Wallonia Institute School
Wallonia, Kentucky
About 1920-21

Wallonia Institute was a log building near the present Christian Church. It was founded in 1857. Many successful men and women in all walks of life attended this school. Students came from all over Western Kentucky and many surrounding states.
Wallonia school also has a rich history. Many famous teachers taught at Wallonia. Some were: Lillian Ladd, Mrs. John King, Terry Watkins, Geneva Wallace, Mildred Hopson, Willie Bridges and Mrs. Wheeler Hopson.

  1. Lft Rt.Lela Thompson, Mariah Jones,Grace Simpson, Hester Virginia Haydon,Sarah Francis Mitchell, Dorothy Lee Broadbent, William Clinton Hayden, Hayden Robertson, Broadbent Harris, J.D. Simpson, Lonnie Watkins, Hugh Garrott Martin, James Franklin Martin, Owen Swatzell, Faye Simpson, Lela Curtis end front row.
  2. Second row On Seat May Evelyn Muraphy, Clint Cameron, Lucy Frances Overby, Emma D. Murphy, Frances Russell, Frances Nichols, Edward Martin, Frank Jones, Smith D.Broadbent. Jr,Elisha McCormack, end bench.
  3. 3rd Row and standing -Clarence Perry, Beaulah Tompkins, teacher, Mattie Jones, Mayme Murphy,Lucy Thomas, Earl Edward Harris, Thomas Watkins, Elijah McCormack, Lois Broadbent, Frances Bridges - teacher, Lula Mitchell, Mary Gracy Perry, Gertrude Russell, Florence Cameron, Pauline Bridges,Woodrow Mitchell, Clifton Jones.
  4. 3 and 1/2 row - Behind C. Perry is Richard Faulkner on other end and Clifton Jones.
  5. Fourth Row Desdie Desdy Keel, Winifred Duke,Ruth Mitchell, Saine Jones, Ruby Cameron, ?, Louis Norris, Mary Evelyn Russell, Lucy Broadbent,Sophia McCormack, Helen Robertson, Martyne Sivells, Lona Mitchell, Terry Watkins.
  6. Back Row: Frances Harris,Willie Nichols, Mary Frances Mitchell, Edna Martin, Rebecca Mitchell,Letha McCormack, Inez Bridges, Annie Jones, Roy Perry, Delia Keel, Clint Perry, Pearl Keel, Jesse Cameron,Leon Bridges, Robert Simpson, Harold Stewart.
Cadiz Record Jan 6, 1993

Last week, Mrs. Desdy Keel Bell of Princeton was in Cadiz visiting her son when she called our office and said she had an old picture of Wallonia School from 1920, and wanted to bring it by to be printed.
When she brought the photograph, she brought along some information about the school and her own life growing up seven decades ago.

"Mama and Papa moved to Wallonia, in 1916,", she had written. "We lived in an old two room storehouse... Then, Daddy, bought the old Dr. Broado's house, a two story with a beautiful winding stair.

"My first school teacher was Miss Louise Hopson, who became Mrs. Newton Holland.

"Our water was pumped from a well on the school yard," Bell wrote. "We had one bucket in each of the two rooms and everyone drank from the same dipper.

"Our heat was a pot-bellied stove. On the left corner of the school yard was the foys' four-holer * guess), and on the right back corner was the girls' four-holer.

"At the time this picture was made, Mrs. Beulah Thompkins was teacher of the big room, grades five through 8. Mrs. Frances Bridges was teacher of the little room, grades primer through fourth grade.

Bell said that she graduated from the eighth grade and got her diploma from Wallonia School.

"Believe it or not," she wrote, "when you got your diploma from the eighth grade, one could teach school, or I should have said, one was qualified to teach.

"When there was a revival in either of the two churches, our teachers lined us up and we marched single-file to church. We were a quiet group of children - no misbehaving in church. Of course, this was a treat to us; we enjoyed being out of the schoolroom.

"Some of my memories are the writing lesson assigned to us by Mrs. Thompkins," Bell wrote, "like 'Honesty is the best policy' and 'A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.' Years have passed and Wallonia School is no more, but I have a lot of happy memories of the place."

Of all the memories held most tightly in us, school seems to be among those most closely kept. Desdy Bell has shown us that, despite the passage of time and the removal of the schoolhouse itself, the memories will always be there; it takes just a thought to go back again.
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