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J.B. Pennington High School History--Powerpoint

 The name of the school has changed from Ninth District Agricultural School, to Central District Agricultural School, to State Secondary Agricultural School, to Blountsville High School, to its present name J. B. Pennington High School. Fire has destroyed the buildings of the school four times, but thanks to the people's strong belief in good education our school has been rebuilt many times also.
 J. B. Pennington High School stands proudly as a monument to the dreams of past citizens and to their visions of a good life desired for oncoming generations. PHS has survived many tragic hardships, but its successes have been many.

History proves that the roots of the present live deep in the past. So, to see how the present came about there must be a look backward. As a beginning, the progress started with Caleb Fridley and John Jones in 1816 as they rode into Bear Meat Cabin, later called Blountsville, and established the first white settlement in Blount County.

 Mr. George Powell was the first teacher of Blount County, as far as the records go. He went house by house teaching since there were no schools in Blount County. Then, an act was passed by the Alabama Legislature establishing an academy in Blountsville. This act named: James, Samuel, and Foust as trustees. This was the first step in providing free public education in Blount County.
Later, a group of citizens met in the Masonic Hall to discuss a proposed railroad project to connect Blountsville and Bangor. But the thoughts of a college, and its superior advantages were stirring in the hearts and minds of several of these men. The County seat had moved to Oneonta leaving the new courthouse building vacant. The building, planned and built by Otto Pulls, a German architect was eminently suited for educational purposes.

On April 23, 1890, Probate Judge Jesse W. Ellis commissioned Edgar O. McCord, Albert A. Morpheme and Milton H. Collins as a board of corporations.  He authorized and empowered them to sell stock. Each share was worth $50.00 and an opportunity was given throughout the county to purchase them. Blount County College was on the way!

 The Alabama Legislature, February 28, 1889, passed an act establishing an agricultural school in each of the congressional districts of Alabama. On February 18, 1895 Blountsville was selected for the Ninth District Agricultural School because of Blount County College.

Arrangements were made to carry on the college work and the high school classes in the same college building. College work was continued for two years after the agricultural school was established and the class of 1897 was the last graduating class. This was the period when private school such as Blount College were being replaced by public schools in Alabama.

The Ninth District Agricultural School was established in Blount County under the administration of governor William Oats in 1895 Because of redistricting in 1917, the Ninth District Agricultural School was changed to State Secondary Agricultural School.


In 1917, J. B. Pennington became the principal. Unfortunately, State Secondary School was destroyed by fire in 1919, but later thanks to the people of Blountsville, the school was rebuilt.State Secondary school was changed to Blountsville High School. This school was also destroyed by fire in 1938, but once again was rebuilt.
 In 1939, the school name was changed to J. B. Pennington High School. Sadly this building burned in 1990. The community and alumni worked and the school was rebuilt in 1992.

Judy Fincher,
Sep 12, 2014, 5:34 AM