Education, Maternal Kin, North Carolina

Morningside School.

Statesville’s Morningside School had its beginnings in the two-roomed Colored Free School, which opened in 1891. Maggie Sellars and Alma J. Carter shared teaching duties. The following year and additional room was added, and the instructional staff expanded to five. In 1915, a mysterious fire consumed the original building, and for the next six years children attended classes in nearby churches and fraternal halls. In 1921, a new eight-classroom facility on Green Street near Garfield opened, with Charles W. Foushee as principal. This building was known as Morningside School. Within two years, booming enrollment demanded expansion to seven elementary grades and two high school. Tenth and eleventh grades were added in 1928, and the school was accredited in 1930. After desegregation in 1965, Morningside became an elementary school and, in 1971, its name was changed to Alan D. Rutherford School.

Margaret at school 002

Margaret at school

These photographs were probably taken shortly before the Colored Free School burned down. In the first, my grandmother is second from right on the second row from the top. Her sister Launie Mae is first in the third row from the top. In the second photo, my grandmother is seated last on the third row from the top.

Text adapted from materials produced for Morningside Alumni Association — 2002 Reunion, Statesville NC, 31 August 2002. Photos in the collection of Lisa Y. Henderson.


10 thoughts on “Morningside School.

  1. MICH says:


    I have been looking for information on Morningside and wonder if you have any contacts to whom I could speak. I am researching my family and have heard many of them attended Morningside and became teachers.


      I am just starting out and would appreciate any assistance. I really like the flow of your blog. I have been educated and amused.

      • Hi, Michelle, and thank you! What are your family lines? I have an anniversary booklet for a Morningside reunion and will check for contacts. I’ll also ask my Statesville cousins.


  2. Michelle Dacons says:

    Hello…my family lines are Dacons, Brown, Sherrill, Camp, White, Smith, and Edwards…there are many branches however these are the primary branches. I started building a tree sometime ago and I’m now going back to learning about the area, etc to fill in the blanks. If it’s not too much to ask would you mind emailing me at I can wait to learn more.

  3. Vivian Brawley Williams says:

    This is great. The Iredell County Public Library in Statesville has some information about Morningside School. The Morningside Alumni Association celebrates Morningside each year at the annual Morningside Reunion. This years date is Saturday September 6, 2014. If you are interested, contact me for more information or go to

  4. Jean R. Somerville says:

    You have no idea how much I enjoyed reading all of the comments. If anyone has pictures of the class of 1953, please shave them with me.

  5. Rob gill says:

    I attended Morningside school in 1971 before the name change. Mr Peterson was principal and was wonderful. I graduated from Gardner Webb University asking only my family and Mrs Berniece Moore to attend. Mrs Moore was my favorite teacher. While we only there for a short time my memories are vivid to this day. Even the lunch ladies were nice Wow wouldn’t it be nice to feel that way every day.

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