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The Beginning of A New School

Lion

Central High School, formally Lowndes County Training School, was founded in 1913 in the heart of Alabama's Black Belt in the center of Lowndes County.  There arose in the minds of some of our energetic leaders, the necessity for a better school for  African-American boys and girls.  The school was formed from a consolidation of three grammar schools:  The Charity Industrial School, Gordonville Grammar School and Mosses School.  The original board of trustees consisted of Mr. Bob Chisolm, Mr. Will Carner, Mr. John Paige, Mr. Robert McCord, and Mr. John Pugh.   

 

This group of concerned and energetic men went to the late Judge J.C. Woods and Superintendent H.K. Williamson for approval.  Their plan to build a school providing more than the primary grades was readily accepted.  Mr. and Mrs. Robert McCord consented to sell the board seven acres of land, presently the site of Central Elementary School.

 

It was an interesting story how the materials were secured.  All of the people of the community were very cooperative.  Men made long trips in wagons to Letohatchee for the materials.  A portion of the funds for the materials was raised in the local community and the state matched this fund two to one.  From these materials was constructed a two story frame building.  This building contained five rooms for instruction.  Mrs. Mary F. Edwards served as first principal, and then came Mr. S.T. Wilson as principal.  Under his administration the vocational department and teacher living quarters were added to the school.  Upon the resignation of Mr. Wilson, Mr. C.P. Everett, the vocational agriculture teacher, was promoted to principal.  During his administration the vocational building was renovated.  The teacher living quarters was destroyed by fire and rebuilt the following year.  Because of failing health, Mr. Everette offered his resignation in 1937.  His unexpired term was carried out by Mr. L. R. Gesham.

 

In 1938, Mr. Wayman R. F. Grant became principal.  During his administration, through the N.Y.A., an elementary building was erected.  After Mr. Grant was called into the armed service, Mr. James Jenkins was appointed principal.  He carried out the unfinished term and an additional year.  During his administration the vocational building was destroyed by fire.

 

In 1944, Dr.  R.R. Pierce became principal.  Seeing the need for renovating or replacing the administration building, Mr. Pierce launched a drive to assist in rebuilding the Agriculture building and to replace the administration building which was condemned.  Before the drive was completed, fire destroyed the administration building. 

 

Under Dr. Pierce’s administration forty acres of land was purchased.  On this site, an athletic building and an athletic field was constructed.   A new annex was added in 1963, which housed the science department, home economics department, and two general classrooms.  This was constructed at an approximate cost of $75,000.  In 1963, the school served twenty or more communities.

 

Later, a complete new high school plant was under construction at a cost of well over a half million dollars.  This structure was used for grades seven through twelve, including courses in agriculture, home economics, commerce,   reading laboratory, and a complete science laboratory.





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