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In the 1950s schools in Massac County undertook a drastic change as some 50 one-room schools, many of which dated back to the late 1800s, were consolidated into eight attendance centers.
Franklin Community Consolidated Grade School District 7 was built from 1953-54 by Oakes Construction Co., with its first classes being held the 1954-55 school year. Architect Thomas Graman designed the building that sits on 5 acres 1 1/2 miles east of the Choate community. Originally, it contained five regular classrooms, a library, a multipurpose gym, a band practice room, a cafeteria, a kitchen, an office, a furnace room, storage with additional outdoor storage building and restrooms. The building as it stands now — with the gym near the playground and first through third grade classrooms was added some four years later.
At the time Jean Fowler wrote a school history series for the Metropolis Planet in 1957, Franklin had 167 students in first through eighth grades, offering them band, public school music, basketball and softball teams and sponsored two Khoury League teams during the summer, in addition to regular school studies. The principal was Charles Robinson, who was also served as a coach and a teacher.
Several of Franklin’s teachers in 1957 had taught at the schools from whence Franklin originated — Virginia Stroube was at Fairview, Ruth Korte was at Round Springs and Grace Jackson was at Mt. Mission, while Myrtle Wiseman transferred from Brookport Grade School and band director Ruth McCamish transferred from teaching music at Brookport Grade School and Brookport High School, she also served as the supervisor of public music at Franklin and Maple Grove. Mr. and Mrs. Rosel Little served lunch to the students; he was the school’s groundskeeper.
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