The African-American Schools of Louisa County
History of the Schools

Green Springs District

The following is a transcription of a narrative of Louisa County’s schools
handwritten in 1949 by Mrs. Zelda C. Morton, retired Supervisor of Negro Education.
Louisa County Historical Society Archives.

Zelda Carter Morton,
Louisa Supervisor of Negro Education. Photo courtesy of Sarah Fountain Winston.

“Green Springs District- There being no authentic date for the establishment of any schools in this district, this report is based on what could be collected from the oldest reliable citizens.

The eagerness of the freed Negroes to learn to read and write prompted them to look for teachers and offer places where schools could be opened. A few Negroes had acquired some education and where one could be found, he was sought and paid for his services. In some instances they were able to hire white teachers.

The first Negro teacher to teach in Green Springs District was one William James Lucas who taught at Mechanicsville. He was a talented speaker and had much influence in developing citizenship.

At Koontztown, five miles from Mechanicsville, Brook Thornton gave land for a school and William Smith a carpenter erected the building of one room. When the public school system was established, the School Board paid a teacher for this school which continued to be used until the consolidation program began a few years ago.

Gradually schools were opened in this district until there were eleven. They were usually in homes or churches with the exception of one at Koontztown, Trevilian and a two room building at Mechanicsville. This two room school was the best of the district. It served over a long period of time, actually until one room completely deteriorated. When this writer returned to her home and seeing the condition she determined to do something, so remained to see a school built. Patrons worked zealously and in 1919 a three room building was erected. This was the first school to be built by the State plans in the county. The amount of money raised by patrons warranted a Rosenwald appropriation, but the School Board preferred to use other plans. The patrons have continued to make improvements and support the teachers, however for a long time it was a struggle to keep good teachers.

In 1930 a change began to take place. Something had to be done. Because of poor salaries and short terms, teachers had to go other places to seek a living wage. The Superintendent and School Board began to recognize this dilemma. Salaries began to increase, terms were brought up to 9 mos. A consolidation plan began. Better teachers were obtained and improvements were noticeable. The Mechanicsville school has three teachers, all degreed. It also has a splendid Lunch Program. Its great need is a lunch room. All of our schools need more adequate classroom equipment. No school in the county has a Home Economics teacher, a Physical Education teacher or a Librarian. We are hopeful of better conditions.”  (Narrative continues under Court House district)

Green Springs District   •   Court House District    •   Cuckoo District   •   Jackson District

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Funding for this project was provided by The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and
The Louisa County Historical Society