Center High School Cornerstone 1907 -1963


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        In May 1963, the opening of the cornerstone at the Center Elementary School on Nacogdoches Street were held.  The Stonel was laid on November 13,  1907 by the Sam Samford Masonic Lodge. It, at one time, house all the schools grades of the Center Public School System.  In 1940 a new Center High School was constructed on Kennedy Drive and during the 1940's the school on Nacogdoches Street was known as the Elementary (Grammar) School.  In 1963 the two story building was demolished and the cornerstone was removed by Supt. F.L. Moffett.
        This was a solemn occasion and when the seal was broken a hush fell over the crowd. Behind the white marble slab was stacked folded newspapers and on top had been placed an ear of corn that disintegrated when the air hit the corn.  These papers were given to Supt. Moffett and were destroyed in the Center High School, on Kennedy street,  fire of December 18, 1963.
    Items found in the cornerstone:

            On November 13, 1963, this same cornerstone was again dedicated in ceremonies at the site of the once two story building.  The marble slab was sealed in a brick shrine erected on the campus of the Center Elementary School grounds with two large packets of items sealed behind the stone.
    Items sealed behind the stone:

        Franklin Pigg, Contractor for the new school plant on Nacogdoches Street sealed the stone.

Instructions to those who open this corner stone in future years.....

        This Shrine of bricks is made from 500 bricks, saved from the old building that was erected in 1908.  The building was demolished to make way for a modern unit in the year 1963.
        F.L., Moffett, Supt. of Center Schools, a that time, asked former pupils of the old school to select materials to go in cavity of the cornerstone.  These women-- Mrs. Kate Gryder Kimbro, Daughter of Henry Gryder and Mrs. Mattie McLendon Dellinger, daughter of Barto McLendon.  Both graduated from Center High School in the Year 1929.
        They dedicate the contents of the Shrine to future generations, and hope that those who open this cornerstone will treat-- with respect,  each item we have carefully selected and placed here to give you and an insight into the lives of Center people of the current times---as we treated with respect the contents from the cornerstone that we opened 56 years later the old brick building.   We opened the stone in July 1963.
        The old cornerstone was laid November 13, 1907, in cermonies before a crowd of 5000 persons.  One of the Mason' made a notation of the weather that day and sealed it in the stone---"Clear and cold- a very pleasant day"- November 13, 1907.  Today November 13, 1963, 56 years later, we re-seal this stone on a "Clear and cold- a very pleasant day."
        We suggest to those who open this cornerstone, that the contents be donated to the local Museum, if one exists.  There is one in Center as of date---started by the Shelby County Historical Society of 1962-1963.

                            There's just this Shrine to mark the spot
                            Where once the old red brick building stood.
                            the sod where once happy school children played,
                            Where memories were made to endure a life time.
                            The many who loved this old building best
                            are nearly numbered with the dead!
                            No longer the stirring sound of live
                            But silence grim and deep
                            In lonely, half forgotten graves, their endless vigils
                            Yet still there's beauty in spot, dignity and grace
                            with which one clothes the memory, of this dear hallowed
                            OUR DEARLY BELOVED CENTER HIGH SCHOOL OF 1908-1963.

                                                                                       ----Kate and Mattie

We are not able to determine if cornerstones were laid at Center High School on Kennedy Street or
Center High School on Timpson Highway. According to various sources cornerstone were not laid.
  Some of this  information was obtained and edited from the writings of Mattie Dellinger.