Rogersville Synodical College
Rogersville City School is a preK-8, one-school, school system located in Rogersville, TN. Formerly the site of the Odd Fellows College for Women and later the Rogersville Synodical College, the current structure was built in 1929 following a fire that completely destroyed the historical Synodical College structure.  Previously housing both the grammar and high schools for the town, it began serving students only through eighth grade when the new building for Rogersville High School opened in 1950.



Historic RCS

Synodical College building prior to fire
Rogersville Synodical College
Students from 1921 student body crouched in front of Synodical College building
Students seated at tables, circa 1921
1921 basketball team in front of Synodical College building
Students holding Class of 1923 banner on steps of old building
Class of 1922
Maypole festivities on front lawn, circa 1920s
Girls' Basketball team in front of Northwest wing of building in 1928
Students in cap and gown on front steps of current RCS building
rear view of RCS 1960s
front view of RCS 1950s

All photos courtesy of Rodney Ferrell or taken from the 1922 Stiletto (Rogersville High School yearbook).


1849 – Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) purchases a 66 acre parcel in January on which to build      
             a school. The land was purchased from Joseph Rogers’ daughter-in-law Matilda Nall Rogers. The  
             property once contained the peach and cherry orchards of Joseph Rogers. 

1849 – IOOF lays the cornerstone of the new Rogersville Female Institute on July 4th. The cornerstone 
             was laid to solemn music. After a prayer, flowers were cast upon the stone. It was a “great and 
             glorious day” according to the speakers of the day.  

1850 – Rogersville Female Institute opens Sept. 1850 --116 pupils. 

1853 - West and East wings added. East Wing interior was unfinished.

1863 - The East Wing interior was completed.

1892 – Rogersville Synodical College opens.

1904-05 – The school did not operate during the 1904-1905 school year. 

1914-19 – The college took in local grammar and high school students after McMinn Academy closed.

1916 – The Synodical College closed, but grammar and high school pupils continued here. 

1919—The Town of Rogersville borrowed $10,000 from King College to purchase the school & ~52 acres 
               at a foreclosure December 1, 1919. Grammar & High students continue to attend.
1921 – Small fire inside of the school. The building is not in good shape.   

1922—The old Synodical College is torn down and new construction begins. 

1923 – $125,000 --Dedication of a New School Building-July 4th  (built on the foundations of the College) 
             10,000 people filled the streets for the ceremonies. Speakers included Governor Austin Peay,   
             General Tyson, who broke the Hindenburg line in WWI, and Major George Berry – President of 
             the Pressmen’s Union. Rogersville Grammar School and Rogersville High School are housed here.

1928 – The school burns to the ground on a cold, wintry night, after 10 P.M., near record breaking  
             Temperatures, January 3, 1928.  Water was freezing up, and the citizens could only stand and 
             watch. 580 students resumed schoolwork in 4 local churches, 430 grammar students   
             and 150 high school students. Faulty wiring above the furnace room was at fault. 

1929 – $65,178--The new school is rebuilt as almost an exact duplicate of the 1923 school. 
              The Foundations, Front, and East Walls were used in restoring the new building.

1955 – $122,380 , 14,000 sq ft West Wing added with classrooms and a cafeteria.

1970 – $366,542 ,  20,656 sq ft   East Wing was added with classrooms and a library. The Rogersville       
             School Board voted unanimously on October 15 to name the library after their principal of 21 
             years -- “Ben A. Cunningham Library” ---Cunningham had no idea about this. A full color portrait 
             of Cunningham was brought in and hung on the South Wall of the Library under a light. 

2000 – $7,000,000  , 46,000 sq ft addition to the South side, built 1998-2000,  with a Sept. 7 opening.
             Student began school this year in September and ended in June 2001 due to the delayed opening 
             of the new building. 
2023 – Celebrating 100 years of Rogersville City School – October 28th


Historic timeline compiled by Chad Laster.