Category: Schools & Education

School Districts Laid Out, 1831

By , February 19, 2014

This transcription comprises three documents held at the Grainger County Archives.  Spelling and grammar are maintained here.

Beans Station 16th April 1831

Pursuant to the provisions of a late act of the general Assembly of the State of Tennessee entitled an act to establish Common Schools in this state

We have this Day met for the purpose of laying into convenient School districts the Hundredth Regiment of Tennessee Militia and have proceeded to lay off said districts as follows viz

Captn B B Godseys company shall constitute two districts to be divided by a line Begining a John Boins [?] on the Hawkins county line and runing across said company and across Spring Creek so as to pass Michael Perkypiles leaving him in the lower districts thence to Isaiah Reece’s leaving him in the lower destrict thence to Isaiah Reece’s leaving him in teh up thence to John Poindexter, including him in the lower thence to Samuel Coxe’s leaving him in the lower District otherwise both destricts to be bounded by the bounds of the company

Capt B Koffman’s [Hoffman’s?] Co to constitute one Destrict and bounded by the bounds of the company

Captn Jonathan Noe’s company to constitute one destrict bounded by the same bounds of the company

Captn Richard Grantham’s company to constitute two destricts to be divded by a line Begining at James Mays’s including him in the upper runing thence to Nunum’s [?] leaving him in the upper destrict Otherwise both said destricts to be bounded by the bounds of the company

Captn Nehemiah Mcgee’s company to constitute of one destrict and bounded as the company

Captn E. Thomason’s company to consist [?] of two destricts to be divded by a line begining where Dennis Roberts now lives and runing directly across the company by Captn Campbell’s leaving him in the upper destrict and both destricts otherwise bounded by the companys bounds

Captn P. Senter’s company shall constitute one destrict to be bunded as the company is bounded

Captn James Mallicot’s company to constitue one Destrict to be bounded as sd company is bounded

Captn James K McNallys company to constitute one destrict to be bounded by the same bounds of the company

Done at Beans Station this 16th Day of April 1831


John Easterly
John Lathim
Robt Long

No 1 — Godseys company
No 2 — Ditto Ditto
No 3 — Coffmans Ditto
No 4 — Noes Ditto
No 5 — Granthams Ditto
No 6 — Ditto Ditto
No 7 — Mcgees Ditto
No 8 — Thomasons Ditto
No 9 — Ditto Ditto
No 10 — Senters Ditto
No 11 — Mallicots Ditto
No 12 — Mcnallys Ditto

Written on reverse, with no explanation:

No 1

No 2
John Rice
John Poindexter
D Mcnally
James Shields
T Reece

A second document contains the following details

State of Tennessee )
Grainger County )      100th Regiment Tennessee Militia

Common School Districts in said Regiment

No 1 Upper part of Captn B. B. Godseys Company
No 2 Lower part of the same Company
No 3 Captn B. Koffmans Company entire
No 4 Captn Jonathan Noes Company entire
No 5 Upper end of Captn R. Granthams Company
No 6 Lower end of the same Company
No 7 Captn N. Mcgees Company entire
No 8 Upper part of Captn E. Thomasons Company
No 9 Lower end of the same company
No 10 Captn P. Senters Company entire
No 12 Captn James Mallicots Company entire
No 11 Captn J. K. Mcnallys Company entire

Extract from the records of the proceedigs [sic] of the Commissioners at Beans Station on the 16 April last

John Easterly
Secretary of the board

27th May 1831

A true copy of the bounds of each district will be forwarded to the board of Common School Commissioners when elected and organized

J. Easterly

A third document contains the following details

7th or Lower Regiment — Grainger County

A continuation of the [illegible] School Districts

No 13 }
No 14 } Captn Brocks company
No 15 }
No 16 Upper end of Captn Monroes company
No 17 Lower end of the same
No 18 North side of Captn Hamiltons company
No 19 South side of the same
No 20 }
No 21 } Captn Butchers company
No 22 }
No 23 North side of Captn Waters [?] co
No 24 South side Ditto
No 25 }
No 26 } Campbells and Bledsoes companys
No 27 }
No 28 Upper end of Captn Harrells co
No 29 Lower end Ditto
No 30 }
No 31 }
No 32 } Captns Massingal & Bests [?] and Bests [sic] [?] cos
No 33 }
No 34 }


Easterly {No 1 Godseys Hoffmans and Noes cos consisting of Nos Districts 1-2-3-4

Godwin {No 2 Granthams Senters Mcgees and Thomasons cos Districts 5-6-7-8-9-10

Lathim {No 3 Mcnellys and Mallicots cos Districts 11-12

Clark {No 4 Brocks Monroes Hamiltons cos Districts 13-14-15-16-17-18-19

Chesney {No 5 Butchers and Waterss cos D. 20-21-22-23-24

Blair {No 6 Campbells Bledsoes and Harrells cos D. 25-26-27-28-29

Division No 7 Massingals Wests and Wests [sic] cos 30-31-32-33-34 (Curl)

Transcribed by Billie McNamara from the original documents.

Schools Identified in the GNIS

By , June 22, 2011

Geographic features that appear on topographic maps in the United States are listed in an online database maintained by the federal government’s United States Geological Survey and the U. S. Board on Geographic Names.

This entity is usually referred to as USGS. The database is called the Geographic Names Information System, or GNIS. Many genealogists use it frequently to find places, identify the county location, and determine the coordinates.

The following table contains all topographic features in the GNIS identified as schools within Grainger County. Places that no longer exist are identified with “(historical).”

The table also includes the latitude and longitude and name of the 7.5′ USGS topographical quadrangle map on which the place is shown.

Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of all schools that have existed  in the county. It is simply the government’s mapping system’s list. Click here to search GNIS for other topographical features or locations.

Name Latitude Longitude Elevation Quadrangle Map
Avondale School (historical) 361828N 0832740W 1093 Avondale
Barley Bend School (historical) 360610N 0834109W 945 Mascot
Bean Station Elementary School 362002N 0832108W 1102 Bean Station
Beech Grove School (historical) 362158N 0832815W 1099 Avondale
Bellview School 361610N 0834109W 1358 Powder Springs
Brown School 360847N 0834053W 1033 Luttrell
Buffalo School 361250N 0833338W 1066 Joppa
Buffalo School (historical) 361248N 0833345W 1017 Joppa
Center View School (historical) 361940N 0833416W 1148 Dutch Valley
Central Point School (historical) 361515N 0832920W 1457 Avondale
Clinch Mountain School 362025N 0832315W 1112 Avondale
Clinchview School (historical) 362348N 0832005W 1276 Swan Island
Crosby School (historical) 361712N 0831738W 1073 Bean Station
Dotson School (historical) 362007N 0832956W 1280 Avondale
Dutch Valley School (historical) 362039N 0833407W 1109 Dutch Valley
Elm Springs School (historical) 362008N 0833602W 1421 Dutch Valley
Fairview School (historical) 362302N 0832130W 1444 Swan Island
Hammer School (historical) 361448N 0833117W 1280 Joppa
Helton School 361657N 0832335W 1138 Avondale
Indian Creek School (historical) 362343N 0832415W 1079 Howard Quarter
Indian Ridge School (historical) 361006N 0833629W 1260 Joppa
Joppa Elementary School 361417N 0833703W 988 Joppa
Kirkham School (historical) 361906N 0831739W 1135 Bean Station
Lakeview School 361833N 0831741W 1129 Bean Station
Lay School 361818N 0833918W 1132 Powder Springs
Liberty Hill School 361856N 0833715W 1224 Dutch Valley
Liberty School (historical) 362427N 0832134W 1197 Swan Island
Limestone School (historical) 361715N 0832841W 1129 Avondale
Little Valley School 361036N 0833958W 1017 Luttrell
Lizard Ridge School (historical) 361908N 0831910W 1247 Bean Station
Morgan School 361445N 0832649W 1115 Talbott
Morgan School (historical) 361203N 0833657W 1322 Joppa
Mullins School (historical) 362142N 0831736W 1188 Bean Station
Narrow Valley School (historical) 361615N 0832523W 1132 Avondale
Perrin Hollow School (historical) 360856N 0833811W 948 Luttrell
Powder Springs School (historical) 361519N 0834012W 1325 Powder Springs
Prospect School (historical) 361708N 0832343W 1158 Avondale
Puncheon Camp School (historical) 361846N 0833220W 1424 Dutch Valley
Red House School (historical) 361217N 0833940W 928 Luttrell
Richland School (historical) 360812N 0833952W 958 Luttrell
Rush Strong School 360919N 0834223W 984 Luttrell
Rutledge Elementary School 361650N 0833033W 1001 Dutch Valley
Rutledge High School 361625N 0833210W 1037 Dutch Valley
Rutledge Middle School 361645N 0833118W 1001 Dutch Valley
Thorn Hill School 362107N 0832550W 1427 Avondale
Washburn School 361736N 0833522W 1430 Dutch Valley
Young School 361228N 0832951W 1263 Talbott

An Introduction to Grainger County

By , June 20, 2011

First settlement of Grainger County was begun about 1785, along the valley south of Clinch Mountain, at the head of Flat Creek. Some of the first settlers were some who had resided originally in what is still Hawkins county. A prominent pioneer, James Ore, located at a place known as Oresville, about one mile east of Bean Station, near the close of the 18th century.

The act creating Grainger County was passed on April 22, 1796, and the boundaries were described as follows: "Beginning on the main road leading from Bull’s Gap to Hayne’s Iron Works, on Mosey Creek, at the house of ‘Felps’ Read, running a course to the Kentucky road on the north side of Holston River, then north fifty degrees west to the Virginia line, then west with said line to a point northwest of the end of Clinch Mountain, and to a ridge dividing Richland and Flat Creeks to Holston River at the upper end of the first bluff above Boyles’ old place, then up the course of the river to the mouth of Panther Creek to near the houme of John Evans."

The county court was organized on June 13, 1796 at the home of Benjamin McCarty, who lived approximately two miles below Rutledge. The magistrates present at this first court were Thomas Henderson, Elijah Chisum, James Blair, John Estes, Phelps Read, Benjamin McCarty, James Moore, John Bowen, John Kidwell, John Sims, William Thompson and Major Lea. This group elected the following officers:

  • Ambrose Yancey, Clerk of the Court
  • Martin Ashburn, Sheriff
  • Phelps Read, Register
  • John Estes, Ranger
  • James Moore, Coroner

The Constables appointed were:

  • Reuben White
  • William Smith
  • Samuel Cox
  • John Russell
  • John Rhea
  • Elizs Davis
  • John Hibbert

The location of the seat of justice caused much difficulty, and was not permanently settled until 1801, in Rutledge. Meanwhile the court was held at various places: John Bunch’s, Martin Asburns’, Mitchell’s Spring, and occasionally at a place on the north side of Clinch Mountain. The first courthouse was completed in 1801, near the site of the present courthouse, and was erected by Francis Mayberry.

In 1830 the population of Rutledge was given as 150, and it was made up of one school, one church, three stores, two taverns, two hatters, two blacksmiths, one saddler, and two tanners.

The county academy, known as Madison Academy, was in operation about 1842, and the first building stood on a bluff south of the town. In 1865, a new two-story frame building was erected on a lot just east of the town.

Early Newspapers of Grainger County

There were only two 19th Century newspapers established in Rutledge:

  • The Enterprise, established by J.N. Hodge in 1883.
  • The East Tennessee Eagle, a Republican paper started by G.M. Williams and G.T. Norris, in April, 1887.

This information was prepared by Betty Allen in 1997. All rights reserved.

Private Acts: Schools — General Reference

By , April 28, 2011

The general state statutes regulating education are found in title 49 of Tennessee Code Annotated.

The following acts constitute part of the administrative and political heritage of the educational structure of Grainger County but are no longer operative since they have either been superseded, repealed, or failed to receive local approval.

  1. Private Acts of 1823, Chapter 270, appointed John F. Jack and Felps Read as commissioners of Madison Academy in Grainger County.
  2. Private Acts of 1825, Chapter 316, appointed Benjamin Craighead, Thomas M. Brown, William Dyer and William E. Cocke as additional trustees of Madison Academy in Grainger County.
  3. Private Acts of 1827, Chapter 237, appointed Hugh Houston, William E. Cocke and Thomas Whiteside as additional trustees of Madison Academy in Grainger County.
  4. Private Acts of 1829-30, Chapter 128, appointed Samuel B. Tate, Thomas S. Cocke, Martin Cleveland, Robert Gains and Bolin Shirley as additional trustees of Madison Academy in Grainger County.
  5. Acts of 1907, Chapter 170, created a special school district in the fifth civil district of Grainger County and provided for the directors and government of same.
  6. Acts of 1909, Chapter 494, required parents and guardians of Grainger County, to cause children between certain ages to attend some public school for a certain number of days each year, except under certain conditions.
  7. Private Acts of 1911, Chapter 332, provided for and enforced the education of all children between the ages of eight years and sixteen years of age in Grainger County.

Private Acts: Board of Education

By , April 28, 2011

General statutes regulating county boards of education and elementary and secondary education in the public schools may be found in T.C.A. title 49, chapters 1 through 6.  County boards of education must be popularly elected to staggered four-year terms from districts of substantially equal population.  The county legislative bodies are authorized to establish districts for county board of education members by resolution instead of having to rely on private acts for reapportionment.  T.C.A. §49-2-201.

Members of county boards of education must have a high school diploma or general education equivalent. However, a few counties are purported to be excluded by narrow population exception.  Board members who fail to participate in state sponsored training are subject to removal by the commissioner of education.  T.C.A. §49-2-202.

Private Acts of 1957
Chapter 54

SECTION 1.  That from and after the effective date of this Act the Members of the County Board of Education in counties of this State having a population of not more than 13,090 and not less than 13,080, according to the Federal Census of 1950, or any other subsequent Federal Census, shall be paid a sum of six dollars ($6.00) per day, for each session actually in attendance.

SECTION 2.  That all Acts or parts of Acts in conflict with this Act are hereby repealed.

SECTION 3.  That this Act shall have no effect unless the same shall have been approved by two-thirds vote of the Quarterly County Court of any county to which it may apply on or before the next regular meeting of such Quarterly County Court occurring more than sixty (60) days after its approval by the Chief Executive of this State.

SECTION 4.  That this Act shall take effect from and after its passage, the public welfare requiring it.

Passed:  February 14, 1956.

Private Acts of 1972
Chapter 392

SECTION 1.  There is hereby created a Board of Education for Grainger County composed of ten (10) members.  As amended by: Private Acts of 1982, Chapter 224.

SECTION 2.  The county is hereby divided into five (5) school districts, the boundaries of which shall be as follows:

  • School District 1.  The boundaries of School District 1 shall be the same as County Commission District 1.
  • School District 2.  The boundaries of School District 2 shall be the same as County Commission District 2.
  • School District 3.  The boundaries of School District 3 shall be the same as County Commission District 3.
  • School District 4.  The boundaries of School District 4 shall be the same as County Commission District 4.
  • School District 5.  The boundaries of School District 5 shall be the same as County Commission District 5.

As amended by:  Private Acts of 1982, Chapter 224.

SECTION 3.  The Board of Education members shall be citizens of recognized integrity, intelligence, and ability to administer the duties of the office. Each such member shall have resided not less than one (1) year next preceding his election in the county commission district comprising the School Board District from which he is elected and shall be a registered voter in such district.  No member of the Quarterly County Court nor any other county official, elected or appointed, shaly be eligible for election or appointment as County Board of Education member.  No board member shall serve as a teacher or in any other position under the board carrying with it any salary or compensation.  Should a board member move his place of residence outside the district which he represents, the office of such board member shall become vacant.

. . .

SECTION 10.  The County Board shall have the responsibility for the government, supervision, and  control of the public schools of the County, provided, however, that no Board member shall have authority to act independently on any school matter.  The Board shall generally exercise all powers, duties, and privileges as set forth in the public laws of Tennessee relative to County Boards of Education and specifically discharged those duties enumerated in Section 49-214 and Section 49-215, Tennessee Code Annotated, which are not in conflict with the provisions of this Act.

It shall be the duty of the County Board of Education to elect, from nominations or recommendations made by the Superintendent of Schools, but not otherwise, all principals, teachers, and other employees of the County School System; and to fix the salaries of principals, teachers, and other employees of the County School System, within the funds available or provided by the Quarterly County Court.

It shall be the duty of the Board to plan for the extension and development of the County School System; to determine the need for new buildings; to plan, locate, erect, and furnish the same, after the Quarterly County Court shall have provided funds for same.

The Board shall adopt written policies and regulations for the proper functioning of the Board and the School System. It shall have drawn up and made available for general distribution a statement of such policies and regulations.  The Board shall assign to the County Superintendent of schools such duties as are set forth in Section 49-224, Tennessee Code Annotated, and any other such duties as can reasonably be expected of the superintendent.

. . .

SECTION 14.   This Act shall have no effect unless it is approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Quarterly County Court of Grainger County on or before July 1, 1972.  Its approval or nonapproval shall be proclaimed by the presiding officer of the Quarterly County Court and certified by him to the Secretary of State.

SECTION 15.  For the purpose of approving or rejecting the provisions of this act, as provided in Section 14, it shall be effective on becoming a law, the public welfare requiring it.  For all other purposes it shall become effective upon becoming approved as provided in Section 14.

Passed: April 7, 1972.

The following acts once affected the board of education in Grainger County but are no longer operative.  Also referenced below is an act which repealed prior law without providing new substantive provisions.

  1. Private Acts of 1911, Chapter 315, amended Acts of 1907, Chapter 236, by providing that each civil district in Grainger County, shall constitute a school district, and a member of the said board of education would be elected from each district.
  2. Private Acts of 1927, Chapter 300, created created a county board of education for Grainger County which was composed of seven members which served for two years and were paid $60 per annum, payable quarterly out of the general educational fund of Grainger County.
  3. Private Acts of 1935, Chapter 53, created a county board of education for Grainger County.  This act was repealed by Private Acts of 1972, Chapter 392.
  4. Private Acts of 1961, Chapter 352, would have amended Private Acts of 1957, Chapter 54, by raising the compensation of the members of the county board of education, but the act was rejected by local officials and therefore never became law.

After the passage of the “Education Improvement Act of 1991,” the elected office of superintendent of public instruction (county superintendent of education) was phased out.  Replacing the superintendent is a director of schools, who is an employee of the county board of education; however, the continued use of the title superintendent is permitted.  The director of schools is employed by the board under a written contract of up to four years duration under T.C.A. §49-2-203(a).  The duties of the director of schools are enumerated in T.C.A. §49-2-301.

The acts referenced below once affected the office of superintendent of education in Grainger County, but are no longer operative.  Also referenced below is an act which repealed prior law without providing new substantive provisions.

  1. Private Acts of 1931, Chapter 76, provided that the county superintendent of public instruction be elected by the qualified voters of Grainger County at the general election held on the first Thursday of August of 1932 and biennially thereafter.
  2. Private Acts of 1933, Chapter 154, repealed Private Acts of 1931, Chapter 76.

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