A Brief History of Gary Schools
From a 1933 Panola Watchman as written by Mildred Graves
Reprinted in "Days Gone By" by Ann Morris, Sept. 2001
Note: Article found in the files of Ona Lee Hill Martin
....In 1895 the Texas & Gulf Railroad were extended from Carthage to Timpson, and the people of this community began to have visions of a town at this place. At about the same date Mr. T. S. Garison, builder of the railroad, and Mr. T. J. Hull, pioneer resident, erected stores, the former a commissary, and the latter a general merchandise store.
The next step was a school. The trustees, Mr. J. O. Worsham, Mr. R. V. Cassity, and Mr. A. J. Thomas, elected Miss Myrtle Born for the teacher. Formerly pupils here had gone to school at the Ray schoolhouse at Mt. Bethel. There was a mill being operated by Wade and miller on Breech Creed between the Tillman Hall place and the Adams farm. It was decided to build the schoolhouse there.
While it was being built, Miss born taught in a small residence still standing on the George Cariker plantation. There was no floor in one room of the house, and part of the pupils sat on the sleepers of the house while others had some benches to sit on out on the front porch.
There were no windows in the house and just an opening for a door but no door to open and close. They did not have any desk like we do today. The only thing they had was a writing table about twelve feet long and three feet wide. It was out in front of the house or in the yard because there was no room for it inside.
The Wade and Miller schoolhouse had one room, a few windows and one door. The same benches and writing desk were used. Miss Born taught the first term in 1895-1896. Mr. George Welch started the term of 1896-1897, but he died during the term and Mr. Dave Dubose finished the term.
At the end of the term of 1897, the people decided to move the school nearer to the center of the community. It was moved to where the section house now stand (in 1933). The first school taught in this building was tuaght by Mr. Sheffield in 1897-1898. He was followed by Mr. Sid Ramsey in 1899-1900.
Mr. and Mrs. Ned Ramsey, 1899-1900, Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Anderson, 1900-01. Marvin Anderson and Miss Mattie Flemings, 1901-02. S. G. Tunerner and Mrs. Ruth Baker Turner, 1903-04. J. W. Mullins, 1904-1907, assisted by Miss Corinne Bryant either one or two years, and the remainder of the time by Miss Eula Hooker.
During this term of 1907-08, the school divided. Mr. J. H. Brumble held the contract for the school to be taught in the schoolhouse, but resigned. Miss Nannie Williams taught for two weeks and her certificate expired. Miss Annie Mae Hooker was then employed and finished the term. The other school was taught by J. W. Mullins in the Gary Baptist Church.
At the same time, in 1907, a law was passed which gave a district the right to levy a tax for the support of schools. Up to this time there had been no clearly defined district boundaries. In order to put the tax law into effect, it became necessary to fix boundaries. In 1908, the line, which divides Gary from Mt. Bethel district, was surveyed and the present boundary lines were fixed.
In 1909 the railroad from Gary to Center, joining the northern and southern ends of the Longview-Beaumont road, was completed. It became necessary to move the schoolhouse because it stood on the railroad right of way. They bought the ground from the school and moved the schoolhouse to a site between where the schoolhouse now (1933) stands and the railroad.
Miss Lytie Woolworth and Miss Eva Dean taught in 1908-1910. They were followed Mr. George Johnson and Mr. Willie Standford in 1910-1911. Madge Howell, Gladys Holt, and Mr. Clabe Applegate, who was both teacher and pupil of a few classes in 1911-1912.
The old schoolhouse that stood out in front of the present building (1933) was constructed about 1911-1912.
Miss Fannie Davidson and Mr. W. J. Heaton taught in 1912-1913.
1913-14 -- Malcomb Shaw, Clara Stroud, Nashie Willis.
1914-15 -- Clabe Applegate, Clara Stroud, Beulah Brooks.
1915-16 -- Clabe Applegate, Joe Heaton, Eunise Ray.
1916-17 -- Clabe Applegate, Emma Brannon, Babel Birb, Muad Hull.
1917-18 -- James Brookshire, Mrs. Emma Brookshire, Emma Brannon, Maud Hull.
1918-19 -- Clabe Applegate, Mina Mae McLendan, Mabel Bird, Evelyn Davidson.
1919-20 -- J. H. Brumble, Minnie Rhodes, Mabel Bird, Evelyn Davidson.