Howard Institute of Mt. Pleasant was founded during 1891. It was named after successful area businessman Bithal Howard, (1844-1907) who was a liberal supporter of education in the area. Bithal was the son of James & Naomi (Nelson) Howard. Bithal and the grandson of Willoughby & Frances (Cockran) Howard who emigrated from North Carolina about 1820 to settle in Maury County . Bithal was thought to be reared on the Howard Farm 3.5 miles southeast of Mt Pleasant on the right across what was then and today (2003) Sugar Creek. However there is a homeplace for a J. D. Howard shown on the 1876 Map of the county 1/4 mile south of there on Enterprise road and 1/4 mile east  the road. He was first married to Sarah Elizabeth Brownlow who died in 1875 & is buried on the old family farm; secondly to Ada G. Blakely.  
    Professor J. A. Bostick was the principal at this school for many years. His associates were John Caruthers, W. S. Whiteman, J. H. Dinning, and W. D. Strayhorn. The attendance averaged 150 to 200 students. When graduated from the institute students were prepared to enter Vanderbilt or other universities. This school was not sectarian, but was under the fostering care of the M. E. Church, South. A considerable number of its graduates became ministers in the Tennessee Conference. 
    Professor J. A. Bostick was born in Williamson County Tennessee in 1860 and was educated at Union University, of Murfreesboro. He served as principal at College Grove and Howard Institute for over 20 years. He was married in 1883 to Miss Jennie Gray, of Franklin. She taught along side him most of the time at the same institutions in his charge. 
    Professor W. D. Strayhorn, co-principal of the school was a native of Maury County who had earlier trained at Howard Institute and had graduated with distinction from Vanderbilt in 1897. He taught at Howard Institute for at least five years. 
    The curriculum of the institute covered the essentials of a first-class preparatory school. The dormitory and home of the principal were on adjoining lots to the above main building.
Sources for above: Cemeteries of Maury County Tennessee, Centaury Review of Maury County, Gravestone Readings from the Howard & Lawrence Cemeteries. A computer image by Wayne Austin 2/14/04.

Howard Institute another perspective.
The school sit on a site opposite the location of Clarke Training School. The principal there Professor J. A. Bostick soon established a reputation for running a well-disciplined school. About that time another school for boys opened on Bluegrass Avenue, near the site of St. James Primitive Brick Church, Keys wrote in a research paper on the history of schools in Mt. Pleasant. Sometime after the Civil War two sisters, whose last name is Lawrence, moved here from the North and ran the Female Academy. They lived in a one-story white home behind the Munford-Smith residence on North Main Street. Several years later they quit, and the Episcopal Church took over the property where they had lived and ran a school in their former home from about 1876 to 1881, wrote Keys. The sisters were succeeded in the academy by a Mr. Weisinger, then others. 

Apparently, the Female Academy went the way of all flesh as the end of the 19th century approached, and it was in the same period that residents of Mt. Pleasant made several vain attempts to establish a public school before Miss Charlotte Henderson succeeded in the effort. However, after the academies and the public school fell by the way the void was filled in 1891 by the establishment of Howard Institute, a private preparatory school sponsored by the Methodists and named for Bethel (sometimes spelled Bithal) Howard. He had moved to Mt. Pleasant in 1844 from southeast of Mt Pleasant after schooling and later became president of the Bank of Mt. Pleasant. Turner refers to him as the school's "most generous promoter." The Institute existed till about 1912.

It opened with an enrollment of 80 students, but attendance soon rose between 150 and 200 each year. Though Howard Institute was operated by the Methodist Church, attendance was open to students of other denominations except nonwhite students were not permitted. The Institute soon established a good reputation for preparing students for college. Many of them enrolled in seminaries after graduation and became Methodist ministers. J. A. Bositck of Williamson County, was Howard Institute's only principal, and his wife, the former Jennie Gray of Franklin, was one of its teachers, according to research conducted in 1980 by Karen O'Connor, a Mt. Pleasant High School student. 

Hay Long sat established in 1894 sat on an 80 acres tract donated by William Hay Long and named for his daughter, who married S. V, Wall of Honey Grove, Texas. It was a two-story, nine-room brick structure that included a chapel with a seating capacity of about 150, according to the "Review." Teachers and some boarding students lived in College Home, a frame building on the campus. Professor Melville Bullock was put in charge, and he was responsible to a board of trustees elected by the Presbyterian Church. In 1899 Miss Henderson became principal of the school. Public pressure had been growing locally for a free school, according to Clarke's account, and it gradually compelled the city board of education to work toward acquiring and consolidating Howard and Hay Long. Eventually, the institute was purchased, and in 1910 Hay Long became property of the county. 
The high school was given the Institute's first name, and the public school became Hay Long Elementary School, wrote Keys. Howard High's student body eventually outgrew the building. Mr. Hay Long again donated land for the city's educational needs, and the new Hay Long School was completed in 1922 at a cost of about $65,000. The elementary school grew again and was too small to accommodate all its students in the mid-1930s, and in 1935 it was decided to replace it with a larger building after Works Projects Administration (WPA) money was acquired. However, since the new structure had to occupy the original site, grammar school students had to attend classes in Hay Long High School during the 1936-37 year while the old grammar school was demolished and its replacement was erected. was divided into two principal ships, Keys wrote. The first principal of the new elementary school was James Woody, who kept a gallon jug of mercurochrome in his office to treat elbows and knees injured on the rocky playground. F. E. Bass was the high school's first principal, and in 1944 he was succeeded by Dudley Tanner. The severe housing shortage during World War II compelled Tanner to make his home in his office for four years, according to research conducted in 1980 by Mt. Pleasant High School student John B. Herd IV. The live-in principal made do with a shower and a cot in his office. Hay Long High School served the community until the end of the 1968-69 school year. In the fall of 1969 its students were transferred to the new Mt. Pleasant High School. 

News Article sent in by Mary Bob McClain Richardson. News Article belongs to Mrs. James Bradburn her sister. 6 Oct 2008


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