Joe Taylor looks back at the Coushatta school system shortly after the turn of the 20th century. Many of the schools in use at that time are now in private hands or in ruins. Some have disappeared over the years. Here is Joe’s account.
This information comes from a wonderful book published in 1989 by a dedicated large group of people. It’s called Red River Parish Our Heritage and it contains over 700 pages about history of the parish and the families that lived here. If you don’t have one I’m sorry because it was published that one time and it becomes more valuable and in demand each year. It contains hundreds of pictures including ones of the schools I’m going to list.
The parish first organized a public school system around the turn of the 20th century with John Teer as the first Superintendent. He was succeeded by Alden H Horton (grandfather of Alden and Donald) and then A L Sigler became Superintendent.
The Coushatta School (later the Elementary School) was built in 1912. It replaced a small wooden building. This building was moved a few hundred feet to the banks of bayou Nicholas by Clarence Edgerton. He remodeled it and used as his home.
Most of the schools listed were elementary and pupils had to board in Coushatta if they wanted to attend high school. Schools listed were in the 1920 era. They were:
Coushatta. Carroll. Salt Springs. East Point. Martin. Hall Summit. Carroll. Carroll Creek. Woodrow. Harvey. Bayou Lachute. Corley. Halfway. Armistead. Union Hall. Westdale. Social Springs. Methvin. Rawls. Liberty. Gahagan. Keith Springs. Lake End. Holly Springs. Hickory Grove. Hanna. Harmon. Grand Bayou. East Point. Cross road. Dry creek. Crooked Bayou.
As you can see just about every little community had its own school and a school wagon to try and get the pupils there. Later as parish roads improved, there would be large consolidation.
Around 1940, using WPA money, gyms would be built at Coushatta, Grand Bayou, Hall Summit, and East Point. Schools were built at Martin and Hanna.