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Article Index

Education & Schools

The following acts constitute part of the administrative and political heritage of the educational structure of Sevier County but are no longer operative since they have either been superseded, repealed, or failed to receive local approval. Also referenced below are acts which repeal prior law without providing new substantive provisions.

1. Acts of 1807, Chapter 56, Page 93, named Nathaniel Buckenham and William Mitchell as Trustees for Nancy Academy in Sevier County who would have and exercise the same powers as other Trustees.

2. Acts of 1813, Chapter 36, Page 48, appointed as Trustees for Nancy Academy in Sevier County, Robert Weir, Josiah Rogers, James P. H. Porter, Isaac Love, Alexander Preston, Thomas Price, and William Mitchell who would conduct a lottery for the benefit of the Academy to raise up to $6,000. The lottery scheme must be published and the Trustee enter into bond to assure that the prizes advertised are paid and that the money realized from the lottery be applied to the academy. John Sharp was appointed as an added regular Trustee for the academy.

3. Acts of 1832, Chapter 76, Page 61, declared that the Clerk and the Treasurer of the Board of Common School commissioners for Bledsoe, Marion, Sullivan, Washington, Cocke, Greene, and Sevier counties are empowered and directed to perform all the duties required of the late Bank Agents in those counties under the same rules laid down by the General Assembly for Campbell County. All notes, papers, and books will be promptly handed over to the Clerk and the Treasurer, as provided herein.

4. Acts of 1833, Chapter 221, Page 120, provided that the Commissioners of the Common School Fund in Sevier County were authorized to invest the common school fund in the stock of the Smoky Mountain Turnpike road, in such manner and upon such terms as the Commissioners should consider best and advisable for the school fund, provided that a majority of the Commission consent thereto in writing and the writing be filed with the County Court Clerk before the investment is made.

5. Acts of 1841-42, Chapter 6, Page 4, stated that Samuel Pickens, Henry G. Hodges, Sr., Allen S. Bryan, George McCowen, Stewart O. Dickey, Albert T. W. Clendenen, and Henry M. Thomas were appointed as Commissioners to settle the business of the recent Board of Common School Commissioners of Sevier County as created by the General Assembly. The Commissioners would organize themselves into a Board immediately and call upon the Clerk of the former Board to deliver any papers, notes, books, funds and money of any kind whereupon all business of the former Board would be settled and whatever remained would be turned over to the Nancy Academy in Sevier County. This act was repealed by the one following below.

6. Acts of 1845-46, Chapter 186, Page 279, repealed Chapter 6, Acts of 1841, above, entirely and made it the duty of the institution's Trustee's to make a sworn written report to Circuit Court at each December term showing the situation and condition of the institution (Nancy Academy) and how the funds have been spent. If waste of funds is present, judgment by motion may be had against the Trustees.

7. Acts of 1847-48, Chapter 103, Page 159, repealed all the laws which required the county academy to be located within one mile of the county seat as the same would apply to Sevier County. George McMahon, Daniel Emert, John Walker, Robert H. Hodsden, John Mullendore, William Cartlett, James Cummings, John W. Trundle, Allen S. Bryan, Alexander McCallie, and Benjamin J. Tipton were appointed as Commissioners to select a site for the Academy as near the county seat as possible but not more than two and one-quarter miles from it.

8. Acts of 1865-66, Chapter 6, Page 104, incorporated W. H. Trotter, James P. McMahon, Isaac Ogle, Tilman Fox, John Butler, G. W. Seaton, and Isaac Trotter as Trustees for "Middle Creek Academy" in Sevier County who would have and possess all the powers incidental to academic incorporations.

9. Acts of 1865-66, Chapter 85, Page 114, appointed James M. Sharp, James Robinson, W. H. Creswell, W. H. Wayland, and T. D. Chandler as Trustees of the Rocky Spring Academy in Sevier County. The Trustees were vested with the power to sell academy property under certain conditions and invest the proceeds in other school property. They were to organize themselves immediately, serve four year terms, and whoever became Treasurer must execute a bond.

10. Private Acts of 1901, Chapter 403, Page 917, created the Tuckahoe School District out of portions of Sevier and Knox Counties as the area was described therein. An election would be held on May 25, 1901 for three school Directors who would serve until the regular election in August, 1902, when successors would be elected for two year terms. The District was attached to Knox County and would become a part of that system being governed thereby in all things as though it lay wholly within Knox County. The District would be given its pro rata share of school funds from both counties.

11. Private Acts of 1903, Chapter 319, Page 952, amended Chapter 403, Private Acts of 1901, above, so as to provide that the biennial elections to be held in the said school district, created therein, shall be held on the fourth Saturday in May, 1904 and every two years thereafter.

12. Private Acts of 1905, Chapter 149, Page 320, created a Special School District in the Seventh Civil School District of Sevier County and containing the area described within the Act. The Directors of the Seventh Civil School District were required to pay over the pro rata share of school funds to the Directors of this District. The County Superintendent of Public Instruction would appoint three school Directors to serve until their successors could be elected. Upon a three-fourths affirmative vote of the legal voters in the District the Directors could levy a tax so as to have sufficient funds to operate the school for eight months.

13. Private Acts of 1907, Chapter 236, Page 845, created a Board of Education for every county in the State, and the office of District Directors were abolished. All counties would be divided into five, or less school districts from each of which one member of the Board of Education would be elected by the County Court. The qualifications of the office, the duties of the Chairman, Secretary, and Members of the Board are enumerated. The County Superintendent would be the ex-officio Secretary. Terms of school guidelines for locations of schools, and the requirements for a records system were all enunciated. There would be three member local Advisory Boards in each District who would be elected by the voters of the District. Several counties exempted themselves from the operation of this law but Sevier County was not among their number.

14. Private Acts of 1907, Chapter 269, Page 932, is an almost exact duplicate of the Act creating the Special School District in the Seventh Civil School District, Item 12 above, except the area embraced by this school district may be different.

15. Private Acts of 1909, Chapter 235, Page 782, provided that every parent or guardian must send every child in their custody and control between the ages of eight and sixteen to a public school for at least 12 weeks, or 60 days, or for as long as school is in session, if the term is shorter, unless excused by the District, City or County School Director. This act would not prohibit attending a private school, or being tutored privately. The county may make an appropriation to the family if the child is helping support them. An occasional absence would not be construed as a violation for which fines from $2.00 to$10.00 were provided. The act would not apply if the student's home were more than two miles distant from the school. The Sheriff, or Constable, would enforce this law and the teachers who did not keep good attendance records for pupils would not be paid.

16. Private Acts of 1915, Chapter 674, Page 2173, amends Chapter 9 of the Public Acts of 1913, by making that act apply to Sevier County when making a child attend school for 80 days in the school term but they do not have to be consecutive days. This amendment applied only to Sevier County.

17. Public Acts of 1925, Chapter 115, Section 33, abolished all Special School Districts which were not taxing Districts and any taxing district was permitted to hold a referendum on the question of abolition. When all debts are paid, the District may join the county system of schools. This is T.C.A. 49-402, and the Sections following.

18. Private Acts of 1925, Chapter 621, Page 2313, recited in the preamble that a school house had been built in the Belmont Community of Sevier County and had been used for many years but a new school had been now built with public funds about a mile away and there was no further need for the old one. Therefore, it is lawful for the Trustees of the old school, above, and they are hereby empowered, to advertise and sell the school to the highest bidder and to deliver the proceeds of the sale to the County Board of Education for use in the Sevier County School System.

19. Private Acts of 1933, Chapter 98, Page 207, provided that all school property within the Smokey Mountain area be conveyed to the State of Tennessee.

20. Private Acts of 1933, Chapter 520, Page 1253, recited that Charles King had taught for fifteen years, or more, in the county schools but had met some difficulty in securing a certificate in 1931-32. He was directed to open and teach a school by L. H. Tarwater and Edward Brannom, of the County Board of Education, which King did. However, there has arisen some question as to whether King could be legally paid and to this date, he has not been paid. This act permits the County Court to appropriate $675 with which to pay King for his services in opening and teaching the Dudley Creek School. The Trustee was instructed to receive and honor such a warrant as good.

21. Private Acts of 1941, Chapter 539, Page 1867, amended Chapter 380, Private Acts of 1927, Section 6, as published herein, by striking the said Section entirely and inserting a new Section directing the County Board of Education to elect a Truant officer for one year who would have all the power and authority of a Constable in regard to executing papers incident to school, school work, and non-attendance of classes. He shall receive the same fees for his services as are now provided by law for such acts and, in addition, he may be paid $800, or less, per year, and four cents a mile for travel. This act was repealed by the one below.

22. Private Acts of 1943, Chapter 179, Page 744, specifically repealed Chapter 539, Private Acts of 1941, above, in its entirety.

23. Private Acts of 1943, Chapter 281, Page 1039, amended Chapter 290, Private Acts of 1927, by increasing the term of the Superintendent of Public Instruction from two years to four years beginning in 1944.

24. Private Acts of 1955, Chapter 395, Page 1382, would have amended Chapter 380, Private Acts of 1927, as amended by increasing the compensation of members of the County Board of Education, duly elected and serving under the authority of the act amended to $10 per day when attending regular or special meetings of the Board, or when engaged in the discharge of any other duty imposed by law upon them but this Act was disapproved and rejected by the Quarterly County Court and never took effect.

25. Private Acts of 1965, Chapter 284, Page 983, amends Chapter 6, Acts of 1865 (Ex. Sess.), by striking the names of W. H. Trotter, James P. McMahon, Isaac Ogle, Tilman Fox, John Butler, G. W. Seaton, and Isaac Trotter from the Board of Trustees of Middle Creek Academy and inserting therein the names of O. E. McMahon, Glen McMahon, and Florita Butler McMahon instead. This act does not require local approval according to the publishers.

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