Days gone by at Frazier School recounted by a former student.

Days gone by at Frazier School recounted by a former student.

Days gone by at Frazier School recounted by a former student.

Frazier Elementary School used to be located close to the lake, near where the dumpsters are in an area close to The Bait Shop store which was a half mile or so from where Frazier is located now. It was near a home that the students referred to as the Allen house.

The school was moved in the 1938, and I started school there the first year after it was moved to the land that the new school occupies now.

Back then, children attended grades 1-8 at Frazier. It was a four-room schoolhouse. Each teacher taught two grades in one room at the same time.

Some of the earliest teachers included Zola Spence, who taught first and second grades; Montie Cochran, who taught third and fourth; Edith Hutchins; and Chrissy Spence Day, who served as principal at Frazier. J. Albert Smith served as principal after Chrissy Day.

Other teachers were Nella Mae Day, Mildred Peavyhouse, Mark Morgan, Doris Morgan (who taught 2nd grade then served as principal) and Hazel Sharp, who also served as principal and taught first, third and sixth grades. Others included Jess Clarke, Madege Shaver, Reba Fitzgerald, Elmira Arnold Green, and Lois Roberts.

One special teacher was Juanita Pendergrass.

Juanita Pendergrass was my sixth and seventh grade teacher. She was one of those who had it hard growing up. She worked her way through school at Bryan College.

Back when Ms. Pendergrass taught, the boys in our class would get up early in the morning and work on the farm before coming to school. They’d come in with their overalls on and their work boots.  Miss Pendergrass would stand at the front of the classroom and sniff and say, “I smell feet in here”, “I smell something” or  “Somebody needs to wash under their wings.”

I wasn’t used to anyone being as blunt as Ms. Pendergrass, so I didn’t care for her much at the beginning of the school year.

It took me a few weeks to get used to her and the way she talked like that. It was not long before, she became one of my favorite teachers. If I hadn’t learned English from her, I probably wouldn’t have gone on to graduate high school like I did.

School lunches were unheard of when I first attended Frazier, and the students brought their meals with them from home.

To begin with, we brought your own lunch, and when it was pretty we’d go sit under a tree and eat. If you had meat for breakfast, you’d bring a little of that meat along for lunch, and your mother would pack you some biscuits and jelly or butter.

Jelly was not my thing. My mother and daddy would buy those cans of Vienna sausages and I loved to bring those for lunch. Of course, some of the boys would try to turn the girls’ stomachs and tell them we were eating dead cat tails and stuff.

After a few years, Frazier started up what they called a “soup kitchen”. They would serve hot soup to the children especially during cold weather. Not long after that, the school added a cafeteria and began serving lunch similar to what students enjoy today.    (Submitted by Doris Sharp Shaver, Dayton)

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Published byDean

Born and raised in Dayton Tennessee, I have served in various public service positions in the past. I have a great interest in the History of our town. This site is a way for me to share some of the great history of the area.

1 Comment

  • Vicky Shaver Kelly

    May 19, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    I attended Frazier Grammar during the 60’s. Teachers were Doris Morgan, Mildred Peavyhouse, Mr. Barely, Hazel Sharpe was the sixth grade teacher and principal. Wonderful memories there! I was in class with Debbie Wilkey, Sarah Shipley, Kathy Richardson, Jackie Shaver and more.

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