Tag Archives: education in Appalachia

These mountain people are Americans — Americans in descent and sentiment

“Our study of the situation at Rabun Gap [GA] gives us the keenest interest in Mr. Ritchie, principal of the Rabun Gap Industrial School, himself a mountain boy and struggling to place the school on a firm financial basis,” report the United Daughters of the Confederacy to members in their 1908 Minutes of the Annual […]


When I saw his shoulders sink, I knew right then that I had won

Annie Taylor could get away with anything she pleased at school. Her father Champ was feared in Catawba Falls, NC by every teacher who had ever tried to rein her in; he’d threatened to kill several, and had literally run one out of town. Then Annie crossed swords with Miss Daintry Graham one day in […]


Kentucky’s moonlight schools

Some would consider her the founder of Adult Literacy Education in the United States. Cora Wilson Stewart (1875-1958) was an elementary school teacher and county school superintendent in eastern Kentucky’s Rowan County who, in the fall of 1911, decided to open the classrooms in her district to adult pupils. When the Moonlight Schools opened on […]


If the baby is a girl, please name her ‘Arizona’

Arizona Houston Hughes (1876-1969) taught elementary school in Avery County, NC for 57 years. In 1953 she was honored by the state, receiving the North Carolina Teacher of the Year award at the annual North Carolina Teacher’s Conference in Asheville. She “was selected as honor teacher because of her record as the State’s active teacher […]


Their books were raggedy. They just got second things

The following is an excerpt from an unrehearsed taped interview with Mrs. Leora Rhodes Brooks Franklin (b. 1920), long time resident of Richmond, KY. The interview was conducted by A.G. Dunston, Assistant Professor of History at Eastern Kentucky University, for the Oral History Center of EKU. Professor Dunston spent several years interviewing the black community […]

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