North Carolina's First Public School Opens

Rockingham County and Common Schools

The first free school in Rockingham county went into operation on the 20th of January 1840. This is probably the first free school commenced in the State. The entire county has been surveyed into districts, 8 miles long, and 4½ wide; two school Houses to be created in each. In a short time all the Houses will be completed and schools in operation in every district in the County. It is but sheer justice to Messrs. Thomas S. Gallaway Nathan Wright Thomas B. Wheeler Robert W. Lawson, John L. Lesures Mecajah McGehee, Rawley Gallaway E. T. Broduax, Joel Fagg and James Currie, who constitute the school supreintendancy [sic] for Rockingham, to state that great credit is due them for the very able and zealous manner in which they have performed their duties. -- Messrs. J. G. Wright and E. W. Hancock, surveyors, are also entitled to much credit for the part they have taken in the matter.


Credit text

North Carolina Standard, February 12, 1840, p. 3.