Lauderdale County's Rosenwald Schools




4. Hewitt School. According to Sandra Sockwell's "The Place Names of Colbert and Lauderdale Counties, Alabama," p. 267, the Hewitt School was located in the SW 1/4 of S 15 T2S R 10W near the historic Bailey's Chapel AME Church. Sockwell says:

"This black school, serving grades 1-6 since the 1920s, was a victim of integration and closed in the 1960s. . . . Named for local family that granted the land for the school, the A. H. Hewitts. . . . Aka Hustle School, a nickname . . ."

According to a deed filed on December 3, 1920:

"KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS. That A. [Abraham] H. Hewitt, Sr. and Henrietta Hewitt, for anf [sic] in consideration of the sum of Five dollars cash in hand paid by the State of Alabama the receipt whereof we do hereby acknowledged [sic] and for the further consideration of the aid to be extended by the State of Alabama, in the erection or repair of a rural school on the land hereinafter described under the act of the Legislature of Alabama, approved, Sept. 27 1919 (Sec 4 Art. 18, School Code.) have granted bargained sold and conveyed and by these presents grant bargainsell [sic] and convey unto the State of Alabama, for the Benefit of School District No. 18 of Lauderdale County Alabama, the follo wing [sic] described realestate [sic] situated in the County of Lauderdale and State of Alabama, to wit--Two acres of land in the N. E. Corner of the N. E. 1/4 of S. W. 1/4 of Section 15 Township 2 Range 10 west said tract bding [sic] one acre wide east and west and being two acres long North and South. To have and to hold the aforegranted premises to the said State of Alabama, for the benefit of said school district No 18 of Lauderdale, County Ala, forever. . . ."

Hewitt was a part of the Rosenwald School Building Program. In 1912 Julius Rosenwald gave Prof. Booker T. Washington of the Tuskeege Institute permission to use some of the funds he had donated to the Institute for the construction of six small schools in rural Alabama in 1913-1914. Satisfied with the results Rosenwald agreed to fund a larger program for the construction of schoolhouses based at Tuskegee, thus set up the Julius Rosenwald Fund, a Chicago-based philanthropic foundation, in 1917. By 1920 the Rosenwald Fund had established an independent office for its school construction program in Nashville, Tennessee. By 1928 one out of five black rural schools in the South was a Rosenwald school. By the program's conclusion in 1932 it had produced 4,977 new schools, 217 teacher's homes, and 163 shop buildings.

Lauderdale County boasted seven Rosenwad schools, including Hewitt.

According to Fisk University's Rosenwald Fund Card File database Hewitt School was built at a cost of $1,000, with half that amount being contributed by the Rosenwald Fund and the other half raised by local families. Family tradition says that Union Civil War vet and Brannon family progenitor Anthony Brannon (1836-1929) made a sizable contribution towards the construction of the Hewitt School. The school served grades 1-6 and closed due to integration sometime after 1964 at which time the State sold the school property. As of now the only known teachers of this school are Lucile Acklin in 1942 and Mrs. Susie Buckingham in 1964. The Hewitt School may have succeeded an earlier school taught at the Bailey Springs AME Church.

Abraham H. Hewitt (1851-1948) was a farmer near St. Florian/Bailey Springs in Lauderdale County who married Henrietta Hough (1854-1945) in November of 1871. The couple had several children and grandchildren. Abraham and Henrietta moved to Los Angeles to live with their daughter and son-in-law, Effie and Ben Fields and their family. Both elder Hewitts died and are buried in Los Angeles, California. Some of their children and grandchildren are buried in the Hough/Huff Cemetery near Bailey Springs, in Lauderdale County.

The map shows the Hewitt School (top right, just southeast of Bailey Springs).

The two photos are of members of the Brannon and Brown families at Hewitt School on Easter Sunday, 1950.

In the first photo, on the left: Eula Brannon and right, Marie Brown (holding Easter basket).

On the steps are, from left: Gladys G. McNeal, Joseph Brannon and Charlie Brown.

In the second photo are, from left: Joseph Brannon, Jr., (wearing hat and standing next to steps), Gladys G. McNair or McNeal (top step), Eula M. Brannon (lower left), Lula B. Brannon (center step), Charlie Brown (wearing hat and standing at top right of steps). Standing in front is Mrs. Viola Brown, Charlie Brown's sister-in-law."


1. Wikimedia
3. Florence (AL) Herald
4. Florence (AL) Herald
5. Florence (AL) Herald
6. Florence (AL) Herald
7. Florence (AL) Herald
8. Fisk University Rosenwald Database
9. The Place Names of Colbert and Lauderdale Counties, Alabama
10. The Place Names of Colbert and Lauderdale Counties, Alabama
11. Florence (AL) Herald

12. Fisk University's Rosenwald Database
13. The Place Names of Colbert and Lauderdale Counties, Alabama
14. The Place Names of Colbert and Lauderdale Counties, Alabama
15. Florence (AL) Times
16. Florence (AL) Herald
17. Florence (AL) Times
18. Florence (AL) Herald
19. Florence (AL) Herald
20. Fisk University's Rosenwald Database
21. Florence (AL) Herald
22. The Place Names of Colbert and Lauderdale Counties, Alabama
23. Florence (AL) Herald
24. The Place Names of Colbert and Lauderdale Counties, Alabama
25. Fisk University Rosenwald Database
26. Lauderdale County, Alabama Deed Record Vol. 137, p. 446.
27. 1922 County Map by Evans and Meade, Engineers
28. Mrs. Johnnie Mae Brock
29. Mrs. Johnnie Mae Brock
30. Florence (AL) Herald
31. Fisk University Rosenwald Database
32. Florence (AL) Herald
33. Florence (AL) Herald
34. Fisk University Rosenwald Database
35. Florence (AL) Herald
36. Florence (AL) Herald
37. Fisk University Rosenwald Database
38. The Place Names of Colbert and Lauderdale Counties, Alabama
39. The Place Names of Colbert and Lauderdale Counties, Alabama
40. The Place Names of Colbert and Lauderdale Counties, Alabama


1. Wikipedia
2. National Park Service
8. Fisk University
9. UMI Dissertation Information Service
10. UMI Dissertation Information Service
12. Fisk University
13. UMI Dissertation Information Service
14. UMI Dissertation Information Service
15. Bell & Howell Micro Photo Division
20. Fisk University
21. UMI Dissertation Information Service
22. UMI Dissertation Information Service
25. Fisk University
26. Lauderdale County, Alabama Probate Court
27. Evans and Meade, Engineers
28. N/A
29. N/A
31. Fisk University
34. Fisk University
37. Fisk University
38. UMI Dissertation Information Service
39. UMI Dissertation Information Service
40. UMI Dissertation Information Service


Lee Freeman


Images are available for educational and research purposes. This image may not be reproduced for commercial purposes without the express written consent of the copyright holder. It is the responsibility of the interested party to identify the copyright holder and receive permission.


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Still Images


Julius Rosenwald Wikimedia.png
Elementary Schools in County to Open Oct 19 The_Florence_Herald_Fri__Oct_16__1936_.jpg
Negro Treachers Elected The_Florence_Herald_Thu__Aug_21__1958_.jpg
Negro Teachers The_Florence_Herald_Thu__Aug_9__1962_.jpg
Negero Teachers Hewitt The_Florence_Herald_Thu__Aug_22__1963_.jpg
Negro Teachers The_Florence_Herald_Thu__Aug_13__1964_ (3).jpg
Fisk Anderson.jpg
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Land Sale at Public Auction The_Florence_Herald_Thu__Jun_19__1958_.jpg
Fisk Bethel.jpg
Sockwell Coffee 1.jpg
Sockwell Bethel.jpg
Bethel School (2).jpg
Typhoid Clinics Scheduled The_Florence_Herald_Fri__Apr_29__1938_ (2).jpg
Bethel Negro School Activities FT Fri March 9 1945.jpg
Public Urged Cooperate The_Florence_Herald_Thu__Jul_14__1955_ (1).jpg
X-Ray Schedule Announced The_Florence_Herald_Thu__Oct_22__1959_ (2).jpg
Fisk Coffee.jpg
Sockwell Coffee 1.jpg
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Field Day Observed in Rural Negro Schools The_Florence_Herald_Fri__Mar_29__1929_.jpg
Land Sale at Public Auction The_Florence_Herald_Thu__Feb_28__1957_.jpg
Fisk Hewitt.jpg
Hewittt Deed.jpg
Hewitt Map.jpg
Hewitt Photo 1.jpg
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Activities Open for Jr. Red Cross Hewitt.jpg
Fisk Mt. Olive.jpg
The Herald is Used in Colored School The_Florence_Herald_Fri__Feb_8__1924_.jpg
Sale Mt. Olive School Property The_Florence_Herald_Thu__Jan_20__1949_.jpg
Fisk Mt. Zion.jpg
Mt. Zion School Honor Roll Given The_Florence_Herald_Fri__Nov_19__1948_.jpg
Public Urged Cooperate The_Florence_Herald_Thu__Jul_14__1955_ (1).jpg
Fisk Shiloh .jpg
Sockwell Shiloh 1.jpg
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“Lauderdale County's Rosenwald Schools,” Shoals Black History, accessed March 2, 2024,