Education

 

Consolidation Of Schools (1919-1930)

 

In 1919 the county had 98 public elementary schools (white & black), and a public high school. Bradwell Institute charged tuition and received state and county funds. Dorches­ter Academy charged tuition and was supported by a mission­ary organization and others, but no state and county funds.

 

The school consolidation was a slow process because the Liberty County Board of Education had to construct five new school buildings with funds provided by taxes and the issuance of bonds in some cases. School buses were needed for four of the schools. Some were owned by the county, while others were privately owned and leased to the county.

 

This is how the consolidated school system for white students in Liberty County appeared in 1930 after ten years of constant effort by the Liberty County Board of Education:

 

Fleming Elementary School: Erected in 1922. It had an auditorium, two classrooms, and two teachers. It was located in the eastern part of the county 15 miles from Hinesville.

 

Bradwell Institute Elementary and High School: Erected in 1926. It had an auditorium, 13 classrooms, and 13 teach­ers. Its consolidation eliminated schools at Flemington, Pine Grove, Palmetto, Allenhurst, and Gum Branch, and Walt­hourville. It was located three blocks from" courthouse square in Hinesville.

 

Dorchester Elementary and Junior High School: Erected in 1927. It had an auditorium, four classrooms, and three teachers. Its consolidation eliminated schools at Sunbury, Colonels Island, Riceboro, and Jackson Chapel. It was lo­cated in the coastal part of the county 16 miles from Hines­ville.

 

Taylors Creek Elementary and Junior High School: Erect­ed in 1930. It had an auditorium, four classrooms, and three teachers. The consolidation eliminated schools at "Millwood Sunny Glen, and Sardis. It was located in the upper part of the county seven miles from Hinesville.

 

 

Providence Elementary School: Erected in 1905. It had one classroom and one teacher. It was located in the western part of the county eight miles from Hinesville.

 

Willie Elementary and High School: Erected in 1930. It had an auditorium, eight classrooms, and six teachers. Its consolidation eliminated schools at Soules Chapel, Strumbay , Salem, Harmony, Thomas Hill, and Corrinth. It was located north of Taylors Creek in the upper part of the county 15 miles from Hinesville.

 

The consolidation of schools for white students in Liberty County by 1930 provided 11 years of schooling. Students in the upper part of the county completed their education at Willie High School, while those in the middle and coastal parts of the county graduated from high school at Bradwell Institute.

 

There were no lunchrooms or libraries in any of the schools. There was a music teacher in some of the schools. There were boys and girls basketball teams at Willie High School and Bradwell Institute. Some of the teachers had taught at academies the schools replaced.

 

The consolidation of schools was not accomplished with­out opposition. A member of the Liberty County Board of Education was ambushed and shot, not fatally, by a black man. It was believed at that time that the black man had been hired by a prominent white farmer to kill the board member and possibly end the consolidation plans.

 

The Georgia Department of Education in 1913 undertook a program designed to secure uniform, approved, and cheap textbooks for all of the state public schools. It was not, however, until 1936 that the first free textbooks were supplied by the state for basic subjects in primary schools.

 

There was little upgrading and consolidation of schools for black children in Liberty County during these years. Some, but not all, of such schools were located in Thebes, Seabrook, Riceboro, Palmetto, McIntosh, Hinesville, Hickory Hill, Daniel, Clay Bank, Briar Bay, and Taylors Creek.

 

Dorchester Academy continued to be a tuition school and the only institution of higher learning for black persons in Liberty County. It also continued to grow in size and educa­tional scope. It received no funds from the state or Liberty County.

 


From "Sweet Land of Liberty, A History of Liberty County, Georgia" by Robert Long Groover; Page(s) 83; Used by the permission of the Liberty County Commissioners Office

 

 

LIBERTY COUNTY GEORGIA

liberty1830map

 

Mailing Address

Liberty County Historical Society
PO Box 982
Hinesville, GA  31310

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