Ruritan Beginning: Prologue Cover
Ruritan Beginning: Prologue
Ruritan Beginning: Prologue

Around 1915, school consolidation in the Windsor District of Isle of Wight County, Virginia, began with a new school in Windsor, a brick building that would accommodate the much larger group of children being taught in several small schools near the town of Windsor. The new Windsor School received accreditation with departments in Agriculture, Home Economics, Music and Commercial ,Education. One of the several small schools closed due to consolidation was the Line Pine School, a small one-room building about 3, miles from Windsor. This closing brought bitter" opposition from especially one parent, JH Gwaltney, who lived much closer to Line Pine than Windsor.

He strongly denounced closing the school and seriously threatened a law suit ,for the Line Pine School to be reopened. Friends finally reasoned with Gwaltney ilnd he agreed to try the "newfangled kid-wagon", transporting his children to the new consolidated school in Windsor. Eventually, Gwaltney became more than satisfied with the new school. His bitterness turned into most friendly and cooperative support, even becoming a member of the Windsor District School Board. Often Gwaltney said that if his children had continued at Line Pine School, they would have lost interest and probably dropped-out as he did, never completing high school.

Ten of JH Gwaltney's children graduated from the new consolidated school in Windsor. One was Johnson Gwaltney, better known as Jack or JJ. Jack remembered his father's opposition to school consolidation, then the change to strong support due to greater educational opportunities for the family children and other "improvements in the community. After graduating from Windsor, JJ attended VPI 1921-25, beginning in engineering then changing to Vocational-Agriculture (Vo-Ag) Teaching. With his degree, JJ accepted the Vo-Ag teaching position at the new consolidated school in Holland Va. As the Vo-Ag Teacher, Gwaltney had two bosses, Holland Principal HV White and District Supervisor of Agriculture Education Tom V. Downing. JJ's responsibilities included teaching agriculture courses for the young prospective farmers, and having winter night-classes for established local farmers to learn new and better farming methods. This teaching position brought JJ Gwaltney into regular contact with the farm youth, their farming fathers and families, and local Holland community businessmen.

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