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Oral Histories

The Middle Tennessee Oral History Project (Albert Gore Research Center, MTSU) offers online access to audio recordings of more than 500 interviews. The following interviews cover Rutherford County schools particularly well. In addition, many of the interviewees share their memories of attending Middle Tennessee State Teachers College (and later, MTSU) in preparation for teaching careers.


C.B. Arnette (1918-2010) shares stories of going to the Ransom School, Crichlow Grammar School, and Central High School. This section begins about 10 minutes into the interview.

Grace Batts (born 1910) remembers walking to Bradley Academy and taking the horse and buggy to Holloway High School.

Ruth Bowdoin recalls how she started the Classroom on Wheels program in 1969.

Mary Frances Brandon (born 1909) discusses teaching at McFadden School, Bethel School, Florence School, and Lascassas School, as well as desegregation.

Tom Brannon (born 1920) remembers teachers, principals, and bus drivers, as well as going to the new Rockvale School in 1927. This section begins at about 2 hours, 15 minutes into the interview.

Vera Covington (born 1911) shares highlights of teaching at Pleasant Hill School, Patterson School, and Rockvale School.

Mary Hall (1895-1991) recalls her first teaching position, which appears to have been at Porterfield School.

Myrtle Lord shares her fond memories attending Bradley Academy, teaching at the school, and the renovation of the building. She also recalls teaching at Little Hope School.

George Minter on attending Holloway High School in the 1950s.

Oma Wilson McNabb (born 1924) attended Central High School (Murfreesboro).

Martha Moffett (born 1921) shares memories of Crichlow school: Mary Belle Robinson and other teachers; the blue ribbon parade on the square, and art exhibits.

Ann Parsons and Myers Parsons. Ann Parsons recalls going to Murray School and Central High School; Myers Parson shares a favorite story about taking the school wagon to Christiana High School.

Alice Ray (born 1910s) attended Almaville School, Crichlow School, and Central High School.

Mary Belle Robinson taught 5th grade at Crichlow Elementary School from 1928 to 1968.

W.B. Sanford (born 1914) attended Kittrell School. He remembers riding in a truck that had been converted into a school bus.

Rachel Clark Scott (born 1915) remembers her teachers at Crichlow Elementary School, and going to Central High School on a pony and buggy with her brothers. Much of the interview covers her years at Middle Tennessee State Teachers College. After graduating, she taught the life sciences to seventh graders for more than 30 years.

Betty Smotherman on school integration at Central High School (Murfreesboro).

Irving C. Stroop (1925-2013) attended Kittrell School.

Jane Maxwell Tucker (born 1923), on being a student at Rockvale School and Eagleville School, as well as her aunt's love of teaching at Crichlow School.

Nancy Vaughan (born 1935), on going to Bradley Academy (beginning at 44 min. into interview); she also provides good details about the African American community in Murfreesboro.

Olivia Woods (born 1920), on being a student at Bradley Academy and Holloway High School.

Oral histories from other repositories

Lavada Chisholm (Center for Oak Ridge Oral History) recalls going to Dillard School and Holloway High School before moving to Oak Ridge.

Janie Winfrey (Crossroads to Freedom), on walking to school and going to Holloway High School in Murfreesboro.



Other Personal Accounts

Annie Zachery: Part of My Life (Book preview)
This book is the result of interviews with Ms. Zachery for the Voices from Our America project at Vanderbilt University. Ms. Zachery taught at schools in Rutherford County (Dillard, Emery, and Shiloh), as well as at schools in Celina, Decaterville, and Winchester.


Arnette, Charles Byron. Wheels, Deals, & Bridges. C.B. Arnette, 2007. See the Linebaugh Public Library catalog record.



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