This photo was taken in Waldron in 1905, which is the date written on the blackboard. The teacher's name written on the board is William Ramsey. I can also make out the word "Normal" written there. My grandmother, Iva Irene Bevill is the young lady in the front row, left. I believe some of the others may be her sisters. Iva was the daughter of Dr. Cheves Bevill and wife Nancy (Roberts) Bevill who came to Scott County from Alabama about 1879. Iva Bevill married Ota Sharp 26 Dec 1905 and they had two children, a son Colletus and daughter Love Sharp, born 1911. I would like to know where Ota came from and what happened to him? Iva remarried a Parnell in 1918. I hope anyone with information about this picture or about any of this family will get in touch with me.

The school pictured above is what was called a "Normal School" or "Shape Note School" or sometimes "Singing School". In rural areas these singing schools were taught by traveling singing masters and lasted for about two weeks. This was the main way of teaching people how to sight-read music. They were usually held at a church or school and were eagerly anticipated by the local citizenry.

Nancy Parnell

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