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History of School

The History of Jefferson Davis Elementary School


The Davis Elementary School building, located on the corner of Cotton and Church Streets, had its beginning in May 1990. The initial plans and contract were awarded to J. F. Baines of Greenville. Plans called for a two story, brick and stone construction. The first floor was to consist of six classrooms, offices, hallways, and vestibules: the second floor to consist of a large chapel, two classrooms and a library. Also included were furnace rooms and two play rooms.


The initial building was constructed at a cost of $17,444. Another $1,312 was spent for heating costs. The land purchase price was $500 per acre with the total cost being $2, 031.26.

The cornerstone of the building was laid on Tuesday, October 19, 1900 by members of the Greenwood Masonic Order. This signaled the official opening of the school.

The Greenwood Grammar School was opened in October 1900 with an enrollment of 165 white pupils under the principal ship of C. E. Saunders. Mr. Saunders held this position until 1923.

In 1906, additions were made to the building. A new wing was built in order to receive more pupils, improvements and the old building was thoroughly repaired.

In April 1907, on request by Lizzie George Henderson, the board named the school, Jefferson Davis School.

To accommodate the growing number of students, two new buildings were constructed on the same lot (the Greenwood Junior High School and Greenwood High School).

In 1973-74, all elementary schools were changed from grades 1-6 schools to grades 1 through 8 schools. There was no longer an all-white Jr. High School on Davis School campus. This marked the beginning of integration.

In December of 1980, a fire destroyed the original Jefferson Davis School. Grades 1-6 were placed in the initial Jr. High Buildings, and grades 7and 8 were placed in the old Greenwood High School.

Following the fire, a new elementary building was built on the site of the old Greenwood Jr. High, and the seventh and eighth grade building was renovated.

Later, due to increased enrollment, the fifth and sixth grade classes were moved to the seventh and eighth grade building. In 1993, a city-wide Jr. High School for seventh and eighth grades was established.

Today, Davis Elementary School remains in its original location with students being housed in two buildings (K-3 in the one story: 4-6 in the two story) with a total enrollment of 555.

A variety of special services and programs, in addition to regular academics, is offered. These include teacher assistants (K-2), Special Education, speech, gifted, Title 1, guidance classes and band.

Davis Elementary School is headed by a principal and one assistant principal. It has a total of 32 certified staff personnel and 12 classified support staff.