Henderson County Tennessee
Tennessee Genealogy Trails
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Laster / Rhodes School

About the year 1850 Edwin Rhodes settled on what is now known as the M.E. Rhodes farm. The six sons of Edwin Rhodes married, settled down and reared large families within a radius of two miles of the old home place, thus the name "Rhodes Town." The oldest settlement in Rhodes Town was probably made by Johnnie Rhodes. The log house, put together with wooden pegs, is now occupied by Paul Morris. Jacks Creek Church, located about two miles east of Rhodes community, was for many years the chief center of worship. Marshall E. Brantley, a well-known merchant, provided the general merchandise. For many years the mail was distributed through a post office known as Middlefork. The farmers took turns going to the post office each day on horseback, each bringing the mail for his neighbors. Today the mail is brought on a rural route from the post office of Huron, delivered by E.W. Bailey.

The first school was called Rhodes School, located on the farm of the late J.A. Rhodes. The old well can still be seen and the log building is now used for a smokehouse.

My great great Uncle. He was the son of James and Sarah Lasiter and was born in 1835. He and his wife, Martha Kee, were the parents of Thirteen children. Some are buried nearby. Jackson, as he was called, served in the Confederate States Army. His siblings were Isaac, Jemmiah, and Elias. All three brother served in the Confederate Army, with Isaac giving his life.
Photo by Marion Laster at Find-A-Grave

About 1870 Jackson Laster moved into "Rhodes Town." He had several children and as it was too far for them to attend Rhodes school, he gave land for a frame schoolhouse to be put in the center of the community. Rhodes school became "Laster" in honor of the generous farmer and ginner.

In 1886-1887 Henderson County erected the first one of the school houses. Old timers remember its size to be about 40 x 50 feet. About 1908 this large building burned. Another frame house 30 x 40 was built. Due to decrease in attendance, this building was sold and torn away, leaving only a small classroom. In 1931 an extension was made to this room, and in 1935 a second room was added, making it a two teacher school.

The first teacher was Baughn, father of G.C. Baughn who taught chemistry in Lexington High School. The average attendance of the school was 70, in contrast to the 1940 average of 52. Present teachers are Mrs. Lena Wallace and Miss Juana Travillion. Among the most renowned teachers of Laster School are Mayor Joe Davis, Judge Elmer Stewart, and Superintendent Ira C. Powers, outstanding leaders of Henderson County.

From the works of Louise Oakley - Henderson County Supervisor of Schools (Fair Project 1940)

Also see Laster School


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