Early History of Palmetto Schools
A colorful early settler, Madame
, a German immigrant, came
to the Terra Ceia area in 1843.
By 1851 she had bought from John Reese land and
a partially built log cabin under the shade of six oak trees
in Palmetto at the present site of the Palmetto House Bed & Breakfast on Riverside Dr. and 11th Avenue. Some of the oaks are living
Soon she built a larger house to the West, and
converted the cabin to a store.
On Nov. 27, 1866, Madame Joe sold this property
to Sarah Campbell, of Clarke County, Mississipi, about the same
time that Samuel Sparks Lamb
began his move from Clarke County, Mississippi.
On Feb. 3, 1868, Sarah Campbell sold the property
to S. S. Lamb, who would own most of the land
in the area, and is today considered the Founding Father of
In this relatively unsettled
area in the mid-to-late 1800's, children's education
was left to the means of their parents.
Because there were no schools in the area at that time, Mr. Lamb, hired a tutor, named Mr. More, to teach
his children at home.
As the area grew however, he eventually converted the log cabin into a schoolhouse and invited the neighbors to send their children.
Palmetto's First Schoolhouse
Later, a frame schoolhouse was built on the
southwest corner of 4th Street and 9th Avenue
and J.W. Nettles became the teacher.
When Miss Frankie
came to Palmetto in 1889, she
found this schoolhouse used for public gatherings,
town hall, and religious services. Mrs.
M.B. Harrison was her assistant.(p. 107)
Because the school provided for children
of all ages, Miss McKay divided students into two groups,
and ordered and paid for books with her own money.
Palmetto soon outgrew the frame schoolhouse on
4th street. Because "parents wanted better educational facilities,
" a city
In minutes dated July 9, 1894 of a town council meeting, it was decided to hold
an election to pass a bond issue seeking to raise $1500 to build a schoolhouse.
The election results were 33 FOR and 9 AGAINST.
was built at the northeast corner of 7th St and 10th AV., and
the people of Palmetto were proud. This was the first time public funds had been
used to build a school. It was a two-story, frame structure.
Schools were not graded at this time. The school day started
at 8:30 AM and dismissed at 4:00 PM. A fifteen minute recess divided
the morning and afternoon sessions. Boys and girls played on opposite
sides of the building. The school term lasted about 5 months.
This building was moved to the present location
of Palmetto Historical Park and continued to be used during
the construction of the Red Brick building which replaced
Miss McKay continued to be the school principal,
serving for four generations.
-Source - 100 Years in Palmetto - Ruth E. Abel
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