Southern Training School Graysville Tennessee
The Following was written by Mrs. Vivian Littell in 1974
A historical landmark, which was the only remaining building of the old Southern Training School, was demolished in 1974.
In 1891, Mr. Colcord, who had just founded Milton Academy in Oregon, was called by the Seventh Day Adventist Church to establish a non-denominational training school at Graysville, Tennessee.
They conducted the first classes in rooms above the village store of J.W. Clouse. In that room sat the grandmother, Donia Crawley, of Dr. Lester F. Littell of Dayton, Tennessee and several well-known families in Rhea County of the Giles, Crawley’s, and Shipley’s.
Students and parents moved in from several states and several buildings were added to the campus. By 1916, the growth of the school presented a problem.
To train the young people properly in the full development of the hand, the heart, and the head, a larger campus was needed. Misfortune also struck; the girl’s dormitory was gutted by fire.
So, in 1916, money was raised to purchase Thatcher’s Switch, a 1000-acre estate near Chattanooga, Tennessee, which was renamed Collegedale and has grown into a thriving city with a campus of 1500 students.
In Graysville life continued much as it did before. The population is still about the same as in 1916. But as the last old frame building of the Southern Training School is being torn down, a new gymnasium is rising for the Graysville Junior Academy. It will contain two extra classrooms for the 9th and 10th grades.
Not only will the gymnasium be used for educational purposes of the Graysville Junior Academy but will be used for the recreational purposes of the Graysville Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Many students from the Graysville Training School have exerted a tremendous influence for God and man. For instance, C.W. Bozarth, a young man who drove the team and caravan to Collegedale, became president of the Trans-African Division of Seventh Day Adventists and later served in the World Headquarters in Washington D.C.
Charlie Giles, Dr. Littell’s grandfather, a builder and contractor, built the Southern Training School building, which was torn down.
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