Collection: Hales Branch School

The Hales Branch one-room school was located at the intersection of Frazier & Hales Branch roads. The school was featured in the Blanchester Star Republican during 1976 Bicentennial article series.

The person who contributed the following "Notes from the Past," about the Hales Branch one room-school was Ethel Frazier Bennington.

"A man named Hales owned some land in the area, through which flowed a branch of water that emptied into a larger branch (the Westfork) ... hence the name Hales Branch School. Near that branch and across the road from the Daniel Wilson home, a

schoolhouse was built to serve the children of the neighborhood; the date is unknown (to the author).

Among those that attended school at this building was my mother, Effie Sewell. She was the daughter of Aaron & Sarah Sewell who lived on the property now owned by my brother, Roy Frazier. Judging by the wide range of knowledge my mother acquired as a

student in that school, I am sure a great deal of learning took place in that building. Some of the books used were: Harvey's Grammar, Ray's Higher Arithmetic, physiology, McGuffey's readers. Smiley's encyclopedia of geography, McGuffey's eclectic spelling &

orthography. Their assignments were taken quite seriously. As years passed and the community grew, that building was no longer adequate. A new red brick schoolhouse was built about a mile from where the first one stood. The old building was abandoned and later torn down. All this took place before the year 1900, how much before I do not know.

Some of the teachers at Hales Branch School were: Odessa Hixson; Floyd Templin; Alva Stanforth, from Martinsville; and Maggie Smith. Other teachers that Ms Bennington remembered from the years she attended Hales Branch School were Mr. Charles E.

Thompson (of Westboro), Mr. Harrison (who did not stay long) and Miranda Moore from Macedonia.

It seemed that school ran rather smoothly in those days. The 3 'R's' were stressed and learning was not limited to individual classes. Members of the lower grades learned a great deal from listening to their upperclassmen recite their well-prepared lessons. By the

time a pupil reached the upper grades, he pretty well knew what was expected of him and was prepared for it. Each teacher was remembered for being outstanding in certain fields. I recall that Mr. Thompson was a man of many talents which he was always willing to share. His penmanship was most beautiful. He encouraged us to take pride in our written work, always setting a good example. He had musical ability and taught us many songs. The picture that follows is from the Grand daughter of Charles E Thompson, Mary Lou Sprowle, a former resident of Wilmington."

Source: Recollections of Ethel Frazier Bennington

Hales Branch School