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Eastover Elementary School History

Charlotte, N.C.

BY MARY LYNN MORRILL

Eastover School opened its doors in 1935 at 500 Cherokee Road (unpaved when the school opened.) The original building had six classrooms (grades 1-6), a one room office and a small first aid room. The principal taught in the classroom like the other teachers.

Eastover School is on the northern end of a three acre area. It faces Cherokee Rd. The architect for the original building was James Stenhouse. Mr. Stenhouse was an architect draftsman with M. R. Marsh. Eastover School was his first design job out of college (Georgia Tech). It took Mr. Stenhouse two weeks to design Eastover School. He was paid $10.00 as he made $5.00 weekly pay. The only element not used in his design was a handsome cupola, eliminated for budget reason. Mr. Marsh was paid 6% of the construction costs. W.P.A. labor was used in the construction of the school (a grant to the city from the federal Public Works Administration.) The only government restriction was that you couldn?t pay anyone less than 25 cents hourly to do W.P.A. work. The school system liked Stenhouse?s design so much it reused if for Midwood elementary, Eastover?s twin, on Central Ave.

In 1941 an auditorium, basement kitchen and cafeteria,

library, office and five (5) classrooms were added. An announcement was read at the Dec. 8, 1941 P.T.A. meeting that "The School Board" has adopted a regulation recommended by the P.T.A. Council forbidding school children from exchanging gifts to teachers and other children on the school grounds."

In December 1942 a sidewalk was laid in front of the school.

In February 1943 forms were issued requesting extended school service. The principal, Miss Ransom, announced that "this may be the beginning of free kindergarten in the state."

In 1949 five (5) more classroom were added to the back of the original building. In this year, the food services for all city schools became centralized and all schools participated in the Federal Feeding Program. In Sept. 1949 the School Board bought the land on Cherokee Road across the street from the school for use as the pupil?s playground. When this land was acquired the P.T.A. hired a physical education teacher for $2,500 yearly. 447 families were represented at Eastover School.

In 1955 a Primary Building was constructed with eight (8) classrooms.

On January 8, 1957, fire heavily damaged the office and front halls. Most of the 16 classrooms in the main building suffered smoke and water damage. School attendance at the time was 725 pupils. The first alarm was turned in by Alex MacFayden of 228 Middleton Drive. The fire was caused by oily mops stored in a closet.

In 1972 a Media Center and Physical education building were added to the school.

The first three principals of Eastover School are as follow: Daphne Ransom Long (1935-1964), Polly Johnston (1964-1970, Jane Morrow (1970-1982).

In 1935, the year the school opened, teachers included Miss Mary Moore, Miss Daphne Ranson (also the principal and secretary), Miss Crawford, Miss George, Miss Gregory and Miss Kennedy. Women teachers could not be married in 1935. By 1940 married teachers were employed. In 1940 Mrs. Willie Choate Hampton, Mrs. Gray, and Mrs. Pharr were on the teaching staff (see more information on the teachers later on in this paper.) Teachers were never allowed to wear dress pants to work - only dresses and skirts were permitted.

The first P.T.A. President was Mrs. F. O. Clarkson. Known P.T.A. presidents included Mrs. Edgar Gammon (1936), Mrs. Frank Thies (1937), Mrs. Raymond Thompson (1938, 1939), Mrs. G. F. Cooper (1940-42), Mrs. Kenneth Bridges (1942-43), Mrs. A.L. Roberts (1944-46), Mrs. Philo Caldwell (1946-48), Mrs. W. L. Buice, Jr. (1948-49), Mrs. Sutherland Brown (1956-1957), Mrs. J. A. Crowell (1959-1960), Mrs. Rennie Cuthbertson (1974-1975), Mrs. Dan Morrill (1975-1976).

In November 1935 the P.T.A. decided to collect clothing for a rummage sale. Thus began the Outgrown Clothing Sale which was held for nearly 50 years. Beginning in 1936 the P.T.A. sponsored a Children?s Artist Series and a Shakespearean Story. The first project eventually became the Children?s Symphony Concerts and the latter, with the help of the A.A.U.W. and the Junior League, became the Children?s Little Theater. The school still holds a large "Fall Fun Day" which was first held by the P.T.A. in the fall of 1976 to raise money to buy classroom supplies.

Interesting Facts about Eastover School:

- In December, 1937, the P. T. A. refurbished the office and the Teachers? Room.

- In December, 1938, the P.T.A. gave the school four (4) radios.

- 1939 - 36 pupils from Eastover entered A.G. Jr. High. At the March 5, 1940 P.T.A. meeting it was announced that 27 of those 36 pupils made the honor roll.

- 1941 - World War II / books collected for Victory Book Campaign sale of defense stamps encouraged. Air raid shelters selected. Air Raid drills practiced. First aid course given to 6th grade girls. Several teachers equipped to give first aid. Civil Defense meeting held at the school. December 8, 1941, the first P.T.A. meeting was held in the new auditorium and the auditorium was dedicated.

- May, 1943 - Class gift - a picture for the library.

- Feb. 5, 1947 - The first officer was assigned to Eastover School to direct traffic at the beginning and closing of school each day.

- February 4, 1948 - 164,000 pounds of paper collected by Eastover School students which amounted to $1,003.42. Eastover?s Bible teacher is Isabella Reid.

- March 30, 1948 - "Living Memorial" - Announced by P.T.A. President Mrs. Philo Caldwell: "In the event of a death of a teacher, pupil or parent associated with the school, a tree, a shrub, a book, a plaque or some such article will be purchased by the P.T.A. and presented to the school in his/her memory. The amount to be spent in each case is to be approximately ten dollars."

- 1951 - Peggy Tuttle (daughter of Jerry Tuttle-"Tuttle?s Puddle"), a beautiful, smart, six year old little girl with long golden hair (according to her teacher, Annie Sanders) left school one Friday and was dead with polio by Monday. A bronze plaque was placed by Peggy?s classmates outside on the ground under her first grade classroom window.

- 1955/December: a decision was made to collect money from the pupils to give to the custodians and cooks for Christmas. Before this time small gifts had been given.

- September 1968 - An Eastover Book Store was opened by the P.T.A. and was located in the Efird Room 8:30 - 8:45 a.m. Pencils cost 5 cents and notebook paper ten cents.

- Fall 1969 - Eastover School had 501 pupils. 42 of these were Eastover?s first Black pupils.

- In the fall of 1970 Eastover School was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

- November 10, 1982, a special ceremony was held honoring those who participated in Eastover School?s early growth. Those in attendance included the following people:

Daphne Clark Whitton/6th grade teacher 1935-37/in 1982 living at Sharon Towers.

Mr. Beaumert Whitton, Eastover School?s 1935 contractor (Southeastern Construction Co.)

Note: The Whitton?s daughter is Maggie Ray (Mrs. ThomasRay)

Annie Henagan Sanders/1st grade teacher/living in 1982 at 2004 Beverly Drive.

Willie Choate Hampton/former 6th grade teacher/living in 1982 at Sharon Towers.

Note: Mrs. is about 102 and still lives at Sharon Towers. Her daughter, Harriet Cuthbertson (Mrs. Rennie Cuthbertson-Huntley Place), was the P.T.A. President at Eastover Elementary in 1974. Harriet, an only child who bore four children who attended Eastover School, died several years ago.

Florence Miller Deal/5th grade teacher/living in 1982 at Sharon Towers.

Sadie Patton Pharr/former 3rd grade teacher/living in 1982 at Sharon Towers.

Etta Sledge Middleton/former 5th grade teacher/living in 1982 at Sharon Towers/retired from Eastover in 1965.

Irene Kennedy Smith/former 3rd grade teacher/living in 1982 at 2526 Normandy Road.

Miss Mary Moore, original 2nd grade teacher, died two weeks before the reunion was held at Sharon Towers.

Daphne Ranson Long, first principal & 4th grade teacher, died in 1971.

James A. Stenhouse was in attendance at the reunion/the school's architect/living in Charlotte on Andover Rd. in 1982 - died a couple of years ago. His grandchildren attended Eastover School.