Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central
Citizens of Hollow Rock and Bruceton have been most helpful in compiling this
history of Central High School. We had to connect the memories of several people to get a complete picture.
This copy has been proofread by some of those who helped us compile it. Of course, the pictures we have used
are old and didn’t reproduce as clearly as newer pictures. Our special thanks go to Mr. Ed Holcomb, Mrs.
Lillian Blair, Mr. Joe T. Herndon, Mr. W.D. King, Mr. Joe Corlew, and Mrs. El. Wright for helping us collect
information and pictures for this historical edition of the TIGER. Hollow Rock, first known as Sandy Ridge
Community, was established at a very early date in Carroll County.
One Hollow Rock citizen recalled an academy where Prospect Baptist Church now stands. Another recalled an
academy, but thought it was located where the old Hollow Rock High School was. It is recalled that the academy was
in existence in the ~ or 1890’s. Memories are sketchy about the academy. The first school in Hollow Rock was
somewhere around 1914. This was a two room frame school headed by Professor Woods. There were four grades in each
room. When the work was completed in one room, students advanced to the West Room for the other four grades. Some
of the first teachers in this school were Mrs. Sadie (Martin) McGill, Mrs. Elizabeth (Palmer) Nance, Miss Annie
Robertson. Discipline was administered in the ‘‘big’’ room by Professor Woods. Chalk was kept in the big room, and
a special treat was to go get it for the teacher. Upon one occasion a student was sent for chalk, and before he
could reveal his mission, he was firmly reprimanded by Professor Woods.
The only high school in the area was at Hollow Rock. The high school was a small frame building located across
the street from the present site of what is now the kindergarten. Some students also came here from Block City
School House and the Butler School House. Students had an option of attending high school either at Hollow Rock,
Huntingdon, or Camden. There were five special trains, and students rode free of charge. The rents served as the
crew and the railroad furnished the coal.
About 1920 a two story brick building was constructed where the kindergarten now
stands. In 1922 two classrooms were added upstairs and one downstairs. This attractive, modern building served
the Hollow Rock-Bruceton community until the high school was moved to its present location in the fall of
1927. Moving from Hollow Rock High School to Central High School was Professor El. Wright as Headmaster, a
position he had held for several years.
The Hollow Rock-Bruceton Special School District was formed, which is a separate entity of either Hollow Rock or
Bruceton. The building at Hollow Rock continued as a grammar school until 1960, at which time Pat Patterson bought
and razed it. The present educational facility at Hollow Rock was erected in the early 1960’s and served as the
Hollow Rock Elementary School until it became the kindergarten. Prior to 1921 the railroad community which was
later to become Bruceton was known as Hollow Rock Junction, having only a few scattered buildings. The entire area
was crisscrossed by two railroad tracks which formed the junction. There was dissatisfaction with the name Hollow
Rock Junction, so the town was renamed New One. Later it was again changed to Junction City. Finally, in 1925 the
name Bruceton evolved, from the name of Mr. Bruce, who was an official of the railroad at that time and who had
helped in getting Bruceton founded and off to a good start.
Crocker School located on Rowland Mill Road where Mr. Jestes Reed now lives was the first remembered school
which served Bruceton. Major Crockett owned all the land above the factory and donated the land for the school. Mr.
James Taylor was one of the first board members. Mrs. P.W. Maddox was one of the first teachers and boarded with
Mr. and Mrs. Taylor since it was customary for the school board members to board the teachers. Mr. John Wyatt
replaced Mr. Taylor on the school board and continued to board the teachers, Mrs. Russell (Ruby) Robinson of Hollow
Rock and Miss Nancy Aden of Christmasville who are still living, were teachers at Crocker School. In 1918 Mr.
Prentice Pinkley bought the old Crocker School building and moved it across the street from its original site to Ms
farm and renovated it into his home. Today the building is occupied by the Albert Riley family. (Clay is a senior
Around 1916 the railroad donated a coach to be used as a school. This school, which
began with 36 pupils, primarily served children of railroad employees. It was located near the railroad tracks
since a railroad crane operated by Mr. H.P. Bayless ‘‘boomed’’ it off the track. Miss Lucretia Owens, the
teacher, boarded with the H.P. Bayless family; and Mr. Bayless paid $26 a month on her salary since he had two
children attending this school. In 1919 a school was erected at 401 W. College Street and was officially named
First Bnceton School. County funds were not available to build this school.
So many interested citizens went ahead with plans for the building and it was paid off by public subscription
and donations from many people. Some teachers at this school were Mrs. Maude Black; Lilly Ann Turner; Bro. Boyd, a
Baptist minister; and the last remembered was Henry Stevenson. Mr. Stevenson bought this building and renovated it
into a house which is now owned by Gene Wilson. (Gary is a junior; Wendy is a freshman; Michael is in the second
With the operation of this school, the Coach School closed and all students
in this area attended First Bruceton School. Soon Bruceton Grammar School was erected (the old Community
Center). When it overflowed, some of the students from Bruceton Grammar School attended school in the Compton
House, near the present site of Regina Arnold’s Dance Studio. These two buildings served as grammar schools
for Bruceton until finally, in 1927, the building at Central was occupied. This building housed grades 6-12.
This building has served this community until the present time. For the sale of history, the citizens of this
community voted a bond issue which will finance the construction of a new high school and eight elementary
classrooms. Construction is planned to begin this summer. Superintendents of the Hollow Rock-Bruceton Special
School District have been Mr. E.E. Wright, Mr. W.L. Darnell, Mr. H.B. Smith, Mr. Joe T. Herndon, and the
present superintendent, Mr. H.H. Reed. All of the people to whom we talked were brimming with interesting and
amusing facts from their school days. Space would not allow all us to print all; however, we have chosen a few
to share. Mr. Joe Ted Herndon past student, coach principal, and superintendent recalled from his student days
being the State Baseball Champs. (Note picture on p. 164) Mr. Hemdon also recalled moments from his coaching
era when his football team defeated Jackson for the Little Cotton Bowl. Mr. Herndon attributed much of his
success to the fact that the boys did what was asked of them. To prove this point he remitted of one
particular practice when his boys were in a huddle and he spotted a wild goose. He motioned for the boys to
hold the huddle and to keep quiet. Mr. Herndon got in his car, went to town, got his gun, returned, killed the
goose, and then broke up the huddle. Another small victory for CHS. History records that the school grounds
were once a graveyard. One grave still remains. It was discovered while building the highway. The casket was
buried and the new highway built over it.