We believe this is the Monticello School. We know it is an elementary school in Monticello, the county seat of Jasper County, Georgia. The community was named after Thomas Jefferson's home in Virginia. The county was named for Revolutionary War officer, Sgt. William Jasper. An image from the school in 1908-09 shows the boys wearing knickers or kneepants. Almost all are coming to school barefoot. Here going barefoot does not seem to be a matter of poverty because the boys are otherwise quite well clothed (some even wear suits and ties). The photograph is the 4th grade class, in 1908-09. Notice how the boy boy wearing shoes hs been placed in the middle of the group. The girls are all in the back, most outfitted in white dresses.
Jasper County is located in central Georgia, southeast of Atlanta. Jasper County was created from Baldwin County (1807). It was originally named Randolph County. A part of Jasper was set off to Morgan in 1815 and a part to Newton in 1821. The name was changed (1812). Jasper County was named in honor of Sgt. William Jasper, who served in Colonel William Moultrie's Second South Carolina Infantry, 1775. The county seat is Monticello. It was named after Thomas Jefferson's home in Virginia. Parts of Lake Jackson an the Oconee National Forest are located in Jasper County. The county was largely agricultural based primarily on cotton. This continued after the Civil War, but the boilweaval adversely affected cotton farming. The Federal Army inder General Sherman passed through the county on the march from Atlanta to the Sea (1864). A bobbin manufactiring insustru prospered in the early-20th cebtury. It supplied textile mills in the area.
The need for educational facilities received the attention of the early settlers and before 1820, a male and a female academy were established in Monticello, each being under the direction of a board of trustees composed of some of the most prominent citizens of the County. Academies were established in Hillsboro, Georgia and elsewhere as the 1850 census records that there were six such in Jasper County. [Powell] After the Civil War a public education system was established. The Monticello School was presumably the first school. The county created a sege\regated system. We are not surec when the first blaxk schools were established.
The school here was an elementary (primary) school located in Monticello School. We assume it was called the MonticelloSchool. We do not know when the school was founded. We note it functioning in the early-20th century. It was probably a grade 1-6 school.
An image from the school in 1908-09 shows the boys wearing knickers or kneepants. Almost all are coming to school barefoot. Here going barefoot does not seem to be a matter of poverty because the boys are otherwise quite well clothed (some even wear suits and ties). This probably reflects the fact that Japer County was an agricultural county. Coming barefoot to school was common at the time both in agricultural areas and the south. The photograph is the 4th grade class, in 1908-09. Notice how the boy wearing shoes hs been placed in the middle of the group. Motice that none of the boys wear overalls. The girls are all in the back, most outfitted in white dresses.
We have also found school portraits from the 1920s. There are photos show the 1st and 4th grades classes of 1921 ant the 6th grade class of 1923. Only a boy attending 1st grade are wearing overalls. Many of them are barefootas well as the boys attending 4th and 6th grades. We note that in the 6th grade class (ages 11-12 years) wear suits, sweaters, or just whire shirts. The boys wear knickers and almost all of the boys are barefoot. One boys wears shoes. We suspect vthat mother insisted, but we are not positive.
Powell, Harvey J. "Brief history od Japer County," (1969). This article was used as a handout bu the Japer County-Monticello Chamber of Commerce.
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