Bernice Schools Were First Held In Vacant House

The Gazette
October 5, 1939

The first school in Bernice was housed in a vacant house, located near the center of the firsts block east of the railroad, where Seba Booles now resides. Miss Callie Jones was the first teacher.

A year or so after this, a school house was built. It was a frame building and located near the present site of the elementary school in Bernice. This building, which cost $4,500.00, was destroyed by fire in 1906.

Some of the early teachers were Professor Fordson, Bennett, Wroten, Miss Clara Massey, Miss Annie Talbot, Miss Betty Nolen and Mrs. D. B. Garland. Most of these teachers came from Tennessee. The enrollment about that time was around 100.

Om 1905 a high school building was erected at a cost of $16,000 on the site where the frame building burned. This building, now occupied by teh elementary department, was held in conjunction with the lower grades. It was recognized as a standard high school in 1907. Its first principal was George W. Newton, and the faculty was composed of Mrs. G. W. Newton, Mrs. D. B. Garland, Miss Mamie Hughes, Dr. J. E. Brown and Miss Sue Feaster.

The present high school building at Bernice was erected in 1920 when Dr. J. G. Taylor was president of the school board.

A home economics department had been added to the school the year previous.

Today, the school is one of the outstanding institutions in this section.


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