Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pine Forest School - 1906

I came across this old photo while cleaning out some files, and it appears to have been given to my husband by his great-great aunt, Sederia Johnson Griffin. You can see where he marked his aunt's location on the front row in the photograph (you can click on the photo to enlarge it). Coincidentally, I also had a newspaper clipping from when the same photograph was published in the Itawamba County Times. Actually, it was the same photograph, but a much better version of it appeared in the Times. The photograph for the newspaper was provided by Chester George, a former student who is pictured in the photo and who identified each and every person in the 1906 photograph of the Pine Forest School.

Pine Forest School was located 'up the North road' in Itawamba County, on land owned by the Griffin family. When consolidation came along in the 1920s, the school was moved to Ryans Well. John Scott was the teacher at the school and later married a sister of Fisher and Sederia, Bettie Johnson. John and Bettie Scott were parents of well-known teachers Lillian and Trillian Scott as well as Burnell and Camille.

According to the published photograph and identification by Mr. George, Nora Thornton is pictured on the back row, sixth from the left. I've enlarged her image from the photograph, below. Nora was 15 years old in 1906.

Mr. George also identified Fisher Johnson, Nora's future husband, in the photo, but I believe that he has mis-identified him. The boy that Mr. George identified as Fisher is on the third row and appears to be about 8 or 9 years old, but Fisher was 16 years old in 1906 and most likely pictured on the back row with the older students. I've identified the most likely candidate to be Fisher and have enlarged his photo below. Note that I cannot be certain that either of the enlarged photos actually belong to Nora and Fisher, however, I see resemblance of their daughter Glader in Nora's photo while the ears and the mouth of the young man pictured below appears to belong to those of an older Fisher.

Oh, and Mr. George correctly identified Sederia Johnson in the photograph - she's seventh from the left on the front row. Sederia married Walter Griffin, son of John Harvey Griffin and Mollie Sisk. She lived to be almost one hundred years old, dying just three months and four days shy of her 100th birthday in 1999.

If anyone is interested in the the Pine Forest photograph along with a copy of the one that appeared in the Times along with identification of the students, just e-mail me and I'll gladly forward them to you. The school was full of Johnsons and Jamersons with a smattering of Underwood, Crawley and others.

1 comment:

Dale said...

I remember my grandmother talking about Pine Forest school. Do you know if Essie Beatrice Johnson is in the photo?