More Pride Memories

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Excerpted from the writings of Vicki Carney of the Greenwell Springs /Central Historical Society
    Back at the turn of the last century, the community of Pride actually had a “downtown”.   This consisted of the  Browning Store, John Lea’s Store, Townsend’s Store, the Browning Hotel, and the Pride School.   The Townsend Store stood on the south side of the Browning Hotel on Liberty Road.  John was the postmaster until 1960, having taken over from his father-in-law Norman Black.  Rev. Black served as pastor for Sandy Creek Baptist Church in the early 1900’s.  It was his wife who actually ran the post office.   South of the Townsend Store there was a blacksmith shop run by Tom Brown.  
    Around 1800, the families of Norwood, Chaney, Craig, Dreher, Forbes and Kirby began to settle around the areas later known as Pride, Milldale, and Deerford.  The history of Pride community began in the Post-Reconstruction Period, when William Kelly was a large landowner and political figure.  Sandy Creek Church and the Sandy Creek School were located on his property. Sandy Creek Church was established on October 21, 1839 as Mount Moriah Baptist Church on Carson Road.  It was built on land donated on June 2, 1813 by Mrs. Mary Anne Cain.   William’s step son, Samuel Hatcher, bought a large tract of land west of William’s.  Samuel’s widow married Thomas Kirby, one of the Reddins-Flennikens-Kirbys who lived on the Reddin plantation that was located where Pride is today.  He ran the community grist mill.  In the 1880’s, Will Craig bought the 40 acres on the west side of Liberty, and Jack Craig bought the larger portion of the old Reddin tract on the east side.  At the turn of the century, Willie Browning had purchased the Will Craig tract and his store.
    Leadership in the community back then was provided by school founders like Leander Browning, Will Craig, and the men of Sandy Creek Church, Willie Browning and John Lea.  Willie and John donated the land for the first graded school at Pride in 1907, formed by consolidating 3 one room schools.  The School Board gave $100 to construct the building.  Local contributions covered the rest of the expenses.  Around 1911, Willie built the Browning Hotel.  Teachers from the Pride School lived there.  The school building burned down in 1917, another building was erected a year later.  During the 1920’s, the School Board’s policy was to have the school be the center of community activity.  For this reason, the Woodmen of the World held their meetings there, movies were shown in the auditorium at a nickel each, and of course there were always school sports events.  
 The Pride School
 The Browning Store
 The Browning Hotel