About HSSD

Our School District's History

Education has always been valued in Huntingdon, as evidenced by the many small schools which operated in the areas surrounding Huntingdon. The Huntingdon Special School District was established in 1919 on the site of the Southern Normal University, however; education was alive and well in the areas surrounding the township as children and their teachers hunkered around coal or wood stoves in the winters, drank from the common dipper in water buckets, and let out for cotton picking each year. Huntingdon High School is currently the 321st largest public high school in TN and the 13,737th largest public high school nationally.

The first school in Huntingdon was a private one, located in a residence of Miss Melinda Smoot on Main Street, after her lover went away to the War Between the States, never to return.  Miss Melinda mourned his death through the years, never marrying, and kept a candle and fresh flowers in her window until her death.  

The first regular school in Huntingdon was in a private house belonging to Miss Ella Jones near the old Methodist parsonage. At her death the building was sold and transformed into an apartment building.

  • 1880: First High School was in operation in Huntingdon with 67 students - located in a house on Fifth Avenue. Records kept showed very good grades for all 67 students, ranging from 89.2 to 99.55.  
  • 1890:  Southern Normal University was chartered August 18, 1890 and opened in 1891 with 550 students from 10 states and grew to over 890 students in the same year.  

  • 1908:  J. H. Bayer purchased Southern Normal University Buildings and established the Industrial and Training School where he was Superintendent until its closing in 1918

  • 1918: Huntingdon School was established and opened in the old Southern Normal University (Industrial and Training School) building, under the direction of John J. Hendrickson who served as superintendent for that year.

  • 1919: Huntingdon High School was established, with D.W. Moody serving as superintendent in the years between 1919 and 1938

  • 1919: Huntingdon Special School District was created by Private Act of 1919 to embrace the 10th civil district and portions of the 7th, 8th, 11th, 12th, 15th, 19th, and 23rd.    From its beginning, the school system has been served by beloved and capable superintendents.  D. W. Moody served as superintendent until the year 1938, when C. H. Pudor became superintendent for the next 38 years, followed by Paul Ward in 1976, Danny Truett in 1992, Lynn Twyman 2004, Pat Dillahunty 2009, and Dr. Jonathan Kee in 2021.

  • 1927: Hale School Established at 191 Cox Street under the auspices of the Rosenwald Foundation

  • 1935: Huntingdon High School on Browning – 9 teachers (275 students in system )   By 1954 the enrollment was 893 with 34 teachers 

  • 1947: Agriculture Building Constructed – 199 Browning  - 61 farm boys, by 54 there were 75 

  • 1951: Huntingdon Elementary Building housing grades 1–6 (room(s) were added annually through 1954 with some thereafter. 

  • 1950s: Hale Jr High School modernized at 191 Cox Street 1960

  • 19__: Alumni Bell Tower constructed at HHS 

  • 1962: HHS Gymnasium constructed (present Middle School Gymnasium) opened for use 1963. 

  • 1967:  Huntingdon Primary School established at 191 Cox Street (Hale Jr. High School)

  • 1971: Tornado destroyed much of Huntingdon Primary School

  • 1980:  Last Graduating Class from HHS on Browning Avenue

  • 1980: Huntingdon High School Plant opened on Fairgrounds Road / later Mustang Drive

  • 1981:  First Graduating Class from HHS on Mustang Drive

  • 1998:  Central Office Opened on High Street

  • 1998:  New Middle School was completed

  • 1998:  Old High School was razed

  • 2015:  Bell Tower constructed on Mustang Drive

 


 

Private Act of 1978

Huntingdon Special School District  was initially created by the Private Act of 1919. Since that time, the Private Act has been amended several times until the district stands as it is today. For example:
Description of the boundaries of the Huntingdon Special School District created by Private Act of 1919, Chapter No. 374, House Bill 575 and amended by Private Act of 1957, Chapter No. 286, House Bill No. 812 and Private Act of 1978, Chapter No. 255, House Bill 2559.

Be it enacted by the general assembly of the state of Tennessee that a Special School District be, and the same is, hereby created and established, embracing all of the Tenth Civil District, portions of the Seventh, Eighth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Fifteenth, Nineteenth, and Twenty-Third Civil Districts of Carroll County, Tennessee, and including the Town of Huntingdon to be known and designated as the Huntingdon Special School District.

The boundaries of the district were set and Huntingdon Special School District has been the place where many students have spent the young years of their lives receiving a top-notch education. The district has also been, and continues to be, the home to many great teachers and staff.

Additionally, the picture on the main page is of the old Huntingdon High School built in 1935. It was torn down in 1998 after the construction of the new Huntingdon Middle School.