Looking back: City buys Hayden High School

Published 10:10 am Friday, August 23, 2013

EDITOR’S NOTE: Looking Back features past articles from The Tidewater News with commentary by local historian Clyde Parker.

August 23, 1963

Southampton County recently sold Hayden High School to the City of Franklin for $390,000. Hayden, physically located in the City of Franklin but, up until now, owned by Southampton County, is a Negro school.

Previously, Negro students residing in Franklin and Negro students residing in the Franklin District of Southampton County attended Hayden. Now, only students residing in the City of Franklin will attend there.

Negro high school students residing in the Franklin District of Southampton County will now attend Riverview High School near Courtland. That school is presently being enlarged to accommodate the increased enrollment.

For the time being, Southampton County will continue ownership and operation of Hayden Elementary School. It will be remodeled and renovated. Over 200 Negro elementary students residing in the Franklin District of Southampton County will attend school there.

Approximately 850 Negro elementary students residing in the City of Franklin will also attend Hayden Elementary School; but, since the school is owned by Southampton, Franklin will be required to pay tuitions to Southampton.

In the meantime, Franklin is formulating plans to build a separate Negro elementary school near Hayden High School.


Franklin Police Chief Willie Burrow, speaking at the 38th annual convention of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, last week, called upon the assembled officers to be loyal to their profession. “There have been many definitions of the word LOYALTY: fidelity, devotion, faithfulness, etc.,” Burrow said. “We must constantly apply the principles that these words represent. And, we must have high standards for ourselves and foster them throughout our respective communities.”

At the meeting, held in Roanoke, Burrow officially retired as PRESIDENT of the state-wide organization.


Last month, Franklin voters approved the establishment of a redevelopment and housing authority for the City. Pursuant to that approval, Mayor Darden Jones said today the City Council is actively considering the appointment of a five-member housing authority for Franklin.

While waiting for the formation of the authority, Jones said, “It certainly would be nice if the people of the City would support private housing instead of that which will have governmental support.” “I certainly would like to see a private corporation formed to build any replacement housing.”


The Hunterdale Ruritan Club set plans last week for cleaning up an area on Route 58 and converting it into a recreational area for local people and tourists.

The proposed park is located across from Nottoway House Furniture, mid-way between Courtland and Franklin. The area is known as Shady Brook.

The Club started work Saturday and plans to continue the project for the next two Saturdays. Running water and charcoal grills will be provided.

The highway department hopes to provide several picnic tables for the roadside spot and there will be a driveway to get off the highway.

The property, previously a part of the Colgate Whitehead Darden estate, is on loan to the Hunterdale Ruritan Club by its present owner, Pretlow Darden of Norfolk.


Engineers at the State Highway Department have drawn up tentative plans for widening Route 58 to four lanes from where it intersects with the Hercules Road to the Courtland town limits. Presently, the highway is four lanes from the Hercules Road all the way back to Franklin.

Plans call for another bridge across the Nottoway Swamp and diversion of the Nottoway water flow from two channels to one main stream.

Gene Wood, resident engineer, said this segment of the Route 58 widening will make the highway four lanes all the way from Franklin to one quarter mile east of the Courtland town limits at which point, according to present plans, Main Street will be widened to four lanes, without a median, all the way through the entire town. This will allow for better flow of U. S. Route 58 traffic through Courtland.

As presently planned, the required right-of-way will disrupt a lot of property. Many houses will have to be moved or torn down. A public hearing will be held.

CLYDE PARKER is a retired human resources manager for the former Franklin Equipment Co. and a member of the Southampton County Historical Society. His email address is cpjeep99@yahoo.com.