The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on July 1, 1936 · Page 18
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 18

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, July 1, 1936
Page 18
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/ SECTION B Present Facilities Are Far Cry from Log Building •' of Early Years Perhaps (here !s no one achievement In which the 1/ee Wilson Company takes greater pride in celebrating Its fiftieth anniversary thaii the schools of Wilson- Special School District No. 25. An Imposing brick building that houses n four-year high school as well as grammar grades, represents an Investment of $200,000. In addition > there arc two negro school buildings. These schools Illustrate the place education has gained in Arkansas' century of progress, and the deep concern the founder of the town felt In advancing educational advantages for the children of the Wilson community. .The first school of the community, according to authentic data which has been complied in book form by t'ne teachers, pupils and residents of the community, was opened In 18C5, immediately after the close of the Civil War, when a rudely constructed one-room log cabin was located 12 miles southwest of Wilson at Bardstown. This one-room structure was built originally for a church, but later served also as a. school. It became known KLYTHKVILLE, (AUK.) COURIER NiWS was almost Impossible for children lo traverse during bad weather, the school months were the reverse ol what they arc now. Summer was Eelecled as fhe time in which they could most easily reach the school house; otherwise school was held only on days when the wcat'her was favorable. School attendance was not compulsory in those days and school would open when all ihe pupils had arrived. There was one teat'hcr, usually a man, who was very strict, and It was not unusual for him lo resort to a switch for misbehavior. , The leachcr was thn leader In almost all community activities and he was highly respected by t'ne people, it was as hard on the teacher who broke a rill? of the community, as it was on the pupil who broke a rule of school. He had (o walk a straight and narrow parii and he usually board- ctl with a school director without charge. Well a Half Mile Away The children, young and old, sat on long benches placed An cither side of long tables with slanting sides and a top about four Inches i wide. The students sat gwlimhii; their feet while writing on their slates. When school hours approached Iho teacher would yell, "liouks books," and the barefooted children would come running in, in no cer- laln order, books in "one hand and lunch basket In the other. There" was a cup-like attachment on t'ne ! lunch basket; It contained molas- I ses mid butter. Thdr biscuits were 'popped" In this mixture. The water bucket was set on a shelf in the room, and the teacher would choose two to "fetch 1 ' the water from the well, which half a mill ™ • Bummer "'as Scheme i No regular hoard meeting TOr = , Shortly after this school wns I held, but sometimes n groun ot opened, a private school, taught by i men met lo select n teacher if Mr. and Mrs McFadden, Mas be-i the teacher whipped, n child' toe gun on their farm, which was lo- hard, the group would meet to repeated near Evadale, about three rlmaiul him. miles south of Wilson A^,.I mm ,, • .. _. , ,, , ! Anout looo there was n small . The country at that lime was al-1 school built on Mrs. Elk Ins' fnnn most a. wilderness, distances were j nt Evadale. Becai-sc of t'ne prox- great and many children had lo imity lo "Shady Grave" that old •walk Uo and three miles a!on? school was discontinued The „-.« muddy rtads ami through cane ' cchool continued until there wa» brakes to get to either one of the a school at Wilson when the wil- schopls. It Is said that Mr. Me- ton school began, the Evnclnle Fadden killed wild turkey from the school was used for a negro school door of his schoolhousc. -j All (hcse old schools were organ• In 1870, a school, located between ' l*ed before Ihe town ol Wilson wns ' aud church, The wCson Community club house Is (he same build- Ing. Miss Willie Ncgljltt, n .Viner teacher at Golden Lake, a settlement southeast of Wilson, superintended the school from 1906 to 1907 Miss Mary Belle Craig assisted Miss Negbltl, Until 1008, when n church wa» built, church' services were held cvcvy ol'ner Sunday in this inilhl- Ing. From 1908 (he school struggled through various dlnlcultics. The building wns In such bad repair that the teacher's and pupils' feel were frost lAlen during 1911, and t'licrc was great difllcully In securing leachcrs. Oltcn teachers would be secured who had not finished the elementary grades. In 1910 a consolidation was effected to make It possible for children vno lived at a .distance to attend school nt Wilson. A bus which wa.s a railroad coach that run on the J. L. C, and K. rall- roiid, ot which Wilson was the terminal, aided many children to attend the school. This necessitated a larger school. The Lee \vllson Company donated 10 acres of ground south of Wilson on the main highway, and $75,000 of t'no original $150,050 cost was given by K. E. Leo Wilson, the remainder being provided by the district, since Its construction shrubbery, trees, nnd landscaping have made It one of the most attractive .schools In the county. It has a library of 1,500 reference books. A home economics department consists of sewing roam, klU'.ion and office. There is nn agriculture -1e- narlmcnl, nnd cafeteria, In iid'.li- lion to the regular departments of granimur ami" high school, The school today has a-s hl»'i rating as can be obtained by n public school—that of membership In the North central Association by Which It was accredited In 1923. Progress In Education WEDNESDAY, Bassett, four miles south of Wilson, an4 Eva'dalo, was-built. H was situated on a sandy ridge and was started.' On New Year's day, 1905, there was a cBlcbrallon marking ihe — -- J -— o" «>•-" ., — .•. „ ,tj ji LCJUUIUUUJ1 1 called ' Shady Grove" It was here ; opening of the town of Wilson that Mrs. Dora Merrill and Mrs Miss June ulackwell conducted n Elklns, nieces ot R E Lto Wilson, school located above the llrsl store began school In 1880. This school- from 19C5 to IMG. Thai was the house, the picture of ;vhlch Is old brick store that wns located shown In this section, \<as only near (he park and which burned slightly better In structure Jhfin In mm. ' Th 'i s sm[ ,u one-room Louise Chapel. There new Just 30 sc.hool mated t'nc bcslnniiur ol pupils, ranging In age from five education in Wilson 10 20 ^ ars ! I" 1006, a building was erected Because of the dislance, which' to serve the purpose of both school C rigger Accepts Responsibility For Great Fire of 1887 An Interesting story Is told of (he origin of the lire that swept much of tlie north end of the county In 1887. 0. E. Crigger, Armorcl, 11 veteran employe of the Lee Wilson company, admits that vie started it It was a cold day In the fall ol the year, said'Mr. Crlggcr. nnd lie, Inon a boy, built a fire for the cotton pickers lo wnnn their hnnds *')'. It got out of control, .spreading over the cotton and corn fields and sweeping Into Che forests and cane brakes, doing great damage lo timber and crops over 11 wide area. Mr. Crigger is now manager oi the Lee Wilson company store and farming operations at Armorel, where he has been stationed for a number of years. Lee Wilson Co. Affairs Directed by Jim Grain (Continued Prom I'age 1) lead in the refinancing of several of the larger drainage 'districts Ir Ihls county, which has effected e saving to the landowners in these districts bt severs!" Hundred" thousand dollars, as making 1: posslbla for numerous farmers U P*y the smaller Ux and save theli homes. Acfiam Land of Own Not only does Jim Crtln h»vs the Usli of supervising huift firm Ing opsrilions of let Wilson im) Company, but he also, has t» manage his personal holdings. H( has always considered that thf purchase of lands In this county was a sound Investment. His firs savings were placed in the" pur. chase of land and during the year, that he has lived In Arkansas ha: become the owner of several thoii« sand acres In Ihe vicinity of Wilson. Mr. and Mrs. Orahi have Ihrt, children: Jcfan, Ruby and Jbnmla. They are members of the Metho dlst church lit Wilson. Mrs. Craii Is active In the various clubs 1? Mississippi county and her home Is known for Its gracious hospitality. ILUpPPEO Wilson Establishment Has Facilities For All Kinds of Iron Work The upper photograph Is of the old log Bohoolhouse' tetwcen Evndalc ami linssett which served the community In the eighties. Below Is Urn present Wilson schcol building, equipped and staffed to provide the best hi elementary and high school education. The most complete machine shon between Memphis and St. Louis, is the reputation of t'ne Wilson Machine shops, which are under the management of W. M. Wallace, one or the veterans of the Lee Wilson Company. Mr. Wallace tells an amusing story of his arrival jri the town 35 years ago. He arrived on the old Deckervllle, Osceola arid Northern Hallway, which was one of the earliest roads In Mississippi county He said he made the trip In a coach that was also the mall car divided into two sections, the front for white passengers and the rear for negroes. When he alighted Just below W1U son, h e couldn't sec the sawmill for fne trees, as there was only a small cotton field then, where the town is now located, and the river was a mile farther back from the present location of the town. Mr. Wallace started with the company as director of the saw- 'II, when there was very JitUe de- Serving Farmers of Vicinity, It Has Never Had to Charge Off a Loss The Bank of Wilson has one of the most unusual records In bank- in- h'-io~ th*l. of iinvlnit n»ver charged off a loss. All its stock ind surplus, with the exception of t'ne original capital, has been earned. The Wilson bank was organized in 1908, with M. J. Blackwell the first president. It was established »lth a capital stock of $25,000. In 1923 the surplus had Increased to $30,000 and a stock dividend of loo oer cent was Issued, Increasing llu :aplt»l stock to $50,000. since that time the surplus has Increased to "5,000. The bank has never failed to pay a dividend which has Ven from (0 per cent to 15 per cent, and It has never charged off a dime of oss on Its books, according to K. P- Cullbm, president. Mr. cullom cam e to Wilson from Nashville In 1918, and s ,j CCC edccl J. C. Cullom who succeeded Mr Blackweli as president. ,T,ie banh has had only three president o,,ice 11s organ! za tic:: The bank's principal business is' with farmers In the Wilson territory. The bank of Wilson had no restrictions placed on Us deposits during the government's control ol t'ne banks lu 1933, other than the thrca-day closing period that was Imposed upon all banks. ,, The brink Is located In the gen- ] eral administration building, though it has no financial connec- •tlbn with fhe Lee Wilson > Company. In fuel, Mr. Cullom said most of the bank's business Is -Joiu outside of the town of Wilson T W. Hulson Is cashier. ' ' ' mand for retail lumber, and later »hen the machine shop was established to care for the machinery used by t'ne company in its various activities, h'e took over the management of the shop. There Is no Job loo small or too large for this well equipped ma- cnane shop. It rppairs everything from locomotives to plows and does inuc'.i work for boats, even to building iTiem. All typss of iron work are designed In the shop, and many large pieces of machinery are made. It employs about 12 men. The machine shop Is lo:ated east of the Frisco railroad. The shop now does a general business outside of the work for the Lee Wilson Company industries . and farms. VICTORIA OFFICE of LEE WILSON & COMPANY VICTORIA, ARKANSAS 9 Miles West of Osceola Catering to tke Needs of Our Community Witk a Complete Line of General Merckandise COTTON GINNERS - and - BUYERS Well Equipped Shops For All Kinds of Machinery Repairing J. A. GWALTNEY, Manager *v y

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