School History


A log house on the old F. W. Knight farm held the first school in Hanceville.  A log school was built on the corner across from the Catholic church in 1873.  Professor Richardson taught the first school.  Around 1887, a frame building located where the Methodist church stands replaced the log structure.  There was now the need for two teachers - Mr. John Gassett and Miss Kitty Holland.

As the town grew, so did its school-age population.  The year 1903 saw construction begin on the beautiful Hanceville Academy.  Local citizens donated their time and skills in construction of the building.  The two-story structure contained six classrooms and an auditorium.  Approximately 150 students attended the school.  The children played basketball at the goals in front of the school and baseball in Schloff's pasture next door.

In 1908, a political issue arose between Hanceville and Cullman when the county school system was set up in Alabama.  Hanceville citizens raised the necessary funds to build the school.  Cullman appeared to show no interest.  Supposedly, at the last minute, the city of Cullman used funds from the county's general fund to outbid Hanceville.  This resulted in a bitter battle between the two towns.  When a county-wide election was held, Cullman became the victor.  The institution went to Cullman.  It would be twenty more years before Hanceville would have its own high school.

In 1920, the predecessor to the Hanceville PTO - the "Mother's Club" - was organized with a membership of twelve people.   This was the beginning of plans for a new building to replace the Academy and fulfill the dream of having Hanceville's own accredited high school.  In those days, it was necessary to raise much money to build a school.  Through creativity, hard work, and determination, the money was raised.  One day's work resulted in $250 being raised.

The year 1923 saw construction begin on a new school where the present Hanceville Middle School is located.  The 1923 Fall session had to start at the Academy due to delays in the completion of the new school.  This building contained eleven classrooms and an auditorium.  The walls were made of plaster with wainscoting beneath.  Finally, in October, 1923, the students from grade 1 to junior high were able to move into their new school.  The total cost of the building had come to $20,000.  It was a proud and grand day for the citizens of Hanceville.  Automobiles, mules and wagons, horses and buggies loaded up everything at the Academy and a great parade procession took everything to the new location.

Five years later, the class of 1928-1929 became the first graduating class of Hanceville.  Up to this time, those desiring to receive a high school diploma would make their way to the train station and ride the "accomadation" to and from Cullman each day to attend the county high school located there.

In 1930, a small wooden building was added behind the main high school building to accommodate the growing number of children.  By 1936, growth necessitated a grammar school to be built.  Today this stately brick building houses the lower elementary classes.

During the 1930s, the Hanceville Garden Club and Culture Club took on projects that included beautifying and landscaping the school, a book shower for the library, donations to the band, and a scholarship for a needy high school girl.

In 1955, the present high school structure was built.  The old high school building was turned into a junior high school complex.  Integration took place in 1965 when the Colony school was merged with Hanceville Schools. 

A burst of growth in the Hanceville School district during the 1970s ushered in the construction of much-needed classrooms in the elementary school.  Three phases brought about the middle elementary building that contains 15 classrooms and an office complex.  Two new gyms and a dual library/media center were constructed for use by the elementary and high schools during the 1980s,  and 2001 saw the addition of 10 classrooms and a library/media center for the elementary school.

Hanceville High School K-12 ended in 1996 when it was divided into three separate schools, Hanceville Elementary School, Hanceville Middle School, and Hanceville High School.

Hanceville Elementary School became the first elementary school in the Cullman County school system to attain accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
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