The Delray Community (or Walton Community) had a school as early as 1878. At that time a lot was donated by V.D. Cranford:
“I, V.D. Cranford… in consideration of eight dollars to me, cash in hand, paid by the citizenship of Free School Community # 47… by these presents do grant… unto H. Fyke, County Judge and to his successors in office in trust for public free school purposes the following described land… in Panola County… on the west side of Sabine River, about four miles west from Carthage, a part of the Headright of William Libby, beginning at the north-west corner of a tract of land bought by V.D. Cranford from J.H. Booty and wife, M.A. Booty… containing one acre of land… for public free school purposes forever. October 22, 1878 V.D. Cranford”
When schools were organized under a County Superintendent, in 1907, this school was created with name undesignated as District # 12, in February 1907. That same year, on December 6, it was established and extended as Walton # 12. Wynder was also designated as # 12 at this time and both were classified as Intermediate Schools at the beginning of the year for 1912. On June 1, 1912, the County Board re-classified the school to a two-year high school, second class. In 1913 it was classified as a three-year high school, first class. Supt. Holmes reported in 1912, “This district (#12) has two schools, Walton and Winder. Walton has a new building and Winder’s building has been repaired so as to be practically new. Furniture and supplies have been added to both schools.”
Teaching in the Walton-Winder School for 1916-1917 were Bertha Kirkley and Annie Lee Redman. They each drew a salary that year of $65.00 per month. Both schools continued to operate until the consolidation movement brought them into Carthage District.
Located on Panola County Road, approximately one mile north of US Highway 79 S. No trace remains of the community, the school or the Walton family burial ground.
Galloway was one of the communities which had land donated for an early school. In 1880 E.D. Barnett and wife, G.C., deeded to the trustees of Galloway School Community a plot of land:
“We, E.D. Barnett and wife, G.C. Barnett, … for and in consideration of the sum of two dollars… paid by J.W. Galloway, James Sykes and L.H. Adams… trustees of Galloway School Community … and for the further consideration of promoting an advancement of public education in said community … to be held in trust by them for the use and purposes of a public School House and promises the following described land and premises, to wit: East side of Sabine River, a part of the Enoch Booker Headright Survey, lying and being in the North West Corner of said Survey to be run off as follows: To Front North, 3-1/2 acres, East 2 acres, South 3-1/2 acres and West 2 acres… containing six acres of land… (Signed) E.D. Barnett, G.C. Barnett”
In 1900 the Commissioners’ Court created School District # 4: “Ordered byo the Court that a white school district be created. To be known as District # 4; said District to be taken from District # 3, bounded as follows: from one mile post on the State Line between Texas and Louisiana… thence West to run South of J.L. Barnett’s, E.D. Barnett’s, L.A. Barnett’s and North of Buck Goodwin to the bridge on Socogee… thence up Socogee to the mouth of Mill Creek… thence up Mill Creek on East bank of same to bridge on the Deadwood to Logansport Road… thence East to the seven mile post on said State Line…”
Thus the Galloway District remained until the re-organization of all districts in 1907-1908. In February 1908, Galloway was created and defined as District # 36. In 1912, the County Board rated it as an Intermediate School, seven grades, and thus it was for a number of years. In 1928, Galloway became associated with neighboring schools in Rural High School District # 3. This lasted only five years because no agreement could be reached for building a high school. The school continued as an elementary with the high school students transferring to Carthage until consolidation in the late 1940’s made the community part of the Carthage School District.
Garrett Springs – Ragley – McCoy
School records on the schools in this community area are very confusing.
Garret Springs was created as District # 33 in 1908. It was established by the Commissioners’ Court, as shown in Record Book G of the Court Minutes. In May 1911, at “Garrett Springs School House, in Common School District # 33… as established by order of the Commissioners’ Court on February 10, 1908… an election to be held to determine whether a majority of the legally qualified property taxpayers desire to tax themselves for the purpose of supplementing the State School Fund apportioned to the district and the Court be authorized to levy … and collect annually a tax at the rate of 20 cents on the $100 valuation of taxable property…” S.A. Terry was appointed presiding officer for the election.
In the same District # 33, Ragley was created and defined in February 1908. In 1912, both Ragley and Garrett Springs were classified by the County Board as Intermediate Schools.
Superintendent A.J. Holmes reported in 1912, “New building and furniture at Garrett Springs; a temporary building has been erected in the East end of the district to meet the demands of increased population.”
By the 1940’s, District # 33 had changed from Ragley to McCoy. A Court document dated August 25, 1947, in the court of County Judge W.J. Merrill, reported an election by McCoy Common School District # 33 in favor of consolidation with Gary Consolidated District # 27, “for school Purposes”. In McCoy the votes cast were nine votes in favor of consolidation and none against it. In Gary the votes cast for 63 for and one against. The election was declared carried and the two districts were consolidated as Gary Consolidated School.
No further explanation has been found on Ragley or Garrett Springs schools.
Tacoma / Horton / Walnut Springs
The first known deed for school land in the Tacoma Community area was made by T.M. Horton in 1886, as follows: “I, T.M. Horton… convey unto Jerry Long, County Judge… a tract… for the purpose of a public school… on the East side of the Sabine River on the Elliott’s Ferry – Deberry Road, about four miles from Deberry and three and one-half miles from Elliott’s Ferry… being the land on which the School House now stands… being about two acres.” Signed: “T.M. Horton, December 13, 1886”
The records are somewhat confusing as to the District number as it was first called District #1, and in 1905 was so established, but Horton was later known as District # 38.
Another deed was made by John T. Elliott and wife, M. Jennie Elliott, in 1903 for a school at Walnut Springs. This was evidently a school for the African-American children.
The County Board classified Horton as a one-year high school in June 1912. Then in 1913 the Board reclassified it as a two-year high school.
County School Superintendent A.J. Holmes said in 1912, “Tacoma carved out of the original #1, built and equipped two good school houses: Shady Grove and Walnut Springs. They have a local tax.”
This school became part of the Deberry Rural High School District, but that District was later dissolved and consolidated with Carthage.
Jumbo Common School District # 22 was created on December 6, 1907. In 1912, the boundaries were corrected and the County Board of Education rated it an Intermediate School. In 1912, it was reclassified as a one-year high school.
County School Superintendent A.J. Holmes reported in 1912, “Jumbo District # 22, has a fifty cent tax, a new two story building and good furniture.”
This school, like many others in the county, operated at the local level until the consolidation pressures became obvious in the 1940’s and Jumbo consolidated with Gary School.
The Liberty Chapel, sometimes referred to as “Frog Pond”, was donated by Charley O. Respess, who was also its teacher for several years. Some of his pupils were his own grandchildren.
On the same location as the Respess School, Liberty Chapel was established and defined as Common School District # 20 on December 6, 1907/
In 1912 the County Board of Education rated the school as Intermediate (seven grades) and the 1913 rating was the same.
County School Superintendent A.J. Holmes reported in 1912, “Liberty Chapel, District # 20, has the house repaired and furniture has been added. This school is very small and will not succeed ‘till its patrons are more enthused over the subject of education.”
Liberty Chapel did become an enthusiastic elementary school before the consolidation movement came. In the 1940’s this district consolidated with Carthage.
Liles / Murray / Waldrop School
From the 1870’s through the 1890’s a school was taught by Mr. Liles and was, therefore, called Liles School. It was taught in a house on the road between Fairplay and the Brooks Community, near the old John Hull place.
In 1900 it was moved to the Murray Community; hear the home of the Billy Murray family. The school house was located beside a stream called Murray Branch, a tributary of Buckner Creek. Known teachers of Murray School were Sudie Lowrie, Amanda Davenport, Minnie Donovan, Hurst Chadwick and Lena Moseley.
Essie Waldrop Belew remembered attending Murray School in 1903, when she was about seven years old. Minnie Donovan, the teacher, went to Carthage for Christmas. When she returned, riding horseback, she had icicles in her hair. This impressed the children who also had to ride horseback or walk long distances to school.
Mrs. Belew described the furnishings of the school room. She said that students sat on benches, with only one long table/desk at the front of the room. This was for all students to sit around to recite or for writing lessons. The lid to this desk raised and held a chest-like cavity for holding the students books. Students had to furnish their own books, so there were very few. The students took turns in groups or classes, while others studied at their seats. All grades were taught in the same classroom.
The pupils being taught by Miss Donovan in 1903, according to Mrs. Belew were William Taylor, Jewel Taylor, John Taylor, Cecil Taylor, Onyce Taylor, Marvin Taylor, Douglas Browning, Richmond Browning, David Waldrop, Horace Akins, Corbitt Akins, Orra Akins, John Raley, Nannie Raley, Carrie Weaver and herself, Essie Waldrop.
After recess on Friday afternoons, each child who had been studious received an award. He or she drew for a small colored picture card. This was a coveted prize for all ages.
David Waldrop remembered some of the mischievous stunts pulled by older boys. The floor planks had wide cracks between them and neighbors’ pigs and chickens wandered around and under the school house at will. In the spring, the boys would bring fish hooks and string to fix traps for the chickens and/or pigs. When the teacher was busy with other students, these boys baited the hooks with bread or corn and dropped them through the cracks. The opposite end of each string was held firmly by a bare foot until the noise and commotion under the floor had disturbed the school. The foot would release the string and no one would ever know who had been responsible.
In 1908 the first County School Superintendent, A.J. Holmes implemented a wave of school improvements. At that time the Murray School was moved from the location beside Murray Branch to the Dud Waldrop place in the Sugar Hill Community. At about the same time the Brooks School was moved one mile east on the road toward where the old Murray School had been. On January 14, 1908 the former Murray School now located on the Waldrop’s land was defined as Waldrop School District # 30. In 1912 it was classified by the County Board as an Intermediate School (seven grades). Supt. Holmes’ report gave the following information: “Fifty cents local tax; nice new building; well developed; always gave the County Supt. Homes an enthusiastic hearing.”
Later improvements were added, but in the 1930’s the Waldrop School was consolidated with Beckville School.