By: Nita Joy Goss, 4473 Airways Road, Memphis, TN 38116
History (Chronology)
In 1872, TN passed a law saying that public schools must be opened. A school director
was elected from each district to care for the affairs. Dr. N.F. Raines and Mr. Farrow
became the first directors of the 13th and 12th districts. Col. Francis White gave land to
Whitehaven for its school. (Source: Tales of Old Whitehaven, McCorkle)
In 1885 - Whitehaven Academy, a private school was founded by Mr. William W.
Hilderbrand, Mr. G.F. Farrow and Mrs. E.I. Beasley also the first trustees. It was a one
room school. The Building was 22 by 44 feet. Its courses included high school work as
well as elementary. To this school went thirteen students (5 Farrows, 4 Hilderbrand's,
Ross Neal, James and Thomas J. Beasley and Tom Haire). Professor Leonard was the
teacher. (Source: Tales of Old Whitehaven, McCorkle)
In about 1890 - the private school (Whitehaven Academy) was deeded to Shelby County
and became a public school known as Neel High School. The first school was taught by
Prof. Rousseau. The public schools in Shelby County taught only the primary grades
while Whitehaven Academy and Neel High School taught the more advanced subjects:
When the county took over because patrons felt they were too poor to pay tuition, it .
became known as Whitehaven High School. The first principals (8) were: Miss Anna
Kendrick, Minnie Castles, LulaMcCalla, Alma Cody, Miss Dupree, Miss Hankel. Prof.
Collier and Shasten Morgan. In 1891, the county added two rooms and a front porch to
the original building (See picture). Also the Dramatic Club which used the building for
its meetings added two dressing rooms and side porches. In 1893 - the school had 11
students and one teacher. Its first graduate was Miss Maggie Hale (Davis) in 1893 with
the second being Miss Maggie Myers (Shabel). (Source: Tales of Old Whitehaven,
McCorkle). In the 1900's - One room schools were popular as you saw in the Illustration
(outside and inside a one room school house). Between 1890 -1908 this school structure
served 80 Whitehaven students. In 1950 Whitehaven had a high school and a new
elementary school serving about 2000 students. In 1950 there were 75 teachers in the
schools. Two teachers were sufficient in this frame house. (Source: CA, Sunday, Sept.
3, 1950).
In 1891 the School had 31 students and two teachers. 1902 - A total of 40 pupils. Four
seniors who graduated. (Source: Tales of Old Whitehaven, McCorkle). In 120.5. - The
school had a total of 43 students and one teacher. (Source: Tales of Old Whitehaven,
McCorkle). In 1907 the school had seven principals.
In 1908 (picture) the Wagonett School Bus was used for transportation. The first
motorized school bus' . ~ came in 1918 (Source: WHS News 1923)