A HISTORY OF ALEXANDER SCHOOLS, INC.                             Taken from A History of Alexander Schools, Inc. – The First Fifty Years – 1925- 1975

1955-1965 – The Fourth Decade

                                                                                                                                                                                             Written by Dorothy Conner Young

At the beginning of this period, some changes were made in the trustees of the school.  Mr. Oscar Mooneyham of Forest City and Mr. J. C. Hames replaced Mr. J. J. Tarlton and Mr. W. G. Scoggin.  Dr. W. C. Bostic, who was instrumental in getting the school started, was made a member emeritus for life.  Dr. Ernest Yelton of Rutherfordton was elected to Dr. Bostic’s term of service.

After the Buchanan building burned about 1953, the space was covered with asphalt and made a playground.  Many activities have been conducted there much to the pleasure of the children.

Water was a problem for many years.  When the school started, it was supplied by a well back of the girls’ dormitory.  The pump was run by a Delco engine in a house pictured here.  Soon the metal tank became too small and eventually fell one night.  Then a wooden tank was erected.  In 1931 the school asked Round Hill Church to put a baptistery in the church and let the school have the pool the church was then using for baptismal purposes.  The pool was on the back side of the ball field and across a creek from a spring which supplied water for the baptistery.  This was agreeable.  The baptistery was put in the church, and the school furnished water for it when needed.  The school had the water in the spring tested and found that it was quite pure.  A pump was placed over the pool after it was covered, and the water from the spring ran into the pool through a pipe.  The pump was not in action during the day, but the night watchman started it at night and forced the water into a tank at the back of the administration building.  From there it went to the laundry and some other buildings.

Eventually after several years the water supply was so short that the Superintendent had a well dug on top of the hill across the road.  In doing this the drillers ran into solid rock, but finally after weeks of work they cut through it.  The well was seven-hundred feet deep, but still there was not sufficient water supply.  So after Supt. Vogler came, he erected a metal tower very near this well, and dug another one at the end of the ball field nearest the school building.  This water was pumped across the road into the metal tank; yet the other well is used at times when something goes wrong with a pump.  Since then there has been sufficient water.

About 1956 bids were let for a new gymnasium of brick, and it was finished by the next year.

Dr. W. C. Bostic died in 1957 in Forest City, his hometown. The school lost a good friend and staunch supporter.

It was customary for quite a few years that when a teacher resigned or retired, the other teachers would give them a recognition party of some sort and present the retiring ones a gift.  In ’56 there were three who quit:  Miss Grigsby, who had taught forty-two years, and Mrs. Florence Hill who had taught forty-three years.  The following year, Miss Newsome also gave up the teaching business after thirty-four years, but she had decided so suddenly to quit that she had no recognition for doing so.

A new swimming pool was greatly needed; therefore that was the next construction done.  It was built at the north end of the playground and is of modern construction.  It is surrounded with a tall wire fence so that prowlers cannot get in.  It is painted inside and presents a welcome picture.  The children have regulated hours for taking advantage of this sport, but they greatly enjoy it.

By this time the logs in the old dining hall had rotted and had to be replaced.  This time it was a brick structure that was put up.  A new kitchen of brick had been added several years before with modern equipment inside.  Now a whole modern dining hall replaced the old log one.  A heating and a cooling system were installed, and the newest lights as well as curtains, etc. are now used.

The Morgan home was bought and converted into a home for some teacher or worker, whichever was needed.  About this time Dr. Charles Gold of Rutherfordton died.  He had been a great supporter of the school.

Mr. Jake Alexander of Salisbury and son of the founder of Alexander Schools, Inc., showed enough interest in the school to serve on the Board of Trustees for several years.  The writer does not know just how many.  A few former students also served in this capacity.  There were Bennie Maree, Woodrow Fountain, and Bill Stallings who did this service.  If there were others, they have been over-looked. 

Authority was given in 1964 for the organization of a Social Service Department in the school.  This was carried out, and Rev. Jim Jones came to direct the work, but there was no house obtainable for him to occupy.  The school had a house built near the school building where the old Morris Home for Boys stood.

Mrs. Jones taught music.  In a short time Mr. Jones was called as pastor of Camp Creek Baptist Church.  He accepted and served as long as he remained at the school.  When he left Miss Amy Carter of Asheville took his place and served several years.  Upon her departure, Rev. W. F. Bowen, former pastor of Round Hill Church, took the office.  Both Mr. Jones and Miss Carter had their offices in the administration building, but when they left, the offices were moved to the basement floor of the Bowen home.

The Optimist Club of Forest City took an interest in the school and learned that a bus was badly needed.  They set about at once to raise money to purchase such a bus and succeeded in doing so.  This gift is giving much pleasure as well as filling a need.

A former student of ASI was the speaker that spring at the Annual Meeting of the Green River Associational WMU.  This was Evelyn Krause Moss who was on furlough from Northern Rhodesia where she and her husband were serving as missionaries.  Both Evelyn and her husband, Zeb Moss, were graduates of Gardner Webb College.  Later that spring, they received an engraved silver bowl from Gardner Web for being selected Alumni of the Year.

Jeanette Cooper was presented the R. E. Price Best Citizen’s Award during graduation on June 3, 1964.  Bill Bagnall and Rachel Roberson received the Babe Ruth Sportsmanship Award, which was given to a senior boy and girl who in the opinion of the faculty most nearly met the ideals set forth by the Babe Ruth Sportsmanship Awards committee.  Carolyn Kelly and Mike Hottle received the Danforth Foundation Leadership Award.  Each year, the Foundation gives a book entitled “I Dare You” to the seniors who were selected by the administration as having displayed qualities of leadership.

Mr. B. D. Bagnall, coach and teacher, occupied the house just east of the Vogler home.  It was remodeled and repaired and made into a very commodious place to live.  Mrs. Bagnall was likewise a teacher, and they had two sons.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Bagnall were avid readers and their book shelves were many and well-filled.

A few of the citizens made an attempt to have the high school moved to Central High.  This caused no little disturbance, but the effort failed.

That summer Mr. and Mrs. Vogler were given a leave of absence for a year.  They went to Juneau, Alaska with their children and taught there for the year.  Mr. T. J. Edwards, who had taught math and science here for several years, was made Acting Superintendent during the absence of Mr. Vogler.

Even in the late forties the Woodmen of the World of the county came to the school at Christmas and brought gifts for the children and money for the administration.  This practice is kept up and for several years these men have remembered the school.  They also seem to enjoy having the meal with the children.

During the first part of December, 1964, it was announced that the elementary school had been accredited by the state.  This was the first elementary school in the county to attain this rating.  It indicated that the school “is carrying out a well-organized and effective program of instruction.”

To arouse a little competition, the school set up the practice of selecting a Queen.  In the year 1963 Miss Annette Mills was selected as such.  The following year they added a King so that the students selected a King and Queen.  This time Bill Bagnall was given that honor as King and Karen Galloway as Queen.


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