Chester County, Tennessee
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Henderson Male and Female

Longview School

West Tennessee Christian College

Early Education

The common schools of Chester County operated under the counties to which the respective factions belonged until the organization of the county was effected in 1882. Public and private schools supplied the wants of the people until the organization of the public schools after the war and the more perfect organization on the adoption of the new constitution in 1872. On the organization of Chester County the schools were put under the superintendency of R. McNatt who was followed by W. D. Ross, who was succeeded by J. S. White. The county is divided into thirty-two school districts and has about sixty schoolhouses. Two of these houses are brick, a few frame and the remainder are log houses. The scholastic population by the last enumeration is 3,133. The male white population is 1,270, the female l,270; the colored male population is 334, the female is 304. There are from sixty to seventy teachers employed and the average length of school term is only about fifty days.

Owing to the fact that many of the schoolhouses are not in a condition suitable for cold weather the schools are taught out in the summer months, a natural result follows — the attendance is not good nor is the work effective. The two schools at Henderson take the place of the public schools and are run partly as consolidated schools. The public funds are divided between the two in proportion to their attendance. The matter of attendance at either school is optional with the parent or guardian. There is a consolidated school at Montezuma — the old Jackson District High School, and two in the Second District, the Howard Seminary and the Clear Springs Academy. There is also a consolidated school at Mifflin. The short term of school and insufficient schoolhouses have caused a great number of persons to sell out their farms and move elsewhere to have better school advantages. The operations of the four mile law have effectively driven the sale of whisky from the county.
[Source: "A History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present...1886 " Goodspeed Publishing Co - Sub. by C. Walters]