Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Jennie Moore

While visiting the Rocky Fork area of Unicoi County, I came upon the Jennie Moore Memorial Presbyterian Church. What caught my attention was that it was organized in 1901 and named for a woman -- which I thought was quite progressive for the times. So I wondered, who was this Jennie Moore? What I've found are mentions here and here (click the second link to see a photo of her) (along with a few other brief snippets).

Jennie Moore, as part of her ministry with the Presbyterian Mission Board, was assigned to start a day school in southern Unicoi County. Her assignment was to last three months -- she ended up staying more than thirty years, from 1903-1936. Decades later, she remains a legend in this part of county. While her students were desperately poor, she saw in them leadership potential -- and through her efforts 263 of her students went on to college -- 43 of them followed her lead and became teachers. In addition to teaching, Moore saw to other needs of the community. Her mission served as a school, a church, a medical facility, a library, and a source of food and clothing for families in this remote mountain community facing hard times. It is said that she helped deliver more than 500 babies.

Moore died in Birmingham, Alabama on December 14, 1950 where she had retired to live with her sister. If anyone has any additional information about "Miss Jennie" they'd like to share, please email me or leave a comment below.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for telling the interesting stories of Jennie Moore and Mary Patton. What amazing contributions they made to life in the area!


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