MAURY COUNTY TENNESSEE, CROSS BRIDGES SCHOOL HISTORY
(Newspaper), Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee, article dated August 7, 1980, Page 21
Isom High School, 1893, Near Hampshire.
Mrs. Ernest Taylor of Route 3, (1980 or prior) Culleoka,
identified the student body and teachers in this picture (taken about 1893
according to Mrs. W.C. Kirk of Columbia, a former student)
First row, from left. Claude Scott, Albert Delk,
Babe Morton, ----Sanders, Henry Farris, Walker Farris, Byron Cathey, Earl Floyd,
Carlton Cathey, Wood Voss, Cathey Kirk, Judd Brooks and James Jones.
Second row John Cummins (a visitor), Richard Cummins, Justus Houser, Kate
Kennedy, May Savage, Ayala Brown, Lena Kittrell, Mary Jones, Mammie Worley,
Elizabeth Kittrell, Eula Brown, Brownie Brooks, Josie Gibbs, Gertie Lane, Olive
Brooks, Brownie Gibbs, Carrie Sanders, Melinda Baker, and Earlie Cathey.
Third row Tennie Cathey, Alice Cummins, Emma Baker, Allie Kennedy, Mary Worley,
Covie Anderson, Lavis A. Baker, Pokie Farris, Annie Mai Cathey, Annie Worley,
Lillian Kittrell, Ethel Jones, Martha Weatherly, Parrie Beard, and Jess
Fourth row George Kirk, Sid Terry, Walker Baker, Jesse Lane, Sam Brown, Sam S.
Sannon, Jim Lunn, Whit Vaughn, Will Totty, Sam Worly, Lipscomb Kirk, and
Professor W. J. Fielder:
Fifth row Professor T.O. Brown, Lawrence Arnold, Biffle Hunt, Walker Baker,
Elton Hines, Max Cathey and Sam Brooks.
Top row Brown Parker, Beakley, Ernest Kittrell, Ozro Floyd, Sam Voss, Clarke
Kirk, Will ' Shannon, and Sam Williams.
(Photo by Mrs. W.C. ((Josie) Kirk)
History of Isom School
At least three buildings stood on the original site of Isom School, but early
records don't say whether each was used as a school, according to research by
local historian Paul Delk of Hampshire. The first was made of logs and erected
in 1834 on the hill above Cathey's Creek Church of Christ. Later, it was torn
down and the logs used to make a barn, which is still in use, (1980) on the S.A
Worley farm, said Delk.
Shortly after the Civil War another building went up on the site at a cost of
$2,500. It burned in 1892 and was succeeded on the same spot by another
Mrs. W. O. (Josie) Kirk, 91, of Columbia said when she attended classes in the
third building in the early 1890s it consisted of two rooms heated by a big pot
bellied stove. "We had a little stage, too, for concerts and plays,"
she added. I was the little girl who died in 'Ten Nights in a Bar Room,"
she said, laughing at the memory.
Girls & boys had seperate play-grounds at
Isom. She pointed out the curriculm in Isom School included Latin and higher math.
"I went into geometry myself till I ran off and got married," Mrs.
Kirk said, and laughed again. Students sat on long planks and worked at desk
tops heavily scarred with many years' accumulation of carved initials. building for the time. It had a music room and an
auditorium which we also used for classes, and about four more regular
"Girls wore gingham dresses that came down below their knees and they wore
aprons with sashes tied behind. I remember one pair of red button-up shoes I had
once, with silk tops. Oh, they were so pretty. The cloth was so shiny," she
"Boys wore shirts and trousers held up by suspenders, and most of them wore
brogans." Mrs. Hobart Pogue of Hampshire said her parents attended classes
in that building and she did, too, until it burned in 1916.
"The rest of the year we had school in a little store down on the creek, in
the little village," she reminisced. "Then they built a school at the
forks of a rood where Lusk Branch Road came into Cathey's Creek Road."
It was a very nice
Then, Isom School consisted of grades one through ten, and enrollment was abut
50 people Mrs. Pogue said. Some classrooms were used by two or three grades at a
time. "We were supposed to get our lessons while the teacher worked with
the other grade," she explained. "I believe children learned pretty
well what they were supposed to."
Students sat at double and single desks, and they wrote with pencils and with
pens dipped in ink wells cut into the desk tops. "We took our lunches in
paper bags," she said. "Usually we had whatever was left over from
breakfast--sausage and biscuits and boiled eggs. We ate out under the trees in
little groups. "
We got our drinking water from a bucket we had to draw up from a good well at
Later they did put
a new building named Stephens School. In 1932 she
began to finish the school year in the church and houses nearby," she
said." The first Stephens School was made an elementary school, with only
the first through the eighth grades. I think we had center, but the Isom school
was torn down in the 1950s, said Mrs. Hobart Pogue.
OLD ISOM SCHOOL - - - From a painting done in 1932 by a former student, Paul
Delk of Hampshire.
Mr. and Mrs. Mark Jones are building a home (1980) on the site, according to the
artist. (Painting courtesy of Mrs. Mark Jones, 1980).
Article belongs (2008) to Mrs. James Bradburn, sister to Mary Bob McClain
Richardson who sent in the article.
* RETURN TO MAURY COUNTY SCHOOL HISTORY PROJECT *