Each community built their own school, staffed and supplied it and set the attendance calendar and requirements as the local leadership decided. In 1899, three years after this picture of Laura Tilley’s class at Albion School in Westfield was made, there were 8,647 children between 6 and 21 years of age. Only 2,960 attended school at all according to Jesse Hollingsworth’s “History of Surry County.” The state tax was 47 cents per $100 property valuation. That year there were 19 frame school houses, 17 one-room log houses, such as the one pictured here, and 22 school systems without any building. For the black children there were 14 school systems of which eight had no schools. – The beginning of the school year

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