The school had it's own 32
Volt DC Delco electric power generation system which consisted of a large single
cylinder flywheel engine (probably about 10 H.P.) which probably used kerosene
for fuel. This engine was used to periodically charge the storage batteries that
furnished power around the clock. The batteries consisted of a bank of 15 glass
cased lead acid storage cells. The school had a complete lighting system, but it
is unknown if there were any electrical appliances. The electric generation
system was located in a separate utility building located a 100 ft. or so behind
the main building. The building also served as a coal storage facility for the
steam heating system. The heating boiler was located at the east end on the
ground floor of the main building. Each room had one or more cast iron
radiators. The facility had running water and a flush sewage system. I assume
that there was a deep well but whether a water tower/tank or pump is unknown.
Since the toilet and shower facilities were on the third floor of the building,
a tower would have been likely. Fire fighting hoses were installed on each
The three story main
building was arranged as follows:
Ground Floor: Dining Hall
was located in the center section and the kitchen facilities in the west end.
Home economics classrooms were located in the west end adjacent to the kitchen
area. The heating boiler was located in the rear of the east wing. Possibly
mechanical shop was located in the east wing along with classrooms.
Second Floor: The Study
Hall/Auditorium occupied the center portion of this floor. This room had a stage
and small side rooms on each side of the stage. The west wing had classrooms
including a large chemistry laboratory. The east wing had home economics
classrooms and possibly others.
Third Floor: The third
floor was completely dedicated to living space for the boarding students. The
girl's rooms and bathroom facilities were located in the east end of this floor.
The boy's rooms and bathroom facilities were located in the west end of this
floor. The two sections of this floor had a solid partition between the dorms.
To get from one to the other, you had to go to the second floor and cross over
and go back up to the third floor. There was a set of solidly built metal fire
escapes. One set accessible from the boy's bathroom window and the other from
the girl's bathroom windows. The fire escape was also accessible from the second
The bathroom had concrete
floors that included shower facilities and toilet facilities. All rooms were
illuminated with a ceiling hung clear 32volt light bulb and controlled with a
push button off-on switch.
There was a farm implement
and animal stable building to the east of the main building. The farm implements
and horses, mules and other animals were housed and cared for by the students.
It is logical to assume that at least one full time maintenance man was on the
staff for safely maintaining the utility system and the building. The building
had a metal roof that was painted barn red all the time I observed it. There was
a bell tower/portico at the center of the roof. Access to the roof was through a
hatch located under the roof of the portico. The bell had been removed before my
time. There was a flagpole and a cement fish pond in the front yard of the
school. They did a good job of design and construction of the school.
The school had quality
course material. Many of the student assignment reports and papers were left in
place in the teacher's files. I reviewed many of the papers, especially the
chemistry files) out of curiosity and was very impressed at the penmanship and
thoroughness of the reports. It corresponded to college level work by today's
standards. My father graduated from the school and my mother attended a while
before marrying my father� at the age of 15. My grandfather Kennedy (James
Robert Kennedy) was on the board of trustees and I believe taught there for a
while. With the advent of better roads and transportation systems, the local
school systems gradually supported high schools and made the A.H.S. boarding
concept obsolete. I don't know what year the AHS was closed but it was around
1930. Some of the other AHS facilities were converted into junior colleges but
for undetermined reasons this one was not. After closing, the east and west end
of the ground floor was used as family dwellings. The families could use the
facilities in exchange for serving as caretaker for the building and property.
They were also allowed to use the farmland involved. I don't know what the
business arrangement was in this regard but T. L. Hardee and family live there
most of the time I was young. Eventually the building was torn down. The brick
were cleaned and reused and the boiler, radiators, pipes and other metal were
sold as scrap. They paid one or two cents per brick for anyone who wanted to
clean brick. They furnished a special chipping hammer for the job. I cleaned
several hundred brick before loosing interest. They really used a high quality
mortar when the brick were laid. The person/company in charge of the teardown
was Mr. Sheffield of Quitman. He was a machinist/blacksmith of renown in that
area. Enough of the west wing was left in place to be converted into a family
home. The land was sold off in pieces over the years.
By: Sam Kennedy
to the Clarke County Site