History of Mayfield High School
| History of Homer/Mayfield School|
By Mrs. Eudoxie Lee White and Mr. Huey Fields
For several years there was not a public school in Homer for Black children. Rev. Roy A Mayfield, a minister and educator, saw the need for a school for Black children, in Homer and surrounding communities. He opened a church school which was named, ‘The Homer Normal lndustrial and Bible Training School” where the Homer Junior High school once stood. Educational courses, first through 12th grades, music, and Bible classes were taught. With the help of churches and other organizations, a two story building was built that included boarding facilities, a dormitory for girls, a barrack for boys, and kitchen facilities for the preparation of meals. Students unable to pay worked on his farm and around the grounds to pay board and a small tuition. The public officials of Claiborne Parish saw the urgent need for a public school in Homer. Rev. Mayfield, with limited support of his school from churches and the public, sold the school grounds and buildings to Claiborne Parish School authorities and built a smaller school on association property where the Friendship Missionary and Educational Building now stands, which he operated for several years. In 1926, Mr. Allen Roy Rushen, a graduate of Wiley College, Marshall, Texas became the principal of the first public school in Homer for Black children. The old, large, two story classroom building was used until it burned. The dormitory, barracks and another small house on the campus were used for classrooms. Principal Rushing was energetic and a good administrator; therefore, a new building was readily erected to house classes first through tenth grades. At that time Mr. G. C. Jones was supervisor of Negro schools in Claiborne Parish. Under the administration of Principal Rushen, enrollment increased, more classrooms were added and more qualified teachers were hired. Mr. Rushen remained principal until 1942. He paved the way for a deeply rooted educational system for Blacks in Homer. The school became a high school under his administration and was named Homer Colored High. From 1943 unäl 1944, Mr. M. M. Coleman served as principal. Mr. Lawrence Webb taught Manual Arts (carpentry), under both Principal Rushing and Principal Coleman. Mr. Webb also served as principal during the 1944-1945 school year. Mr. Rushen went to Leesville, Louisiana as a high school Principal.
Professor John S. Davis came to Claiborne Parish in 1926. He taught at Forest Grove Elementary School with Mrs. Irene Jones Thompson Ward. Later Professor Davis was appointed principal of Claiborne Parish Training School, previously St. John, and the first four-year High School in Claiborne Parish for Black children.
In 1945 Professor Davis became the principal of Homer Colored High School, which was later named Mayfield High School. A principal’s home, Home Economic cottage, and a shop later called a Vocational Arts School, was built under his administration. A football program was also organized.The following Shop teachers taught under Professor Davis: Mr. Lawrence Webb, Mr. Nathaniel Johnson, Mr. N. F. Harrison, Mr. Carter Lee Shaw and Mr. Huey Fields taught carpentry; Mr. Booker T. Watts taught Masonry. Under Professor Davis the school was departmentalized to meet State Department’s Educational Standards.
Principals were in this order:
- Mr. Allen Roy Rushen 1926 -1942 4. Rev. John S. Davis 1945 – 1958
- Mr. M. M. Coleman 1942 – 1944 5. Mr. N. F. Harrison 1959 – 1966
- Mr. Lawrence Webb 1944 – 1945 6. Mr. Huey V. Fields 1966 – 1970
A new dimension was added to Mayfield in the fall of 1966. A state and federally funded kindergarten program was begun under the umbrella of the then Title I Program.
Over the years Mayfield students won many awards in local, district, and state competitions. Top enrollment at Mayfield was nine hundred twelve boys and girls and forty-four faculty members.
Approximately six pieces of heavy duty playground equipment was purchased for the elementary department in the spring of 1967.
A van was purchased in the fall of 1968 to assist coaches and teachers with the transportation of students to and from sports and literary events locally and district-wide. The entire student body and the teachers were involved in a fund-raising project to purchase band uniforms when the schools in the Parish were ordered to integrate beginning with the
“Reverend Roy A. Mayfield (1876-1944)” Published August 5, 1999, The Guardian-Journal Mayfield High School namesake, Reverend Roy A. Mayfield, was a firm believer in II Timothy 2:15, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed.” It was sometime prior to 1926 when the Homer/Mayfield School first opened as “The Homer Normal Industrial and Bible Training School,” located on the site of the present Homer Junior High School on Pearl Street. Through the efforts of Reverend Roy A. Mayfield and donations from local churches and other organizations, the two-story building was constructed. At that time, the school offered educational courses in grades one through twelve, as well as music and Bible classes. Mayfield was born in Vienna, LA in 1876. He graduated from high school in Ruston in 1892 and married Susie Pearl Legardy. He taught public school in Louisiana and Arkansas and pastored in a number of churches beginning with Ebenezer Baptist Church in Homer in 1902. It was sometime after Mayfield’s death in February 1944 the school was renamed Mayfield High School. The Claiborne Parish School Board purchased the building, establishing the first public school for black children in Homer, holding classes from first through tenth grades. In 1926, the School Board hired the first principal, Allen Roy Rushing, a graduate of Wiley College in Marshall, Texas. Until 1942, Rushing remained principal helping rebuild after a fire destroyed the original school building and was helpful in establishing Homer Colored High. From 1943-1944, M. M. Coleman served as principal, Lawrence Webb from 1944-1945, then Professor Reverend John S. Davis from 1945-1958. It was during Davis’ administration, the school was renamed Mayfield High School in honor of Reverend Mayfield. The school also added a home economic cottage, vocational arts shop, and football program. Other principals were N. F. Harrison who served from 1958-1965 and Huey V. Fields from 1965 to the fall of 1970, when the school merged with Homer. At that time, Mayfield High School became Homer Jr. High, thus ending all projects and activities of Mayfield School.
Historical Reference of
Rev. Roy Mayfield
Rev. Roy A. Mayfield was born in Vienna, La. April 8, 1876. He was a born educator and administrator. He entered the public school in Lincoln Parish in 1886, graduated from high school, 1892 in Ruston, La. He taught in the pubic schools in Louisiana and Arkansas.
Seeing the need for a school for black children in Homer, prayfully he launched out and founded the Homer Normal Industrial and Bible Training School in Homer, La.
He became a Christian early in life and was a dedicated bible student. In 1901 he was called to the ministry and married Miss Susie Pearl Legardy, November 5, 1901. In 1902 he was called as pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church of Homer, La., and was ordained to the gospel ministry. He served two different terms as pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church.
To further prepare himself for work out in the religious field he entered Wendelll Phillip School and the Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, Ill., in 1905, Virginia Union Institute, Richmond, Virginia in 1906.
In additional to pastorate of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Rev. Mayfield served the following churches:
St. Paul Baptist Church, Louisville, Ark. — 1909
Shiloh Baptist Church and Mt. Lebanon Baptist Churches, Gibsland, La.
Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, Arcadia, La. and Fellowship Baptist Church in Lillie, LA 1912
He was also elected assistant secretary of the Louisiana Baptist State Convention, 1913. To further prepare himself for ministry and administrative duties that confronted him, he entered Leland College, New Orleans, La. where he received a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1915. In 1916 Rev. Mayfield preached the missionary sermon before the National Baptist Convention of America in Savannah, Georgia — was elected President of the Friendship Missionary and Educational Association. Rev. Mayfield organized in Foreign Fields, worked in Africa, South America and the Isles of the Sea.
In later years he served as President of Coleman College, Gibsland, La. This influential man also developed lands which became major subdivision in the black residential section of Homer. Rev. Roy A. Mayfield who blazed a path for many to enter and graduated from his institute to successfully enter into fields of Education, Ministry, Administrators and Governmental positions. He was a firm believer in the following quote. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needth not to be ashame.” Timothy 2:15.