A rapid growth of Horse Creek
followed the opening of numerous mines in the area, and in the early
1900s citizens of the prospering town saw the need for a new school. Horse Creek got to a stage in its life in the early 1900s when citizens of the prospering town saw the need for a new school.
In 1903 a two-story frame building (with another structure consisting
of two rooms and an auditorium built nearby) was ready for occupancy.
B.C. Palmer was principal, and Kenner Ferman and Lillian Slater were
assistants. Samuel T. Sellers, R.H. Palmer, and Dr. C.B. Jackson helped
initiate the building of the school and also served as trustees. Principals
that followed Palmer were Professors Hayes and Williams.
By 1921 a red brick schoolhouse had been built to replace the 1903
main wooden structure. This building served as both the elementary
school (six grades) and high school (five grades). The twelfth grade
had been added by 1925, and the school was accredited by the State
in the school year 1926-27. Although modern times and advances in technology, equipment and were still many decades away, the school had brilliant vision and daring that they instilled in their students. Using the building, materials, and staff available, Dora High School made great leaps in education and strides towards the future. It was only early days in its illustrious history. The Building Committee consisted of Chairman Frank, C. Marquis, C.I. Jones, Linn Palmer, R. Foster, and L. Clark. The contractor was W.E. Venice. Principals at this school were Professors Williams, Ben Kirk, T.N. Driskill, and George Kilgore. The Building Committee consisted of Chairman
C. Marquis, C.I.
Jones, Linn Palmer, R. Foster, and L. Clark. The contractor was W.E.
Venice. Principals at this school were Professors Williams, Ben Kirk,
T.N. Driskill, and George Kilgore.
The following students were the first to be graduated from this school
Willie Gay Morgan
These names were found in the cornerstone that was opened after the
school burned in 1969.
Another school was built in 1935 for junior and senior high school
students. The first principal of the Dora High School was George Kilgore
followed by Amos I. Waldrop, Paul Hudson, and Glenn C. Gant.
The old building on School Street that had previously accommodated
grades 1-12 then became Dora Elementary School. Principals at the
elementary school were Professors Sanford, Mitchell, Brack Put man,
Dora Boyd, Ezra Evans, and Leonard Sartain. This school stayed in
service until the new school was built. The last graduating class
from this school was the Class of 1969.
EARLY SCHOOLS FOR
The first Dora High School for blacks went as far as Junior High School
classes. All students wishing to pursue higher learning had to relocate
in other places in Walker County that offered high school courses.
The building where classes were held was an old wooden structure with
very limited facilities for teachers and students.
Very small salaries were given to teachers. Dedicated principals and
teachers with positive attitudes and optimistic views toward the future
endured many hardships. They worked hard to train the minds of many
black boys and girls in order for them to find their places in society.
The student body was made up of students from Blackwater, Argo, Sumiton,
Empire, Hull, Sipsey, Burnwell, Yerkwood, Flat Creek, and Dora.
Terrell S. Boyd, a white citizen of Dora, often visited the black
schools. Seeing the need for the black children to have a better place
to learn, he started working toward his goal. His dream was to get
a new school for the black children.
His dream came true in 1963 when a new building was completed. The
school was named in his honor. Terrel S. Boyd School is being used
today for all races of children.
T.S. BOYD SCHOOL
In 1963 a new all black T.S. Boyd School was built honoring Terrell
S. Boyd, former Walker County Board of Education member. (Before this
time the schoolhouse for blacks was a frame building located in Union
Camp, just below the high school stadium.) C.F. Prewitt, principal
at the old building, was principal at Boyd until 1975. The Dora schools
were integrated in 1969. Grades 1-4 were housed at T.S. Boyd, 5-9
at the old high school building (with Leonard Sartain as principal),
and grades 10-12 at the new Dora High School.
In the spring of
1981, the old Dora High School building which was being used as a
Jr. high school building, was condemned, and the students were transferred
to T.S. Boyd. (Fire destroyed the vacant building in 1982.) Under
the leadership of principal James T. Gann, T. S. Boyd received Accreditation
in 1977. Classes were meeting in trailers until 1985 when thirteen
new rooms were added to the existing building. The facility presently
houses grades K-8.
In the late 1960s the citizens of Dora saw the need to generate interest
in buying property for a school site. A new high school was to be
built, but consideration had been given to two sites on the north
side of Highway 78. However, if local residents could provide a new
location, Dora High School would remain within the town.
A drive for property funds was
speerheaded by graduates of the school who feared that their alma
mater would be lost if it were constructed outside Dora. A door-to-door
campaign was successful. Within five days more than $7500 was raised
to buy the 35-acre campus (on Glenn C. Gant Drive)—and thus deed
it to the Walker County Board of Education. Sparks Construction Company
of Jasper was the contractor, and the new school was built and dedicated
The two-story split-level modern brick structure included modern
teaching aids and an auditorium-gymnasium combination.
Approximately 550 students had enrolled in grades 10-12 when the school
opened its doors for the first time. Glenn C. Gant was principal, and
Asa Bobo, Clell York, and J.B. McCrary were trustees.
The new football stadium was named Roberts Field—honoring the
memory of Horace Roberts. Horace was an outstanding Dora area citizen
and a member of the Walker County Board of Education.
Glenn C. Gant was followed by Bill Moore in 1973, who was followed
by Jim Crump in 1975. In 1979, under Jim Crump's leadership, Dora
High School received Accreditation. Trustees were Ralph Parker, Jerry
Tuggle, and Rabon Watson.
History of Dora High School
by Josephine Andrews
The first school was a "dog house"
school near old Red Star Hill in the older section of Dora, Alabama.
It was known as "Hard Bargain School" and D.M. Davis was
the first teacher. There were no active organized trustees. Sam
Sellers, who had homesteaded in the area, served as trustee.
In 1870 a school was built on the hill now known as Number 10 Hill,
which is a community on the Dora-Cordova Road just past the Second
Baptist Church. In 1888, a log house at the top of Davis Cemetery
hill was used for a school. Later, a larger school was build at
the foot of the hill near the cemetery.
In the year 1901, a school district was created and numbered
45. Three schools were supported at this time: Sloss, Davis, and
Morgan. The three were consolidated and for a time the school was
taught in the Methodist church and the Masonic Hall in Old Dora.
The first principal was Thomas Harrison Sherer, a Peabody graduate
and Sarah Kerr of Columbia, Tennessee.
In the summer of 1904, a new building was
erected, two rooms and an auditorium. Several months later, eight
new rooms were built. This as a two-story frame building. E.C. Palmer,
a graduate of Midland City was principal for two years.
J.W. Letson was principal for the years
1906 - 07, and 1907 -08 when the school was graded. On May 22nd,
diplomas were given to the following as the first Dora High School
graduates: Austelle Harwell, Ray Andrews, Siddie Sellers, Maude
Smithrow, Alma Grimes and Dora Gresham. S.T. Sellers, R.H. Palmer
and Dr. C. B. Jackson were the first trustees of the school.
As the enrollment grew, a new building of
brick was erected in 1921. Grades eleven and twelve were added alternately.
As busses brought in students from surrounding communities, the
enrollment continued to grow.
With the cooperation of public-spirited citizens, land was made
available for a new school to house the Junior and Senior High School
grades. Ground was broken for the building in1934 and in 1938 the
first class graduated from the new buildings. Watkins Field, the
football field, was built and named for the town's mayor, Sam J.
Watkins. Later a gymnasium was erected directly across from the
rear of the school. The rock gymnasium is currently the home of
the Alabama Mining Museum.
The class of 1969 was the last class to graduate from the Old school
on the hill. The new Dora High School built nearer to the 78 Highway
was put into service and the class of 1970 was the first class to
graduate from the New Dora High School.
OF DORA HIGH SCHOOL from 1901 - present
Start Principal End
1904 E.C. Palmer 1
1906 J.W. Setson
1908 T.J. York
1911 H. Sizenley
1912 D.J. Moore
1914 W. K. Norton
1917 Mrs. Kitchen
1918 B.P. Hodges
1126 George Kilgore
1943 Amos I. Waldrop
1947 Paul Hudson
1951 Glenn C. Gant
1973 Billy J. Moore
Assistant **Percy Goode
1975 Jim Crump 1993
Assistants Charles Tatum
Mrs. Lucille Harris
1993 Bobby L. Erwin
Assistant Joe Potts
1995 Percy Goode
1999 Joe Potts Present
2005 Ricky Pate
2011 Cathy James