Taylor County Schools

History of Taylor County Schools

The history of many Taylor County Schools, as well as photographs, are included in the 1996 Taylor Tracer series. 1996 = $15 + $2.00 postage
Send check to:
Mr. John Adams
P.O. Box 5059
Warner Robins, GA 31099
Mr. Taylor has identified the following schools. Any additional information is WELCOME!!

Butler Female College This school in Taylor County, Georgia opened in 1873 and closed in the 1920's. The school was first called Johnston Institute and then changed and incorporated in 1875 under the name Butler Female College and Male Institute. They published a catalogue each year listing the names of students. I have a copy of the 1881-1882 class and the 1911, plus information from the Butler Herald. Butler Female College and Male Institute Butler School Bethlehem Central (photo students and teacher 1925-1926 identified) Charing Clayton Cobb Coleman Institute - Reynolds Coopers Crossroads Crowell Daviston Five Points [4 May 1861 deed William J.F.Mitchell to James J. Mitchell $2,000 24th Dis LL150 202.5 acres reserving 2 acres on which the Academy now stands] Glovers Harmony Hobbs - 1862 Howard Jinks Academy - 1904 Teacher Miss Minnie Pettis Mauk McGinty Midway Panther Creek Peacock Pine Burr Pine Grove Pine Knot Potterville Reynolds Rhodes Academy Rupert Southland Taylor's Mill Turner's Chapel Union Wainwright Walker Willis Academy Wesley Whitewater

Small "country" schools
(Butler Herald, Tuesday, Sept 26, 1911) [Reprint Sept 2005 Taylor Tracer]
At a very important meeting of the county board of Education held in the office of commissioner, A.S. Wallace, last Tuesday, one of the most interesting matters disposed of was contracting with teachers for the various schools of the county.
Below we are pleased to give a list of the rural schools of the county and by whom to be taught for the ensuing five months beginning not later than the fourth Monday in October, but may begin as early as the second Monday of the same month.
The schools and names of teachers are as follows:

(Butler Herald, Thursday, Oct 3, 1912)
Schools will begin on the fourth Monday in October. County Superintendent, Prof. A.S. WALLACE provided the following list:

By 1956 all the smaller "country" elementary school like Crossroads, Central, Mauk, Wesley, Turner's Chapel, Crowell, Taylor Mill, Rupert -- had been consolidated into either Butler or Reynolds High School.

Small schools not on above list:

Schoolday Remembrances

Visit this page for some amusing anecdotes of school life.


Butler Herald- Sept. 16, 1915
The board of trustees of Harmony school which is composed of Messrs. S. E.Cox, W. H. Theus and C. D. McInvale met on Sept. 2nd and unanimously elected Miss Lila Davis, of Ideal, teacher of that school. The term will begin the last of October.


My Dad, W.T. Hamilton started to Howard school abt. 1910. His first teacher was a Miss Sealy. After she married and left, Miss Mattie Julia Van Landingham became his teacher, until he moved away in 1917. Miss Mattie Julia married Hugh Perkins.
William F. Hamilton wham@oconee.com


Rupert School in 1907 included teachers Tellie and Sallie V. Rustin. Students in the "school closing" day picture included students: Tom Cochran, Hallie Rogers, Monroe Hill, Lula Wisham, Clara Hill, Mintie Hill, Albert Cooper, Annie Eubanks, Jewel Cochran, Lura and Lorena Cochran, Collier Wisham, Minnie Cooper, Pearl Whatley, and Maggie Cooper.

Photo (1945) of "new" Rupert School included: Max Tom Hardie, Roy Rogers, Floyd Brewer, Ann Williamson, Arie Ann McLaughlin, Adrian Downs, Boyette Turner, Jimmy Harvery, Jeanelle Downs, Carlene Bell, Joyce McChargue, Louise Wisham, Marie Rogers, Thomas Carpenter, Robert David Cooper, Agnes Blakely, Barbara McCorkle, Lillie Mae Williamson, Betty Jane Cooper, Neva Wisham, Nita Rogers, Gene Hill, Lisa Hardie, Sonya Riddick, Eva Wisham, Robert Brewer, Jimmy Downs, Bobby Green, James Hinton, Hoyce Cromer, Sammy Locke, Jessie Harris, Wynelle Blakely, Bobby Barrow, Robert Harris, Mozelle Rogers, Leroy Sawyer, Lula Mae Carpenter and teachers, Mrs. Lucille Callahan and Mrs. Ethel Harvey. Mrs. Max Hardie was principal.

Pilkinton School
Pilkinton School near the Pilkinton Mill on Rambullet Creek just west of Highway 19, 7 mi s. of Butler in the early 1900's. The teacher was Carrie Parks and among the pupils attending the one room school were: Maude, Sally Mattie, A.V., Clyde, Ouida and Jim Brewer; Perk, Maude and Amanda Harris; Edna Pearl Hurst, Mattie Mae, Viola, Chester and Vesta Waters; Ella, Ava and Evie Lou Blakely; Lewis, Rupert and Ira Pilkinton and the three daughters of Mr and Mrs. Bryant Cooper.
Wesley School --1918
(Butler Herald, Thursday, April 4, 1918) Wesley School closed here Friday after a successful term taught by Misses Mattie J. Vanlandingham and Wynelle Pope. A good program was arranged for the occasion, each child doing his part well. The exercises were well attended and enjoyed by all the people of this community as well as from elsewhere. Each of the girls carried something they had made such as cooking, needlework, etc. It was a pleasure to see what progress our school has made within the past year. County School Superintendent Wallace was present and gave a good talk which was very much enjoyed. Those completing the seventh grade and receiving state certificates: Misses JESSE HEATH, INA ROYAL, GLADYS HAYWOOD, MAUD AMOS and MR. WALTER SUGGS.
Miss Bessie McGuffin, Miss Bessie Childs and Mrs. Ruth Williams Martin were the teachers with Miss Ida Childs serving as the principal. Some years earlier J.A. Heath deeded land to the community for a school located between the Wesley Church and the Terrell Robbins home. The first school building had been across from the church. In later years W. Herman Elliston became principal and the school was consolidated with the Central School in 1943 after which the building was torn down and no evidence of the old school is there today. H.A. Sealey served as one of the trustees for many years.
"Old Field Schools" and the W.B. Johnston Institute which opened in 1870 were the very first school. In 1875 these evolved into Butler Male Institute & Female College which changed to Butler Male and Female College in 1888. By 1922 this had become Butler High School.

Alumni 1909-1949

One of the early schools was Professor George Dwight School. Its first floor held the classrooms and the upper floor was a dormitory for boys from nearby towns. Average number of pupils was 60.

In the early 1900's Georgia legislature passed the "McMichael Bill" which allowed local school districts to have elections for school taxes to maintain their schools. Reynolds elected J.H. WHATLEY, C.B. MARSHALL, and R.A. HINTON as the first Board of Trustees.

That same year(1904) Henry Theodore Coleman left a portion of his estate to the Reynolds School and when the new school was dedicated in 1905, it was named for this donor.

This was a two story wooden building. There were four classroom (each holding two grades) on the main floor with an auditorium upstairs. Outdoor privies were used for years. The drinking fountain, located in the back yard, was a single pipe with the faucet turned upside down. There was a bell in the belfry and there is a stroy of a near disaster when the bell once fell.

The first Superintendent was Mr. Roth (a short term) followed by Mr. J.W. BLOODWORTH. Mr. E.H. JOINER was Principal and served for over 40 years.

In a 1909 catalog, Coleman Institute boasted of being "one of the best equipped secondary school in Georiga". With a population of only 1,200 (Reynolds) plans were being made to construct a 50 room dormitory for out-of-town students! The first graduating class (1909): Agnes SEAY, Elam GRIFFITH, Marie BARROW, Wales INGRAM, Clara MUSSELWHITE (all five went to college). Total enrollment for the 1909-1910 was 163 pupils.

Coleman Institute burned in the spring of 1916, just 6 weeks before it was to close for the summer. Arrangements were made for the 7-11 grade to hold classes in the Little Vine (New Hope) Church while the lower grades were in the "Pierce Institute" (named for the family who had lived in the dwelling). Each student brought his own chair!

A temporary structure was created and called "Cow Barn" because of its resemblance to one, but it was used for two years.

In 1918 the new two story brick building was finished and became known as Reynolds High School. That fall a flu epidemic caused the school to close, but it was reopened in time to complete the school year. In the early 1920 smallpox epidemic school stayed open, but a vaccine was mandatory.

School Lunch
Students were allowed an hour for lunch and either walked home or brought theirs wrapped in newspaper or a paper bag. Lunch items included biscuits ...with sausage, ham, or syrup; baked sweet potatoes and gingerbread.
School Excellence expected

Principal Joiner is well remembered for his high expectations. Chapel was held every Friday morning. Students had to give memory verses and answer questions when called upon! His pet subject was Spelling and Reynolds High usually won the Spelling Bees held between county schools. Curriculum requirements were: 4 yrs of math, English/literature, history; 3 yrs of Science, Latin; or 2 yrs Latin and 2 Yrs French. Many going away to college were able to skip Freshman courses in math and English they were so well prepared.

Scholarship Tests

Emory University offered a scholarship to the MALE High School Senior with the highest score on a Test they sent to the school. Mr. Joiner thought all should take the test, so had the girls use "male names"...but when the two highest scorers were girls, he had to confess!

Mrs. John MIMS, drama teacher, and Mrs. PENDERGAST, music directed outstanding student performances each year.

Reynolds students took such pride in their school that an Alumni Association was active and met annually, intiating new gradutes in May each year. Students from all the classes returned from great distances.

1956 era
Up through about 1956 RHS had all twelve grades in one building and was fed by two other elementary schools--one in Crowell and the other in Potterville. The school system couldn't afford to build a basketball gym so William Fickling built one for the school.

July 1965, the decision was made to consolidate with Butler High School. This was greatly opposed by some Taylor families who elected to send their children to the neighboring Peach County School.

Integration came in January, 1970. Mrs. Jewel N. McDougald, an outstanding black educator, served as principal for many years. The elementary school in Reynolds were integrated by race but were segregated by sex in those beginning years.

Alma Mater
From the halls of Reynolds High School We come class by class See her loyal sons and daughters They can't be surpassed. Alma Mater, thee we'll honor As the years go by. Ever give thee praise and glory Hail dear Reynolds High.

For more remembrances of school days, don't miss Bruce Goddard's Page under "Peachland Journal"...Pictures have a way of changing you.

Alumni 1909-1949-- Dedication of REFLECTIONS to Superintendent Eugene Harris Joiner
Lookup for REYNOLDS graduating classes beginning with Class of 1909 - 1965.
Lookup for BUTLER graduating classes beginning with Class of 1909 - 1965.

Crossroads School

One of the early schools of Taylor County. Used in more recent times for family reunions and special occasion receptions. Need more history. Photo by
Gerald Joiner who is very interested in this history. gerjoi@cox.net

Glovers School- Clayton Academy

Nancy Byrd donated the land for in exchange for having a log home built. That is the site of what later became known as Glover School.

From the "History of Reynolds, Georgia" Compiled by Reynolds Woman's Club, Bicentennial Edition, pg 27. "... had it's beginning on May 12, 1832 when four men and five women constituted themselves into a Primitive Doctrine Baptist Church. This church was located about eight miles Northwest of Reynolds (note: Reynolds wasn't formed until 1852) at Ariel in Crawford County which at that time included part of what is now Taylor County."

Taylor County, Georgia      Deed Book H-1  Page 252

Regarding Lot number 203  January 12, 1868
Recorded  October 18, 1886

>From Nancy Byrd to C. M. Lucas, David Beeland And C. R. Wiggins.

This indenture made and entered into this the twelfth day of January in the year
of our lord eighteen hundred and sixty eight, between nancy byrd of the one part
and C.M.. Lucas, David Beeland and C.R.. Wiggins Trustees of the County Academy
known as Clayton Academy and situated on the northeast corner of the south half
of lot of land no. two hundred and three aggreeably to original survey of the
other part all of the state and county aforesaid.  Witness that for and in
consideration of the aforesaid Trustee building or causing to be built a house
on lot of same no. two hundred and three within two hundred yards of the south
line of said lot and within two hundred yards of the marsh ground on the largest
branch running through the aforesaid lot of land number two hundred and three on
the west side of such branch dimensions as follows: log house cealed (sic.) with
boards 16 by 18 __?__ down one window, two doors, plank floor covered with
boards nailed on, stick and dirt chimney.  Do hereby grant bargain sell and
convey when the above obligation is completed with all that tract or parcel of
land, part of lot number two hundred and three.  Agreeable to original survey
lying and being in the north east corner of south half of aforesaid lot of land
containing four acres, known as the meeting house lot which the said Nancy byrd
does here by bargain sell and convey unto the said Trustees and their successors
in office all that tract of parcel of land and the __?__ then unto belonging
forever in fee simple to have and to hold as a place for a County Academy and
public worship.  Said Nancy Byrd doth give warrant and defend the right and
title for herself her heirs and assigns to the Trustees and their successors in
office forever.  In witness where of I have here unto set my hand and seal the
day and year above written.  Signed sealed and delivered.

						(her mark)

						Nancy  X Byrd
						Recorded Oct 18, 1886
						J. B. Flower, Clk
in the presence of V. Montgomery
		David Beeland  JP

The cemetery is in the Northeast corner of the south half of LL 203 and Crowell
Church Road wasn't authorized to be laid out until 4 July 1872 in a special
session of the Court of Ordinary.

The following in the same area.
Ariel Baptist Church
Clayton Academy
Byrd-Glover Cemetery
Glover School House

Wainwright School

The Taylor Tracer Feb 1998 (Reprint)
The Butler Herald
Feb 22, 1898
The school house known as the Wainright School House, situated a few miles northeast of town near Fickling's Mill, was destroyed by fire late Sunday evening the 13th inst, supposed to have been the work of an incendiary. Miss Bessie Fickling had a very good school here. All the books, etc. let in the house were burned. The house was a good one and built several years ago by Dr. Neisler. Arrangements have been made and the citizens of the neighborhood we learn will soon have the house rebuilt at the old site.

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