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ARMSTRONG HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNI ASSOCTIATION

About the organization

E. A. Armstrong Alumni Association was formed years ago to ensure the legacy of our most beloved school, E. A. Armstrong.  The Association is very active and exists to assist the school in many ways as it continues to educate the minds of our youth.  Long Live E. A. Armstrong School!  We are excited that you are here!

 

The following is a history of events corroborated by Ms. ANNETTE MCKEITHAN-HILL, VALEDICTORIAN of the class of 1939.  Ms. ANNETTE MCKEITHAN-HILL’s accounting of the school’s history is written from her personal experience as the E.A. Armstrong High School was being established.  She is now deceased, but her accounting of the history will be cherished for years to come.

 

HISTORY OF THE E.A. ARMSTRONG HIGH SCHOOL

1939-1969

     In the year 1935, it became necessary that the black children in the rural County be afforded a high school.  Prior to 1935 the children in the rural area were allowed to attend high school in the City of Fayetteville, North Carolina, our county seat.  Due to the increased enrollment in the city and rural area, the city school became very crowded.  The children in the county were no longer permitted to attend the city school in Fayetteville.  What should we do?  Something had to be done quickly. 

     Some concerned citizens, parents, and educators discussed some possibilities.  After discussing that matter with Mrs. Addie Owens-Williams, a former teacher at Hickory Shade School on River Road, suggested that a group of parents and educators go to Raleigh to discuss our problem within the Department of Public Instruction.  The men that took Mrs. Williams’ advice were George Underwood, Daniel L. Williams, Jake Gardners, Junius H. McKeithan, Tony Williams, Wesley McMillian and Reverend Edward Turner.

     In Raleigh they were advised to return to the various communities and get at least 100 students to sign up for high school.  They were successful in getting more than 100.  As had been promised by the Department of Public Instruction, the building was soon started and completed in time for use in the fall of 1935.  The building was a wooden structure, just large enough to house the pupils and teachers to comfortably study and learn the academic skills that were taught and prescribed by the State Department.   

     Our next problem was getting to the school.  There were no buses for the rural Cumberland County areas which included the West side of Fayetteville from Grays Creek to Over Hills in the North side of Cumberland County and the East Side from the Cedar Creek north to Wade and Godwin, then returning south to Eastover to the school.  This was a large area for one school and no transportation to serve the pupils. 

     The first year everyone walked, thumbed rides, rode on wagons and cars just to get to school.  The teachers were very liberal with their cars.  Sometimes there were so many pupils in the cars, you could hardly see the driver.  Everyone tried to help each other.  Some pupils roomed with relatives that lived close to the school.  We had been closed out of the Fayetteville City School System. 

     The faculty consisted of six teachers and a teaching principal.  They were Theresa J. Ward, Mary Hollingsworth, Marie Woods (Librarian), and Mr. E. A. Armstrong (Teaching Principal). 

 

     The second year was a little better.  Two school buses were given to cover the same long distance as the first year.  The buses had to make two loads morning and afternoon.  We started early and returned late.  Many times the old buses would break down, making us late getting to school and late getting home in the evening.  After the first two years our transportation got a little better when more buses were added. 

     As the years passed the school grew with its physical structure as well as the teachers and staff.  The enrollment increased and more subjects were added in the curriculum.  Mrs. Theresa Justice-Ware and Miss Perry, organized a small singing group of eight pupils.  They were Waymen Robinson, Elizabeth Howard, Mable Evans, and Arlene Gainey.  As time passed, more pupils joined the singing group and we had a beautiful Glee Club under the direction on Miss Permillia Flack.  Other extracurricular activities were a Debate Team and a Baseball team.  Mrs. Ware was our advisor for the four years we were in high school.  She composed our class song.  The words are as follows:

Cumberland County Training School C.C.T.S. we love you.

Cumberland County Training School C.C.T.S. we love you.

We love you in the morning and in the afternoon.

We love you in the evening underneath the silver moon.

Cumberland County Training School C.C.T.S. we love you.

      After many ups and downs for four years, the first class graduated in the Spring of 1939, from Cumberland County Training School.  The class consisted of 36 pupils.  The school did not have a large auditorium, therefore Professor Armstrong secured the use of his church.  Evans Metropolitan AME Zion Church for the Baccalaureate service and the Commencement activities. 

 

THE GRADUATES OF THE CLASS OF 1939

ALICE ADAMS                                                                                               CORINE MCDONALD

JEROME ALDERMAN                                                                                  JELIUS MCDONALD

MARY FRANCES BAILEY-REYNOLDS                                                        GEORGIA MCGILL

ANNIE MAE BUXTON                                                                                 HORACE MCGILL

MARY DAVIS                                                                                                 RETHEA MCIVER-JONES

CLARENCE EVANS                                                                                       IRENE MCKEITHAN-ELLIOT

JANNIE FENNELL                                                                                         *ANNETTE MCKEITHAN-HILL

WILLIE FULLER-ALDERMAN                                                                                (VALEDICTORIAN)

RAYMOND FULLER                                                                                     FRANCIS MCKOY-COOPER

PAYTON G. HILL                                                                                          LULLA MCKOY-MCDONALD

CARL HODGES                                                                                              OLA MAE MCNAIR-FULLER

CHARLES HODGES                                                                                       LEE ANDER MELVIN

JOSEPH HODGES                                                                                          BEAULA PHAIR

KATIE JACKSON                                                                                            JESSIE ROBINSON-POWELL

LUBERLA JACOBS-HAIRE                                                                            WAYMON ROBINSON

LUCY LOCKAMY-CARTER                                                                           MARY SMITH-BROW

ALEX MANUEL                                                                                             MARY WALKER

MARIE MCDONALD-CROWE                                                                     LEWIS WILKERSON

      (SALUTATORIAN)                                                                                   WILLIAM WILKERSON

 

DR.WILLIAM MURPHY

President

JERRY SMITH

Vice President

CLARA LOCK

Treasurer

RUBY UNDERWOOD

 Secretary

BERTHA K. ELLIOTT

Finance Secretary

ISSIA MCEACHIN AND WANDA THAMES

Public Relations

LESTER MCGUIRE

Liaison to School Board

CALVIN GARHAM AND MARY BELL

Historian

BARBARA MCCORMICK

Secretary to VP

 

CONTACT

 

©2017 by Armstrong High School Alumni Association.