McDavid School 2
Column for 8 18 2005
Since embarking on the course of bringing back memories
of the McDavid Grammar School, we have had several
face-to-face, written, and telephone conversations on the
subject. It has been a most interesting experience that has
led me to believe that all of the folks who attended that
center of learning should get together for a history-
preserving reunion. Think about it, folks. You should bring
your tape and/or video recorders, cameras, papers, pictures,
programs and any other mementoes, plus some food, of
course, and then spend some happy hours reconstructing
what your experiences were like in a rural school that no
longer exists - except in your memories.
In the Sunday morning, July 15, 1906, copy of The Pensacola Journal, there is a column under the title, "Bogia." Among the items in that column there is the news that, "Rev. J. O. Lawrence, of Pine Barren, preached at the school house near McDavid, Sunday afternoon." Does this item mean that the McDavid School was at least that old? We still haven't run across specific dates for the opening and the final closing, but this may be a clue to the opening.
In listing some of the teachers and other workers at the school there were sins of omission as well as commission for which we'll now try to atone. First of all, the Miss Parker person was not Edith but Georgia Bell. Next, Mrs. Welch was Farribell, not Ida.
In addition to the ones listed in the first column, we now know about Miss Faye Daniels who taught the 5th and 6th grades before she went into the service and was killed. Mrs. Georgia Bell Parker, in addition to being the principal at one time, taught grades 1 and 2. She was from Brewton and went to a school in Pensacola. She lived to be 99 years old. Mrs. Margaret (Maggie) Robinson was principal for 2 or 3 years before returning to Oak Grove Elementary School where she retired.
Mrs. Una Bratcher came as principal, along with her sister-in-law Lolette (pronounced "Loleet") Bratcher Vance, who taught grades 5 & 6. Miss Lolette did not teach at McDavid after she married. Mrs. Minnie Majors, mother of Idelle (Mrs. Rupert Black), was the first lunchroom manager. She soon retired and Mrs. Adelle Fuzzell took her place. At another time Mrs. Farribell Welch was lunchroom supervisor and Mrs. Margaret Crary was the principal. About 1930, Mrs. Docie Brewton was at the McDavid School.
Among other teachers and workers were: Docie Brewton, Alma Burroughs (5 & 6), Thelma Wadkins (3 & 4), Sue McCurdy, Edith Clark, Madeline Bowman, Cleo Hamilton (1 & 2), Va Harper (3 & 4), Sue Watson Weaver, Gloria Nowak, Miss Birde Mae Belle Huie and Claudia Dorsett.
The Board of Trustees, during some of this time, consisted of: Rubin Bowman, C. Conner Sims, and Rupert Black. The Superintendent was A. S. Edwards.
Thanks to Lillian Green for the additional info about the personnel. She also shared with us about school life after leaving McDavid for Century High School. One such item regarded getting ready for graduation in 1944.
"For our graduation, we girls caught the Greyhound Bus to go shopping in Pensacola for our dresses. I found just the perfect one - hot pink shantung with a square neck and 2 patch pockets - for $4.98! It was beautiful to me.
Those graduating that year were: Edgar Bowman, Jacqueline Bowman (Freisinger), Lillian Huie (Green), H. R. Johnson, Agnes (Kitty) McCauley, Fred Petty, and Teresa Sheffield (Welch).
In our next report we have a truly delightful account of life at the McDavid School by Jacqueline Freisinger. We hope that with all of this information coming your way, you will give serious consideration to the McDavid School Reunion idea.