On February 26, 1924, the Kate Duncan Smith DAR school was officially opened in Alabama.
KDS DAR school, Guntersville, Alabama Postcard ca. 1930 (Alabama Department of Archives and History)
The Kate Duncan Smith DAR school is a K-12 public school that was established in 1924 and operates under a public-private partnership between the Marshall County School System and the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. It is one of only two schools in the country that is owned by the DAR. The other school is Tamassee DAR school in South Carolina. The Kate Duncan school was named to the National Register of Historic Places on October 11, 2002.
The National Society of the DAR, in 1922, announced it planned to build schools in the most remote sections of the East where the Civil War was fought.
There was only a one teacher school called Tintop for the children on either side of Gunter Mountain at the time and the DAR chapters in Guntersville and Scottsboro took note of this opportunity to provide a better opportunity for their children.
Site was approved
The local DAR chapters in the two towns asked their postmaster and rural mail carriers to inform residents of the National DAR plans. With the assistance of Congressman Joe Starnes of Guntersville, as well as the labor and support from many citizens of the local community, on October 23, 1922, the national DAR committee selected the Gunter Mountain site, near the town of Grant since it was in an isolated area. The residents of the community purchased over 100 acres of land from Wiley and John Ayers and donated the land to the Alabama DAR in 1923.
First Building was cobblestone and concrete
A small stone and concrete building was built by families in the community. Later known as the Jacobs Building, it contained four classrooms, an office, a library and a reception hall. Equipment and furnishings were donated by people in the local community. The DAR maintained and paid the teachers and principal.
The school officially opened on February 26, 1924, and it was named Kate Duncan Smith School. She was the Regent of the Old Elyton Chapter of the DAR for over 20 years and had been involved in the school selection process. The school opened on her 80th birthday with 100 students, two teachers, and a principal.
From the small two-teacher school, it has grown to a school that embraces 238 acres. Many more buildings have been added over the years.
Today, the K-12 school enrolls around 1400 students and DAR donations from chapters across the country still fund the building cost of operations such as building maintenance, repairs, utilities, insurance, and grounds management. The Marshall County Board of Education funds teachers’ salaries, textbooks, child nutrition programs, student transportation. “Emphasis is upon patriotic education throughout the curriculum.”
Prior to statehood, Alabama was a vast wilderness with a large Native American population. It is only natural that when new immigrants from other states arrived, conflicts over the land would arise. Soon, these small conflicts exploded into war.
Alabama Footprints Confrontation is a collection of lost and forgotten stories that reveals why and how the confrontation between the Native American population and settlers developed into the Creek-Indian War as well as stories of the bravery and heroism of participants from both sides.
Some stores include:
- Tecumseh Causes Earthquake
- Terrified Settlers Abandon Farms
- Survivor Stories From Fort Mims Massacre
- Hillabee Massacre
- Threat of Starvation Men Turn To Mutiny
- Red Eagle After The War