City, county schools to operate jointly

Published 9:01 am Friday, February 10, 2012

by Clyde Parker

EDITOR’S NOTE: Looking Back features past articles from The Tidewater News with commentary by local history buff Clyde Parker. The series commemorates the 50th anniversary of Franklin becoming an independent city.

Jan. 26, 1962

Southampton County and the City of Franklin have reached an agreement to continue joint operation of the county and city schools through June 30, 1962.

And, there is a good possibility that the county and city will reach an agreement to combine the school systems for the 1962-1963 school year.

Considered a matter of necessity due to many uncertainties stemming from unresolved issues, joint operation of the schools for a period of time is believed to be in the best interest of both jurisdictions. Among the unresolved issues are county/city sharing of Southampton school debt, ownership of Southampton school property in Franklin, and attendance by non-resident students at Franklin schools.

A large and assertive delegation representing families in the Hunterdale, Black Creek-Burdette and Forks of the River communities of Southampton County appeared at the county School Board meeting Monday night. The group continues to press the Board to allow children to continue attending Franklin schools.

The communities are within the Franklin Magisterial District of Southampton County, which is the area surrounding Franklin, but outside the city limits. Franklin officials on numerous occasions have indicated they would welcome the students’ attendance.

The matter is in the hands of the Southampton County School Board.

J. Paul Councill Jr., a member of the delegation, said “we just want to re-emphasize our previous stand, and we do ask that you remember us and keep our wishes in mind.”

Other members of the delegation were Theo Beale, Raymond Cobb, Redelle Cotton, William Vaughan and Alfred Kitchen.



President Robert C. Ray of the Franklin YMCA has signed a contract with Richard B. Purdy of the National YMCA Building Committee to start planning for a new community center for Franklin.

“Preliminarily, the costs for the study are estimated at $6,000, which will be contributed by the Camp Foundation,” Ray said.

The timetable for the proposed center calls for a fund drive next year. Start of construction is projected for late 1963 or early 1964.

The center being considered would meet a demand for centralized facilities, where young people and adults could participate in recreational activities.

The center would not duplicate the recreational facilities and programs of the Franklin YMCA coordinated by Martin Pearson.

“The community needs a stand alone YMCA building,” said Pearson.

The YMCA uses the General Vaughan Armory, school athletic facilities, the Hill Street outdoor swimming pool and the tennis courts next to the pool. These venues are owned by the City of Franklin.



A five-year veteran of the Southampton County School Board, an accountant familiar with school financing and an employment manager well versed in college recruiting practices were named Monday night by Franklin City Council to become members of the City’s School Board. The three chosen were James Henry, Daniel Peak and Joseph King, Jr.

Henry, a member of the Southampton County School Board since 1957 representing the Franklin District, is director of surveying for the Suffolk District of the state Highway Department. He was appointed to a three-year term.

King, employment manager for Union Bag-Camp Paper Corp., was named to a two-year term.

A certified public accountant and an auditor for Southampton County, Peak will serve a one-year term.

Henry will continue to serve on the County School Board until Franklin begins operating its schools as a separate district.



Three hundred and ninety four of the 506 inmates at Southampton County Farm donated blood last Friday for the American Red Cross in Norfolk.

Mary Seaborne of the Red Cross said the visit was very orderly and the volunteer help was excellent. Dr. Gordon Birdsong of Franklin, vice chairman of the Tidewater Regional Blood Program, showed his gratitude by giving each donor a pack of cigarettes.