STORY OF THE QUILT SQUARE, SHAWTOWN SCHOOL, BY THE
PROGRESSIVE EXTENSION HOMEMAKERS CLUB FOR HARNETT COUNTY HISTORICAL
Shawtown School had its beginning in a two room school built around
1915. The school was located about three tenths of a mile west of the
the state was doing very little at that time for the education of black
people, the citizens of the community purchased an acre of land and
erected the first school building. Teachers salaries were paid or
supplemented by the citizens of the Shawtown Community. The first
Principal of the school was Mr. H. Suggs. Along with being Principal, he
also taught classes.
the tenure of the Rev. C. W. McNeill, Principal, additional classrooms
were constructed around 1924 and grades were extended to eight. Upon
completion of this grade and having attended a summer school session,
students were awarded certificates to teach. In approximately 1927 or
1928 the school burned. Classes were held in the Lillington Star Church
and the Lillington First Presbyterian Church. Even before the
destruction of the old school, citizens had begun planning for a new
school. A deed dated November 21, 1923 showed that the land on which the
present school stands was purchased by: A. G. McLean, J. Patterson, A.
B. McLean, Joe Cannady, C. H. Bailey, Ralph Douglas and William Shaw.
These became the first trustees of the new school.
new structure built through the Rosenwald School Building Fund featured
some rooms which could be opened into an auditorium. Electric lights
were added in the 1930's. It wasn't until the early 1940's that running
water and indoor plumbing facilities were installed. It was during this
period that the local community began to raise funds to purchase
equipment for the "hot lunch program". Lunch, which consisted
mainly of soup and sandwiches, was served to the students in a small
structure located behind the classroom building. Mrs. Belle Minter,
retired cafeteria manager, is to be credited for organizing and
operating the first lunch program at the school.
years passed, additional grades were added the curriculum and the first
class to graduate from Shawtown with a high school diploma was the class
of 1934. The main building was constructed and opened for classes in
1949. At that time it was a modern facility which could serve as a
feeder school for black students in the surrounding area. In 1956 the
primary building was completed. It featured classrooms and a spacious
cafeteria. It has been estimated that an excess of one thousand students
were enrolled in grades 1-12 until integration.
1968 Shawtown changed from a Union High School to an Elementary School
with grades K-6. It remained that way until 1978 when it became a
Primary School for grades K-3. It currently serves those grades along
with the Special Classes for Handicapped students.
by: Mrs. Ethel P. Williams
designed by: Mack McKay, Jr.
Rachel Bailey, Progressive Extension Homemakers Club
Quilt Square: Row
3, Number 18