Daughters of the American Revolution: History of local education topic for April meeting

May. 16, 2013 @ 06:45 PM


The Old Bute chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution gathered at the home of Virginia F. Grissom for the organization’s April meeting. The history of local education was the topic of the program presented by Ruby J. Lassiter.

The progress of education within the Henderson section of Granville County began with the opening of the John Williams’ School of Law in Williamsborough and Joseph Hawkins’ School of Medicine in Middleburg during the early 18th century. By 1850, nearly every street had a school and a few small colleges had been established. Orange Street had a school for black children run by attorney and chairman of the Vance Republican Party, James Y. Eaton. (Eaton-Johnson Middle School is named after him.) Henderson Middle School opened in 1887 as a training school for black teachers. Meanwhile, Kittrell Normal Industrial School, which would become Kittrell College, also opened around this time.

Schools in the city and those outside of Henderson (yet within Vance County) were run under separate school boards until 1968. The new five-member board tackled the re-drawing of zone lines to promote racial equality, the expansion of curriculum to include job-training and classes for handicapped students; the organization of a pilot kindergarten program, and the purchasing of mobile units and buses.

From 1968 to 1970, the following institutions opened Henderson Technical Institute School (now Vance-Granville Community College); and private schools, Kerr-Vance Academy, Kerr Lake School and Victory Christian School. Homeschooling and Crossroads Christian School emerged a few decades later.

Grissom, chaplain, assisted Sara Davis, regent, with the opening ritual. Davis distributed hints on stress relief by Alice D. Domar, Ph.D.

Susan Dunbar Floyd will host a luncheon for the May meeting.