THE HISTORY OF SYCAMORE SCHOOL

     The first Sycamore School was built in 1876.  It was located due south of the present building and was on the south side of the railroad.
     Mrs. Libby Wall said that her parents had told her the first building was built there the year she was born and that was 1876.  The first teacher she could remember was John Frazier.
     Mr. Simond Kuykendall said he went to his first school at Sycamore in 1887.  Here are the teachers he remembers from 1887 to 1898, May Freeze, Steve Upton, Worth Smith, Brice Terry, Rollie King, and Harve McCulley.
     The first school was a log building and Mr. Kuykendall said he remembered his seat was by a big crack where the chinking had come out from between the logs and he took his knife and carved the five great lakes on one of the logs.
     He said when they had an exhibition the stage was on the outside of the house and they would build up big log heaps and set them on fire.  These big fires served for lights and also to warm by.
     Mr. Kuykendall said if a person completed the eighth grade they were allowed to teach school.  He said he taught his first school at Sycamore in 1901, and the teacher’s pay was $20 per month.  He taught his last school there in 1912, and the pay was $40 per month.  He said there were about seventy-five children enrolled, and the school was only 2 ½ to three months long.  He said the last school he taught was six months long.  Here is a list of the superintendents Mr. Kuykendall remembers from 1890 to 1897, Alex Ford, Harve Whitson, Ernest Boyd, and Jack Chisem.
     Mr. Neal Countiss said he remembers going to school at Sycamore about the year of 1896.  He said the house at that time was a log building with one front door, and the windows were just holes cut out in the walls with no glass in them.  The wind just blew right through.
     The seats were logs split open with wooden pegs put in them for legs.  The only place the children had to put their books was on the floor under their seat or on the seat beside them. 
     In 1897 a framed and weather boarded building was put up beside the old log building and then the old log building was torn down.
     The only heat they had in those days was a big stove in the middle of the floor, and in real cold weather the children took turns standing by the stove to warm.  There was a lot of timber around at that time, and the fuel they had to heat with was just what wood the children could go out in the woods and pick up.
     Mr. Jim Hayse McCulley said when he went to school at Sycamore the train would come along and was low on wood to fire the locomotive with.  The children helped to gather some wood and the engineer let them get on a flat car and take a little ride for helping.
     In 1920 a framed and weather boarded building was erected on the lot where the present school is today.  It was just a one-teacher school at that time.  Mrs. Sophia Shipley was the teacher.  In 1923 it had grown to a two-teacher school.
     In 1940 the framed building was sold to the Sycamore Church of Christ and moved over on the east side of Ellis Avenue where it is still used as a church house.  There was a three-roomed brick building put up for the school.
     In 1952 a modern lunchroom and rest rooms were added, and then in 1958 four classrooms, a new office, and a teacher’s lounge was added.
     The first P.T.A. was organized at Sycamore in the 1956-1957 school year.

Written July, 1959 by Charlie F. Hunter
December 1, 1963

   In 1963 two more classrooms and a gymnasium were added to Sycamore School making it a nine-teacher school plus the E.M.R. teacher.  The kitchen was enlarged also, and in November 1963 a dishwasher, potato peeler, stainless steel serving counter, hood over the stove, and some more counters and equipment were added to the kitchen.
     In 1963 Sycamore had its first colored teacher.  Her name was Mrs. Isac Bohanan.  She seemed to get along fine with the children, and they seemed to like her.
     The old weather boarded school building that was sold to Sycamore Church of Christ in 1940 was sold again about 1961 and was moved just east of the new brick building the Church of Christ put up.  The old building now faces Crescent Drive.  This old building is part of Sycamore’s first framed and weather boarded building, which was built in 1897. (1920?)

 

Sycamore Teachers
From 1920-1959

1920 Sophia Shipley   1940-1941 Winnie P Hatcher
        Maggie Fender
         
1921-1922 Sallie M Whitson   1941-1942 Winnie P Hatcher
        Maggie Fender
         
1922-1923 Ada Huddleston   1942-1943 Ruby Bagwell
  Bessie Bohannon     Maggie Fender
         
1923-1924 Sophia Shipley   1943-1944 Ruby Bagwell
  Hubert Clark     Maggie Fender
         
1924-1925 Sophia Shipley   1944-1945 Fannie Pedigo
  Louise Cornwell     Ruth Allen
         
1925-1926 Louise Cornwell   1945-1946 Ina Allen
  Ona V Ellis     Ruth Allen
         
1926-1927 Vallie Carr   1946-1947 Ina Allen
  Ona V Ellis     Ruth Allen
        Maggie Fender
         
1927-1928 Vallie Carr   1947-1948 Ina Allen
  Lucile Moore     Ruth Allen
        Maggie Fender
         
1928-1929 Vallie Carr   1948-1949 Floy C Dyer
  Lucile Moore     Caprice Haile
        Roxie Ann McCulley
         
1929-1930 Pauline Hudgens   1949-1950 Caprice Haile
  Mary McDonald     Roxie McCulley
        Mattie Wilhite
         
1930-1931 Dimple Breeding   1950-1951 Hazel Brewington
  Lorene Brown     Caprice Haile
        Roxie McCulley
         
1931-1932 Bertie Brown   1951-1952 Caprice Haile
  MS Hatfield     Roxie McCulley
        Katie L Noe
         
1932-1933 H Essex   1952-1953 Caprice Haile
  Anna Lynn     Louise Brewington
        Roxie McCulley
         
1933-1934 H Essex   1953-1954 Lurlene McCormick
  Anna Lynn     Nellie Bagwell
        Louise Brewington
         
1934-1935 Anna Lynn   1954-1955 Lurlene McCormick
  H Essex     Nellie Bagwell
        Louise Brewington
         
1935-1936 Julia H Cowman   1955-1956 Lurlene McCormick
  Lillian Manning     Louise Brewington
  H. Essex     Lillian McCloud
         
1936-1937 Lillian Manning   1956-1957 Lillian McCloud
  Julia H. Cowman     Cora Bell Boyd
  Ina Allen     Louise Brewington
         
1937-1938 Tolbert Thompson   1957-1958 Lorelle Wilson
  Inez Isbell Bilbrey     Cora Boyd
  Margaret Fender     Louise Brewington
        Rebecca Regan
        Wallene Thompson
         
1938-1939 Rozelle Huddleston   1958-1959 Lorelle Wilson
  Tolbert Thompson     Coro Boyd
  Inez Isbell Bilbrey     Louise Brewington
        Rebecca Reagan
1939-1940 Victoria Maxwell     Wallace Tompson
  Mildred Maloney      
  Tolbert Thompson   1959-1964 Cecil J Allen
  Inez Bilbrey     Cora B Boyd
        Louise Brewington
        Walene Thompson
        Rebecca Reagan
        Vio Phillips
        Eula Wheller
        William Stout
        Joe Stanton
        Genomie Fox
        Evon Hicks
        Mary Thaxton
        Amanda Bohannon
452 Ellis Avenue - Cookeville TN 38501- (931) 526-9322