Overview

                              school drawing                       

This drawing of the first school in the Whitesboro Community, the Mashburn School House, by Mike Bishop  was found in the Whitesboro PTA Founders Day Program scrapbook dated February 10, 1970.

The September 11, 1897, recorded deed of  John D. & Margaret B. Mashburn states two acres of their 160 acres of land in Section 14, on the west side of Leeth Gap Road located in the present-day cemetery area (first grave was dug in 1906), was “reserved for a school house.” This school was known as the Mashburn School House. According to The Gadsden Times School Page, April 1, 1956, “It was at the turn of the 19th century when the citizens of Whitesboro and surrounding communities first decided to build a badly-needed school for their children…. the first building was only a crude little room, 18 feet long and 14 feet wide, with  a four-foot fireplace at one end to supply heat...The building had only the ‘good earth’ for the floor and the ‘desks’ were only slabs with holes bored in them to insert the legs of the desks...There were no classes or grades. Only one book was used, the now famous Blue Back Speller....knowledge was measured by the number of times he or she had completed the book...Because of the great distance many children had to travel on foot to attend classes and the lack of comfort in the building, the school term was only six weeks long—three in Summer and three in Winter.” The teacher’s salary was $10 a month

 
 
      High School        In 1907, the trustees of Mashburn School sold the two acres of land to the State Department of Education for $5.00 and a promise to either improve the present school house or build a new one.  The State Department of Education paid two local men $100.00 for their labor to build a two story structure known as Whitesboro High School which had a lodge hall upstairs. According to local records, in 1908 each pupil was required to pay $1.00 tuition for a three month school term. The teacher’s pay was boosted to $40 a month.
 
This structure burned in 1935, and Mr. S.H Leeth donated 5 acres on the east side of Leeth Gap Road and a new school, known as Whitesboro Elementary School, was built on the present site.  It consisted of three regular classrooms.                    
 
        1935-1953                                                                                     Renovations in late 1952 also added a cafeteria and kitchen.

             1953 Fire

At 7:00 AM,  January 28, 1953, with only 50 of the 150 students already at school, fire was discovered. Two teachers escorted students from the building while the principal attempted to save school records and other items. Unfortunately, very little was saved as the fire completely destroyed the building, leaving only five chimneys standing, before the Boaz Fire Department could respond.

Twenty-four hours after the fire, classes resumed. According to The Gadsden Times, February 1, 1953, grades one, two, three, four, and six met in the basement of the new Sardis Baptist Church. The fifth grade met at Sardis High School. By using Sardis Baptist Church, across the road from Sardis High School, students would be able to “use the Sardis lunchroom facilities, as well as borrow books from the neighboring schools, and use the sanitary and playground facilities.” 

                            1953 construction            

An article in a Boaz Leader newspaper on June 11, 1953, states the new school at Whitesboro will cost $12,000 per room to build and would be the finest building in the county when completed. The new school would have a new heating system that would generate heat by hot water pipes running through the floor and would come on automatically every morning so the building would be warm when students arrived.

                                                                                                                                         1953 new school                                        
 

Eleven months after the fire, on Armistice Day, students and teachers moved into their new school. On November 22, 1953, The Gadsden Times reported;  “This modern brick and block constructed building was built at a contract cost of $72,400 and from the outside appearance of the structure, nothing could be more desired. The interior, with six classrooms and principal’s office has ceramic tile walls and floor with  beautifully designed asphalt tile floor coverings. The building has radiant heat throughout with the hot water flowing through copper pipes in the concrete floor. One of the classrooms has folding doors opening into the lunchroom. In the classroom is a stage where the plays put on by the pupils can be made more effective at community gatherings.” 

A multi-media room was added in 1977, and was immediately divided for classrooms. The stage had been walled off and was used as a library.

A gymnasium and window air conditioners were added by 1980.  The library was moved to half of the multi-media room, the stage became a small classroom, and the boiler room was renovated for a teacher workroom with a bathroom but became a small classroom instead. This room is currently used by the school nurse.

                                                                                                                                                                        1953 hall now 

 

Original 1953 hallway. Home to two second grade classes, two third grade classes, two fourth grade classes, nurse,  secretary, workroom, and access to cafeteria at one end and the media center at the other end.
            1983 entrance                            A new entrance, front hall with principal's office and two bathrooms, and a hall with four classrooms and a janitor's room was constructed in 1983. 

A new cafeteria was added in 1989. The old kitchen was converted to a small workroom.  The old kitchen storage room became an office storage room. Central heating and air conditioning was added to each classroom on the original hall

 wing

The kindergarten and first grade wing with five classrooms, bathrooms, and teacher workroom with bathroom opened in 2002. A nice breezeway with picnic tables connects the wing to the main building.
 
                                        breezeway
 
2005 brought us a portable unit for a classroom. 
 
For 2007 we added two additional portable units. Window renovation was completed on the 1953 hall.
 
April 2009, a fourth portable unit was added.