I received an e-mail this week reminding me that I had not published the article about Mershons School. I wrote this column when I did the series on the schools in the Hazel Green area. This should have been printed then. However, I had received a message from someone with additional information on the school and I had planned to submit the article after speaking with the caller. Unfortunately I was occupied with other activities at the time and I never got in touch with the caller. Then I started a new series on a different subject and I forgot to submit this article.
Mershons School was located on the 1926 map found at the Board of Education on then US 25 (KY490 today) on the east side of the line almost across the road from Pilgrim’s Rest Church. According to the 1976 Laureate Yearbook - “Mershons was a one room school. It was first begun in 1890 with Lizzie Baugh and Lottie Tankersly giving the land. The school was built of logs and later covered with lumber. Teachers at the school were boarded at the homes of Bob Mardis, J. B. McCowan, and Eva Templin. Mershons was given the name of the community where it was established. Outstanding alumni included: C. C. McCowan, Paul Cornett, Dexter McCowan, and Bertie Jones. The last class was held in 1959. The building was torn down and the lumber used by private citizens.”
In May, 1897, Mershons School was District Number 45. Prior to that Mershons may have had a different number. From 1908-1917 it became sub-district/division 6 of District 6 or 6-6. From 1918-1921 it was 2-16 sub-district/sub-division 16 of District 2. After 1921 it was district number 81. The school address was Mershons in 1918-1919 and Ionia in the 1930’s and 1940’s.
The 1914-1915 Boundaries for Educational Division Number 2, Subdistrict Number 16 were: “Beginning at J. C. Cottongims on the Winding Blade road; thence N.W. so as to include the Bill Anderson farm; where David Martin now lives; thence down Parker creek so as to include where Ebb Allen now lives; thence so as to include Dane Lucas farm where Scy Tankersly now lives; thence to the Bunch excluding it; thence so as to include Jasper Nelson excluding Lige Chandler; thence to Henry Cathers excluding him; thence to John Howard farm including it; thence to Andy Inmans; thence to Anderson Cornelius including him; hence so as to include Geo. Peters., Bob Johnson, Mrs. Naper; thence to the beginning. March 1, 1913 – Anderson Cornelius added to 2-17.”
H. C. Tankersly was paid $22.30 to cover the school house in District 2-16 and $6.50 to repair the flue. (Board Receipts and Expenditures July 7 & October 8, 1910)
Teachers for District Number 45: 1876 Lemuel Main, 1878 J. M. Parsley, 1879 W. A. Parsley, 1880 Elbert Riggs, 1881 Jerome Cole, 1882 Robert Casteel, 1883 J. T. Durham, 1884 & 1885 J. M. Adams, 1886 C. R. Baugh, 1887 James W. Lucas, 1888 W. C. Brogans, 1889-90 Dehlia B. Tankersly, 1890-1891 M. A. May, 1891-92 Chester N. Jones, 1892-93 C. C. Nelson, 1893-94 Carrie Baugh, 1894-95 & 1895-96 C. C. Nelson
Teachers at Mershons: 1897-98 W. L. Green, 1902-03 Rosa B. Lucas, 1903-04 Annette Allen, 1905-06 J. R. Moberly, 1907-08 Zilpha Bowling, 1909-1910 Delia Botkin, 1910-1911 Walter Farris, 1911-12 W, L, Green, 1912-13 Calvin McCowan, 1913-14 Ethel J. Black, 1917-18 C. C. McCowan, 1918-1919 Nora Yaden, 1919-20 Mary Michael, 1921-22 Oliver L. Black, 1922-23 Curtis McDaniel, 1925-26 Bertie McCowan, 1928-30 Mrs. Rilla Green, 1931-32 Jesse Dalton, 1932-34 Mrs. Bertie M. Jones, 1934-35 Jesse D. McCowan, 1935-36 D. P. Parsley, 1937-38 Mrs. Bertie McDaniel(?), 1938-40 Pearl McCowan, 1940-42 Harold McCowan, 1942-43 Pearl French, 1943-44 Bernice Baldwin, 1944-45 Eube Dixon, 1946-47 Pearl French, 1951-55 Harold McCowan.
The current owners of the Mershons School property are David and Elizabeth Covert. However, their deed does not reference the previous deeds so I was unable to trace the property back through the deeds. Using the information from the Laureate Yearbook referenced in the first paragraph of this article my deed search leads me to believe that the following deeds concern the Mershons School but I am not positive.
The Laurel County Board of Education sold two half acre tracts of land to Oakley Cole and Paul Cornett for $25 on April 7, 1964. (Deed Book 186, p. 545) These tracts came from land purchased from H. C. and Lottie Tankersley and Liza Baugh.
On August 26, 1915, Liza Baugh had sold to the Board for $12.50 “in hand paid one old school house” (Deed Book 50, page 504) “Beginning at a stone in old State Road, H. C. Tankersley’s line known as the Raymer line…. Containing ½ acre.”
The heirs of J. F. Baugh had sold this land to Analiza Baugh on Dec. 19, 1911. (Deed Book 43, page 138) It mentions Winding Blade Road, William Peter’s corner, the Pearl line, the old state road and George Peter’s corner.
The second tract had been acquired when H. C. and Lottie Tankersley sold half an acre which included the school house well for $1 to the Board of Education on Dec. 9, 1913. (Deed Book 166, p. 79) It also mentioned the Raymie line.
This was part of a tract of 391 acres known as the Bullock place which Mr. Tankersly had purchased from Jasper and Permelia E. Pearl in 1890. It was on the waters of the Rockcastle River near Andrew Inman’s house. This deed mentioned the following boundaries - Hog Road, Shelton tract, Spring Branch, and forks of Main Branch, Slaughter’s line. (Deed Book M, page 434) I mention all of these boundaries in the hopes of determining if I have found the correct deed for Mershons School.
The current owners of the property would like to have photos of the school building. If you have one you can send it to me and I will forward it to them.
The Laurel County Historical Society is located at 310 West 3rd Street in the old Health Department Building. We are open on Mondays & Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We will open on other days by appointment. Please contact us far enough in advance to schedule a volunteer to open the library. You may contact the Laurel County Historical Society by calling
606-864-0607 or e-mail us at email@example.com (The first character is a lower case L as in Laurel.)