Women’s History Month-Miss Annie Lee Mitchell

Miss Annie Lee Mitchell -Kingsport’s Pioneer Educator

Annie Mitchell (scanned from Eighty years of Enlightenment : Recollections of Kingsport Teachers,1996).

Annie Lee Mitchell, born December 21, 1872, was instrumental in the development and direction of education in early Kingsport. Born and raised in the Lovedale section of Kingsport, Miss Mitchell was a dedicated educator that taught in various locales until settling back home in Kingsport.

Miss Mitchell began her teaching career at Cloud’s Bend School with a salary of $25 a month. Cloud’s Bend was located at the foot of Bays Mountain in the area presently known as Ridgefields.

Sketch of Cloud Bend's School

Around 1900, Miss Mitchell  attended Holbrook Normal School near Knoxville and from there went to American Temperance University in Harriman, Tennessee.

Front cover of Mitchell's Commencement Ceremony invitation, 1902.

Miss Mitchell graduated from the Normal School at American Temperance University in 1902. On a side note, American Temperance University was only open from 1893-1908.

Inside of the Commencement Ceremony Invitation

After leaving Harriman, Miss Mitchell went on to teach in Asheville, North Carolina, at Martha Washington College in Abingdon, Virginia, and at Tennessee High School in Bristol. Sometime around 1910, Miss Mitchell came back to Kingsport and taught at War Path School in the Litz Manor Community.

Miss Mitchell eventually became the first principal at Kingsport’s first city school, Kingsport High School/Kingsport Public School. The school was located at the present site of the First Presbyterian Church on Church Circle. At the school she spearheaded and organized the first PTA and added a Home Economics and Music Department. Miss Mitchell also successfully launched a campaign to get the school year lengthened from 6 to 8 months.

Kingsport Teachers, 1916. (L to R) Miss Hunt, Miss Stephenson, Miss Mitchell, Miss Anderson, and Miss Gault.

It appears that Miss Mitchell never married or had children of her own. She was a beloved educator who dedicated her life to teaching the children of Kingsport. Her early efforts to strengthen the Kingsport school system had a huge impact on education in Kingsport. Almost 100 years later, Kinsgport still has an outstanding school system.

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Women’s History Month-Miss Annie Lee Mitchell

  1. I remember passing Miss Annie Mitchell’s old farm house on Orebank Road in the 1950’s and 60’s. We lived on Mitchell Road in Preston Woods from 1958 on, and that road is named for her family. I would be interested in knowing when she died and when her house on Orebank was torn down. It was located on the left before you reach Mt. View Methodist Church.

      1. The house on Orebank burned to the ground in December of 1967. Miss Mitchell had moved out the house about two years before that. I was able to find an article in the paper from December 8, 1967 about the fire.

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