Southern Training School Demolished 1974

Southern Training School Demolished 1974

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.

See The Southern Adventist University Website Here 

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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.


  • Carol Wullschleger Hawthorn

    April 1, 2022 at 8:22 pm

    I went to the Graysville Seventh Day Adventist school in the 1960’s. I attended from 5th to 10th grade. I went to school with three of the Littell children. Lester, David and Dana. Some of my best memories are at that school. It broke my heart when I came home with my family for a visit and found that the school was gone. I just want to cry every time I think about it. If you look at the picture posted, the steps that are on the right side of the building is where I was standing about midways sweeping them getting ready for the Sabbath when we found out that President Kennedy had been killed. I’m so thankful that I saw this picture today. In spite of the shambles it was in I recognized it immediately . And I learned things about it in the article that Mrs. Littell wrote that I either didn’t know or had forgotten. Thank you for the memories and for publishing this article.

  • Carol Wullschleger Hawthorn

    April 1, 2022 at 8:32 pm

    I do have a request. Is there anyway I can save this or print it. I would prefer to save pictures and article. It’s only for me.

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