The Hickman County Historical and Genealogical Society is working on a mystery. The simple task of tracking down all
the now defunct small schools in Hickman County has grown and grown and grown some more. Members expected to find about sixteen
schools. At this writing, over forty have been identified. LaDonna Lathem, the Society President, predicted there may
be more than fifty.
LaDonna reports that the schools often have names that no one can find on a map, so identifying
where they were is a puzzle. Tick Ridge is one of the mystery schools. Often schools were named after the person who deeded
the land to the school. Other times, they were named after the nearest church or road.
The Society is looking
for old photos and information on these small schools. The one and two room schools are an intricate part of the educational
history of our county and our families. Dig in the old family albums and old family bibles.
If you have a picture, a story, a news account about a
one or two room school in early Hickman County, email this site firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the Historical Society website.
Hickman County Historical Society
|Moscow Baptist Church Building 1928-1930
|Dorothy Roberts, Leverne Stone, Lucille Gubson, Edith Bragg, Evelyn Bragg
Hickman County Schools Date Back to 1825
Hickman County's first school was Jackson's Chapel whic was constructed in 1825 near
John's Bridge over Bayou de Chien, a half mile from the Graves County line. The school was a "subscription school".
Parents were expected to make regular payments to keep their child enrolled. Children were not required to go to school and
only wealthier parents and those with a desire to give their children a better start in life sent their children to school.
One of the earliest organized schools was Spring Hill District 13. The district was organized in 1849 and
was located five miles north of Clinton. The actuall building was located on land donated by John Berry in 1848. The first
teacher at Spring Hill was Silas M. McGhel. The term opened on July 16, 1849 and closed October 17, 1849. The school started
with 48 students between 5 and 15 years old. For the three months of the first year, enrollment averaged thirty students.
Schools were poorly constructed. Made of logs, more often than not, the floors were dirt and the windows greased
paper. The doors were left open to let in light and the walls whitewashed to brighten the interior.
public school was constructed in 1850 in Columbus. The building was a large frame structure attended by the poorer children
of the community. Children from wealthier families went to private schools. The building was destroyed in the 1927 flood and
a new structure built on the bluff.
The public school system was established in 1851. The first commissioner was
Douglas Zimmerman. The system survived despite protests from the upper class citizens that it was wrong for their tax dollars
to go to educate the poor children who patronized the schools.
- excerpted from the Hickman County Gazette, date of
publication unknown. On file at the HC Historical Society