New Deal in Mississippi: Lynville School

New at the time construction materials and techniques were used.  Exterior walls are of strand steel and poured concrete.  It has a slate roof. (“Get together held at Lynville school.” 10/23/2013. Kemper County Messenger)

The WPA financed school building was completed at Lynville in Kemper County in 1940 (“Meridian $634,590 paving is slated.” October 3, 1940, p. 7, Biloxi Daily Herald).  Between the scheduled paving, and additional school buildings to be constructed,

…more than 1000 men will be on the WPA [pay]rolls.

The building is currently undergoing restoration according to the Kemper County Messenger.

A dedicated group is steadily recovering and restoring the building. President Franklin Roosevelt created the Public Works Administration on June 16, 1933…The Lynville School Building was one of those projects. (“Get together held at Lynville school”)

Indeed the Public Works Administration (PWA) was created in 1933, under the Federal Emergency Relief Act, which was part of National Industrial Recovery Act, overturned by the Supreme Court in 1935 (New Deal Programs, Living New Deal, University of California-Berkeley).  PWA was part of the First New Deal.  The Second New Deal in 1935 funded the Emergency Relief Appropriation, replacing FERA, and funded the new Works Progress Administration (WPA).  The end of the New Deal began in 1939 with the Federal Works Administration reorganizing public works.  The war with Japan changed everything, and in 1942 PWA and CCC terminated, and in 1943 WPA terminated.

Given the construction date of 1941 and approval date of 1940 by WPA, it most likely was a WPA project, which was the most active in Mississippi school building in the latter years of the New Deal Administration.  Because people tended to confuse the programs, and use PWA and WPA interchangeably, it is difficult to know when considering recent information in order to say with certainty.  (For example, in 1991, a monument was erected in Newcastle, Texas, calling a construction date of 1931 for a gymnasium built by the WPA, when it was still 4 years away from creation and Roosevelt had not even been elected President yet.)  I have just discovered a treasure trove of government documents of  WPA activity for Mississippi counties and as soon as I can carve out some travel time, I hope to be able to be able to answer that question, as well as others that have been hanging in the inquiry.

Lynville SchoolThe Lynville classroom building was completed in 1941 by Meridian architect R. C. Springer, who was also credited with buildings in Philadelphia, Laurel, and rural Neshoba and Kemper counties (Mississippi Department of Archives & History, Historic Resources Inventory).  To get to Lynville, take hyw 397 (DeKalb Road) north to Lynville, and Kellis Store Road east.  You’ll see the school to the right, in front of a large graveled parking lot.

September 10, 1970 US Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, US v Hinds County and Kemper County showed Lynville as closed.  It may have been re-opened as an Internet alumni list indicates one alum from 1973 and one from 2000, which suggests attendance at the school.

Subsequent posts will look at additional buildings still extant, and a couple that are not.

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Categories: Historic Preservation, New Deal, Schools


16 replies

  1. Looks like multiple lifts of tabby in the pictures.


  2. Well, I am quite the excellent amateur chef, so your wish is my command. Shall I send you my menu options?


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