Skip to main content

Piedmont Junior High School records

Identifier: MS0355

Scope and Contents

The Piedmont Junior High School records is a small collection consisting of photocopies of four documents, primarily from the 1930s and 40s, and nine photographs, 1947-48. These include a letter (dated December 3, 1978) from Dr. Garringer, to Mrs. Browder, concerning his tenure in the Charlotte Public School system; a two-page, handwritten chronology of the history of the school district; and two photocopies of The Quill from the early 1930s. There is also an assortment of photographs of PJHS athletes from the 1940s. As this collection concerns PJHS well before the years of desegregation and the civil rights movement, the photographs illustrate the exclusively white enrollment of the students of Piedmont Junior High. Of the two issues of The Quill, the first one is dated May 28, 1931. This was the concluding document of the class of 1931 and appears in the form of a school newspaper. A later issue, produced at the end of the 1931-32 academic year, includes the “Salutory Address,” written by Buford Patterson. Patterson later became a pilot in the US Army Air Corps in 1940 and was sent to the Philippines just before the Japanese over-ran the islands. He and his comrades were captured and spent the duration of the war as POWs. The UNCC Special Collections also has a copy of his war-time diary.


  • Creation: 1925 - 1978


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

Junior high schools in Charlotte, North Carolina first began to develop in the 1920s. According to Dr. Garringer, who came to the Charlotte Public School system at that time, the school board hired him to become the new principal for the yet-to-be-built Central High School. At about the same time, the board also gave approval to plan and build Piedmont Junior High School, the first junior high school in the state. In part, Garringer was to oversee the construction of the new school facilities, which were designed “in view of the needs of pupils of that age.” These buildings, ultra-modern by the standards of the times, included departmental teaching, science labs, studios for both art and music, libraries and more. Such an ambitious undertaking required the passage of a two million dollar bond issue. Piedmont Junior High was built on a seven acre lot, had twenty-two classrooms within forty eight thousand square feet and cost over $380,000. PJHS opened its doors to students in December of 1925, with Uhlman Alexander serving as its first principal. Most of the students came from the Elizabeth and Country Club sections of Charlotte. By 1928, the system employed 425 teachers and had an enrollment of over fourteen thousand students. The curriculum included Latin, French and Spanish. Though disciplinary problems were said to be rare, the playground, described as a “sea of red mud,” prevented the kids from using it. Instead, boys would often sneak off to a nearby luncheonette and play pool. The Quill was the name of the school newspaper, which eventually became the yearbook. The next big event to occur in twentieth century public school history was racial desegregation, in 1957. However, once this policy was introduced, white families began moving to other districts such as Hawthorne and Eastway, until Piedmont became predominantly African American. In 1973, remodeling and new building additions, consisting of new science labs, art and music rooms, a new library and offices, increased the building size by nearly twenty thousand feet, at a cost of nearly half a million dollars.


0.01 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection contains a small quantity of material concerning the history of Piedmont Junior High School in Charlotte, NC, mostly from the early 1930s to the late 1940s.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Tina Wright, 2005.

Related Materials

Oliver Reagan Rowe papers (Mss 047). Buford Patterson Diary (Mss 352). Elmer Henry Garinger Papers (Mss 70).

Processing Information

Processed by Robert A. McInnes, 2005.

Piedmont Junior High School records
Finding aid written by Robert A. McInnes.
July 2005
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States

About this Site

Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

Special Collections and University Archives
J. Murrey Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
(704) 687-1170
Schedule an Appointment