Bandyville School History

Bandyville School, district 24, in section 28 of Herrin Township on the county paved road between Herrin and Johnston City, took its name from the pioneer Bandy family. Perrine and John W. Bandy made their land entries in 1836 on parts of section 20. Cynthia Bandy made an entry in 1840 to complete the family holdings in the section. William P. Bandy was a soldier in Captain John M. Cunning- ham’s company during the Mexican war.

Perrine Bandy was a school trustee until his death in 1838. With Dudley Duncan and Jesse Spiller he supervised section 16 of Herrin Township, the school lands granted by congress. Manuel Hunter, whose daughter lived on Bear Creek, succeeded Mr. Bandy in this office.

School was first held about 1868 in a log house one-quarter mile north and east of the present site. The first teacher was Pinkney White, a son-in-law of Captain Samuel Duncan. The captain’s son, John H. Duncan, a county superintendent of schools, listened to his brother-in-law’s instruction.

Among the residents of the school district at the time of its organization were George W. Roberts, a former teacher at Stotlar School, and his brother-in-law, David G. Young, a Baptist minister and county superintendent of schools; John S. Parsons, James Kirk, George Cox, whose brother-in-law lived at Fergestown, and Hardy Perry, whose name the school once carried. Wilshire and Wesley Bandy represented their family in the neighborhood during the school’s first years. Wilshire Bandy was the county’s first coroner, elected in 1872. He later moved to Carbondale, but returned to Marion as lieutenant of the Carbondale militia company that patrolled Marion during the Vendetta trials of 1875.

The log building at Bandyville School was replaced by a frame building about 1885, a part of Superintendent John Duncan’s effort to standardize and modernize the school buildings. At the end of his second term only one log schoolhouse was left in use in the county. Superintendent Duncan also made the first efforts toward grading the country schools, by suggesting that teachers use a rudimentary course of study, printed about that time.

W. A. (Alex) Stotlar taught Bandyville School, and filled the stove with Spillertown coal. No one claimed that coal was beneath their feet. Americus Gassaway taught his last term at Bandyville, just before he became a clerk in the Herrin post office In 1905 he was appointed postmaster, and again in 1925.

In 1910 the school was moved to its present site in a little grove of fine trees, and a new building erected. This schoolhouse was destroyed by fire during the winter of 1935 and 1936. The present building was first occupied for the next term. Vernon Collins is principal and Miss Marguerite Rodney, teacher during the 1938-1939 term.

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(Extracted from Pioneer Folks and Places, Barbara Barr Hubbs, 1939, on sale at the Williamson County Museum)