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Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Repeat: The Barhamsville School Controversy, Pt. 2

 The second of the series . . .

The New Kent School Matter,
Editor of The Times:
Sir,— The news item in ,The Times of January 22nd, under the caption "Fierce Feud About Schools, New Kent Community, etc.." does such gross injustice to the people in this section of our county that it should not be allowed to pass uncontradicted. It is quite a surprise to our people to learn of the existence of a feud. It is true that considerable dissatisfaction exists between some of the Bradenham people due to their differing as to location of school. That it has reached an acute stage is untrue, as is also the statement of "bad blood" between the Barhamsville and Bradenham communities (using your classification). There have been some bickerings among the Bradenham people since the first organization of their school, but the present trouble is very different from the former. It is needless to go into details of such controversies, which appear to be gradually working themselves in as a part and parcel of the public school system.
As to the burning of the two school buildings and the implication that one was a retaliation of the other, amounts almost to a slander. The Bradenham school-house burned just before the beginning of the school term. The origin of the fire was unknown, but not the slightest suspicion attaches to any or your correspondent's "feudists." The one at Barhamsville burned about 10 o'clock A.M. and during the session of the school, caused by a defective flue. We regret that you should have printed such a highly colored article on the shortcomings of this district. Our people are as law-abiding as any in the State, and the Barhamsville and Bradehham communities will unite in repelling any unjust attacks on their good citizenship.
Very truly,
        F.W. WOODWARD.
Barhamsville, Va., Jan. 23, 1902.

-The Richmond Times, January 25, 1902

Bradenham is the name of family in the Barhamsville area who are mentioned in records as far back as before the American Revolution. The recently deceased Gladys Bradenham Upp was a teacher in New Kent County schools.

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