Days Gone By - stories from the past

Do you know of any one-room schoolhouses that are still active?

One-room schoolhouses were common in rural communities before the 1940s, but they often meant that more advanced courses were not offered to many students. To solve this problem, an attempt was made to consolidate smaller schools into larger ones where teachers of advanced studies could be acquired.

Three smaller combined

This is the case with Goodman school in Coffee County, Alabama.  Three smaller schools were consolidated into one larger school. The photographs in the film and below by Marion Post Wolcott from 1939 reveal the improved accommodations.

One of old schools which was consolidated into Goodman School. Coffee County, AlabamaOne of the old schools which was consolidated into Goodman School. Coffee County, Alabama – The foundation seemed very unstable in this one (photograph Library of Congress)

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One of old schools which was consolidated into Goodman School. Coffee County, Alabama2Old school which was consolidated into Goodman School. Coffee County, Alabama

Interior of classroom in old Goodman school (the new Goodman school replaced three smaller schools). Coffee County, Alabama2Interior of classroom in old Goodman school (the new Goodman school replaced three smaller schools) Coffee County, Alabama

First Grade children in Goodman School, Coffee county, AlabamaFirst grade class in new Goodman School, Coffee County, Alabama 1939

New school and community building. Goodman School at noon hour. Coffee County, AlabamaNew school and community building. Goodman School at noon hour. Coffee County, Alabama 1939 (Library of Congress)

Recreation evening at community school under direction of WPA (Work Projects Administration) recreational supervisor. Coffee County, AlabamaThe new school served as a community building as well. This was a recreation evening at the community school under the direction of WPA (Work Projects Administration) recreational supervisor. Coffee County, Alabama 1939

Nurse, Miss Teal, weighing child in health room of Goodman School. Coffee County, AlabamaNurse, Miss Teal, weighing child in health room of Goodman School. Coffee County, Alabama 1939

Group of men and women at evening class conducted by Miss Velma Patterson, vocational home ec worker from Elba, and other at Mount Zion school. Coffee County, AlabamaGroup of men and women at evening class conducted by Miss Velma Patterson, vocational home economics worker from Elba and other workers at Mount Zion school. Coffee County, Alabama

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Some stores include:

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  • Terrified Settlers Abandon Farms
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  • Hillabee Massacre
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  • Red Eagle After The War

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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  1. Virginia Pitts

    Late 50s early 60s in Jackson gap went to school with 3 rooms. 5 cousins & my sister & me went there. Teacher taught 1st & 2nd, teacher taught 3-5 grades. Teacher taught 6th & 7th grade I think. Going to school with cousins was great. Of course there were other kids there also.

  2. Anthony Leipert

    And look how they turned out. Built a whole country

  3. Do you know the school’s approximate location within Coffee County? This looks a bit like an old school that was in Clintonville. Thanks for posting about Coffee County!

    1. Anthony Leipert

      No but you can probably Google it

    2. I tried, but can only find old photos.

    3. Goodman community is located about 10 miles west of Enterprise. The school closed in the late 80’s and was burned by arsonists in the 90’s.

    4. Coffee County Road 625, I live about one mile east of it down CR 606. My mom, her two brothers, myself and my brother attended Goodman. My class (1985) was the last “graduating” class before the school closed later that year.

      1. Most all my ancestors were in Coffee County from the Indian days and some married Hudsons from the Fairview and surrounding communities. One of my ancestors was a Marsh from that area. Wonder what the Marsh teacher’s given name was.

    5. Clintonville was on the other side of New Brockton. Goodman is located at the end of College St. Ext., coming from Enterprise. Or off of Hwy 134 before you get to the Samson/Elba Hwy (87).

      1. I think this is the school I went to I think in 1967 . We took blankets to school to keep warm. I remember walking to a country store . Only people I remember was Jeff McDaniel and Keith lewis which keith went to elba

        1. I stumbled upon your posting while trying to find a McDaniel related to work. I attended Goodman Jr. High with Jeff from 1st through 9th. You may be aware, but if not, I am sad to say that he died many years ago in a car accident. The heat was most likely coal, as there was a huge coal pile on the northeast corner of the building. I have many happy memories of that little school.

          1. Thank you I heard Jeff had died.i finally found his sister Bonita on dad was pastor of mt gilead baptist church

  4. Rebecca Peek

    I have an old two room school house on my property in Elba, Alabama my daddy had it moved from Enterprise years ago. It has two rooms divided by a fireplace

  5. My 6th grade teach, Mrs. Marsh, taught at a one-room school in Clintonville before it closed, moving the students to New Brockton. My mother and her brothers also attended a school at Curtis, near Elba, for a short time when they were very young. For a while when I was in school at New Brockton, Goodman and a school at New Hope still operated through the 8th grade.

  6. Kathy Hollingsworth Varnadore

    Pat Reeves, do you know where this is?

  7. Dorothy Gast

    Myrtlewood School at Fosters was formed by the consolidation of Ralph, Fosters, and Romulus Schools fifty years ago. Later Dry Creek School was clased and the students moved to Myrtlewood. Although the original schools were small, students went on to earn advanced degrees form the University of Alabama. Three out of a ninth grade class of 13, attained Masters degrees.

  8. Rejetta Balentine

    My uncle, Edgar Burns, “graduated” from an 8th grade one room school in Maud, AL in the early 1900’s and went on to become the No. 1 Urologist in the world and one of the founders of the Alton Oschner Hospital in New Orleans.

  9. Sadly the Goodman school was burned down a few years back though.

    1. That’s sad. I went to goodman with Jeff and Frankie McDaniel

  10. Pat Chancey Weinrich

    It’s about 20 miles from Enterprise on 27 I think.

    1. Kate Martin-Revert

      Not on 27, that’s Mt. Pleasant….or where it use to be. Goodman school was about 4 or 5 miles west of Enterprise.

  11. It was on county road 625, approximately 8 miles outside of Enterprise

  12. Beamon Bryson

    Royal Elementary in Royal community, Blount county. Three rooms, three teachers, a water keg filled from a nearby well and an outhouse for boys and another for girls. Although we had students who only attended when forced by the sheriff…they would stop coming at age 16 or sooner. But anyone wishing to learn did so and helped other students in the process. BTW, each room had a large wood/coal burning heater with a protective thing around it. And all the boys and some girls carried pocket knives. Those really were the good old days.

  13. My daddy, A.C. Dunaway was the Coffee County school superintendent at that time. I remember how hard he worked to consolidate these one and two room schools in order to provide a better education for the rural students in the county. When I was a child, I watched them move a two room school building to Zion Chapel where smaller schools had been moved. It was quite a sight to see a whole building coming down the highway. I think this building was used as a cannery where the community could come to can their produce. If I’m not mistaken they used tin cans. I can’t be sure, but one of the pictures in the video looks a lot like my daddy. He had a passion for the people in rural Coffee County.

  14. My father, A.C.Dunaway , was the Coffee County School Superintendent during this time He worked hard to consolidate these smaller rural schools so that the rural children of Coffee County could get a better education. I remember when Zion Chapel was consolidated . I watched them move one of those rural school buildings to Zion Chapel . It was quite a sight to see a whole building riding down the highway. If I’m not mistaken, this building was used as a cannery so that the farmers could come and can their produce. My daddy grew up on a farm in Coffee County and got his education the hard way. He was passionate about providing the best for the rural people of Coffee County.

  15. I went to this school my 6th grade year and had Mr. Coone as a teacher. Fond memories of the wooden gym and played alot of softball on the ball field and just down the road from the Goodman Baptist Church. My father still lives in the Goodman community.

  16. I attended Goodman School in the first and second grades approximately 1973 to 1975 or thereabouts. I believe Mrs. Storey was one of my teachers and Mr. Whitehurst was the principal if I remember correctly. Some of my classmates were Sandra Reynolds, Morgan Boyd and Angie Harrington or Harrington. Years after i transferred to Elba (3rd grade), we used to go back to the Halloween Carnival at the Goodman School.
    My parents attended the old Damascus school which was also in Coffee County and not far from Goodman, just off the Old Samson Hwy (Hwy 87 i think).

    1. I remember Damascus school.we use to play basketball in the gym which was in the middle of the classrooms. With tony Jeff robin and Frankie McDaniel

  17. Also I am pretty sure that was my Uncle Harvey Locklar at the 1:37 mark of the video. He was a principal in those days and may have been a principal or teacher at Goodman.

  18. I went to school at Goodman also Mr whitehurst was the principal I also had Mr coon Mr holly miss Knight

  19. I think my grandparents Florence and Clem Johnson may have taught at this school.

  20. I went to school at Goodman, I start in about 1939 and to the first, second, third and forth grades. My first grade teacher was Mrs. Wigges, not sure of the spelling. But I do remember her.

  21. I went goodman elementary in 1967 I believe. Only remember Jeff McDaniel and Keith lewis. I remember they had heaters by the wall maybe ran on oil.didn’t keep the room very warm.

  22. I never attended Goodman school but I live about half way between Enterprise and Goodman on County Road 606.

  23. WOW! I have been searching for information on the old Goodman Junior High for years! My family ties are to the Smiths (in Piney Grove). I attended Goodman 2 different times. From 1970 to 1972. Then my family moved to Germany (my dad was in the Army). Then again in 1976 for a few months before we moved to Texas. The names I can recall are: Mr. Holley, Coach Andy Harris (basketball), Ms. English, Ms. Storey – I think. Ms. Goodman – piano teacher. I remember Leo Thomas, of course my cousins the Smiths and Williams families, the Terry’s, Darryl Purvis, Donnie Smith, The Davis’ (Davis store and Mr. Davis the bus driver). Jimmy Grimes, Rhonda Grimes, Ginger Rogers, the Atkinsons! I recall playing Dauphin Street Jr. High in Enterprise…Zion Chapel!

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