Looking back: County students cannot attend Franklin schools

Published 10:42 am Friday, April 4, 2014

by Clyde Parker

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

April 4, 1964

The Southampton County School Board denied a request from a Southampton County man who is representing parents of students who reside in the Hunterdale, Black Creek-Burdette and Forks of the River areas of Southampton County. Henry Brothers, spokesman for the group, asked the Board to allow students who reside in the aforementioned areas to continue attending Franklin City schools on a permanent basis. Those students are currently attending Franklin Schools and will be allowed to continue there for the remainder of this school-year; however, starting with the 1964-65 school-year, they must attend Southampton County schools. After-all, Hunterdale, Black Creek-Burdette, and Forks of the River are a part of Southampton County and are included in what is called the Franklin District of Southampton County – those areas that immediately surround the City yet are a part of the County.

The official action taken by the school board to deny the request was in response to Franklin District School Board Representative William Howell, Jr.’s motion to allow the students to attend Franklin schools on a permanent basis. The motion died for lack of a second; therefore, there is no authority for students to attend Franklin schools after this school year. In making the motion, Howell said “it’s time to give them an answer – yes or no”.

R. B. Story Jr., Newsoms District School Board Representative, said “In my opinion, it’s the County’s job to educate County children, and that is what we should do.”

Paul Camp Marks, Capron District School Board Representative, commented on a recent meeting between the Southampton and Franklin school boards. “In that meeting, there seemed to be some effort to get the City and the County together,” Marks said. “The County school board should try to get a better relationship with the City in working toward a consolidation of the two school systems. Both systems are too small to go it alone.”

In other action, the School Board approved the buying of a site in Hunterdale for a proposed new County elementary school. The construction of this school has been considered by the Board for some time. Negotiations are underway for the desired site, l2 acres at the intersection of Sedley Road and Country Club Road, known as the Bob Jack Joyner tract.

At issue with the proposed site is the fact that private residential homes and other property flank the planned access to the site and other homes are in front of the property. However, Hunter Scott who owns lots where the proposed entrance is located, as shown on the property lay-out, said he would make sure that access to the property can be gotten by using those two lots.

Ben A. Williams, Jr., Courtland attorney, was employed by the School Board to acquire the land from the Joyner family. A price of $1,400 an acre was established.


Construction of a new swimming pool was approved Monday night by the Franklin City Council. Net cost to the City was expected to be $7,570; the other $35,500 of the $43,070 cost comes from donations which have already been received for that purpose. City Manager Harold Atkinson was authorized to negotiate on the price.

Location of the pool is to be on the west side of the Hayden High School property. Construction is expected to begin within 30 days. The City is to construct the bathhouse, ticket office, and concession stand as well as concrete walkways, and fencing around the pool. Later, the City hopes to put curbs, gutters and sidewalks along Cemetery Street leading to the pool.

Donations totaling $35,500 have been made by the following: Camp Foundation, $15,000; Franklin Recreational Foundation, $14,500; Union Bag-Camp Paper Corp., $6,000.

Mayor Darden Jones was authorized to sign a new rental agreement with Alvis Barrington, operator of Franklin Municipal Airport, at $50.00 per month for three years. This is an exact duplicate of the previous agreement.

Mrs. Davis B. Spiers, Jr. was appointed to a four-year term on the City of Franklin Shade Tree Commission.


Over in Courtland, a planning committee was appointed Thursday night to organize a Southampton County Fair. Nine civic organizations were represented at the county-wide meeting.

Norris Bly was appointed chairman of the committee which consists of Charles Arrington, Horace Pierce, Rainey Hundley, Bobby Tankard, G. W. Nichols and Pat Wilkins.

The Black Creek-Burdette Ruritan Club is the lead organization. Others in support of the Fair include: Franklin Chamber of Commerce, Franklin Jaycees, Franklin Kiwanis Club and Union Bag-Camp Paper Corp.

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