Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

1920s saw such a boom in population, houses were used as temporary schoolsBy Norris Dearmon
For the Kannapolis Citizen
During the 1920s, the schools in Cabarrus County and the Kannapolis school districts were exploding with children. The war in Europe had ended and the economy was expanding. The stock market was at an all time high by 1928. Most everyone was happy.
The area around Kannapolis was having a lot of trouble providing schools for all the children. Large elementary schools were being built, and a large high school was also being built. The problem was, they could not be built fast enough. Vacant homes were pressed into service as school houses. Some were new houses not yet sold or occupied, while others were houses where the owners had built new homes for the expanding families, leaving the old houses unused temporarily. Several private schools began operation in homes.
The years 1925 through 1927 were particularly tough years for the Kannapolis School District to provide needed schools. The Aycock School and Carver School were under construction, and additions to both McIver (South School) and Woodrow Wilson (North School) were in progress. In the county, Winecoff School was being built, which would affect the Kannapolis district.
In Glass, which was just south of Kannapolis on U.S. 29, two such houses were used for the first and second grades in 1926 and 1927. Rickard Rodgers gave me a picture recently of one of the houses.
A second-grade class, with him in the picture, is posed on the front steps. The houses were and still are on what was then Jackson Street, parallel to South Main Street, between Rogers Lake Road and what was then Hill Street.
Jackson Street is now Rogers Avenue, and Hill Street is now Universal Street.
By 1928, Aycock School was occupied and the students were transferred to the school. During the second half of the school year, Winecoff School was occupied.
The dividing line for the county and city schools was Rogers Lake Road. The students who were transferred to Aycock School and lived on the south side of Rogers Lake Road were then transferred to Winecoff for the second half of the year.
Rickard Rodgers was one of those students. From that point on, things were much improved and the homes were not used as schools.
He and his classmates are shown in the photo below. The teachers sitting on either side are a Mr. Wilson and a Miss Edwards. Miss Edwards later married a Talbert. Students are:
Front row, left to right: Louise Authers, Alice Dry, W.F. “Toot” Rodgers (Rickard’s younger brother who had to go to school with him that day), Louise Lugwig, Martha Hill and Hazel Moss.
Middle row, left to right: Jack Scarboro, Paul McCall, Richard Anderson, unknown, Rickard Rodgers and unknown.
Back row, left to right: Hubert Pethel, unknown, unknown Rodgers, unknown, unknown, Harold Moore, unknown.
If anyone would happen to know any of the unknowns, call me at 704-933-9314.
Norris Dearmon is a member of the Kannapolis History Associates and a volunteer in the Hinson History Room at the Kannapolis Branch Library.