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MJ History: The Old Union School

This is the last part in Madelon Wright Smith’s stories about education in early Mt. Juliet. It was submitted by Nealon Agee. This story was written nearly 25 years ago. It is titled “The Old Union School.”

The oldest “Union School” was a log building located in the woods, back from Central Pike on the south side, a mile or so west of Beckwith Road. This school was discountinued some time prior to 1900 and little is known of it. 

The next “Union School” was located where Lohman’s Store is today, (the store is no longer there, but there is another building on the same spot) also on the south side of the road, a little east of Beckwith Road. A “one-teacher” school, it had several successive teachers (not listed in order): Alma Apple, Lewis Wright, Charlie Campbell, Aubrey Estes, John Estes, Elijah Sullivan, Catherine Baird, Jessie Foutch, R.C. Wright and Johnnie Bell Weaver (Weaver was a sister to Mrs. Lillian Weaver Jennings, who taught second grade at Mt. Juliet school for many years). The average enrollment was around 20 for any given year. Some who attended, listed by families were: 

Apple: Otis, Edward, Mary, Sophie, Fred (or Freda) and Willie.

Smith: Herbert, J.H., Annie Gladys and Nina. 

Bilbro: Edgar. 

Castleman: Marvin, Clara, Johnny, Laurence. 

Duke: Laura, Freda, Bella, Mary Lee, Pauline, A.T. (these were children of Dr. Duke). 

Lohman: Harry, Shirley, Ike and Lillian. 

Rice: Fred, Bishop and Harvey. 

Harkreader: Syd, William and Venus. 

Baird: Martha, Red, Martin, Duncan and Dana. 

Campbell: Della. 

Hardy: Carrie, Tommy, Truett and John. 

Hamblen: Porter, Mary, Perry and Will. 

Colman: Edgar. 

Wright: Christine, Douglas, Olney, Ridley, Bailey and Buford. 

The third Union School was located on the north side of Central Pike about a mile west of the second school. It was first a high school – some of the teachers being Elijah Sullivan, Sam Tatum and Billy Mires. A Mr. and Mrs. Ford taught the eighth grade at one time. In its latter years, this school reverted to an elementary school. Teachers in this era were Hoyt Huddleston (a Methodist Minister), Lulene Boyd (later Mrs. Bailey Wright and the third and fourth grade teacher of Nealon Agee and one of my favorite teacher in schooling); Mrs. Dayton Wright (the former Margaret Bass) was the last teacher in the last Union School. 

We need more stories of Mt. Juliet history. If you have a story you would like to tell, contact Kenny Howell at (615)754-6111 or 

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