Mr. Elmer Duck began his teaching career as a country boy with a license he bought from the county superintendent for 50 cents. He attended Scotts Hill's old B.A. Tucker College in the 1890's. He received a degree as a "licensed Instructor" through off time courses in Patterson-Williams normal school three miles ftom his home at Sandis. He kept abreast of his profession through the years by attending institutes and summer classes. He taught his last 34­plus years on a state license, one of the first given by Tennessee as a result of a written exam. His first job was at Red Walnut in adjoining Decatur County before 1895.

Mr. Duck was born and reared on a farm near the Henderson-Decatur County line. He worked most of the time in the counties that were near his home. At Doe Creek, Mr. Duck had students in all of the eight grades, sometimes as many as 15 students total. The gentle school master was quoted as saying, "How in the world I managed them, I don't know." "I was suppose to teach over 40 classes each day." Spanning his half­century plus eareer, he had more than 3,000 youngsters to sit at his feet. His proudest accomplishment he said, was the high percentage of eighth grade graduates he persuaded to go through high school.'"

Another accomplishment for Mr. Duck, was that he founded the first free-of-tuition secondary school in this section of Tennessee. It flourished for several years at Decatur County's old Mount Lebanon. It was organized by Mr. Duck in 1904. It grew to have several teachers and 150 students many of whom came from other counties to "board" in local farm homes.

The last class that was taught at Doe Creek School was the 1949-1950 school year.
Source: The Nashville Tennessean By: Gordon H. Turner
Also presented in the Program for the Restoration of Doe Creek School House July 15, 2007

Elmer Duck was born 28 October 1878 in TN and died 10 April 1951. He is buried next to his wife, Suddie Mullis Duck, in the Doe Creek Cemetery - next to the newly restored Doe Creek School House that he loved so much. He will always be remembered as the "teacher who gave his all" and its impossible to know the number of students he had such a good influence over.

Back Home