History of Earl Travillion Attendance Center
The residents of the Kellv
. Settlement and people of the
adjoining communities initiated the
movement which eventually
resulted in our present school at the
Earl Travillion Attendance Center,
with an enrollment of 1183.
John McComb, among those
people of the community who took
the initiative in organizing and
building a school for the education
of Negro children, gave two acres of
his land, 4 miles from the former
Bay School site. A well-constructed
frame building, named for the
donor, John McComb, was erected
in 1887. Classes commenced in the
fall of 1888 for a six-month term.
with Horace Kelly as teacher.
In 1890, the Priest Creek
Community School was organized
south of Hattiesburg in what is now
called Palmer's Crossing. Several
other small schools had their
beginning during this same period;
information concerning some of
them is vague. and the exact date of
their operation is difficult to
determine. However. both John
White Consolidated and Bay Spring
Schools are discussed in separate
After operating a few years in a
log cabin. Priest Creek Community
School was moved to an orphanage
which W!lS later destroyed by fire.
Leaders of a community group who
met to plan a replacement school
included Joe Knox, Joe McCullum,
Joe McKinzie, B. F. Wilson, and
Jim Owens. This new Priest Creek
School was built on land acquired
from Joe McKinzie. on the
southwest side of Priest Creek.
After a number of years, for
some unknown reason, the school
was closed. For a period following,
school was held in the Priest Creek
and St. John Methodist Churches.
alternately. In 1919, a Parent
Teachers Association was organized
with the main purpose of raising
funds to partition Priest Creek
Church into classrooms.
Another school building was
erected in 1920. which was named
Depriest for Congressman Oscar
Depriest. Pearl Barnett was the
first principal for this new school
which was located on a site adjacent
to the present Earl Travillion School
campus. This school could very well
be considered the predecessor to
Earl Travillion High School. which
was named for Earl Travillion, who
was the principal of Depriest School
from 1939 - 1951.
The continuation of public
school transportation made possible
the consolidation of other small
schools in the area with Depriest
School. In 1924, under the Smith-
Hughes Act of 1917, the Depriest
School became the first in the state
to offer Vocational Education to
Negro students. Upon suggestion of
the State Department of Education,
the school's name was changed to
Forrest County Training School,
and was used by the State
Department as a model Smith-
Hughes Vocational School. A Mr.
Heard served as its first principal.
In 1903. a school was organized
in the Burkett community. 4 miles east of Hattiesburg. Classes were held in the Mount Vernon Baptist
Church for several years until a
group of interested patrons
organized to build a school. Among
these were Henry Grant, Henry
Burkett, Ben Burkett, Jack Carter,
Pat Britton, and Issac Ryan who
served as leaders of the group. Jack
Carter gave the land for the school,
which was named Springfield for the
spring, which served as the school's
water supply, near the building.
In 1920, the Petal School,
which had been operating in the
Petal Community Church,
consolidated with Springfield
School. which then became
Springfield Consolidated School.
Mary E. Kelly was the first
principal. Twenty-two miles south of
Hattiesburg in the Maxie
Community, a school was organized
in 1903. The first teacher was Sarah
Williams. The school was named for
one of its founders, John White.
The other pioneers responsible for
this movement included Arehle
Bolden, Simon Ellis, George
Husband, and Jim McPhail. Ten
acres of land were purchased from
Simon Ellis as the building site.
During this time other small
schools began operation in the
southern part of the county. and
they were all eventually
consolidated. When the five separate
schools were discontinued in 1956.
the principals serving were as
follows: J.W. Heath, Depriest;
Clarence E. Bates, Bay Springs;
Emanuel Clayton, Myers; S.E.
Wilson. Springfield: and Jerome F.
Carlyle, John White.
The reorganization of Negro
schools in Forrest County under the
Minimum Foundation Program
began ill 1955, during the
administrations of Superintendents
D.O. Davis and Otto Phillips. The
present school site was acquired in
1956. In 1957, the five Negro
schools of Forrest County were
consolidated. and the construction
of the new Earl Travillion
Attendance Center was begun
during the administration of
Superintendent W.H. Lane. Board
of Education members were John E.
Rouse, Chester S. Moulder, Oliver
L. Dean, Matthew J. Johnson,
Buford A. Lee, G. Calvin Simmons,
Jack L. Moore, and James L.
While the plant was, under
construction during the school term
of 1957-58, with A.B.S. Todd as
principal. students were housed in 3
of the old school buildings. In
August 1958, school operations
began in the new plant, with Principal Todd directing the program so as to provide maximum
opportunities for students to
become familiar with the available
resources and to develop occupational and vocational interests necessary to the cultural status.
Earl Travillion has an
enrollment of 1183 and a staff,
including a part-time counselor, a
librarian, a supervising elementary
principal, and a secretary, with
facilities providing fOT grades one
through 12. - Rhoda Pickett
Travillion Alma Mater
Dear Ole Travillion,
Dear Ole Travillion,
Dear Ole Travillion High
We’ll always love you truly,
We’ll love you till we die.
Days spent here will always
Remain in our hearts,
We’ll never forget you
Although we may part.
Dear Ole Travillion,
Dear Ole Travillion,
Dear Ole Travillion High.
Composed by Ms. Janet Dozier
Music by Jimmy James
Click to add text, images, and other content
DePriest Alma Mater
Orchids to our Alma Mater,
Noble friends so true
We will keep our banner waving,
As we are taught to do.
DePriest to thee we will be loyal,
Loyal day and night
We will ever fight for thee,
Dear Old green and white.
Birth of FORDETRA
Several former students of Forrest County Training School, DePriest Consolidated High School, and Earl Travillion Attendance Center met at the home of our C.E.O., Mrs. Deloris Davis Goins in June 1990, to consider the idea of bringing together students of all classes over the years.
The agenda of the meeting consisted of debates, discussions, fears, doubts, hope, dreams, unforeseen challenges, and anticipation.
In July 1990, a follow-up meeting was held in the home of the late Mr. Andrew Wilson. During this meeting, a conclusion was made to go forth with plans to hold a grand reunion of former students. Officers were elected and a schedule of meetings was planned.
These officers and a small group of dedicated persons continued, by slowly moving toward their goals. Each meeting showed accomplishments being achieved. After a decision on the time of the reunion had been finalized, we wanted events that would be informative, entertaining and generate involvement by those who would be attending the various affairs. A newsletter was composed informing those persons whose addresses were available about the reunion plans. Every effort was made to obtain names and addresses of former students by seeking information from local parents, relatives, and friends. The local press, TV and radio stations greatly assisted in these efforts by making announcements. In spite of all efforts to reach as many of the former students
as possible, the committees still have concerns that there may be many who still do not know about our grand reunions.
Beginning in August 1990, FORD ETRA meetings were stepped up to two meetings, twice a month. Committee reports began to be more substantive than verbal. Hopes began to become realities and it appeared that there really was going to be a Grand Reunion.
The idea of having a grand reunion was first presented by Rev. Carl Chisolm. We met several times in the gym at Earl Travillion. When few showed very little interest, Rev. Chisolm had no choice but to give up the dream. This really disturbed Deloris Goins, and at that point she was determined to have a Grand Reunion. Mrs. Goins stated, "We are having a reunion if no one attends but my family and me." At this point, we are proud of her perseverance.
Thanks to the original group that was invited and subsequently met at the first meeting in June, 1990 in the Goins' home and presented the idea. These dedicated persons were: Mr. Andrew Wilson, Mr. Ollie Jackson, Mrs. Deloris Goins, Mr. Lonnie Davis, Mrs. Marjorie Chambers, Mrs. Della Ruth Jones, Mr. William J. Heath, and Mrs. Birdie Jenkins.
This Grand Reunion is significant in many respects: Fun, entertainment, renewing of acquaintances, recalling of great events; but nothing is more significant than the coming together of a great group of people. People who have left the schools of FORDETRA have succeeded in many fields of endeavor: Theology, medicine, law, engineering, teaching, business, science, trades, sports, entertainment, construction, military, and other areas. We feel that America is better as the result of the work done by former students of FORDETRA.
Such history could have been lost had this event been omitted. Please say a special, "Thank You" to Ms. Rhoda Pickett, the late Mrs. Priscilla Walker (sister of Mr. James Ratcliff), and Mr. Olan Charles Perry for their contributions to the history of Forrest County Schools.
Saturday, Jul 10 at 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Saturday, Aug 14 at 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Saturday, Sep 11 at 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Saturday, Oct 9 at 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
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