The New Deal’s National Youth Administration: Longview School

Old Longview schoolWhat a wonderful way to end my week–with another successful location of a New Deal building, this time, another project of the National Youth Administration!  Because many of these schools were built in rural areas (and parts or all of them are no longer extant), locating an exact address generally is not possible.  All I could determine from the MDAH Historic Resources Inventory database was “N side CR 886.”  But where exactly along 886?  Seeing nothing but houses, I followed my instincts and turned at the sign for the Longview Baptist Church, assuming that at one point, it had been near “town.”  I passed this building, and immediately surmised it was the old school, due to the windows, and the rock structure.  Rural schools during the New Deal era tended to resemble this building, and were often built of rock (or in this case, rock veneer) due to cost.  But, could I verify that?

Retrieved from MDAH Series 2018-National Youth Administration Projects Photograph Album, 1937-1939

Retrieved from MDAH Series 2018-National Youth Administration Projects Photograph Album, 1937-1939

Why, fortunately, yes I could.  The MDAH digital archives has a collection of photographs of NYA projects in Mississippi.  I had discovered it earlier, and perused it seeking support for confirming another building for which I could not find information.  Luckily, it included photographs of the Longview school during construction.

At some point when the school was converted to use as a private residence, the double doors were converted to double windows.  If you compare the photographs below, you can see that the rock matches in both the original photograph and the recent one, thus, indicating it is the same building.  Close examination also reveals the slight difference in the color of the mortar where the doors were replaced with windows and additional rock.

I did not get out of my car to determine if a cornerstone could be located, but it resides (based on the original photograph) behind that bush between the windows and front door.

The rocks came from an NYA quarry, most likely the one in Tishomingo, which was the sources for rocks used by NYA in Pontotoc (MDAH, HRI database).  The lumber used in the project was from an NYA sawmill at Longview.  Completed in 1941 (or 1938 according to the date in the photograph album archives), the project also built a gymnasium and teacher’s house.  The gymnasium is no longer extant.

You can view photographs of NYA projects throughout Mississippi at the link: Photographs from the National Youth Administration Projects Photograph Album, 1937-1939.

Categories: Historic Preservation, New Deal, Schools

21 replies

  1. And Longview is where?


  2. I remember this house. My sister and her family lived there for a short time. The gym was next door to the right. I played in it till it burned down.


  3. There’s a Longview in Oktibbeha county between Starkville and Sturgis on highway 12 west. Wonder how many more Longview’s there are. :)


  4. I started to school at Longview when I was 5 years old in 1947. I don’t recall this building being part of the school at that time. The school building was on the corner of Longview Road just before you get to this building. It was a big white building. The gym I believe was in between. At one time Bro.Hubert Howell, who was the pastor of Longview Baptist Church and his family lived in this house around the late 1950’s. I graduated with one of his children at Pontotoc High School in 1959.
    the gym burned and the school house was converted to residential and later burned as well. The last ones to live there to my knowledge were Bill Pound and his wife.


  5. David A Dillard i went to school at longview 8 year Therman Bryant taught there and Owens man Clyde Russell Clitee Russell his wife ther was gym and this building of stone became a preachers home it was built by wpa the school use to have 12 grades steam heat the lunch room was in the basement under the school mrs Ludie Brown use to cook mr Jess Brown wife there is still a old wood cook stove in the basment where the school burned Mr Sam Huey had store across the road from school it was south of school the gym also had dressing rooms under it the rest rooms were located east of school building the school had white wood fence around it the land was donated by Mr Biver pounds as long as school was there it is now owned by Ralph Pounds a great person it needs to be marked as known land mark the water fountains are out front of where school stood and basements are still ther and the well house


  6. it later had only 8 grades i finished the 8 th grade there Clyde and his wife taught us 123 abc and the Bible and 10 commandments great loving people people like them are hard to find these days they lived on Longview RD in the yellow house it is being redone think it was sold to one of The Crane some of Horace crane people also great people them and the POUNDS HAVE BEEN THERE FOR MANY YEARS ALL WONDERFUL PEOPLE


  7. ANY ONE INTERESTED MY PHONE NO IS 662 419 0290 I WAS ALSO MARRIED BY Herbert Howell OCT 9 1959 in this stone faced building


  8. My parents are Bill and Rosemary Pound. The cornerstone is located on the now porch. Dad passed away in 2009 and the home is still owned by my mom. The senior members of our community have photos of both the old gym and the old school, both of which have burned. This structure was built by the National Youth Administration in 1938.


  9. This is all.great info that my Mom ( who went to school at Longview ) no longer remembers much about !! I knew about parts of this , because Mother had told me some things , but now , am very much interested to learn much more . Thank – you so much !!!!!


  10. I was one of the Howell’s who lived there.we had so much fun playing in the gym and even in the school house. There was an auditorium with a stage. We would entertain on the stage. We loved playing hide and seek and running all around. It was a sad day for us kade inta residence. The school had been consolidated to the Pontotoc city schools. So we never attended school there.
    Maybe I was wrong, but I remember a wooden slide on the playground. Can you imagine sliding down a dried-out wooden slide? The baseball field was used, not only by our family, but the whole community.I think there were a couple of kidswho lost their two front teeth behind that home base.


  11. The building above was not the school but was used initially for the principal of the school. As indicated above, this building was an NYA project. I believe Thompson Pound was the supervisor for NYA for the project. Another NYA project that he supervised at that time was an addition to the principal’s home in either Thaxton or Hurricane (Pontotoc county) for a new arrival for the principal and his wife. The new arrival was Thad Cochran, now US Senator.
    The Longview school was on the same grounds just south of the above building. The school at one time was a high school and had six-man football as well as basketball as sports. Horace Crane, Elvin Wilder, and several others about their age graduated from high school there. As David Dillard stated above, my parents, Clyde and Clytee Russell, were the teachers at the school in the 1950s. At that time the school only went through the 8th grade. I graduated from 8th grade at the school in 1951. While my parents were teaching at the school, a decision was made to add a softball field with lights (supplied by Pontotoc Electric Power Association) on the playgrounds. Since I greatly enjoyed softball and my dad was principal, I helped to layout the field. I managed to get it arranged so that the building above was in right center field, and a fenced-in garden for the residents of the house (Pastor Herbert Howell and family) was in right field. Since I batted left handed, I was frequently able to hit the ball into the garden for a home run. Sometimes balls also landed on the top of the above building. Great times,,,,,,,,(mid 50s).
    Darnell Russell


    • Thanks for more information about the NYA project. The NYA archives identified it as the Vocational-Agricultural building, and it does resemble the other vo-ag buildings constructed by NYA in the state. I have found limited information on the teacher’s houses in the area, but have located a newspaper archive from the Depression-era that may help identify some new information.


      • Since I was born at about the time the building was build, I am not totally sure about the initial use of the building. Since I believe the high school was still in operation at that time, it could have been used as a vo-ag building initially and later converted to a teacher’s home. In any case I’m fairly certain that it was used as a home within a few years after it was built.



  1. The New Deal in Mississippi: Vardaman Vocational Building | Suzassippi

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