During Reconstruction, Appomattox teacher Thomas Lythgoe wrote his Lynchburg colleague Jacob Yoder that “the people are so anxious for a school that I cannot very well refuse them.” Lythgoe taught at Tower Hill. The Pennsylvania Freedmen’s Relief Society sent Charles McMahon to teach at Plymouth Rock and Martha Brent to teach at Spout Spring.
In 1871 the Appomattox public schools opened with six schools for 352 black children. Their five teachers were all black men. Only 10% of the Southside district’s “colored” school population was enrolled, while 21% of Stonewall’s population and 32% of Clover Hill’s was enrolled. The percentages of white children enrolled were higher, ranging from 24% to 45%. The schools were open for five months of the year.
Philanthropists such as Julius Rosenwald provided funds to build some of Appomattox County’s early black schools.