Board of Education Minutes 1905-1966

Madison County, North Carolina

Board of Education Minutes Related to the “Mars Hill Colored School”
Also known as the “Long Ridge” and “Anderson School”
– A Rosenwald Fund School

Compiled by Pauline Cheek and Dan Slagle

Madison County Board of Education Minutes (pdf version)

Jan. 2 & 3, 1905: It was moved that districts which did not use money apportioned to them for 1904 now have the amount reapportioned tor a building fund. Mars Hill: $145.69: Mars Hill colored: $125.00

Amounts apportioned for 1905: Colored districts: Marshall: Jan. $93.60 extra: $5.00 Ivy: Jan. $33.60 extra: $36.32 Hot Springs: Jan. $56.40 extra: $22.27 Mars Hill: Jan. $322.40 extra $25.31

June 5, 1905: R. L. Moore, sec. called meeting “The Superintendent reported that a school house had been erected for the colored people at Mars Hill at a cost of$125.00 induding an acre of ground.”

July 3, 1905, R. H. Hipps, Chair of Board of Education School committeemen appointed by Board: Ivy colored: A D Coon, Howe Ray, Jerry Wilson. Hot Springs colored: Joe Coleman, Joe Young, Adkin Broddleton (sp?) Mars Hill colored: J. H. Ferguson, Alfred Barnett, Neil (sp?) Anderson

Jan. 1, 1906 Apportionments for 1906 (colored schools not numbered)
Marshall col. $80.40 extra $7.68
Hot Springs col. $58.80 extra: $20.44
Ivy col. $39.60 extra $78.28
Mars Hill col. $40.80 extra: $27.44

No further mention of colored schools until July 1, 1907

July 1, 1907: L. M. Bryan elected chair of Board of Education. Committeemen:
Ivy colored: A. D. Coon, Howe Ray, Jerry Wilson
Hot Springs colored: P. A Garner, Charles Alexander, Adkin Brazelton
Mars Hill colored: Neal Anderson, Alfred Barnett

Sept. 7, 1907 “It was ordered that half ofthe term of Mars Hill Colored School be taught at East Fork.”

page 164 Colored Districts
#1, Marshall, PO Marshall: Wm. Williams, M. Roberts, Lon Henry
#2, Bull Creek, PO Mars Hill: Joe Anderson, Alfred Bailey, J B. Bailey
#3, Little Pine Creek, PO Little Pine Creek: Henry Paine, Mark Baker, John Paine
#4, Middle Fork, PO Briggsville: Joe Logan, Ned Ray, Ben Hampton
#5, Hot Springs, PO Hot Springs: J. E. Coleman, P. A. Garner, Joe Young

Office of Bd. of County Commissioners, June 1, 1896 List of books adopted.
No. of white school districts: 75; No. of colored districts: 5
No. of white children between ages of 6 & 21 in county: 4090 males, 4013 females
White children enrolled in school: 2728 males, 2647 females

No. of colored children between ages of 6 & 21 in county: 107 males, 87 females
Colored children enrolled in school: 44 males, 38 females
Average attendance: 3,006 whites; 71 1/2 colored

Whites between 12 & 21 who cannot read: 286 males, 357 females
Colored between 12 and 21 who cannot read: 21 males, 29 females
74 schools for whites; 4 schools for colored.
Value of property: $13,450 for white schools; $135 for colored schools
School term: 17 2/5(?) weeks for whites; 12 1/2 weeks for colored

Average salary: white men: $27.73 a month; white females: $25.43 a month;
colored men: $20 a month; colored females: $17.50 a month

No. of school houses: 64 white (5 log and 59 frame); 2 colored (1 log, 1 frame)
No. teachers examined: White: 36 males, 31 females (41 first grade)
Colored: 1 male, I female (one first grade)

Apportionments from July 1, 1902 – July 1903: $9217 for whites; $324.51 for colored

1908 August 3, 1908: Mars Hill colored will hold half its school at the school house in Mars Hill and half on East Fork at Bull Creek.

1909 June 7: “It was ordered that the old school property of Marshall white district be transferred to Mars Hill colored district at a price of $600 to be paid on the indebtedness against the school property of said white district and half of said $600 to be borrowed ffom the state for said colored district and the other to be paid by taking 1/4 of the apportionment of the colored district each year until said amount is paid.”

August 2, 1909 Appointed as committeemen for Marshall colored district: Gus Henry, Ike Gonnan, George Furgison.

October 4, 1909: The Board ordered that the order of June 7 be revoked and; that the chairman of the Board advertise the property for sale at public auction.

November 1, 1909: The house and lot are to be offered separately and then together, the highest bidder in the aggregate to have the property if in the judgment of the Board the property brings its value. J. R Swan bid $260 for the old school; J. F. Redman bid $300. It was ordered that the chairman of the Board readvertise the property tor sale in December, 1909, at Marshall

December 6. 1909: It was ordered that the Board of Education execute a deed to the school property sold today (Dec. 6) in Marshall District “to the proper authority.” It was ordered that sale of that property had been contracted and Board be paid for that day’s service.


January 3, 1910: Ordered that C B. Mashburn’s payment of $460 for the old public school property be accepted and that the chair and secretary of the School Board execute the deed. Ordered that P. A. McElroy (sp?) (attorney) be paid $10 tor sale of school property and $1.50 to J H. White “for official business.”

August 7, 1910: Board ordered that James Bowdridge be appointed to School Comffilttee of Mars Hill Colored School District.

July 8, 1911: Committeemen appointed:
Township #1: District #14: Marshall Colored: Alfred Barnett, John Henry, Gus Henry F (resigned June 3, 1912), Isaac Gorman.
Township # 4: District #8: Ivy Colored: W. B. Ray, Harvey Ray, Dolph Coon
Township #9, District #8: Hot Springs Colored: P. A. Garner, Charles Alexander, Atkin Brazzleton, chairman
Township #15: District #3: Mars Hill Colored: Kelly Coon, chairman; Mark Eliott, Jim Bowdridge

October 2, 1911: $20 is to be apportioned fom fines and penalties to Ivy Colored School District in order to run 4 months at $25 a month.

1912: Public schools to open on first Monday in August

January 6, 1913: Small pox is “raging”; so Madison Seminary is suspended.

July 8, 1913: Committeemen appointed by Board:
District 14: Marshall Colored: John Henry 3.2; Alfred Barnett 2.1; Isaac Gorman 1; Frank Barnett 3
Township #4, District 8: Ivy Colored: W. B. Ray 3.2; Harvey Ray 2.1; Dolph Coon 1, reappointed 3
Township # 15,: Mars Hill Colored: Mark Eliott 3; Kelly Coon 2; James Bowdridge 1, reappointed 3

July 10, 1913: Following apportionments:
Marshall Colored: 1 teacher 25-100, Jan. appt. $110.00
Ivy Colored: 1 teacher 20-80, Jan. apportionment: $70; July $12; total $82.
Hot Springs Colored: 1 teacher 15-60, Jan. appt $56. July $4.00 set aside for building;
Mars Hill Colored: 1 teacher 20-80, Jan. $59.50, July $21.50, total $81.

January 17, 1914: Apportionments:
Marshall Colored: 1 teacher, $25. Ivy Colored: 1 teacher, $20. Mars Hill Colored: 1 teacher, $25.

June 8, 1915: Ordered Supt. to have grade cards prepared for all the teachers. The Rules and Regulations for the Governance of Public Schools recommended by Dr. J. Y. Joyner are to be adopted tor Madison County.

July 2, 1915: Wade Gorman to be paid $1.35 tor taking census in colored district of Marshall. S. W. Anderson to be paid $1.62 for taking census in Mars Hill Colored District. Harvey Ray to be paid $1.29 for taking census in Ivy Colored District. In compliance with NC General Assembly ruling in 1914, the county has power to extend the age trom 12 to 14.

January 3, 1916: Apportionment from general fund tor 4 months:
Marshall Colored: 1 teacher 25, $100. Hot Springs Colored: 1 teacher $80.00
Mars Hill Colored: 1 teacher, 25. $100.00

July 17, 1917: Dr. J. N. Moore of Marshall appointed to examine school children, as required by order of State Dept. of Education (in last General Assembly).

Sept. 3, 1917: Arnie (sp?) Wesson to be paid $1.74 for taking census in colored district (#14) of Township #1. A. T.(?) Brazelton to be paid $ .81 tor taking census in colored district #4.

November 5, 1917 By request of Mr. Ebbs, County Commissioners agreed to pay $300 to aid in treating “physically defective children” in the county.

November 11, 1918: Teachers to be paid tor half of the time missed because of Spanish influenza epidemic.

January 6, 1919: Mars Hill school and lot to be sold at public auction on Feb. 4, 1919.

February 3, 1919: Mars Hill school property sold to L. J. Carter tor $1,500. A school site was purchased from A. T. Sprinkle. A new building was purchased for $ 1,000 with a $100 discount from Mr. Sprinkle.

July 7, 1919: Lizzie Davenport to be paid $1.26 for taking census in Marshall Colored District.
Illegible: W. H. Hipps (?) $20.00 apportionment for Negro School in Asheville???

August 4, 1919: Ten rolls of paper roofing to be shipped to Jeter Harrison in Hot Springs to cover colored school building.

September 8, 1919: Wm Lawson to be paid $440.66 tor work and material for Hot Springs white and colored schools. Wm. Lawson to be paid $63.50 for repairs on Hot Springs Colored School.


January 5, 1920: Board apportioned up to $500 from General Fund to aid in securing a County Home Demonstration Agent.

No mention of colored schools between January 1920 and February 1924

The two entries below are out of place, but need to be included

1896 – There were 5 colored school districts in county:
1. Marshall – William Williams, M. Roberts, Lou Henry, [committeemen] P.O. Marshall;
2. Bull Creek – Joe Anderson, Alfred Baley, J. B. Baley (Mars Hill);
3. Little Pine Creek – Henry Paine, Mark Baker, John Paine (P.O. Little Pine Creek);
4. Middle Fork – Joe Logan, Ned Ray, Ben Hampton (Briggsville);
5. Hot Springs – J. E. Coleman, P.A. Gardner, Joe Young.

1907 – Jul. 1: Committeemen for Mars Hill colored: Neal [sp?] Anderson and Alfred Barnett.

1925 – Aug. 3: “On motion $150.00 was apportioned to repair the Mars Hill Colored School. Same to be taken from the funds apportioned the Music funds, or any other funds available.”

1925 – Sep. 7: Bills & claims allowed: Builders Supply Co., material for colored school – $44.95; J.H. Hampton, hauling & labor Mars Hill (col.) – $37.80; D.P. Brown, hauling coal Mars Hill (col.) – $72.70; Thos. Riddle, Harlin [hauling?) desks, col. – $250.

1925 – Nov. 2: “The County superintendent was also requested to write the director of the Rosenwald fund for information etc. relative to securing aid for the building of a colored school at Mars Hill.”

1926 – Feb. 1: A school to be erected on the island.

1926 – Jul. 5: “The Superintendent was directed to write the Director of the Rosenwald Funds as to whether they would give assistance on a building with a site of less than two acres.”

1926 – Jul. 19: “No action was taken on the Colored building at Mars Hill, or the building at Little Creek.”

1926 – Nov.: Erection of some new school houses “urgently needed.” All bldgs. should now be under authority of county rather than district. $65,000 to be used exclusively for bldgs. [several pages illegible]

1927 – Apr. 13: C.M. Blankenship elected Supt. of Schools.

1927 – Jul 5: By order, J.M. Rice was released from Special Tax District #3. By order of the board the following bills were paid… 2488, [first name blank] Rice, site for colored school at Mars HiII – $150.00.

1928 – Feb. 6: “It was ordered that colored people at Mars Hill be deeded” of an acre of the colored school property at that place according agreement. All expenses to be paid by the colored people.”

1928 – Jul. 9: Bills paid… S.M. Robertson, work on negro school building – $350.00; S.M. Robertson, work on negro school building – $245.31.

1929 – Prof. R. L. Moore elected chair.

1929 – Apr. 1: There were three colored schools in county:
Marshall, committeemen Frank Barnett (3yrs), Lee Rix (2), Arthur Jones (1).
Hot Springs, committeemen Simon Little (3), A. Brazelton (2), P.A. Garner (1).
Mars Hill, committeemen Avery Ray (3), Jim Briscoe (2), John Ferguson (1).

1929 – Sep.: Moved & 2nd that John Ferguson be paid $40.00 per month for transporting colored children from Marshall to Mars Hill.


1930 – Jan. 6: No teacher to be hired without elementary B certificate unless 10 years experience, good record, and having shown professional growth.

1930 – Apr. 7: Jasper Ebbs elected Chair for one year. Colored committeemen:
Marshall – Frank Barnett, Arthur Jones, Lee Rix;
Hot Springs – P.A. Garner, Simon Little, A. Brazelton;
Mars HiII – Alf Barnett, Avery Ray, Jim Briscoe.

1930 – Dec. 1: $3.00 paid for hauling coal to colored school.

1932 – Oct. 3: Ordered that 8th grade be discontinued at Mars Hill colored school.

1933 – Jun.: Prof. Moore resigned as member of Bd. of Ed.

1935 – Jul. 18: Approval of elementary teachers: Elizabeth Conley and Edna Bell for Mars Hill colored, and Mrs. J.E. Coleman for Hot Springs colored.

1936 – Jan. 6: “The Board heard the delegation of colored people from Mars Hill relative to a deed for property to be used as a cemetery at Mars Hill. The Bd. made the deed to John Ferguson, Oliver Barnett, Jim Hampton and the Pastor of the Mt. Olive Colored Church as Trustees for the Colored cemetery at Mars Hill.”

1936 – Jul. 6: “The Board gave Oscar Yourn [Young] contract to haul children to the colored school at Mars Hill”

1937 – Jul. 5: “Gilbert Brisco, Alfred Barnett and Oscar Young were appointed school committeemen for the Mars Hill Col. School.”

1937 – Aug. 2: “The Board ordered that two 5.25-18 tires and two 5.25-18 tubes be furnished to Oscar Young as payment for transporting the Colored children from Marshall to Mars Hill.”

1938 – Jul. 5: “Alf Barnett and Oscar Young appeared before the Board requesting that the contract transportation be given to Oscar Young to transport the students from Marshall to Mars Hill, the cost of about $40.00 per month.”

1939 – Feb. 6: “A delegation from Long Ridge, colored school, composed of Mrs. Wilson, teacher, et al requested the Board to install a water system, repair the building, paint the outside of the building and donate $10.00 on the purchase of a piano for said school. The motion was made by Mr. Brown and seconded by Mr. Peek that the Board underpin Long Ridge school, pay water rent to the town of Mars Hill for the use of said school and to repair the roof. Further motion made by Mr. Peek and seconded by Mr. Brown that $10.00 be paid to Dunham’s Music House on initial payment for the piano. It being understood that the Long Ridge school was to meet the remaining payments.” Under bills approved: Dunham’s Music House, piano Long Ridge school $10.00.

1939 – Mar. 6: “The Board ordered that the Superintendent purchase approximately 2000 feet of 3/4 inch galvanized pipe for Long Ridge school.”

1939 – Apr. 3: Committeemen appointed for schools: Mars Hill Colored – Oscar Young (3yrs); Gilbert Briscoe (2yrs); Alfred Barnett (1yr).

1939 – May 1: “Mrs. J.E. Coleman was approved as teacher for the Hot Springs colored school. Mrs. Mary H. Wilson was approved as teacher for the Mars Hill colored school.”

1939 – May 15: “The Board adopted Plan No.6 of the Rosenwald Community School Plan …” [They were preparing to build a new white school.]

1939 – Jun. 5: “A delegation from Long Ridge colored school requested the Board take immediate steps and underpin said school building and lay a pipe line from the Mars Hill water line to the school house.”

1939 – Sep. 4: “An order was passed by the Board to supplement Oscar Young $10.00 and Xavier Lamb $5.00 on the transportation, if funds were available.” Among bills paid September: Oscar Young, suppl. to Sept. salary – $10.00; Xavier Lamb, suppl. to 1st mo. salary – $5.00.

1939 – Oct. 2: Oscar Young was paid $10.00 supplement. Xavier Lamb was paid $5.00 supplement.

1939 – Nov. 6: Among bills paid: Oscar Young, repairs, $7.20; Gilbert Briscoe, repairs, $9.40; Xavier Lamb, suppl., $5.00; Oscar Young, suppl., $10.00.

1939 – Dec. 4: Among bills paid: Oscar Young, $10.00; Xavier Lamb, $5.00.


1940 – Jan. 1: Among bills paid: Oscar Young, $10.00; Xavier Lamb, $5.00.

1940 – Mar. 4: Young and Lamb paid same as above.

1940 – Apr. 1: Committeemen appointed: Mars Hill Colored: Oliver Barnett; Oscar Young; Gilbert Briscoe. Young and Lamb paid same as above.

1940 – Jun. 3: Teachers approved: Hot Springs Colored – Mrs. J.E. Coleman; Mars Hill Colored – Mary H. Wilson.

1940 – Oct. 7: Xavier Lamb was paid $10.00 1 & 2 mo.

1941- Mav 5: Committeemen appointed: Mars Hill Colored – Oscar Young (3yrs); A.M. Roland (2 yrs); A.E. Ray (1yr). Teachers approved: Mars Hill Colored – Mrs. Mary H. Wilson.

[1942 – 1943, there were numerous teacher resignations. Also during this time, the Board minutes began to show much less detail than before.]

1942 – Dec. 9: Among bills approved: Lucile Smith, Sec., rent, Hot Springs col. $20.00. [Secretary, AME Zion Church?]

1943 – Mar. 1: “It was agreed that the Board of Education would approve the use of lumber from the old Marshall School building to floor the remainder of the Hot Springs Colored School.”

1943 – May 3: Teachers approved: Mars Hill col. – Mary H. Wilson, Ida long Sigmon; Hot Springs col. Francis M. Owens.

1943 – Aug. 2: Among teacher resignations accepted: Ida long Sigmon, Mars Hill Colored School.

1943 – Sep. 6: “A letter was read from Mr. R. L. Lee [Mayor of Mars Hill) concerning the extension of pipe line to Mars Hill colored school. The Board of Education approved the giving of $150.00 to the town of Mars Hill to extend the pipe line. This amount was to be returned to the Board of Education in water rent from the Mars Hill colored school.” Among bills approved: Town of Mars Hill, water line, $150.00.

1943 – Oct. 4: “The agreement between the Board of Education and the Town of Mars Hill concerning the extension of the Mars Hill water line to the colored school was read and the Board approved of the agreement: The Mars Hill colored school will receive water free of expense until $150.00 will have been used at the rate of $4.00 per school month.”

1944 – Jan. 3: “A report was given to the Board concerning $10.00 granted by the State Board of Education for two colored children of Madison County to attend the Kings Mountain Colored High School.”

1944 – May 1: Among bills approved: AME Zion Church, colored rent, $20.00.

1944 – Oct. 10: “The Board was informed of the use of the extra school bus for the transportation of the colored school children from Marshall to Mars Hill. The Board was advised that the State transportation division stated that an army vehicle bus could be purchased for $1,000 for the colored children, the State paying half of this cost. The Board gave their approval of the purchase of this bus and authorized the Super[intendent] to purchase this bus after the approval was given by the County Commissioners.”

1945 – May 26: The Board approved teachers nominated by the District School Advisory School Committees: Mars Hill Colored, Mary H. Wilson and Addie J. Best [Bess?].

1947 – May 5: “The Supt. stated that an article featuring each school would be given the local newspaper each week written by the principal.” [Check this out.]

1948 – May 3: Teachers approved for school term 1948-49: Mars Hill Col., Mary H. Wilson.

1949 – Jan. 3: “The Board was informed that contract with Town of Mars Hill to supply water to Mars Hill Colored School until $150.00 had been consumed was fulfilled and a letter from Mr. Lee, Mayor of Mars Hill, stated charge would continue to be $4.00 per month water rent. The Board considered the amount too much and directed that Supt. contact Mr. Lee requesting reduction in water rental for Mars Hill Negro School.” [First time in minutes that “Negro” is used.]

1949 – Feb. 7: “The Town of Mars Hill has agreed to charge the minimum of $2.50 per month for water rent for Mars Hill Colored School.”

1949 – Mar. 7: Among bills approved: Town of Mars Hill, water (colored school), $9.63.

1949 – Jun. 6: Teachers approved for school term 1949-50: Mars Hill col: Mary H. Wilson.

1949 – Jul. 5: Teachers approved for employment 1949-50: Grace Owens – Mars Hill Colored School.


1950 – May 16: “The Board voted to request the County Commissioners to pay [$500?] on panel bus to transport the Negro children from Marshall to Mars Hill. The present bus being used being a discarded bus and the State is eliminating all of these buses.” Election of teachers approved: Mars Hill col., Wilson, Mary H.; Owens, M. Grace.

1950 – Ju1.3: “The Board was informed that the colored bus delivered in June would have to be paid for in 1950-51 budget.”

1950 – Aug. 7: “The Board was informed that four buses were on order. 1 Negro bus, already delivered. 1 bus for Ebbs Chapel, 1 bus for Walnut, 1 bus for Marshall.”

1951- May 18: Teachers elected by local committees were approved for 1951-52 term: Mars Hill Colored School, M. Grace Owens & Mary H. Wilson.

1951- Dec. 3: “The Board instructed the Supt. to have the Mars Hill Colored School painted and to have general repair work done to this building.”

1952 – Feb. 4: “It was reported to the Board by Dr. Bruce Sams [Board member] that he had received complaints from certain colored school patrons regarding conduct of students on the Mars Hill-Asheville school bus, with particular reference to vulgarity by some of the older boys. The Supt. was instructed to investigate the matter.”

1953 – May 4: Board appointed school committeemen: District 10 Colored – Gustie Ray, Avery Ray, and Dowell Anderson.

1953 – May 18: Teachers approved: District 10 Mars Hill Colored: Mary H. Wilson, M. Grace Owens.

1954 – Jan. 4: “A delegation of school patrons from the Mars Hill Colored School appeared before the Board with the requests that two new teachers be employed in the school for next year. The following complaints were made against Mrs. Wilson: 1. That Mrs. Wilson had been there too long and felt like she owned the school. 2. That the children were poorly prepared and behind when they got into High School. 3. That she critized the parents to the children and ridiculed some of the children in front of others. 4. That she brought 4 or 5 under age children from Asheville. 5. That home work was not called for when due, but that children were punished if home work was not available if called for at later date. 6. Most of all, that Mrs. Wilson ‘carried on’ with the men and boys of the community. 7. That Mrs. Owens should leave when Mrs. Wilson did.”

1954 – May 20: “The Board approved the rejection of Mrs. Mary H. Wilson and Mrs. M. Grace Owens in the Mars Hill Colored School and approved the election of Mrs. Lillie D. Love in said school.”

1956 – Jul.2: “The Board voted to accept negro elementary school children from Yancey County under provisions of agreement to be worked out by the Supt. It was specified that Yancey County must bear the initial expense of converting the building to a two classroom unit and that additional expense incurred after this initial outlay should be shared.” [Did this ever happen?)

1956 – Aug. 6: “The following resolution was passed by unanimous vote:

BOARD RESOLUTION. The Madison County Board of Education, taking cognizance of the fact that trained educators and legislators have devoted full time efforts for many months to promulgating plans to meet the problem posed by the Supreme Court ruling in regard to segregation in the public schools, and being in basic agreement with principles expounded in the Pearsall Plan, as endorsed by Governor Hodges and implemented by the recent special session of the legislature, hereby unanimously endorses an affirmative response to the proposed constitutional amendments to be voted on Saturday, September 8, 1956. It further urges that the school patrons of this administrative unit, irrespective of race, give wholehearted support to all efforts to gain approval of the constitutional amendments referred to above. The Board is of the opinion that all other plans offered are not workable, either because of extremist provisions, general weakness, or possible unconstitutionality. It is of the sincere opinion that the proposed amendments may not be a perfect solution, but that they offer the only feasible plan of preserving our public school which has been formulated to the present time.”

1957 – Apr. 1: “Mr. Brown nominated Mr. Avery Ray for a term of three years, Mr. Seam Roland for a term of two years, Mrs. Gustie Ray for a term of one year for Mars Hill Colored School. These nominees were elected by a unanimous vote.”

1957 – Jun. 15: Approved teachers: Mars Hill (Colored) – Bernice Smith, Prin.

1958 – Apr.(?) 8: Committeemen approved: Mars Hill Colored School Committee: Gustie Ray (3yrs); Avery Ray (2yrs); Seam Roland (1yr).

1958 – Aug. 4: Teachers approved: Mars Hill Colored School: Bernice E.S. Smith, Principal.

1959 – May 14: Approval of employees: Mars Hill Colored School: Mrs. Bernice E.S. Smith, Principal, Sub. teacher furnished by Mrs. Smith; Janitor, Avery Ray; Bus Drivers, Manuel Briscoe; Eugene Briscoe. Manuel goes to Marshall and brings bus to Mars Hill and Eugene goes to Asheville.

1959 – Jul. 6: “The Board instructed the Supt. to make all necessary repairs to the Colored School at Mars Hill.” Next item: “Motion made by Zeno Ponder, seconded by Jeff Whitt, that I [Superintendent Fred W. Anderson] have the local school committee select an appropriate name for the colored school. It was the feeling of the Board that an appropriate name would add prestige and dignity to the school. Motion carried.”

1959 – Dec. 7: “Conduct and transportation of colored children discussed – No official action taken.”


1960 – May 2: Committeemen elected: District #10 – Mars Hill Colored: Manuel Briscoe (3yrs); Mrs. Augusta Ray (2yrs); Seam Roland (1yr).

1960 – May 24: Approvals of teachers, etc.: “Motion by Owen Tilson to give Mr. Fred W. Anderson [Superintendent] blanket approval on whoever the Colored School Committee saw fit to elect.”

1960 – Jun. 1: Teachers approved: Mars Hill Colored, Mrs. Dora B. Bass. Zeno Ponder moved and Owen Tilson seconded the motion that whoever was elected by the Mars Hill Colored School Committee to teach at the Mars Hill Colored School be recorded as approved by the Board of Education. Motion carried.”

1960 – Oct. 3: “Motion made by John O. Tilson, seconded by Zena Ponder, that Cindy Davidson’s (Colored) tuition be paid at Allen High School provided that the amount is not more than it would be at Stephen Lee High School. Motion carried.”

1961- May 2: Committeemen: “District #10 Mars Hill Colored: Mr. Anderson stated that Manuel Briscoe had two years remaining; that Mrs. Augusta Ray had one year remaining; that Mr. Seam Roland had no time remaining, whereupon Mr. Gardner nominated Seam Roland for a three year term, seconded by Zena Ponder.”

1962 – Apr. 16: School Committeemen: Mars Hill Colored – Seam Roland; Augusta Ray; Manuel Briscoe.

1963 – Apr. 1: Committeemen: “Mars Hill Colored School was to be named at a later date.”

1963 – May 10: Mr. Edwards [Superintendent] asked to meet with schools to elect principals & teachers. Mars Hill Colored – [nothing recorded].

1963 – Sep. 2: “Chairman Ponder called the meeting to order at which time Geraldine Griffin, Colored lady from the Mars Hill Colored School, appeared before the Board to assign her child, who is in the fourth grade in the Mars Hill Colored School, to the Asheville School Unit. After discussing the pros and cons with Mrs. Griffin, it was decided to let her child remain in school at Mars Hill on a two weeks trial to make the necessary adjustments, at which time the Superintendent will check frequently with Mrs. Brown, teacher of the Mars Hill Colored School, to see if he could make suggestions for these adjustments.” Later… “Motion made by Mr. Reese, seconded by Mr. Gardner, that Mr. Seam Roland, Janitor of the Mars Hill Colored School, salary be increased to $35.00 per month. This motion carried.”

1964 – Apr. 6: 10:00 A.M. at Superintendent’s office. “Mr. Day, Colored Attorney at Law from Asheville, and Mr. Roland, Colored Jeweler from Asheville, met with the Board of Education concerning the integration of our schools. After a lengthy discussion, Mr. Day said that he represented the N.W.A.C.P. [NAACP?) and the cases in which he had taken to court, he had not lost. At 3:30 P.M., the school committee from the Mars Hill Colored School, along with Mrs. Geraldine Griffin, came to Marshall concerning integration. The number of persons at this hearing were taken to the courtroom at which time the discussion was intervened. Mr. Manuel Briscoe, Chairman of the Colored School Committee, made a triple barrel recommendation: (1) To build a new building for the colored students; (2) To give them an additional teacher; (3) Place Mrs. Geraldine Griffin’s child in the Mars Hill School Unit, of which she made the request. After discussing this, the Board of Education came to the following conclusion: For them to go back, have another meeting, and meet with the Board of Education the first Monday in June and come with a reasonable request.”

1964 – May 4: School Committeemen appointments: “Mars Hill Anderson (Colored) – Continued to next meeting.” [This is the first entry in the Board of Education Minutes naming the Mars Hill School as the ANDERSON SCHOOL.]

1964 – Jun. 1: “The Colored School Committeemen of Mars Hill, along with Mr. Roland, a Colored Jeweler of Asheville, Mr. Jesse Ray of Asheville, Mr. Shields, of WMMH Radio, Mr. Story of the News-Record, Mr. Havlecheck of the Asheville-Citizen, and Mr. Leake, Madison County Attorney, met concerning the integration of the Mars Hill Colored and White Schools at Mars Hill. Chairman Ponder reviewed the last minutes that the colored people met with the Board of Education. Mr. Briscoe verified this report and presented a written request of Mrs. Geraldine Griffin to assign her child to the Mars Hill White School. Mr. Briscoe asked that they might have a little more time and come back with other written requests concerning the colored situation at Mars Hill. This request was granted. Chairman Ponder suggested that they meet back at 9:30 P.M.

9:30 P.M. The colored people from Mars Hill and Marshall at the request of the Chairman of the School Committee, Mr. Manuel Briscoe, and the Chairman of the Madison County Board of Education, Mr. Zeno H. Ponder, met with the Board of Education at 9:30 P.M. Present from Mars Hill were the following: Manuel Briscoe, Gudger Barnett, Seam Roland, Mrs. Augusta Ray, Mrs. Irene McDowell, Mr. Ervin; Present from Marshall were the following: Mrs. Presnell, Hugh Barnett, and three of the Presnell children; Present from Asheville were the following: Mr. Jesse Ray and Mr. Roland.

This meeting was held in the courtroom at which time Mr. Ponder, Chairman, explained the minutes of meetings in the past. Mr. Roland stated that Mr. Day, Attorney for the N.W.A.C.P. [NAACP?), called and said he was in Atlanta, Georgia, and asked Mr. Roland and Mr. Ray to meet with the colored people and the Madison County Board of Education, which they would represent the N.W.A.C.P. [NAACP?)

After several adjournments, the Board came up with the following conclusion after written requests were made for their children to be assigned at the Mars Hill White School: Jean Dobbins was assigned to the first grade at the Mars Hill White School, whose father is Gudger Barnett. Phillip M. Ervin was assigned to the 7th Grade at the Mars Hill White School, whose father is Ernest Ervin. Betty McDowell and Anne McDowell were assigned at the Mars Hill White School by the request of their mother, Mrs. Irene McDowell. Vicki Louise Wilson, daughter of Mrs. Geraldine Griffin, maid of Dr. Duck, who made a written request two months ago, was assigned to Grade 5 in the Mars Hill White School. All other requests were denied due to the inability among the parents to make an all out effort to integrate the Anderson School with the Mars Hill School. The meeting adjourned.”

1864 – Jul. 6: “Mr. Alexander, State Department of Transportation, recommended that an additional school bus be placed at Hot Springs in order to have better and more efficient operation. Mr. Gardner made a motion that the Superintendent wait on the action of the Buncombe County court action on integrating with the white schools, and if Madison County took the bus for the colored that travels to Asheville off the run, this bus could be transferred to Hot Springs. If this bus could not be made available, the Superintendent was to notify the State Department of the need for an additional bus. The motion, seconded by Mr. Reese, carried.”

1965 – Feb. 1: “Chairman Ponder suggested that the Superintendent check with the Superintendent of Schools in Asheville to see if they will take the colored students from Madison County next year.”

1965 – Apr. 5: “The Superintendent was to ask Mr. Cody if the Economic Opportunity Program had been endorsed by the County Commissioners. Mr. Ponder wanted it to go on record that the proposal of the County Commissioners not to make a political football of some of the common problems, one in particular, the public statement on the Colored School. This statement will be that the County Commissioners and the Board of Education jointly agree on the consolidation of the Colored Schools at Marshall and Mars Hill. The two Boards met jointly. The following subjects of vital importance were discussed.

The two Boards mutually agree that the best interest of Madison County would be for the two Boards to work together in an attempt to solve the following problems: 1. The Economic Opportunity Act and the development of a county active program. 2. The Appalachia Program; the two Boards mutually agreed to make good contact with Raleigh and Washington in implementing the Appalachia Program. 3. That the two Boards discuss the expense of $14,152 in operating Anderson Colored School, transporting colored boys and girls to Asheville Schools and paying tuition to the City of Asheville Public Schools. 4. Available monies in consolidation. The two Boards discussed the State and Federal monies available for school construction and to make a further study of the future consolidation program in Madison County. This study should reveal that we should have one, two, or three high schools. 5. Distributive Education: discussed as to installing this program in the larger high schools of Madison County.

The future of the Mars Hill Anderson School depends upon the action of the two Boards, County Commissioners and the Board of Education, and this will be dealt with at a later date. Motion by Mr. Reese, seconded by Mr. Gardner, and passed unanimously.”

1965 – Apr. 27: [Principals and School Committeemen meet with Board of Education.] “The Civil Rights Program, better known as Title VI, was discussed. The following people were asked to make statements concerning the Civil Rights Program: Plato Reese made a statement for the integration program and stated that it had worked very successfully at the Mars Hill School. Fred Dickerson, Principal of Mars Hill School, concurred with Mr. Reese’s statement. Mrs. John Ray (Colored) stated that the children were doing fine in the integrated situation at Mars Hill. Mr. A.E. Leake, Board Attorney, stated that we had no other course to follow except to follow the law and integrate the schools. Mr. Briscoe (Colored) stated that he didn’t think that there would be any trouble in the integration.

After the hearing of the school committeemen all over the county, the Board adjourned to the Judge’s quarters and Chairman Ponder polled the voters of integration. Upon returning to the courtroom, motion made by Mr. Reese to integrate the schools of Madison County into their respective school districts for the 1965-66 school year. That the Anderson School will be closed at the end of this school year. This was seconded by Mr. Gardner, and passed unanimously.”

[We found no more mention of the Anderson School or related topics through December, 1966.]