Madison County TN

Jackson High School    

The Baptist Female Academy was opened soon after the Civil War in the building that had housed the Armour and Lake Cotton Buyers and their shipping company. It was located on the southwest corner of Market, now Highland, and Baltimore Streets. The building was used by the Armour Hotel and then became the home of the Jackson Sun until the newspaper moved to the present site on Lafayette Stree. The third floor was used at that time by W.T.J.S. radio station.


Booker Knob School Outside of Denmark
Photographer Tim Batross

Third Grade - Jackson TN
Harry George McMurry -- 3rd Grade Class - Jackson TN
Contributed by Debbie McMurry (his daughter-in-law)





Isaac Lane Biography

The Madison Male Academy was chartered by the Legislature in 1834. The trustees were James Caruthers, Milton Brown, Wm. Armor, John W. Campbell, Joshua Haskell, Andrew L. Martin, Wm. E. Butler, J. H. Talbot, J. B. Creighton, D. A. Street and W. A. Stephens. A lot was purchased, known as the Marshall or Hurt property, and a brick building erected thereon by private subscription. The school was managed as an academy till 1843-44, when authority was given for a collegiate school. The trustees named for the West Tennessee College were James Caruthers, John W. Campbell, W. H. Stephens, Milton Brown, Robt. Fenner, M. Cartinell, Alexander Jackson, J. L. Talbot, Sam’l Lancaster, A. W. Campbell, together with Samuel McClanahan, Geo. Snyder, A. W. O. Totten and James Vaulx. The name of the institution was changed, but the trustees were the same and new buildings were added on the same grounds. In 1844 James Caruther exchanged the forty-six acres of ground where the university now stands for the old property and $3,000 in money, the title to be confirmed on payment of same. This land was formerly owned by A. L. Martin, and adjoined the 500-acre tract of McNairy, Butler & Phillips. The title was confirmed January 26, 1855. Before the cession of the Territory of Tennessee by North Carolina to the United States Government, that State reserved military land warrants varying in size from 320 acres to 5,000 acres for her continental soldiers and 100,000 acres for a college in East Tennessee and one in West Tennessee, then embracing both Middle and West Tennessee; 100,000 acres for academies, also one section out of each congressional township for common schools. The land warrants were very difficult claims to adjudicate, as the surveys were very unsatisfactory. In 1806 Congress made the State of Tennessee its agent to carry out its part of the cession act.

In 1845-46 Congress was memorialized by the Legislature of Tennessee, when it not only gave up all claims to public lands in Tennessee but donated $40,000 of the surplus from the sale of lands to the West Tennessee College. The school was thus managed by the trustees till 1874, when the trustees, seeing that the college was only receiving local patronage, and feeling the need of more endowment, that its usefulness might be extended, proposed to the Baptist Church of Tennessee that its buildings, lands, etc., should be given for the use of the faculty of the Southwestern University, then located at Murfreesboro, on condition that the church should raise $300,000 as an additional endowment within ten years. This was afterward modified to $100,000. The faculty of the Southwestern Baptist University opened the academic department in the fall of 1874, since which time it has been in successful operation. The university has held regular commencement exercises since 1876. The number of graduates have varied from one to six. The medical department, which is located at Memphis, was added in 1880. The literary department, which embraces the usual course of such institutions, is under the direction of George W. Jarmen, LL.D., assisted by a corps of thorough and experienced teachers. The university has for support about $50,000 in grounds and buildings, $55,000 in productive funds, $40,000 which is the Government donation and is held in Tennessee bonds, and $15,000 in private donations. In addition the university has about $15,000 of non-productive funds. The remaining source of income is in tuition charged. As soon as the $100,000 endowment is raised, which will doubtless be done soon, it is proposed to erect additional buildings and add other improvements necessary.

The Memphis Conference Female Institute was founded and chartered in 1843, at Jackson. As its name indicates, it is strictly a female school under control of the Methodist Church South. This institution is in the forty-third year of its existence. It employs a faculty of thirteen regular instructors. To the institute twenty-seven commencement sermons have been preached, and twenty-eight annual addresses have been delivered. The first building proved to be inadequate for the demands and in 1855 it was greatly enlarged. The institute has grown in popularity and usefulness notwithstanding opposition and adverse circumstances, until it now ranks among the best in the State. In 1885 the east wing was erected, containing a large dining hall and twelve additional boarding rooms. The main building (four stories high) contains the president’s office, family rooms, and seventeen boarding rooms. The west wing contains the chapel, music department, art department, reading room, library of 4,000 volumes, and recitation rooms.

The buildings are of brick and are all under one roof. The grounds are five acres in extent and are tastefully laid in walks, and ornamented with flowers and shaded with trees. About 500 young ladies have graduated from the institute and gone into fields of usefulness. The attendance numbers about 200. The institute, under control of Dr. Jones since its inception, is carried on with singular economy, and is intended to bring out the higher moral and intellectual qualities of the mind.


This photo is around 1930. The rural school was 3 miles from the city. Today a school built early in 21st century across the street from the original school is named Rose Hill School (Both courtesy JMCL)(Excerpt from "Madison County" by Linda Higgins 2009

South Western