Rockingham County Materials Now Available

Picture of teacher Ruth Wiley. Under the photo is written: Mrs. Ruth Wiley retires from teaching, "but not from life."

Mrs. Ruth Wiley, June 19, 1985.

Thanks to our partner, Rockingham County Public Library, batches containing various materials including Madison-Mayodan High School yearbooks, newspaper clippings of school classes, a hand-written history of The Black Community Heritage of Madison, and 14 issues spanning 1947 to 1997 of Rockingham County’s magazine The Advisor are now available on our website.

One highlight from this batch is the hand-written history of The Black Community Heritage of Madison. Although the material includes history of Black individuals in Madison from around the first recorded migration (~June of 1775), it focuses more heavily on after the Civil War. The work is split up into major topics such as churches, businesses, education, and civic organizations. 

In the education section, the document traces the beginning of the Madison Public School System to Mary Black Franklin. Franklin began teaching members of the community in her home and in other various places in the community that would allow her to use the space. The number of students she taught continued to grow until the first public school was founded in a two room building. Eventually, a larger building later named the “Old Hall” was purchased to give the school more space. The school was only in operation six months out of the year. Students were allowed to attend the first three months of school for free, but parents would have to pay a tax for their children to finish the final three months. This system led to the creation of the Madison Public School System.

To learn more about the Rockingham County Public Library, please visit their website.

For more yearbooks from across North Carolina, visit our yearbook collection.

To view more content from Rockingham County Public Library, please visit here.

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This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features the latest news and highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from organizations across North Carolina.

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