Remember when: Events at Stanley School House, 1911-1944 – The Andalusia Star-News

Southern Andalusia a few miles away is a historic structure that is truly a covington county treasure. Efforts have been made from time to time to preserve the building which is a old country school of “marm school” days.

It has been said that the building is about or over 100 years old. While researching old newspapers, I found articles on Stanley School come back to 1911. Other community members whose family members have attended school say the first building was constructed in the late 1800s and was located about half a mile from the present building. Many citizens of Covington County and the Red Oak/Stanley area want the structure of the school to be preserved and used for community events for years to come.

Some former students have mentioned that it may have been a one-room school house and that there was certainly a Fire at one point. Before that a wind storm blows up the building from the wooden blocks. Then the school was built on a different site on land donated by Enoc Joseybut the Stanley School the name has been retained since John Stanley donated land for the original building as well as wood for lumber.

We remember that in 1937the current school house was erected in front of the Judson Baptist Church and served as a school until it closed in 1958 what time the students were transported at WS Harlan at Lockhart. Passers-by admired the school building as it recalls days gone by.

The Andalusian StarJune 22, 1911 – “SING AT STANLEY – Sunday, June 1 was a pleasant day for Stanley School home on Route #4. Those who participated as chanting leaders all day were (surnames are listed.) Martin, Boles, Busbee, Wiggins, Blger, Stanley, Wiggins, Hilson, Henley, Rutherford, Odom, Barton, Chesshire, Carroll, Matthews, Miss bartonand Reverend PD Bulger who delivered an instructive lecture.

August 24, 1911 – ” There will be a sing all day to Stanley’s school Sunday August 27. Everyone is invited to attend.

March 20, 1913 – “MARRIED AGE COUPLE – TO Stanley’s school last Thursday, Tom Bryant77 years old, was married to Mrs. Eliza A. Williams56 years old. Reverend Raley performed the ceremony. A large crowd of friends were present to send their wishes and congratulations to the newlyweds. The couple are said to have never met until last Thursday, and it was about ‘love at first sight.’

Does anyone know if there are descent? I was just wondering!

Another song appeared in the May 1914 editing. There had to be more than just singing pass – maybe some wooalso.

October 9, 1914 – “School started last Monday morning at Stanley’s school. Miss Bertha Barnes is the teacher.

Several veterans of the Stanley School told me that in the past, the boys went to school only after the harvest and during the winter months only, because when spring came, they had to help with the work of the farm.

In last week’s column it was mentioned that Mr. Carroll sold wood or lightened to school. Others remembered that Cliff Maddox sold milk at school. Glen Powell remembered some of the boys slipping and smoking “rabbit tobacco” probably behind the bushes in the 2n/a grade. Harold Elmore or glencan’t remember which one, said one or more teachers were boarding with the Thompsons near Shilo Graveyard. The teachers walked to school like some students who lived nearby.

In 1915the Stanley School Honor Rolls appears in the Andalucia star. “The people named above have an overall average of 90% and have not been absent for more than five days.”

The surnames of these students belong to families still living in the area, such as Hildreth, Suggs, Windham, Nixon, Sellers, Josey, Atkins, Ramer, Stanley, and tourman.

June 23, 1916 – “There will be a sing in the 7-shaped note book to Stanley’s school next Sunday. There will be a preaching to Stanley’s school Wednesday evening by white eldera Primitive Baptist preacher.”

November 10, 1916 – “A large crowd of this community went to sing at Stanley’s school and all reported a good time. Among them were Miss Annie Bradley, Miss Ruth and Alma HIlson, Miss Esther Acree, Miss Ruby Wilson, Mr and Mrs JG Cook, Mr and Mrs Ivy Carter, Mr and Mrs Pink Hilson, Mr Jimie Lee Marshall and Otis Blow, Mr. Bob Hilson, Mr. Dewey and Grady Hilson, Mr. Wiley Jackson, Messrs. Henry and Alonzo Soles.

April 21, 1922 – ” There will be a educational rally held at school on the 4th of July with a barbecue. It is expected that all county (political) candidates together with Senator Prestwood will be there to address people in education if they feel like it. The ladies around Stanley certainly know how to cook and serve dinner.

January 30, 1923 – “Eighty-one students and employers take Cure Hookworms – One of the best examples of community spirit in Covington County is the Stanley School Community. The credit belongs to all the members of the community but especially to the School principal, Walker WR. A magnificent example of this spirit was shown last Friday morning, January 26th. The entire school had been examined by the County Health Nurse, Miss Morrison. All the children in the school, with one exception, were found to have hookworms to a greater or lesser extent, some severely and some mildly.

“All the children came to school at 7 o’clock that morning without breakfast. The whole school received hookworm treatment speak County Health Officer of older boys and girls who study algebra up to the six year old toddlers In first year. Eighteen patrons of the school came to the ‘hookworm party’ and some of them have also undergone treatment. A total of eighty-one people were treated or virtually all the children in the whole school.

“The school has installed splendid sanitary toilets and one bubbling fountain so that the Stanley School ranks first in sanitation and good health among our rural schools in Covington County. Professor Walker is certainly to be congratulated for this magnificent result because the progress of this community improves the the comfort and prosperity of homes and the health and well-being of children.

Hookworms was such a problem in the county that in 1924the World Health Organization in New York sent a doctor to investigate the situation. letters that Dr Wilbur Sawyer wrote to his wife Andalusia are published on the Internet. He and the health worker visited many homes and schools in the county and observed people suffering from malaria and tuberculosis as well as hookworms for the purpose of reporting to WHO and to educate people about prevention and treatment. They were all common illnesses in the 1920s.

October 5, 1923 – “Stanley School just finished a additional classroom with state aid. There are three teachers there instead of two like last year.

November 30, 1923 – “thanksgiving day to Stanley School was made a very nice opportunity despite the unfavorable weather. A large number of students and patrons gathered in the auditorium at 10.30 a.m. Mr. WR Walker, the faithful and highly esteemed directoropened the meeting with a brief address by welcome. Devotional services were led by a lifelong friend of the headmaster, Mr Davis of New Market, Ala. who appealed and prayed for young people to have a vision of life that will make them useful citizens.

“Following Mr DavisTeacher Miss Myrtle Wells leads the primary classes to the stage and took some lessons from the little people that they had learned. Miss Wells was in charge of older students who recited a lesson of dental hygiene.”

“After these exercises, Dr. Lynn Walkerpriest of the Presbyterian Churchwas presented and preached an impressive sermon, “Always give thanks.” The audience listened intently and many expressions of appreciation were heard. Next a hearty dinner was served and every guest was made to feel the warmth that filled the hearts of the citizens of this community.

“There have been few communities that have shown the mark progress in the direction of education and community spirit which was posted by the people of Stanley Community.”

In the years following 1925 to 1944other events have been announced in The Andalusian Star in regards to boxed dinners buy blinds for school, rooms staging at school, Halloween parties, sale of pies and cakes for the school fund, all day songsand even a ranger conversation to students insisting on the need to fire prevention in nearby forests and woodlands. Stanley school has always been mentioned as a participant in the annual meeting Covington County Fairoften winning prizes at exhibitions.

As your readers may have read about the Stanley school committee oversee the preservation of the school building in the Hometown Hero magazine inserted in the local newspaper, let me encourage you Covington County citizens to donate to help save this important piece of history. You can contact Jimmy Grissett, Brad Bowman, Joshua Observerand David Elmore or visit

If errors were made on the names mentioned in the previous column, I quoted a person who gave me information retrieved from them store precious memories of path over 50 years ago. Bless his heart! I’m glad to know how many people have connections with relatives and friends who participated Stanley School. Not only all of us Remember when this school was full of children learn and playing but also become citizens who helped make Covington County what it is today.

Sue Bass Wilson, AHS Class of 1965, is a local realtor and longtime member of the Covington Historical Society. She can be reached at [email protected].

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Raymond I. Langston