Tracing the history of education in Gates County
Published 4:41 pm Friday, September 22, 2023
GATESVILLE – An effort is underway to trace the roots and document the history of public education in Gates County.
Linda Hofler, a former teacher of Gates County History, and the Gates County Library are soliciting the public’s help with this project. They are requesting those wishing to share information of past schools, as well as those that remain in operation, to drop by the Gates County Public Library between 4-7 p.m. on Wednesdays (Sept. 27, Oct. 11, Oct. 25 or Nov. 8). Refer any questions to the library by calling 252 357-0110.
“This is a floating event; you can stay for as long as it takes to document your information and you can come to the library on any of those dates,” said Hofler. “We’re asking individuals to come in, give us your photos and information. We will scan your materials on site and give it back to you, or you can share stories that you know personally or those handed down by other members of your family.”
Information is needed on public schools that were in operation beginning in 1930. Hofler has been able to compile the following list from the Gates County Board of Education Minutes. At that time, schools educating white students included Gates, Gatesville, Corapeake, Sunbury, Eure, and Hobbsville. Schools in the 1930s that educated black students were Ballard’s Grove, Beautiful White Oak, Corapeake, Boonetown, Buckland, Milley Bridge, Gates County Training, Middle Swamp, Hudgin’s Branch, Jones, Hobbsville, Newberry, Flat Branch, Roduco, Hayer, Kellogg, Rooks, Aerial, Reid’s Grove, Hinton’s Grove, and Key’s Cross.
In the 1940s, Stoney Branch, Willow Branch, and Kee’s Fork schools opened to educate black students.
T.S. Cooper High and Central High opened for blacks in the 1950s.
Gates County High opened in the 1960s and eventually educated students of all races upon integration.
“We are aware that there were many more schools in Gates County. We welcome information on any school located in Gates County at anytime,” Hofler said.
The Gates County Public Library is located off Soney Lane, the second building behind the State Employees Credit Union.