Gilmer, TX

Tank Town History: Bible verses were once required by Gilmer Elementary School

Cheryl E Preston
Bible verses were required at Gilmer Elementary School.Photo bySixteen Miles OutonUnsplash

Gilmer Elementary School left an impression on the students

Both my mother (born in 1937) and my husband (born in 1957) attended Gilmer Elementary School in Roanoke. A timeline of events at this link indicates Gilmer was built in 1885 as a 4 room school for white students and became a school for African Americans in 1935.

My mother, her mom (my grandmother) my husband, and his mother indicated the school was in Old Northeast AKA Tank Town so I have to assume it was relocated at some point. My spouse and my mom both had a teacher at Gilmer School named Mrs.Boston whom they said was pretty strict but well respected. During the 1940s when my mother attended the school, they had children to recite Bible verses each morning along with pledging allegiance to the American flag.

During that time the North East community was predominantly Christian and everyone went to one fo the local churches and had a Bible in their home. My mother said that when she or other children could not think of a verse they went to the shortest one in scripture John 11:35 "Jesus Wept." By the time my husband attended Gilmer School in the 1960s, he said Bible verses were no longer required.

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I am a native Virginian who writes, about breaking news, nutrition, history, celebrities, and current events that are of interest to those living in the Commonwealth.

Roanoke, VA

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