel-Kelford 1st grade-1933

Roxobel-Kelford 1st Grade-1933

1st row (L to R) Lorraine Bowers, ___, ___, ___ Buck Bishop, Marjorie Cullifer, Edward Carter
2nd row (none identified)
3rd row ___, ___, ___, ___, Ethel Roane, ___
Can anyone help identify the others?
Contributed by Buck Bishop

Roxobel-Kelford School 1st grade-1932

Roxobel-Kelford 1st Grade 1932

3rd row:  J.Q. Acree*, Pete Austin*,William Thomas Parker, ______, Fred Curley, Lloyd Peele, Jr., G.T. Doughtie, Curtis Earl Butler*
2nd row:  Raymond Barnes*, Julius Earl Shoulars, Joe Bazemore, Cohen Davidson, Donald Norfleet (twin), Carlton Parker, J.T. Hardy, J.C. Parker
1st row:  Eleanor Bishop,Yvonne Vick, ? , Doris Parker, Ruth Mason Tyler, Mary Lassiter, Ethel Cullifer*, Flora Lea Peele, Betty Vashtie Parker, Ruth Norfleet (twin to Donald)
* Finished together in 11th grade
Teacher: Miss Arnold (far right of screen)
Contributed by Julius E. Shoulars

Roxobel-Kelford School 2nd grade-1932

Roxobel-Kelford 2nd Grade 1932

Top Row: Left to Right
Edward Lee Parker, Billy Lane, ---?---, ---?---, Alan Johnston, Allen Raye Vick
2nd row:
Wilbur Hall, Gerald Cook, Margaret Hardy, Trolley Conner, A.V. Hall, Julia Hardy, Peggy Norfleet
Bottom row:
Frances Harrell, mable Ayscue, Marie Jilcott, Marian Quinn, Cloree Vick, Laura Bracy, Erma Harrell, Vira Esther Hall, Margaret Harrell
Teacher (not shown) Mammie Jenkins
Contributed by Julius E. Shoulars
Roxobel-Kelford School 6th grade-1932

Roxobel-Kelford 6th Grade 1932

Front Row:   Miss Jessie Flythe (teacher), Irma Harrell, Catherine Walston, Anne Tynes, Laura Bracy, ____,____, Josephine Hall and Faye Byrd.
Second Row: "Shorty" Jilcott, Worth Jilcott, ____, ____, Helen Vick, Lena Cooke, ____ and Edward ?.
Back Row:   ? Dixon, Haywood Bland, ? Cullifer, Milton Lassiter, Sally Vick and Floyd Hall.
Contributed by Julius E. Shoulars
Roxobel-Kelford School unknown

Roxobel-Kelford Unknown Year and Grade

Front:   Margaret Harrell, Peggy Norfleet, ____, Wilbur Hall, _____, _____, Mable Ayscue, _____
2nd row:   _____, Laura Bracy, Troy Parker, Virginia Maude Joyner, Marie Jilcott, ______
3rd row: Alan Johnson, ____,_____, Alan Rae Vick, ____, _____, _____, _____
Back Row:   ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, Trollie Conner, Frances Harrell, ______
Contributed by Julius E. Shoulars

Roxobel-Kelford Basketball-1942

Roxobel-Kelford Basketball Team -1942

1st row (L to R) Buck Bishop, Pete Austin
2nd row Gene Peele, George Shoulars, Wilbur Hall
3rd row Mr. Crawley Coach; Curtis Earl Butler, manager
Contributed by Buck Bishop

Roxobel-Kelford Graduation-1945

Roxobel-Kelford Graduates-1945

1st row (L to R) Jesse Joyner, Appie Walston, Buck Bishop, Minnie Lou Bryant, Eugene Lewis, Harvey Bracy
Contributed by Buck Bishop
Roxobel-Kelford Teachers 1942/43

Roxobel-Kelford Teachers 1942-43

1st row Left to right: Jessie Flyth, Margaret Peele, Billy Raynor
2nd row Iola Pritchard, Annie Sue Hunsucker, martha Aysque, Annie Ruth McMillian

Roxobel-Kelford Class 1943

Roxobel-Kelford High School - Class of 1943

Contributed by Julius E. Shoulars
Front row:   Betty Parker, Essie Blowe, Marjorie Cullifer, Edward Carter
2nd row:   Ruth Mason Tyler, Mabel Clair Jilcott, Gene Peele, Robert Earl Williford

Roxobel-Kelford Class 1939

Roxobel-Kelford High School - Class of 1939

Contributed by James Austin

"My memory is that there were 12 members in the 1939 graduating class, however, there are only 11 members in the picture. So, someone is missing if my memory is correct.I'm not certain who's who in the picture.
There were four boys and eight girls.

The four boys standing in the back row were (left to right) Rowland (Tib Bit) Knox, Edith Minton, James L. Austin, Mary Vies Stephenson, P.T.Roane,Jr, Hilda Bishop and Charles (Chee Chee) Tynes.

1st Row: Ann Tynes (Charles' sister), Mary Mitchell Tyler, Elizabeth (Jillcott) Stevenson Ruth Hall

Mascots: Bob Lassiter and Gene Reid Carter

Roxobel-Kelford Basketball - 1935

Roxobel-Kelford High School - Basketball 1935

Front Row:   Haywood Bland, Earl Tynes, Hartwell Jilcott
2nd row:   Thomas Askew, Dick Spivey
Back row:   Frank Peel, "Shorty" Jilcott, George Jilcott, Coach Braxton Davis
Photo from Earl Tynes

Roxobel-Kelford School

Roxobel-Kelford High School - 1925

Christmas Greetings were sent to all pupils in 1925 by Teacher, Miss Emma Corbett. Her photo is in the center of the card. At that time Kelford High School was located in Kelford and not a combined school. The Superintendent was: Herbert W. Early.
Pupils listed were:
James Clark
Mary Della Dixon
Gwendolyn Hall
Lela Mae Hardy
Ruth Harris
Katherine Joyner

Jane Leicester
[note from: "Bob Lassiter" 
Jane Leicester was the post master of Kelford in the late fifties and a good friend of my mothers. Her mother taught me in Sunday School. Jane is deceased and she also had a brother Lloyd who was killed in the death march in Batan in the second world war. Jane was married to David Humphrey and had one offspring named David.]
Elma Newsom
Lucille Parker
Luther Parker
Fannie Mae Smith
Junius Stephenson
[note from: "Bob Lassiter" Junius Stephenson was a cousin of mine and the son of my great uncle Herbert Stephenson who was my grandfather's brother (James Burgess Stephenson)
He died in Rocky Mount of a heat attack around 1960 at the age of 49. There were two girls also in the family (Mary V. and Grace) Their mother was Maude.

Mamie Francis Tynes
note from: "Bob Lassiter" 
Mamie Francis Tynes also worked in the Kelford Post Office and married Perry Rhone the post master who had been married to Vivian before. She passed away and Perry married Mamie. Mamie is in a home in Greenville now. She also had a sister Ann who lives in Colerain and is married to Thomas ? Her fathers name was Ernest.

Kelford School
The old Kelford School House was purchased in April 1998 by Royal Lodge #471 F and AM of Kelford. The School House is located at 409 S. Main Street in Kelford.

They welcome donations to assist in this renovation.

Royal Lodge #471
Building Fund
P.O. Box 251
Kelford, NC 27847

Village Hideaway - Kelford School

Contributed by Faith Hardy-Greene
Memories of Jannie Hardy
Around 1920 to the 1940's Jannie and several siblings and other friends in the community attended the school. The principal of the school then was Brody Leroy Boone and he also taught classes.

A few of the teachers were Amaza Holloman, Mary P. Taylor and Daisy Peele Moore. These were just her favorites. All of the black families attended this school.

Some of the names are:
Annie Hardy now Jones, Jannie Hardy, Floretta Boone(deceased), Minnie Lassiter(deceased), the Rev. Raymond Lassiter(deceased), Walter Lassiter(deceased), Cora Boone(deceased) She also taught piano lessons and played for the First Baptist Church of Kelford until her death. Clinton Boone(deceased), Geneva Hardy Bazemore, Mary Hardy Carruthers, Hards - Fannie, Dora, Mable, Alvin, Frank, James(Buddy), Joseph(Pig), all siblings. Virginia Hardy Smith, Hazel Hardy Anderson, Helen Hardy, Vera Hardy Harris, Goldie Faison, Helen Jenkins(deceased) Catherine Jenkins Clark, Sidney Jenkins Jones and Johnnie Eaton.

These are just a few of the names that she gave me. This was the only school for them to attend in the area.

Entertainment -- they went fishing, attended basball games and met up town in kelford to meet the train and socialize every sunday. there was a quartet back the and the members were Whaley Savage, Rev. Raymond Lassiter, Rev. James R. Wiggins, Eddie Lee, Big Boy Mitchell all are deceased now.

Pete Austin's Memories

BLACK JACK ROAD---As you depart from downtown Kelford and travel south about one-half mile on Blackjack Road, that runs parallel to the Atlantic Coast Line Rail Road tracks, you will see the former colored (now correctly called black) school. Today this building has been converted into a nightclub called the Village Hideaway. Unfortunately in the late 1920's the county had no Black High School in the southwestern part of Bertie Co. The Bertie County Board of Education determined that due to the limited number of students available for a Black High School it was more economical in the 1930-40 to bus children living in that area by send them to Rich Square where they could have better teachers and greater facilities. Bertie Country at that time operated under a segregated and separate school system. As a result of this decision all the black students were bussed daily to Rich Square, which was nine miles away and in Northampton County. Here the black students could get their high school training. Bertie reimbursed Northampton County for each of these students that attended school outside the county. The Rich Square Black School had the reputation of being one of the best schools in the area.

The Kelford colored (black) school building was situated on the left side on Blackjack Road and a short distance back from the ACL railroad tracts

MARIE Johnston JONES--- Both Marie and her mother Addie had been like family to us for many years. Marie and her husband Clifton later replaced the old Flood house that was located on the property with a new structure. She and her remaining son Clifton Jr "Pig" are still living there.

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