Old Choctaw Co Photos

The following photos were submitted by Betty Burks. The first photo is the 1913 high school graduates at Ackerman, MS.  Seated on the left side of the photo is her grandfather, Samuel Victor "Bill" Burks. Can anyone identify any of the other graduates.

1914 Ackerman Football Team

top row, left to right
Supt. J. S. Vandiver, Joe Weaver, Lewis REED

Second row from top:
Fred Griffith,  Solon Bruce,  Lester Reed, Marvin Adams,  Mose Shaw
Third Row from top:
Cooper Blanton, Lee Bruce,  Bertrand  Fulcher,  Harvey Hemphill,  John Daniels
Bottom row:
Loyd Reed,  Ethel McClure,  Earnest Calcote,  Denver Mabus,  Webster Blaine,  Plumer Wood, and Bill Burks, coach.

The above photo and the photo below were found by Beverly Lee while cleaning out her grandparent's home.
She states: "
I have no idea who any of these men are, nor do I know when it was taken.  I can barely read the transcription written at the bottom. 
I think it says Masonic Grand Lecturen and District Deputy Masters Taken at Acherman, MS
I'm assuming maybe one of these men's last name might be Gilbert and that's why the picture was in with all of my great-grandmother's things. 
If you are able to recognize any of these men or know of someone who'd like to see a copy of this, please let me know.

We have found several group photos that no one in my immediate family can identify.  I do not know if the sashes of the gentlemen mean anything. I don't know anything about Masonic groups, so forgive my ignorance. 
I did find out that my great-great grandfather had a Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star in Chunky, MS named after him. 
His name was Spencer B. Gilbert.  I found this information on the obituary of one of my great-grandmother's sister. 
Apparently she was a Worthy Grand Matron for 2 years of this Chapter.  But I can find no listing for it on the internet.

Cork School House

Abstracted by Johnnie Bouck from the book "Genealogy of the James Cork I Family" written by Carmen Cork Weatherall

The Cork School House was built on land donated by James CORK ll and his wife Rebecca Catherine CORK.  James Cork II was the nephew of Rebecca Catherine Cork's father James Cork l.  The Corks also provided the logs for  the one room building.  Later the log building was replaced with a two-story frame school house. The Corks first child, Mary Ann, was born in 1846; their fourth child, Isabelle, was born in 1851.  (Note by JB: The school was probably built by the time their children needed a school.)
One teacher conducted classes for all the students grade one through eight. The school was in session for a term of six months.  Class was held from 8:00 AM until 4:00 PM.  An hour lunchtime and a fifteen minute recess in the morning and afternoon allowed time for games.  Some of the games played where hopscotch, drop the handkerchief, ring around the rosie, hide and seek, pickup sticks, and marbles.  A large ball was used to play

basketball.  The baseball was made by wrapping twine tightly around a small rock.
A spelling bee every Friday afternoon provided a diversion.  After the teacher selected two people to serve as captains of the teams, the captains took turns choosing students for their team, who formed a line on opposite sides of the classroom.  If a player misspelled a word, that player was required to sit down.  The winning team was the one whose player was the last one left standing.
Students either walked or were brought by horse, wagon or buggy.  Some students enjoyed the use of a buggy with a top and celluloid windows which provided protection from the weather.  Ditches which buggies and wagons had to cross sometimes were across the dirt roads.  This required the use of slabs of wood from the sawmill to make walkways for the students on the side of the roadway.
The older boys kept wood supplied to the wood burning cast iron heater which heated the school.  A nearby spring provided drinking water.  The water was kept in a bucket with a dipper. 
All students drank directly from the dipper.  A towel and a pan were provided for use in hand washing.  An outhouse was another necessity.
Cork School closed in 1919.  The students were transferred to schools in Chester or Ackerman.

The following photo was submitted by Johnnie Bouck. Photo was taken ca1913.


 The following story was submitted by Jim Eckerman, with permission given to him by Mrs. Desiree Black Stacy.

Desiree Black Stacy

My earliest memory of Mt. Airy School was in 1920 when I was four years old. My sister, Azalee, was old enough to go to school and needed someone to walk the one and one quarter miles to school with her.

Mt. Airy, as all country schools, was a one room, one teacher school. It was located north of Highway 12, midway between Ackerman and Sturgis, just beyond Mt. Airy Church at the fork in the road. One road to the left joined the Bethlehem road, another led to Mrs. Mollie Oswalt's where all the teachers boarded. The one to the right led by the Rev. E. L. Taylor place and forked again. To the right it joined Highway 12 by J. M. Black, Henry Shurman and Jess Oswalt's.  To the left, the road led to Sand Creek, Steadman School, Spring Hill and Reform.

There were hollows on each side of the schoolhouse that served as rest areas. In another hollow was a spring where the older boys took turns carrying water to be poured into a keg with a faucet resting on a partitioned case where each one kept their glass to drink from. In the schoolroom was a big stove - in front, a long recitation bench where we went to recite what we knew in ten minutes. We only had a six month term and by the time one finished the eight grade, they could begin teaching in a country school.

My first teacher was Miss Vera Rowell with Miss Ella Wells substituting when she was sick. Some of the ones I remember going this year were: Hilyard, Grady and Richard Cutts. Willie Cutts was already through and Merra, Everette and Ilene were to start later in Ackerman. They walked from what is now the Game Area.

Next in line were the Gatlins. By this time Elmer and Stella were in high school elsewhere. They were: Cootcher, Aubrey, Lentz, N. H., Willie and Lillian. Evelyn was too young to go. The Crowsens, Earl and Everette, lived at the Fulcher Crossing and came this year.

Mr. and Mrs. Martin Oswalt lived at the Whatley place and their children; Gassie, Marcus, Alma and Ila came. On the Bethlehem Road lived Mr. and Mrs. Jimmie Oswalt and their children; Raymond, Lela and Lois came. Vernon, their eldest, was already out of school. Next was Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Oswalt and their children; Coy, Celia, Mildred and Maxie came. Jewell was already married and Cramer was to start later. Mr. Robert and Mrs. Bell Oswalt's children attending were; Mamie, Noel, Houston and Brady. Earl was already out of school.

Living on the Moses Black place were Mr. and Mrs. Bud Hyde. They were the first family to own a car in the community, a 1923 Model T. Their adopted son, Soverign Regan Hyde, was in attendance. His sister, Jessie Regan, was out of school. Mr. Richard and Mrs. Eva Oswalt lived by them at the Jackson-Oswalt place. Pearl and Thelma were in school. At the SilasBlack place lived Alfred and Mary Oswalt and their three sons; Howard, Duff and Erbun were in attendance. They later went to the Steadman School. In later years, their sister, Louise, went to Ackerman.

We (J. M. Black family) lived where the Fulchers settled when they moved to the area. Across to the next hill were the Joe Stacy family. Their children attending were: Stella, John, Okla and Akla. Della and Charlie were already out of grammar school. At the Alexander place, Nova and Ruby Wood attended.

In the fall of 1921, with new blue and red lunch boxes, we began school in October with Miss Mamie Collier as teacher. Several had dropped out at this time.

The fall of 1922, Mr. Calton Edwards came to teach. This year we had a basketball team! Here is where Mr. Calton met and married Stella Gatlin and they were the parents of four children: Gatlin William (G. W.), Calton Jr., Imogene and Sammy Faye. Mr. Simmie Oswalt's daughters, Merle and Beulah, came this year as Steadman School was no longer in existence, The Mings had moved to Fulcher Crossing and Carrie and Christy came. Clint Vaughan moved on to Dido road and his daughter, IdaMerle, came.

In the fall of 1923, Miss Rosa Oswalt was our teacher. The Pollys had moved to Fulcher Crossing and Helen, Anita, Cullen and another sister came. In a spelling match, Cullen Polly spelled down everyone by spelling "Chicago" correctly. Sula Adams also attended this year. Pearl and Thelma Oswalt were in Sturgis School by this time. Mr. and Mrs. Boyd Hollis moved into the Snow house and Mildred and Evelyn were in attendance. Carolyn was too young at this time.

In 1924, Mr. Calton was teacher again. He was very strict and would not allow anyone to look out the window. One day a dirigible came over and he let us all go outside and look. Then one day Mr. "Poke" McMinn rode by the windows on a mule and Mr. Calton said, "Let's all look at that!"

This year, Mr. Wesley Oswalt's youngest daughter, Cramer, attended as did Helen Oswalt, daughter of Dell and Lovie Oswalt. Willodean and Marvin were later to start at Sturgis. By this time, Aubry and Lentz Gatlin, Okla and Akla Stacy and Noel and Mamie Oswalt were finishing. We had a program at school, curtained off the front and as it came our time to recite our poem, we came in the window. I remember N. H. Gatlin's poem:

I've come to this conclusion,
And figured it out - clue,
That God made all creation,
And the devil made the mule.

At recess and dinner, we played games like dropping the handkerchief, mad dog across the road, stealing sticks, jump rope and others.

The next year, Hudson Orr was our teacher. Many had dropped out and gone on to high school at Sturgis. Merle and Beulah Oswalt went to Weir, and here is where Beulah met and married Martin Edwards. Dutch was out of school. Mr. Martin Oswalt's family had moved to the Delta. Mr. Jimmie Oswalt moved to Sturgis.

Our last year at Mt. Airy in the fall of 1926, Mr. Joe Keen came to teach the nine of us: Mildred and Evelyn Hollis, Mildred and Cramer Oswalt, Ida Merle Vaughn, Brady and Erbun Oswalt and Azalee and Desiree Black. They had school the next year with even fewer attending. We went on to Sturgis. The schoolhouse was moved to be used as a potato house. Now the only building left in the community is Mt. Airy Church, a very sacred place.

"...the next year (1869), I bargained for a homestead from Jesse Fulcher, opened it up and made our home there till 1879. During those years, I taught school at Mt. Airy to which place I gave the name of Mt. Airy on account of its exposure to cold winds. The name was afterwards given the name of the Methodist Church there. Perhaps but few know how the name originated but this is how it was." - H. P. Dotson, March 19, 1909.

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