The African-American Schools of Louisa County
Former African-American Schools
in Louisa County, Virginia

Old Mt. Zion Graded School
A Personal Account

The Mt. Zion Graded School was organized under the leadership of the late Rev. D. A. Coleman, Pastor of the Mt. Zion Baptist church of Louisa County, Virginia. Rev. Coleman served as pastor of Mt. Zion for twenty-five years.

In the year 1905, he decided that a graded high school would be built by the community from donations given by members of the church. A two story building was built on the church grounds. The upper floor was for the elementary pupils and the lower level was for the high school pupils through the 8th grade.

The first teacher was Miss Ella Ashburn, a graduate of Lynchburg College. She taught for two years. She resigned to go back to college. Her cousin, Miss Janie Reed from Lynchburg taught for a period of two years.

In the fifth year, one of the pupils of the Mt. Zion Graded School, Miss Carrie Lucille Jackson, attending college (Hartson) was elected teacher and remained for four years until she married the Rev. R. J. Robertson of her community.

Again, Rev. D. A. Coleman was interested in the school and applied to Lynchburg College for another teacher. In the 1914, Miss Ruth N. Hunt answered the call. She served for four years as a high school teacher until 1918.

Being hard to fill the vacancy the first year, it was not until 1919 the late Miss Bessie Moss of Louisa County taught for one year. Again Lynchburg

College supplied the vacancy with a teacher, Miss Hattie M. Mosely. She remained teacher for ten years. She married the late Eugene Waller of the community. After that the school closed because there were not enough high school pupils attending. This was in 1929.

Under Mrs. Hattie Waller's leadership, the school extended the grades to the eleventh grade. Mrs. Waller was a great instructor. Many of the graduates taught for a number of years in Louisa and Hanover County after summer session at various colleges. The school was a great success to the Mt. Zion community.

Mrs. Elizabeth Lewis Stills, one of the graduates of the school, taught in Hanover County from 1923 to 1931 when she left the system to rear her family of four boys and one girl. She was a substitute teacher in Hanover from 1947 - 1968.

Some of the other graduates were: Mrs. Lucy Mallory Stills Yancey, the late Mrs. Lee Jackson Pugh, Mrs. Bessie Coleman, Mr. Robert Henry Jackson, Mrs. Katie Lewis Giles, Mr. Roger Dabney, Sarah James Robertson, Laura Miler Moody, Alice West, Blanche West, Lucille Jackson Robertson, Elizabeth Jackson Minor, Alma Jackson Gatheright, Miss Mary L. Dabney, Mrs. Bessie Dabney Jackson, Mrs. Nello Wyatt Jackson, Mrs. Leno Wyatt Hooker taught school in Louisa County. Others included Mrs. Mattie Jackson Harris, Mrs. Mary Carter, Mrs. Maude Carter Jackson and five Nelson sisters: Amanda, Viola, Lucy, Callie and Gladys.

Written by Mrs. Elizabeth L. Stills
February, 1996  Used with Permission

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