The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Ferrum Training School 1919-1920

By Josie Anderson © 1984

Issue: August, 1984

These are a few fond memories of my childhood. My name is Josie Overby Anderson. I was born March 1, 1902 to Jacob and Martha Mitchell Overby in Patrick County, Virginia. Patrick County only had two or three high schools, so my parents decided to send me to Ferrum Training School, Ferrum, Virginia (a Methodist school). This was the year of 1919-20. I met so many fine young people. I well remember the day I left home. It was on Sunday. Several of my friends went with me to Stuart to catch the "Dick and Willie" train. I had a three hour wait in Fieldale, Virginia. I arrived at the station in Ferrum late in the afternoon and had to walk a mile to the school. There was a neighbor girl already there, so they gave me a room with two girls from Patrick County. Their names were Sadie Angle and Libby Alderman. The Matron was very strict and we weren't allowed to write to the opposite sex, so I had a boyfriend back home that I would write to and give the letters to a girl that lived over in the village to mail for me, the man whom I later married.

We had to attend church every Sunday, over in the village. Each girl would select a girl to walk with her to church and they would line us up, with a teacher in front and one behind. The boys would be in the rear. Off to church we would go. We would have lunch afterwards and then we would have the "Quiet" hour when we would read our Bibles, write letters, etc. up until about four o'clock. Then we could go out on the campus and walk.

I never kept in touch with many of the students, but one. I corresponded with her and she became a teacher. She taught school at our home school. After I married she boarded at my home. She is now deceased.

I went on to attend Draughn's Business College in High Point, North Carolina, but I never worked as a secretary. My brother got married and I had to help my dad in his store. I got married in 1926 and my husband and I farmed a few years. His health became bad so we built a small store and ran it for 17 years. We sold it and moved to Mount Airy, North Carolina, where we again farmed and ran another store. I operated this store until 1965, when my husband passed away.

If any of the people who attended Ferrum in the year 1919-20 read this, I would appreciate it very much if they would write to me as it would be good to hear from them again.

Josie Anderson
2221 Wards Gap Rd.
Mount Airy, N.C. 27030