Orange County, North Carolina historic information cache - the original Orange County Training School
The original Orange County Training School
 
 
The Orange County Training School began in 1913 as Hackney's Educational and Industrial School which soon became known merely as the Hackney School and colloquially as "Hack's High School" as a high school serving the local African American community. The school was located west of Merritt Mill Road (then also known as New Mill Road), between West Franklin Street and Cameron Avenue in Chapel Hill.

Excerpt from the December 1915 Sanborn map of Chapel Hill
Excerpt from the December 1915 Sanborn map of Chapel Hill


The school was privately funded by members of the community, as local schooling for black children ended with the seventh grade, and higher education was desired and needed within the community. The school was begun by Dr. Louis H. Hackney, the reverend of White Rock Baptist Church and the principal of the local black graded school from 1898 to 1912. Hackney purchased the property from S. Bane May 22, 1913 for $970, and lived in the dwelling (known as both the Sallie Flanner House and the Carr House, after Eliza Carr, Julian Carr's mother, who lived there at one time) that had been built by William Flanner around 1900. Hackney and his wife, Laura, also purchased various pieces of property adjoining the school property over the next several years.

Dr. Hackney served as the school's principal and also as one of its history teachers; other teachers were Jessie O'Kelley (domestic science), Amy Rogers (music), Carrie Jones (history), and Jim Rogers (arithmetic). Thomas L. McDade, Edward Allen, E. B. Jones, S. J. Caldwell, William McDade, and George McCauley were members of the Board of Trustees for the school.

Photograph of Hackney School/OCTS teachers, November 1917
Photograph of teachers, November 1917; likely (l-r) Amy Rogers, Jim Rogers, Jessie O'Kelley, and Carrie Jones.


Within a few years of the school's beginning, funding became problematic; student tuition, publicly-provided funds, and contributions from local churches were inadequate to meet expenses. In 1916, members of the Chapel Hill School District Board of Directors apparently approached Dr. Hackney with the suggestion of consolidating the school and the local black primary and/or graded school (known as the "Quaker School," located to the north of the Hackney School, at the intersection of Merritt Mill Road and West Franklin Street). Dr. Hackney sold the property to the Board of Trustees for the school for $2,300, who then sold it to Orange County. The school was then renamed the Orange County Training School, with a Mr. Malone as the school's first principal.

On June 12, 1922, the school building, Flanner-Carr House, and several outbuildings burned down when some boarders in the Flanner-Carr House accidentally started a fire in the kitchen (the June 1925 Sanborn map of Chapel Hill shows only one structure still extant at this location). In 1924, after a year or two of students being taught in various locations throughout the area, Henry Stroud donated land between present-day McMaster and Caldwell streets in the Northside neighborhood, and the Orange County Training School was reestablished at the new site, in a new, brick Rosenwald-funded school building; its cornerstone was laid in a well-attended public ceremony September 1, 1924.

The following photographs are from the Jackson Davis Collection of African American Educational Photographs, in the collection of the University of Virginia Library.
 
Photograph from 1916, with school building to the left and Merritt Mill Road in foreground; view northwest (click to enlarge)        Students playing, November 1917 (click to enlarge)        the 'Carr House', view west; photograph from 1916 (click to enlarge)        Main school building, view southwest; photograph from 1916 (click to enlarge)
Photograph from November 1917, showing newly-built structure (click to enlarge)         Photograph from November 1917, with Merritt Mill Road in foreground (click to enlarge)        November 1917 photograph of outhouses and barn, view northwest (click to enlarge)        'Outhouses screened by students. Honeysuckle used as screens.' (click to enlarge)
'End view of main building.Lines broken by shrubs.' View west (click to enlarge)        'General view of grounds, shop lower left'; Merritt Mill Road is in foreground. (click to enlarge)        'Landscaping done by patrons and students. Painting of all buildings done by agricultural students as farm shop work.' Showing the 'Carr House'; (click to enlarge)        Photograph from November 1917 (click to enlarge)
'Primary buildings. Orange County Training School. Seat built by farm shop students holds or seats 30 children.

Click to enlarge photographs; all photos courtesy of the University of Virginia Library.
 
 
View the school's site on Google Maps
 
Sources:

Caldwell, Edwin. History of Lincoln High School. 1973.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools. District History Timeline. http://www2.chccs.k12.nc.us/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=56110.

Lincoln High School Alumni website. http://lincolnhighalumni.org.

The News (Chapel Hill/Orange County). June 15, 1922 and September 4, 1924.

Orange County Register of Deeds
Deed Book 65, Page 59
Deed Book 66, Page 312
Deed Book 76, Page 296

University of Virginia Library. Jackson Davis Collection of African American Educational Photographs.
 
 
[Created: 22 March 2009; last updated: 18 August 2010]    

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